Lone Star Leadership Academy Staff

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Program Directors

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Kristi Baker

Kristi Baker earned her teaching degree from the University of Texas at Arlington. She taught elementary PE in Irving ISD for 11 years and currently teaches in Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD. Kristi works as a Director for Education in Action because she enjoys working with students and watching them grow in their leadership skills, while making new friends and having fun.

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Michael Benson

Michael Benson earned his degree in Mass Communications from Texas State University in 2005. He became a certified teacher in 2007 in San Antonio where he taught for 10 years. Michael teaches fifth grade Science and Writing at Christene C. Moss Elementary School in Fort Worth ISD. Michael works as a Facilitator for Education in Action because he enjoys continuing to work with students during the summer break and loves seeing students experience new opportunities. He feels that students minds and personalities are enhanced when they are given the chance to venture out into unknown territory and delve into new things.

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Rebecca Hickman

Rebecca Hickman earned a Business Degree from the University of North Texas in 2001. She worked as a Financial Analyst and Corporate trainer for Xerox Corporation until 2004 when she earned her teaching certificate. Rebecca works as an Instructional Coach in Keller ISD and has worked with Education in Action since 2005. She enjoys working with Education in Action because of the unique learning opportunity it offers students.

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Timmothy Hypolite

Timmothy Hypolite earned his degree in Political Science and Criminal Justice with a specialization in Juvenile Justice from Prairie View A&M University. He is an eighth grade English Language Arts and Reading teacher at Campbell Middle School in Cypress-Fairbanks ISD in Houston. Timmothy is a Director for Education in Action because he enjoys being able to invest in students and the experience allows them to not only learn but have a hands-on opportunity that impacts beyond the summer.

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Paul Montreuil

Paul Montreuil earned his degree in Education from Southeastern Louisiana University in 1999. He has taught sixth grade in the Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD for 17 years. Paul works for Education in Action as a Director because he enjoys working with the best students from all across Texas and watching them grow. The leadership skills learned is what keeps Paul coming back year after year. He is certain that these camp students will return to their schools and communities as stronger leaders.

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Jen Nguyen

Jen Nguyen earned her degree in Biology at the University of North Texas. She currently works for Irving ISD teaching sixth and seventh grade math. Jen works as a Director for Education in Action because she loves working with students and knows how important it is to motivate kids to be leaders to those around them.

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Denise Parham

Denise Parham earned her teaching degree from Tarleton State University. This is her third year at Highland Elementary School in Tulia ISD. She taught kindergarten the past eight years and has worked in education for twenty-five years. This will be her sixth summer with Education in Action. Denise will celebrate her 31st wedding anniversary this summer. She has two adult children, one in college and one graduate.

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Rex Stephenson

Rex Stephenson has been an eighth grade American History teacher at Robert E. Lee Middle School in San Angelo ISD for the past 26 years. He earned his teaching degree from Angelo State University. He is a Director with Education in Action because he feels the camps provide an awesome opportunity for motivated kids to display leadership skills.

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Terri Stout

Terri Stout earned her undergraduate degree from Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles, CA. She earned her MBA from Claremont Graduate School. After 15 years in the business world, she went back to school to earn her teaching degree. Currently, Terri teaches third grade at Daffron Elementary School in Plano ISD.

Staff Members

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Corey Anderson

Corey Anderson graduated from the University of North Texas. He has completed his third year of teaching. He has taught third and fifth grade levels.

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Shea Bloemhof

Shea Bloemhof earned her teaching degree from Tarleton State University in 2008. She has taught English-Language Arts in Stephenville ISD the past four years. Before that she taught in San Antonio for seven years.. Shea is excited to work with the campers as a Facilitator to see them learn and experience new things outside the classroom.

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Felisha Brady

Felisha graduated from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa with a degree in Political Science and earned her Master of Public Administration from Auburn University in Montgomery. For 14 years, Felisha taught government, economics, and history. Currently, she is an Academic Specialist at Sam Houston Middle School in Irving ISD. Felisha has worked with Education in Action for four years. She enjoys working the Lone Star Leadership Academy camps because of the diverse and fun students and adults with whom she is able to work.

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Julie Chappa

Julie Chappa earned her Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from the University of North Texas in 1996 and her Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Texas at Tyler in 2011. She currently teaches seventh-twelfth grade GT and dual credit math courses at Hawkins High School. Julie chose to work as a Facilitator for Education in Action after seeing first-hand the impact the program had on her daughter who attended all three camps as both a camper and a youth facilitator. She enjoys Texas history and loves sharing that knowledge with students.

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Kevin Hurn

Kevin Hurn earned his degree in General Studies from Texas Tech University and obtained his teaching certificate from iTeach Texas. He has been a Social Studies teacher at Silverton School for the past three years. Kevin works as a Facilitator for Education in Action because he loves his job and the students he works with. He takes pride in helping kids obtain knowledge and leadership skills. Kevin feels the camps are fun, engaging, and a great learning experience for students.

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Jennifer Kranzberg

Jennifer Kranzberg graduated from Dallas Baptist University with a bachelor's degree in Secondary Education and History and a minor in Reading. She also received a master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Dallas Baptist University. She currently teaches eighth grade US history in Frisco ISD and is the Instructional Coach for Social Studies. She has taught for over 20 years, four of them in Frisco ISD. She has worked for Education in Action for over 10 years and always enjoys the opportunity to facilitate students' depth of knowledge in history and leadership.

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John McConnell

John McConnell earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Saint Mary College in Leavenworth, KS. He has 26 years of teaching experience and has been an English/Language Arts/Social Studies teacher at Barbara Jordan Elementary School in Fort Bend ISD for the past four years. John works as a Facilitator for Education in Action because he loves introducing fun and exciting opportunities to children. John is also a songwriter. He said, “After such an awesome summer facilitating the leadership camps, I was inspired to write a song to express the true essence and intention of the camps." We invite you to take a listen to the song he wrote and performed which he titled "Education in Action"!

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Katherine McGregor

Katherine McGregor earned her teaching degree from Texas College in Tyler in 1991. She has taught second through fourth grades and for the last five years has taught third grade math at Christene C. Moss Elementary School in Fort Worth ISD. Katherine works as a Facilitator for Education in Action because she enjoys continuing to work with students during her summer break. She feels that students should experience our rich Texas history first hand by combining fun and exposure.

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Tabitha Najera

Tabitha Najera earned her teaching degree from West Texas A&M University in Canyon, Texas. She has been a sixth grade science teacher for the last nine years and has been at Nimitz Middle School in Ector County ISD for the last four years. Tabitha works as a Facilitator with Education in Action because she enjoys working with students and likes to see their potential beyond the classroom setting.

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Clyde Parham

Clyde Parham earned his teaching degree from Stephen F. Austin State University in 1988. He taught high school and junior high history for 26 years and was a Principal in Silverton ISD for four years. He is currently the Athletic Director at Silverton ISD and enjoys working with students of all ages. Clyde is working his second summer with Education in Action as a Facilitator, He enjoys working with students during the summer because he believes that it is important to further the knowledge of today's youth to make the future bright for all Texans.

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Danielle Welch

Danielle Welch received her teaching degree from Tarleton State University in Stephenville in 2008. She currently teaches eighth grade Reading/English in Iowa Park. Danielle is a Facilitator with Education in Action because she enjoys working with leaders from across the state of Texas.

Youth Facilitators

All Youth Facilitators are Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council members

Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council members have the unique opportunity to return on Lone Star Leadership Academy camps as Youth Facilitators. Youth Facilitators serve as mentors to the campers, assist the adult Facilitators, and assist camp Directors behind the scenes. Click here to learn more about the Alumni Council and Youth Facilitators.

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Camile Abaya

Camille is an 11th grader in Houston ISD. Camille is a Youth Facilitator because she enjoys working with aspiring leaders, developing the skills necessary to lead and teach, exploring her strengths and weaknesses, and learning from the wealth of knowledge and experience provided by the camp Facilitators, Assistant Directors, and Directors. Camille just completed her 7th year on the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council. 2018-2019 Alumni Council Service Project: Interact Rotary 7th Annual International Festival Cultural Performance

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Braedon Atha

Braedon is a 7th grader in Frisco ISD. Braedon is a Youth Facilitator because as a camper he noticed that the Youth Facilitators have a lot of responsibility and it's a professional experience for them. He looks forward to visiting Texas sites while learning responsibility, courage, and confidence in preparation for adulthood. Braedon just completed his 1st year on the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council. 2018-2019 Alumni Council Service Project: Items for Dogs in Need

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Logan Clary

Logan is a 9th grader at Providence Classical School. Logan is a Youth Facilitator because he participated in all of the camps and enjoyed spending time with the Facilitators that demonstrated what it meant to be a leader. Logan looks up to them and wants to be like them when he is old enough. Logan just completed his 1st year on the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council. 2018-2019 Alumni Council Service Project: Houston Food Bank Volunteer Service

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Elisabeth Cochran

Elisabeth is an 8th grader in Stephenville ISD. Elisabeth is a Youth Facilitator because ever since the first camp it has been something she has looked forward to. She really enjoys working and interacting with students younger than her. Elisabeth wants to see the exhibits she saw a few years ago and tp share the information with the younger students. Elisabeth just completed her 1st year on the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council. 2018-2019 Alumni Council Service Project: Helping Paws and Claws

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Ariel Draper

Ariel is an 9th grader in Copperas Cove ISD. Ariel is a Youth Facilitator because she enjoys mentoring younger students and wants to make a positive impact on their lives. Ariel just completed her 2nd year on the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council. 2018-2019 Alumni Council Service Project: Kicking Cancer in the Butt: Kick-a-thon

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Sam Fralick

Sam is an 9th grader in Montgomery ISD. Sam is a returning Youth Facilitator because he loves the whole leadership program. He had an amazing time at a Youth Facilitator last summer, and enjoyed the opportunity to help other campers reach their potential as they progressed through the program. Sam just completed his 4th year on the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council. 2018-2019 Alumni Council Service Project: Books for Barbara

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Collin Harwick

Collin is a 10th grader in Round Rock ISD. Collin is a Youth Facilitator because it allows him to get a different view on leadership skills by teaching skills to campers. Also, it helps him gain skills to be a good leadership example to his peers. Collin believes being a Youth Facilitator is a high honor at this stage in his life and will be beneficial to not only his leadership skills, but to his peers as well. Collin just completed his 4th year on the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council. 2018-2019 Alumni Council Service Project: Collection of Goods for the Local Food Pantry

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Kristopher Hodgin

Kristopher is a 7th grader at The Dunham School in East Baton Rouge Parish, LA. Kristopher is a Youth Facilitator because he enjoyed his time with the Lone Star Leadership Academy as a camper and wants to help new kids have great experiences like he did. He wants to continue learning and get more experience for the future. Kristopher just completed his 1st year on the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council. 2018-2019 Alumni Council Service Project: Warm Blanket Drive

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Emilie Janicek

Emilie is a 9th grader in Nixon-Smiley CISD. Emilie chose to be a Youth Facilitator to further her leadership skills by working with other students. She would like to gain a better understanding of how to lead students who are close to her age. Emilie just completed her 3rd year on the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council. 2018-2019 Alumni Council Service Project: Cash for Cats

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Matthew Ji

Matthew is an 11th grader in Northwest ISD. Matthew returns as a Youth Facilitator each year because he enjoys going to Houston/Galveston to teach middle school students leadership. Even though he has been to these places for numerous times already, he keeps coming back because of the students. Their youthful nature, optimism, and young hearts inspire him to have better character and be a better leader. Matthew just completed his 3rd year on the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council. 2018-2019 Alumni Council Service Project: English and Chinese Books for Elementary School Students in China

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Mattie Kleespies

Mattie is a 9th grader in Carroll ISD. Mattie is a Youth Facilitator because she wants to have the experience of leading larger groups. She has led small groups of only five or ten people, but has never had the opportunity to lead larger groups. Mattie just completed her 1st year on the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council. 2018-2019 Alumni Council Service Project: Milkweed for Monarchs

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Riley Knapp

Riley is an 11th grader in Fort Worth ISD. Riley is a Youth Facilitator because he thinks the Lone Star Leadership Academy is a great summer camp and he greatly enjoyed his time as a camper. Also, he wants to use the leadership skills he used during the school year to be a role model for the summer campers. Riley just completed his 3rd year on the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council. 2018-2019 Alumni Council Service Project: Sandwiches for the Homeless with After School Programs

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Peyton Mizeski

Peyton is a 9th grader in Millsap ISD. Peyton is a Youth Facilitator because he would like to continue to work on his leadership skills. Peyton just completed his 2nd year on the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council. 2018-2019 Alumni Council Service Project: Care Packages

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Hannah Morris

Hannah is an 8th grader at Trinity School of Texas. Hannah is a Youth Facilitator because she loves learning new ways to be a better leader. Also, she enjoys meeting new people and making new friends. Hannah just completed her 2nd year on the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council. 2018-2019 Alumni Council Service Project: Book Drive for Presbyterian Children's Center

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Rahul Nandyala

Rahul is a 9th grader in Frisco ISD. Rahul is a Youth Facilitator because when he went to the Lone Star Leadership Academy camps, he learned a lot about the state of Texas and made lots of friends. He hopes to help younger kids do the same. Rahul just completed his 1st year on the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council. 2018-2019 Alumni Council Service Project: One Warm Clothing Drive

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Griffin Oliver

Griffin is an 8th grader in Northeast ISD. Griffin was an avid participant in the Lone Star Leadership Academy from 4th-6th grade. He chose to be a Youth Facilitator because the camp made an impact on him and he wants the experience to continue to be a significant part of his summer every year. Griffin just completed his 1st year on the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council. 2018-2019 Alumni Council Service Project: Feed the Kitties!

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Jacob Pasteur

Jacob is an 8th grader at The Clariden School in Southlake. Jacob is a Youth Facilitator because he wants to be a role model to younger leaders. He wants to guide them to be better leaders and to be the best they can be, in the community and for the rest of their lives. Jacob just completed his 2nd year on the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council. 2018-2019 Alumni Council Service Project: Snack Sacks for Kids

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Ashlyn Roberts

Ashlyn is an 8th grader in Humble ISD. Ashlyn is a Youth Facilitator because she has a passion for aiding others. Training to be a leader is a tedious process and it's easier if support is present. She would like to provide the same support her Youth Facilitator gave to her during her first year of camp. Ashlyn just completed her 1st year on the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council. 2018-2019 Alumni Council Service Project: Beginning Orchestra Tutoring

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Zoe Robinson

Zoe is a 7th grader in Grapevine-Colleyville ISD. Zoe is a Youth Facilitator because when she was little and attended VBS at her local church, she always looked up to the youth leaders in her groups. When she came to the Lone Star Leadership Academy, the same thing happened, She was excited when she found out she could be a Youth Facilitator. She hopes the campers look up to her the same way she looked up to her youth leaders. Zoe just completed her 1st year on the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council. 2018-2019 Alumni Council Service Project: Holiday Helpers

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Anthony Rodriguez

Anthony is an 8th grader in Houston ISD. Anthony is a Youth Facilitator because the experience itself is amazing and he likes mentoring younger students. He feels he can actually apply the skills he learned when he was a camper to being a Youth Facilitator. Anthony just completed his 2nd year on the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council. 2018-2019 Alumni Council Service Project: Books for Kids

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Christine Rong

Christine is a 10th grader in Houston ISD. Christine is a Youth Facilitator because she wants to promote a fair and inclusive environment for the campers as they make lifelong friends during the weeklong camp. She wants to help guide the campers through amazing new experiences and make them feel comfortable and included. Last year as a Youth Facilitator on the Austin/San Antonio camp, she improved her leadership skills which was such a rewarding experience. Christine just completed her 3rd year on the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council. 2018-2019 Alumni Council Service Project: Music To You, Holiday Chorus

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Austin Smallwood

Austin is a 9th grader in Carroll ISD. Austin is a Youth Facilitator because he has always known that he would like to lead something. He loves to return to the leadership camp not for the exhibits and museums but for the students who may be future leaders in their schools. Austin just completed his 1st year on the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council. 2018-2019 Alumni Council Service Project: Easter Egg Contribution

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Levi Ullah-Commons

Levi is a 7th grader in Sherman ISD. Levi is a Youth Facilitator because he wants to help the campers. When he was a camper, his Youth Facilitator helped him if he got lost or needed help and was there to hang out and have fun. His Youth Facilitators helped him through a lot and he wants to return the favor. Levi just completed his 1st year on the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council. 2018-2019 Alumni Council Service Project: Replacing Trailhead at Eisenhower State Park

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Kenzie White

Kenzie is an 8th grader in Columbia-Brazoria ISD. Kenzie is a Youth Facilitator because when she went to the camps, she didn't have any friends, Because she is a shy person, the first person that got her out of her shell was a Youth Facilitator. She wanted to have the opportunity to do the same for someone else. Kenzie just completed her 1st year on the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council. 2018-2019 Alumni Council Service Project: Teddy Bears for Emergencies

"The program was well-organized and supervised. The pics posted every evening really helped us see what his daily experiences were."

-Participant's Parent

"My daughter was so excited to tell us everything she had learned during the week. And we were thrilled to know that your staff is all certified teachers. I felt that actually enhanced her learning experience. Great job!"

-Participant's Parent

"Fantastic camp. My son said it was the best week and he can't wait to attend again next summer. That says a lot!"

-Participant's Parent