TASB Leader Dubravka Romano Announces Retirement after Nearly 35 Years
Austin— After nearly 35 years of visionary leadership and commitment to public education, Dubravka Romano, associate executive director for Risk Management Services at the Texas Association of School Boards, has announced her retirement, effective Sept. 1.
Romano has served in her role with the TASB Risk Management Fund — one of the largest and oldest risk pools in the U.S. — since January 1988. Under her direction, the Fund has been transformed into one of the most successful public entity risk pools in the nation. She was recently honored for this work with an Award for Excellence in Leadership by the Association of Governmental Risk Pools (AGRiP).
“We are going to miss Dubravka and her relentless commitment to ensuring our Fund members receive the absolute best service and value across all coverage lines,” said TASB Executive Director Dan Troxell. “Her leadership over the years has ensured Texas public school districts and other education entities have been able to prevent and manage risk to not only create safe learning and work environments for students and staff, but also to protect taxpayer resources. Dubravka is both a servant and a steward, and her contributions have created a remarkable culture of excellence and innovation.”
Under Romano’s leadership, the Fund has evolved to include more than 1,000 Texas educational organizations coming together to protect their resources and properties through seven coverage programs, including auto, liability, property, violent acts, cyber, unemployment compensation, and workers’ compensation. The Fund’s commitment to the education sector is reflected in its governance, which includes a 19-member board of trustees from member organizations.
“Dubravka has been an amazing leader and tenacious advocate for Texas public schools with a commitment to always providing our members with excellent programs at an excellent value,” said TASB President Ted Beard, who also serves as the chair of the Fund board. “On behalf of the entire Fund, we appreciate Dubravka’s lifetime of service and hard work. Her legacy is the strength of the Fund, which is well prepared to meet future challenges. Thank you, Dubravka.”
To ensure a smooth transition for staff and Fund members, TASB announced the promotion of Mary Barrett to succeed Romano as the new associate executive director for Risk Management Services.
Barrett joined TASB HR Services in 1998, working directly with school districts across the state. She began her work in Risk Management Services in 2012, serving in various key leadership roles, most recently as strategy and risk officer. She brings with her a strong background in data analytics, having received her bachelor’s degree in mathematics with a concentration in actuarial studies from The University of Texas in Austin. She earned her Master of Business Administration from St. Edward’s University.
“The decision to retire from TASB was extremely difficult,” Romano said. “There are simply no words that adequately describe my gratitude for the opportunity to have spent most of my career at this wonderful organization working with thousands of school board trustees and administrators who give so selflessly of their time and talent to improve public education. They have been inspirational.”
She added that she has full confidence in Barrett, who will assume her new role on Sept. 1.
“We will continue to build on the outstanding foundation created under Dubravka,” Barrett said. “She has always set the bar high with her commitment to our members, and we’re going to follow in that tradition as we make this transition.”
TASB is a nonprofit organization established in 1949 to serve local Texas school boards. School board members are the largest group of publicly elected officials in the state. The districts they represent serve more than 5.4 million public school students.