President and Executive Director
Susan Dawson is a Texas entrepreneur, business and civic leader. She founded and leads the E3 Alliance (for Education Equals Economics), a regional collaborative to increase economic outcomes by aligning our education systems to fulfill the potential of every student. E3 Alliance has been recognized across the country for its ground-breaking work in systemic change for education. Susan has led multiple technology firms and served as Chair of the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce. Her many awards include the Leadership Austin Polly Scallorn Award for Lifetime Achievement in Community Trusteeship, Austin Under 40 “Austinite of the Year”, Hero for Children by the State Board of Education, Austin Profiles in Power “Profile Leader”, and the UT McCombs School “Trailblazer Award” for the distinguished woman alumni trailblazer in business and community. In 2011 the Austin Business Journal named Susan one of “Austin’s 30 Most Influential” leaders who have shaped Austin’s economy and culture in the last 30 years. Susan has a BS Cum Laude from Princeton University and an MBA with Highest Honors from UT Austin McCombs School of Business.
Manager, Pathways of Promise
As the Pathways of Promise (PoP) manager, Eric works closely with funders, partner school districts, colleges and universities, E3 staff, and others to implement and report on strategies associated with reaching the target performance objectives related to this initiative. He has over 13 years of experience working with young people with trauma and developmental disabilities. Prior to joining E3, Eric was employed by the SAFE Alliance and ResCare in director positions and led programs geared toward serving disadvantaged youth. Eric earned a M.Ed with a focus in Applied Behavior Analysis from Arizona State University and a B.S. in Psychology from Texas State University.
Project Manager of RAISEup Texas
After 10 years in the private sector as a corporate trainer, Teri returned to the public school classroom, determined to make a difference in the lives of students and communities through education. Teri’s passion for educational change led her to a school leadership role at Simon Middle School at Hays CISD, just as they were beginning to implement the Strategic Instruction Model (SIM) through the RAISEup Texas project. During the past five years of instructional leadership at Simon, she has earned certification both as a Principal and Content Enhancement Professional Developer from University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning. Teri joined RAISEup Texas as a Project Manager in 2016 determined to advocate and work for school transformation. Teri earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Arts from the University of Houston-Victoria focused on History and Administrative Education.
Chief Operations Officer & Systems Manager
Cara is responsible for all financial information and office systems and processes and for coordinating project management systems and processes across all initiatives at E3 Alliance. Cara has over 25 years of experience in finance, information technology and management consulting. Prior to joining E3, Cara was employed by Whole Foods, Dell Computers, Price Waterhouse in senior management roles and leading teams in developing business systems and processes. Cara earned an MBA with a concentration in Information Systems from the University of Maryland Robert H Smith School of Business and a B.A. in Business Administration and Accounting from Gettysburg College. She is also a licensed CPA.
Director of Student Success
Sonia supports regional collaborative work by developing partnerships and building relationships with education leaders dedicated to eliminating achievement and opportunity gaps for students in Central Texas. Sonia brings over 15 years of experience in both K-12 and higher education, having worked as a middle school math teacher, instructional coach, school district administrator, adjunct faculty, and researcher assistant. Prior to joining E3, she was Administrative Supervisor for the Chief Office of Teaching and Learning in the Austin Independent School District where she served as the district captain for President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative. She also served as the Director of Secondary Education in Seguin ISD, where she led the designation process and opening of an Early College High School. Sonia earned both a Master’s degree in Mathematics Education and a Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Texas at El Paso.
Emma Garrett serves as the Executive Assistant to E3 Alliance. Prior to coming to E3 Alliance, Emma practiced law in Central Texas, representing abused and neglected children. Emma’s passion for improving education outcomes for all students led to Emma’s new career at E3 Alliance. Emma received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin and her law degree from Texas Tech Law School. In her spare time she enjoys cheering for her kids at their soccer games, reading, jogging with friends, and hosting well-attended parties.
Caitlin Hamrock, PhD
Senior Research Associate
Caitlin Hamrock joined E3 after completing her PhD in Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin. Caitlin’s previous research focused on post-secondary education and the transition to the labor market, as well as STEM education, dual credit course completion, teacher preparation programs, and socio-demographic inequality in education. Caitlin specializes in regression based modeling, non-experimental causal research, and large scale administrative data analysis. At E3 Alliance, Caitlin leads the research for the My Brother’s Keeper initiative and the Central Texas Education Profile. Caitlin received a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology with distinction from the University of Minnesota, and a Master’s degree in Sociology from the University of Texas at Austin.
Project Manager of RAISEup Texas
Amy Havard is the Project Manager of RAISEup Texas, responsible for ensuring project fidelity across multiple schools and supporting campuses participating in the project. Amy has over 15 years of experience in education and is currently serving as is a certified professional developer in the Strategic Instruction Model (SIM) and has conducted multiple training sessions in both Learning Strategies (LS) and Content Enhancement Routines (CER). In 2010 Amy became a Nationally Board Certified Teacher (NBCT) in Early Adolescent Mathematics from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). Previously, Amy worked as a SIM Instructional Coach, Mathematics teacher, and Interventionist within the Austin and Round Rock school districts. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History from the University of Texas at Austin and a Masters in Teaching degree from City University of Seattle.
Project Coordinator & Web Content Manager
Christie Hepburn has more than fifteen years of experience as an educator with a focus on reading, English language arts and special education. She joined E3 Alliance in 2008 to help coordinate Central Texas Deliberative Dialogues and has continued to provide support on a variety of projects. Christie earned a BS in Great Book Studies from St. Anselm’s College in New Hampshire and a Master’s in Bilingual Special Education with a concentration in Learning Disabilities and English as a Second Language from the University of Texas at Austin.
Director of School Readiness
For over 20 years, Laura Koenig has been working with families through direct child care, parent education, provider education, public policy and advocacy in Central Texas. In her early career, Laura worked in child care as an infant teacher. This work with children and families inspired her to pursue a systems change approach in early care and education through public policy. Most recently before joining the staff of E3 Alliance, Laura coordinated the Parents of Newborns project at FamilyConnections, providing education and outreach to over 7,800 new families annually. Prior to that, Laura was part of a community-wide initiative to improve access to quality, affordable child care, the Institute for Child Care Excellence, where she served as the policy and education specialist. Laura earned a BA, Plan II, Cum Laude, from The University of Texas of Austin with a concentration in Psychology. She also holds a master’s degree in public affairs from the LBJ School at The University of Texas, where she focused on child and family policy.
Project Manager of RAISEup Texas
Lety Maynard is the Project Manager of RAISEup Texas. She supports campuses participating in the school transformation project. After graduating from the University of Texas at San Antonio, Lety obtained her teaching certifications in biology, special education, English as a Second Language, bilingual education, and generalist. She has over 15 years of experience in education, working as a science teacher, special education teacher, biology teacher, and English as a Second Language teacher in Eagle Pass, San Antonio, San Marcos, and Hays school districts. During her time teaching at Simon Middle School, a RAISEup Texas school, she was awarded the campus Teacher of the Year Award and, subsequently, the Secondary District Teacher of the Year Award. She has also worked as a SIM (Strategic Instruction Model) instructional coach and English as a Second Language and Dual Language District instructional coach. Lety holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from the University of Texas at San Antonio and a Master of Education in educational leadership and policy studies from the University of Texas at Arlington.
Vice President of Investor Development
Karl Nichols has over 20 years of experience as a management professional with a proven record of leadership in the non-profit sector in the areas of educational and healthcare program management, administrative leadership, organizational partnerships, fund development, and civic engagement in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and now Austin, Texas. In Austin, Karl has worked in senior leadership roles with organizations such as: OneStar Foundation, Skillpoint Alliance, SafePlace, and more recently, the African American Youth Harvest Foundation. In his previous work, Karl was responsible for leading the strategic fundraising efforts of a local nonprofit and helped grow the operating budget by 54 percent in one year through the expansion of governmental contracts, increases in corporate and philanthropic giving, and launching annual giving and individual/major donor campaigns. Karl holds both a BA and MBA with a concentration in nonprofit management from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. Karl is happily married to Linda Nichols and resides in Austin, Texas with their three sons who all graduated from Round Rock Independent School District high schools and currently matriculate at Texas universities.
Chief Transformation Officer
Matt Pope oversees the management and growth of our Transformation Services, providing proven, data-driven services to improve student outcomes across the state of Texas. Matt began his career as a middle school math teacher and an elementary learning facilitator in South Texas. Matt is also formerly the Principal of the award-winning Simon Middle School in Hays County. Under his leadership, Simon MS achieved recognition as a “2014 National School to Watch” by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform. It was also chosen as a “SIM Impact School Award” winner by the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning and was recognized as 2015 State of Texas “School of Character” by the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association. Matt has been recognized as an Impact Agent by Strive Together, and was honored as a Salud Hero from Salud America! for his work increasing the health and wellness of Hispanic Students. Matt was also highlighted by the Meadows Center for Preventing Educational Risk as a top secondary leader for implementing Response to Intervention, and has been featured in the Triune Magazine and the Association of Middle Level Educators national publication. Matt is an alumni of Leadership Austin’s Essentials Class of 2016 and volunteers as the Regional Director of Raise Your Hand Texas. Matt holds Bachelors of Public Administration from Texas State University and a Masters of Educational Administration from the University of Houston-Victoria.
Data Systems & Reports Coordinator
Joshua Scott came to the E3 Alliance after being involved in the Austin Community College District’s Student Success Initiative as President of the college’s chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. His professional experiences range from developing software for legislative analysis to developing ice cream flavors at Amy’s Ice Creams.
Director of Communications & Community Accountability
Khotan Shahbazi-Harmon is a multiple award-winning journalist, community development specialist, and entrepreneurship accelerator. Khotan managed various education programs at Georgetown University; started an education incubator in Prague, Czech Republic; and served as an external evaluator for the Texas Education Agency evaluating special programs on science and math, and language and arts in Texas. Khotan managed a community MBA program in East Austin that helped very low-income clients gain self-sufficiency through entrepreneurship; and served on the high-tech start-up team that developed a venture that went viral within the first few months of creation. She has served as a convener and facilitator of community conversations around complex and challenging issues on race, education and social innovation. Khotan earned a B.S. in International Studies from American University in Washington, D.C. with a focus on economic development.
Director of Strategic Partnerships
D Thompson is the Director of Strategic Partnerships for E3 Alliance’s Transformation Services. In this role he builds partnerships with school districts across the state of Texas, helping them implement the research-driven services that E3 Alliance provides to drive increased student outcomes. Prior to joining E3 Alliance in 2017, D managed Leadership for Educational Equity’s elected leadership pipeline for the state of Texas, coaching current and former teachers to run for elected office in his home state. His background in education began as part of Teach For America, where he fell in love teaching high school math in rural North Carolina. D was also a founding administrator of KIPP Austin Collegiate, a high-performing high school serving the families of East Austin. In addition to his time in education, he served 5 years as a pastor at the Austin Stone Community Church. D is a graduate of Texas A&M University and is a passionate season ticket holder for the Aggie football team.
Director of High School, College & Career Success
Isaac Torres is the Director of High School, College & Career Success at E3 Alliance. Isaac oversees the collaborative work of the Austin College Access Network and the Student Success Practitioner’s Council by building relationships with Central Texas leaders, change agents and organizations working with and around schools to eliminate achievement gaps. Isaac brings 15 years of experience in education, having worked as a college access mentor, a postsecondary tutor, a grant specialist, a research assistant, and an independent consultant. Isaac has received numerous awards and public recognition for his work, most notably for his conception of The SEEDS Program, a creative linguistic intervention for incarcerated students. Isaac holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Disorders and Sciences & a Bachelor’s in Spanish from the University of Oregon. He also holds a Master’s of Fine Arts degree from Texas State University, where he is currently completing his doctoral studies in School Improvement.
Jeff Wayman, PhD
Vice President of Research and Analytics
Jeff Wayman, Ph.D., is the Vice President of Research and Analytics for E3 Alliance. Jeff oversees research and analytic activities, ensuring that E3’s data are timely and accurate, and thoughtfully inform systemic improvements in education. Prior to joining E3, Jeff spent 15 years researching the effective use of education data, first at Johns Hopkins University, then at The University of Texas at Austin, and most recently in his private consulting practice. Jeff holds a BS in Mathematics Education from Truman State University, an MS in Statistics from Colorado State University, and a PhD in Education from Colorado State University. Jeff is a former middle school math teacher, which may explain his behavior.
Amy Wiseman, PhD
Director of Research Studies
Dr. Amy Wiseman brings nearly 20 years of experience with research and data analysis to E3 Alliance where she engages in education research studies and program evaluations addressing the state of education in Central Texas. Before joining the Alliance, Amy was Assistant Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience for five years at Allegheny College in Western Pennsylvania, where she taught advanced statistics and conducted research on learning and memory. The daughter of two elementary educators, Amy earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in Psychology with a specialization in Cognitive Neuroscience from Harvard University, and earned her Bachelor’s in Psychology from Trinity University in San Antonio.