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About TEPSA: Overview and History
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Serving Texas PreK-8 School Leaders Since 1917


The Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association (TEPSA) represents more than 5,900 school administrators who direct the activities of 3 million PreK-8 schoolchildren.

In addition to principals, membership includes supervisors of reading, mathematics, science, special education, and other subject disciplines; it also serves central office administrators who are responsible for the administration of elementary education. A TEPSA member supervises two out of three public schoolchildren in Texas. TEPSA is the only association that has elementary school principals and supervisors as its primary focus for membership. Eighty-one percent of the Texas administrators who are eligible for membership belong to TEPSA.

Isaac Newton Odom founded the Elementary Principals (EPS) in Waco in 1917. The original group of 50, known as the "Ward Principals,” met each year at the Texas State Teachers Association (TSTA) annual convention. They later formed a separate organization known as the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association. Dues in 1920 were $1.50 and the average annual salary for teachers in southern states was $354.


Past Award Recipients

Past State Presidents

Past Region Presidents

State President Themes



  • 5,919 (all categories) members
  • Student Council trained 720 advisors and 2,400 students
  • 140 Schools recognized with Student Council Excellence Award
  • 2,859 attended regional and statewide learning events
  • 8,410 Viewed & shared recorded webinars with staff



  • 5,943 (all categories) members
  • 84th Legislative Session: 1,482 members participated in the Legislative Network, and 925 members actively advocated for students
  • Student Council trained 804 advisors and 2,664 students
  • 104 Schools recognized with Student Council Excellence Award
  • 3,995 attended regional and statewide learning events
  • 219 schools participated in live STAAR webinars
  • 1,302 viewed Summer Conference sessions in TEPSA’s Live Learning Center 


  • 5,929 (all categories) members
  • Student Council trained 719 advisors and 2,282 students
  • 96 Schools recognized with Student Council Excellence Award
  • 3,421attended regional and statewide learning events
  • 210 schools participated in live STAAR webinars
  • 2,979 viewed Summer Conference sessions in TEPSA’s Live Learning Center



  • 5,859 (all categories) members
  • Fall Summit discontinued and TEPSA Tour launched
  • 83rd Legislative Session
  • Special Legislative Session
  • Redesigned corporate partnerships
  • Awards banquet redesigned and renamed Awards Celebration to recognize more school leaders
  • Tribute to Texas Children Award renamed Sandi Borden Tribute to Texas Children Award
  • STAAR webinar series expanded
  • Student Council trained 628 advisors and 2,081 students
  • Cristi Parsons named Texas National Distinguished Principal
  • Lindsey Lesnewski named National Assistant Principal of the Year for Texas
  • Texas principal Mark Terry serves as NAESP President
  • Sandi Borden, Executive Director since 1996, announces retirement effective October 31, 2013
  • Harley Eckhart named Executive Director effective November 1, 2013, in accordance with Succession Plan



  • 5,773 (all categories) members
  • First National School of Character awarded
  • National Assistant Principal of the Year for Texas Award created
  • CLASS Fellows Cohort III
  • iPrincipal webinar series launched
  • Legal Ease webinars launched
  • Student Council trained 587 advisors and 1,872 students



  • 5,959 (all categories) members: all time record high
  • 82nd Legislative Session
  • Special Legislative Session
  • CLASS Fellows Cohort II
  • TEPSANs At-Large award created
  • eLearning launched
    • eAcademy
    • Lunch & Learn
    • Hot topics (STAAR)
  • Legislative Update weekly webinar and email
  • Partnered with Legal Digest to offer regional training to TEPSA regions
  • Student Council trained 652 advisors and 2,200 students
  • Texas principal elected NAESP President-Elect



  • 5,865 (all categories) members
  • CLASS Fellows Cohort II
  • Vice chairs added to Standing Committees
  • Volunteer Leadership Toolboxes created
  • TEPSA logo redesigned
  • TEPSA Express becomes biweekly
  • TEPSA News and Instructional Leader digital versions created
  • Student Council trained 633 advisors and 1,924 students
  • National Distinguished Principal announcement changes to surprise school visits
  • Installed security gate for front office.
  • Co-chaired Texas Early Childhood and Education Coalition of more than 268 groups



  • 5,908 (all categories) members
  • CLASS Fellows Cohort I
  • 81st Legislative Session
  • Database conversion
  • Website redesign and upgrade
  • Comprehensive technology audit and upgrade to infrastructure and support
  • Discontinued TEPSA Newsletter and launched TEPSA News
  • Capitol Connection blog created
  • Facebook and Twitter pages launched
  • Region officer luncheon created
  • Student Council trained 638 advisors and 2112 students
  • Increased corporate partnerships in order to award elementary and middle level National Distinguished Principals $10,000 each
  • Director of Programs position created



  • 5,895 (all categories) members
  • CLASS Fellows program launched
  • General Legal Counsel on Retainer hired
  • Audio Conferences piloted
  • Schoolhouse Blog created
  • Podcasting piloted
  • Averaged 6000 monthly website visitors
  • Student Council trained 523 advisors and 1947 students
  • Co-chaired Coalition for Public School



  • 5,833 (all categories) members
  • Celebrated 90th anniversary
  • 80th Legislative Session
  • Partnered with ERS and NAESP to develop E-Knowledge Portal
  • Redesigned Fall Conference to focus on one critical issue; Fall Summit premieres
  • Merged Assistant Principal Conference and Beginning Administrators Workshop; C.A.M.P. (Campus Administrators Maximizing Potential) premieres
  • Enhanced TEPSA Express and other e-communications
  • Discontinued TEPSA Summer Journal
  • Record year Student Council Workshop attendance. Hired additional trainers.
  • Partnered with Legal Digest to sponsor Law Conference for Elementary School Administrators
  • Co-chaired Texas Early Childhood and Education Coalition of more than 235 groups
  • Co-chaired Coalition for Public Schools



  • 5,858 (all categories) members
  • Established Center for Leadership and Student Success (CLASS); dissolved TEPSA Institute
  • Created Tribute to Texas Children Award
  • Developed online Executive Center
  • 5,000 monthly visitors to website
  • Increased corporate partnerships
  • Continued 18-month membership: 81
  • Improved membership development tools for Board
  • Special Legislative Session
  • NAESP Convention in San Antonio



  • 5,572 (all categories) members
  • Initiated 18-month new membership: 79
  • Substantially increased online offerings: membership, conference and exhibit registration, pre-planning survey and evaluation, resource access
  • Continued conferences and regional offerings
  • 79th Legislative Session; initiated Advocacy Day
  • Successfully implemented electronic voting for State Officer election
  • Publications enhancements
  • Professional recognition continues to expand with Awards Reception and Banquet
  • Increased business partnerships
  • Facility upgrade – flooring, window treatments and ergonomic furniture



  • 5,380 members
  • Greater web presence with online member profile and registration launched; electronic surveys and evaluations piloted; Leadership Guide published online
  • Publications enhancements
  • Fall Conference redesign
  • Regional offerings
  • Professional recognition expansion, including partnership on H-E-B Principal Award
  • Business Membership promotion
  • Membership development tools for Board leadership
  • Initiated P.O. payments
  • TEPSA imaging and branding campaign created, including renaming of Standing Committee to Membership, Marketing and PR
  • Installed security gate



  • 5,349 members
  • First-Time Campus Administrators Academy trained 20 ESCs and 62 ISDs
  • Designed a Membership, Marketing and PR Plan
  • Expanded database to the Internet
  • Awards Banquet tripled in attendance
  • Developed Prospectus for Business Partners
  • Revised Governance Policies and Procedures
  • Student Council Workshop participation reached 1658 students and 477 adults
  • First year operation of the TEPSA Institute 501(c)(3)



  • 5,348 members
  • First-time Campus Administrators Academy created
  • Received Greater Austin Quality Award
  • Piloted electronic vote for state officer election. Created Member Center on the website. 3,000 monthly visitors to site
  • Created Assistant Principals of the Year Award; expanded NDP banquet to become TEPSA Awards Banquet
  • Revised bylaws; realigned Standing Committees
  • Created Elementary and Early Childhood Institute
  • Renamed Annual Convention to Fall Conference
  • Revised agreement with National School PR Association to market PRincipal Communicator
  • Discontinued Navigator
  • Directed Ray Rivera campaign for NAESP president-elect
  • NAESP Convention in San Antonio



  • Membership surpassed 5,186
  • Three year strategic planning process initiated
  • Completed "Exploring the Texas Principalship” module for ESCs, ISDs and others’ use
  • Academy VII began its first year
  • Conducted Student Council Leadership workshops in eight regions
  • Submitted Greater Austin Quality Council Award application
  • Successfully represented TEPSA’s position to the Legislature
  • Expanded member access to the website as well as initiated the TEPSA Express



  • Membership surpassed 5,167
  • Engaged members through Study Circles in every TEPSA region
  • Piloted Student Council Leadership Workshop in three regions
  • Initiated an Aspiring and Beginning Administrators Project
  • Launched the Texas Reading Leaders in partnership with the Texas Reading Initiative
  • Assisted Motorola University in redesign of Executive Leadership Institute



  • Membership surpassed 5,086
  • Academy VI began its first year
  • Launched TEPSA’s website,
  • Formed corporate sponsorship with the National School Public Relations Association to market It Starts on the Frontline
  • Chaired the Texas Business and Education Coalition Early Childhood Task Force
  • Directed Bill Barnes’ campaign for NAESP president-elect



  • Membership surpassed 5,000
  • Celebrated installation of the Tribute to Texas Children statues on the Capitol grounds
  • Formed corporate sponsorships with Administrators Video Magazine and the Walraven Company
  • Formed partnership with Missouri to provide Instructional Leader to their members
  • Initiated subscriptions for The Navigator



  • Membership surpassed 4,900
  • Legislative Network began
  • Formed partnership with Kansas and Virginia to provide Instructional Leader to their members
  • Academy V began its first year
  • Initiated a National Distinguished Principals’ Banquet
  • NAESP Convention in San Antonio



  • Membership surpassed 4,600
  • Officially ended Tribute to Texas Children campaign - 500 schools contributed more than $190,000
  • Cosponsored with TASSP the first-ever National Conference of Texas, which drew 3,000 teachers and administrators from around the state
  • Brad Duggan, Executive Director since 1976, resigned and was replaced by Sandi Borden



  • Held second Elementary and Early Childhood Restructuring Conference (1653 participants)
  • Started Academy IV with 127 participants
  • Legislative survey conducted
  • Added NAESP Bookstore to Summer Conference
  • Held Legislative Pre-conference at Summer Conference
  • Initiated Principal Assessment training in ESCs statewide in NAESP ADI model and NASS LEAP model
  • Extended the Tribute to Texas Children campaign
  • Created Director of Programs position
  • Hired an accountant
  • Implemented computer network upgrade
  • Revised membership campaign and application



  • Initiated Tribute to Texas Children campaign
  • Held first Elementary and Early Childhood Education Restructuring Conference with TEA (1,530 participants)
  • Membership increased three percent
  • Increased Instructional Leader subscriptions by 19.3 percent to 2,109
  • Conducted a Membership Survey with 44 percent response
  • Publications received one national and one state award
  • Tribute to Texas Children video received a national award
  • Amended Bylaws to include region dues in state membership
  • Initiated computer upgrade
  • Rewrote Leadership brochure
  • Received award of Distinguished Executive Director of the Year from TSAE



  • Membership increased 3 percent
  • Increased Instructional Leader subscriptions by 9.9 percent to 1,768
  • Last Hunter conference held
  • Developed Executive Committee manual
  • Updated Bylaws—officer responsibilities
  • Created position statement on the importance of the assistant principal
  • TEPSA building was paid off in January 1993
  • The Summer Work Conference became the second largest professional training program in the country for elementary school administrators. Attendance surpassed all records, bringing together more than 1,590 educators, an increase of 56.5 percent since 1982. Exhibitors have increased from 34 in 1984 to 127 in 1993, a 274 percent increase.



  • Celebrated 75th Anniversary
  • Membership increased 4 percent to 4,207
  • Began Academy III with 120 participants
  • Won Outstanding Educational Programming Award from ASAE for Academy (November)
  • First legal conference held before Summer Conference
  • Held five special interest conferences (Hunter (2) Curwin (2) and Costa)
  • Held first joint conference with TASSP on site-based decision making
  • Publications received six state and national awards
  • Instructional Leader subscriptions increased 16 percent to 1,608
  • Surveyed membership on legislation activities (48 percent responded)
  • Filled Second Vice President vacancy
  • Developed office manual, staff job descriptions, flowchart and staff evaluations
  • Developed standing committee communication loop
  • Rewrote TEPSAN of the Year guidelines
  • The Annual Winter Convention now the third largest professional training program in the country for elementary school administrators, bringing together more than 1,689 educators this year. Attendance has increased 51.8 percent since 1981.
  • TEPSA successfully defended 22-to-1 during the state school finance crisis.
  • The staff grew to 10 full-time and 1 part-time employees.



  • Pre-conferences added to Summer Conference
  • Luncheons added to Annual and Summer Conferences
  • First conference with Dr. Curwin
  • Network on mixed-age programs
  • Renovated headquarters building
  • Networked computer system
  • Adopted comprehensive membership
  • The Academy program won "Outstanding Educational Programming Award” from ASAE
  • We temporarily moved out of the TEPSA office while the building was repaired and remodeled
  • Staff positions went to an all time high with eight full-time employees and three part-time positions



  • Academy II started
  • Cooperative learning workshop
  • NAESP Convention in San Antonio
  • Received first place award in government relations and second place award in communications from the American Society of Association Executives
  • Post-conferences added to Annual and Summer Conferences
  • Networks in early childhood and staff development
  • Settled building lawsuit
  • Opened Life Membership campaign



  • First cooperative learning workshop
  • Directed Zone Conference
  • Directed Lincoln Campaign for NAESP President-Elect
  • Increased members on Standing Committees
  • Assigned officers to Standing Committees
  • TEPSA received "First Place Award of Excellence” in Government Relations from the ASAE for lower class size efforts



  • Began the Instructional Leader, the first subscription educational publication in Texas dedicated to professional growth, higher levels of thinking for administrators and to teaching educators effective teaching practices. The publication began with 739 subscribers. It has won numerous awards at the state and national level.
  • Cosponsor of federal LEAD project
  • First year to offer two Dr. Hunter Conferences
  • Began building lawsuit
  • Merged NAESP Representative with SCA Leadership
  • Legal Conference



  • Academy I Created
  • Publications expanded
  • Mini-conference on instructional leadership
  • First association to obtain TEA approved credit for administrator maintenance training
  • First separate Beginning Administrators Conference
  • First Legislative Conference
  • Standing Rules approved
  • Established director of programs to focus on instructional leadership



  • Developed Instructional Leadership Program (only association to offer TEA approved training)
  • First conference with Dr. Hunter
  • First association to obtain TEA approved credit for advanced academic training
  • Mini-conferences held on appraisal training and TECAT
  • First Blue Book created
  • First association to offer TEA approved administrator "maintenance training” and teacher "advanced academic training”



  • First mini-conference (on the implementation of HB-72)
  • Conference on effective observation strategies
  • Bylaws revisions approved
  • Certified by TEA as a sponsor of "instructional leadership training”



  • TEPSA was one of two education associations to support the Texas educational reforms of HB 72



  • Building dedicated in 1983; TEPSA was the first elementary school administrators association to construct a headquarters building
  • Standing Committees expanded



  • Added exhibits to Summer Conference
  • Computer obtained
  • Construction of the 1,900 square foot headquarters began with an estimated cost of $500,000, including $72,000 for the land.
  • 1,450 TEPSA members obtained the optional liability insurance package
  • TEPSA played an active role in salary negotiations for administrators



  • Placement Program started
  • 22 Assertive Discipline Workshops Conducted
  • Purchased land
  • Life Membership campaign started



  • First Assistant Principals Conference
  • Revised Bylaws to reflect disaffiliation
  • Membership was at 2,425
  • A budget of $167,200 was created
  • Moved to rented quarters and purchased 1/8 block of land at 10th and Neches to build a headquarters building. The cost was to be paid for by selling of 200 life memberships.



  • First Beginning Administrators Conference held at Summer Conference
  • Established separate office
  • Retained legal counsel
  • TEPSA disaffiliated with TSTA December 1978. It rewrote a constitution that was approved by the membership in February 1980. A separate office was established and legal counsel retained. TSTA acknowledged disaffiliation and the break was official Feb. 16, 1979.
  • TEPSA was actively involved in the legislative session with issues of salary schedule and increase.



  • A major legislative objective was passed, requiring 95 percent of teacher units to be earned in the kindergarten and first grade
  • Total association expenditures were $110,856



  • TEPSAN Award Created
  • Brad Duggan hired as Executive Director



  • Of the 3,257 Texas elementary school principals, 2,225 were members
  • Began discussing disaffiliation with TSTA



  • A strong recommendation was sent to TEA that: l) classroom teacher units earned in the elementary school be expended there; 2) classroom size be evaluated according to grade level, and 3) a full-time principal be provided for each campus.



  • First liability insurance program offered



  • Howard Pickle was hired as TEPSA’s first executive director
  • Members numbered 1,860



  • The first issue of TEPSA Journal was published. Dr. R. C. Bradley, of North Texas State, was editor
  • Membership was 1,746



  • TEPSA office moved to the TSTA building from the College of Education at the University of Texas
  • The relocation of the summer workshop from the UT campus to an Austin hotel further removed TEPSA from UT control
  • Membership was 1,658



  • The annual budget was set at $11,400
  • At the conference in Galveston, the biggest controversy that year was racial integration which was approved over opposition



  • Revised Handbook for Elementary School Principals, the TEA Bulletin #627, which was a joint effort of TEPSA and TEA
  • A summer conference began on the UT campus



  • TEPSA focused energies on the preparation of school administrators



  • The median salary of national elementary school principals was $6,237; Texas principals’ salaries were below the median



  • More than 1,000 people attended the 1957 convention
  • 55 percent of all eligible Texas principals were members



  • Certification law required principals to have a master’s degree plus teaching experience. TEPSA had advocated this standard for more than 20 years



  • Dues were raised from $2 to $3



  • TEPSA joined TSTA in the legislative fight to get a $600 raise for all teachers.



  • There were 881 members, a significant drop from 1,036 in 1949.



  • Texas’ first minimum salary law was passed. A teacher with a bachelor’s degree and no experience was guaranteed $2,007 annually. The principal was to receive $2.50 per month per teacher, not to exceed $250.
  • State Superintendent L. A. Woods encouraged superintendents to allow elementary school principals to attend TEPSA’s spring conference, which enabled the organization to grow



  • First Newsletter published and mailed to 336 members
  • A reorganization plan created regions and organized section meetings in all 13 TSTA districts
  • The first executive committee convened in Austin in February



  • The first spring convention was held; 50 principals and supervisors attended. Problems discussed were migratory pupils, recruiting teachers (difficult during World War II), education of minorities, and adjusting to the new 12th-grade system



  • Annual meeting held in Houston; hotel rooms were $1.50-$2 per day
  • Average teacher’s salary in 1942 was $1,117; the average administrator received $2,119



  • The membership dwindled to 50 due to the beginning of World War II in Europe. Many teachers and administrators left the profession for the military and defense plants.



  • An elementary school conference organized by EPS, UT and State Dept. of Education. It was held in Austin and was perhaps the first of its kind in Texas.
  • EPS membership was now 200 out of some 1,100 eligible Texas educators



  • The dues remained at $1
  • There were 26,165 elementary school teachers in Texas; only 15 percent had bachelor’s degrees, and 95 percent were women



  • EPS recommended: l) an extended training program for teachers and principals; 2) a single salary schedule for elementary and secondary teachers; 3) multiple adoption of textbooks; 4) specific training for elementary teachers; and 5) a minimum salary schedule for all teachers and administrators.



  • Sixty-four percent of Texas elementary principals had college degrees; principals averaged 475 pupils and 14 teachers (a ratio of 1 to 33); the median salary was $2,200 (the range was from $900 to $4,000)
  • The EPS called for certification standards for principals since a teacher’s certificate was the only requirement at this time.



  • As the Great Depression deepened, a minimum monthly salary of $90 was recommended for teachers because many were making far less. Texas teachers were not guaranteed a minimum salary until 1947. The EPS membership fee of $1 remained the same during the Depression.



  • When Leonard Power attended the National Education Association (NEA) Convention, he began organizing the Department of Elementary Principals. So, in a sense, the Texas EPS became the parent of the national organization



  • The Elementary Principals Section (EPS) was founded in Waco in 1917 by I. N. Odom
Contact TEPSA

501 East 10th Street
Austin, TX 78701
Fax: 512-478-1502

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