The Raise Your Hand Texas staff team is made up of a diverse, passionate group dedicated to ensuring every Texas child has access to a high-quality, free public education.

Foundation & Programs

Dr. Shari Albright

President, Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation

Cody Huie

Vice President of Programs

Jennifer Jendrzey

Vice President of Strategy and Evaluation

Iliana Venegas, SHRM-SCP

Director of Human Resources

Lauren Cook

Director of Strategic Alignment

Tim Miller

Superintendent in Residence

Thea Ulrich-Lewis

Program Director

Christine Lowak

Director of Raising Blended Learners

Briana Mascitelli

Director of Alumni Relations

Kurt Lockhart

Data Insights Manager

Christina Dunigan

Program Associate

Laura Hauk

Office Manager

Jane Shipwash

Senior Executive Assistant

Victoria Wang

Research Fellow

Tabitha Reynolds

Programs Fellow

Niesha Jones

Program Associate

Felisha Hooks

Programs Fellow


Michelle Smith, Ph.D.

Vice President of Policy and Advocacy

Bob Popinski

Director of Policy

Charles Gaines

Director of Government Relations

David Anderson

General Counsel and Policy Analyst

Anne Lasseigne Tiedt, APR

Senior Director of Strategic Communications

Max Rombado

Policy Research Associate


Petri Darby, APR

Vice President of Brand, Creative, & Communications

Anne Bannister

Director of Narrative & Producer

Tessa Benavides

Regional PR Manager

Brian Diggs

Director of Cinematography & Producer

Erica Fos

Senior Designer

Chela Giraldo

Senior Designer

Joel Goudeau

Art Director

Jonah Rohne

Digital Marketing Manager

Karen Wang

Web Developer

Leila Noussairi

Digital Marketing Intern


Libby Cohen, PH.D.

Director of Advocacy and Outreach

Missy Bender

Trustee in Residence and Regional Advocacy Director - Collin and Denton Counties

Amy Dodson, M.Ed.

Senior Regional Advocacy Director - West Texas

Giovanni Escobedo

Regional Advocacy Director – South Texas

Skylar Gallop

Regional Advocacy Director – Panhandle

Jackson Griffon

Regional Advocacy Director - East Houston/Gulf Coast

Matthew Hall

Senior Regional Advocacy Director - Greater Fort Worth

JoLisa Hoover, M.Ed.

Senior Regional Advocacy Director - Central Texas

Deann Lee

Regional Advocacy Director - East Texas

Robert Long III, Ed.D.

Senior Regional Advocacy Director - West Houston

Natalia Gómez Ramback

Regional Advocacy Director - Central Houston

Larry John Porras

Regional Advocacy Director - El Paso/Trans-Pecos

Kaylan D. Smith

Regional Advocacy Director – Dallas County

Sophie Torres

Regional Advocacy Director – San Antonio