Tom Kelchner, Ed.D.

Regional Advocacy Director – East Houston/Gulf Coast

Tom Kelchner joined the Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation in fall 2019 as the regional advocacy director for east Houston/Gulf Coast. He served over three decades in urban and small public school settings. His professional experience includes serving in elementary, middle, and high school principalships, as well as leading several special education departments. His school and department teams developed programs resulting in significant school improvements and enhanced student well-being and achievement. Kelchner was instrumental in leading the development of systems supporting both academic and mental health of all students.

Dr. Kelchner has served on numerous school, district, and community committees, working with students, parents, board trustees, superintendents, executive management and community leaders in ethnically, culturally, and economically diverse communities. He has served in numerous leadership roles, including as chairman of the management board of the Tri-County East Regional Day School Program for the Deaf and as president of the Dallas School Administrators Association. Community outreach efforts with the City of Baytown resulted in the establishment of Inclusive City Parks and Pirates’ Bay Waterpark Special Needs Nights. Kelchner has been active in the Baytown YMCA’s Miracle League program.

Kelchner continues his community work through his roles as president-elect of the Rotary Club of Baytown; vice-chair of the board of directors of the Bay Area Rehabilitation Center; board member for the River Ranch Municipal Utility District; the Hands of Healing Residential Treatment Center (for abused youth); and, the Bridgehaven Child Advocacy Center. He is actively working with Congressman Brian Babin’s team to support the enactment of the Threat Assessment, Prevention and Safety (TAPS) Act, designed to create systems to stem the tide of school and community violence. The recipient of numerous awards, Kelchner always credits the efforts of his teams for any such honors.

Dr. Kelchner earned his undergraduate degree in education from Texas Christian University, a Master of Science in special education from the University of Texas at Dallas, and a Master of Education in educational administration from the University of North Texas. Kelchner earned his Doctorate Degree in education administration from the University of North Texas.

Dr. Kelchner lives in Huffman, Texas with his wife Laura, a school district administrator and their beloved rescue dog, Bentley. His stated mission and passion is to “empower children, adults and communities” through all of his endeavors.

It only takes a spark to get a fire going… - Lyrics from Pass It On by Kurt Kaiser
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