James A. Vornberg Award
TCPEA established the James A. Vornberg Living Legend Award in 2006. This prestigious award is given periodically to a TCPEA member who has contributed an outstanding degree of service and commitment to the organization.
About James A. Vornberg
James “Jim” Vornberg joined the Texas Professors of Educational Administration (as it was then called) at the first regular meeting following the formal establishment of that group in 1974. He was active in the group and served as Secretary-Treasurer/Newsletter Editor for 1983-85, Vice-President for 1985-86, and President for 1986-87. In 1987, he decided to publish a textbook on Texas school administration that would serve as a basis for administration programs across the state, recruiting TPEA colleagues to help write chapters.
Texas Public School Administration and Organization was first published in 1989 and was adopted by many institutions in the state for use in their programs. It soon unofficially became the project of TPEA, and after being financially successful, a portion of the royalty was designated to TPEA. After 12 editions, 87 individuals — most TCPEA members — have authored or co-authored chapters in the various editions.
Vornberg’s research and teaching focus has been primarily on the principalship during his decades-long career at East Texas State University/Texas A&M University–Commerce. He has had more than 1,800 different students in his principalship courses during his tenure. He co-authored or authored three grants totaling $2 million that were funded by the Meadows Foundation in Dallas. The grants resulted in the Meadows Principal Improvement Program and Principals’ Center at Texas A&M–Commerce. The project still remains active 25 years later. It has offered more than 135 staff development opportunities for principals and other administrators, and graduated 165 “Meadows Fellows” between 1985 and 1999.
In addition to the publication mentioned above, Vornberg co-authored The New School Leader for the 21st Century: The Principal with Edward Seifert. He has more than 50 articles and monographs to his credit and has been the dissertation director of more than 85 dissertations. He has served as department head and as interim dean of the College of Education and Human Services during his time at A&M–Commerce.
He has been active in all the principal professional organizations at state and national levels, as well as TASA, AASA, ASCD, NCPEA, SACS, and Phi Delta Kappa. He is married to Dr. Caroline Vornberg who is also an educator. The couple have three grown children and three grandchildren. Vornberg is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, having served for more than 27 years on active and reserve duty.