International Critical Issues Leadership Conference

International Critical Issues Leadership Conference

School Safety and Student Wellness

The Department of Organization and School Leadership has hosted a Critical Issues Leadership Conference the last three years to address issues educational leaders consider to be of critical importance to their districts and schools. In March, the Leadership Advisory Committee comprised of Superintendents, principals, central office staff, board members and community business leaders identified school safety and student wellness as the priority issue for our Conference.

Since our March meeting, the Santa Fe High School shooting on May 18 has heightened concerns regarding school safety and actions schools may take to better address student wellness factors such as anxiety, depression, suicide, ADHD, substance abuse and personality disorders. In May, Governor Abbot unveiled a State Plan which includes a list of 40 recommendations to “keep our students safe”. Roundtable discussions followed with lawmakers, law enforcement officials, and policy experts to further generate recommendations aimed at enhancing school safety.

The primary goal of this conference is to assist districts in providing a safe and secure learning environment for all students and employees. Our focus is to provide participants – school district officials, including superintendents, principals, teachers, district police and security officers, members of the school/district safety team law enforcement officials – evidenced-based practices, processes and strategies to improve campus safety and to recognize and respond to behaviors that may interfere with productive teaching and learning.

Participants will have the opportunity to learn from experts in the field and to engage with policymakers to share insights and recommendations for strengthening school safety and student wellness practices.


Agenda at a Glance



  • Tuesday, October 30, 2018: School Safety

    Day 1: School Safety

    7:30 am - 8:15 am

    Registration & Breakfast:
    Room - To be determined

    8: 15 am - 8:30 am

    General Session: Ballroom

    Welcome & Opening Remarks
    Dr. Velma Menchaca, Department of Organization and School Leadership
    Dr. Alma Rodriguez, Interim Dean, College of Education and P16 Integration

    8:30 am - 10:00 am

    General Session One:

    School Safety: Standard Response Protocols
    John Michael Keyes
    Executive Director, “I Love U Guys” Foundation   

    10:00 am - 10:10 am

    (Break)

    10:10 am - 11:40 am

    School Safety: Standard Response Protocols (cont)
    John Michael Keyes
    Executive Director, “I Love U Guys” Foundation

    11:40 am - 12:10 pm

    Update on TX School Safety Center Training:
    A School Board Members Perspective
    Mr. Joe Munoz
    Manager, School Based Law Enforcement Training Center
    Texas School Safety Center
    San Marcos, Texas

    12:10 pm - 1:00 pm

    Lunch - General Session Room

    1:00 pm - 1:45 pm

    General Session Two:

    Update on the Work of the Texas Senate Select Committee to Address School Safety; Implications for the 86 th Legislative Session
    Senator Eddie Lucio Jr.
    Brownsville Member, Texas Senate Select Committee to Address School Safety Interim Changes
    Chair, Senate Committee on Intergovernmental Relations
    Vice- Chair, Senate Committee on Education

    1:45 pm - 1:55 pm

    Break

    1:55 pm - 3:55 pm

    General Session: Ballroom

    School Safety: Reunification Methods
    John Michael Keyes
    Executive Director, "I Love U Guys" Foundation

    4:00 pm - 4:30 pm

    General Session: Ballroom
    Reflection

  • Wednesday, October 31, 2018: School Wellness

    Day 2: Wellness

    7:30 am - 8:15 am

    Registration & Breakfast: Ballroom

    8: 15 am - 8:25 am

    General Session: Ballroom 
    Opening Remarks and Introduction of Speaker
    Dr. Suzanne Maniss, Chair
    Department of Counseling
    College of Education and P-16 Integration               

    8:25 am - 9:10 am

    General Session: Ballroom

    Student Wellness: One Student at a Time
    Dr. Victor Alvarado, Professor
    Department of Counseling
    College of Education and P-16 Integration
    University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

    9:15 am - 10:30 am

    Marrs Room: Session 1
    Depression: Warning Signs and Interventions
    Dr. Nancy Razo, Associate Professor in Practice,
    Licensed Specialist in School Psychology (LSSP) 
    School Psychology Coordinator
    Department of Human Development and School Services

    Valencia Room: Session 2
    Recognizing and Responding to Substance Abuse
    Dr. Eugenia Curet
    Assistant Dean for Student Support Counseling and Wellness
    UTRGV School of Medicine

    Ruby Room: Session 3
    Student Wellness: Relationships Matter
    Dr. Roberto Zamora, Assistant Professor
    Coordinator, Superintendent Certification Program
    Department of Organizational Leadership

    Rio Room: Session 4
    Recognizing and Responding to Needs of Students with ADHD
    Dr. Federico R. Guerra, Assistant Professor
    Coordinator, Principal Certification Program
    Department of Organization and School Leadership

    Dr. Noe Ramos, Assistant Professor
    Licensed Specialist in School Psychology (LSSP)
    Department of Human Development and School Services

    10:30 am - 10:40 am

    Break

    10:40 am - 11:55 am

    Marrs Room: Session 5
    Depression: Warning Signs and Interventions
    Dr. Nancy Razo, Associate Professor in Practice
    Licensed Specialist in School Psychology (LSSP)
    School Psychology Coordinator
    Department of Human Development and School Services

    Valencia Room: Session 6  
    Recognizing and Responding to Substance Abuse
    Dr. Eugenia Curet
    Assistant Dean for Student Support Counseling and Wellness
    UTRGV School of Medicine

    Ruby Room: Session 7
    Student Wellness: Relationships Matter
    Dr. Roberto Zamora, Assistant Professor
    Coordinator, Superintendent Certification Program
    Department of Organizational Leadership

    Rio Room: Session 8
    Recognizing and Responding to Needs of Students with ADHD
    Dr. Federico R. Guerra, Assistant Professor
    Coordinator, Masters in Educational Leadership Program
    Department of Organization and School Leadership

    Dr. Noe Ramos, Assistant Professor
    Licensed Specialist in School Psychology (LSSP)
    Department of Human Development and School Services

    12:05 pm - 12:40 pm

    Lunch

    12:40 pm - 1:25 pm

    General Session:

    School Safety and School Wellness:  Implications for the 86th Legislative Session
    Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa: District 20
    Vice-Chair, Senate Committee on Finance

    1:25 pm - 1:35 pm

    Break

    1:35 pm - 2:45 pm

    Marrs Room: Session 9
    Working with High Risk Students and Their Families
    Ms. Jessica Ortega
    Life Skills Coach
    La Joya ISD

    Valencia Room: Session 10
    Assessing and Responding to Social Media Threats
    Mr. Eduardo J. Moreno
    Assistant Superintendent for Technology Services
    Edinburg CISD

    Ruby Room: Session 11
    Physical Wellness and Mental Health

    Dr. Maricela C. Valdez
    Educator
    Donna, Texas
    Dr. Rosalinda Hernandez, Associate Professor
    Department of Organizational Leadership and P-16 Integration

    Rio Room: Session 12
    Caring for Student Wellbeing Before and After a Crisis
    Sgt. John Montemayor
    Emergency Management & District Security Officer
    McAllen ISD

    2:50 pm - 4:00 pm

    Marrs Room: Session 13
    Working with High Risk Students and Their Families
    Ms. Jessica Ortega
    Life Skills Coach
    La Joya ISD

    Valencia Room: Session 14
    Assessing and Responding to Social Media Threats
    Mr. Eduardo J. Moreno
    Assistant Superintendent for Technology Services
    Edinburg CISD

    Ruby Room: Session 15
    Physical Wellness and Mental Health
    Dr. Maricela C. Valdez
    Educator
    Donna, Texas
    Dr. Rosalinda Hernandez, Associate Professor
    Department of Organizational Leadership and P-16 Integration

     

    Rio Room: Session 16
    Caring for Student Wellbeing Before and After a Crisis
    Sgt. John Montemayor
    Emergency Management & District Security Officer
    McAllen ISD

    4:15 pm - 4:30 pm

    Reflections

  • Thursday, November 1, 2018: Conclusion

    Day 3: Conclusion

    7:30 am - 8:15 am

    Breakfast

    8: 15 am - 8:30 am

    General Session: Ballroom

    Opening Remarks & Introduction of Speaker
    Dr. Roberto Zamora, Assistant Professor
    Department of Organization and School Leadership
    College of Education and P16 Integration
    University of Texas Rio Grande Valley    

    8:30 am - 9:30 am

    Transforming Lives: Restoring Hope
    Mr. Mario Bracamontes, Principal
    Buell Central DAEP
    Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD

    9:30 am - 9:45 am

    Break                                

    9:45 am - 11:45 am

    General Session: Ballroom

    Restorative Practices
    Dr. Armando O’caña
    Director, School Safety Division
    La Joya ISD

    11:45 am - 12:30 pm

    Lunch

    12:30 pm - 1:15 pm

    General Session: Ballroom

    Processing of Juvenile Cases: Challenges and Opportunities
    Renee R. Betancourt Judge, 449 th District Court
    Hidalgo County - Edinburg, Texas

    1:15 pm - 1:25 pm

    Break

    1:25 pm - 3:00 pm

    District Reflection and Planning Time
    Districts work on Actions districts will take to implement lessons/concepts learned.
    Work in district teams
    2 -3 Faculty members per Break out Session Rooms
    Department of Organization and School Leadership

    3:00 - 3:45

    Session Facilitator & Closing Comments
    Dr. Roberto Zamora

    Sharing Time and Reflections
    Round Table and /or Panel discussions comprised of various stakeholders represented.





  • Tuesday, October 30, 2018: School Safety

    Senator Eddie Lucio Jr.

    Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr., District 27

    Update on the Work of the Texas Senate Select Committee to Address School Safety; Implications for the 86   th  Legislative Session  
    Senator Eddie Lucio Jr.
    Brownsville  Member, Texas Senate Select Committee to Address School Safety Interim Changes 
    Chair, Senate Committee on Intergovernmental Relations 
    Vice- Chair, Senate Committee on Education

    John Keyes

    John Keyes. Executive Director I Love U Guys Foundation

    School Safety: Standard Response Protocols  
    John Michael Keyes 
    Executive Director, “I Love U Guys” Foundation

    Joe Munoz

    Mr. Joe Munoz, Manager, School Based Law Enforcement Training Center

    School Safety: A School Board Members Perspective  
    Invited Speaker  
    Mr. Joe Munoz 
    Manager, School Based Law Enforcement Training Center 
    Texas School Safety Center 
    San Marcos, Texas

    Dr. Alma Rodriguez

    Dr. Alma Rodriguez, Interim Dean, College of Education and P16 Integration

    Welcome & Opening Remarks  
    Dr. Alma Rodriguez, Interim Dean, College of Education and P16 Integration

    Dr. Velma D. Menchaca

    Senator Eddie Lucio Jr.    Update on the Work of the Texas Senate Select Committee to Address School Safety; Implications for the 86   th  Legislative Session    Senator Eddie Lucio Jr.  Brownsville  Member, Texas Senate Select Committee to Address School Safety Interim Changes   Chair, Senate Committee on Intergovernmental Relations   Vice- Chair, Senate Committee on Education  John Keyes    School Safety: Standard Response Protocols    John Michael Keyes   Executive Director, “I Love U Guys” Foundation  Joe Munoz     School Safety: A School Board Members Perspective    Invited Speaker    Mr. Joe Munoz   Manager, School Based Law Enforcement Training Center   Texas School Safety Center   San Marcos, Texas  Dr. Alma Rodriguez    Welcome & Opening Remarks    Dr. Alma Rodriguez, Interim Dean, College of Education and P16 Integration  Dr. Velma D. Menchaca    Welcome & Opening Remarks    Dr. Velma Menchaca, Department of Organization and School Leadership 

    Welcome & Opening Remarks  
    Dr. Velma Menchaca, Department of Organization and School Leadership 

  • Wednesday, October 31, 2018: School Wellness

    Senator Chuy Hinojosa

    Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa: District 20   Vice-Chair, Senate Committee on Finance

    School Safety and School Wellness:    Implications for the 86th Legislative Session  
    Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa: District 20 
    Vice-Chair, Senate Committee on Finance

    Dr. Victor Alvarado

    Senator Chuy Hinojosa    School Safety and School Wellness:    Implications for the 86th Legislative Session    Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa: District 20   Vice-Chair, Senate Committee on Finance  Dr. Victor Alvarado     Student Wellness: One Student at a Time    Dr. Victor Alvarado, Professor   Department of Counseling   College of Education and P16 Integration   University of Texas Rio Grande Valley  Dr. Nancy Razo     Depression: Warning Signs and Interventions    Dr. Nancy Razo, Associate Professor in Practice,   Licensed Specialist in School Psychology (LSSP)   School Psychology Coordinator   Department of Human Development and School Services  Dr. Eugenia Curet    Recognizing and Responding to Substance Abuse    Dr. Eugenia Curet   Assistant Dean for Student Support Counseling and Wellness   UTRGV School of Medicine  Dr. Noe Ramos     Recognizing and Responding to Needs of Students with ADHD  Dr. Noe Ramos, Assistant Professor    Licensed Specialist in School Psychology (LSSP)    Department of Human Development and School Services  Dr. Federico Guerra     Recognizing and Responding to Needs of Students with ADHD    Dr. Federico R. Guerra, Assistant Professor   Coordinator, Principal Certification Program   Department of Organization and School Leadership  Jessica Ortega    Working with High Risk Students and Their Families  Ms. Jessica Ortega   Life Skills Coach   La Joya ISD  Mr. Eduardo J. Moreno    Assessing and Responding to Social Media Threats   Mr. Eduardo J. Moreno   Assistant Superintendent for Technology Services   Edinburg CISD  Dr. Rosalinda Hernandez    Physical Wellness and Mental Health  Dr. Rosalinda Hernandez, Associate Professor Department of Organizational Leadership and P-16 Integration  Dr. Maricela C. Valdez    Physical Wellness and Mental Health   Dr. Maricela C. Valdez   Donna, Texas  John Montemayor     Caring for Student Wellbeing Before and After a Crisis    Sgt. John Montemayor   Emergency Management & District Security Officer   McAllen Independent School District  Dr. Roberto Zamora    Student Wellness: Relationships Matter    Dr. Roberto Zamora, Assistant Professor   Coordinator, Superintendent Certification Program   Department of Organizational Leadership

    Student Wellness: One Student at a Time  
    Dr. Victor Alvarado, Professor 
    Department of Counseling 
    College of Education and P16 Integration 
    University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

    Dr. Nancy Razo

    Dr. Nancy Razo, Associate Professor in Practice

    Depression: Warning Signs and Interventions  
    Dr. Nancy Razo, Associate Professor in Practice, 
    Licensed Specialist in School Psychology (LSSP) 
    School Psychology Coordinator 
    Department of Human Development and School Services

    Dr. Eugenia Curet

    Dr. Eugenia Curet, Assistant Dean for Student Support Counseling and Wellness 

    Recognizing and Responding to Substance Abuse  
    Dr. Eugenia Curet 
    Assistant Dean for Student Support Counseling and Wellness 
    UTRGV School of Medicine

    Dr. Noe Ramos

    Dr. Noe Ramos, Assistant Professor  

    Recognizing and Responding to Needs of Students with ADHD
    Dr. Noe Ramos, Assistant Professor  
    Licensed Specialist in School Psychology (LSSP)  
    Department of Human Development and School Services

    Dr. Federico Guerra

    Dr. Federico R. Guerra, Assistant Professor 

    Recognizing and Responding to Needs of Students with ADHD  
    Dr. Federico R. Guerra, Assistant Professor 
    Coordinator, Principal Certification Program 
    Department of Organization and School Leadership

    Jessica Ortega

    Ms. Jessica Ortega, Life Skills Coach 

    Working with High Risk Students and Their Families
    Ms. Jessica Ortega 
    Life Skills Coach 
    La Joya ISD

    Mr. Eduardo J. Moreno

    Mr. Eduardo J. Moreno,   Assistant Superintendent for Technology Services 

    Assessing and Responding to Social Media Threats 
    Mr. Eduardo J. Moreno 
    Assistant Superintendent for Technology Services 
    Edinburg CISD

    Dr. Rosalinda Hernandez

    Dr. Rosalinda Hernandez, Associate Professor

    Physical Wellness and Mental Health 
    Dr. Rosalinda Hernandez, Associate Professor
    Department of Organizational Leadership and P-16 Integration

    Dr. Maricela C. Valdez

    Dr. Maricela C. Valdez

    Physical Wellness and Mental Health 
    Dr. Maricela C. Valdez 
    Donna, Texas

    John Montemayor

    Sgt. John Montemayor

    Caring for Student Wellbeing Before and After a Crisis  
    Sgt. John Montemayor 
    Emergency Management & District Security Officer 
    McAllen Independent School District

    Dr. Roberto Zamora

    Dr. Roberto Zamora, Assistant Professor

    Student Wellness: Relationships Matter  
    Dr. Roberto Zamora, Assistant Professor 
    Coordinator, Superintendent Certification Program 
    Department of Organizational Leadership

  • Thursday, November 1, 2018: Conclusion

    Mario Bracamontes 

    Mr. Mario Bracamontes, Principal

    Transforming Lives: Restoring Hope
    Mr. Mario Bracamontes, Principal
    Buell Central DAEP
    Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD

    Dr. Armando O'caña

    Dr. Armando O’caña,  Director, School Safety Division

    Restorative Practices
    Dr. Armando O’caña
    Director, School Safety Division
    La Joya ISD

    Renee Betancourt

    Renee R. Betancourt, Judge, 449 th  District Court

    Processing of Juvenile Cases: Challenges and Opportunities
    Renee R. Betancourt Judge, 449th  District Court
    Hidalgo County - Edinburg, Texas

    Dr. Roberto Zamora

    Dr. Roberto Zamora, Assistant Professor

    Opening Remarks & Introduction of Speaker
    Dr. Roberto Zamora, Assistant Professor
    Department of Organization and School Leadership
    College of Education and P16 Integration
    University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

    Session Facilitator & Closing Comments
    Dr. Roberto Zamora

  • Main Speakers & Bios

    Dr. Patricia M. Alvarez McHatton

    Dr. Patricia M. Alvarez McHatton

    DR. PATRICIA M. ALVAREZ McHATTON earned a Ph.D. from the University of South Florida in Curriculum & Instruction with an emphasis in special education and urban education. She is currently the EVP of the Academic Affairs, Student Success, and P-16 Integration at the University of Texas RGV. Dr. Alvarez McHatton has served in multiple capacities throughout her tenure in higher education including program coordinator at the undergraduate and graduate levels at the University of South Florida, chair of the inclusive education department at Kennesaw State University, and associate dean for teacher education at the University of Missouri Kansas City. Her research interests include diversity in education, teacher preparation with an emphasis on preparing culturally competent educators, collaboration, and school experiences of diverse youth and families. Dr. Alvarez McHatton’s work centers on school-university-community partnerships. A major emphasis of her work is engaging disenfranchised youth in participatory action research for social change and arts-based research as a method for making research findings accessible to the communities in which it is undertaken. She has served in leadership roles, both nationally and internationally, including as President for both the Division for Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Exceptional Learners (DDEL) and the Teacher Education Division (TED) of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)

    Dr. Velma D. Menchaca 

    Dr. Velma D. Menchaca

    DR. VELMA D. MENCHACA earned a Ph.D. from Texas A&M University in curriculum & Instruction with a minor in educational administration in 1991. She is currently a professor and department chair for the Department of Organization and School Leadership at the University of Texas RGV. She has previously taught at the University of  Texas Pan American, Texas State  University  and Tarleton State University and had been a university professor 25 years and was in public education 11 years. Her research focuses in the areas of  culturally   responsiveness , English Learners, mentoring leaders and rural education. Dr. Menchaca’s teaches in the areas of sociocultural issues, school and community engagement and special populations and teaches in the master’s and doctoral programs. She has made state, national and international presentations. She has also served on national and state committees in addition to providing service to her community. She has recently received the Mentor Award presently by the College of Education.

    Dr. Roberto Zamora

    Dr. Roberto Zamora

    Dr. Zamora currently serves as Assistant Professor in the Department of Organization and School Leadership.  Dr. Zamora holds a Ph.D. in Educational Administration from the University of Texas at Austin, a Master’s degree in Secondary Education/Supervision and a Bachelor of Science Degree with a Major in Biology and Minor in Chemistry from The University of Texas, Pan American in Edinburg, Texas.
    Dr. Zamora has extensive experiences in public education that include developing and mentoring school leaders and leading and managing systemic change.  He served as a junior and high school science teacher, elementary school principal, junior high and high school assistant principal, high school principal, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, and superintendent.  At the regional level, he served as Director for Administrative Services at Region XX Education Service Center in San Antonio, Texas, Deputy Executive Director for Instructional Services and Executive Director of the Region One Education Service Center in Edinburg, Texas.   At the state level, he served as Executive Assistant to the Associate Commissioners for School Accreditation and Program Evaluation and as Executive Assistant to the Commissioner of Education.

    As  professor , Dr. Zamora capitalizes on his vast public school experiences to relate theory and research to practice.  He teaches courses that focus on organizational leadership, instructional  leadership   and change.  His students’ learning experiences are enhanced by engaging with exemplary schools leaders who share their experiences and add relevance to the course work.

    His research areas of interest include the impact of organizational health on student achievement and the relationship between leadership on change and student achievement.