The Bridges Professional Development Institute is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to providing professional development and educational resources to Texas educators and expanding the “community schools” model of support for public schools — all with the goal of improving student achievement.
About Linda Bridges
The organization was renamed in June of 2019 to honor the late Texas AFT president Linda Bridges. Bridges started her career in education as an elementary special education teacher in Corpus Christi. Bridges was a charter member of the Corpus Christi American Federation of Teachers and served as the local union’s secretary, executive vice-president, and president, with a tenure of more than 24 years (1981-2005). Bridges was elected president of Texas AFT in 2005 and served in that capacity until her death in January 2015.
At the time of her passing, Texas AFT was (and remains) the largest union affiliate of the Texas AFL-CIO. Under her leadership, Texas AFT experienced consistent growth in membership and added new local affiliates across the state. Bridges was a teacher and mentor to many local union presidents, teaching leaders how to develop reciprocal, productive labor-management relationships and how to work for consultation policies that institutionalize these working relationships.
Board of Directors
The Bridges Institute Board of Directors is dedicated to the advancing the mission of the organization.
- Zeph Capo, Board President
- Ray McMurrey, Secretary-Treasurer
- Alan Hall
- Ken Zarifis
- Rena Honea
Our staff members are committed to implementing the institute’s strategic plan and promoting its programs and services to Texas educators.
- Jamie Womack-Williams, State Educational Issues Director,
- Hannah Garcia, Bridges Fellow
We wish to thank all of our partners who contribute to the success of our institute:
- Texas AFT
- American Federation of Teachers (AFT)
- United Against Human Trafficking
- Mental Health America of Greater Houston
- Empowered Flower Girl
- Texas National Board
- National Board for Professional Teaching Standards