Special to the Bulletin

AUSTIN ó Ray Bertrand, Early Independent School District trustee, was among a group of school board members gathering in Austin Nov. 9-10 for the second of five training sessions of Leadership TASB, which is the Texas Association of School Boards. The sessionís activities included a tour of the state Capitol and participation in a mock legislative hearing.

The group of 35 trustees is participating in a year-long education leadership study program. The Leadership TASB class of 2008 represents Texas school districts of all sizes, with student populations of 72 to 61,000, and reflects the range of property wealth. Participants who complete all required elements of the study will graduate next year with a unique graduation designation recognized by TASB.

Each session has a specific theme that builds on the previous session and features nationally recognized experts in the fields of leadership development and education. Teams also work on extended learning assignments between meetings throughout the year.

Keynote speakers on Friday included Brownwood native Mary Gordon Spence, a writer and humorist, who addressed the group about finding humor in the mundane and how Texas school board members can use laughter as a useful tool to maintain a proper sense of perspective. Spence is also editor of Texas School Business.

TASB is a voluntary, nonprofit association established in 1949 to serve local Texas school districts. School board members are the largest group of publicly elected officials in the state. The districts they represent serve approximately 5 million public school students.