A New Vision: Small District Transformation | engage2learn

Is it more challenging to transform a small district or a large one? This session explores the approaches that leaders in three districts: Lytle, Navasota, and Sunnyvale, have taken to transform their districts and the lessons they have learned along the way.

We began a partnership with each of these districts in early 2013. Doug Williams, superintendent of Sunnyvale ISD attended a Transformational Leaders Collaborative (TLC) that I facilitated for Region 10 ESC and Christi Morgan, Director of Student Services for Sunnyvale, attended the 2012 (TLC). They began right away using the tools we shared to engage their community, staff, and students in conversations about transformation. This dialogue led to interest in a new learning model and Sunnyvale trained a team of teachers in our Engage 2013 Collaborative Cohort. Lauren Hurt, Sunnyvale’s Engage! ELM Coach, says,

“The Sunnyvale team is showing outstanding growth in just this first year by empowering the creativity in teachers and through the positive, innovative attitudes of the leaders within the district. I can see the engagement and internal motivation so clearly when I talk with students and teachers about their relevant, authentic learning experiences.”

Rory Gesch, superintendent of Navasota was selected to attend to the TASA Future Ready Superintendents Institute I facilitated in 2012-13. Rory was already leading change in Navasota ISD and had some educators dabbing in PBL. Gesch and assistant superintendent and Chief Learning Officer, Scott Powers, chose to put a team in the 2013 Collaborative Cohort, also. The Navasota team spanned the Junior High and High School staff. The Junior High, under the direction of principal Charles Lester, has made amazing progress in transforming from a teaching platform to a learning model. Says Charles, “You can’t make me go back to the old way! I am having the deepest conversations with teachers about learning that I have experienced in my entire career.”

Along with Rory Gesch, Doug Williams, and 36 other superintendents, Michelle Carroll-Smith, superintendent of Lytle ISD was selected to the TASA Future Ready Superintendents Institute in 2012-2013. Michelle and her team had been working with the school board, community, and staff on applying the TASA New Vision for some time in Lytle, as well as working on engaging learners. Michelle partnered with Engage! by sending a team to the 2013-2014 Engage! Coaches Academy to prepare for a district implementation. In addition, in the fall of 2013, Engage facilitated the Designing Transformation process for community engagement and strategic design to result in a five year plan for Lytle ISD aligned to the TASA New Vision for Public Education in Texas.

These three leaders are inspirational in their courage and vision for transforming their districts. They clearly are focused on more than just the rhetoric of transformation and are making it happen for their students! We are thrilled to be their partner in that enterprise!

Contact Information

District Contact Email Phone
Lytle ISD Michelle Carroll Smith, Superintendent smithmc@lytleisd.com 830-709-5100
Lytle ISD Randy Ewing, Public Relations Director rewing@lytleisd.com
Navasota ISD Rory Gesch, Superintendent geschr@navasotaisd.org 936-825-4203
Navasota ISD Scott Powers, Chief Learning Officer powers@navasotaisd.org
Navasota ISD Ronnie Gonzalez, Chief Administrative Officer gonzalezr@navasotaisd.org
Sunnyvale ISD Doug Williams, Superintendent doug.williams@sunnyvaleisd.com 972-226-5974
Sunnyvale ISD Christi Morgan, Director of Student Services christi.morgan@sunnyvaleisd.com
Engage! Learning Shannon Buerk shannon@engage2learn.org 214.938.8254

Presentation Resources


A New Vision Presentation


A New Vision Project Plan


“The Future of Education for Board Members” | PPT


“The Future of Education for Board Members” | PREZI


“The Future of Education for Admin” | PPT


“The Future of Education for Parents” | PPT


“The Future of Education for Parents” | PREZI


Using the Visioning Document for Action/Transformation