LSAISD Class of 2021 Profiles

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Alexis Benedict

School District: SAISD

Election District: 1

 

“Ever since I’ve lived in San Antonio, I’ve been drawn to the education sector. I left for a year, and I felt like something was missing. I missed working with students, being on a school campus, learning about the intricacies of the San Antonio education system, and feeling like I was a part of something bigger than myself. Luckily, I was able to find a job in the education sector and I’ve been back for the past two years. Thanks to my current job, I’ve been able to gain a deeper understanding of the sector; however, I know that I’ve still got a lot to learn. I believe that LSAISD’s Education Leadership Development Program will set me on the path to becoming an expert on education in San Antonio and help mold me into the best community advocate that I can be for our community’s students and teachers." - Alexis Benedict

 

Amanda Mosley

School District: SAISD

Election District: 1

“The reason why I would like to join the LSAISD Leadership Development Program is to build connections and gain leadership experience to better our community in San Antonio." - Amanda Mosley

Amy Barrios

LinkedIn Profile

School District: SAISD

 

“I am new to San Antonio, but not to education or advocacy; as a new resident, I'd like to find out how I can support students, teachers, and policy in SAISD and San Antonio." - Amy Barrios

 

Angelica Garza

LinkedIn Profile

School District: Northside ISD

Election District: 5

 

“To further expand my knowledge about SAISD and how through my work at the SAISD Foundation we can help create a truly equitable city for those who attend SAISD schools." - Angelica Garza

 

Angelica Holmes

LinkedIn Profile 

School District: Northeast ISD

 

“I am excited about the prospect of both learning and contributing to a group of people who are passionate about the same things I am: equity, education, and community. As a former teacher, I fully recognize the importance of education as well as some of the challenges the system faces. I'm eager to learn more about the inner-workings of the district and how I can play a role in moving our community forward." - Angelica Holmes

 

Armen Babajanian

LinkedIn Profile

School District: Northeast ISD

 

“Because of my work with Big Brothers Big Sisters, I had the opportunity to interact with and form partnerships with schools and school districts. There were many examples of successes with our collaborations and some hurdles. My goal in wanting to join LSAISD is to better understand the nuts and bolts of schools and school districts, as well as from other LSAISD participants." - Armen Babajanian

 

Bethany Evans

LinkedIn Profile

School District: Northeast ISD

Election District: 5

 

“I have heard wonderful things about the program from people who were able to be a part of the different classes. I’d like to be a part of a leadership program that focuses on qualities and skills that are more specific to education, and to gain a deeper understanding on some of San Antonio’s school districts." - Bethany Evans

 

Briana Barner

School District: SCUCISD

 

“I want to join the LSAISD Education Leadership Development Program because I have always been passionate about education. I chose SAISD as the school district for my son because I believe in the progressive and dynamic approach to education that the district is taking. I would like to participate in the program because I want to learn more about the exciting things that are happening in the district. I see from the perspective of a parent how my son’s particular school is run, how decisions are made and the ways that the school community functions. But I want to learn more about how the district operates from the various facets that are presented in the program. I believe that this will help me not only advocate for my son, but other children as well, and to do it in a more effective way. It will also help me approach my PTA leadership in a different way because I will have a unique understanding of various aspects of public education." - Briana Barner

 

Briseida Elena Tijerina Marquez de Cardoza

School District: Northeast ISD

 

“My passion in education has always guided me to analyze more in depth the structures of the classroom, parent-teacher- students interactions but I am now more than ever much more interested in meeting book authors, policy specialist, that may help me understand more in depth how the political aspect of education works." - Briseida Elena Tijerina Marquez de Cardoza

 

Carmen Fies

School District: Comal ISD

Election Distirct: 4

 

“Education, to be effective, has to focus on the experiences of learners. It is critical to understand the community to better understand the learners who are part of the community.” - Carmen Fies

 

Carol Ann Tonn

LinkedIn Profile 

School District: Boerne Independent School District

 

“I strive to be a good leader in my community and my world. I strive to "give back" in my words and actions. In that spirit, I wish to take part in the next cohort to serve the students of San Antonio (in the Children's Chorus and beyond). It is time to "roll up our sleeves" and truly engage, now more than ever, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. I believe in the following leadership attributes and strive to bring them to both my daily work, and to my personal life. I will bring them to the LSAISD also: Honesty and integrity. Confidence. Inspire Others. Commitment and Passion. Good Communicator. Decision Making Capabilities. Accountability. Delegation and Empowerment.” - Carol Ann Tonn

 

Christa Aldrich

School District: Northeast ISD

Election District: 1

 

“I grew up professionally in SAISD. My educator's heart is still highly invested in the district. I hope to rekindle some lost connections and get a better understanding of the complexities of schooling today. It has been 7 years since I was involved int he day to day aspects of public education. I know that much has changed (especial in the current pandemic situation) and feel that this program can help me get a deeper understanding of how H-E-B and I (personally) can support the districts we serve and love.” - Christa Aldrich

 

Debbie Gordon

LinkedIn Profile

School District: Northeast ISD

Election District: 10

 

“I became aware of this program a few years ago through a few participants I knew working in the non-profits who are now graduates of this program. In my previous position, I would not have felt qualified to be a participant. However, having been nominated by Hugh Farr, I am humbled and honored to be considered a participant. I would like to take what I could learn from this opportunity, LSAISD alum, and my ‘classmates’ to parlay the experience of working in education in some form - hopefully both in my new job and as a volunteer. In my previous position at ETS, we became heavily vested with the STEM program sponsored through CIS-SA. It was so gratifying to witness first-hand the team building and excitement among the boys and girls at Harlandale MS in collaborating on their project and watching them figure out how to make it work when at first “you don’t succeed…” The dynamic to see boys and girls working together was incredibly inspiring. These kids are our future and I want to continue to help make a difference. All students should have the opportunity to pursue their dreams." - Debbie Gordon

 

Denise Hernández

School District: Northeast ISD

Election District: 3

 

“I used to work for NISD and saw the intricacies of school budgets and how budgets are allocated. As someone who went to an economically challenged school within NISD, I felt firsthand what it meant to experience inequitable resources as a student. SAISD is within the core of my beloved San Antonio and the main school district my boss presides over as councilman of District 1. I was selected to be Principal for A Day at Whittier MS last year and it really cemented the appreciation I have for educators and learn more about SAISD. I am so ready to dive in and connect with others to help transform our educational systems." - Denise Hernández

 

Erica Martinez

LinkedIn Profile

School District: Northside ISD

Election District: 1

 

“..." - Erica Martinez

 

Federico Borroel

LinkedIn Profile

School District: Northside ISD

Election District: 5

 

"I was helping to chaperone my son’s field trip to the State Capitol for his Speak Up, Speak presentation when I struck up a conversation with another parent chaperone. I discovered she was an LSAISD alumna. She spoke passionately about the Education Leadership Development Program and encouraged me to apply. I became motivated to do so the more she described her experiences with LSAISD and how the program works to empower community members to become thought leaders around education. I discussed with her how my business, grounded in principles of experiential learning, strives to build relationships among colleagues, peers, and families to reach common goals. She expressed feeling as though my passions for improving relationships in this way complement the mission and goals of LSAISD. I recognize, however, one of my areas of growth is learning the language and the systems in place for creating success at local schools, in school districts, and in the larger educational community. So, I am trusting LSAISD will stimulate ideas and introduce frameworks that will link my abilities as a consultant and counselor to meet needs in education." - Federico Borroel

 

Gilberto Avila

School District: Northeast ISD

Election District: 7

 

"I would like to learn how to best serve my community." - Gilberto Avila

 

Heather Herrera

 

“I want to join the LSAISD program because it is an excellent opportunity to enhance my leadership skills. As a young emerging leader in higher education, it is essential to stay in tune with the challenges and opportunities facing school communities. Also, how the K-12 area also impacts higher education and vise versa. I would also like to join LSAISD to enhance my network community of educators focused on making a difference in students' lives. As a young emerging leader, I think I could significantly benefit from being a part of the LSAISD program. I believe that at a young age, I became the Director of a TRIO program because of my strong passion for assisting underrepresented students in higher education. However, upper administration does not always believe that someone young is the right fit for a leadership role. I often feel at times that I have to develop my skills on my own and for the bigger picture of my staff and students that I serve. It would be nice to be apart of a program that strives to make a continued impact in education." - Heather Herrera

 

Isaiah Lucio Lopez

LinkedIn Profile

School District: Floresville ISD

 

“As I come into my own in the non-profit and professional role, I have been to identify that I have a drive to care about community and put that care into action. I also have a hunger to absorb and utilize any type of opportunities given to me. LSAISD seeks to develop leaders that are heavily involved in the SAISD school district. As a non-profit partner, these children that roam the halls are also the children who we serve as a team who seeks to match them with the best possible mentor. In order for one to succeed at connecting with a community, they need to do the work and be on the ground where it's happening. I want to do the work to serve the parents and children of SAISD.” - Isaiah Lucio Lopez

 

Jenee Margo Gonzales

LinkedIn Profile

School District: Alamo Heights ISD

 

“II have always been a lifelong learner, a person of deep curiosity and passion who pursues opportunities for personal and professional development. It would be a humbling honor to join the LSAISD Education Leadership Development Program. Not only would I have the opportunity to learn about the good things happening in our school districts but also the challenges they face. With what I learn, I hope to be an advocate for the needs of our students." - Jenee Margo Gonzales

 

Katie Chain

LinkedIn Profile

School District: SCUCISD

 

“I would love to join this program to further my knowledge of how ISD's operate on multiple levels. Learning more will help me to grow my involvement with the districts across Texas in the markets that H-E-B operates in and in my personal volunteer work in my community." - Katie Chain

 

Kelly Lampkin

LinkedIn Profile

School District: SAISD

Election District: 1

 

“This is an opportunity to contribute to the ongoing efforts of developing our community and investing in the next generation. I am eager to learn from the LSAISD program on how SAISD school system works and explore opportunities to better serve the youths in our school system. I am excited to connect and collaborate with the LSAISD network and community partners as we continue to work to strengthen the San Antonio education system." - Kelly Lampkin

 

Kelsey Olson

LinkedIn Profile

School District: Comal ISD

 

“I would like to join the LSAISD Education Leadership Development Program as an opportunity to use the knowledge and experience I’ve gained to transform lives. Though my journey has been unconventional to this point, I have always wanted to make a significant difference. I recently returned to work with Healthy Futures after spending the last year temporarily in Corpus Christi for personal reasons. Since my return this March, and the effects COVID-19 has had on our lives, it has been challenging to re-engage with the community at this time. Although we know this to be true, I am up for the challenge that joining this development program would bring. I am eager to have constructive conversations with people from different backgrounds and interest areas. People from different backgrounds and interest areas will be necessary to have those constructive conversations. Naturally, I am passionate about educating others on matters experienced by many and want to bring solutions to the table with those who also have a passion for education and reformative practices. I would love to be part of the growing network of strong advocates for education. Many people think they have the solutions to the cracks in our education system; however, real change comes from those who are a part of programs such as this and can really be proactive. I value that everyone brings something to the table and that it is important to listen. This experience would equip me with the tools necessary to continue a pattern of positive growth, the ability to network, and make connections with other LSAISD leaders in the greater San Antonio area. I believe in hard, constructive discussions that bring about real change.” - Kelsey Olson

 

Lauren Pum

School District: Alamo Heights ISD

 

“As an elementary school teacher, I learned that relationship building, careful lesson design, self-reflection, and equity-centered practices created opportunities for my students to experience success. That was a good start. But when I took a role in school leadership that was defined as “non-instructional,” I quickly realized that I had no idea how much else is involved in the beautiful, messy world of public education. I have learned so much in the past two years about school finance, school leadership, and district operations, but I know I’ve only skimmed the surface. I hope to join the 20-21 LSAISD cohort to continue learning more about public education on a larger scale, to engage with more people who care about our district, and to become a better advocate for students." - Lauren Pum

 

Linda Galvan

School District: Northeast ISD

"Working with Choice Schools, I've found that I have so much to learn from our community. I would like to utilize this opportunity to continue to improve what we offer not only as public schools, but as a public school district as well." - Linda Galvan

Lindsay Fuller

School District: Northside ISD

Election District: 7

 

“For the past 3 summers, I have taken part in planning and teaching an astronomy workshop at UTSA that is geared toward STEM educators in the San Antonio area. I have come to realize the importance of STEM education in the community and that educators are quite excited about the topic of astronomy. I would like to join LSAISD in order to further engage with the San Antonio community of educators." - Lindsay Fuller

 

Liza Gomez

LinkedIn Profile

School District: Judson ISD

Election District: 1

 

Having worked in education throughout my career, my focuses have been confined to the roles I have carried within the sector. Joining LSAISD Education Leadership Development Program will provide me with a deep dive into the various operational processes schools must follow in their goal to deliver positive outcomes to students and their communities. This unique insight will allow me to view the challenges our schools are facing with a more holistic understanding of the barriers our educators face today. I hope to take this information and work with leaders across our city and across different sectors to support the education system. I also look forward to the networking opportunities because it is through a diverse network that we are able to expand our thinking and work together to create innovative change." - Liza Gomez

 

Lizzy Perez

LinkedIn Profile

School District: Northeast ISD

Election District: 7

 

“I want to join the LSAISD Education Leadership Development Program for these reasons: to learn and grow as an individual, to learn more about the community I serve, and to network with other diverse leaders in the community. I was able to apply and complete a year-long United Way (UW) Diversity Leadership Series in Indianapolis, IN in 2009 that mimicked a bit of LSAISD. I had moved to Indiana all by myself and wanted to grow as an individual in my future endeavors. I knew at some point my career pathway was leading into a world extracted from a school campus yet at the same time impacting in a more global and indirect way. This was my way of learning and growing as an individual. Regarding learning more about the community I serve, I knew nothing about Indianapolis at the time of my acceptance into that UW program. I have now lived in San Antonio for nine years and what I am finding out each day is there are so many more people, nonprofits, for-profits, businesses, alliances, caucuses, and industries I know nothing about that could help elevate my personhood. Lastly, I want to network with other diverse leaders in the community. In the world of education and education consulting, we can often become trapped in a silo of thoughts. I want to explore other industries that help tap into my personal ecology that maybe I had not yet considered could be potentiality. Being able to meet new people has always been a value of mine I hold dearly. These are the three reasons I want to join LSAISD Education Leadership Development Program." - Lizzy Perez

 

Mandy Flores

LinkedIn Profile

School District: Northside

 

“I want to join the Leadership SAISD program because I believe this is an opportunity and space for me to learn, grow, develop relationships, and strengthen my leadership skills with other motivated individuals and agents of change. While having been in the field of education for almost 20 years, my work experiences have primarily been within the area of special education. Joining the LSAISD program would provide me an opportunity to widen the lens from which I see and experience education, and gain different insights and perspectives into the educational system. At the same time, I can share my experiences and provide information about education as it relates to students with disabilities and special education. My passion and the essence of my work is in social-emotional learning, mental health, trauma informed care, and family advocacy. By being a part of LSAISD and through deep discussions about the complex education system as a whole, my hopes are that it will evoke curiosity and ignite out-of-the-box thinking for me so that I can move the needle toward change, especially as it pertains to mental health and education. Furthermore, I believe the chance to participate, practice, and learn with others who are passionate about system change will give me the continued courage and confidence to engage in difficult, uncomfortable conversations that are necessary in order for change to occur." - Mandy Flores

 

Marisa Barrera

School District: Northeast ISD

Election District: 1

 

“I want to join the LSAISD Education Leadership Development Program because I wish to engage in conversations about the inequities our students are facing and speak to the many strengths I have seen in our schools and communities. As an aspiring educator and City Year alumna, I am committed to societal and educational equity for all." - Marisa Barrera

 

Michelle Mata

LinkedIn Profile

School District: Northside ISD

Election District: 6

 

“Covid is most definitely presenting challenges that most administrators, educators, and parents did not have to consider before; yet, even if Covid was not an issue today, communities still have much work to complete to create, maintain, and enhance equity in their public schools and districts. My goal is to place my child in a public school when my child is eligible to attend, yet as a parent of a child with special needs, I also understand the additional issues and concerns that will be present throughout their grade school years and beyond. I hope to build a bridge, a community, that would assist parents of children with special needs towards understanding how to professional advocate for their child’s needs while partnering with educators and administrators to help each other gain perspective from all sides." - Michelle Mata

 

Monica Quinones-Hernandez

School District: Northeast ISD

 

“I'd like to join because, even though I am currently an online teacher, my plan is and has always been to work in education leadership and in public schools particularly. This program by all accounts seems to be a fantastic program which will provide me with resources I need to reach that goal." - Monica Quinones-Hernandez

 

Myles Amador

LinkedIn Profile

School District: Boerne ISD

 

“I am seeking acceptance into the LSAISD Education Leadership Development Program so that I may become a more informed, connected, and thus reliable partner with the San Antonio schools that my organization, the H. E. Butt Foundation’s Outdoor School, serves. I hope to broaden my understanding of this city’s education system to refine my effectiveness as a collaborator. I want to build relationships with the people that are stewards of this system so that I can inherit the values that will make me a credible partner. I want to do all of this so that I can positively influence and inspire the current generation of teachers and lead the charge for the next one." - Myles Amador

 

Nancy Gonzales

LinkedIn Profile

School District: Alamo Heights ISD

 

“I want to be a part of this program to continually learn and advocate for my community particularly the SAISD community. This community is near and dear to my heart as it’s where I was born and raised. I want to be able to provide educational seminars/programs to students and provide them with skills and experiences they can take with them to high school and college. I feel this Educational Leadership Development Program can provide me with the desired tools and education needed to develop these programs and to continue my advocacy." - Nancy Gonzales

 

Oralia E. Garcia

School District: Northeast ISD

 

As a Educational Leader I will have the opportunity to be there for the community and children, specially during these difficult times. I want to be able to offer all my time, devotion, experience and dedication to people that might be facing challenges in life. Additionally, I want to develop my leadership skills and increase my knowledge." - Oralia E. Garcia

 

Phillip Anaya

LinkedIn Profile

School District: SAISD

Election District: 6

 

“I want to constantly improve." - Phillip Anaya 

 

Patricia Juarez

LinkedIn Profile

School District: SAISD

Election District: 4

 

“The program would allow me to strengthen and expand my leadership skills in a different atmosphere. It also has my interest in working with an organization that has such an impact in the community." - Patricia Juarez

 

Rebecca Gonzalez

LinkedIn Profile

School District: Northside ISD

Election District: 4

 

“I would be honored to join the LSAISD Educational Leadership development program because I have a deep desire to give back to my community, specifically the public-school system. By joining the program, I hope to learn more about the education system and challenges that face schools today. I would also hope to contribute my experience in a way that could help pave the way for change in the education system.” - Rebecca Gonzalez

Robin McNiel-Kandera

School District: Northeast ISD

 

“To be a voice for the needs of special education students." - Robin McNiel-Kandera

 

Samantha Toback

LinkedIn Profile

School District: SAISD

Election District: 3

“Public schools provide a plethora of services to their communities beyond simply educating students. I want to learn how I can ensure that schools have adequate funding, well trained professionals, and necessary resources." - Samantha Toback

Sarah Perez

LinkedIn Profile

School District: Edgewood ISD

 

“I want to grow as a leader in education so that I can have a greater impact on education reform. Being a classroom teacher is a privilege, but I can only do so much with one group of students at a time and with the school community at large. Along with this understanding, I am confronted with the variety issues my students present me with. Many of these issues cannot be solved in the span of a single academic year. I want to be able to do more than my current position provides me." - Sarah Perez

 

Stacie Sanchez Hare

LinkedIn Profile

School District: Northeast ISD

Election District: 6

 

“I've had the privilege of serving eight SAISD schools as a non-profit partner over the last two years. It was also my pleasure to present to prepare a presentation for LSAISD on the Diversity, Belonging, Equity, and Diversity (DBIE) work that we have prioritized at City Year San Antonio (CYSA). I am interested in this program to invest in my learning as a leader and in service of our overarching mission to close the academic gap for SAISD students." - Stacie Sanchez Hare

 

Steffi Ockenfels

LinkedIn Profile

School District: Northside ISD

 

“The LSAISD program will equip me with the tools necessary to make a significant contribution to my community, both professionally and personally. At the end of the program I hope to gain a deeper understanding of the critical issues surrounding education in San Antonio and the skills and resources to advance strategic support. I anticipate the program will help me assess my own professional strengths and focus my educational interests while empowering me to develop competencies to engage and motivate others." - Steffi Ockenfels

 

Stephanie Mendeloff

LinkedIn Profile

School District: Alamo Heights ISD

 

“I'd like to join LSAISD in order to broaden my understanding of San Antonio's education ecosystem. San Antonio's education landscape is vast, deep, and rapidly evolving. As a part of that ecosystem it's important for me to always pursue deeper understanding, so that I can serve as an advocate for change where it's needed, so that I can learn from the bright spots, and so that I understand the value I add to the ecosystem as a whole. LSAISD also offers a cohort of leaders across sectors to collaborate with and learn from! I'm endlessly inspired by the great people that make up San Antonio's education community, and value opportunities to meaningfully engage with those people.” - Stephanie Mendeloff

 

Tally Jorn

LinkedIn Profile

School District: SAISD

Election District: 4

 

“I truly believe education is the most transformative tool we have as a society. As a social worker, I believe prevention from a variety of negative life outcomes lies in the foundation of education. I'm familiar with San Antonio's education landscape through my work at The DoSeum and would love to be a part of a team dedicated to the scaffolding and support of it.” - Tally Jorn

 

Vanessa Gonzalez

School District: Northeast ISD

 

“To collaborate with likeminded educators interested in creating and developing a better and more equitable learning environment for our learners, teachers and San Antonio community.” - Vanessa Gonzalez

Vanessa Tobares

School District: SAISD

Election District: 3

 

“I learned of this program 6 years ago, when I was seeking opportunities to reconnect with my community and develop my skills as a leader. The program especially appealed to me because I am a graduate of SAISD and have a love for the power of education to improve the lives of families and entire communities. Now that I am in a position to pursue this 9-month commitment, I decided to learn more about the program and was inspired to apply, especially after a conversation with an alum of the program. The topics to be covered in this program are incredibly appealing, especially those I know little about, such as school finance and governance. With the knowledge I gain, I can pursue my goal of being a better advocate for the schools within my community. I am also eager to explore more familiar topics, such as equity and inclusion and education data and research, through this particular lens of LSAISD. Ultimately, I want to become a more impactful member of my community and improve the educational experiences of my neighbors." - Vanessa Tobares