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Dr. Michelle Smith to Pursue New Leadership Opportunities

May 22, 2024  

Austin, Texas (May 22, 2024) – Raise Your Hand Texas today announced its executive director Dr. Michelle Smith has chosen to leave the organization to pursue new leadership opportunities as a public education advocate. Dr. Smith will serve as a special advisor to the organization in a consultative role beginning in June. 

Dr. Smith has been a valued and integral part of Charles Butt’s and Raise Your Hand Texas’ work since 2010, first as a contract lobbyist at HillCo Partners, then as Raise Your Hand’s director of governmental relations beginning in 2018, and finally as executive director since 2022. She has overseen the organization’s policy development, legislative engagement, and advocacy efforts including the passage of House Bill 3 in 2019, additional investments in high-quality pre-K programs, the delivery of $17.9 billion in federal stimulus funds to school districts for pandemic recovery in 2021, the passage of the state’s aspiring teacher scholarship framework, the creation of Raise Your Hand Texas’ statewide advocacy program, and the organization’s Trustee Advocates Program.

“Dr. Smith has served Raise Your Hand Texas for years, greatly impacting and improving the lives of Texas’ 5.5 million students,” said Elizabeth Lorenz, a member of the Raise Your Hand Texas Board of Directors. “Her work, dedication, and partnership with Texas legislators and their communities has broadened and strengthened support for education in Texas’ more than 1,250 school districts across the state. She will be greatly missed.”


About Raise Your Hand Texas

In 2006, Charles Butt and a group of Texas business and community leaders founded Raise Your Hand Texas with the belief that all Texas children should have equal access to high-quality education. Raise Your Hand Texas supports public policy solutions that invest in our students, encourage innovation and autonomy, and improve college, military, and workforce readiness. For more information, visit RaiseYourHandTexas.org.

Contact: Anne Lasseigne Tiedt, APR

[email protected], c: (512) 784-3805

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