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About ELA

PTA’s commitment to engage families and communities as powerful advocates for children reaches across all cultural and socioeconomic boundaries. The Emerging Leaders Academy is an opportunity to identify and support dedicated volunteers from diverse backgrounds while equipping them with skills to become effective, successful leaders within PTA and throughout their communities.

This series of four in-person sessions provides participants with proven strategies in outreach, communication, advocacy, and family engagement.


While offered at no charge, the Emerging Leaders Academy is valued at over $10,000 per person.  Attendees and the group will get the most out of the experience when they have the full support of their family and can commit to being in Austin and fully engaged during all four of the sessions (a combination of weekends and weekdays).  

Who Is an Emerging Leader?

Whether it’s the PTA volunteer who organizes the multicultural night at your campus or a co-worker who organizes a reading program at the local library, leaders can be found in every corner of our communities. ELA seeks to support a diverse group of volunteers who are committed to creating successful schools through these fundamental characteristics:

ELA Class of 2024

Carrie Baker Lewisville ISD
Ruth Bakken Frisco ISD
TaNeika Driver-Moultrie Killeen ISD
Desiree Ford Mansfield ISD
Natalie Harper Comal ISD
Amanda Melton Northside ISD
Jo Murret Wylie ISD
Michelle Ortiz Texas PTA
Ayesha Saleem Fort Bend ISD
Pastora Santamaria Richardson ISD
Natalie Saville Denton ISD
James Strickland Katy ISD
Sarah Valentino Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD
Candie Zavala Harlingen ISD


Legacy of Leadership

From our humble beginnings in 1909, Texas PTA has grown into the state’s largest child advocacy association with over 500,000 members. Our success has been driven by the grassroots leadership of concerned parents, educators, and community members who are dedicated to making every child’s potential a reality. Texas PTA is proud to offer Emerging Leaders Academy (ELA) to help ensure a new generation of dedicated leaders are working to support student success!