Bret A. Champion, Ed.D.
Dr. Bret A. Champion became Leander ISD’s Superintendent of Schools on Feb. 1, 2008. He is a former Leander ISD teacher, assistant principal and principal, and he most recently served as Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services. Champion is in his 22nd year with Leander ISD.

Champion was a member of the second corps of the "Teach For America" program, which recruits and trains teachers to serve in low-income communities. Champion’s first teaching positions were in inner-city schools in Houston, Texas, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He received his Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.) from the University of Texas, his Masters in Education (M.Ed.) from Texas State University, and his Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the University of Houston.

Champion’s wife, Marcee, is an adjunct professor at Austin Community College. Their sons, Alan and Nicholas, are graduates of Leander ISD and are attending college.
If you have specific area questions, a good first place to start is our web page listing phone numbers and email addresses of those people who might best address your question or concern.
    Email Dr. Champion 
   Follow Bret Champion on Twitter

Current Superintendent Column
Every Option Open through Project SEARCH

Week of: Nov. 9, 2015

Leander ISD’s shared vision is that students exit our system with the same passion for learning they had when they entered, without economics determining success. This goal extends to every student. I want to highlight one program that is opening doors to future opportunities for our students who are 18-21 years old and receive special education services.

This fall, eight of these students began a powerful learning journey as interns with Project SEARCH at Seton Healthcare Family at Seton Northwest Hospital. This is a yearlong internship for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities that offers professional working experience through hands-on training. Ultimately, the goal of the program is to give interns the job skills, as well as the life skills, to achieve competitive employment.

Project SEARCH interns are challenged to take steps that will allow them to live more independently. Students must apply and interview in order to be accepted into the program, and our students take the train and a bus to get to Seton Northwest Hospital. As with any internship, students have to demonstrate responsibility and their willingness to learn and perform their job duties in order to be successful and graduate from the program. The whole yearlong experience builds their self-confidence and sense of value in the community.

Job training is typically from 8:30 a.m. until 2 p.m., five days a week. During that time, you may find an LISD intern learning medical coding, transferring patients from room to room, assisting in the pharmacy, supporting materials management or performing other skilled tasks. After their work-based learning time, students have class with students from Georgetown ISD, which is taught by an LISD instructor, from 2-3 p.m. Then our students return to LISD, again taking the bus and train.

Although this is LISD’s first year with Project SEARCH, this is a nationwide program and other local school districts have participated at Seton Healthcare Family. In fact, Seton Healthcare Family reports that many Project SEARCH graduates have found employment at Seton hospitals, most in the areas where they have interned. Many other students have found similar jobs at employers in the community. Regardless of where they find employment, the internship helps students establish solid professional references and learn skills applicable to many work environments, raising future job prospects for graduates.

Without question, Project SEARCH is changing young people’s lives in deeply meaningful ways. This program would not be possible without the support and partnership of Seton Healthcare Family, our Board of Trustees, Georgetown ISD, the Leander ISD Educational Excellence Foundation and our Special Education staff who have championed this program for years. Most especially, Project SEARCH would not be possible without the commitment of our interns and families that we serve. I offer my sincere appreciation to all who have had a hand in making it a reality for our students.

LISD is thankful to be a part of Project SEARCH. It’s one more way students in LISD are graduating with every option open.

Have a great week!