Kate Rogers speaks at a Holdsworth Center leadership event at JW Marriott Hill Country.
Kate Rogers has stepped down as president of the Holdsworth Center. Credit: Bonnie Arbittier / San Antonio Report

Following a national search, the Holdsworth Center picked a president from within its own ranks on Tuesday. Kate Rogers, who currently serves as executive vice president, will become the Holdsworth Center’s first president, effective June 1.

The Holdsworth Center was founded in 2017 by H-E-B CEO and Chairman Charles Butt as a leadership training institute for public school district superintendents and other school administrative leaders, including principals, throughout Texas.

“After a national search, we concluded that the leader we sought for this critical start-up phase was right in front of us,” Holdsworth Center board Chair Ruth Simmons said in a prepared statement. “Kate Rogers has the right talents, skills, and commitment to continue leading this important work. What she has accomplished in the space of a year is incredible, and the team she has put together is second to none.”

Rogers’ role essentially will remain the same. Since the center’s founding, Rogers has worked with other members of the leadership team to design the center’s programs, develop the evaluation methodology for working with school districts and program participants, manage the budget, and hire staff.

“None of that fundamentally changes. The only big change was the title,” Rogers, a San Antonio resident, told the Rivard Report. “I am very encouraged by what has been happening in the seven districts we have been working with, but we still have a lot of work to do.”

She previously served as the vice president of corporate communication and health promotion at H-E-B. Rogers also led the development of the Centers for Applied Science and Technology (CAST) high schools in San Antonio and created the H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards to honor teachers and school districts statewide.

As the Holdsworth Center enters its second year working with selected school districts, Rogers said she looks forward to bringing campus administrators and officials into the leadership program. The group will include 150 new participants including principals, assistant principals, deans of instruction, and teacher leaders.

Up until this point, only superintendents and five central-office administrators from each of the member districts have participated in the Holdsworth leadership program. The program includes classes and seminars to develop leadership skills and address  challenges facing each district.

“I am very excited about that because we will be a little closer to what is happening in the classroom,” Rogers said.

On Tuesday, the Holdsworth Center also named Lindsay Whorton as its new vice president and dean. She serves as the center’s managing director of district services. Whorton previously worked as a consultant for the Boston Consulting Group and helped Rogers develop the Holdsworth Center’s programs.

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Emily Donaldson

Emily Donaldson reports on education for the San Antonio Report.