Raise Your Hand Texas Names Two New Regional Advocacy Directors

September 24, 2020  

Tessa Benavides, Media Relations Associate
[email protected]

New hires will serve the East Texas and the Greater San Antonio area

AUSTIN, TX (September 14, 2020) – The Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation today announced Keri Launius will serve as the organization’s regional advocacy director for East Texas and Sophie Torres as the regional advocacy director for the Greater San Antonio area.

The two join 11 other regional advocacy directors who form a statewide team working together to build and mobilize a robust pro-public education constituency across the state.

Keri Launius
Regional Advocacy Director — East Texas

Sophie Torres
Regional Advocacy Director — Greater San Antonio”

“Every day Raise Your Hand Texas works to strengthen and improve public schools for all Texas students,” said Dr. Libby Cohen, the organization’s director of advocacy and outreach. “Our team of regional advocacy directors has the unique opportunity to embody our statewide commitment and ensure our efforts reach their local communities. The work is at the core of our vision that all 5+ million Texas students deserve a level playing field and equal access to a quality public education.”

Launius currently serves as the executive director for professional learning and staff development in Galveston ISD. She has spent more than two decades working in the Texas pre-K-16 public school system where she has held multiple leadership roles including campus principal. She began her career as a high school teacher and spent close to a decade teaching in Texas public schools.

Launius is an alumnus of the Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation’s Raising School Leaders program. She graduated from Sam Houston State University with a Bachelor of Arts in speech communication and a Master’s of Education in Secondary Education. She earned a doctorate degree in educational leadership from Nova Southeastern University and holds both superintendent certification and principal certification from Stephen F. Austin State University. 

Torres comes to Raise Your Hand Texas from the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, where she served as the vice president of policy and business advocacy. Torres is a first-generation college graduate from Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in spatial science. While studying at A&M, Torres participated in an internship at the U.S. House of Representatives that changed her career path to one of advocacy and public policy. Before moving home to San Antonio, she served in the offices of Congressmen Charlie Gonzalez and Pete Gallego. 

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The Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation develops and strengthens school leaders and teachers, engages families in the educational experience, and advances classroom learning with innovative instructional practices to benefit all students. For more information, visit

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