Raise Your Hand Texas Announces New Leadership

April 10, 2018  

AUSTIN, TX (April 9, 2018) – Raise Your Hand Texas today announced that Dr. Shari Becker Albright, chair of the Trinity University Department of Education, will lead the Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation, a charitable organization that supports initiatives to identify, pilot and scale systemic improvements in public education.

As president of the Foundation, Albright will guide programs that seek to raise the quality of teachers and school leaders, boost collaboration among families, schools and communities and use technology to improve student performance. Prior to her role at Trinity, Albright served as CEO of the Asia Society’s International Studies Schools Network in New York City and prior to that, as a K-12 teacher and principal. A mentor and friend to countless Texas educators, Albright is widely respected as an innovator dedicated to bringing quality education to underserved students.

“In the current political climate, Texas public schools and the 5.3 million children they serve need the best and brightest stars to serve as friends and passionate advocates. Shari is one of those shining stars,” said Charles Butt, Chairman and CEO of H-E-B and founder of Raise Your Hand Texas. “Texas public schools are the bedrock of communities from El Paso to Beaumont, from Amarillo to Brownsville. They’re not going anywhere. Shari and the other beacons of light within this organization are determined to ensure our public schools only get better and stronger.”

Butt went on to say Raise Your Hand was incredibly fortunate to recruit someone of Albright’s caliber. She also played a role in the creation of The Holdsworth Center, an Austin-based leadership institute Butt founded with the goal of helping public school districts cultivate a pipeline of effective leaders to ensure every classroom and campus in Texas thrives under inspired and dynamic leadership. Albright served as an adviser during the center’s development period, helped design the program’s curriculum and currently sits on the board of directors.

“I am thrilled to be joining this amazing organization at such a critical time,” Albright said. “Public schools continue to face immense challenges on programmatic, policy, and perception levels. I am eager to work hand-in-hand with educators, business and community leaders, and policymakers to pursue positive, systemic solutions that benefit all students and families.”

In addition to Albright’s position, Cody Huie, who currently serves as director of programs, will be promoted to vice president of programs. A former special education teacher and behavioral specialist, Huie also served as a district and school support specialist for Region 13 Education Service Center before joining the Foundation in 2016.

Raise Your Hand’s executive director, Alison Badgett, who joined the team in 2014, is stepping down to pursue other opportunities.

“I’m very grateful for Alison’s service and appreciate her dedication and commitment to Texas schoolchildren,” Charles Butt said.

The Foundation’s key programs include:

  • Raising Texas Teachers – This $50 million initiative includes partnerships with university teacher preparation programs, scholarships and support for aspiring teachers, and a campaign to elevate the teaching profession.
  • Raising School Leaders – Raise Your Hand invests in leadership development, coaching, and school turnaround programs that help public school leaders become stronger educators, and has sponsored more than 1,000 school leaders to participate in professional development programs at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. The Foundation also coordinates an annual Leadership Symposium, a statewide leadership learning opportunity for alumni of, and participants in, its programs.
  • Raising Family Partnerships – This fellowship seeks to redesign how families, schools, and communities collaborate with the ultimate goal of improving student outcomes.
  • Raising Blended Learners – This is a demonstration initiative designed to showcase strategies for using blended learning to improve student achievement across diverse student demographics and geographic regions in the state, particularly among schools and districts with persistent achievement gaps. Five demonstration school districts are receiving grant funding and implementation support, while another 15 pilot districts are receiving implementation support without grant funding, to promote the expansion of blended learning statewide.

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Raise Your Hand Texas focuses on identifying breakthrough ideas to improve education, piloting them in our public schools, and supporting the conditions and public policies that can scale to reach all Texas students.

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Connect with us on Facebook: /RaiseYourHandTexas
Connect with us on Twitter: @RYHTexas


Petri Darby – VP of Marketing
[email protected] or (512) 617-2137

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