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Congratulations to the 2023 Excellence Award Winners


The Fund’s strength is built on more than 1,000 members coming together to share and manage risk. Our Excellence Award program recognizes school districts, community colleges, and education service centers that implement exemplary solutions to common and emerging risk management challenges. 

Winners receive a plaque and a monetary award. The Fund’s Board of Trustees, management, and staff congratulate the 2023 Excellence Award recipients and thank them for sharing our commitment to protecting their resources.

Allen ISD

Hardening Cybersecurity Posture to Mitigate Vulnerabilities and Risk

Allen ISD launched a multi-pronged campaign to defend against the ever-growing risk of cybercrime. Lead by the district’s two new cybersecurity directors, the campaign included bi-annual cyber-defense tests, updated servers, and compliant records retention policies. 

Recognizing that cyber schemes often rely on human error, the district educated staff on their role in protecting sensitive data, conducted unannounced phishing campaigns, and implemented multifactor authentication, which is a best practice the Fund promotes among its members.

Blue Ridge ISD

Maximize Resources Minimize Incidents in SpED

Most workplace injuries to the Blue Ridge ISD SpEd team involve students in restraints acting out violently. With an eye toward heading off armful behavior before incidents happen, the department took advantage of free employee training through the Texas Behavior Support Initiative. 

Staff supplements the training by working through common scenarios, which boosts confidence and fosters teamwork. The district also designated “calm-down spaces” at each campus, introduced professionals who are trained in Mental Health First Aid for Adolescents, and continued working to build relationships and trust with parents and students. 

Bullard ISD

The First School District Police Department First Responder Organization in Texas

It can take anywhere from a few minutes to a half hour for an ambulance to arrive in remote Bullard ISD. So, Bullard ISD Officer Rondal Bryant stepped up and became a certified emergency medical technician—but he didn’t stop there. Officer Bryant collaborated with Christus Health to create the state’s only school district first responder organization (FRO), the equivalent of an ambulance service. 

Under the FRO, Officer Bryant responds to medical emergencies and delivers critical care on campuses and at district after-hours events. Because the district FRO was formed under Christus Health, there is no cost for medical equipment or supplies. The initiative will foster confidence in Bullard ISD as a leader in school safety and security and as a neighbor who cares about the community it serves.

Laredo College

Safety and Security Training

Courses in first aid, CPR, automated external defibrillators, and violent incident response have long been fundamental to emergency management training. Laredo College set its Safety and Security Workshop apart by combining all those topics and then some. During the eight-hour workshop, employees and students move through scenarios centered on a range of emergencies: evacuation, mass casualty, fire. Laredo College controlled costs by leveraging courses it already subscribes to and enlisting trained employee facilitators.

Liberty Hill ISD

School Safety Summit

In the aftermath of the Uvalde tragedy last summer, Liberty Hill ISD was working to comply with TEA security mandates as well as a mandate from district leadership to implement a comprehensive safety plan when the 2022-23 school year started. With the insider’s knowledge of a board member who participated in the Robb Elementary building clean, the school district safety group and local law enforcement identified lessons learned from the tragedy, prioritized action items, and nailed down a timeline. 

The result was a multi-faceted security strategy that includes training for employees, community members, and local law enforcement. With the help of a grant, the district purchased campus-hardening solutions such as artificial intelligence security cameras, ballistic security film on windows and doors, and a single-key entry system. Staff also hosted a community-wide safety summit featuring Carly Posey, whose son and daughter survived the Sandy Hook shooting.

Mesquite ISD

Employee Morale Leads to Safety and Retention

If chili cookoffs, crazy hair days, community service, and safer bus drivers seem like dots that don’t connect, consider Mesquite ISD’s Excellence Award-winning initiative. The transportation team built the campaign on two time-tested principles: 

  • A positive workplace culture gives drivers incentive to stay year after year. 
  • The more experience they have behind the wheel, the better prepared drivers are to get kids to school and home safely. 

Along with morale-building activities, the campaign included pay raises, professional development opportunities, and attendance bonuses. The result? Driver retention is up and accidents, injuries, and their associated costs are down.

Northwest ISD

Motor Vehicle Collision Reporting

Traffic collisions can be stressful, and employees sometimes forget to collect all the information necessary to file a claim with the Fund. Northwest ISD addressed the challenge by equipping each vehicle with a step-by-step guide, a form for documenting details such as the other driver’s contact information and insurance carrier, and a guide for taking photos at the collision scene. Implementing a change of this magnitude can be difficult in a large district like Northwest ISD, but an increase in complete collision reports submitted by drivers has delivered a great return on investment.

Risk Solutions Staff

The TASB risk solutions team includes risk solutions consultants and communications professionals who deliver training, consultations, articles, and resources that help Fund members control losses and their associated costs.

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