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: March 3, 2014
Vista Ridge High School Named AVID National Demonstration High School
On Thursday, February 27, Leander ISD celebrated the selection of Vista Ridge High School as an AVID National Demonstration High School. As such, VRHS has been recognized as an exemplary model that demonstrates the very best AVID methodologies and strategies.
This is a huge achievement for the students and staff at VRHS. After completing the rigorous 18-month process, which included campus visits by an AVID validation team and working with an AVID coach, VRHS has successfully demonstrated that AVID strategies have been built into the campus culture to positively impact all students. Only one percent of schools with an AVID Program are demonstration schools. All LISD middle and high schools offer AVID courses, although VRHS is our first campus to be named an AVID National Demonstration School.
So, what exactly is AVID, and how does it benefit students? AVID, which stands for Advancement via Individual Determination, is a college-readiness system designed to increase the number of students who enroll in four-year colleges. The AVID formula is simple — raise expectations for students, put the AVID support system in place, and watch them rise to the challenge.
There’s a difference between having an AVID Program (specific AVID courses) and an AVID System (school-wide AVID culture in addition to AVID classes), like that at VRHS. In a school with an AVID System, components of AVID extend beyond AVID classes and are ingrained, in every classroom, every day. All students benefit when a school has an AVID System, not just the students selected to be in AVID classes.
In fact, 34 years of research supports that when AVID strategies are systematically implemented, student learning improves. VRHS has seen improvements in student learning, and not just on test scores, although the school has seen gains since the AVID validation process began. Indicators that student learning is deepening are also seen in the quality of notes students are taking, the increased organization they are modeling, the complexity of the questions they are asking and the level of writing they are producing.
The curriculum hasn’t changed. The assessments haven’t changed. It is the instructional delivery that has changed. AVID incorporates teaching and learning methodologies in the areas of Writing, Inquiry, Collaboration, Organization and Reading (WICOR), AVID’s foundation for high student engagement. Using the WICOR model, AVID encourages skills that will benefit students in college and beyond — self-advocacy, critical thinking, time management, ownership of learning and more. Taking AVID strategies into every classroom has completely transformed the way every teacher at VRHS teaches.
It is a tremendous honor to be selected as an AVID Demonstration High School, and we are proud of our AVID System at VRHS. The use of AVID strategies school-wide has positively impacted students and staff. And we are excited that now, as a demonstration school, VRHS can share what they’ve learned with other districts that are considering incorporating AVID on their campuses. As we continue on this journey, I am confident that we will see a more engaged and college-ready student body.
Please join me in congratulating Principal Paul Johnson, and VRHS students, teachers and staff on being named an AVID National Demonstration High School!