Meet the ElevatEd Showcase Presenters

ElevatEd is a daylong conference for everyone from business leaders to educators featuring a powerful lineup of panelists and speakers who will tackle how public education can boost our economy and help save the American dream for today’s youth.

The conference includes the ElevatEd Showcase: A collection of short, dynamic presentations facilitated by Dr. John Gasko, Dean and Professor at the School of Education at the University of North Texas at Dallas. Get to know the experts who have been chosen for the showcase, as well as the message they plan to share.

Eric Ban – Managing Director, The Commit Partnership and Dallas County Promise

We need to solve the talent gap in America by first producing equity in college completion. Through a focus on completion, incorporation of professional pathways, inspiration of low-income communities and bridging the divide, Dallas County Promise is working toward universal access to a college education. The program’s three-prong strategy is the removal of financial barriers to college, support to area students and real time student tracking across education and workforce pathways.

Yasmin Bhatia – CEO, Uplift

Dr. Susan Hull – Superintendent, Grand Prairie ISD

Grand Prairie ISD and Uplift Education have created a new partnership called Education Energized (E2) that will redefine how charters and local districts work together in North Texas. The new initiative will create a school-within-a-school program run jointly by GPISD and Uplift at Lee Elementary School.

Both organizations have a track record of innovation and recognize student success is not about competition, but collaboration. The first of its kind in North Texas, the partnership can serve as a model for more Texas school districts and charters.

Elizabeth Cheek – Executive Director, Emerging Teacher Institute, University of North Texas-Dallas

In order for a massive change in education to occur, we have to think about every leader at the campus and district level in ways that are unique to them, and in the spirit of collaboration and community. Education brings together people in a community, develops rituals, and recommits them to a higher purpose.

Alex Enriquez – Executive Director, City Year Dallas

Alex EnriquezAs a Dallas native, I’ve witnessed how a rise in minority students over the past few decades is requiring changes in how we deliver education. City Year recruits carefully selected and highly trained young adults to serve in classrooms and help students build the social-emotional and academic skills needed to achieve their goals. The City Year model is scalable and sustainable, and is focused on schools with high needs and no additional resources. If we can get students to be successful in the 9th grade, we can get them to graduation.

Regen Fearon – Chair of the Governing Board, Early Matters Dallas

Regen FearonQuality early learning is the foundation of future success in education and life. The research is clear that the more a child’s brain is intentionally stimulated, when teachers are well trained to work with young children, when the environment in the group setting is lively but predictable, the stronger the child’s brain will grow. Early Matters Dallas is pushing for the Texas education system to be bigger and better by encouraging learning and teaching that begins at birth. The county-wide initiative involves hundreds of organizations aligned around a goal that 80 percent of all children enter kindergarten ready to learn, and that 60 percent of 3rd graders reach literacy goals by 2025.

Nithya Govindasamy – Dean of the Work College Program, Paul Quinn College

The Paul Quinn College Work Program is designed to provide students with meaningful work opportunities that allow them to better serve the Paul Quinn community, while also developing the necessary skills, habits, and experiences to be competitive in the 21st century job market. They also practice economic leadership by actively contributing towards the cost of their education. All residential, full-time students are required to participate regardless of financial need. With 35 workstations to choose from, our goal is to return students to our families and communities better and more well-rounded than we found them.

Patrick Haugh – CEO, Teaching Trust

Patrick HaughTeaching Trust has made a significant strategic shift over the course of the past year to a greater focus on training teams, not just individuals. When it comes to sustainable schoolwide systems and impact, principals cannot do it alone, no matter how great they are. It takes a team of leaders to make sustainable change happen. Teaching Trust is evolving its program model to ensure entire teams – typically five people within a school – are trained alongside one another not just on best practices, but on putting them into action together.

Macario Hernandez – Principal, Trinidad “Trini” Garza Early College High School

Macario HernandezTrinidad “Trini” Garza Early College High School serves a high number of first-generation, economically disadvantaged students and nurtures them toward success in college and in life. Our school has been featured on Edutopia’s “Schools That Work” and named one of the Top 10 public high schools in North Texas by Children at Risk. We work with homegrown educators and leaders to come back to serve their community and strengthen the economy.

Garrett Landry – Senior Officer, Education Strategies at the Williams Family Foundation

Garrett LandryToo often, today’s educational system is failing students who need the benefit of a strong public education the most. The foundation of our country is based upon the belief that a free, high-quality public education is the great equalizer, the ticket out of generational poverty and toward grasping the American dream. Accelerating Campus Excellence (ACE) is an educational initiative in Dallas ISD focused on turning around perpetually low-performing campuses or those with significant achievement gaps by race and/or income. ACE seeks to bring equity to every classroom by incentivizing top teachers and principals to work at the district’s highest-need schools.

George Tang – Managing Director, Educate Texas

With a boost from corporate and community partnerships focused upon STEM, Lancaster ISD students are outperforming their counterparts across the state in math and science. Leveraging grant funds from Texas Instruments alongside strategic and technical assistance from Educate Texas, Lancaster ISD has shown what a huge difference community support and investment can make.

Anne Wicks – Director of Leadership Programs and Education Reform, Bush Institute

Anne WicksPrincipals are a crucial in improving student success. But principals are made, not born, and what keeps them successful and thriving in their roles is their school district’s system for developing and supporting talent. The way district teams work together to recruit, support, and retain principals is critical to keeping great leaders satisfied with their jobs and impacting student success.

Dr. Joe May –  Chancellor, Dallas County Community College District

When moving students along the pathway of education and training, transitions often present the biggest hazard for students, who begin to drop off as they move from 8th grade to high school, then from high school to college and from college to the workforce. What’s the solution? Relentless focus on removing friction between handoffs and transitions, and a drive to collaborate with other institutions and organizations. Leveraging existing resources can smooth the pathway for students, from public transportation to mental health services and the food bank.

Dr. Marcelo Cavazos – Superintendent, Arlington ISD

Marcelo CavazosArlington ISD’s unique and holistic partnership with the Dallas Cowboys touches thousands of students every year, touching on health & wellness, artistic expression and character building. Each year, every fifth grader in the district receives a tour of the stadium’s collection of contemporary art, culminating in a collective art project such as decorating helmets. The Fuel Up to Play 60 initiative introduces strategies for healthy eating and physical activity while the Character Playbook gives junior high students tools for cultivating and maintaining healthy relationships.

Interested in hearing from these presenters? Join the conversation at ElevatEd: Education & the Economy on June 4, 2018 at Southern Methodist University. The program will include time to ask questions of speakers and network with other leaders in business, education and non-profit sectors. This year’s powerful lineup of experts includes Our Kids author Robert Putnam, Dream Hoarders author Richard Reeves, Andreas Schleicher, education director at the OECD and creator of the PISA exam; Ruth Simmons, President of Prairie View A&M University; Robert Kaplan, President and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and more.