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TEA News Releases Online Jan. 11, 2017
Texas Rural Schools Task Force to host regional forums

AUSTIN – Commissioner of Education Mike Morath today announced that the Texas Rural Schools Task Force will host a series of regional forums across the state in January and February. Created by Commissioner Morath in 2016, the Texas Rural Schools Task Force is charged with identifying current challenges and best practices for rural school districts statewide. 

“Rural school districts across our state face many educational challenges unique to their size and region,” said Commissioner Morath. “These regional forums will provide an opportunity for task force members and area superintendents to share insights and seek opportunities for innovation in the areas of teacher recruitment, teacher retention, resource allocation, use of technology, as well as parent and community engagement”

The Texas Rural Schools Task Force met twice in Austin in 2016, with additional meetings set for 2017. Task force members will develop final recommendations to be shared with Commissioner Morath later this year. Regional forums with area superintendents are scheduled for Abilene (Jan. 17), Waco (Jan. 19), Corpus Christi (Jan. 23), Kilgore (Jan. 25), Van Horn (Feb. 10), Uvalde (Feb. 13) and Lubbock (Feb. 15).

Members of the Rural Schools Task Force were selected to participate based on outstanding student achievement and a willingness to innovate. The superintendents and school districts on the task force include:

  • Bloomburg ISD – Brian Stroman (ESC Region 8)
  • Bronte ISD – Tim Siler (ESC Region 15)
  • Center Point ISD – Cody Newcomb (ESC Region 20)
  • Channing ISD – Robert McLain (ESC Region 16)
  • Cisco ISD – Kelly West (ESC Region 14)
  • Community ISD – Roosevelt Nivens (ESC Region 10)
  • Ezzell ISD – Lisa Berckenhoff, (ESC Region 3)
  • Era ISD – Jeremy Thompson,   (ESC Region 11)
  • Flatonia ISD – Beverly Mikulenka (ESC Region 13)
  • Floydada ISD – Gilbert Trevino (ESC Region 17)
  • Fort Hancock ISD – Jose Franco (ESC Region 19)
  • Mineola ISD – Kim Tunnell (ESC Region 7)
  • Moody ISD – Gary Martel (ESC Region 12)
  • Ricardo ISD – M.T. “Vita” Canales (ESC Region 2)
  • Roma ISD – Carlos Guzman (ESC Region 1)
  • Sabine Pass ISD – Kristi Heid (ESC Region 5)
  • Seymour ISD – John Baker (ESC Region 9) 
  • Snook ISD – Brenda Krchnak (ESC Region 6)
  • Stafford Municipal School District – Robert Bostic (ESC Region 4)
  • Terlingua Common School District – Bobbie Jones (ESC Region 18) 

According to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics, Texas has more than 2,000 campuses classified as being in rural areas. Nationally, Texas has more schools in rural areas than any other state. More than 20 percent of campuses in Texas are in rural areas.