Texas Educators, Scholars and Districts Honored at the 2014 Administrative Leadership Institute Conference


Written by: CEHD Communications Staff
Post date: November 17, 2014

Dr. Abelardo Saavedra and Dr. Wanda Bamberg were among seven award recipients at this year’s Dr. John R. Hoyle Memorial Administrative Leadership Institute (ALI) conference sponsored by the Department of Educational Administration and Human Resource Development in the College of Education and Human Development at Texas A&M University in partnership with the Texas Association of School Administrators.

Dr. Saavedra was awarded the Golden Deeds for Education Award, considered the most coveted award in the field of Texas education, for his dedication to improving the educational system in Texas and enriching the lives of all Texas public school students. In his 36-year career in public education, Saavedra has served as a classroom teacher, assistant principal, principal, director, assistant superintendent, associate superintendent, deputy superintendent and superintendent of schools. He is currently the superintendent of South San Antonio ISD, where he devotes his time and energy to transforming the lives of public school children in the area.

Dr. Mario Torres, co-director of the Administrative Leadership Institute, said of Dr. Saavedra, “He is a true friend to Texas A&M University and a dedicated professional who has a servant’s heart for the children of Texas.”

Dr. Bamberg was awarded the Hoyle Award in Educational Leadership. The award, which also honors the namesake of the institute, is awarded to practicing administrators who make a difference in the lives of all youth for the betterment of society. An educator since 1977, Bamberg joined Aldine ISD in 1982 as an English and reading teacher at Hoffman Middle School. After climbing the ranks of educational administration in the district, she was named Superintendent of Schools in June 2007 and was awarded the Region 4 Superintendent of the Year award in 2011.

“Dr. Wanda Bamberg exemplifies this award,” commented Dr. Beverly J. Irby, co-director of the Administrative Leadership Institute, “She certainly knows how to respond in tough times. Once when the District budget had to be cut, she called in her Cabinet to assist. They and Dr. Bamberg went out to substitute in the schools – and not just for one day!”

The institute also recognized Roscoe Collegiate ISD with the Texas School District Excellence Award for the phenomenal work of Superintendent Dr. Kim Alexander and other administrators in creating comprehensive STEM and Early College Academies. As a “collegiate” district, it has awarded associate degrees to an astounding percentage of high school students in the small, rural community.

Clear Creek ISD was presented the Texas School Board Excellence Award for the work of administrators in ensuring that their schools were student-centered and that students were “future-ready”. Selected to the Texas High Performance Schools Consortium, the district – under the direction of Superintendent Greg Smith and the Clear Creek ISD School Board – designed a Community-Based Accountability System to verify the district is graded according to the needs, desires and values of their local community in addition to the expectations of House Bill 5.

Other honorees this year include: Lolita Tabron, Ph.D. candidate at Texas A&M University; Michael Cardona, chief middle schools officer in Houston ISD; and Thomas Poe, executive director of Education Service Center Region VI.

Lolita Tabron, recipient of the T.M. Stinnett Academic Fellowship Award, stated, “I will try to live up to this Stinnett award’s namesake as I complete my studies and move into academia.”

Established as the “June Conference” in 1908, the Administrative Leadership Institute has brought together county superintendents, supervisors and city superintendents to discuss a variety of topics related to education for over 100 years. ALI moved to its current format in 1983 under the direction of Dr. John R. Hoyle and provides an engaging opportunity for nationally recognized speakers and experts to re-energize those on the front lines educating Texas youth.

This year’s conference entitled “Leading Change: New Times, New Requirements” surveyed the magnitude of change occurring in Texas public schools and across the country. While striving to meet new demands, the core responsibility of making sure children have access to good schools and that these schools are preparing students to be active community participants remains unchanged. 

Conference attendees enjoyed sessions by Dr. Nancy Watson, assistant dean of Organization Development and Diversity Initiatives in the College of Education and Human Development, and Dr. Christopher Tienken, associate professor of education administration at Seton Hall University. 

The full list of honorees and awards are:

  • Dr. Abelardo Saavedra, superintendent of schools, South San Antonio ISD – Golden Deeds for Education Award
  • Dr. Wanda Bamberg, superintendent of schools, Aldine ISD – Hoyle Award in Educational Leadership
  • Lolita Tabron, Ph.D. candidate in education administration, Texas A&M University – T.M. Stinnett Academic Fellowship Award
  • Michael Cardona, chief middle schools officer, Houston ISD – Paul R. Hensarling Distinguished Graduate Student Award
  • Thomas Poe, Former executive director, Education Service Center Region VI – Regional Service Center Leadership Award
  • Roscoe Collegiate ISD – Texas School District Excellence Award
  • Clear Creek ISD – Texas School Board Excellence Award

Media Contact: Allison Larocca, Communications Manager, alarocca@tamu.edu