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Texas Alliance of Black School Educators sponsored the Galveston Area Relaunch Meet and Greet at the Tasting Room in Galveston, Texas on April 1, 2022 from 5:30 p.m. -7:00 p.m. Approximately 60 participants expressed an interest to participate in establishing an organization for the Gulf Coast area. TABSE President Dr. David Harris made the recommendation to name Marcus Higgs, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources in Texas City as the president of the new organization. Mr. Higgs accepted and as one of the first actions, supported the recommendation that the new affiliate be renamed the Gulf Coast Area Alliance of Black School Educators (GCAABSE).  The name of the previous affiliate was Galveston County Alliance of Black School Educators (GCABSE).

The Kickoff Meeting of new GCAABSE affiliate was held on May 19, 2022, at Barcenas Mexican Grill in La Marque, TX. This meeting had an attendance of 30 people from the area along with leadership from a neighboring TABSE affiliate. Topics discussed included the rate of local dues to be charged per GCAABSE member and the number of financially active TABSE members required to be considered a local affiliate. Local dues were set at $50 per person after a brief survey was taken on affiliate’s GroupMe text chat page.

On June 14, 2022, Mr. Higgs created a poll through GroupMe to provide opportunities for individuals who wanted to serve on the Planning Committee to do so to launch the Gulf Coast Area Alliance for Black School Educators. The GroupMe account provided a vehicle by which Mr. Higgs and others could communicate activities related to the launch of the organization as well as other newsworthy information related to TASBE and other Affiliates.

The first planning committee meeting of GCAABSE was held via a Zoom virtual platform on August 4, 2022, at 5:00 pm. At this meeting in attendance were the GCAABSE planning committee members along with state leadership which included TABSE Executive Director Phyllis Williams and TABSE State President, Dr. David Harris. Representatives from Galveston, Texas City/LaMarque, Hitchcock and Dickinson were present.  Participants were encouraged to join TABSE.  Dues are $75. Mr. Higgs reminded potential members that they needed to select Gulf Coast AABSE instead of Galveston ABSE when paying online.  Galveston ABSE no longer exists. Mr. Higgs also clarified that life members from the former Galveston ABSE would be charter members of the Gulf Coast AABSE.

Other discussion included TABSE membership, constitution and by-laws and proposed agenda for our first GCAABSE meeting in September. Mrs. Shavonne Ironche was able to work with her church, Dickinson First United Methodist to get space for the Inaugural Meeting and Installation of Officers slated for September 15, 2022. Participating members assumed responsibilities to help with the protocols for becoming an affiliate.  Dr. Annette Scott served as the chair of the nominating committee. Mrs. Mary Patrick volunteered to work on the constitution and bylaws.

A second planning meeting occurred on September 1, 2022. President Marcus Higgs, along with Dr. David Harris and other representatives from the state organization reviewed the steps that the organization would need to take in order to become an affiliate. After the planning meeting concluded, the GCAABSE membership stayed the Zoom call to take nominations for a slate of officers. All affiliate officer positions were filled except for the financial secretary position which was filled at the next planning meeting. Those officers are as follows:

President-Elect                        Mary Patrick

Vice President                         LaDonna Pratt

Secretary                                 Shavonne Ironche

Treasurer                                Annette Scott

Corresponding Secretary         Kanestra Bland

Financial Secretary                 Felica Garrett

Internal Auditor                     LaQuinta Ryals

Parliamentarian                      Bobby Temple

Chaplain                                  Kimberly Patrick


A third planning meeting occurred on Saturday, September 10 to finalize the launch and review the next steps.  This meeting was to discuss final preparations for the swearing-in of officers and agenda for the first meeting of the 2022-2023 school year. John Washington from TABSE was on the call and expressed hope that he could swear in whether in-person or virtually. TABSE President David Harris acknowledged that he would like Mr. Washington to perform the ceremony. Mr. Higgs was able to get the Affiliate’s address and EIN as required. Mr. Higgs sent an invitation to potential members through GroupMe.

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