By: Byron Hildebrand
It’s a new school year, and we’re off to a great start here at ATPE. I’m pleased to welcome Dr. Shannon Holmes as ATPE’s new executive director. Dr. Holmes has served as superintendent of Hardin-Jefferson ISD in southeast Texas since 2005. He has extensive experience in Texas public schools, a long history of involvement with public education organizations, and a strong background in business and finance. I truly believe that he will bring new energy to our organization and make us even stronger than we already are. Welcome, Dr. Holmes! ATPE is honored to have you.
New leadership couldn’t come at a better time for our association. The next legislative session starts in January, but the time to prepare starts now. More and more, education is becoming the center of the legislative agenda in Austin. It has been said that there is no problem on this planet that education can’t solve. With that thought in mind, I hope all Texas educators and their families will come together to protect public education in this great state.
Our first chance to fight for education starts soon. In November, we’ll have a general election that will set the tone for the work our lobbyists will do come January. Ensuring that we have education-friendly legislators in office is the first step to success during the upcoming legislative session. My biggest hope is that all educators—and certainly all ATPE members—will come out and vote in November.
But when you step into that polling booth, don’t just “pull a lever.” Pay attention to who you’re voting for. Do your research. Think of your students and your colleagues and vote with your heart. Vote for education. If education is the root that connects us all, then let your vote be what helps it grow.
ATPE State President