We are inspired by innovative ideas, passionate about education, and dedicated to Houston’s students and families. Our team’s mission is to increase the number of children succeeding in high-quality learning environments.
LEADERSHIP AND SUPPORT
Director of College and Career Readiness
Manager of District and School Support
STRATEGY AND INVESTMENTS
Chief Executive Officer
Alexandra “Alex” Hales Elizondo is the founding CEO of Good Reason Houston. Prior to launching Good Reason Houston, Alex served as the Executive Director of Teach For America Dallas-Fort Worth, leading a team of 50 staff members and a network of 1,200 educators. During her tenure, the DFW region grew by 160%. She and her team tripled the number of teachers deployed, doubled their annual fundraising, and significantly increased student achievement.
During this period of rapid growth, TFA DFW was the pace-setting region across the TFA network in both teacher performance and teacher culture indicators. Simultaneously, Alex and her team sparked educational innovation in North Texas by re-imagining teacher training in DFW and designed a new training institute in collaboration with other local education organizations including Dallas ISD, Southern Methodist University, and Momentous Institute.
Alex started her career as a first grade teacher in South Louisiana, and in 2009 was named East Feliciana Parish Schools Elementary Teacher of the Year. She is a graduate of Lake Forest College and Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer
As the Chief Strategy and Transformation Officer, Delicia helps set the vision for Good Reason Houston and develop the tools and resources required to execute against that vision.
Prior to joining Good Reason Houston, Delicia was a Senior Manager at the Monitor Institute by Deloitte where she worked closely with nonprofit and foundation leaders on issues related to strategy, growth, and operational effectiveness. She also worked as an Education Pioneers Graduate Fellow, where she helped YES Prep Public Schools develop a long-term talent strategy for identifying and cultivating future school leaders.
Delicia holds a Bachelor of Arts in Computational & Applied Mathematics and Managerial Studies from Rice University as well as a Master of Business Administration from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. A native Houstonian, she is committed to ensuring every child in her hometown has access to a world-class education.
Chief Operating Officer
As Chief Operating Officer, Ashley supports Good Reason Houston’s internal priorities, operations and special projects. She works closely with the CEO to foster a high performance culture driven by our core beliefs and grounded in diversity, equity and inclusiveness.
Before joining Good Reason Houston, Ashley was the Director of Consulting and Management Services at Silicon Valley Community Foundation. There, she led a team responsible for all non-traditional lines of business. Ashley also served as a founding team member of New Schools for Baton Rouge, a nonprofit working to improve educational outcomes; co-founder of a workforce development program that teaches basic computer coding skills to youth; and a founding teacher and grade level leader at the highest performing elementary school in post-Katrina New Orleans through Teach For America.
Ashley holds degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University.
Chief Financial Officer
As Chief Financial Officer, Faria works to ensure the long-term success and sustainability of Good Reason Houston through the effective allocation of its resources. She manages the organization’s financial and administrative functions, oversees the design and implementation of policies and practices that ensure the team is set up to deliver against its goals, and leads the organization’s investments process and other significant initiatives that impact the broad organization. Prior to this role, she served as the Head of Advancement at Good Reason Houston, leading a fundraising team and working closely with funders to secure and maximize private investments towards the organization’s vision, mission, and goals.
Previously, Faria led institutional giving at Teach For America Dallas-Fort Worth, where she partnered closely with corporate, foundation and government funders investing in the organization’s work towards educational equity in North Texas. Prior to that, Faria spent years working in management consulting and began her career focused on corporate philanthropy at the Citi Foundation in New York City.
Faria holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Human Rights from Barnard College, and a Master of Business Administration degree from Rice University. As a native Houstonian, Faria is proud to be working with an organization committed to dramatically increasing equitable access to high quality education for students in her hometown.
Managing Director of District and School Support and Talent
Courtney leads the development and implementation of Good Reason Houston’s district and school improvement strategy to ensure that every child in Houston has access to game-changing educators.
Prior to joining Good Reason Houston, Courtney launched Teach For America’s pre-service training program in Dallas – Fort Worth which prepared 400 high-quality educators to teach in local school districts. During her time at TFA, Courtney also oversaw the development of teacher training and student-facing curriculum, coached new teachers, and facilitated community partnerships.
Courtney began her career as a middle school math teacher in Dallas ISD. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame and a Master’s of Arts in STEM Education from Southern Methodist University.
Director of Finance
As the Director of Finance, Michelle cultivates strong financial health of the organization through the creation and execution of fiscal management policies and practices including budget planning, reporting and contract management.
Prior to joining Good Reason Houston, Michelle was Director of Finance and Administration at Autism Centers of Michigan where she helped shape the strategic initiatives to advance the growth of the organization through increased access to autism services in the community.
A native of Michigan, Michelle earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Saginaw Valley State University as well as a Master of Science in Administration from Central Michigan University. She is excited to support the commitment of providing every child access to an excellent education.
Director of Policy
Veronica leads Good Reason Houston’s policy and advocacy work, which includes advocating for state policies that will improve outcomes for Houston’s students. She is the founder and President of Periscope Strategies, a consulting firm that works with clients to identify which governmental lever impacts their work – local, regulatory, or legislative – and provides strategic advice and direction in planning a response.
Veronica has over a decade of experience in government affairs, legal advocacy, and strategic consulting. Based out of Houston and Austin, she has also lived in San Antonio, giving her a broad network of relationships across the state.
Veronica previously served as Vice President of Government & Public Affairs for the Texas Charter Schools Association, practiced law with Walsh Gallegos Trevino Russo & Kyle P.C., and led government relations for the Houston Independent School District.
Veronica received her JD from Chicago-Kent College of Law and a bachelor’s and master’s degree in social work from Texas State University. She is licensed to practice law in Texas and Illinois.
Manager of Data and System Solutions
As Manager of Data and Systems Solutions, Robert maintains the Salesforce-based case management system to track student progress to and through college and ensure successful program outcomes for Harris County Promise.
Robert began his Information Technology career as an intern at San Jacinto College and worked there for over 10 years as a Programmer and Business Analyst. Prior to joining Good Reason Houston, Robert supported higher education clients to assess, convert, customize and implement ERP systems as a Senior System Analyst at Ellucian and supported K-12 clients as a Senior Business Analyst at BrightBytes.
Robert earned a degree in Applications Programming from San Jacinto College. He is excited to support college access and success for every child in our community.
Manager of Community Outreach
As Manager of Community Outreach, Jamaur drives innovation in direct partnership with school districts, communities, and families across the Houston region. He is in charge of setting a vision and long-term goals for Good Reason Houston’s framework to engage and empower families.
Before joining Good Reason Houston, Jamaur spent time in nonprofit management, as a Community Engagement Manager for some of Houston’s largest organizations: establishing sustainable 501c3s, leading project management, and bridging the gaps between social, academic, and civic organizations in Second and Third Wards, as well as South Houston.
An Educator at heart, this T.E.A. Certified Generalist, spent ten and a half years in Title One schools across Spring and Houston I.S.D.s, teaching General and Special Education, Gifted and Talented, E.S.L. and Emerging Learners. He has served in a capacity of leadership roles from District Teacher of the Year, to Campus Culture Specialist, and Community and Family Liaison. Through his passion, he was able to establish several cultural and family programs which still run in districts today.
An Alumni of one of Texas’ few Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Prairie View A&M University, Jamaur studied Journalism and Behavioral and Political Sciences. He is also active in postgraduate advocacy and service through various alumni networks, including his fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated.
Director of College and Career Readiness
Victoria leads Good Reason Houston’s high school strategy, which is dedicated to improving student outcomes through high school quality and college and career readiness initiatives.
Victoria started her education career as a middle school teacher in Philadelphia and has spent over a decade working to improve outcomes for students. Prior to joining Good Reason Houston, Victoria developed the Family Learning Academy in Houston ISD before joining Spring Branch ISD to lead family engagement work. While at SBISD, she oversaw the successful launch of the Family E3 Framework.
Victoria earned her bachelor’s degree in communication studies from the University of Texas at Austin and her master’s in urban education from the University of Pennsylvania.
As a native Houstonian, Victoria is excited to continue working to support positive outcomes for students in her community.
Manager of Advancement
As Manager of Advancement, Quinn works to build and strengthen relationships with supporters and community partners of Good Reason Houston.
Prior to joining Good Reason Houston, Quinn worked at the University of Michigan’s Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning as the Assistant Director of Development and Alumni Engagement. In this role, Quinn led the annual giving and stewardship programs as well as managed the Taubman College Alumni Council. She also implemented programming to increase philanthropic engagement in the student and young alumni communities.
A Michigan native, Quinn attended the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics and a Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration with a concentration in Philanthropy, Advancement, and Development. As a first-generation college graduate, Quinn is excited to advance Good Reason Houston’s mission of increasing equity and access to high-quality education.
Director of Strategy and Learning
As Director of Strategy and Learning, Luna supports Good Reason Houston’s strategy and resource development. Luna started her education career as a Teach For America corps member in Houston.
She has worked as a teacher at KIPP and Uplift Education and as a Program Manager for EMERGE, a college access organization. She also worked for the Laura and John Arnold Foundation to develop new areas of investment.
Prior to joining Good Reason Houston, Luna was a member of the school redesign team at Spring Branch ISD where she supported 25 campuses in their efforts to use design thinking principles to reimagine school and personalize learning for every child.
Luna earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s of public affairs from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School for Public and International Affairs. As a first-generation college graduate, she is deeply committed to ensuring every child has equitable opportunities to attain a world-class education.
Director of Talent Pipelines
Meredith-Leigh is Good Reason Houston’s Director of Talent Pipelines. She is deeply experienced in teacher training and development, recruitment and retention of excellent teachers, and early-childhood instruction. Meredith-Leigh is committed to cultivating a pipeline of outstanding talent and retaining excellent educators in the greater Houston area.
Meredith-Leigh began her career in education as a Teach for America corps member in New Orleans, Louisiana. After teaching kindergarten and first grade in turnaround schools, Meredith-Leigh served as an instructional coach and then as the Director of Curriculum and Instruction for Early Childhood Programs for a New Orleans charter network. Under Meredith-Leigh’s leadership, the network’s early childhood programs earned statewide honors for outstanding gains.
In addition to working in schools, Meredith-Leigh has extensive experience developing new teachers. Through her work with TNTP, Inc. and the Louisiana Resource Center for Educators, Meredith-Leigh has coached, trained, and helped certify over 250 new teachers.
Director of Early Learning
Ellie leads Good Reason Houston’s early childhood work, which includes a region-wide pre-K enrollment campaign that provides parents with the information they need to ensure their child is ready for kindergarten. Ellie also leads the Early Matters Council, a coalition of early childhood leaders from school districts, local Head Start programs, private childcare, and the nonprofit sector.
Ellie started her education career as a Teach For America corps member where she taught high school at KIPP San Antonio. Prior to joining Good Reason Houston, Ellie spent four years working with education nonprofits in Houston where she managed projects related to strategic planning and parent engagement.
Ellie earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin and a master’s of public health from UTHealth. As a fourth generation Houstonian, she is passionate about working to ensure that every student in our community is school-ready by kindergarten.
Managing Director of District and School Support
As the Managing Director of District and School Support, Becca directly supports Good Reason Houston’s partner districts and schools as they work to increase the number of students in their district learning in a high-quality school.
Becca began her career in education as a bilingual elementary and middle school math teacher, and has six years of experience teaching in both traditional districts and high-performing charter networks. During her time in the classroom, Becca served as a mentor for teaching fellows and supported her school’s parent association. She also made the Honor Roll for The New Teacher Project’s Fishman Prize for Superlative Classroom Practice.
Becca earned a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Spanish from DePauw University before joining Teach For America. She also received a master’s degree in social work from The University of Chicago where she researched the social-emotional learning supports students need to succeed.
Becca is excited to combine her classroom teaching experience with her research expertise in order to strategize with districts and create the best outcomes for our youngest Houstonians.
Manager of Emerging School Supports
As the Manager of Emerging School Supports, Jaime directly supports Good Reason Houston’s partner districts and schools to increase the number of students learning in high-quality schools.
Jaime began his career in education as a bilingual elementary teacher in the Houston Independent School District. He has worked at Teach For America; coaching new teachers and facilitating learning in Diversity & Inclusiveness work. Prior to joining Good Reason Houston, he formed part of the Instructional Leadership Team at Baker Ripley’s Promise Community Schools. In his role, he oversaw curriculum, assessments and professional development to ensure that teachers used high-quality instructional materials. His favorite part of the role was coaching teachers to be effective classroom practitioners.
A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Jaime studied Political Science and US Latino Studies.
Director of Advancement, Institutional Giving
Stefanie joined the Good Reason Houston team in 2019. For her first three years, she serves as a member of the Strategy and Transformation team where she served as lead for our external investments processes and supported with strategy and resource development and special projects. She has now pivoted to serve as a member of our Advancement team and serves as Director of Advancement for Institutional Giving.
She started her education career as an elementary school teacher in Houston and has spent more than eight years in education in the Houston community.
Prior to joining Good Reason Houston, Stefanie worked as Manager of School and Community Partnerships at Families Empowered. In her role there, she partnered with diverse school options, supported new school launches, and developed a strong understanding of the Houston education landscape in an effort to support the growing number of families searching for a great school for their child.
Stefanie earned a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and International Relations from Colby College as well as a Master of Business Administration from the Jones School of Business at Rice University. As a native Houstonian, Stefanie is committed to doing whatever it takes to ensure that every child has access to a quality education and the opportunity to live a choice-filled life.
Director of Program Planning and Implementation
As Director of Program Planning and Implementation, Kiran leads internal efforts to maximize productivity, streamline strategic initiatives, optimize program implementation, and coordinate between teams.
Prior to joining Good Reason Houston, Kiran was the Chief of Staff to the Executive Vice President at Teach for America. She also worked as the Managing Director of the Alumni Education Leadership team at Teach for America-Chicago, where she helped grow the number of alumni school leaders in Chicago Public Schools. She taught first grade in Houston for five years and started as a Teach for America corps member. Kiran began her career in investment banking in New York City.
Kiran holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Vanderbilt University as well as a Master of Business Administration from Rice University. She completed the Rice Educational Entrepreneurship Program in 2011.
As the Communications Associate, Jahnara focuses on content development and maintaining Good Reason Houston’s external communications channels.
Prior to joining the Good Reason Houston team, Jahnara worked with various nonprofit organizations to design and implement strategies to optimize their brand presence through digital, social, and mass media.
Jahnara earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Prairie View A&M University and is currently working towards a Master of Business Administration, with a concentration in Marketing, from Texas Woman’s University.
Manager of Finance
As Manager of Finance, Cristina supports all Good Reason Houston operations including finance and office management.
She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston where she studied nonprofit management. She developed a deeper understanding and passion for nonprofits through her previous work at the United Way of Greater Houston and Ronald McDonald House Houston.
As an HISD graduate and Houston native, Cristina is thrilled to work with the Good Reason Houston team in pursuit of our mission to increase the number of children exceeding in high-quality learning environments.
Manager of People Operations
As Manager of People Operations, Abby supports CEO Alex Hales Elizondo and the rest of the Good Reason Houston team to ensure smooth day-to-day operation. Abby earned her bachelor’s degree from Southern Methodist University where she studied Human Rights and Sociology.
She developed her passion for education after working at a preschool during college. Prior to joining Good Reason Houston, Abby began her career at SEARCH Homeless Services.
As an HISD graduate, she is excited to work for an organization that champions high-quality education and access for students and families in her hometown.
Managing Director of Emerging School Supports
As the Managing Director of Emerging School Supports, Meron is committed to supporting the launch of innovative, community-driven schools.
Prior to joining Good Reason Houston, Meron served overseas helping school leaders implement best instructional practices into their schools. Prior to that, Meron led a large elementary school in H.I.S.D. focused on integrating rigorous academics with a music and arts curriculum. Meron started her career in education as a Teach For America corp member where she taught and then led within YES Prep Public Schools. She was a founding teacher and administrator for YES Prep’s inaugural district-charter partnership campus.
Meron hold a Bachelor of Science in Biology from St. John’s University; as well as a Master of Business Administration from Rice University where she completed the Rice Educational Entrepreneurship Program. Meron is currently working on her doctoral dissertation focused on creating new learning environments through district-charter partnerships.
Chief External Affairs Officer
As Chief External Affairs Officer, Cary provides clarity, direction, and focus to Good Reason Houston’s communication, policy, and community engagement efforts.
Cary brings over a decade of experience in public education and public affairs. He began his career as an elementary school teacher. Cary has held various positions at Teach For America, including as Executive Director of the Dallas-Fort Worth region. During his tenure, the organization secured nearly $35M in funding and grew to serve over 60,000 North Texas public school students daily. He also served as the Press Secretary for U.S. Congressman William “Mac” Thornberry in Washington, D.C.
Cary earned a Bachelor’s degree from Davidson College. He is a graduate of Texas public schools and is proud to call Houston home.
Manager of District and School Support
As Manager of District and School Support, Michelle works on Good Reason Houston’s district improvement strategy with a focus on school turnaround efforts. She supports school districts and additional partners in their work to improve educational experiences and outcomes for both teachers and students.
Michelle started her career in consulting at Deloitte where she worked with clients on their Talent, Performance, and Compensation strategies. Following her passion for education, Michelle decided to join Teach for America as a corps member in Houston in 2015. She taught Kindergarten and 1st grade at Ridgecrest Elementary in Spring Branch ISD and was recognized as Campus Teacher of the Year during the 2019-2020 school year. Michelle also worked at KIPP in Houston as part of her Policy and Advocacy Summer Fellowship with Leadership in Educational Equity (LEE).
Michelle earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Rice University and is completing her M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction / Personalized and Blended Learning at Texas Tech University. Michelle is dedicated to making high-quality schools the expectation in Houston and ensuring educational opportunity and access for every child.
Director of Communications
As Director of Communications, Stephanie leads Good Reason Houston’s internal and external communications, manages and strengthens its brand, and elevates issues of school quality across the City of Houston.
For more than 10 years, Stephanie has managed communications and marketing efforts at nonprofits throughout Houston. Prior to joining Good Reason Houston, she worked at the headquarters of the national social enterprise Genesys Works. Before that, she led marcomm strategies at two exceptional educational institutions: Incarnate Word Academy and St. John’s School.
Stephanie received her Bachelor of Journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin, and she has passionately advocated for nonprofits ever since!
Director of Advancement, Individual Giving
As the Director of Advancement, Adriana is responsible for growing the portfolio of individual donors by implementing strategies for the identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of prospects.
Over the past 8+ years, Adriana has worked on the advancement team of several non-profit organizations in various fundraising roles, including grant-making, events, and major gifts, and has proven to be a strong advocate for students and children. Her previous organizations include YES Prep Public Schools, MD Anderson Cancer Center, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Houston, and CHILDREN AT RISK.
Adriana is thrilled to join the Good Reason Houston team and to help ensure that every child in every neighborhood has access to a high-quality education. Adriana is a proud Houstonian and graduate of Rice University.
Manager of Institutional Giving
As the Manager of Institutional Giving, Jalil is responsible for maintaining and growing a portfolio of foundation and corporate donors by implementing strategies for the identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of prospects.
Jalil has over six years of experience in the nonprofit and local government sectors, including developing fundraising strategy, grant writing, prospect research, and meeting with corporate sponsors and foundations. He previously worked at the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center, NYC Department of Education, NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development, NYC Mayor’s Office of Management Budget, and other nonprofit organizations.
Jalil holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Cultural Analysis and a Master of Public Administration both from New York University. Jalil is proud to be working with an organization that prioritizes equity across all areas to increase access to high-quality education for students in the Houston area.
As the Advancement Specialist, Janelle is responsible for the overall management of the organization’s donor database and the accurate and efficient flow of data and processes that support Good Reason Houston’s fundraising goals.
Prior to joining Good Reason Houston, Janelle managed 94 million dollars of charitable contributions at the Greater Houston Community Foundation and served as Development and Finance specialist at Meals on Wheels in Fort Bend County.
Janelle has over 10 years of administrative and financial support experience, including 3 years of nonprofit database management, and 2 years in public schools serving in Alief ISD, where she worked with campus data, including STAAR data, and supported the need for accelerated literacy support in adolescent students.
As a native Houstonian and Alief ISD graduate, Janelle has an embedded belief that real, transformative change comes from within the community, and more importantly through philanthropic efforts. Janelle is proud to contribute to the mission of Good Reason Houston and looks forward to seeing the lives of students improved through this work.
Manager of District and School Support
As the Manager of District and School support, Mirella works on Good Reason’s Houston’s district and school strategies to support school improvement initiatives and increase student access to a high-quality education.
Mirella began her career in education as a middle school math teacher and dean of instruction at KIPP schools in Austin and Houston. During her time in the classroom, she served as a teacher leader, instructional coach, department chair, and district curriculum writer. She received the Harriett Ball Excellence in Teaching Award and the Kinder Excellence in Teaching Award. Before joining Good Reason Houston, Mirella led initiatives for a community development nonprofit focused on Social and Emotional Learning and the social determinants of health with schools, youth, and families.
Mirella earned a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies and is completing her M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision from the University of Houston.
Mirella is committed to continuing her work in providing a pathway toward an equitable and actualized life for all learners in Houston.
Director of Advocacy
As the Director of Advocacy, Belinda engages with a variety of stakeholders in the Greater Houston area to build community, alignment, and engagement around Good Reason Houston’s shared vision for great public schools.
Belinda got her start in education as a Teach For America Corps Member in the D.C. Region and was a founding member of the D.C. Education Coalition for Change. Upon returning to Houston, Belinda spent several years at a few nonprofits focusing on community organizing, community engagement, leadership development, and voter turnout. Her previous organizations include Baker-Ripley, Houstonians for Great Public Schools, and Conation Now, LLC.
Belinda is a native Houstonian and a graduate of Texas public schools. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Government and English from Georgetown University, and an MBA from the Jones School of Business at Rice University.
Manager of Learning and Evaluation
As the Manager of Learning and Evaluation, Eliana supports Good Reason Houston’s strategy by developing team capacity and systems that measure impact.
Eliana began her career as a corps member with Teacher for America in Houston in 2011. She started as a high school English teacher and held many roles over the course of eleven years including department chair, curriculum writer, instructional coach, and multi-classroom leader. She also supported teachers with instructional initiatives at the district level in both Spring Branch ISD and Houston ISD.
Prior to joining Good Reason Houston, Eliana served as the English multi-classroom leader at a Title I comprehensive high school in Spring Branch ISD, where she led literacy initiatives resulting in improved reading levels and school accountability.
Eliana earned her bachelor’s degree in Communication and English Literature at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi. She also earned her master’s degree at The University of Texas at Austin in Rhetorical and Language studies, where she concentrated on Latino Identity and Latino Politics.
Eliana is a first-generation college student and was raised in a bilingual household. She is determined to ensure all students receive a quality education regardless of background.
As the Operations Associate, Codi is responsible for scheduling, maintaining office operations and supporting internal team culture.
Codi has a varied background in administrative work and has worked in education as an assistant teacher in special education and general education.
As a Klein ISD graduate, Codi is eager to be apart of an organization that believes in high quality education for all and champions change.