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Raise Your Hand Texas’ Trustees Advocates program holds first training session with ECISD board members

Raise Your Hand Texas and Ector County ISD kicked off the inaugural Raise Your Hand Texas Trustee Advocates Program in Odessa with an initial onsite training session for school board leaders and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Scott Muri.

This new Raise Your Hand Texas initiative will train Texas school districts and their locally-elected trustees to educate, engage and activate their school districts and local communities to amplify their voices in-state public education policy and advocacy. 

“There’s considerable appetite and interest from across our state in building a meaningful advocacy program that brings together schools and local communities to educate and advocate in support of public education,” said Dr. Libby Cohen, Raise Your Hand Texas’ director of advocacy and outreach. 

Over the course of the innovative, inaugural 18-month fellowship, Trustee Advocates will learn to build a local public education advocacy network that encourages community connectedness and influences state legislative outcomes. Trustees and Superintendents will have the opportunity to learn and build relationships with others across Texas, as well. 

The in-district launch of the program locally brings together school board and district leadership for a program overview and training session.

“Ector County ISD is committed to being a district of leaders and continuous learners,” said Dr. Muri. “The Raise Your Hand Texas Trustees Advocates program fits neatly into both of those commitments. Our Trustees and I will learn much about carrying the news and the needs of our school district and our community to the state level and beyond. Trustees are elected to be the voice of their district, and this intensive training will help them make their voice stronger in ways that can influence positive change.”

“Supporting and strengthening our schools takes all of us, and the Trustee Advocates Program will help equip these local leaders to amplify the voices of their communities at the Capitol,” said Missy Bender, trustee-in-residence and regional advocacy director for Raise Your Hand Texas.

Twenty-seven school districts from all regions of the state applied, and Raise Your Hand Texas leadership selected nine school districts through the application and interview process. Competitive grants for the inaugural program cohort were awarded to:

Representing Major Urban or Major Suburban Districts

  • Austin ISD
  • Lake Worth ISD
  • Katy ISD

Representing Other Central City or Other Central City Suburban Cities and Towns

  • Amarillo ISD
  • Ector County ISD
  • Gregory-Portland ISD

Non-Metropolitan or Rural Districts

  • DeKalb ISD
  • Tornillo ISD
  • San Elizario ISD

The Trustee Advocates Program is issue-based and non-partisan. The program will be held in accordance with the Open Meetings Act. As a Texas Education Agency-registered provider of continuing education, Raise Your Hand Texas will award continuing education credit to participants for the hours spent in training.

To see more about the program, visit