Board of Directors:
Richard Reddick, Chairman of the Board; Assistant Professor, University of Texas
Dr. Reddick is an assistant professor in the College of Education’s Department of Educational Administration at The University of Texas at Austin, and is also the coordinator of the M.Ed. program in College and University Student Personnel Administration, where he was honored with an Eyes of Texas Excellence Award. Dr. Reddick’s teaching and research focus on diversity in higher education, the sociocultural adaptation of Black families, and qualitative research methods. Dr. Reddick’s research on mentoring relationships between faculty and Black students includes factors influencing faculty mentorship, the role of formative experiences in professors’ lives in their approach to mentoring, and the advising and counseling approaches utilized by faculty in mentoring Black students. He is a proud graduate of an East Austin public high school.
Bob DeWitt, Associate Vice President – Investments, Wells Fargo Advisors
Mr. DeWitt received his degree in Business Economics with an emphasis in accounting from the University of California in Santa Barbara. He is also a board member for the Austin Symphony and a graduate of Leadership Austin, class of 2016. He enjoys competing in various endurance events and he has finished the Hawaiian Ironman twice. Bob has been married to his wife Terrie for over 25 years and they are longtime residents of Austin, Texas.
Keffrelyn Brown, Associate Professor, University of Texas
Dr. Brown is an associate professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction with a primary appointment in the Cultural Studies in Education area. She completed a Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as well as an Ed.M. in Learning and Teaching from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Dr. Brown is a former elementary and middle school teacher, school administrator, and curriculum developer. Her research and teaching interests concern the sociocultural knowledge of teaching, multicultural teacher education and educational discourses related to African American students. Dr. Brown has published thirty journal articles, book chapters and other educational texts. In 2012 she received the Regent’s Outstanding Teaching award, the highest teaching honor given for excellence in undergraduate teaching across the University of Texas system
Kelvey Oeser, Partner, New Teacher Effectiveness, TNTP
Ms. Oeser’s role as Partner, New Teacher Effectiveness at TNTP draws on her deep knowledge of teacher training and professional development. A graduate of Emory University, Ms. Oeser joined Teach For America as a 2001 Los Angeles corps member where she taught 6th and 7th grade English Language Arts and Social Studies for three years. She holds a Master’s degree in public affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. Ms. Oeser worked at the Texas Education Agency managing the $30 million Texas STEM Initiative, in which she supported the creation of 35 new STEM-themed academies across the state of Texas serving low-income students. As the Vice President of Design at Teach for America on the Teacher Preparation, Support, and Development Team, Ms. Oeser led a team of designers who created staff development opportunities to ensure that all Teach For America program staff members are outstanding instructional leaders, people leaders, and movement-builders.
Maya Smart, Writer
Ms. Smart is an Austin, Texas-based writer whose articles have appeared in Black Enterprise, CNNMoney.com, ESSENCE, Fortune Small Business and numerous other business and consumer publications. She currently shares advice, reviews, interviews and musings at MayaSmart.com and BookRiot.com. Smart holds a master’s degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and a bachelor’s degree with honors from Harvard University. Her work has earned awards that include Style Weekly’s 40 under 40 award and an Excellence in Journalism Award from The Press Club of Cleveland.
Mike Blood, Project Manager for the State of Texas
Mr. Blood is currently a Project Manager for the Health and Human Services Commission for the State of Texas. In that role, Mr. Blood crafts policies and manages projects that address the health care needs of all Texans. Prior to joining HHSC, Mr. Blood was the Finance Director and Project Manager for a New York based nonprofit organization that implemented international humanitarian projects; he was a Budget Analyst for New York City’s Office of Management and Budget. He has worked for the United Nations, for Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, and as a young man he spent years backpacking in Asia and Central America and several years as an ESL teacher in Taiwan. Mr. Blood is a graduate of the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.
Board of Advisors:
Matthew Kramer, Co-CEO, Teach For America
As president, Mr. Kramer is responsible for Teach For America’s overall performance, operations, and effectiveness. He works closely with the chief executive officer and leadership team to guide Teach For America’s long-term strategy, make operating decisions (including resource allocation), and develop the optimal organizational culture. He joined Teach For America after working at McKinsey & Company, a management consulting firm, where he was a partner and leader in the North American Financial Institutions practice. In addition to his work with insurers and asset managers, Mr. Kramer has also served nonprofit institutions focused on K-12 education. Prior to joining McKinsey, Mr. Kramer received a B.A. in economics from Harvard University.
Terry Ford, CEO and Founder of East Dallas Community Schools
After four years as a bilingual first grade teacher in the Dallas Independent School District, Ms. Ford founded and continues to oversee East Dallas Community Schools (EDCS), an organization with a 34-year track record of successfully educating young children from primarily low-income families. EDCS partners with families in the neediest areas of Dallas to provide excellent educational opportunities for their children. For more than three decades, Ms. Ford and her team have worked relentlessly to implement the philosophy of Start Young, Involve Parents. The early-education Montessori programs serve families starting in pregnancy through third grade. Investing in the education of young children reaps huge rewards. In neighborhoods where half of high school freshman do not graduate from high school as seniors, EDCS alumni graduate at a rate of 95% with 89% of those graduates attending college.
Jill Kolasinski, Founder of KIPP Austin
Ms. Kolasinski founded KIPP Austin in 2002. She led the strategic planning to grow the organization from a single school into a network that will encompass ten campuses.
After graduating from Northwestern University with a B.A. in Sociology, Ms. Kolasinski began teaching through the Teach For America program. Her fourteen years of teaching experience include work in public elementary and middle schools. She has taught all core subjects for grades five through eight.
Ms. Kolasinski was a pioneer teacher at the KIPP Academy in Houston in 1995. She moved to Austin in 1999 and began teaching in the Austin Independent School District. In 2002, she founded KIPP Austin College Prep to address the unique needs of students in East Austin and has a strong commitment to providing an excellent education and life opportunities for children from low-income families. In recognition of Ms. Kolasinski’s leadership, she received the Austin Under 40 award in the Youth & Education category in 2007.
Chong-Hao Fu, Chief Program Officer of Leading Educators
At Leading Educators, Mr. Fu oversees the curriculum development and the delivery of the Fellowship program and is responsible for the national program evaluation and assessment strategy. Part of that work includes cultivating and enlisting the support of a Curriculum Advisory Committee. He also collaborates with regional Executive Directors to evaluate program efficiency at individual sites. Before joining Leading Educators, Mr. Fu founded and led KIPP Sharpstown College Prep, a fine arts middle school in Houston, Texas. Prior to serving as a school leader, he was a teacher with the original KIPP Academy in Houston and with Teach For America in the Mississippi Delta. Mr. Fu holds a B.A. in Economics from Yale University and a M.A. in Education Administration from National Louis University.
Al Lopez, Executive Director, Economic Growth Business Incubator
Al Lopez is the Executive Director of a nonprofit organization in East Austin that helps historically economically disadvantaged community members open their own businesses. Prior to joining EGBI, Lopez was a finance executive at Dell, Inc. for 11 years, most recently serving as vice president of finance for Dell’s Global Services & IT organization. Previously he spent 21 years at IBM in a host of financial management and executive positions, including two years overseas in France, after starting his career as a sales representative.