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David Thompson named TSPRA's 2006 Key Communicator
David Thompson, a partner in the Houston law office of Bracewell & Giuliani, has been named as the 2006 Key Communicator by the Texas School Public Relations Association (TSPRA). The award will be presented Saturday morning, October 7, 2006, at the Second General Session of the TASA/TASB Joint Annual Convention in Houston, Texas at the George R. Brown Convention Center.
Considered a true key communicator for years and a friend to TSPRA, Thompson was selected to receive this award from a field of six nominees. A resounding theme e merged during the selection process: Thompson, through his persuasiveness and advocacy of public education, has made a sig nificant contribution to public school communications.
As an attorney involved in school law and educational po litics for almost two decades, Thompson has worked closely with the Texas Education Agency to ensure that legislators are getting the message about the impact of proposed legislation on public schools and the students they serve. He has worked to provide a clear message of the success of public schools despite the unfunded mandates.
"He never failed to champion the cause of public education in Texas and has been instrumental over the years in helping districts get the fund ing they so desperately need," said Kirk Lewis, superintendent of Pasadena ISD and a TSPRA past president. "It is my belief that there has been no stronger advocate for Texas public schools in the past two years than David Thompson. David is a vocal advocate of public schools, not just because of his profession, but because of his sincere belief that public schools offer the best hope for a successful future for the children of Texas."
Thompson was General Counsel for the Texas Education Agency for several years and has served as associate executive director and director of governmental relations for the Texas Association of School Boards. On behalf of the TASB Legal Assistance Fund, Thompson has represented 263 school districts in Edgewood ISD v. Meno (Edgewood IV), challenging the constitutionality of the Texas public school finance system. He also represents the Plaintiffs in West Orange-Cove v. Neeley, challenging the constitutionality of the Texas Public School System. His communication skills also were at work in the most recent special session of the Texas Legislature.
Thompson obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin in 1973 and hi s Doctor of Jurisprudence degree in 1976 from the University of Texas School of Law. In 2004, Thompson earned the distinction of Texas Super Lawyer in school and educational law.
Since 1981, TSPRA has recognized a Key Communicator for outstanding contributions to public education through effective communications. The recipient may be a legislator, educator or professional in another ﬁeld who has improved school communication; or a member of TSPRA who has contributed outstanding service to the profession of school communications. Recipients have included leaders from business, media, PTA, politics and education. Some past winners are: attorney and State Board of Education (SBOE) member Will Davis; Linus Wright, former Under Secretary of Education and Dallas ISD Superintendent; Jack Christie, past chairman of the SBOE; former Texas State Rep. Paul Sadler; Annell Todd, publisher of Texas School Business magazine and then TSPRA executive director; Carolyn Boyle, coordinator of the Coalition for Public Schools and Dawson Orr, superintendent of Wichita Falls ISD.
Stephanie Ferguson, New Braunfels ISD, chairs the 2006 Professional Awards Committee, which includes: Bill Britcher, Leander ISD; Drue Brown, Brownsville ISD; Ashley Holt, Pasadena ISD; Lynda Queen, Region 16 ESC, Amarillo; and Luis Villal obos, El Paso ISD.
For more information, contact the TSPRA State Office, 512-474-9107.