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Bloomburg Superintendent Appointed to Task Force

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Bloomburg ISD superintendent, Brian Stroman, has recently been appointed to the Rural School Support Task Force, a new initiative from the Texas Education Agency.  Stroman is one of only 20 superintendents from the state, and the only superintendent from Region 8 who will travel to Austin to represent rural schools from our area over the next year. As part of this task force, Stroman will work with other superintendents to “identify the priorities of Texas rural schools and make recommendations how to best support these schools.”

Promoting education in rural schools is important to Stroman, and it is this passion and his work with the Texas Rural Education Agency (TREA) that led to his nomination for the task force. For the last year, he has been working closely with TREA, serving on the TREA board of directors and speaking publically on their behalf. TREA sponsors Stroman’s travel around Texas speaking at various events about teacher retention in rural districts with his “Retain the Best, Lose the Rest” program. In the last year he has spoken at six service centers and attended summer conference retreats in Region 6 and Region 2. Through his work with TREA and now the task force, Stroman says he hopes to “provide solutions that can be implemented immediately to help rural districts attract and keep better teachers who can best educate our kids.” 

With all of his duties as superintendent, it is hard to imagine why Stroman would want to also take time to work with TREA and the task force.  Yet he emphasizes the benefits BISD receives as a result.  His work with TREA is entirely funded by the organization, costing BISD nothing.  In turn, he says the connections he has made through his work with TREA benefit the district exponentially.  He has connected with organizations who have thus far contributed $5,000 to the district.  Recently, Stroman collaborated with TREA on a grant, through the US Department of Education, which is geared at teacher retention.  Over the next year, his focus will shift from speaking with TREA to contributing to the task force.

The appointment to the task force will allow Stroman to have an even greater impact on rural schools throughout Texas, including Bloomburg; and his excitement about this new opportunity is palpable.  “To my knowledge, this is totally new!  Commissioners have never focused on rural schools and created a task force to listen to and collaborate with us!” The superintendents on the task force will meet with the Texas Education Agency to focus on pressing issues for rural schools such as, teacher recruitment and retention, access to technology and broader coursework, and family and community management. Those selected for the force were chosen because of their “district’s outstanding achievement in academics, financial management, and willingness to innovate.” Stroman sees this collaboration as an opportunity to bring attention to the unique needs of rural schools and believes he has an obligation to advocate for these districts, including Bloomburg ISD. He points out the discrepancies, specifically regarding hiring power, that exist between rural schools and larger school districts who have access to more funds saying, “I’m hoping to show the state the need for improving teaching conditions, to encourage TEA to look at alternative ways to recruit, and increase funding for rural schools.” For Stroman, reaching out to other organizations to help his district is an integral part of his duties as superintendent, and he encourages other superintendents to do the same.  “If we don’t advocate for our school, no one will. That’s the bottom line.”  

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Bloomburg ISD307 W. CypressBloomburg, TX  75556

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