HOUSTON – May 31, 2018 – During a special evening commencement ceremony held Thursday, May 24, Spring ISD Superintendent Dr. Rodney Watson joined 21 other area leaders as a new graduate of the American Leadership Forum’s Community Education program. Watson’s name will now be added to the group’s Houston/Gulf Coast Chapter list of Senior Fellows, all of whom hold senior-level leadership and guiding positions in private, public and nonprofit organizations across the Greater Houston region.
“It was a great experience coming together with this diverse group of people who are all so deeply invested in making the Houston area a great place to live and work,” Watson said. “It was an honor to be selected to participate.”
Watson’s classmates in the program included executives, administrators and leaders working at a range of education, healthcare and service organizations, including the Texas State Board of Education, University of Houston, Houston ISD, Texas Children’s Hospital, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston Endowment and BakerRipley, among others.
“The collective energy and drive of the cohort members was inspiring,” Watson said. “Being a member of the group has definitely encouraged and supported me in my work here in Spring ISD. It’s amazing what we can accomplish when we learn to really listen, think critically, and work together.”
In forming the 2017-18 Community Education (Class XLIII) participant list, the nonprofit American Leadership Forum (ALF) “brought together a thoughtfully constituted cohort of leaders who have a stake in and a passion for significantly improving the future of education across the Greater Houston region,” according to a press statement released by the group.
Along with the other members of the class, Watson took part in ongoing development activities and personal study, including monthly seminars held throughout the yearlong program. Each seminar centered on relevant topical issues, with content designed to stimulate inquiry, analysis and new ideas in service of the public good. The organization’s hope is that its participants leave the program with a greater potential to generate connections and collaboration across such diverse fields as education, health care, social services, criminal justice and government.
“At a time when our community is facing important decisions regarding the education of our city’s youth, ALF has added value to critical conversations to move important issues forward,” said American Leadership Forum President Daniel W. Snare. “By bringing together Class XLIII Fellows, community education in Houston is empowered with new potential at a time when our city’s students, teachers and educational institutions are facing unique challenges in the field of public education. I am very excited about the potential of this leadership cohort and to see what continues to build out of the relationships these leaders formed through ALF.”
Over the 35 years since its launch, more than 1,300 leaders have participated in ALF programs. After graduating, Senior Fellows continue their involvement with the ALF network, with the aim of continuing to serve as catalysts for positive change and development, both within their own organizations and in the wider community.