Holdsworth Center Selects Cedar Hill ISD for Five-year Partnership

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The Holdsworth Center, an educational leadership institute

(CEDAR HILL, TEXAS) – Cedar Hill Independent School District has been
chosen to partner with The Holdsworth Center, a nonprofit organization founded
by H-E-B Chairman Charles Butt.


Cedar Hill ISD was one of just three ISDs in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex selected for a five-year strategic partnership that helps districts grow their own bench of strong, skilled leaders who create conditions in which teachers thrive and all scholars get what they need to succeed.


The selection marks the latest expansion of The Holdsworth Partnership that is now serving 19 school districts in Texas. By 2028, the partnership is expected to reach more than 4,500 educators, including teacher leaders, assistant principals, principals and central office administrators.


“Cedar Hill ISD is extremely grateful for the opportunity to work with The Holdsworth Partnership,” Cedar Hill ISD Superintendent Dr. Gerald Hudson said. “This is an excellent opportunity for our staff to develop and grow. That will in turn, exponentially benefit our scholars.”


The six districts were chosen from a pool of 43 applicants, a 130 % increase from the last application period in 2019. Click here to learn more about eligibility and the selection process.


“Our ability as a state to recover from the impact of a global pandemic will depend on the skillful leadership of teachers, principals and district leaders serving Texas’ 5.5 million students,” said Dr. Lindsay Whorton, president of The Holdsworth Center. “We recognize the urgency of this moment and are honored to play a


With the opening of Campus on Lake Austin this summer – a permanent home for its staff and programs – Holdsworth hopes to expand program offerings and host events that will reach even more educators.


All programming and support, valued at $18 million over five years for the three North Texas districts, is covered at no cost through the generosity of Charles Butt, Chairman of H-E-B, and other philanthropic supporters.


That figure includes the cost of:

  • Embedding Holdsworth District Support Team staff in each district for five years to help central office leaders design, implement and sustain their own leadership development systems
  • Delivering two-year District and Campus Leadership Programs for multiple groups of central office and campus leadership teams
  • Providing districts with robust tools to measure district-wide culture and staff engagement and better understand students’ social-emotional learning.

Click here to learn more about each element and timeline of the 5-year


“We don’t believe there are any quick fixes in education. Investing deeply in the skill and capacity of the people working in our schools is the only way we will see true transformation,” Whorton said. “This five-year partnership will help leaders expand their view of what’s possible for their district, create a vision for change and drive the innovations needed to deliver on the promise of excellence and equity for all students.”


The choice to focus on leadership is strategic. Decades of research shows that effective principals can significantly impact student outcomes by adding around three more months of learning in math and reading during a single school year. Because principals influence the working conditions and skill level of every teacher in the building, their impact is outsized.


Over the five-year partnership, districts work towards ensuring every school is served by an excellent principal with a goal of building a strong bench of candidates for each principal vacancy.


Spotting and growing outstanding leaders from the classroom to the superintendent’s office is complex work that requires:

  • Communicating a shared vision of what great leadership should look
  • Creating a positive, caring learning environment for students and staff
  • Building new systems and structures to ensure aspiring leaders are being identified early and given opportunities to truly prepare for the next step in their career

Holdsworth leaders have shown incredible growth as individuals and achieved big gains at the system and school level.
Around 96 percent of leaders say they developed new beneficial behaviors and mindsets as a result of Holdsworth; 97 percent agree that Holdsworth has been

influential in increasing their focus on achieving excellent and equitable outcomes for students. Click here for more impact stories and data.


For more information on Cedar Hill ISD and the Holdsworth partnership, visit chisd.net/holdsworth