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.


Dr. Shari Albright

President, Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation

Dr. Shari Becker Albright, Ed.D, became president of the Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation in April 2018 after serving as chair of the Trinity University Department of Education.

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Cody Huie

Vice President of Programs

Cody is the Vice President of Programs for Raise Your Hand Texas. Cody worked at the Texas Center for District and School Support at Education Service Center Region 13 developing training and resources for thousands of district and campus leaders around the state.

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Tim Miller

Superintendent in Residence

Tim joined the Raise Your Hand Texas team in June 2018. In his role as the superintendent in residence, Tim supports programming, research, and advocacy efforts to advance academic achievement in districts across the state. Tim has more than 20 years of P-16 and state leadership experience.

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Jennifer Jendrzey

Director of Strategic Learning and Evaluation

Jennifer joined the Raise Your Hand Texas team in 2015 to launch and lead the Raising Blended Learners initiative. Now entering its fourth year, the Raising Blended Learners initiative includes 14 districts implementing student-centered blended learning for approximately 35,000 students across the s

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Thea Ulrich-Lewis

Program Director

Thea, a member of the 2009 Teach for America Corps in the Rio Grande Valley, joined the Raise Your Hand Texas research team in April 2016. The Brooklyn native moved to Austin to complete a Master’s degree in public affairs at the University of Texas.

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Briana Mascitelli

Program Coordinator

In her current role of Program Coordinator, she organizes and executes events, assists with budget reporting, and manages the Raise Your Hand alumni database. She also serves as a secondary point of contact for alumni and as a liaison for Raise Your Hand departments.

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Christina Dunigan

Program Associate

Christina is a Program Associate for the Charles Butt Scholarship for Aspiring Teachers. In this role, she will manage the implementation of the Scholarship and provide supports for Scholars. Before joining Raise Your Hand Texas, Christina was a fourth grade teacher in Austin ISD. Though no longer i

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Laura Hauk

Office Manager

Laura, a native Texan, has been in the Austin Area for over 40 years. She has built her career around serving others in the areas of office administration.

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Michelle Smith, Ph.D.

Vice President of Policy and Advocacy

Dr. Michelle Smith joined Raise Your Hand Texas in June 2018 after eight years with HillCo Partners. She connects policy, research and classroom experience to offer innovative approaches to the challenges in education policy in Texas. She brings a unique perspective to the education policy space bec

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Bob Popinski

Director of Policy

Bob is the Director of Policy for Raise Your Hand Texas. An expert on the Texas school finance system, Popinski provided Moak Casey with in-depth bill and policy analysis during the past seven legislative sessions and throughout the state’s two most recent school finance court cases.

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David Anderson

General Counsel and Policy Analyst

David joined Raise Your Hand Texas in 2014 after retiring from 20 years as General Counsel to the Texas Education Agency. He is recognized by the Texas Board of Legal Certification in Administrative Law. David trains for triathlons, practices Ashtanga yoga, and plays the Japanese game “Go.”

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Libby Cohen, PH.D.

Director of Advocacy and Outreach

Libby joined Raise Your Hand Texas in August 2018 to lead the organization’s efforts to develop a grassroots advocacy network across the state. Previously, Libby worked as an organizer with the Industrial Areas Foundation in Baltimore, Maryland.

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Rey Saldaña

Regional Director of Outreach for South Texas

Rey joined Raise Your Hand Texas in June of 2019 as the Regional Director of Outreach for South Texas. Combining policy, outreach, and community engagement, he will help create a grassroots advocacy network for public schools across the state of Texas.

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Laura Mellett

Public Affairs Associate

Laura, who has written about politics and schools for nearly 20 years, joined Raise Your Hand Texas in 2017 as a Public Affairs Associate specializing in policy-related communications and media relations.

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Max Rombado

Policy Research Associate

Max joined Raise Your Hand Texas in October 2018 as a policy research associate. In his role, he conducts research on a variety of topics related to improving Pre-K-12 education in Texas through the policy process.

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Petri Darby, APR

Vice President of Marketing

Petri joined Raise Your Hand Texas in 2013. His 20-year career includes spearheading marketing, communications, and digital strategy in the Make-A-Wish national office, running his own creative marketing shop, and other agency and corporate stints.

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Joel Goudeau

Visual Design Strategist

Joel has left his mark across Texas with his flair for graphic design. At Raise Your Hand Texas, he uses his illustration, photography, and multimedia design skills to help lead the organization’s branding and “look and feel” across print and digital platforms.

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Anne Bannister

Digital Producer

Anne, a filmmaker, photographer, and narrative storyteller joined the Raise Your Hand Texas marketing team in June 2014. As a Digital Producer, Anne uses her talents to craft, shoot, and edit the stories that give voice to educators, and bridge the gap between the Capitol and campus communities.

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Lauren Cook

Director of Content

Creating compelling stories about the people and issues at the heart of Texas public schools is the focus of Lauren’s work. Lauren has worked with Raise Your Hand since 2012 and has more than a dozen years of experience in Texas public education policy. 

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Brian Diggs

Digital Producer

Brian brings 25 years experience as a visual storyteller to Raise Your Hand Texas. He began his career as photojournalist. Having worked for Associated Press, The New York Times, and the Austin American-Statesman, his photos have appeared in newspapers and magazines all over the world.

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Marcela Giraldo

Multimedia Graphic Designer

Marcela, known to most as “Chela,” is a multimedia graphic designer for Raise Your Hand Texas. She designs digital and print pieces for both programmatic and policy campaigns.

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Jonah Rohne

Digital Marketing Coordinator

Jonah joined the team in June 2019 as a digital marketing coordinator, where he concepts and creates digital content, assists in developing promotional plans for new campaigns, and helps execute those plans. Prior to his arrival at Raise Your Hand Texas, he spent time

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