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 continued to teach for 10 years. Michael taught fifth grade Science and Writing at Christene C. Moss Elementary School in Fort Worth ISD for the last year. 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 when students are given the chance to venture out into unknown territory and delve into things that will enhance their minds and personalities.

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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 that 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 Fair Independent School District in Houston. Timmothy works as a Director for Education in Action because he enjoys being able to invest in students and this experience allows them to not only learn but have a hands-on opportunity that impacts beyond the summer.

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Nicole Lindsey ›

Nicole Lindsey is completing her degree in Elementary Education from Grand Canyon University this fall with only her student teaching left. She has worked for Breckenridge ISD in Special Education for eleven years as a Life Skills paraprofessional. Nicole works as a facilitator for Education in Action because she enjoys spending her summers helping students reach their leadership goals and loves to watch them become successful with the program. This will be Nicole's fourth year with Education in Action and she is excited to watch students grow in leadership.

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Paul Montreuil ›

Paul earned his degree in Education from Southeastern Louisiana University in 1999. He has taught 6th grade in the Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD for 17 years. Paul works for Education in Action as a Director of the Lone Star Leadership Academy camps. Working with the best students from all across Texas and watching them grow their leadership skills 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 6th and 7th grade math. Jen works as a director for Education in Action because she loves working with children 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 Bachelor of Science and early childhood degree from Tarleton State University. This is her second year at Highland Elementary School in Tulia for the 2017-2018 school year. She has taught kindergarten for the past seven years and has had 23 years in education. This will be her fifth summer with Education in Action. Denise will celebrate her 30th wedding anniversary this summer. She has two adult children, one in college and one graduate.

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Rex Stephenson ›

Rex 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 Lone Star Leadership Academy Director because he feels Education in Action provides an awesome opportunity for motivated kids to display leadership skills. He feels being a part of such a tremendous program is an honor and the organization of the programs makes it easy to keep the kids involved and motivated all week.

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Terri Stout ›

Terri earned her undergraduate degree from Loyola Marymount in Las 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 3rd grade at Daffron Elementary School in Plano ISD.

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Shelbi Thomason ›

Shelbi Thomason earned her Bachelor of Science in Biology from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi in 2013 and her Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction from Texas A&M University-Commerce in 2016. She teaches 3rd, 4th and 5th grade science at Cumby Elementary school. Shelbi works as a facilitator for Education in Action because she is a life long learner in addition to wanting to share new experiences with students from all over Texas to continue their life long learning.

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Staff Members

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Jennifer Bell ›

Jennifer attended Dallas Baptist University and graduated in 2006 with a degree in History. She taught 7th grade in Dallas and for the past three years, she taught 6th grade in Arlington ISD. Jennifer works as a Facilitator and Assistant Director with Education in Action because she feels the Lone Star Leadership Academy camps help to develop students’ leadership skills in a fun way.

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Felisha Brady ›

In 1995 Felisha graduated from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa with a degree in Political Science. Then, she earned her Master of Public Administration from Auburn University in Montgomery in 1998. For the past 14 years, Felisha has been a classroom teacher in Government, Economics, and History. Currently she is an Academic Specialist at Sam Houston Middle School in Irving ISD. Felisha has been with Education in Action for four years and enjoys working the Lone Star Leadership Academy camps because of the diverse and fun kiddos and adults with whom she is able to work.

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Nicolas Cardenas ›

Nicholas Cardenas earned his History degree and teaching certification from the University of Texas at Austin in 2014. He taught seventh and eighth grade Social Studies at McNair Middle School in Southwest ISD for the past four years. Nicholas works as a facilitator for Education in Action because he enjoys continuing to work with students and spread his love of history and Texas.

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Audra Cozart ›

Audra Cozart earned a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Tarleton State University in 2014. She has taught sixth and seventh grade math at Taylor Middle School for four years. Audra attended the Lone Star Leadership Academy camps in Austin and Houston as a student. She believes the experiences the camps provided her have been very valuable and wants to share that same memorable learning of Texas and leadership skills to the next generation.

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Harrison Gillaspy ›

Harrison Gillaspy graduated from Texas Christian University in 2017. He received a Bachelor's degree in physical education. He teaches Physical Education at Meadowbrook Elementary School in Fort Worth ISD. Harrison chose to work for Education in Action because he believes it provides students with a real world learning experience the classroom cannot provide during the school year and I wanted to be apart of it!

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Linda Gooding ›

Linda earned her teaching degree from Rockford College in 2010. Since 2014 she has taught 6th-8th grade English, 7th grade Texas History, and 8th grade U.S. History at AESA Prep Academy. Linda works as a Facilitator for Education in Action because she enjoys the Lone Star Leadership Academy camps and helping to keep their minds fresh.

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Erika Gonzales ›

Erika Gonzales earned her associate degree from Howard College in 2013. She worked as a substitute teacher for two years in her home town back in West Texas, where she substituted for grades kindergarten to eighth grade. She currently works at John Peter Smith Hospital. Erika also works as a facilitator for Education in Action because she enjoys working with students and being able to teach them all about our great state of Texas.

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Trey Ledbetter ›

Trey Ledbetter earned his Bachelor's in 2011 and Master's Degree in 2017 from Stephen F Austin State University located in Nacogodches, Texas. He has been in secondary education for the last six years teaching mathematics, business, and coaching high school football, basketball, and track. This is Trey's second year working for Education in Action as a facilitator because of his passion in helping students grow to become leaders.

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Blake Lindsey ›

Blake Lindsey earned his Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, and Master of Arts degrees in History and Exercise Science from Abilene Christian University. His teaching career began in Fort Worth ISD, but has taught in Mansfield ISD since 2000 and currently teaches at the Jerry Knight STEM Academy. One of our original summer program facilitators, he continues to work with Education in Action each summer because he believes in the leadership potential of every student and enjoys working with them to explore their state and their futures.

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John McConnell ›

John McConnell earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Saint Mary College in Leavenworth, Kansas. 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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Aaron Morales ›

Aaron Morales has been teaching for two years. This is his second year teaching at Joe May Elementary School (DISD). He enjoys helping students discover new books and obtain a deeper comprehension of the stories and loves it when the light bulb comes on! He is married (his wife is also a teacher) and has a 14 year old son. Aaron likes to cook, learn new things, and travel around the world. He graduated with a Bachelor's degree in International Business from the University of Texas at Arlington. He then attended South Methodist University's Cox School of Business to pursue a Master's in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing and Finance. He is glad that he chose Education in Action as his journey to greatness!

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Autumn Moseley ›

Autumn is a history major at the University of Texas. She has worked with Education in Action for almost two years, both as a director on one-day Discover Texas Field Trips during the school year and as an assistant director on Lone Star Leadership Academy summer camps. She enjoys providing engaging learning experiences for students on Education in Action's programs and would ultimately like to make a career doing the same as an education programs director at a history museum.

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Cameron O'Briant ›

Cameron O’Briant earned his Associate's degree in science from Howard College in San Angelo. He currently works as a substitute teacher for San Angelo Independent School District. He teaches K-12 all subject. Cameron enjoys working as a facilitator for Education in Action because he gets to help kids continue to expand their knowledge while on summer break.

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Courtney O'Neal ›

Courtney graduated from Angelo State University with a degree in Interdisciplinary Child Development and Learning. She has taught elementary school in Hereford for nine years. Courtney works as a facilitator for Education In Action because she loves working with leadership-minded students and she loves Texas History.

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Jessica Oswald ›

Jessica Oswald earned a double major in Public Relations/Sociology from Sam Houston State University. She went on to complete her teaching certificate while teaching 7th grade social studies at YES Prep White Oak in Houston, TX. She is currently teaching 5th grade math at Carpenter Intermediate while pursing her Masters in Interdisciplinary Studies focusing on education policy. Jessica has taught all levels from elementary to high school and loves it all! She has accepted a new position for the 2017-2018 school year teaching 10th grade social studies in White Oak ISD.

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Clyde Parham ›

Clyde Parham earned his teaching degree from Stephen F. Austin State University in 1988. He taught History for high school and junior high for 26 years and has been the acting Principal for Silverton ISD for the past four years. Clyde works as a facilitator for Education in Action because he enjoys working with students during the summer and 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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Jeff Powell ›

Jeff Powell earned his Associate degree from DeAnza College in 1993. He has been a Physical Education Aide at Naomi Press in McKinney ISD for the past seven years. He works as a facilitator for Education in Action because he enjoys watching the students excitement as they learn about Texas.

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Gary Spurr ›

Gary Spurr earned both his History Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts with Certificate of Archival Management from The University of Texas at Arlington. He worked in Archives and Special Collections for 20 plus years at the University of Texas-Arlington and Tarleton State University. Gary works as a facilitator for Education in Action because he loves working with children and sharing his love of and excitement of Texas history. Gary feels it is important to make the learning of history fun and exciting.

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Joshua Stephenson ›

Josh Stephenson earned his teaching degree in History from Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas in 2018. He will begin his teaching career in the Fall. Josh works as a facilitator at Education in Action because he loves to interact with students and enjoys the more open teaching environment that the summer allows.

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Kelly Tiffee ›

Kelly Tiffee earned her teaching degree from Concordia University Chicago in 2012. She was called to Texas to teach middle school History, Drama and Religion at Zion Lutheran School in Dallas. Kelly works as a facilitator for Education in Action because she loves working with kids and watching them grow in knowledge and character. She is overjoyed to join in the experience!

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Kimberly Varela ›

Kimberly Varela earned her teaching degree - Interdisciplinary Studies EC-4 with emphasis in ESL - in 2007 from the University of North Texas. She also earned a Masters in Education in 2016 from the University of Texas at Arlington. She has taught for 11 years, all in the Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD. She has taught second grade and currently teaches fourth grade. Kimberly works as a facilitator for Education in Action because she enjoys continuing to work with students during the summer break. She feels students are able to keep their minds fresh and build on knowledge of the great state of Texas.

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Leigh Walters ›

Leigh earned her undergraduate teaching degree and Master of Science in Reading at Texas A & M in Corpus Christi. Texas. She also holds a Masters Degree in Educational Leadership from Stephen F. Austin University. Currently, Leigh teaches seventh grade Texas history at Kahla Middle School in Cypress Fairbanks ISD. This is her third year with Education in Action and she is looking forward to another summer of learning and lots of fun.

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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, Texas outside Wichita Falls. She enjoys working with leaders from across the state through Education In Action since 2012.

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Youth Facilitators

All Youth Facilitators are Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council members

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Camile Abaya

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Kamy Adams

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Alexis Andress

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Lane Blakley

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Anna Brothers

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Grayson Chapman

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Maura Chapman

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Riley Davis

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Sophia Deras

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Ariel Draper

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Steven Edwards II

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Sam Fralick

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Collin Harwick

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Emilie Janicek

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Matthew Ji

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Emma Lee

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Téa McCormack

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Hannah Morris

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Aiden Porter

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Anthony Rodriguez

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Christine Rong

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Brianna Thornton

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Lily Tran

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Jax Williams

"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