Pandemic-era learning loss and the teacher pipeline will be the central focus of the San Antonio Report’s eighth annual San Antonio Regional Public Education Forum, returning April 4. 

The event, to be held at the Boeing Center at Tech Port, will include a panel discussion with San Antonio education professionals, a keynote luncheon and presentation of the 2023 Education Champion Award.

Lindsay Whorton, president of The Holdsworth Center, a nonprofit that aims to impact the quality of public education by developing the next generation of school leaders, will deliver this year’s keynote address.

Tickets are still available for purchase online.

Editor-in-Chief Leigh Munsil will moderate this year’s lunch panel, “Learning loss and the teacher pipeline: What will it take to close the gaps?” 

“This moment in education can feel overwhelming — the weight of teacher shortages and recovering from pandemic-era learning loss at the same time that school safety is so front-of-mind in our state and national conversations all adds up to a huge challenge for educators and administrators,” said Munsil.

Panelists include:

  • Jeanne Russell, executive director of CAST Schools
  • Nick Garcia, executive director of Teach for America San Antonio
  • Akeem Brown, executive director of Essence Preparatory Public School
  • Jaime Aquino, superintendent of SAISD
  • Carolyn Castillo, deputy director for administrative and instructional services at Education Service Center, Region 20

A video recording of the VIP Breakfast panel will be available on the San Antonio Report’s YouTube channel following the event. Viewers will see education reporter Isaac Windes moderate the discussion, “Closing the skills gap: Are workforce needs being met in the classroom?  

“There are intersecting crises in both the workforce and the education system right now,” Windes said. “This panel will explore how bridging the gaps between the workforce and the classroom might be able to help solve both.”

Breakfast panelists include:

  • Michael Ramsey, executive director of the City of San Antonio’s Workforce Development Office
  • Katie Fang, founder and CEO of SchoolLinks
  • Theresa Salinas, chief of innovation and transformation at Edgewood ISD
  • Zakia Abbas, AP computer science teacher at Sam Houston High School

Past education forums have addressed issues in public school finance in Texas, early childhood education, the role of the church community in Pre-K schooling, public schools district and public charter school competition and collaboration, school board governance and the impact teachers have on students’ lives.

Exhibits at the center open at 10:30 a.m., and the luncheon starts at 11:30 a.m.

Raquel Torres is the San Antonio Report's breaking news reporter. She previously worked at the Tyler Morning Telegraph and is a 2020 graduate of Stephen F. Austin State University.