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

Lauren Cook

Director of Strategic Alignment

Tim Miller

Superintendent in Residence

Thea Ulrich-Lewis

Program Director

Briana Mascitelli

Program Coordinator

Christina Dunigan

Program Associate

Laura Hauk

Office Manager

Jane Shipwash

Senior Executive Assistant

Victoria Wang

Research Fellow

Tabitha Reynolds

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

Laura Mellett

Director of Policy Content and Public Affairs

Max Rombado

Policy Research Associate

Alejandro Izaguirre

Policy Research Fellow


Petri Darby, APR

Vice President of Marketing

Tessa Benavides

Media Relations Associate

Joel Goudeau

Visual Design Strategist

Anne Bannister

Digital Producer

Brian Diggs

Digital Producer

Marcela Giraldo

Multimedia Graphic Designer

Jonah Rohne

Digital Marketing Coordinator


Libby Cohen, PH.D.

Director of Advocacy and Outreach

Missy Bender

Regional Advocacy Director – Collin and Denton Counties

Amy Dodson, M.Ed.

Regional Advocacy Director – West Texas

Giovanni Escobedo

Regional Advocacy Director – South Texas

Skylar Gallop

Regional Advocacy Director – Panhandle

Matthew Hall

Regional Advocacy Director – Greater Fort Worth

JoLisa Hoover, M.Ed.

Regional Advocacy Director – Central Texas

Cassandra D. Jones

Regional Advocacy Director – Central Houston

Tom Kelchner, Ed.D.

Regional Advocacy Director – East Houston/Gulf Coast

Robert Long III, Ed.D.

Regional Advocacy Director – West Houston

Tomás Sigala Jr., Ed.D.

Regional Advocacy Director – El Paso/Trans-Pecos

Kaylan D. Smith

Regional Advocacy Director – Dallas County