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Our Team

We are inspired by innovative ideas, passionate about education, and dedicated to Houston’s students and families. Meet our hard-working team members.

Leadership and Support

Cary Wright

Chief Executive Officer

Ashley Cash

Chief Operating Officer

Faria Dhamani

Chief Financial Officer

Veronica Garcia

Chief Policy Officer

Leadership and Support

Meron Tekle

Managing Director of Insights

Advancement

Stefanie Cruz

Managing Director,
Advancement

Molly Connor

Manager,
Advancement

Alycia Melchor

Associate, Advancement -
Events and Annual Giving

District Partnerships

Courtney Isaak

Managing Director,
District Partnerships

Meron Tekle

Managing Director, Insights

Jaime Luna

Director, District Partnerships

Michelle Nguyen

Director, District Partnerships

Meredith-Leigh Pleasants

Director, District Partnerships

Kellie Thompson

Manager, District Partnerships

Thomas Pich

Manager, District Partnerships

Communications

Adrian Perez

Manager, Communications - Campaigns

Jahnara Khan

Manager, Communications -
Brand & Content

Keven Salazar

Associate, Digital Communications

Policy & Advocacy

Trista Bishop-Watt

Director, Government Relations

Jasmine Colvin

Director, Civic Leadership Engagement

Research and Data

Luna Nguyen

Managing Director,
Research and Data

Patrick Gill

Manager,
Research and Data

Mingyu Lu

Manager,
Research and Data

Courtney Durbin

Fellow,
Research and Data

FINANCE, PEOPLE & OPERATIONS​

Cristina Coy

Manager,
Finance and Administration

Brooke Boudreaux

Finance & Strategy Operations, Director

Sydney Grice

Manager,
People Operations

Amy Herrington

Associate, Operations

Fellows

Walter Moyo

Education Pioneer Impact Fellow

Ashli Hodges

Education Pioneer Impact Fellow

Janiel Slowly

Education Pioneer Impact Fellow

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Cary Wright

Chief Executive Officer

As Chief Executive Officer, Cary is responsible for the organization’s vision and long-term strategy. He leads the nonprofit in working with school and community partners to improve public school education in Houston with a focus on equitable student outcomes.

Cary brings nearly 15 years of experience in public education and public affairs. He began his career as a public school elementary teacher, and has held various positions at Teach For America, including as Executive Director of the Dallas-Fort Worth region. He served as the Press Secretary for U.S. Congressman William “Mac” Thornberry in Washington, D.C. and most recently served as Chief External Affairs Officer for Good Reason Houston, where his responsibilities included communications, policy, and advancement.

Cary earned a bachelor’s degree from Davidson College. He is a graduate of Texas public schools and is proud to call Houston home.

Ashley Cash

Chief Operating Officer

As Chief Operating Officer, Ashley leads Good Reason Houston’s efforts to understand and assess the current state of Houston’s public education systems and illuminate opportunities to celebrate successes and drive improvements. She supports our District Partnerships, Insights, and Research and Data teams to build awareness across the city, while advising districts on how we can collectively improve school quality through research-based best practices and stakeholder input.

In her previous role at Good Reason Houston, Ashley served as Chief of Staff, managing the people, human resources, finance, and operations functions. 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.

Faria Dhamani

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.

Veroncia Garcia

Chief Policy Officer

As Chief Policy Officer, Veronica leads Good Reason Houston’s public policy and advocacy efforts, which includes advocating for local and state policies that will improve outcomes for Houston’s students.

Veronica brings over 15 years of experience in education policy and advocacy.  Most recently, she led a consulting firm that provided government relations, strategic advice and counsel, and legislative research and analysis to nonprofit, business, and philanthropic entities.  

Veronica began her career as a school social worker before receiving her Juris Doctor from Chicago-Kent College of Law.  She has a Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Social Work from Texas State University. As a Klein ISD graduate, she is excited to be part of an organization dedicated to increasing the number of children succeeding in high-quality public schools. 

Alex Elizondo

Senior Advisor

Alexandra “Alex” Hales Elizondo was the founding CEO of Good Reason Houston, a nonprofit that champions a citywide vision for education progress and works to grow the demand for and supply of great public schools throughout Houston. Over five years, Alex defined the organization’s mission, designed the strategy, built a capable team and Board, 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 shaped state policy in alignment with the needs of Houston students and families. 

Prior to launching Good Reason Houston, Alex served as the Executive Director of Teach For America Dallas-Fort Worth, leading a staff of 50 and a network of 1,200 educators. While she was at the helm, the DFW region grew by 160%. 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, SMU, 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 University’s Graduate School of Business.

Stefanie Cruz

Managing Director of Advancement

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.

Molly Connor

Manager, Advancement

As Manager of Advancement, Molly supports Good Reason Houston’s fundraising program with a focus on institutional giving.  She helps identify, cultivate, and communicate with local, state, and national corporations and foundations that partner with Good Reason Houston to increase the demand for and supply of great public schools in Houston.  Molly will collaborate with her colleagues in Advancement and other team members at Good Reason Houston to raise $45 million toward high-quality seats for Houston students during our Phase II campaign.

Before joining the team at Good Reason Houston, Molly worked in client-facing and administrative roles at homeless services nonprofits, SEARCH Homeless Services and Family Eldercare, for five years.  She also has experience in memory care, adult day care, and youth development nonprofit environments. 

Molly is fortunate to have a Bachelor of Psychology and Religious Studies degree from Vanderbilt University and a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Texas at Austin.  She is a proud third-generation Houstonian and grateful for the opportunity to grow her career at Good Reason Houston.

Alycia Melchor

Associate of Events and Annual Giving

As the Associate of Events and Annual Giving, Alycia supports Good Reason Houston’s individual giving program by fostering donor stewardship through event coordination and strategic campaign planning. By working with the Advancement team, Alycia is committed to helping Good Reason Houston acquire funding needed to succeed in its mission of improving the quality of education throughout Houston.

Before joining the Good Reason Houston team, Alycia began her career in development at Incarnate Word Academy, an all-girls college preparatory school in Houston, as a Database Coordinator, where she helped manage the school’s development and communications, resulting in continued year-over-year growth.

Alycia is a proud native Houstonian and graduated from the University of Houston with a Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communications, with a minor in Training and Development. As a mother of three, she is passionate about the quality of education that is accessible to children everywhere and strives to make the world a better place for future generations.

Courtney Isaak

Managing Director of District Partnerships

Courtney Isaak Pichon manages Good Reason Houston’s district partnerships. She serves as an executive advisor to district chief executives on strategic planning to increase the number of students in high-quality, best-fit schools. In this capacity, Courtney supports the design and implementation of dozens of school and district improvement interventions across the region. 

Courtney earned a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Southern Methodist University and is passionate about supporting districts to select and implement high-quality curriculum. Through this work, she has helped ensure that over 250,000 Houston students are accessing rigorous curriculum every day. 

After graduating from the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Public Service, Courtney moved to Texas to begin her career in education as a secondary math teacher with Teach For America. She worked for Teach For America for six years, coaching and designing training for over 800 beginning teachers. Courtney and her husband enjoy biking around Houston— especially to their neighborhood bakery for best-in-the-city croissants and pastries.

Meron Tekle

Managing Director of Insights

As Managing Director of Insights, Meron is committed to learning from and supporting Houston schools, school systems, and communities to reimagine what high quality education must look like in a rapidly evolving world. In this role, Meron offers insightful recommendations and commentary on the state of education, informed by stakeholders and the local, national, and international education landscape, all aimed at pushing public discourse and scaling high quality interventions and education models. 

Meron brings over 15 years of experience in schools and districts. She has been honored to be allowed to serve students, teachers, and families in her roles as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, manager of principals, and consultant. In her most recent roles, she managed, coached, and developed campus leaders in public schools across the state and internationally. Meron is a Houston native who truly believes in harnessing the power of community to lead change. 

Meron holds a Bachelor’s degree from St. John’s University, her MBA from Rice University, and is currently completing her doctoral dissertation focused on reimaging school environments.

She is a mother, daughter, sister, friend, wife, and community member. Her main hobbies are laughing loudly and traveling. She considers herself a curator of joy who just wants people to find spaces where they feel they belong.

Jaime Luna

Director of District Partnerships

As Director of District Partnerships, Jaime works with district leadership to provide implementation, technical assistance, and advisory support to increase the number of high quality schools serving students across Houston. In his previous role at Good Reason Houston, Jaime managed a portfolio of emerging schools, namely charters, that were launching or expanding in the region. Jaime’s unique areas of expertise include data analysis, teacher professional development, coaching, and curriculum. 

Prior to joining Good Reason Houston, Jaime worked at BakerRipley Community Schools and Teach For America. In his roles, he designed professional development, created curriculum materials, and coached teachers. He started his career in education as a bilingual teacher at Gallegos Elementary in HISD.

A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Jaime studied Political Science and U.S. Latino Studies.

Michelle Nguyen

Director of District Partnerships

As Director of District Partnerships, Michelle works with district leadership to provide implementation, technical assistance, and advisory support to increase the number of high quality schools serving students across Houston. Specifically, Michelle specializes in collaborating with system and school leaders to plan and implement turnaround and improvement efforts in areas such as leadership, instruction, culture, and family and community engagement. Michelle’s unique areas of expertise include strategic planning, progress monitoring, data analysis, and capacity building. 

Michelle started her career in consulting where she worked with clients on talent, performance, and compensation strategies. Following her passion for education, Michelle decided to join Teach For America as a corps member and taught kindergarten and first grade in Spring Branch ISD for 5 years. As a teacher, Michelle supported her campus’ redesign, served on the District and Campus Improvement Teams, launched student data tracking, and interned at KIPP in Houston as part of the Policy and Advocacy Summer Fellowship with Leadership in Educational Equity (LEE).

Michelle earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Rice University and 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.

Meredith-Leigh Pleasants

Director of District Partnerships

As Director of District Partnerships, Meredith-Leigh works with district leadership to provide implementation, technical assistance, and advisory support to increase the number of high quality schools serving students across Houston. Prior to this role, Meredith-Leigh served as Good Reason Houston’s head of talent pipelines where she advised districts and led regional efforts to increase the number of diverse, skillful teachers and leaders in Houston. Meredith-Leigh’s unique areas of expertise include talent management, convening and facilitation, implementing high-quality instructional materials at scale, coaching, change management, and early childhood instruction. Meredith-Leigh also serves as a member of the Texas Education Agency’s Educator Preparation Stakeholder Group. 

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 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 coaching and developing new teachers as a facilitator and instructor for TNTP, Inc. and the Louisiana Resource Center for Educators. Through this work, Meredith-Leigh has coached, trained, and helped certify over 250 new teachers.

Kellie Thompson

Manager of District Partnerships

As the Manager of District Partnerships, Kellie works with district leadership to provide implementation, technical assistance, and advisory support to increase the number of high quality schools serving students across Houston. In her previous role at Good Reason Houston, Kellie managed a portfolio of emerging schools, namely charters, that were launching or expanding in the region, in addition to the Good Reasons to Lead Fellowship. Kellie’s unique areas of expertise include curriculum development and implementation, coaching, professional development, and secondary education. 

Kellie began her career in education as a middle school English and Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) teacher in Alief ISD. Her passion for teaching English led her to engage in an array of experiences such as writing curriculum, facilitating at several national conferences, being a board member of West Houston Council of Teachers of English (WHACTE) and Texas State Liaison for Conference on English Leadership (CEL). She has over a decade of experience working in underserved, underestimated communities infusing social justice and culturally responsive practices into her work with students and faculty alike. Prior to joining Good Reason Houston, Kellie was an Instructional Leader and Administrator for YES Prep Public Schools.  

Kellie earned a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies from Texas State University and her M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction specializing in Literacy Studies from the University of Houston – Victoria. She grounds her relentlessness to the pursuit of equity in education to Frederick Douglass’ philosophy that “education is emancipation.”

Thomas Pich

Manager of District Partnerships

As Manager of District Partnerships, Thomas collaborates with district leadership to develop and support the creation, expansion and strengthening of high-quality schools in the Houston region. Thomas’ areas of expertise include curriculum implementation, professional learning design, data analysis, and school improvement strategizing.

Before joining Good Reason Houston, Thomas served as an instructional leader and assistant principal in Houston ISD. While in this role, Thomas transformed instruction on his campus by leading the implementation of high-quality instructional materials. Thomas also served on the district design committee for the Teacher Incentive Allotment (TIA), and partnered with the New Teacher Center to pilot innovative instructional coaching and support on his campus. Thomas began his career in education as a Teach For America corps member, and is a proud recipient of the Kinder Excellence in Teaching Award.

Thomas holds his B.S. in Business Communications from the State University of New York at Farmingdale. He later earned his M.S. Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from Johns Hopkins University and a M. Ed. in Educational Leadership from Lamar University. Thomas is eager to contribute to an organization committed to improving equity and student outcomes across Houston.

Adrian Perez

Communications Manager

Adrian Perez is the Communications Manager at Good Reason Houston, championing external communications strategies, tools, and resources to enhance the educator experience throughout the Greater Houston area. Including managing region-wide campaigns, cultivating relationships with partners, and seeking new collaborations that align with Good Reason Houston’s mission & values.

Prior to Good Reason Houston, Adrian spent more than 10 years as the executive producer of Cox Media Group’s most successful morning radio shows, leading content development and outreach strategy from concept ideation to delivery on-air.

Adrian received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications – Media Production from the University of Houston, Go Coogs! As a native Houstonian, Adrian spends much of his free time volunteering in the city that raised him as part of key non-profit organizations such as the Alzheimer’s Association and the Houston Food Bank.

Jahnara Khan

Communications Manager of Brand and Content

As the Communications Manager of Brand and Content, Jahnara is committed to shaping the narrative of public education at Good Reason Houston. She crafts compelling stories, influences messaging, and utilizes various platforms to drive action toward equitable outcomes in Houston’s public education landscape. From traditional media pitches to digital campaigns, Jahnara collaboratively works to align content plans with the organization’s vision and mission for key public education outcomes. Jahnara actively explores innovative distribution channels, builds media relationships, and refines Good Reason Houston’s brand identity to ensure a clear and consistent voice across all communication channels. 

Before joining the Good Reason Houston team, Jahnara worked with nonprofit organizations and diverse companies in finance, real estate, and technology sectors. In these roles, she spearheaded initiatives aimed at enhancing their brand visibility through comprehensive strategies spanning content, digital, and social media realms.

Jahnara earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Prairie View A&M University and a Master of Business Administration, with a concentration in Marketing, from Texas Woman’s University. 

Keven Salazar​

Digital Communications Associate

As the Digital Communications Associate, Keven supports Good Reason Houston’s mission through digital communications efforts, including website management, social media management, and email marketing, to advocate for high-quality seats in public schools and celebrate education across the greater Houston area.

Originally from Oregon’s rain-soaked hills of Portland, Keven pursued humanitarian work by partnering with nonprofits, such as Habitat for Humanity Portland Region, Kinship House, and others, to bolster their external image and reach. After leaving the rainy state for warmer climates in Houston, Keven now aids Good Reason Houston in its strategic communications planning, brand awareness, and efforts to increase the number of students learning in high-quality public schools in the Houston area.

Keven earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the School of Journalism and Communications at the University of Oregon.

Trista Bishop-Watt

Director, Government Relations

As Director of Government Relations, Trista keeps a pulse on policy discourse that impacts education at the state and local levels to help inform Good Reason Houston’s advocacy work.

Trista began her career at Harris County Public Health, where she focused on social impact research and public relations. Prior to joining the Good Reason team, she worked with Houstonians for Great Public Schools, dedicating her time to making school board education policy accessible and laser focused on supporting students.

Trista received her bachelor’s in Mass Communications from Texas State University before earning her Juris Doctor from W&L Law.

Jasmine Colvin

Director, Civic Leadership Engagement

As Director of Civic Leadership Engagement, Jasmine partners with diverse stakeholders to build greater awareness of the public education landscape in Houston. She cultivates citywide ownership of improving school quality by mobilizing advocacy efforts in alignment with Good Reason Houston’s vision for great public schools . Jasmine began her career in education as a middle school math teacher. She spent four years working in Title I schools in Spring and Klein ISD. During her time in the classroom, she noticed how certain students were impacted by systemically discriminatory discipline policies and instructional practices on campus. In response, Jasmine became a founding member of her campus’ equity coalition, designed to target, and address the racial and socio-economic barriers to a high-quality education.

Jasmine is a native Houstonian and a graduate of Texas public schools. She attended Baylor University, where she was an International Studies major with a minor in Business Administration, and she received her Masters in Public Administration from the University of Houston.

Luna Nguyen

Managing Director of Research and Data Strategy

As Managing Director of Research and Data Strategy, Luna leads the planning, execution, and presentation of Good Reason Houston’s original research and data analytics efforts. Luna aims to offer clear, meaningful, and timely perspective on the state of schools in an effort to shape Good Reason Houston’s strategic priorities and inform a range of audiences on bright spots and areas for improvement across Houston’s public education systems. 

Prior to joining Good Reason Houston, Luna was a member of the school redesign team at Spring Branch ISD where she supported 25 campuses to use design thinking principles to reimagine school and personalize learning for every child.

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.

Luna earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s of public affairs from Princeton University’s 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.

Patrick Gill

Manager of Research and Data

As the Manager of Research and Data, Patrick supports Good Reason Houston’s internal teams and external stakeholders through research, data analysis, and data visualization. He is also building out the organization’s formal data infrastructure as it continues to expand its reach and impact.

Prior to joining Good Reason Houston, Patrick partnered with Houston-area school districts as a researcher with the Kinder Institute for Urban Research’s Houston Education Research Consortium. There he examined key education topics such as the causes and effects of student mobility and the postsecondary outcomes of career and technical education graduates. He began his career in education as a City Year corps member serving at Tilden Career Community Academy in Chicago’s Back of the Yards neighborhood before working for several years at Cristo Rey Jesuit College Preparatory School of Houston.

Patrick received his Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from the University of Notre Dame, and his Master of Public Policy from the University of Houston’s Hobby School of Public Affairs, where he specialized in education policy.

Mingyu Lu

Manager of Research and Data

As the Manager of Research and Data, Mingyu spearheads the organization’s data-driven approach, ensuring impactful insights inform organization initiatives. Collaborating with internal teams and external partners, Mingyu helps drive the organization-wide research agenda, conducting qualitative and quantitative analyses to maximize organization impact. Through compelling data storytelling, Mingyu communicates key insights to diverse stakeholders, fostering understanding and action.

Prior to joining Good Reason Houston, Mingyu served as a Sr. Program Analyst at United Way of Greater Houston.  In that role, Mingyu was an integral member of the Mission & Strategy Team, responsible for collecting, analyzing, and communicating data to demonstrate impact. By leveraging data-driven insights, she helped shape effective strategies and programs that aligned with United Way’s goals. She was also an advocate for ALICE (asset limited, income constrained, employed) and played a pivotal role in enlightening the public about the people experiencing ALICE through collaborative partner gatherings and informative workshops.

Mingyu received her B.A. in Applied Psychology from Weifang Medical University, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and Quantitative Methods from SUNY University at Buffalo.

Courtney-Durbin

Research and Data Fellow

As an Education Pioneers Fellow, Courtney Durbin supports Good Reason Houston’s Research and Data team in expanding the team’s capacity for original research, data visualization, and refining and articulating Good Reason Houston’s data strategy. Courtney brings a variety of K-12 and higher education experience to the table, most recently, as a Program Manager with EMERGE HISD, a college access organization.

Prior to EMERGE, Courtney worked for several years supporting residential students at the University of South Florida, developing student support strategies and interventions, which ultimately guided her data and assessment work for Residential Education during the disruptions of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Courtney holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies with a specialization in Organizational Leadership and Communication from Rollins College, along with a Master of Science in Higher Education from Florida State University.

Cristina Coy

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.

Brooke Boudreaux

Director of Finance and Operation Strategy

As the Director of Finance and Operation Strategy, Brooke leads the finance, accounting, and strategic resource management functions at Good Reason Houston.

Brooke started her career in operations at ExxonMobil, where she supported end to end distribution and supply planning at the world’s largest lubricant blending plant in Beaumont, TX. Drawn to social impact work, Brooke left the oil and gas industry to work in non-profit, where she’s since thrived in doing work that builds organizational sustainability and impact.

Brooke received her BBA from the University of Oklahoma and is currently working on her MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Sydney Grice

Manager of People Operations

As the Manager of People Operations, Sydney supports Good Reason Houston’s general operations, hiring and onboarding functions, and internal team culture and development. Before joining the Good Reason Houston team, Sydney served as the Director of Operations with Teach for America Houston’s Network Learning and Innovation Hub, where she supported regional programming events, internal operations, and communications. She began her career in the classroom as a Teach for America Corps Member, where she taught 5th grade English Language Arts, sat on the Teacher Leadership Board, and was awarded the Outstanding Teaching Award by Humanities Texas. Sydney received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from North Carolina State University and her Master of Science in Education from Johns Hopkins University.

Operations Associate

As Operations Associate, Amy supports Good Reason Houston’s office operations, internal organizational culture, and executes administrative functions for cross-functional team members.

Prior to joining the Good Reason Houston team, Amy worked in e-commerce within the sustainable startup sphere where she supported visual direction, site operations, and the strategic implementation of internal systems and processes.

Amy received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design from Texas Tech University. Updated

Walter Moyo

Education Pioneer Impact Fellow

As the Education Pioneer Impact Fellow, Walter will support Good Reason Houston’s work with district and school improvement strategy amongst other responsibilities.

Before joining Good Reason Houston, Walter was a Teach for America Corp member in Boston. During his time with Teach for America, he was a Math Teacher, Athletic Director, and Math Department Chair at Phoenix Charter Academy Chelsea. Walter concurrently earned his Master’s of Education and Curriculum from Boston University during his Teach for America service. 

Ashli Hodges

Education Pioneer Impact Fellow

As an Education Pioneers Impact Fellow, Ashli supports Good Reason Houston’s Learning & Evaluation team by analyzing data, reporting insights, and evaluating and transforming processes. She is passionate about bringing context, equity, and humanity to the forefront of data conversations and excited by building team capacity through the use of data automation and visualization tools. Since October 2022, she has helped enable internal decision-making by analyzing and reporting on STAAR achievement trends over time and helping Good Reason Houston spatially visualize both their reach and the overall quality of schools across Houston.

Before becoming a Fellow, Ashli worked as a Purpose & Inclusion Manager at PwC and was focused on project management and data reporting for programs supporting more equitable outcomes for people of color both inside and outside of the firm. Prior to that, she supported the firm’s skills-based volunteering activities through reporting, communications, and purpose activation.

Ashli is a Georgia native who earned her bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University where she majored in Human and Organizational Development and minored in African American and Diaspora Studies. She also earned a Master of Accountancy from Vanderbilt’s Owen Graduate School of Management and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Janiel Slowly

Education Pioneer Impact Fellow

As an Education Pioneer Impact Fellow, Janiel will be supporting the Talent Pipelines project to retain excellent educators in the greater Houston area. 

Janiel has enjoyed several years of studying and researching education topics specifically, the equitable and culturally sensitive representation of racialized identities in education among Black students and teachers as well the influence of foreign capital flows on Black tertiary education. She is committed to communicating the power of storytelling and civic agency through curriculum and effective teacher training. They actively celebrate the inherent political nature of public education.

Before Good Reason Houston, they spent over 5 years working in domestic and international education nonprofits. Most recently, she worked with the National Association of State Boards of Education researching state policies regarding the U.S. Early Childhood Education workforce. She currently holds an M.Ed. in International Education from The George Washington University.

 

Houston Schools That Inspire invites you to celebrate the brilliance, innovation, and unwavering commitment to student success thriving within Houston public schools. Let’s learn from the quiet victories shaping lives and collectively working towards a future where every student in Houston feels successful. Houston, let’s get inspired!

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