Michelle Smith, Ph.D.

Executive Director

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 because she has served as a public school teacher and holds a doctorate in School Improvement from Texas State University.

Smith has advocated on behalf of education-based for-profits, not-for-profits, advocacy organizations and superintendent-led associations. At HillCo, she focused on public education issues spanning public school finance, school choice, assessment and accountability, facilities funding, transparency, and elections. Smith also served as the executive director of the Fast Growth School Coalition (FGSC) for five years.

She has presented throughout the state to school districts, education services centers, and colleges of education regarding public education, the political process, and how to positively engage with elected officials. In 2017 and 2019, she was named to Capitol Inside’s Top 100 Hired Guns lobby list and in 2018, she was named the Friend of the Year by Friends of Texas Public Schools.

Smith is a product of the Texas public school system and is the proud mother of two children attending Texas public schools. She lives in Buda, Texas with her husband, Codie.

Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see. - Neil Postman
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