Jamie Lakey, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Class of 2022

Gulzar Babool

Co-Director, Shelton Montessori Training, June Shelton School & Evaluation Center 
M.A. Teaching, Montessori Education, Dallas Baptist University 
B.B.A. Information Systems, University of North Texas

"Through this program, I plan to conduct research in the realm of multi-sensory learning and examine its impact on neurodiverse learners from varied sociology-economic environments. This opportunity to research in a guided environment coupled with engaging in discourse with my peers and faculty is what I aspire to take away from this program."

Danielle Riddick, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Class of 2022

Mark Basham

Principal, Independence Elementary, Keller ISD
M.Ed. Education Administration, University of North Texas
B.A. Interdisciplinary Studies, University of North Texas

"I believe in our responsibility as school leaders to create schools where all students can flourish and positively impact our communities. A degree in educational leadership at SMU will help me create, influence and lead innovative and lasting solutions to systemic challenges that will make these beliefs a reality for our students and communities."

Tiffany Gilmore, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Class of 2022

Shakeatha Butler

Executive Director, Instructional Redesign and New School Launch, Office of Transformation and Innovation, Dallas Independent School District
M.S. Educational Leadership, Nova Southeastern University
B.S. Healthcare Administration, University of North Florida

"I believe that all students deserve a high quality education and high quality educational experiences regardless of zip code, race, ethnicity or socioeconomic status. In the words of Kofi Annan, “Education is the great equalizer of our time. It gives hope to the hopeless and creates chances for those without..." 

Cloris Rangel, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Class of 2022

Cassandra Chapa

Chief of Innovation, Tyler ISD
M.Ed. Educational Leadership, Southern Methodist University
B.A. Fine Arts, St. Edwards University

"I am motivated to improve the quality of education by supporting the design of engaging classrooms and building leadership capacity of educators and students for the future."

Emmanuel Trevino, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Class of 2022

Claudia Herrera

Executive Director of Elementary Schools in Arlington ISD
Master's, Texas Woman's University
Bachelor's, University of North Texas

"My why for pursuing a degree in educational leadership is to create more equitable and inclusive educational experiences for marginalized student groups and increase their access to opportunities that will break cycles of poverty and that will empower them to positively impact change in a multicultural society."

Erin Crosby, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Class of 2022

Benjamin Higgins

Dean, Uplift Luna Preparatory High School, Deep Ellum
M.S. Education, Johns Hopkins University
B.S. Physics, New York University Abu Dhabi

"My parents immigrated to the United States to continue their studies in physics, and education has been a central part of my family's idea of the American Dream. I hope to ensure others have the opportunity to benefit from a high-quality education just like I have."

Ellen Alexandrakis, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Class of 2022

Marion Jackson

Master Principal, West Dallas STEM School, Dallas ISD
M.Ed., Concordia Texas at Austin
B.A. Broadcast Communication, University of Louisiana Monroe 

"To pursue my doctorate in Educational Leadership is a dream come true. The opportunity to impact Education Policy in an effort to consistently improve educational practices is at the heart of my decision. If education is truly the great equalizer, we need to create systems that would not only support achieving economic and social mobility but do so equitably and courageously."

Tomika Johnson, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Class of 2022

Amber Lasseigne

Executive Director of Finance - Allen ISD 
M.S.W., Ohio State University
B.S.S.W., Ohio State University

"Educational attainment is the path that enables all individuals to succeed, and our role as education leaders is to provide a roadmap for all students. By obtaining an Ed.D I am seeking to become the best leader possible for my district."

Derek Little, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Class of 2022

Tim Linley

Executive Director of Academic Enrichment, Dallas ISD
M.Ed. Educational Leadership, University of North Texas
B.S. Music Education, Baylor University

"Every student is entitled to a transformational learning experience that ignites passions, broadens horizons, and reshapes trajectories.  As educational leaders, we are in the business of crafting limitless tomorrows for our students. I can think of no higher calling."

Jameile Choice, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Class of 2022

Cynthia Marlow Gould

Speech Pathologist, Highland Park ISD 
M.S. Communication Sciences and Disorders, Southwest Texas State University
B.S. Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Texas at Austin

"The education of children is my passion. Every child deserves the ability to learn and grow in a safe environment, to explore academic and non-academic learning through passion, determination, and curiosity, and to provide students, through strong relationships, with lifelong tools to take risks to achieve their wants and dreams so that they can become flourishing and productive members of society."


Lisa Lovato, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Class of 2022

Tomeka Middleton-Williams

Principal, Eduardo Mata Montessori School, Dallas ISD
M.Ed. Leadership and Policy Studies, University of Texas at Arlington 
B.S., University of Texas at Arlington

"I truly believe that education does not prepare one for school, but for life.  As an educational leader, I believe it is our duty to prepare children for the world in which they live.  We must provide all children the opportunity to learn and achieve.  I look forward to learning how to create, follow, and implement policy to make a positive difference in the educational lives of children."

Emmanuel Trevino, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Class of 2022

Marquetta Masters

Principal, Dallas Independent School District
M.Ed., Texas Woman's University
B.A. English Education, Langston University

A Lifelong learner with a commitment to transformational leadership, innovation, and service. "Be the change you wish to see in the world" - Gandhi

Justin James, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Class of 2022

Lorena Tule-Romain

Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer, ImmSchools 
M. Ed. Higher Education, Southern Methodist University
B.A. Government and Spanish Literature, The University of Texas at Austin

"I'm pursuing a doctorate in education leadership because I seek create a safe and welcoming learning environment for all our children in K-12 schools, especially those that are undocumented."

Erin Crosby, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Class of 2022

Keisha Crowder Davis

Executive Director - Centralized Enrollment and Magnet Programs, Dallas ISD

M.Ed., Texas A&M University
B.S., Paul Quinn College

"My purpose as an educational leader is to advocate for and empower students to pursue opportunities to change their lives' trajectory. I strive to eliminate the opportunity gap amongst all student groups by ensuring that students are knowledgeable, dedicated, committed, and resilient. I am an advocate for access, equity, and opportunity for all."


Janine Fields, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Class of 2022

Maggie De La Rosa

Chief of School Leadership, Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD
M.Ed., University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Brownsville 
B.A., University of Texas Rio Grande Valley,  Minor in Bilingual Education

"A great leader will develop and influence adults and students to create meaningful change. As a leader, it is our responsibility to create the conditions for every individual to succeed and empower them to gain the ability to pursue their aspirations and their goals."
 
Tiffany Gilmore, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Class of 2022

Tiffany Gilmore

Director of Guidance and Counseling, Garland ISD
M.Ed., Texas A&M University- Commerce
M.S., Texas Woman's University
B.A., University of North Texas

"As educators, we are responsible for helping students cultivate the life of their dreams. My mission is to facilitate learning opportunities that challenge student thinking, leverage resources to ignite student interest, create partnerships and programming to support the needs of families, and engage students in activities that foster creativity.”

Justin James, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Class of 2022

Corinne French

President, Valley View ISD Board of Trustees
Vice-President, North Texas Association of School Boards
TASB Director, Region 11

Coordinator of Senior Year Experience and Eagle Advantage, University of North Texas

 
M.Ed. Higher Education, University of North Texas
B.S Family Studies, Texas Woman’s University

 

“The executive style Ed.D. program allows me to grow as a practitioner and scholar while working full-time at the university.  I am committed to advocating for public education in every way and look forward to helping all educational leaders find their voice to support the 5.4 million scholars that we represent.”
 
Tomika Johnson, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Class of 2022

Laura Garza

World Director, One World Network of Schools
M.Ed. Educational Leadership, Texas A&M Commerce
B.A., University of Texas at Austin

"I am pursuing a doctorate in Educational Leadership to further my ability to lead and coach others to close gaps for students. My passion is to continue to strive for excellence and lead for equity."

Jameile Choice, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Class of 2022

Anne Marie Light

Math Department Head and Algebra 1 Teacher, Woodrow Wilson High School, Dallas ISD
M.Ed. Specialization in Mathematics, Southern Methodist University
B.S. Mathematics, Southern Methodist University

"Teaching has shown me the power an education has by giving students confidence and purpose. As a learner myself, I have experienced how education has the ability to drive curiosity and connections. My passion resides in creating spaces for students, teachers and learners to grow and develop their futures through education."

Lisa Lovato, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Class of 2022

Kesha Moore

Teacher Development Specialist, Houston ISD
M.Ed. Curriculum and Instruction, Prairie View A&M
B.S. Biology, Prairie View A&M

"Great leaders create great schools, and I want to create a great school. After spending a great deal of time evaluating my leadership style and strengths, I became acutely aware that I still have much to learn about being a great school leader, which is why I am here. I know that I will leave SMU fully equipped with the knowledge, tools, and practical skills to successfully lead a school, urban, or otherwise, because I am learning from and learning with the best." 

Sarah Petelik, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Class of 2022

Shana Moore

Assistant Principal, Workman Junior High School, Arlington ISD 
M.A. Education, Union University 
B.A. Music, University of Memphis 

"I am pursuing a degree in educational leadership because my desire to learn, grow, and be an educational leader of transformation is unwavering. I want to be the best leader I can be for every scholar that I have the privilege to serve and I believe that my degree will strengthen my skills as a leader of change and equip me to implement systems that will unlock doors for our students, parents, faculty/staff, community."

 
Cloris Rangel, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Class of 2022

Hiba Rahim

Director of Impact & Evaluation at Learning Equality
Ed.M. International Education Policy, Harvard University
B.Sc.Ed. Social Policy & Education and Asian & Middle Eastern Studies, Northwestern University

"It is our duty to provide a high quality education that attends to the needs of the whole child, and every child. It is particularly important to serve the most vulnerable people through responsive education that can empower them and fulfill  the dreams of future generations to come."

Danielle Riddick, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Class of 2022

Josue Romero

Principal, McLaughlin Strickland Elementary, Carrollton Farmers Branch ISD
M.Ed. Educational Policy and Leadership, University of Texas Arlington
B.A. Psychology, University of North Texas

"My success has been rooted in those that never gave up on me. Every student then deserves a village that will cultivate not just subject matter but will instill greatness in them so that they may conquer their own Everest."

Alexandra Sabater, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Class of 2022

Anabel Ruiz

Principal, Carolyn G. Bukhair Elementary, Richardson ISD
M.Ed., The University of Texas at Arlington
B.B.A., The University of Texas at Arlington

"The purpose of education is to develop individuals with the character traits, skills, and knowledge needed to embrace and overcome challenges that lead to a fulfilling life; emotionally, mentally, and physically. I believe that education empowers others to transform their lives and reach their highest potential.  My goal as a leader is to equip myself with the necessary tools needed to eliminate barriers that stand in the way of students receiving a high-quality education." 

Emmanuel Trevino, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Class of 2022

Heather Schmitt

Assistant Principal, Weatherford Elementary, Plano ISD
M.Ed. Educational Leadership, Arizona State University
B.A. English, College of the Holy Cross

"Fight for the things you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” - Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Emmanuel Trevino, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Class of 2022

Yoshi Totsuka

Principal, John Quincy Adams Elementary, Dallas ISD
M.B.E., Southern Methodist University

M.Ed. in Educational Leadership with Urban School Specialization, Southern Methodist University

B.A., Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, León, Gto. Mexico

"I believe that education is every child’s inalienable right. As educational leaders, we have the responsibility to provide them with equitable access to higher education and the resources it takes to reach their fullest potential as scholars and global citizens, regardless of their zip code."

 

Emmanuel Trevino, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Class of 2022

Chiniqua Varner-Busby

Principal, William Brown Miller Elementary School-Dallas ISD

M.Ed. Education
B.A. Journalism

“With an education, you have everything you need to rise above all the noise and fulfill every last one of your dreams.” -Mrs. Michelle Obama

 

As a leader, I aspire to be a change agent that advocates for equitable opportunities for all students.  I want to ensure that students that are underserved are engaged, enlightened and encouraged to take part in the endless opportunities around them.

Ellen Alexandrakis, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Class of 2022

Ellen Alexandrakis

English Teacher, Dallas International School
M.A., Columbia University
B.A., Southwestern University

"Let us think of education as the means of developing our greatest abilities, because in each of us there is a private hope and dream which, fulfilled, can be translated into benefit for everyone and greater strength for our nation."

Jameile Choice, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Class of 2022

Jameile Choice

Principal, New Technology High School- Dallas ISD
M.Ed., University of North Texas
B.A., Letourneau University

"Education is the most powerful weapon used to change the world.” Nelson Mandela. As a leader, it is my charge to promote equity amongst all learners and advocate for undeserved populations so that they develop the passion and courage to become innovators and change makers. I believe that the goal of education is to empower generations exponentially to utilize their gifts and acquire the skills necessary to live out their dreams and make remarkable contributions to the world around them."

Erin Crosby, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Class of 2022

Erin O. Crosby

Director of Women's Empowerment and Racial Justice, YWCA Greenwich
M.S., Boston University
B.A., Southern Methodist University

Co-Presenter: Partnering to Support Learning. American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE). Atlanta. February 29, 2020.

Publication: Implementing Professional Learning Communities in the Social Sector to Improve Students’ Educational Outcomes. American Educational Research Association (AERA). July 2020.

Recipient: Faculty-Staff Volunteer of the Year Award, Hilltop Excellence Awards. SMU. May 2020.

"As a community development practitioner within PK-12 education, my mission is to equip cross-sector partners to collaboratively “reimagine, reform, resist and recreate” systems that have produced poverty, achievement gaps and disempowerment. By creating an equitable education system, we fulfill a promise to our children and we offer society hope for liberation."

Janine Fields, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Class of 2022

Janine Fields

Chief of Staff, Cedar Hill ISD
M.A., City University
B.A., Western Washington University

"A high-quality education for all is essential for individual development, equity of opportunity, and the advancement of a global society that supports democratic principles. It is our moral imperative to question education’s status quo, strive for continuous improvement, and seek effective solutions on behalf of students, ultimately improving the future for all.”

Tiffany Gilmore, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Class of 2022

Tiffany Gilmore

Director of Guidance and Counseling, Garland ISD
M.Ed., Texas A&M University- Commerce
M.S., Texas Woman's University
B.A., University of North Texas

"As educators, we are responsible for helping students cultivate the life of their dreams. My mission is to facilitate learning opportunities that challenge student thinking, leverage resources to ignite student interest, create partnerships and programming to support the needs of families, and engage students in activities that foster creativity.”

Justin James, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Class of 2022

Justin James

House Principal, McKinney High School - McKinney ISD
M.Ed., University of North Texas
B.A., Southwestern Assemblies of God University

"The investments leaders make in education today will create great rewards in the lives of the next generation. That is why it is my mission to foster opportunities that create leaders, learners, and lovers of life to ensure empowerment and hope for all through their educational experience.”

Tomika Johnson, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Class of 2022

Tomika Johnson

Principal, Walter Wilkinson Middle School - Mesquite ISD
M.Ed., Prairie View A&M University
B.S., Jarvis Christian College

"Intelligence plus character, that is the goal of true education." -Martin Luther King Jr.....It is my mission to foster a never ending LOVE for learning in students and teachers that empowers them to continuously strive for excellence in everything they do. Being a servant leader allows me the opportunity to grow students and teachers, as well as, model for them the character traits that will allow them to impact themselves and others.”

Jamie Lakey, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Class of 2022

Jamie Lakey

Principal, Cobb Middle School- Frisco ISD
M.Ed., Middle Tennessee University
B.B.A., Middle Tennessee University

"My passion is improving the practice of teaching through systematic and strategic professional learning practices. I believe that the educator is not only our greatest resource in the classroom, but also our greatest resource for system-wide improvement.”

Derek Little, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Class of 2022

Derek Little

Deputy Chief Academic Officer for Programs - Dallas ISD
M.Ed., The Broad Center
Ed.S., Northwestern State University
B.S., Tulane University

"Working in education connects deeply to my personal desire to help others transform their lives. That transformation can lead to greater opportunity and equity for all. In the end, my hope is the students I served have not only transformed their life and elevated their potential, but also deepened their desire to serve others in the process."

Lisa Lovato, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Class of 2022

Lisa Lovato

Personalized Learning & Innovation Specialist - Mesquite ISD
M.Ed., University of Texas at Arlington
B.A., University of North Texas

"The purpose of education is to remove barriers in order to create a true opportunity for our youth to realize how their passions and aptitudes impact their ability to contribute to a global society.  By investing in individualized, academic and non-academic student plans and developing leadership attributes along with a growth mindset, districts have the opportunity to help each and every student identify their pathway of learning. When we empower our learners to work in a space that is meaningful and maximizes their authentic potential, opportunities are endless."

Sarah Petelik, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Class of 2022

Sarah Petelik

Assistant Principal, Furlough Middle School - Terrell ISD
M.Ed., Southern Methodist University
B.A., Elon University

"The purpose of education is to enable youth to be college ready, career ready, or future ready through rigorous academics, character development, and social/emotional flourishing. It is important to empower and build the capacity of educators in order for them to make the greatest impact on our youth.”

Cloris Rangel, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Class of 2022

Cloris Rangel

Executive Director of Bilingual ESL Department - Fort Worth ISD
M.B.E., Southern Methodist University
B.S., Texas Woman's University

"The purpose of education is to provide equitable access and opportunities for all children to become empowered and productive citizens. As educators and leaders, it is our duty to advocate, educate, and collaborate for all of our students to have the best education possible every single day. It is the responsibility of our school system to include high  standards in academics, human flourishing, and character development. It takes hope, love, and ganas to stay true to the purpose and goals of education for all students.”

Danielle Riddick, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Class of 2022

Danielle Riddick

Principal, Lister Elementary- Garland ISD
M.Ed.,University of North Texas
B.S., University of Texas at El Paso

"As leaders in education, we must pave the way in ensuring that we have the right people at all levels of the education system strategically advocating, creating access, making accommodations, and implementing the means necessary so that all children can learn, grow, and blossom into the best version of themselves.”

Alexandra Sabater, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Class of 2022

Alexandra Sabater

Elementary Director, Spanish World School 
M.B.E., Southern Methodist University
B.A., Tulane University

Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other." John F. Kennedy. With historic roots in our own community, this quote captures the immense responsibilities and profound joys of leading schools for learning, for we too arrive on campus ready to grow through authentic, critical challenges and intentional, principled reflection every day. School leaders create cultures of meaningful learning by modeling the values we seek to grow in our students and our teachers: curiosity, creativity, and humility.”

Emmanuel Trevino, Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Class of 2022

Emmanuel Trevino

Assistant Principal, R. E. Good Elementary - Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD
M.B.E., Southern Methodist University
B.S., University of North Texas

"Every moment as an educator is an opportunity to teach and cultivate respectful, mindful, and groundbreaking global citizens; those who question, challenge, and advocate for our world. With that comes great responsibility to provide an equitable education through research-based instructional practices, continuously grow our cultural competence, and also teach emotional intelligence. Each child deserves our very best and it is our duty to ensure we support them all to their highest excellence possible.”