What an honor and a privilege it has been to serve as the president for this dynamic association! Serving in this capacity has afforded me the opportunity to meet great friends and network with other school and district leaders across our great state and nation. In addition, I have had multiple opportunities to gain knowledge and grow my skills and abilities as a leader. My involvement in this association is one of the major highlights of my career!

As you know, the presidential theme this year was “Ride the Wave.” In our organizations, we sometimes need to guide our teams through stormy seas. These situations enable us to build our capacity as leaders, as illustrated in the following quote:

A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.  -Franklin D. Roosevelt

This year, each of the TEPSA News articles focused on a strategy that successful individuals utilize to thrive in the face of adversity. These strategies are summarized below.

Exceptional leaders:

  • embrace change as they navigate through difficult situations.
  • communicate effectively through active listening and by using clear and concise language.
  • remain focused by reflecting on professional and/or personal goals, prioritizing tasks, and taking regular, short breaks throughout the day.
  • display adaptability by reviewing progress, focusing the team, and aligning the actions of the team with the goals of the organization.
  • build resilience as they focus on gratitude, prioritize kindness, and engage in activities that bring joy and relaxation.

The final characteristic that we will focus on is fostering collaboration. We have heard it said that the smartest person in the room is the room itself, and there is no greater truth! Inviting feedback illustrates that you value the opinions of others and provides additional insight into the perspective of those around you. Collaboration facilitates well informed decisions and inspires teamwork within the organization.

As I draft my last article as president, I encourage each of you to get involved with TEPSA in your region. This could include attending regional TEPSA events, networking with others, or recruiting future members in your area. Make sure you attend the Region Meetups during Summer Conference on June 13.  This will be a wonderful opportunity to connect with others in your region.  The success of TEPSA relies on strong, supportive leadership at the regional level.

Ride the wave, y’all!


Cindy Tierney is the Executive Director of Student Services & Federal Programs in Lufkin ISD.

The Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association (TEPSA), whose hallmark is educational leaders learning with and from each other, has served Texas PK-8 school leaders since 1917. Member owned and member governed, TEPSA has more than 6000 members who direct the activities of 3 million PK-8 school children. TEPSA is an affiliate of the National Association of Elementary School Principals.

© Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association

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