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Garland, Dallas, Cedar Hill ISDs accepted into leadership development program

Three North Texas school districts were chosen for The Holdsworth Center partnership. The program will train and invest $6 million per district.

GARLAND, Texas — On Monday, three North Texas independent school districts -- Cedar Hill, Dallas and Garland -- were chosen to partner with The Holdsworth Center over the next five years.

It's a public education leadership program founded by Charles Butt, chairman of H-E-B.

"It's a very competitive process. We received 43 applications this year for six spots," said Lindsay Whorton, president of The Holdsworth Center. 

She said the number of applicants reflects how critical leadership is to the recovery that lies ahead for school districts. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted students academically and emotionally.

"After the pandemic, we need to be able to respond to ensure that everybody is on the right footing for success after high school," said Garland Superintendent Dr. Ricardo López.

But he said this is not just a response to the pandemic. Instead, it's a long-term investment in the district and the students.

Through The Holdsworth Center, leaders of each chosen school district will be trained to help teachers thrive and help students excel on every campus. Once a month beginning this summer, the staff at each district will go to The Holdsworth Center's campus on Lake Austin for training and conferences. 

The belief behind the program is that strong leaders can have a major impact on the kids. Those participating in the program will develop personal leadership skills and bring it back to their schools to help the teachers grow as well. 

The Holdsworth Center has a goal to train more than 4,500 educators by 2028, investing $6 million in each district accepted into the program.

Cedar Hill, Dallas and Garland ISDs are joining Arlington, Grand Prairie and Mesquite ISDs, which are already in The Holdsworth Center partnership.