2016 TSPRA ANNUAL CONFERENCE
FEBRUARY 22-25, 2016
Pre-Conference Sessions • Monday Afternoon, February 22
Executive Committee Meeting • Monday Morning, February 22
Regular Conference Sessions • Tuesday, February 23 thru Noon, Thursday, February 25
Horseshoe Bay Resort
200 Hi Circle North; Horseshoe Bay, TX 78657
Phone: (830) 598-2511 • www.hsbresort.com
Tuesday's Keynote Speaker: Drum Cafe
Drum Cafe is one of the world's leading Team Building and Corporate Events Companies.
Founded in Johannesburg in 1996 by Warren Lieberman, the Drum Cafe started as an actual cafe where drumming was used in a relaxed environment to break down barriers, inspire people and bring people together. Moved by the experience of communal drumming in Africa, and the passion to unite different groups of people together in South Africa’s post apartheid era, Warren Liebermann developed a global team building and entertainment program along with leading motivational speakers, team builders and Africa’s top drummers.
The result 12 years later is a unique yet relevant program used by many of the Fortune 500 companies worldwide. "Drumming is something everyone, and every culture can relate to," explains Warren. "The first thing you hear when you come into this world is the beat of your mother's heartbeat. Drumming relaxes, energizes and motivates in a way most team building companies cannot explain."
Warren Liebermann has personally worked with world leaders including Nelson Mandela, Bill Clinton, George Bush and Tony Blair, as well as corporate leaders such as Virgin's Richard Branson. In South Africa, most of the prominent companies have used the Drum Cafe for various events.
While the Drum Cafe has expanded it retains its humble origins. It is about connecting people and building teams through Interactive Drumming. The focus is not on the company's facilitators, but rather on the audience. "Each individual is important to the group," Warren says. "The Drum Cafe's interactive drumming allows everyone to feel motivated and rewarded because their involvement contributes to the success. Groups can achieve so much more. They can create 'music' in every way if they work efficiently together."
Thursday's Keynote Speaker: Shanna Peeples
Named the first National Teacher of the Year from Texas in more than 50 years, Shanna Peeples of Palo Duro High School in Amarillo ISD took a circuitous route to the classroom. She worked as a disc jockey, medical assistant, pet sitter and journalist before teaching, as she says, chose her. Peeples now teaches at Palo Duro High School in Amarillo, Texas, where she spends half of her day as a high school English teacher and the other half mentoring, coaching and challenging her colleagues to grow in the teaching profession.
At Palo Duro High School, her students come from many different backgrounds. Amarillo is one of several cities in the United States that helps refugees find new paths in life and gain access to critical resources. As a result, Peeples works with many students who speak English as a second language or recently entered the United States from another country.
“My students, survivors of deep and debilitating trauma, have shaped the kind of teacher I am," she says. "They have taught me to never make a promise I can't keep because so many already have learned to see the world through suspicious eyes. To be the best teacher to them, I have to remember this and honor their background. I remember so I can gain their trust because I want them to read and write their way out of where they are."
As the 2015 National Teacher of the Year, Shanna is shaping the conversation in this country about working with students in poverty, and those who have already faced extreme challenges in their young lives. Through a variety of teaching methods, Peeples reaches her students and helps them achieve their full potential far beyond her classroom walls.
Shanna has taught for the past 12 years, four of them in her current role. She earned an Associate’s degree from Amarillo College, a Bachelor of Arts from West Texas A&M University and a Master of Education from the University of Texas at Arlington.
Key Communicator: Jimmie Don Aycock
TSPRA's 2015 Key Communicator Jimmie Don Aycock represented District 54 in the Texas House of Representatives from 2006 until his retirement at the end of the 2015 Legislative Session. During his legislative career he served on the Culture, Recreation and Tourism; Agriculture and Livestock; Defense and Veterans’ Affairs; Higher Education, and Redistricting committees and most notably as chair of the Public Education Committee during the 2013 and 2015 sessions.
As chair, Aycock shepherded House Bill 5 through the 2013 session, significantly reducing end of course testing for Texas students and creating more paths to graduation for Texas students.
In 2015, Aycock proposed legislation that would have added $800 million from general revenue to the $2.2 billion in the House’s original budget proposal. Though he pulled that bill from the floor in the face of apathy from the State Senate, his efforts helped kick start a conversation about repairing the state’s school finance system that many predicted would never happen before the Texas Supreme Court ruled on the state’s latest school finance case.
Throughout his tenure in the Legislature, Aycock has been a vocal defender of Texas students and teachers, celebrating the good news of public education while highlighting the challenges educators face in keeping standards high. His belief in a system that serves Texas’ 5.2 million students has made him a consistent opponent of efforts by lawmakers to introduce private school voucher systems to the state.
Legal Series Speakers
The 2016 TSPRA Annual Conference will feature a legal series of speakers to keep members up to date on the latest developments in some of the areas our members deal with each week in their districts or organizations. Legal speakers include:
Education Foundation Law
TPIA and Open Records
Conflict of Interest and Disclosure Reporting
Current Issues Facing School Districts
Copyright and Trademark