Charles Butt Foundation
Shari Albright received her BA in Education and MA in School Psychology/ Educational Administration from Trinity University before she received her Ed. D. in Educational Leadership from Teachers College of Columbia University. She brings to the role of Chair of the Department of Education a background in elementary and middle school teaching, elementary and high school leadership and educational non-profit leadership. Shari is committed to fostering 21st century, global education for students that have traditionally been under-served in our communities. Shari lives and works in the District.
“I enjoy the role the Foundation plays in fostering a spirit of innovation and creative risk taking to increase student success.”
Immediate Past Chair
Pescador Public Strategies
Ernest Bromley, an SAISD alumnus from Thomas Jefferson High School, is the Managing Partner at Pescador Public Strategies. He also the former Chairman/CEO of Bromley Communications, LLC. He was part of the original team that founded the agency in 1981. As CEO, he wore many hats throughout his career at the agency — director of research, executive vice president and president. Ernest was also been instrumental in developing the agency’s research and Hispanic marketing approach and a trailblazer in building the agency to be the leading Hispanic marketing communications company, empowering in the changing American marketplace. Prior to joining the agency, he taught economics at the University of Texas at San Antonio. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and a Master in Business Administration from the University of Texas at San Antonio.
“I believe a strong public education system is not only a necessity, it is a human right, especially here in the United States. I certainly benefited from a strong education at Thomas Jefferson High School. It is our social responsibility to make sure that our inner city school district, SAISD, provides a quality education for all children.”
Firstmark Credit Union
Michael Grundon, is Chief Financial Officer at Firstmark Credit Union. He joined Firstmark in 2016, and as a member of the senior executive team, he oversees the credit union’s financial operations. Mike has over 30 years of financial management experience. He resides in San Antonio with his wife. Mike is a graduate of San Diego State University with a BS in Business Administration earned in 1987. Over the years, he has volunteered time with worthy causes such as the Make-a-Wish Foundation, Junior Achievement, Salvation Army, and youth sports administration.
“One of the pillars of our community is education. SAISD fosters our youth’s development into the workforce, entrepreneur, and leadership roles of tomorrow through education. I am honored to serve the SAISD Foundation to support important initiatives ensuring students and educators have the necessary resources for this journey.”
Carlos Maestas Carlos founded Key Ideas nearly 15 years ago at the age of 22. It was through some personal pain, spiritual growth, and four mission trips to Africa that he discovered a passion for social impact storytelling. Carlos delivers powerful, cinematic-style videos to draw in an audience by capitalizing on emotional connection and impact. His work has garnered multiple industry awards, an Emmy Nomination, and has been featured on the British Broadcasting Corporation and Upworthy. He also occasionally moonlights as a stand-up comedian, opening once for five-time Emmy award winner and Saturday Night Live alumnus, Dennis Miller. Carlos holds a B.A. in Marketing from The University of Texas at San Antonio and an MBA from the University of the Incarnate Word. Carlos is married to an SAISD Elementary School Principal. They are the proud parents of two boys who attend SAISD schools and a 2 year old daughter Elyse.
Governance and Human Resources
Norton Rose Fulbright
Mario Barrera graduated magna cum laude with his BA from Pan American University and his J.D from The University of Texas School of Law. He is a labor and employment partner at the firm Norton Rose Fulbright. Mario has conducted both employment investigations and training seminars for a variety of clients. Mario is licensed to practice in Texas and before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the Federal Circuit, the U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Districts of Texas and the U.S. Supreme Court. Mario and his wife live in the District.
“Next to good health, there is no better gift a person can receive than an excellent education and as a community, it is our moral and legal right to provide that to every young person. Unfortunately, throughout the years, our core inner city school districts like SAISD have suffered greatly from an exodus of students, families and funding and that is where a foundation like SAISD’s is critical. We are a strong group of community leaders from within and outside the District who share one common goal – to ensure that every one of our students receives the best education possible and we try to accomplish that by raising awareness of the District’s needs and raising funds that are reinvested in the District through a variety of means including innovative teaching grants. That’s why I love our Foundation.”
Port San Antonio
Rick Crider earned his BS in Aviation Management, Minor in Business Administration at University of Central Texas (Now Texas A&M University-Central Texas) and his MA in Public Policy & Management at Ohio State University.
Rick is Executive Vice President, Airport/Railport & Military Relations at Port San Antonio, which resides on 1,900-acres of the former Kelly Air Force Base in southwestern San Antonio, TX. Port San Antonio is a logistics-based industrial platform home to some 80 companies and governmental agencies that employ 13,000 workers, representing more than $5.2 Billion in annual local economic impact. A significant component of the Port San Antonio holdings is the civil facet of Kelly Field, a vibrant industrial aerospace base of aviation giants such as Air Methods, Boeing, Chromalloy, GDC Technics, SAFRAN and StandardAero. Aerospace and aerospace-related firms at Port San Antonio employ approximately 3,000 workers, most of whom specialize in maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), specialized aircraft services, and research and development (R&D) activities.
Prior to joining Port San Antonio, Crider served as Vice President of Airport Development and Management Services at RW Armstrong, establishing and leading the Austin office that served aviation and transportation customers in the southwestern United Sates, the Caribbean and Latin America. He is a commercial pilot, aircraft owner and former flight instructor.
Rick is on the Board of Directors of the American Association of Airport Executives and Immediate Past President of the South Central Chapter. He is an Honorary Commander – Joint Base San Antonio (JBSA) 502nd Operations Support Squadron and Chair of the Industrial Aviation / Military Relations Committee of the AAAE. He is also an Eagle Scout and Past Board member of two different Boy Scouts of America Councils. Rick is married to Joyce Crider and has three adult children.
“Great cities rely on the vibrancy of their core, and it’s education and the support of young people that will keep our City core alive. The SAISD Foundation is introducing innovation and filling gaps that have emerged over time; I’m very proud to be a part of this exciting work.”
Secretary and Communications
Chief Strategy Officer Connie Gonzalez is responsible for establishing strategic direction to further advance Brooks’ growth, expanding on the success of the last 20 years. In addition, she leads business development, government relations, marketing, communications, media and public relations, tenant relations, and special event initiatives. Connie is also the Executive Director of Brooks Gives Back, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that serves as the vehicle by which all members of the Brooks community can invest in nonprofit initiatives impacting people in the neighborhoods surrounding Brooks. To read more, click here.
“Education is our greatest resource and we have a responsibility to ensure that every student receives the best education possible. That’s why I’m honored to be part of the SAISD Foundation in supporting SAISD schools and teachers and providing San Antonio students with learning opportunities that will help shape their future successes.”
Deborah Amini has been a resident of San Antonio since 1962, having graduated from its public school system in 1968. She received her BA in Educational Psychology from The University of Texas in Austin in 1972 and her Masters in Educational Psychology from the same institution in 1976.
She spent three years working at St. Jude’s Childrens Psychiatric Hospital in Austin before going to work for the Edgewood Independent School District as a psychologist at the Jose Cardenas Center for Developmental Disabilities. Subsequently, she was a co-owner of the PlayWorks Toy Stores before beginning a successful career as a commercial broker.
Mrs. Amini has been a board member of Boysville, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of San Antonio and Young Life San Antonio. She and her husband, Rex, were active supporters of and contributors to the Episcopal Church of Rwanda, helping to build schools from 2005-2007. Mrs. Amini served on the board of San Antonio Metropolitan Ministries(SAMM) from 2005-2014 and was Board Chair in 2012-2014. She is currently a regional board member of KIPP Texas Public Schools and Teach for America, where she serves as vice-chair and a member of SAMMINISTRIES Advisory Council.
“The future of our city is in the hands of today’s young students. Providing them the tools and resources they need to be successful is critical. As a product of public education, I know how important strong programs are and am honored to be apart of the SAISD Foundation Board.”
CommonWealth Coffeehouse & Bakery
José Ramon Campos, co-owner CommonWealth Coffee House & Bakery, grew up on the northside of San Antonio where his parents settled after moving here from Mexico City. He attended Southern Methodist University and spent a semester abroad in Nantes, France. An experience that has since shaped his outlook. Graduating with degrees in Economics with Finance Applications and Political Science, he has returned to San Antonio and settled in the Tobin Hill area. The entrepreneur also focuses his time revitalizing homes in the urban core.
“There is nothing greater than education to change one’s lot in life. As our city grows and develops further, SAISD stands to serve as the major driver for developing home-grown talent and a competitive work force from the ground up. As a major urban school district, SAISD plays a significant role in the education and development of our youth. The students of today will become the leaders of tomorrow that help shape our city’s culture, linguistic diversity, and economic competitiveness. I believe a great education can spur significant change economically, but more importantly build self-worth and restore a sense of dignity.”
Richard Carranza currently serves as Chief of Strategy and Global Development at IXL. He is a long-time educator and public education administrator serving most recently as the Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education from 2018 to 2021. He previously served as the superintendent of the Houston Independent and the San Francisco Unified School Districts. Carranza was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona, the son of Mexican day immigrants. His father worked as a sheet metal worker and his mother was a hairdresser. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in secondary education from the University of Arizona and a Master of Education with distinction in educational leadership from Northern Arizona University. He completed doctoral coursework in educational leadership through Northern Arizona University and Nova Southeastern University. He began his career as a high school bilingual social studies and mariachi music teacher, and then as a principal, both in Tucson, Arizona. When on a middle school mariachi trip to San Antonio, he fell in love with the heart and culture of the city. Richard and his wife Raquel have chosen San Antonio as their home.
“Public education is the cornerstone of our democracy. Only through a public school education by loving and caring educators could this son of a journeyman sheetmetal worker and beautician rise to become Chancellor of the largest public school system in the world. That is the transformative power of a quality public school education. That is the power of the SAISD Foundation and why I’m honored to be part of this remarkably talented Board committed to making the American Dream a reality for the children of our beloved San Antonio.”
Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, LLP
Julian Casillas, a San Antonio native, earned his BS in Finance from Trinity University. Continuing his education, Julian earned both a Juris Doctorate and Master’s in Personal Financial Planning from the dual degree program offered by Texas Tech University. He graduated from the School of Law and College of Human Sciences in 2017.
Following his time in Lubbock, Julian was hired as an attorney at Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, LLP, where he represents various taxing entities, including Bexar County, the City of San Antonio and SAISD. Julian is also a member of the San Antonio Young Lawyers Division and the Order of the Alamo.
Julian enjoys golfing and exploring the amazing food scene that San Antonio has to offer.
“At an early age I was taught the value of an education and what it can do for you. I come from a family of educators and I have witnessed firsthand the positive difference a good teacher and principal can make in the life of a child. My education has prepared and placed me in an amazing position to help the children in the San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD) by serving on the Board of Directors of the SAISD Foundation. I understand that although talent may be evenly distributed, that is not always the case with opportunity. I want to do my part to ensure that all children have an equal opportunity to realize their gifts and talents.“
Jacob Cavazos is the Senior Vice President and Community Reinvestment Manager at Broadway Bank. He works with corporate leadership to provide oversight and direction on community needs in San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, and the Hill Country. He manages bank efforts surrounding affordable housing, economic development, education and manages corporate philanthropic giving. Prior to working at Broadway Bank, Jacob was at Frost Bank for 13 years and for 10 of those years he was Vice President and Community Development Officer.
Jacob graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a degree in Business Administration in 2006. He is also a graduate of the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Alexander Briseño Leadership Development Program. Additionally, he currently serves on Broadway Bank’s Donations Committee, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and chairs the Community Reinvestment Act Committee.
Jacob married his wife Megan in 2010. They are proud parents of two children, Tinsley and Liam.
“As the son of career educators, it was instilled in me from an early age that an education can be the key to opening doors and providing opportunities for all students across our community. The SAISD Foundation’s passion for sustainable student success, as well as supporting creative and innovative educational programing plays a key role in the development of our students, support of our teachers, and the strengthening of our city.”
Elaine De Los Santos attended SAISD’s Thomas Jefferson High School where she served as Senior Class President. She received a four-year scholarship to play collegiate volleyball and received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas. After graduating, she returned to San Antonio to begin her insurance career of over 30 years.
In addition to her fulltime job as a Casualty Examiner at USAA, she is a USAA Corporate Responsibility Champion and volunteers with Junior Achievement, Operation Gratitude, Homeless Veterans, and is a member of the United Way of San Antonio & Bexar County’s Women United.
In 2021, Elaine served on the Rey Feo 73 Royal Court where she assisted in raising over $250,000 for college scholarships; many of which were awarded to SAISD students. Over the course of a year as a court member, she visited 83 schools where she encouraged students to stay in school, attend college, and be kind to one another.
Elaine’s passion is serving underserved students in her community. She is currently the Board Vice-President at Healy Murphy Center where students learn in a self-paced classroom environment and parenting students are provided childcare and essential support services to complete their education.
“As a first generation college graduate I understand how valuable an education can help open doors and opportunities. As a proud SAISD alumni, I am excited to give back to the community that gave me so much.”
City of San Antonio
Brian Dillard is currently the Chief Innovation Officer for the City of San Antonio. He began his career in public service in 2018 as the Smart City Administrator for the City of San Antonio. Prior to joining the local government sector, Brian was a Cybersecurity consultant in the private sector following a career as a member of the United States Air Force where he served ten-years Active Duty.
Brian is a third-generation Eastside San Antonio native and an alumnus of Sam Houston High School. Upon returning to San Antonio toward the end of his military career, Brian became a neighborhood advocate and community leader. Brian is the former President of the Dignowity Hill Neighborhood Association and has served as a Board Member for VIA Metropolitan Transit Authority, the Ella Austin Community Center, the San Antonio Centro Partnership, and the Martinez Street Women’s Center. Brian is an alumnus of Leadership San Antonio (LSA43), Leadership SAISD, and the San Antonio New Leaders Council.
Brian holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and currently resides in Dignowity Hill with his dog Pepper.
San Antonio Chamber of Commerce
Katie Ferrier currently serves as VP of Education & Workforce Development at the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce. In this role, Ferrier serves employers, educational institutions, and community-based USA organizations and strives to create a climate of shared ideas, information and relationships to encourage greater collaboration and collective solutions in order to improve the region’s talent pipeline. She is currently building a model to expand work-based learning opportunities for students to stay in the region based on what she learned by establishing a network to shepherd students into policy internships with national nonprofits in Washington, DC. Katie has been named by the US Chamber of Commerce to their Business Leads Fellowship and is regularly invited to speak to national and state audiences on creating stronger connections between classroom and career and building communities to support professional opportunities.
Katie has decades of experience in policy development and implementation and in creating partnerships between the public and private sectors to impact under-resourced communities. Before joining the Chamber, Katie served as a consultant to nonprofit organizations and public officials, delivering a high-level view of their efforts and building connections between projects and other entities, as well as securing supportive resources. Katie has worked as a legislative staffer in both chambers of the US Congress and served as a national representative in the Washington, DC offices of YMCA of the USA and Girl Scouts of the USA. She has also served state and local organizations in Austin, Texas including the Real Estate Council of Austin and the Texas Alliance of Child & Family Services. Katie has a B.A. from the Texas Tech University and an M.A. in Policy Studies from Johns Hopkins University.
Communities in Schools
Tiffany is a native San Antonian, a proud SAISD Alumn and Texas Aggie and a diehard Spurs fan. She believes in the profound power of people in partnership. Tiffany holds a master’s in business administration and a bachelor’s in communications. She currently serves as the Deputy Chief of Staff for the Communities in Schools (CIS) national office based in DC. Prior to joining CIS, Tiffany served as SAISD’s first Chief of Staff and its first Diversity Officer. She is currently completing her doctorate in education administration with a dissertation focused on the longstanding issue of disproportionate discipline of girls of color.
“As a student, I was blessed to have SAISD teachers and staff who saw my potential and prepared me for my future. As an employee, I was fortunate to work in SAISD and witness firsthand the passion of our staff members and trustees who are dedicated to ensuring quality educational experiences and endless opportunities for our District’s children. As an SAISD Foundation Board member, I am now honored and proud to serve SAISD alongside committed community members who are creating innovative ways to support our students and teachers. SAISD is well on its way to becoming a national model urban district. The Foundation has been a powerful partner in this mission. I am extremely excited to join this effort and to do my part. GO SAISD!”
Empowering people to realize their dreams, Debra Guerrero serves as a valued professional, a respected civic leader, an empowering mentor and a champion for quality affordable housing. Ms. Guerrero is the Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Government Affairs for the NRP Group, the 2nd largest affordable multifamily developer in the country. She is credited with opening NRP’s Texas Office in 2004 which has been responsible for the development of over 21,000 multifamily units throughout Texas. Ms. Guerrero has expertise in the organizational and financing structures involved in all aspects of public/private partnerships, as well as the intricacies, rules and regulations involved in working with local, state and federal legislative and executive agencies.
Ms. Guerrero is an accomplished leader in the affordable housing industry. She serves as the Chair of the Multifamily Council of the Texas Association of Builders (TAB) and is an immediate Past President of the Texas Association of Affordable Housing Providers (TAAHP). At the federal level she is a Vice Chair of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Affordable Housing Group, as well as a Trustee of BUILD-PAC. She is often asked to assist and provide her expertise in developing strategic initiatives focused on meeting the demand of quality affordable housing in large urban areas.
As a civic leader, Ms. Guerrero previously served in elected office as a Board Trustee of the San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD) from 2012 – 2021 and served as a San Antonio City Councilwoman from 1997-2001. Other community board leadership roles and participation include Texas Public Radio; SA Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Leadership SA; and Texas Lyceum.
Ms. Guerrero received her Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Mary’s University and a Joint Degree Doctor of Jurisprudence and Masters of Public Affairs from the University of Texas at Austin Law School and Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Public Affairs.
“As a lifelong SAISD resident, I have seen the power of an excellent public education. The foundation is an opportunity to complement the District in its mission to transform SAISD into a national model urban school district where every child graduates and is educated so that he or she is prepared to be a contributing member of the community.”
Tyler Jones is Vice President of Corporate Banking at Frost Bank. He graduated Baylor University with a B.A. in Finance and Entrepreneurship in 2012. After graduating, Tyler started his professional career at Frost Bank in Austin, TX. He and his wife Yasmin (native San Antonian) relocated to San Antonio in 2022 to be closer to family.
Tyler uses his knowledge and experience as a trusted advisor to help develop and foster relationships in his community. Over the years, he has spent time volunteering with United Way of Williamson County (Resource Development Committee), Junior Achievement, and Salvation Army.
Outside of the office, Tyler enjoys golfing and exploring San Antonio with his wife and two dogs.
“I joined the SAISD Foundation Board to support our students and teachers, as I strongly believe that education is the backbone to the future success and growth of San Antonio. I’m very excited for the opportunity to carry out the mission and vision of the Foundation and be involved in the community.”
Benjamin Jordan was born and raised in San Antonio, TX and he is a graduate of Highlands High School in SAISD. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering at Texas A&M Kingsville. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in Texas with over 20 years of experience in the energy industry and has 18 years of service with CPS Energy. His career has spanned from being a Standards and Specifications engineer to Executive Account Management and is now leading the Military Operations team for CPS Energy, providing support to Joint Base San Antonio and its missions. His commitment to serving the San Antonio community was highlighted in 2014 when he was selected to represent CPS Energy as the Loaned Executive for the United Way “Make a Difference” Campaign which supported multiple non-profit agencies serving our local community. Ben continues to call San Antonio home living within the district with his wife and two sons.
“I understand the importance of supporting students in their educational journey and I look forward to giving back to the community I grew up in. As an Alumni I am honored to be part of the SAISD Foundation Board.”
Amanda Keammerer, is the Chief Executive Officer of Javilud LLC, transforming innovation at the intersection of technology, people, politics, and art through creative collaborations, signature events, and consulting services.
Previously, Amanda was the vice president of cybersecurity and director of CyberSecurity San Antonio at the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce. Before returning to Texas, Amanda worked for the Federal Chief Information Officer at the White House, led digital marketing projects at the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, and managed community relations at the LULAC National Office.
Amanda earned her MA in Global Communication with a double concentration in national security policy and information technology policy from The George Washington University. Amanda earned her BA in Russian from Smith College. A proud San Antonio ISD graduate, Amanda serves on the Board of Directors for Family Service, the SAISD Foundation, and the Women in Cybersecurity (WiCys) San Antonio affiliate. Amanda is an Honorary Commander with the 502d Air Base Wing, and a Security Fellow with the Truman National Security Project. Amanda was nationally recognized as a Latina Next Generation Leader in National Security & Foreign Policy.
“As an SAISD alum, it is an honor to serve on this board, and give back to my community. From the digital divide to social determinants of health, so many factors impact a student’s life that are out of their control. Through the Foundation, we have the power to transform a student’s classroom experience, and provide access to opportunities that our students need to succeed in this increasingly interconnected world.”
Anthony Magaro, CCP, SPHR, CBP, GRP, SHRM-SCP is the Executive Director of Human Resources at Southwest Research Institute. He has served as a college adjunct faculty member teaching courses in Human Resources, Compensation, Organization Design and HR Law. He is a faculty member of the World at Work (American Compensation Association) faculty training HR professionals in base pay management, the regulatory environment of compensation, use of compensation market data, FLSA and international management of human resources. Mr. Magaro is a past coordinator of the San Antonio Compensation Association and member of the Resource Center for the San Antonio Human Resource Management Association. He is a Past President of the Southwest Association of Colleges and Employers and served on the Board of Directors and strategic committees of the National Association of Colleges and Employers.
After moving from Arizona to open and lead the first BASIS charter school in Texas, Tiffany O’Neill fell swiftly in love with the Lone Star State. Since then, Tiffany has consulted with other charter networks on school start up and turnaround and worked with Teach For America- San Antonio to manage internal operations and lead strategic external relationships including those with school districts, community partners, local officials and the media.
Tiffany currently works for the Holdsworth Center where she works directly with superintendents and their leadership teams to develop robust internal leadership pipelines- with a focus on the role of principal.
Tiffany has taught students in every K-12 grade level and has also worked as faculty to undergraduate and graduate students at the university level. She earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and holds a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction. Tiffany is the proud, tired mother of a teenage spitfire, Alina, and is grateful to live in the SAISD community.
“A key tenet of the American ideal is that through education and hard work, anyone can rise from their conditions of birth and make a successful life for themselves. We know that historically, San Antonio has not kept that promise to its children. When your lifespan can be dictated by the zip code you live in, the deck is stacked against you. Despite all this, like roses growing from the concrete, innovations are sprouting across SAISD that offer hope and proof that transformation for our city is possible.
As a long- time educator, a resident of the district, and a proud parent of an SAISD student, I serve because I believe San Antonio’s children are brilliant. They deserve the type of education that prepares them for a life of agency and opportunity in adulthood. SAISD can set the pace for the city and the nation to break the cycles of economic stagnation and inequity that have long thwarted America’s promise.”
Spurs Sports & Entertainment
Veronica Oviedo is proud alumna of Highlands High School in SAISD. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with concentrations in Marketing and Finance and a minor in Sport Management from Trinity University. She is currently the Spurs Marketing Manager at Spurs Sports & Entertainment (SS&E) where she oversees a team focused on developing, executing, and optimizing the marketing strategy for the Spurs franchise along with Spurs Give – the nonprofit partner of SS&E, and Spurs Sports Academy – the youth sports and tournament arm of SS&E.
Veronica has a passion for serving her community. She has continued her volunteer work through Spurs Give and has recently served as a mentor for Big Brothers, Big Sisters the last two years. Through SS&E, she has also had the opportunity to serve on a global level via the Global Sports Mentoring Program (GSMP), an initiative of the U.S. Department of State.
She looks forward to working with the Foundation as an advocate and resource for students from her school district.
“As a product of SAISD and the Southeast side of town, that’s ultimately where my passion lies – serving youth and serving communities of low socioeconomic status. I was a first generation college student and I’m grateful for the teachers, advisors and support system I had growing up, as well as the resources SAISD provided to help me apply and be able to attend a university. I think it’s important to give back to my community and students of the same background, serving as an advocate and resource where possible, so they are enabled and empowered to reach their full potential.”
Erika D. Robinson serves as the General Counsel of Trinity University, a nationally recognized liberal arts institution in San Antonio. Robinson also serves as an adjunct faculty member at the Tulane School of Law in New Orleans in the University’s Title IX Certificate and Specialization Program.
She received her B.A. in Political Science from Agnes Scott College. She obtained an M.Ed. in College Student Personnel and her J.D. from the University of South Carolina School of Law. She has provided strategic advice and counsel to K-12 school districts, higher educational institutions, and school leaders. In addition to her legal experience, Ms. Robinson has multifaceted competencies as a diversity and inclusion practitioner.
Before joining Trinity, Robinson served as the general counsel and Title IX coordinator for the Jackson Public School District in Jackson, Mississippi. Additionally, Robinson has served as an associate general counsel of the largest school district in the state of Tennessee, special assistant to the President of Georgia Gwinnett College, and an associate attorney with the law firm of Gregory, Doyle Calhoun & Rogers in Marietta, GA.
Robinson has a deep commitment to identifying and eliminating systemic barriers to access to educational opportunities. She has demonstrated this commitment through her work with the American Bar Association’s Task Force on the Financing of Legal Education and its Diversity 360 Commission.
“As one of three children in a single-parent household, my mother constantly told me that education was important because people couldn’t go inside of my head and take away my knowledge. Seeing my mother struggle to raise three children, using government assistance programs like Section 8 and Food Stamps compelled me, and my siblings, to take advantage of all of the educational opportunities available to us. I am excited to serve as a member of the Board for the SAISD Foundation because I truly believe that education is an equalizer and that when students, their families, and educators have the resources to meet the comprehensive needs of children, the greater community is all the better for it.”
Ron Thomas received a B.A. and an M.Ed. from Trinity University and has been involved in education for over 45 years. While working in SAISD, Ron served as a teacher, counselor, and principal at both the elementary and secondary levels. He also worked as an administrator in the Office of Teacher Education Services in the College of Education & Human Development at The University of Texas at San Antonio. He has extensive experience organizing and implementing preservice teacher field experience programs, mentoring/tutoring programs in inner-city school districts, and school/university partnerships.
“After 45 years of working as a school administrator in the inner-city schools of SAISD and other Bexar County districts, I firmly believe all children can reach high levels of achievement when given access to both high quality teaching and challenging educational programs. I know the important role strong community support plays in achieving excellence in our public schools. I am honored to have the opportunity to serve on the SAISD Foundation Board, and am committed to supporting the district’s work of providing a high-quality education for all students in inner-city San Antonio.”
St. Mary’s University
Stephanie G. Ward, Ph.D., is the Vice Provost for Vocation & Career, leading the Career & Professional Development Center at St. Mary’s University. She joined St. Mary’s University in 2004 after completing her Ph.D. at the University of Houston and she has never looked back. Being a Rattler is in her blood and she believes it is a privilege to be here. During her time at St. Mary’s, Stephanie has served as interim Dean of the Greehey School of Business, the founder and director of the Greehey Scholars Program and the Chair of the Management and Marketing Department. Her love is being in the classroom with students engaging in thoughtful exploration of what it means to pursue a meaningful business career while challenging students to learn more than they thought they could. Being able to help a student exceed his/her potential is what drives her.
Before coming to St. Mary’s, Stephanie worked in the banking and insurance industries in the accounting and auditing fields before realizing her passion was education. She has also taught at the University of Houston, Texas Women’s University – Houston Campus, and Alvin Community College Prison Program.
When she isn’t at St. Mary’s, Stephanie can be found out and about on her bicycle, working with her San Antonio non-profit chapter of Ride for Reading, hanging at her husband’s brewery, or in Minneapolis listening to their son, Zach, play his guitar.
“I am proud to serve on the SAISD Foundation Board that empowers our teachers and students, because I believe every child deserves a meaningful and quality education that contributes to career and college readiness.”
Kristopher Wickerham has been a proud H-E-B Partner since 2010. He is currently the Talent Development Career Programs Leader, where he and his team design and deploy enterprise-wide development pathways for Partners. Prior to his time in human resources, Kris was an H-E-B Store Leader.
Retail leadership and talent development, however, are his second educational career. Before joining H-E-B, Kris was a Texas public educator for 17 years, serving communities in the classroom, central office, and as a campus principal.
Kris holds a Bachelor’s degree in History and Political Science from Eastern New Mexico University and a Master’s degree in Education Leadership from Trinity University. He continues to be actively involved in a variety of organizations and efforts to support public education.
His wife, Kathy, is an SAISD campus principal and they are proud, longtime SAISD residents.
“As someone with deep ties to both the education and business communities in San Antonio, I am committed to fostering opportunities for equitable learning experiences for all students, in and out of the classroom.”
Texas A&M University – San Antonio
Christine Wong is an Assistant Professor of Counseling at Texas A&M University-San Antonio. She received her B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies, M.A. in Community Counseling, and Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Christine enjoys teaching counseling techniques and internship courses. Her research interests include first generation college students and their success. Christine also provides substance use counseling services for individuals referred from Bexar County specialty drug courts. She resides in the SAISD district with her husband and daughter.
“It is an honor to serve on the SAISD Foundation Board. Being a first-generation college student, I understand the difficulties students overcome to achieve their goals. I have the privilege to educate and mentor St. Mary’s students as they pursue their dreams and I am looking forward to contributing in meaningful ways to help all SAISD students fulfill their dreams. My husband and I both work and live in SAISD. Serving on this board provides a direct connection to further the educational opportunities for my neighbors and the families of this community.”
Charles T. Barrett | Joe Bernal* | Trish DeBerry* | Maria Ferrier | Pat Frost* | Leo Gomez*
Charles Gonzalez | Sarah Harte* | Derrick Howard* | Ed Kelley | Rosemary Kowalski
Brandon Logan* | John T. Montford* | Sonia M. Rodriguez* | Kate Rogers
Ricardo Romo | Manny Ruiz* | Julian Treviño
* Past Board of Directors
John Montford and Manny Ruiz also served as Past Board Chairman
Charles Barrett, Joe Bernal, Maria Ferrier, Charles Gonzalez, Sonia Rodriguez and Ricardo Romo are SAISD Alumni and past Inspire Awards Honorees.