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. Connect with us and join us in this mission.

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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Michelle Smith, Ph.D.

Director of Governmental Relations

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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Debra Salge

Chief Administrative Officer

Debra has been with Raise Your Hand Texas since its inception in 2007. She brings to her role a wealth of administrative, financial, project management, and philanthropic experience, including 28 years serving as Executive Assistant to the Chairman and CEO at H-E-B.

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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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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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Jennifer Jendrzey

Director of Strategic Learning and Evaluation

Jennifer's research efforts focus on blended learning in alignment with her management of the Raise Your Hand's Raising Blended Learners initiative. Before joining Raise Your Hand, she worked at the Texas Education Agency and was an Education Pioneers Fellow as a human capital analyst.

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Thea Ulrich-Lewis

Program Manager

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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Marcela Andrés

Program Director

Marcela, a former teacher and charter school operations manager, joined the Raise Your Hand Texas team in July of 2016. Her experience as a child in an underserved community fuels her passion to advocate for equity in public education.

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Laura Heinauer

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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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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Briana Mascitelli

Operations Manager

As operations manager for Raise Your Hand Texas, Briana facilitates day-to-day activities — from managing financial reports and human resources to assisting with projects in the marketing and program departments.

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