The other night while I was buckling in my 4 1/2 year old son into his carseat he asked, “Dad, what do you do?” I thought for a second… what’s the best way I can respond that he can digest? And then it hit me… “I help schools, Graham.”
When it comes down to it, at it’s simplest level, that is what the Texas Charter Schools Association does, day-in and day-out. We all wear different hats with a different set of skills and duties, but at the end of the day we all have the same purpose—to help schools.
Education is the one industry which can change so much in its wake—it has the power to end conflicts, prevent hunger, provide healthcare, house the homeless, thwart poverty… and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Yet it is the one industry we seem to take for granted, not spending nearly enough resources on. There’s literally not a more sound investment for our future than in educating our youth. What they learn today will change tomorrow—for better or worse. It’s our duty to ensure what they soak in is enlightening, substantial, accurate and comprehensive. This is what public Texas charter schools do. This is what public Texas charter schools do best.
Just prior to starting at the Texas Charter Schools Association I spent almost a decade in the finance industry. I acquired plenty of investment knowledge, but it was soulless work. I felt like a hamster in a wheel of red tape. I earned my MBA toward the tail-end of my tenure there. Also my wife Jen and I welcomed our first child, the aforementioned curious Graham. Time in grad school and becoming a new father has a way of putting things in perspective—what I didn’t want to do with my life and what direction I wanted it to head suddenly came into focus. I realized I was happiest when I was helping others. So, loaded with this newfound insight, I decided my path moving forward must combine making a living with making a difference.
I spent much longer than I wanted to searching to meet this new-found goal, but was determined. After growing frustrated numerous times with dead ends, I stumbled upon the Director of Marketing role at TCSA. It was exactly what I was looking for. So I applied and flooded my peers’ inboxes whom I hoped might be able to provide a referral on my behalf. Well, my friends came through and the stars aligned. I started in April of this year and I couldn’t be happier. There’s so much to like about this job—the autonomy, the energy, the support, the camaraderie. it’s a joy to spend my days providing support to over 600 TX charter schools with over 225,000 students, all with the same purpose—to provide more innovation in education with the flexibility to adapt to individual student’s needs.
But the best part of working at TCSA—
Now when my son asks me what I do I have a simple, straightforward answer… one which he easily grasps, and I do as well: “I help schools.”