of HCPS and other Harris County offices are the administrative support staff
(administrative assistants, cooks, cleaning staff, etc.), according to the
speakers and theme of the annual Dianne Bynum Administrative Support Staff
care of us; you take care of the office," said HCPS Executive Director
Joel Levine. "You are our first contact (with the public) in many
cases. How that client, that stakeholder, that public is treated, that tells a
story about our agency -- or your agency."
packed the conference rooms of the Harris County Department of Education
building on June 2. This year's theme was: "Supporting the Superhero in
Institute of HCPS has organized the conference for the past nine years
to both train and celebrate support staff from organizations
throughout the county.
conference was named for Dianne Bynum, a former HCPS board president who
championed the conference
In a unique
arrangement, leadership from participating organizations agree to take care of
the office while their support staff members enjoy a full day of training --
the same as any other staff member would.
“It shows their
commitment and appreciation to us, by doing our work for us,” said Valencia A.
Linton, who works at the front desk of the main HCPS building. “And it gives us
a chance to learn what we need to help them on a regular basis.”
heard from keynote speaker Dr. Tamra Lewis, a motivational speaker who spoke
about how to be “The Captain of Your Own Ship.” Through colorful tales of her
own life, Lewis told the audience their lives are in their own hands and very
few obstacles should keep them from manning the helm.
then given choices on which breakout sessions to attend for the remainder of
the day. Sessions included on-the-job skills, such as phone etiquette and
dressing for success, and lifestyle classes to aid them in their financial and
will continue to return each year, Levine promised the crowd.