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Susan Dawson

President & Executive Director

Bio

Susan Dawson

President & Executive Director, E3 Alliance

BIO

Susan Dawson is a Texas entrepreneur, business, and civic leader. As a successful business entrepreneur turned social entrepreneur, Dawson has led multiple technology firms. She founded and leads E3 Alliance, which has been recognized across the country for its groundbreaking work in systemic change for education. Dawson has served the community as Chair of the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce as well as board chair/executive member of AARO, Leadership Austin, Children’s Optimal Health, Workforce Solutions, American Youthworks, and Austin Partners in Education, among many other community groups. Her many awards include the Leadership Austin 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”, Ernst and Young “Entrepreneur of the Year”, Dell Medical School Health Hero, UT McCombs School “Trailblazer Award” for the distinguished woman alumni trailblazer in business and community, and a CEO of the Year by the Austin Chamber. In 2011 the Austin Business Journal named Dawson one of “Austin’s 30 Most Influential” leaders who have shaped Austin’s economy and culture in the last 30 years; in 2019 she was named the national Cradle to Career Champion by StriveTogether; and she was chosen as the 2020 Austinite of the Year by the Austin Chamber. Dawson has a BS Cum Laude from Princeton University and an MBA with Highest Honors from UT Austin McCombs School of Business. She is mother of two public school graduates: one in dental school and one at Purdue University. She is surviving Stage 4 breast cancer first diagnosed in 2016, and has spent significant time over the last few years understanding and working to improve the cancer research, prevention, and clinical care infrastructure in our region and our state, particularly for those who are most underserved.

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Jill Camba

Accountant

Bio

Jill Camba

Accountant

BIO

Jill is responsible for Accounts Payable, reconciliation and budget-to-actual reporting. She has over 15 years of experience in a variety of industries including banking and nonprofit sectors. During tax season, Jill volunteers her time preparing tax returns for seniors and lower income individuals at Bell County community centers. She enjoys cooking and cheering her high school son at tennis tournaments. Jill has BS in Accounting and is completing coursework to prepare for the CPA exam.

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Jennifer Cavazos Saenz

Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives & Continuous Improvement

Bio

Jennifer Cavazos Saenz

Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives & Continuous Improvement

BIO

Prior to joining E3, Jennifer was the director of strategic partnerships and outreach for OnRamps, The University of Texas-led program established in 2011 to address the misalignment of academic expectations between high school and college. Serving tens of thousands of students, educators and school campuses across Texas, Jennifer helped grow OnRamps to be a statewide resource in the college credit-bearing space. A leading expert on postsecondary readiness, transition and persistence, Jennifer has spent the last 23 years working in both the private and public sectors in education, including Texas Education Agency. She is a graduate of Texas State University, and holds both a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree in education, reading and administration.

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Teri Clement

Director of School Transformation

Bio

Teri Clement

Director of School Transformation

BIO

After 10 years in the private sector as a corporate trainer, Teri returned to education, determined to make a difference in the lives of students and communities through education. Teri’s passion for educational change led her to a variety of school leadership roles during her 10-year tenure in Texas public schools, and she earned certification as a Principal before joining E3 Alliance as a Project Manager in 2016. Determined to advocate and work for the success of all students, Teri is now a Director of School Transformation at E3, supporting schools and partnering with districts throughout the Central Texas region. Teri earned a Bachelor of Arts 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.

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Cara Clifford

Chief Operations Officer & Systems Manager

Bio

Cara Clifford

Chief Operations Officer & Systems Manager

BIO

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.

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Lori Davis

Chief Transformation Officer

Bio

Lori Davis

Chief Transformation Officer

BIO

Lori Davis has served the Central Texas region as a professional educator for more than 20 years in the roles of Classroom Teacher, Special Education Teacher, District Behavior Specialist, Assistant Principal and Principal. Her relentless dedication to doing the right things for students resulted in a career of achievements, such as District Teacher of the Year, Special Educator of the Year and participation in the Raise Your Hand Texas Harvard Leadership Program. Lori now supports students in districts throughout the region and beyond as the Chief Transformation Officer for E3 Alliance. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Special Education from the University of Texas-San Antonio and a Master of Arts in Special Education at Texas State University.

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Thymai Dong, PhD

Director of Community Solutions

Bio

Thymai Dong, PhD

Director of Community Solutions

BIO

Thymai joins the E3 team with an extensive background in PK-12 public education. She leads our Pathways of Promise initiative focused on equitable math pathways for students aligned with their college and career aspirations, our Attendance Matters ACE Task Force, and our English Learners Collaborative. With a doctorate in Adult, Professional, and Community Education from Texas State University, she thrives when collaborating with various stakeholders to transform education systems across the P-16 pipeline.

Alison Duran

Alison Duran

School Transformation Specialist

Bio

Alison Duran

School Transformation Specialist

BIO

As a School Transformation Specialist, Alison works in partnership with leaders at the district, school, and classroom levels to support the implementation of systems to improve outcomes for all students. She has over 13 years of experience in Central Texas as a classroom teacher, teacher leader, SIM (Strategic Instructional Model) instructional coach, and district instructional coach. Alison has been recognized as both Teacher of the Year and Secondary District Teacher of the Year. She has seen firsthand the positive impact school systems have on improving student’s chances of postsecondary success. Alison holds a BS in Interdisciplinary Studies and Mathematics from Texas State University and a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction in Mathematics from the University of Texas at Arlington.

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Priscilla Flores

Impact Network Coordinator

Bio

Priscilla Flores

Impact Network Coordinator

BIO

Priscilla has provided leadership and assistance across Texas to improve educator quality for almost 25 years. Her experience stems from being a classroom teacher, campus administrator, and Gear Up state director, to serving as a senior policy advisor at the Texas Education Agency. Prior to joining E3, she supported the Texas Center for Educator Excellence (TxCEE) in equipping educators to improve student achievement by aligning district resources and increasing educator effectiveness through leadership training, coaching, and instructional support. Priscilla’s background includes the development of education policy in the areas of educator recruitment, preparation, professional development, and educator evaluation. She is a graduate of Texas A&M University-Kingsville where she earned a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in educational administration.

Emma Garrett

Administrative Director

Bio

Emma Garrett

Administrative Director

BIO

Emma Garrett serves as the Administrative Director for E3 Alliance and Executive Assistant for Susan Dawson. She coordinates E3’s Internship and Work Study program and assists with E3’s Operations, including staff onboarding. Prior to E3 Alliance, Emma practiced law in Central Texas, representing abused and neglected children. Her passion for improving education outcomes for all students led Emma to E3. She 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, Emma enjoys cheering for her kids at their soccer games, reading, being with friends and helping them run for office, and hosting well-attended parties.

Amy Havard

Director of School Transformation

Bio

Amy Havard

Director of School Transformation

BIO

As a Director of School Transformation, Amy provides guidance and support to campuses as they build systems to improve outcomes for all students. Amy has over 15 years of experience in education and is currently serving as a certified professional developer in the Strategic Instruction Model (SIM). 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.

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Christie Hepburn

Project Specialist

Bio

Christie Hepburn

Project Specialist

BIO

Coming soon.

Tanja Horan

Tanja Horan

Leadership Austin Fellow

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Tanja Horan

Leadership Austin Fellow

BIO

A Leadership Austin Fellow at E3 Alliance, Tanja Horan is engaged as the Director of Transformation Strategy focused on coaching, capacity building, and scale of the E3 Solutions. As Principal at Tacosa 360 Consulting, Tanja works with organizations to connect their strategy to execution, positioning both the products and organization to drive growth and scale. Having worked with organizations ranging from startups to multinationals, Tanja has delivered products and strategic projects across AI & machine learning, Fintech, CPG, government entities, manufacturing, and health & wellness industries. She has led the product management at multiple SaaS companies as well as built and managed product management and international teams. Additionally, Tanja has coached startups on their pitches, messaging, and product management. She has also consulted with universities developing their entrepreneur incubator and entrepreneur education program. She holds a BA in Economics and English from Vanderbilt University and a MBA from the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota. One of Tanja’s personal passions is promoting and expanding STEM education.

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Michelle Huff Beck

Communications

Bio

Michelle Huff Beck

Communications

BIO

Michelle brings more than 25 years to the E3 communications team, supporting education for the last nine years in non-profit fundraising and as a PTA legislative volunteer. Her background involves launching a foundation, serving as executive director, co-owning a marketing and communications firm, and working as director of corporate communications for five independent specialty corporations. Michelle’s experience has spanned a wide range of industries, including corporate aviation, security, chemical, food service, oil and gas and legal seminar services. She holds a bachelor’s degree from St. Edward’s University.

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Andrea Jacks

Director of Research

Bio

Andrea Jacks

Director of Research

BIO

Andrea joins E3 Alliance with over 10 years of experience in action-oriented, mixed methods research with the goal of improving family and child well-being across silos and institutions. She has spent her career working with community-based organizations and policy leaders to improve outcomes for Texas children and families through the use of data-driven decision-making. Previously, Andrea was the Division Administrator for Research and Evaluation in the Prevention and Early Intervention Division of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. She has also held positions with the Texas Legislative Council, the Center for Public Policy Priorities, and the National Skills Coalition. Andrea holds a doctorate in Public Administration and Policy from Arizona State University, a Master's in Public Policy from Georgetown University, and a Bachelor's in Sociology from Colgate University. As someone who grew up in a low-income household, she personally experienced the opportunity that education provided. Andrea remains passionate about bringing that same opportunity to all Central Texas students.

Kaci Kai

Kaci Kai

Visual Communications Coordinator

Bio
Kaci Kai

Kaci Kai

Visual Communications Coordinator

BIO

Kaci is a designer, writer, and creator for the E3 Alliance Communications team. Before joining E3 Alliance, Kaci worked with clients such as Whole Foods Market and the University of Texas at Austin. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York.

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Laura Koenig

Senior Director of Community Solutions

Bio

Laura Koenig

Senior Director of Community Solutions

BIO

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.

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Sarah Koop

Collective Impact Associate

Bio

Sarah Koop

Collective Impact
Associate

BIO

Sarah serves as an Associate to the Collective Impact team. Sarah has over five years of experience working within nonprofits organizations and is passionate about creating change within the community. She has a deep appreciation for organization and takes great pride in supporting her fellow staff. Sarah has earned a Master's degree in Public Administration from San Diego State University and a Bachelor's degree in Women's Studies from California State University of Fullerton.

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Rodrigo Lopez

Data Analyst

Bio

Rodrigo Lopez

Data Analyst

BIO

Rodrigo Lopez joined E3 after completing his undergraduate education at The University of Texas at Austin, where he earned Bachelor of Science degrees in Physics with honors and Astronomy with honors. As a first-generation college graduate, he knows firsthand the educational struggles many students face throughout their educational careers. Working under the Director of Research, Rodrigo is helping to effect positive change in the education of students through the analysis of educational data.

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Leticia Maynard

Director of School Transformation

Bio

Leticia Maynard

Director of School Transformation

BIO

Lety serves as the services coordination lead and supports campuses in the transformation project. After earning her undergraduate degree, Lety worked in nonprofit organizations for six years, running programs for youth placed by Children’s Courts, family, school, and communities before returning to education. She has over 15 years of experience in education and during that time received Teacher of the Year and Secondary District Teacher of the Year Awards. Lety has worked as a SIM (Strategic Instruction Model) instructional coach and English as a Second Language and Dual Language District instructional coach. She earned 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.

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Katy Merriweather

Research Analyst

Bio

Katy Merriweather

Research Analyst

BIO

Katy’s (she/her) professional background combines leadership and methodological expertise to realize education as powerful, transformative, and necessary. Her research centers on educational outcomes and equity including alternate assessments for students with significant cognitive disabilities, the academic opportunity gap, women’s careers in educational administration, and teacher career persistence. Prior to joining E3 Alliance, she led and coordinated evaluation teams for portfolios of grants related to early childhood systems building and maternal and child health. In her role at E3 Alliance, Katy conducts statistical analyses of large-scale education datasets to drive action and address disparities. Katy holds a PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Kansas and both an MA in Educational Psychology: Human Development, Culture, and Learning Sciences and a BA in History (UTeach-Liberal Arts: Social Studies 8-12) from the University of Texas at Austin. When she isn't analyzing data on Texas education systems, Katy loves spending time with her family, getting lost in books, and exploring hiking trails.

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Karl Nichols

Vice President of Investor Development

Bio

Karl Nichols

Vice President of Investor Development

BIO

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.

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Janelle Persall

Transformation Consultant

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Janelle Persall

Transformation Consultant

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Janelle engages stakeholders in the development of systems focusing on the improvement of Tier 1 and EL instruction, positive school culture, and effective utilization of student growth data. She is a former director of intervention, assistant principal, instructional coach, and teacher. As the director of intervention, Janelle led the creation of a districtwide process for providing interventions to meet the needs of students. Her 30 years of experience in public education reflect a passion for learning exhibited through her leadership in the classroom and beyond. Janelle earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from West Texas State University and a master's degree in Educational Administration from Lamar University.

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Tim Persall

Transformation Consultant

Bio

Tim Persall

Transformation Consultant

BIO

Tim engages stakeholders in the development of systems focusing on the improvement of Tier 1 and EL instruction, positive school culture, and effective utilization of student growth data. He is a former assistant superintendent, executive director, principal, and teacher. While principal, Tim's school achieved exemplary ratings from TEA for 10 consecutive years. His 32 years in public education were dedicated to the success of students, teachers, and communities. Today he leads professional learning experiences throughout Texas for school districts and regional service centers. Tim is a past president and board member of Learning Forward Texas and has co-authored the T-TESS Flipchart for Mentoring Minds. He is committed to leading adults in engaging learning experiences so they may change the lives of the students they serve.

Annelies Rhodes

Graduate Research Assistant

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Annelies Rhodes

Graduate Research Assistant

BIO

Coming Soon

Joshua Scott

Manager of Data Systems

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Joshua Scott

Manager of Data Systems

BIO

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.

Alex Sears

Programmer Analyst

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Alex Sears

Alex Sears

Programmer Analyst

BIO

Alex Sears obtained his bachelor's degree in Applied Computer Science from Northern Arizona University. Having previous experience with web and mobile-app development, Alex is helping create and support various software systems at E3 Alliance.

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Carrie Tawil

Student & Family Engagement Specialist

Bio
Carrie Tawil

Carrie Tawil

Student & Family Engagement Specialist

BIO

Carrie Tawil has worked in public education for more than five years in Austin ISD, Leander ISD, and recently Pflugerville ISD as a dropout prevention specialist, and more than 16 years as a social service provider for youth and families in Travis and Williamson Counties. Before entering education, she served as a Director of Teen Parent Services at LifeWorks Austin, focusing her attention on youth who were homeless or runaways, in foster care, involved in juvenile justice system, and/or pregnant. Carrie is born and raised in Texas. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and master’s degree in Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy both from St. Edward's University. Carrie is married with three young children. When not working she spends her time working out, playing with her kids, reading, writing, listening to podcasts, and watching movies.

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Lauren Thomas

Manager of Continuous Improvement

Bio

Lauren Thomas

Manager of Continuous Improvement

BIO

Lauren assists the regional collective impact cradle-to-career efforts by providing project coordination and grant management to E3 Alliance’s Learning Networks which work to build capacity around continuous improvement methodologies with local partners. Lauren started working within education by supporting efforts to increase the local workforce as part of a nationwide initiative funded by the Department of Labor. A requirement of that initiative was the expansion of the efforts into local area high schools to train students in Information Technology, Health Sciences, and Building Trades where Lauren worked for Austin Community College as a High School Programs Coordinator. Previously, she served three years as the Director of Business Development for a small business after earning a Master’s degree in Sociology from the University of Oklahoma and a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a minor in Psychology from the University of Central Oklahoma.

Nicole Wren

Graduate Research Assistant

Bio
Nicole Wren

Nicole Wren

Graduate Research Assistant

BIO

Upon graduating with a B.S. in Math from Texas A&M University in 2015, Nicole started her career teaching Algebra II in a Title I school and was soon asked to start a Computer Science program. The program’s success quickly led to her transferring to another Title I school where she grew a second program. Nicole’s experience teaching and building these programs highlighted the stark inequities that she observed in her classroom. It was this process that prompted Nicole’s pursuit of uncovering solutions legislatively. Today Nicole is a first year Education Policy and Planning Master’s student at the University of Texas at Austin. Her interests include creating equitable solutions to accessible computer science programs for all students, intradistrict and interdistrict school desegregation, and the intersection of affordable housing with access to high-quality education.