Good Reason Houston announces planned CEO transition, new leader named

Feb 7, 2023

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Feb. 7 – After leading the launch and subsequent management of Good Reason Houston for the last five and a half years, Alexandra Elizondo has announced her departure as CEO of the education nonprofit Good Reason Houston, which exists to champion a vision for citywide education progress and grow the demand for and supply of great public schools throughout Houston. 

“I made the bittersweet decision to transition out of the Good Reason Houston CEO role this year,” Alex Elizondo said. “Working alongside district, school, community, and philanthropic leaders to chart a better future for Houston children is a true privilege and choosing to step down from this role is not one I made lightly. This choice is for completely personal reasons. I spent the past 2 and a half years undergoing cancer treatment. And though I am grateful to be disease-free now, the process took its toll on me and my loved ones. Thus, I am going to spend the next period focused more on health and family.” 

In 2017, Alex was tapped to design the strategy and build out a top-notch team that would be responsible for working toward the vision set out by city leaders who were concerned about Houston’s public education systems. During this time, she defined the organization’s mission and charted a community-informed strategy, built a capable team, shaped an intentional culture, and led the organization through its first phase of work supporting local school systems. 

Under Alex’s leadership, the organization accelerated progress in school systems across Houston. Columbia University’s Center for Public Research and Leadership conducted a study on the nonprofit’s impact to-date and its key findings show that Good Reason Houston has taken a distinctive approach to city-based education work and shown early evidence of success. During her tenure, the organization supported the creation of district and charter schools of choice, facilitated critical school turnaround initiatives in low-performing schools, and leveraged meaningful influence on state policy in alignment with the needs of Houston families.

The Good Reason Houston Board of Directors conducted a search and has named Cary Wright, former Chief External Affairs Officer for Good Reason Houston, as the next Chief Executive Officer of the nonprofit. The search committee was led by Board Chair Scott McClelland and included Bob Harvey, Peter Rodriguez, Ann Stern, and Bobby Tudor. 

“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I’m incredibly grateful for Alex’s commitment to the organization and the impact on public education in Houston that she has been able to lead,” said Scott McClelland, Chair of Good Reason Houston’s Board of Directors. “She cultivated strong relationships with local superintendents and developed transformational partnerships with their teams. Public school students in Houston are better today because of her involvement. Now, I’m looking forward to this transition and working with Cary, who I have strong confidence will take what Alex has built and scale it.” 

Cary joined Good Reason Houston in 2020, after leading Teach For America in the Dallas-Ft. Worth region. He began his career as an elementary school teacher, and has nearly 15 years of experience in public education and public affairs.

“Good Reason Houston was created to make sure every child in every neighborhood has access to a high-quality public school education, and I’m so privileged to continue the work that Alex began,” Cary said. “I am optimistic about the future because of our talented staff, dedicated Board of Directors, and energetic education champions in the community. Houston families deserve great public school options, and this organization will work tirelessly to make that a reality for every single child in our region.”

As CEO, Cary will take over responsibility for the organization’s vision and long-term strategy. The team will continue working with school and community partners to improve public school education in Houston. Equitable student outcomes will remain at the forefront of the mission to increase the number of students learning in high-quality public schools in every neighborhood in Houston. 

“I am so honored to have had the opportunity to build an organization focused on tackling the most important challenge of our time,” Alex said. “As I reflect on all we’ve accomplished so far, I’m proud and humbled to have served our city by launching and leading Good Reason Houston for the past 5 and half years. I am excited to pass the baton to Cary, who I know will lead with integrity and intention. I am confident that the team and Board will charge forward until every child, in every neighborhood excels in a great public school.” 

Visit goodreasonhouston.org/data to learn more about the state of Houston public schools.

Visit goodreasonhouston.org/donate to support Good Reason Houston’s goal to ensure every child in every neighborhood has access to an excellent public school. 

About Good Reason Houston

Good Reason Houston is a nonprofit that exists to grow the demand for and supply of great public schools in Houston. The organization leads a citywide effort to grow and sustain great schools and rally Houstonians for the change needed to improve public school quality. To learn more, visit goodreasonhouston.org.