Banquete Independent School District Superintendent Jim T. Rumage joined local trustees from across the state at the Texas Association of School Boards' Summer Leadership Institute June 10-12 in San Antonio.

About 2,500 new and veteran school leaders received in-depth training on every facet of effective board governance, heard keynote addresses from noted speakers and gathered valuable ideas for programs that work.

Topics addressed during the three-day institute included effective community collaborations, college and career readiness, technology trends, dropout prevention and special education law. Breakout sessions also examined social networking, school finance, bullying and gang prevention, facilities management and the changing face of the Texas labor market, among others.

Thursday's general session featured Manny Medrano, a reporter for KTLA News in Los Angeles and former trial lawyer.

He delved into the themes of personal obstacles, the irrepressible human spirit and the invaluable role of educators and mentors in his own personal and professional growth.

Jonathan Kozol, Friday's general session speaker, shared his view on how teachers, given support and encouragement, can help students meet state standards without turning their classrooms into test-prep factories.

Kozol is a writer, educator, and activist, best known for his books on public education.

Sessions for newly elected trustees and board presidents offered a combination of both breakout and in-depth formats.

New board members focused on basics in district planning and budget, school law, boardsmanship, district policy, teamwork and an introduction to the Texas Open Meetings Act.

Board presidents explored meeting preparation, parliamentary procedure, key legal duties, team building and facilitation skills.