Meet the West Dallas STEM School Development Team

Principal Investigator: Dean Stephanie Knight, SMU Simmons School
Interim Project Manager: Karen Pierce, SMU Simmons School

The Executive Team consists of leadership from each partnering institution. This team receives updates from project leads about design team work, strategic decisions and other contextual information, then holds strategic discussions about how the partnering institutions can support the emerging work and proactively troubleshoot.

Stephanie Knight

Dean, Simmons School  of Education & Human Development


Mike Goss

President, Toytoa USA Foundation


Brian Lusk Chief of Strategic Initatives Dallas ISD


The Steering Committee actively provides strategic direction in support of the project’s success.

Co-Lead Marion Jackson WDSS Master Principal Dallas ISD

Tony Petrosino

Associate Dean for Research and Outreach 


Angie Gaylord

Deputy Chief Officer of Transformation & Innovation Dallas ISD             

Nicole Bixby

Director, Operations & Choice School Planning Dallas ISD             

Colleen Casey

Senior Manager, Social Innovation


Michele Broughton Executive Director Dallas ISD
Shakeatha Butler Director, Programming & Choice School Implementation Dallas ISD
Belva Bell Diversity + Inclusion Project Analyst TMNA
Karen Pierce WDSS Project Manager SMU
Salem Hussain Executive Director Dallas ISD
Lorena Hernandez Garay Executive Director Dallas ISD


SMU Design Team Leads

Team Lead
Professional Learning and Continuous Improvement
Karla del Rosal
Clinical Assistant Professor, Teaching and Learning
Jeanna Wieselmann
Assistant Professor, Teaching and Learning
Bridge, College, and Career Readiness
Kristi Flanders
WDSS Site Coordinator
Community Development Design Team
Toni Harrison-Kelly Executive Director The Budd Center
Beth Adams
STEM Evaluation Researcher
Annie Wright
CORE Director of Evaluation
Karen Pierce
WDSS Interim Project Manager


The Sustainability and Finance team is focused on developing a sustainability plan inclusive of fundraising efforts through a multi-partner funding stream to meet foundational needs of the WDSS.

Rob Strauss

Director of Corporate & Foundation Relations


Co-Lead Karen Pierce

WDSS Interim Project Manager SMU             
Michael Medalla Manager, Toyota USA Foundation TMNA
Paige Doyle Grant Writer SMU
Laura Madden Director of Development, Simmons SMU


The Building Design Team has been primarily led by Dallas ISD staff, they are charged with leading a comprehensive process of soliciting partner, community, parent, and student input into the eventual school building and with all logistics related to use of bond money and construction.

David Downing

Director of Planning & Design

Dallas ISD

Corey Clark

Senior Manager, Social Innovation


David Bates Executive Director Dallas ISD


Communications Support Team

Yolette García

Assistant Dean for External Affairs & Outreach SMU             

Robyn Harris

Director, News and Information Dallas ISD

Matthew Sheldon

Social Innovation Communications Lead TMNA


Legal Support Team

Jesse Adkins Office of Legal Affairs, Associate University Counsel SMU
Leticia McGowan Assistant General Counsel Dallas ISD
Leslie Lurie Managing Counsel - Advertising/Transactions TMNA