Bret A. Champion, Ed.D.
Dr. Bret A. Champion became Leander ISD’s Superintendent of Schools on February 1, 2008. He is a former Leander ISD teacher, assistant principal and principal, and most recently served as Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services. Dr. Champion is in his 20th 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. Dr. 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 BA in English Literature from the University of Houston.
Dr. Champion’s wife, Marcee, is an adjunct professor at Austin Community College. Their sons, Alan and Nicholas, attend Leander ISD schools.
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.
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Current Superintendent Column
Week of: April 21, 2014
LISD’s Hosts First Edcamp
Leander ISD staff had a unique opportunity to share best practices on Saturday, April 12 when the district held its first Edcamp at Running Brushy Middle School. Edcamps are an opportunity for educators, administrators and staff members to come together to share and learn from one another in an informal, open environment.
Edcamps are also known as “unconferences” because the information shared during an Edcamp is participant driven and there are no pre-planned sessions. At the start of an Edcamp, attendees come together and brainstorm what they want to learn more about and what they feel they can teach others. On Saturday, Edcamp LISD organizers took this information from participants and used an affinitygram to determine what topics would be covered that day. The Edcamp concept is pretty simple. If you want to share your ideas, sign up to lead a session. If you want to hear other people’s ideas, sign up to attend a session.
Topics covered during LISD’s first Edcamp ranged in scope and covered a variety of disciplines. Participants learned about problem/project based learning; iPads in the classroom; coding in the classroom; 3-D printing; cooperative learning strategies; Chrome applications; flipping the classroom; web 2.0 tools; learner collaboration; professional learning communities; applications for learning; understanding and using Google Drive; The Leader in Me; collaborating beyond the classroom; Google sites; QR codes and much more. Because these were the topics participants said they wanted to learn more about, these sessions provided professional development that was relevant to them and where they are in their careers.
And that’s one of the reasons Edcamps are so cool. Because of the format, they offer an immediate avenue for addressing the issues and questions educators are currently facing. The Edcamp method also encourages very informal sessions, where all participants are encouraged to interact and respond to one another. It’s a great way for staff to grow their professional learning networks and really connect with others in their shoes.
Our first Edcamp was a huge success. Even though it was voluntary professional development and offered on a Saturday, 85 participants, including many educators from six neighboring school districts and regional service centers, took advantage of the experience. We are pleased that about 70 percent of attendees were from LISD. The feedback from participants reflected that LISD had met its goal. Several commented that LISD’s first Edcamp was extremely valuable because they learned exactly what they wanted to learn more about. They also enjoyed the opportunity to learn from one another, build relationships with other educators, especially with those outside of the district, and share best practices with their peers.
Our first Edcamp is just one small piece underneath the wide professional development umbrella that LISD offers throughout the year. In addition to our ongoing efforts to offer enriching teacher training and learning opportunities, this summer LISD teachers and staff will have the chance to attend a number of in-depth professional development experiences. Our hope is that all of these opportunities create a network of support that further prepares our teachers to guide our students’ learning experiences so that all students graduate with every option open.
Have a great week!