New Officers Elected for TASB (2022-23)
Austin— The 2022–23 officers for the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) were elected during the Association’s 2022 Delegate Assembly, which was held Sept. 24 in San Antonio. New TASB President Debbie Gillespie of Frisco Independent School District (ISD) succeeds Immediate Past President Ted Beard of Longview ISD. Armando Rodriguez of Canutillo ISD now serves as president-elect. First vice-president is Rolinda Schmidt of Kerrville ISD, and second vice-president is Tony Hopkins of Friendswood ISD. Mary Jane Hetrick of Dripping Springs ISD serves as secretary-treasurer.
Debbie Gillespie, President
Gillespie was first elected to the Frisco ISD Board in 2011 and was first elected to the TASB Board in 2014 representing Region 10, Position A. 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. She moved to Frisco with her family in 1995 and 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.
Armando Rodriguez, President-Elect
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 boards of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials and the National Council of American Indian/Alaska Native School Board Members for the National School Boards Association (NSBA).
Other previous leadership positions include serving on the NSBA Board of Directors, chair of the National Hispanic Council for NSBA, and secretary of the National School Board Action Center for NSBA. 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, First Vice-President
Schmidt has served on the Kerrville ISD Board since 1996 and has held the positions of board president, vice-president, and secretary. She is currently the board president.
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, Second 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 also vice-president of Modular Plant Solutions, LLC.
Hopkins earned a bachelor’s degree at Lamar University and a master’s degree at Rice University.
Mary Jane Hetrick, Secretary-Treasurer
Hetrick is in her third term on the Dripping Springs ISD Board of Trustees, currently serving as president. She is a 2017 Leadership TASB graduate and Master Trustee.
She received 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.
Ted Beard, Immediate Past President
Beard was elected to the Longview ISD Board in 1998 and has served in various capacities, including assistant secretary, secretary, vice-president, and twice as president.
He earned a bachelor’s in human services from LeTourneau University. Beard is a retired sergeant major from the United States Army and a combat veteran of Desert Shield/Storm and Iraqi Freedom. He also retired from the Social Security Administration, where he worked as a technical expert and equal employment opportunity counselor.
In 2007, he was appointed to the TASB Risk Management Fund Board and currently serves as chair. He is a 2012 graduate of Leadership TASB and a past president and current member of the Texas Caucus of Black School Board Members.
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.