Making Connections Monday: BES Rob Fleming and KES Courtney Mason to Attend Harvard University #BISDconnect

It’s not every day that a Brenham ISD employee receives an email with the subject line “Congratulations, you're going to Harvard!” However, for BES Principal Robert Fleming and KES Principal Courtney Mason that’s exactly what happened.

“I’ve never been to an Ivy League school!” said Mason.

Fleming and Mason are two of eighty Texas educators selected from seven hundred applicants to receive a Raise Your Hand Texas grant to attend The Principals' Center at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

The week long program will take place on the Harvard University campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts this summer. The Raise Your Hand Texas grant covers tuition and travel expenses, including airfare and hotel, as well as a stipend for miscellaneous expenses.

Fleming and Mason will join an elite club of educators from across the world to focus on educational issues ranging from how to close the achievement gap to leadership and evolving vision.

“We’re all working very hard right now, but we would like to work smarter,” Fleming said. “We need insight and clarity to do that and Harvard can help us.”

The application process for the program included an initial online essay question followed by a timed scenario question where Fleming and Mason had to submit a typed response to a simulated situation in under an hour.

“I learned a lot from the timed application process,” Fleming said. “I definitely thought about our students taking standardized tests.”

After passing the first two rounds of the digital application process, Fleming and Mason moved on to the next round which involved a face-to-face group interview followed by a one-on-one interview.

On Monday, May 9 the Brenham ISD administrators received the email that they had been selected to attend the leadership program at Harvard University.

“I am excited to get to interact with administrators from around the world!” said Mason.


  1. I am so proud of my principal, Courtney Mason, but I am proud of her every day. I have witnessed my principal doing everything from mopping floors to directing traffic to running race after race at field day to patiently taking the hand of a hurting child as she walked with him to relieve his stress. These plus myriad other things, all done quietly without fanfare, her acts of thoughtfulness and her wisdom far beyond her years make her the kind of principal every child should have and the kind of true team leader every teacher should get to experience at least once in a career. I am so glad the she and Mr. Fleming will be honored this way. I know they will represent Brenham and Texas well at Harvard. Just 80 from Texas and 2 of those from Brenham? Brenham can be so proud of these leaders.


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