Association of Texas Professional Educators
Association of Texas Professional Educators
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2024 ATPE Summit

At the 2024 ATPE Summit, we’ll learn new things, expand our volunteer skills, elect our state officers, and rustle up some fun! The 2024 ATPE Summit will take place July 8–10 at the Sheraton Dallas. 

Registration is now open at

July 8–10, 2024
Sheraton Dallas Hotel
Dallas, Texas

Learning and Leading and Fun, Oh My!

The biggest and best educator association in the state invites all Texas educators to join us for professional learning and the chance to discover all that ATPE has to offer:

Earn up to seven hours of CPE!

We’ve arranged for a compelling lineup of professional learning sessions this year, with breakouts on a wide range of cutting-edge topics. Plus, you can earn continuing professional education (CPE) credit during our Advocacy Update, House of Delegates meeting, and two keynote sessions.

Step right up for amazing general sessions!

The 2024 ATPE Summit will open with a presentation by leadership expert Alyson Van Hooser, who will inspire you with her story of the teacher who changed her life. Our closing session featuring Ron Clark Academy co-founder Kim Bearden will energize you for the coming school year. Plus, don’t miss our Advocacy Update featuring ATPE’s professional lobby team.

Make your voice heard in the ATPE House of Delegates!

See ATPE’s member-governed philosophy come to life during the annual ATPE House of Delegates (HOD) meeting, when certified member delegates from across the state will elect our 2024-25 state officers and adopt the latest version of the ATPE Legislative Program—the member-written document that guides all of ATPE’s advocacy for public educators

Flex your leadership muscles!

Attendees may choose from a variety of leadership training breakouts, including exclusive first looks at ATPE’s new professional learning portal and online community.

How to Attend

New this year—individual registrations!

If you want to attend, simply visit and register for the event. Please note that if you wish to serve as a voting delegate in the ATPE House of Delegates, you must also be certified as a local unit or region delegate by your local unit or region president, as applicable. Visit for more information.

Hotel reservations

Reserve your room at the Sheraton Dallas by June 7 through the housing link at

The room rate is $213 plus 18.26% tax per night (for up to four people). Discounted self-parking is available for $18 per night. Valet will be charged at the prevailing rate at the time of the event.

Registration Fees

Through June 7:

  • $225 – ATPE members
  • $275 – Nonmembers 
  • Free – ATPE college student, student teacher, and university sponsor members 
  • Free – HOD-only attendees

Please note that any active ATPE member may attend the House of Delegates meeting as a guest at no cost. However, to vote in the ATPE House of Delegates, members must be certified as delegates by their local unit or region president, as applicable.

A separate $60 add-on ticket is required to attend the optional “Night at the State Fair” welcome reception.

After June 8:

  • $235 – ATPE members
  • $285 – Nonmembers 
  • Free – ATPE college student, student teacher, and university sponsor members 
  • Free – HOD-only attendees

Agenda at a Glance

Subject to change.

Monday, July 8

10 a.m.
Registration opens

11 a.m.–2 p.m.
Prefile Table

2–3 p.m.
Opening Keynote with Alyson Van Hooser

3:15–4:15 p.m.
Volunteer training breakouts

4:30–6 p.m.
Membership/marketing general session and Leader of the Year Awards

Join us as we recognize blue-ribbon local units and volunteer leaders during the presentation of the Doug Rogers Campus Representative of the Year and Floyd Trimble Local Unit of the Year awards. We’ll also recognize ATPE’s 2023-24 Top Recruiter. 

7:30–9 p.m.
A Night at the State Fair (welcome reception—optional add-on ticket required)

Tuesday, July 9

8–9:30 a.m.
Advocacy Update and Awards 

We’ll recognize those members who demonstrated outstanding support for the ATPE Political Action Committee between Aug. 1, 2022, and July 31, 2023.

9:45–11:15 a.m.
House of Delegates (Part I)

11 a.m.–2 p.m.
State officer elections 

11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Region caucuses 

2:30 p.m.–completion
House of Delegates (Part II)

Evening on your own

Wednesday, July 10

8:30–10:45 a.m.
Professional learning breakouts 

11 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Closing Keynote with Kim Bearden and Educator of the Year Awards

We will close the ATPE Summit with a special session in which we honor the 2023-24 ATPE Charles Pickitt Educators of the Year in five categories: administrator, associate, elementary teacher, secondary teacher, and special services educator.

We did not forget the corny dogs

Join us on the ATPE Midway from 7:30–9 p.m. Monday, July 8, for A Night at the State Fair: a night of carnival games, caricature artists, and camaraderie! Try your hand at classic games for the opportunity to win ATPE-themed merch and support the ATPE Political Action Committee (ATPE-PAC). Your favorite state fair treats and nonalcoholic beverages will be served, and a cash bar will be available. (This event requires the purchase of an additional $60 ticket.)

Meet Our Keynote Speakers

Alyson Van Hooser, author of Infinite Influence and leadership expert
Opening Keynote | 2–3 p.m. Monday, July 8

In a world moving at breakneck speed, your ability to authentically connect with people from all walks of life makes the difference between success and failure. As someone born under-resourced and underestimated, Alyson Van Hooser discovered exactly how to build influence with anybody ... and now she is sharing her top seven secrets with you. Learn to build instant connections that will endure a lifetime and begin creating endless opportunities for yourself and others.

Alyson’s work reveals future-proof, practical, and immediately actionable strategies for captivating, connecting, and compelling people to move forward with you, whether they are students, colleagues, or fellow members! Her results-obsessed inspiration guides people at all stages of their careers to make practical changes that drive real-life results!

As president & CEO of Van Hooser Associates Inc., and as a trusted authority and resource for effectively leading people, Alyson uses her management experience with Walmart, her leadership experience in the financial industry, and her work as an elected city council member—all by the age of 26—to relate authentically with the challenges leaders are facing.

Artist’s appearance arranged through Gotham Artists.

Kim Bearden, co-founder and executive director of the Ron Clark Academy
Closing Keynote | 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 10

Kim Bearden is the co–founder, executive director, and language arts teacher at the highly acclaimed Ron Clark Academy, an innovative middle school and educator-training facility in Atlanta. More than 115,000 educators from around the world have visited Kim’s classroom and attended her workshops to learn better ways to engage students, promote academic excellence, build relationships, and create a climate and culture for success.

Throughout her career, Kim has received numerous accolades, including induction into the National Teachers Hall of Fame. She was chosen from over 70,000 nominations to be honored as the Disney American Teacher Awards Outstanding Humanities Teacher, and the Milken Family Foundation selected her to receive the Award for Excellence in Education. She is the winner of the InfluencHer Award, the University of Georgia Outstanding Educator Award, and the Turknett Character Award for Servant Leadership. Mercedes-Benz recognized her in its Greatness Lives Here campaign, and Women Works Media Group has named her one of Georgia’s Most Powerful and Influential Women.

Over the past 36 years, she has been a teacher, instructional lead teacher, curriculum director, school board member, staff development trainer, and middle-school principal.

Kim is also a wife, mom, and the bestselling author of three books: Crash Course, Talk to Me, and Fight Song: Six Steps to Passion, Power, Peace, and Purpose.

Artist’s appearance arranged through Gotham Artists.

ATPE Advocacy Update
8–9:30 a.m. Tuesday, July 9

The public education community was able to keep private school vouchers at bay during a yearlong legislative battle in 2023, but several critical public education allies have either retired from the Legislature or were defeated in the March primaries. As we look ahead to the general election in November and the 89th Legislature, how can ATPE members fight for their students and inspire their colleagues to stay engaged? The ATPE Governmental Relations team will be on hand to share the latest.

Professional Learning Preview
8–9:30 a.m. Tuesday, July 9

The 2024 ATPE Summit will offer more than 20 professional learning breakout sessions from ATPE’s strategic partners, special invited presenters, and our own members. Here’s a sneak peek at the offerings:

Curious about artificial intelligence?

Kasey Bell from Shake Up Learning will share lessons learned from her cautious approach to AI, and the experts from TCEA will be on hand for a session on practical classroom AI tools and strategies.

Do you serve young learners?

Learn about the collaborative journey Region 10 ESC and Prosper ISD have taken to expand the continuum of services provided to support educational and developmental outcomes for all young learners.

Ready for a fresh approach to parent-teacher conferences?

Our friends from Texas PTA will share ways to successfully reimagine the traditional parent-teacher conference as a true partnership between all participants—parents, teachers, and students.

New(ish) to the classroom?

Don’t miss “Strategies for a Radiant Start in Education” presented by ATPE Engagement & Learning Specialist Andrea Hutlock.

Plus, sessions presented by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented (TAGT), Texas Teacher of the Year Taniece Thompson-Smith, the Science Teachers Association of Texas (STAT), Stanford University’s REACH Lab, and more! Find the full lineup at

How to Earn Seven Hours of CPE at the ATPE Summit

  1. Attend the Opening Keynote with Alyson Van Hooser Monday (1 hour).
  2. Get up early for the Advocacy Update & Awards Tuesday (1 hour).
  3. Attend the ATPE House of Delegates meeting Tuesday (2 hours).
  4. Participate in your choice of curated professional learning breakout sessions Wednesday morning (2 hours).
  5. End your summit with Closing Keynote Speaker Kim Bearden (1 hour).

A Closer Look at ATPE Volunteer Training Sessions

No matter where you are in your ATPE leadership journey, you’ll find a volunteer training session to inspire you.

  • Learn about ATPE’s new professional learning portal and online community.
  • Participate in local unit- and region-focused listening sessions.
  • Discover the wealth of resources and digital recruitment tools available in Leader Central.
  • Develop strategies for maximizing your local unit’s impact through local advocacy, community involvement, and networking opportunities.
  • Understand the relationship between your local unit budget and the annual treasurer’s report.
  • Find out how to increase volunteer engagement through nontraditional volunteer opportunities and creative approaches to volunteer appreciation.
  • For university local units, learn how your local unit’s goals and structure differ from traditional local units and how you can use your university local unit as a stepping stone to career and ATPE success.

We’ll wrap up Monday’s sessions with a general session covering the latest information for the upcoming 90-Day Fall Membership Campaign.

Your ATPE State Officer Candidates

The 2024-25 state officer candidates will deliver speeches outlining their skills, backgrounds, qualifications, and philosophies beginning at 9:45 a.m. July 9 during the House of Delegates meeting. Delegates will cast their votes electronically between 11 a.m.–2 p.m. the same day. Only certified delegates may vote, and only local unit and region presidents may certify delegates.

Get to Know the Candidates Online

All state officer candidates have the opportunity to create short videos about their qualifications and vision for service as a state officer. Any submitted candidate videos will be posted at by June 1.

Jason Forbis

ATPE leadership experience:

State vice president, secretary, and treasurer; chair of board Finance and Membership committees; chair of state ATPE Political Action Committee, Legislative, and Professional Rights & Responsibilities committees; member of state Membership and Resolutions committees and Board of Directors Ad Hoc Committee on Fund Balances; member of Ad Hoc Committee on Association Structure; vice president of ATPE Foundation board; Region 12 director, president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, and past president; chairman of the Region 12 Scholarship Committee; Midway (12) ATPE president, membership chair, treasurer, and campus representative; Waco ATPE president, vice president, secretary, campus representative, and scholarship committee chair

ATPE recognition:

Region 12 Elementary Educator of the Year; Stephen F. Austin honoree; William B. Travis honoree; Ben Shilcutt Plus Club; ATPE-PAC Statesman; officer of Green Apple award-winning local unit

Current position:

First grade teacher in Midway (12) ISD

Other leadership experience:

Member of the MISD (12) Superintendent’s Spirit of Communication Council; Baylor University student-teacher mentor; MISD (12) campus and district UIL coordinator; UIL campus coach; MISD (12) mentor-mentee program leader; MISD (12) science and math committee member and professional development presenter; food drive coordinator for Hunger Free MISD Program; member of First Baptist Church Woodway; certified pharmacy technician at H-E-B Pharmacy

Years in ATPE:


Years in education:


Vice President
Jerrica Liggins

ATPE leadership experience:

State secretary and treasurer; chair of board Finance Committee; chair of state Leadership and Nomination/Election committees; member of Educator of the Year, Legislative, Membership, and Political Action committees; Region 8 president, secretary, treasurer, and past president; Region 10 secretary; Paris ATPE president, secretary, past president, and campus representative; Cooper Bulldogs ATPE founder, president, and past president; ATPE at the Capitol; inaugural class of Leadership ATPE; membership campaign representative

ATPE recognition:

Stephen F. Austin honoree, William B. Travis honoree, ATPE-PAC Statesman

Current position:

Secondary education director in Paris ISD; doctoral student at Grand Canyon University

Other leadership experience:

District UIL, county spelling bee, and CCMR coordinator; districtwide action and District of Innovation committee member; secondary campus needs assessment resource officer; professional learning communities mediator; HB 3 board goals and HB 4545 planning committee member; secondary academic advisor; mentor teacher; administrator mentor; CHAMPion mentor; YoungLife Lamar County mentor; Paris Downtown Food Pantry board member; Lamar County United Way campaign chair; Paris Debutante Scholarship Committee member; Teacher of the Year nominee and selection committee member; Mesquite ISD Excellence in Teaching Incentive Program; student council sponsor; cheer coach; political campaign volunteer; conference turn-around trainer: TCWSE, Texas ASCD, TABSE, and TASSP; principal and superintendent certification; member of Paris New Generation Baptist Church

Years in ATPE:


Years in education:


Eli Rodriguez

ATPE leadership experience:

Chair of board Finance Committee; board liaison to ATPE Political Action Committee; Region 4 director, president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, and past president; chair of board Membership & Volunteer and Advocacy committees; Cypress-Fairbanks ATPE president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, and past president; Mesquite ATPE secretary, treasurer, and president-elect; chair of the Educator of the Year Committee; member of the state Bylaws, Resolutions, Advocacy, Nomination/Election, and Executive Director Search committees; campus rep; and summit presenter

ATPE recognition:

President of a Local Unit of the Year award-winning local unit; ATPE-PAC Statesman; Ann and Bill Crockett Advocacy Award winner

Current position:

Seventh grade English/language arts educator in Cypress-Fairbanks ISD

Other leadership experience:

Cypress Assistance Ministry GED teacher and CAM ESL substitute; campus representative for Professional Services Personnel committee; and Prince of Peace usher

Years in ATPE:


Years in education:


Leslie Ward

ATPE leadership experience:

Region 14 director, president; member of board Finance, Policy, and Membership & Volunteer committees; member of state Legislative Committee; McMurry University ATPE president and campus rep; at-large campus representative; Gen ATPE Focus Group participant

ATPE recognition:

President of a Local Unit of the Year award-winning university local unit; Stephen F. Austin honoree; William B. Travis honoree

Current position:

Third grade math/science teacher in Merkel ISD

Other leadership experience:

President, vice president, and secretary of JNHS Athletic Booster Club

Years in ATPE:

11 (including time as a university student)

Years in education:


Teresa Millard

ATPE leadership experience:

Region 7 director, president, vice president, secretary, and past president; member of board Finance, Membership & Volunteer, and Policy committees; member of state Educator of the Year and Leader of the Year committees; member of Ad Hoc Committee on Association Structure; Woden ATPE president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, and past president; ATPE at the Capitol attendee

ATPE recognition:

2021-22 Campus Representative of the Year; Stephen F. Austin honoree; William B. Travis honoree; ATPE-PAC Statesman

Current position:

PreK3 (prekindergarten for 3-year-olds) teacher and bus driver in Woden ISD

Other leadership experience:

Woden ISD district site-based committee; South Nacogdoches County Volunteer Fire Department (VFD) secretary and treasurer; South Nacogdoches County VFD representative on the Deep East Texas Regional Advisory Council; Nacogdoches Farmers Market Board of Directors secretary and market manager

Years in ATPE:


Years in education:



Author: ATPE Staff