Staff

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.

Policy

Michelle Smith, Ph.D.

Executive Director

Bob Popinski

Senior Director of Policy

Charles Gaines

Chief of Staff & Legislative Liaison

Will Holleman

Senior Director of Government Relations

Anne Lasseigne Tiedt, APR

Senior Director of Strategic Communications

JoLisa Hoover, M.Ed.

Teacher Specialist

Amelia Taurel Folkes

Director of Public Relations

David Wiechmann

Policy Content Manager

Max Rombado

Policy Research Associate

Jane Shipwash

Senior Executive Assistant

Madie Spartz

Policy Research Fellow

David Anderson

General Counsel and Policy Analyst

Advocacy

Libby Cohen, PH.D.

Senior Director of Advocacy

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

Senior 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

Deann Lee

Regional Advocacy Director - East Texas

Robert Long III, Ed.D.

Senior Regional Advocacy Director - West Houston

Mario Piña

Regional Advocacy Liaison

Larry John Porras

Regional Advocacy Director - El Paso/Trans-Pecos

Natalia Gómez Ramback

Regional Advocacy Director - Central Houston

Kaylan D. Smith

Regional Advocacy Director – Dallas County

Sophie Torres

Regional Advocacy Director – Greater San Antonio