Today, Viola M. Garcia of Texas’s Aldine Independent School District was elected as president of the National School Boards Association (NSBA), making her the first Latina to ever hold the position. Frank S. Henderson, Jr., of Kansas’s Seaman School District 345 was elected President-Elect and Kristi Swett of Salt Lake City School District, Utah was elected as Secretary-Treasurer. NSBA’s former president, Charlie Wilson of Ohio’s Worthington City Schools, will now serve as Immediate Past-President.

“I want to congratulate NSBA President Viola Garcia on her historic election,” said Anna Maria Chávez, NSBA Executive Director & CEO. “Viola and our newly elected leadership team know that, as more and more schools shift back to in-person learning, we must continue the innovation we’ve seen during the pandemic and embrace the transformation needed to bring public education into the future. Together, our elected leaders will cultivate school board excellence and, with our state school boards associations, serve as a unifying voice for the future of public education—one that is more just, equitable, and serves each child.”

Viola M. Garcia
Garcia has served on her local board, the Aldine Independent School District Board of Trustees, representing Position 7 in Texas, since 1992, making her the longest tenured member of the district. A member of the Mexican American School Board Members Association, Garcia has also served as that organization’s president. Garcia served as a regional director, secretary-treasurer, president, and past-president of the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB). An emeritus professor at the University of Houston-Downtown, Garcia has promoted educational programs and students by training future teachers for local school districts including Aldine. Garcia holds a Doctor of Education degree in Higher Education Administration and Supervision and a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Houston. Her undergraduate degree is from Texas Woman’s University.

“I am humbled to continue my public service at the national level with an esteemed group of school board members and education leaders from across the federation,” said Garcia. “I will continue with the high expectations that I’ve put forward while serving my local community of Aldine ISD and the Texas Association of School Boards. As NSBA President, I commit to work tirelessly with the NSBA officers, Board of Directors, and Executive Director and CEO on behalf of our nation’s students. Together, as a federation, we can bring our united and collective voices to the forefront in pursuit of opportunities that today’s challenges provide.”

Frank S. Henderson, Jr.
Since 2007, Henderson has served on the Seaman USD 345 School Board in Topeka, Kansas. Henderson is a past president of the Kansas Association of School Boards and a former commissioner with the Education Commission of the States, in addition to holding other leadership roles on various school committees and work groups. In 2015, Henderson was elected to serve as a Western Region Director on NSBA’s Board of Directors. Henderson is the Deputy Director of the Topeka Rescue Mission. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Washburn University and a master’s degree from Kansas State University.

Kristi Swett
Swett has been a member of the Salt Lake City School District Board of Education since 2003 and has served as her board’s Vice President and President. Swett has also served as the Utah State School Boards Association and the NSBA Pacific Region President. A lifelong advocate for public schools, for the past 30 years Swett has sought out opportunities to volunteer in her local schools and be an active member of her community. She has served on community-based advisory boards, as PTA president, and has acted as a delegate for legislative action groups. 

Charlie Wilson
Dedicated to public education and an active member of his community, Wilson has served on his local board since 2007. In 2013, Wilson served as president of the Ohio School Boards Association (OSBA), and he has served on the OSBA Board of Trustees, Executive Committee, and numerous other regional and state committees. Following his term as OSBA president, the Central Region elected Wilson as their representative to NSBA’s Board of Directors. Wilson served as NSBA’s 2020-21 President.. He has taught as an associate professor at Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law for more than 30 years and earned his law degree from New York University School of Law.

NSBA’s 2021-22 roster of board members:

Northeast Region

  • Becky Fles, MSAD #11 School District, Maine
  • Devin Sheehan, Holyoke Public School District, Massachusetts
  • Lydia Tedone, Simsbury Public Schools, Connecticut

Southern Region

  • Pamela Doyle, Alabama School of Math and Science, Alabama
  • Ronald K. Hopkins, Jefferson City Schools, Georgia
  • Beverly Slough, St. Johns County School District, Florida

Central Region

  • Kathryn Green, Austin Public Schools (ISD 492), Minnesota
  • John W. Halkias, Plain Local School District, Ohio
  • Donald R. Hubler, L’Anse Creuse Public Schools District and Macomb Intermediate School District, Michigan

Western Region

  • Kathy Gebhardt, Boulder Valley School District, Colorado
  • Janine Bay Teske, Teton County School District, Wyoming
  • Floyd Simon, Jr., DDS, Clinton Public Schools, Oklahoma

Pacific Region

  • Steven Chapman, Tolleson Union High School District, Arizona
  • Peter Hoepfner, Cordova City School District, Alaska
  • Marnie J. Maraldo, Issaquah School Board, District 2, Washington

Ex-officio Directors

  • Steve Gallon III, Chair of the Council of Urban Boards of Education, school board member, Miami, Florida
  • Ruben Archuleta, Chair of the National Hispanic Council of School Board Members, school board member, Espanola, New Mexico
  • Devin Del Palacio, Chair of the National Black Council of School Board Members, school board member, Tolleson Union High School District, Arizona
  • Michael Swain, Jr., Chair of the National American Indian and Alaska Native Council of School Board Members, school board member, Bristol Bay Borough School, Alaska
  • Kirk Schneidawind, Chair of the Organization for the State Association Executive Directors, Executive Director, Minnesota School Boards Association, Minnesota
  • Joy Surratt Baskin, Chair of the Council of School Attorneys, Director of Legal Services, Texas Association of School Boards
  • Anna Maria Chávez, Executive Director and CEO of the National School Boards Association

Around NSBA

a boy being tutored at a desk

Black Students in the Condition of Education 2020

The Center for Public Education selected relevant data from the Condition of Education to help school leaders not only monitor the educational progress of Black students, but also rethink what public schools can do better for Black students.