New Officers Elected for TASB
Austin— The 2023-24 officers for the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) were elected during the Association’s 2023 Delegate Assembly, which was held Sept. 30 in Dallas. New TASB President Armando Rodriguez of Canutillo ISD succeeds Immediate Past President Debbie Gillespie. Rolinda Schmidt of Kerrville ISD now serves as president-elect. First vice-president is Tony Hopkins of Friendswood ISD, and second vice-president is Mary Jane Hetrick of Dripping Springs ISD. Dan Micciche of Dallas ISD serves as secretary-treasurer.
Armando Rodriguez, President
Rodriguez is serving his fifth term on the Canutillo ISD Board, where his fellow trustees have elected him as president, vice-president, and secretary. He has the distinction of being one of the youngest people ever to be elected to office in El Paso County. Rodriguez is a Leadership TASB graduate and Master Trustee.
A graduate of Canutillo High School and The University of Texas at El Paso, Rodriguez is one of the founding members of the Canutillo Alumni Foundation for Education — the only organization specifically designed to award scholarships to Canutillo graduates.
Rodriguez’s work on behalf of students extends beyond El Paso. He is involved with a variety of education and community boards in Texas and nationally. He currently serves on the board of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund.
Other previous leadership positions include serving on the National School Boards Association Board of Directors, as chair of the National Hispanic Council, and as secretary of the National School Boards Action Center. Rodriguez has also served as president of the Mexican American School Boards Association and president of the Far West Texas School Boards Association.
Professionally, he is the business development manager of Hellas Construction, Inc.
Rolinda Schmidt, President-Elect
Schmidt has served on the Kerrville ISD Board since 1996 and has held the positions of board president, vice-president, and secretary.
A graduate of San Jose State University with a bachelor’s in social services, Schmidt is a managing partner in her family-owned-and-operated commercial real estate development and management company.
Before serving as a trustee, she was involved in campus PTOs and was a board member and volunteer for the Kerrville Public School Foundation. Schmidt has been actively involved in local youth education programs, including the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club, Rotary Club Foreign Exchange Student Program, Head Start, and the Kerrville ISD sixth-grade outdoor education program.
She was named Families and Literacy’s 2014 Champion of Education.
Tony Hopkins, First Vice-President
Hopkins has served on the Friendswood ISD Board since 2008 and was elected to his fourth four-year term in 2020. Hopkins currently serves as board president. He is a Leadership TASB graduate and a Master Trustee. Hopkins has served on the TASB Board since March 2018.
Hopkins was the president of the Gulf Coast Area Association of School Boards for 2019-20 and 2020-21 and is active in the TASB grassroots process. He is president of Four Creek Investments LLC, an independent energy consulting and investment firm, and serves as chief financial officer of 11 companies.
Hopkins earned a bachelor’s degree from Lamar University and a master’s degree from Rice University.
Mary Jane Hetrick, Second Vice-President
Hetrick is in her third term on the Dripping Springs ISD Board of Trustees, currently serving as vice-president after serving two years as president. She is a 2017 Leadership TASB graduate and Master Trustee.
She has a bachelor’s in business administration from The University of Texas-Pan American (now UT-Rio Grande Valley), a master’s in public administration and certificate in nonprofit management from Auburn University at Montgomery (AUM), and a doctorate in public administration and public policy from Auburn University.
Hetrick’s professional experience includes working as an adjunct professor for AUM, TROY University, and Austin Community College. In 2014, she founded a nonprofit consulting business.
Active in her community, Hetrick was honored by the Dripping Springs Chamber of Commerce with the Hometown Hero award in 2020. She serves on the Dripping Springs Education Foundation Board, the Foster Village Board, and is co-founder and vice-president of Patriots’ Hall of Dripping Springs.
Dan Micciche, Secretary-Treasurer
Micciche was elected to the Dallas ISD Board in 2012 and reelected in 2015 and 2018. He served as board president from 2016 to 2018 and is current first vice-president.
He recently retired from the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld. He joined the firm after his graduation from law school in 1981. During his time with Akin Gump, he started and chaired a school partnership program with James W. Fannin Elementary School in Dallas. The program won the State Board of Education’s highest award for community partnerships in 2011. He received the No Kid Hungry Award from Share Our Strength in 2014 and The Closing the Gap Award from Leadership ISD in 2017.
He received his undergraduate degree from Stony Brook University in New York and his law degree from the University of Chicago Law School. He has been recognized by D Magazine as one of the Best Lawyers in Dallas and by Texas Monthly as a Super Lawyer.
Micciche’s civic and charitable activities include serving on the boards of the American Red Cross Dallas, Texas C-BAR (Community Building through Attorney Resources), and American Foundation for the Blind-Southwest Region. He previously served on the School Finance Task Force of the Greater Dallas Chamber and on the State Bar of Texas Board. He was a member of the Comptroller’s Tax Advisory Group under three different comptrollers.
Debbie Gillespie, Immediate Past President
Gillespie served on the Frisco ISD Board from 2011 to 2023. She was first elected to the TASB Board in 2014.
After graduating from Southwest Texas State University, she worked in interior design and fashion merchandising before accepting a job at Dell Corporation, where she worked in customer service, configuration management, and policy and procedures. Upon moving to Frisco with her family in 1995, she became an active community volunteer.
Gillespie was a longtime volunteer with Frisco Family Services and Starwood Neighborhood Association. She was a volunteer and held various officer level positions in the following organizations: Frisco ISD Council of PTAs, multiple local PTA boards, PTO board, Frisco High School Band Boosters, National Charity League (NCL), and Young Men’s Service League (YMSL). NCL and YMSL gave her and her children the opportunity to serve wonderful organizations such as Make-A-Wish Foundation, Shoes for Orphan Souls, Operation Kindness, Susan G. Komen, Prison Ministries, Hopes Door, North Texas Food Pantry, and Frisco Miracle League.
She is currently an active volunteer with Frisco Fastpacs and Frisco Women’s League, as well as a vocal advocate in legislative agendas for several local organizations. However, she is most passionate about advocating for public education for all students in Texas. She is a 2014 graduate of Leadership TASB (LTASB), a member of the LTASB Alumni Association, and an Honorary Life Member of PTA.
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.