Pat Shell Scholarship

This scholarship is named in honor of Patricia M. Shell, who passed away in 2012 after a long and illustrious career in public education. Pat was an outstanding Texas education leader and mentor to both men and women educators. The TCWSE Scholarship Committee encourages all individuals who meet the eligibility criteria below to apply. If you are not eligible but know someone who is, please encourage her to apply.

About the Award

The scholarship is awarded in an amount up to $1,000, which is to be used for professional development, including: research, travel, conference fees, and related experiences for professional development activities. The award is made on a reimbursement basis and funds must be expended within 12 months following announcement of the award.


Applications are open to any Texas woman superintendent, with preference given to those who are TCWSE members.

Responsibilities of Scholarship Recipient

The recipient of the Pat Shell Scholarship will be encouraged to share her learning and expertise by making a presentation at the TCWSE Annual Conference.

How to Apply for the 2025 Scholarship

Complete the online application by the deadline (TBA). Be prepared to:

  • Describe the professional development activity to be funded by the scholarship.
  • Explain how the activity relates to your career goals.
  • Upload a PDF of your current resume/curriculum vitae.

The 2025 Pat Shell Scholarship will be presented during the Awards Luncheon at the January 2025 TCWSE Conference in Austin.

Applications will be accepted in fall 2024. 


Pat Shell, retired from the superintendency in Brazosport ISD, spent a lifetime mentoring leaders across the state and the nation. Educators turned to her for mentoring because of the philosophy by which she lived throughout her career:

My personal philosophy of education focuses on the child and stresses the value, worth, uniqueness, and importance of every individual. It includes the importance of assisting each child to reach beyond his or her potential. It includes methods to encourage, technology to assist, personnel to teach, and guidance to lead—for every individual. I strongly believe that all children can and should learn together.

There is also a broader dimension to my philosophy of education. I am convinced that our nation’s commitment to full access to education for all is the only acceptable position for our country, that equity and excellence are both attainable, that the durable American dream that an outstanding education is the key to a better life is still rooted in reality, and that we as individuals and as a society have a new sense of urgency to make our public education schools once again equal to these expectations.

Pat Shell was a keynote speaker for the very first organizational meeting of TCWSE. She served in leadership positions with integrity and results for the young people of Texas. She was an advocate for quality in leadership that can make a difference in the quality of education.

Dean Corrigan of Texas A&M University wrote about Pat Shell: “She has the rare ability to convince people that they can do the things they ought to do even when they think they do not have the ability to do them. She has high expectations; she mixes a unique quality of caring with a caring of quality.”

Dr. Shell passed away in 2012, but TCWSE will forever honor her as a mentor and continue to incorporate her counsel to improve leadership skills among educators, helping to ensure success for young people in the future.

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