Rohrbach is seeking a doctorate in education at Texas A&M University-Kingsville: an Ed.D. doctor of educational leadership, to be more specific.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. And I am enjoying it, but it is time consuming,” he said.
Currently, Rohrbach has amassed 12 hours in the 69-hour program since he began the program in June. He attended classes two nights a week during the summer. And now he has one night and online coursework.
Rohrbach received his master’s degree in education administration from Sul Ross in 1999. He has been the Three Rivers school district superintendent for 13 years.
“I finally decided now is the time to do it. It’s been a great decision. It’s a personal goal and brings personal satisfaction,” he said.
Rohrbach was born in San Antonio and was raised in D’Hanis.
He said he was the first in his family to go to college. He said his mother went to business school, but none of his family attended college.
“None of their parents did either,” he added.
“The Three Rivers board has been incredibly supportive of it,” he said.
Rohrbach said furthering his education has allowed him to stay current in his field.
“It’s real easy in this position to get kind of stuck in a rut and become complacent. You have to get out and learn from someone else. That’s the thing about this Lamar University opportunity,” he said.
Lamar University’s Center for Executive Leadership has a Superintendent Academy that Rohrbach won a scholarship to attend.
The Academy is an advanced leadership training program on Lamar University’s Beaumont campus.
According to its executive director, Bob Thompson, participation in the Academy is by invitation only. The 22 superintendents in the 2012-2013 class were chosen from a list of approximately 75 nominees from Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma.
To be selected is an honor not only to the superintendent, Thompson said, but also to his or her board and district.
Without the support of forward-looking boards, no superintendent could have achieved the level of success and recognition necessary to be selected to the Academy.
At the Academy, Rohrbach will review the latest technology for enhancing student learning, participate in advanced leadership training from some of the nation’s foremost trainers of company executives, and get training in the Decision Support Center, a high tech laboratory for improving the speed and quality of management decision making.
Rohrbach also will have an opportunity for field trips to visit other school districts to review practices that have helped make those districts be successful. And since the Superintendent Academy is a post-graduate program, the superintendents who complete the yearlong program will receive doctoral level credit for their work.
Rohrbach said he will earn an additional 12 hours at the Academy that will go toward his doctorate.
“I will be up on legislative funding issues and best practices,” he said.
His favorite things: “I love this school district. This is the 13th year here. It’s a wonderful community and school district.”
He added, “I love teaching my speech and debate kids. And I like saltwater fishing.”
Rohrback’s philosophy is staying informed and being a lifelong learner.
He will travel to New York on Oct. 14 to study at Columbia University and tour three public schools in New York City.
“In other parts of the United States, kids grow up differently in education,” he said.
He intends to bring the very best practices back to the Three Rivers school district from all he learns.
Thompson says the knowledge superintendents glean from work in the Academy is immediately applicable to any district, regardless of size or location.
To assist districts in incorporating these management concepts, the Academy will host a three -day Visioning session in the spring for Academy superintendents and their boards where they will be led through joint leadership training and planning activities.
They also will meet with boards and superintendents from similar sized districts to share ideas for increasing student achievement and developing a vision for the future.
The yearlong Academy is designed, Thompson says, to provide the most professional growth opportunities with the least amount of time away from the district.