AUSTIN – Governor Greg Abbott, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and Speaker Joe Straus have named their respective appointees to the newly created Texas Commission on Next Generation Assessments and Accountability. House Bill 2804 authorized the creation of the commission with the purpose of developing and making recommendations for new systems of student assessment and public school accountability no later than September 1, 2016.
Governor Abbott has appointed and named Mike Morath of Dallas as Presiding Officer. Additionally, he appointed Andrew Kim, Theresa Trevino and Quinton Vance. Lieutenant Governor Patrick appointed Kim Alexander, Paul Castro and Michael K. McLendon. Speaker Straus appointed Pauline Dow, Maria Hernandez Ferrier and Catherine Susser.
Mike Morath of Dallas is chairman of Morath Investments. Previously, he served as president and chief operating officer of Minute Menu Systems. Morath currently serves on the board of trustees for the Dallas Independent School District. He is also a board member for the Texas Association of School Boards, the Leadership Dallas Alumni Association and the Woodrow Wilson High School Community Foundation. Morath is a past president of the Addison Rotary Club, past vice president of the Alpha Phi Alpha North Dallas Alumni Chapter and former advisory board member for the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. Morath graduated summa cum laude from George Washington University with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance.
Kim Alexander of Roscoe is superintendent of Roscoe Collegiate Independent School District. Prior to that, he served in a variety of roles within the school district as high school principal, grant writer and English language arts and kinesiology teacher. Previously, he served as a teacher in Sweetwater Independent School District and Highland Independent School District. In addition to his career in education, Alexander is a self-employed production agriculturalist that manages crops and livestock production. He is a member of Texas Association of School Administrators, Texas Association of Professional Educators, American Association of School Administrators, American Cotton Growers Association, Red Angus Association of America and Realtors’ Land Institute. Alexander earned his bachelor’s degree in education from Angelo State University, master’s degree in educational administration from Abilene Christian University and doctorate degree in agricultural education through a joint program with Texas Tech University and Texas A&M University.
Paul Castro of Houston is superintendent of A+UP Charter School and director for school performance for Houston A+ Challenge. He is a co-founder of A+UP which serves as an innovative school that is based on growth, relationships, empowerment and personalized learning. Previously, Castro served as head of schools for high schools in KIPP Houston Public Schools. During his time in Houston ISD, he was principal of Lee High School, principal of Westside High School and founding principal of West Briar Middle School. Castro has also served in the classroom as a high school English teacher. Castro earned his bachelor’s degree in English from Texas A&M University and master’s degree in educational leadership from University of Houston.
Pauline Dow of San Antonio is Chief Instructional Officer for the North East Independent School District. Prior to this, she served as Chief Academic Officer for the Austin Independent School District and Associate Superintendent for Ysleta Independent School District. Dow also worked as Associate Superintendent for the Canutillo ISD. She has served in public education for over 28 years in various capacities including bilingual education program director, math and science program specialist and bilingual teacher. Dow is a recipient of the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) Gold Nugget Award for the College of Education and UTEP’s Dissertation of the Year Award in 2008. She is currently a member of the Texas Association of School Administrators, Texas Association for Bilingual Education, National Association for Bilingual Education, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and League of Women Voters. Dow earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in History, Master of Arts degree in History, Master of Education degree, and Doctorate degree in Educational Leadership all from the University of Texas at El Paso.
Maria Hernandez Ferrier of San Antonio is the Director of the newly created Texas A&M System Office of Mexico and Latin America Relations. Prior to this, she served as the inaugural President for Texas A&M University – San Antonio. Before joining the A&M system, she was appointed by President George W. Bush as Director for the Office of English Language Acquisition for Limited English Proficient Students in the United States Department of Education. During her tenure at the U.S. Department of Education, she was promoted twice, first to Deputy Under Secretary, and then to Assistant Deputy Secretary. Other national presidential appointments include the Commission on National and Community Service by President George H. Bush, and, in 1992, Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander appointed her to serve as Director of Bilingual Education and Minority Languages Affairs. Ferrier has received numerous awards for her service including the Hispanic Heritage Award from the U.S. Department of Labor, Women of Action Award from La Prensa, National Hispanic Corporate Achievers Award from the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Life of Idealism Award by City Year. She was also inducted into the San Antonio Women’s Hall of Fame. Ferrier received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech and Masters of Education degree in Guidance and Counseling from Our Lady of the Lake University. She earned her Doctorate degree in Educational Administration from Texas A&M University.
Andrew Kim of New Braunfels is the Superintendent for Comal Independent School District. Previously, he served as the Superintendent for Manor Independent School District. Prior to that, Kim served as the Assistant Superintendent of Educational Support Services in Austin ISD and the Director of Professional Development in Round Rock ISD. He was also a teacher in Dallas ISD in the 1990s, and a principal at J.J. Long Middle School in Dallas ISD. Kim serves as a board member for the New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the Canyon Lake Noon Lions Club and Bulverde Spring Branch Chamber of Commerce. Kim earned a bachelor’s degree from Fordham University and a master’s degree from University of Texas.
Michael K. McLendon of Waco is Dean of the School of Education and professor of higher education policy and leadership at Baylor University. Previously, he served at Southern Methodist University as the inaugural Harold and Annette Simmons Centennial Chair of Higher Education Policy and served as a professor and associate dean for academic affairs at the Simmons School of Education and Human Development. Prior to that, McLendon held appointment as the executive associate dean and chief of staff at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of Education and Human Development. He was also a professor of public policy and higher education for thirteen years at the university. Before his academic career, McLendon served as an aide to a member of the United States Senate and as a policy analyst on the Higher Education Committee of the Florida House of Representatives. A specialist in the study of American higher education, McLendon has published extensively on topics relating to postsecondary education governance, finance and public policy. He has served on the editorial boards of numerous journals, and is a former elected member of the Board of Directors of the Association for the Study of Higher Education. McLendon currently holds appointment as a Senior Fellow at the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Affairs at Southern Methodist University and as a Faculty Fellow at the University of Georgia’s Institute of Higher Education. In 2007, McLendon was recognized as Baylor’s Outstanding Young Alumnus. McLendon earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Baylor University, master’s degree in higher education from Florida State University and his doctorate degree in higher education policy from the University of Michigan.
Catherine Susser of Corpus Christi is a community volunteer and school board member for the Corpus Christi Independent School District. She has served in numerous community leadership positions including the role of president, book fair chairman and yearbook chairman of the Windsor Park Parent Teacher Association as well as president and welfare chairman of the Corpus Christi Charity League. Susser has volunteered many hours helping area students as a Destination Imagination coach and a reading and math volunteer in the classroom. She has also volunteered with Congregation Beth Israel and Las Donas de la Corte. Susser earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in public accounting from the University of Texas at Austin.
Theresa Trevino of Austin is a licensed physician, specializing in psychiatry. She has worked at the Laurel Ridge Treatment Center, Dallas Child Guidance Clinic, Tarrant County MHMR and the Timberlawn Psychiatric Hospital. Trevino is the president of Texans Advocating for Meaningful Student Assessment. She has been active with the Parent Teacher Association, Read Naturally Program at Doss Elementary, Anderson Band Booster Association, Austin Partners in Education and the National Charity League. Trevino graduated with a bachelor’s degree from St. Mary’s University and earned her doctor of medicine degree from Baylor College of Medicine.
Quinton Vance of Dallas is superintendent of KIPP Dallas-Fort Worth Public Charter Schools. Previously, he served as managing director of KIPP New York City School Programs and prior to that principal at KIPP Academy Charter School in Bronx, New York. Vance began his teaching career through the Teach for America program at Newark Public Schools in New Jersey. He is a board member for Texans for Quality Public Schools and selector for the KIPP National Leadership Selection Committee. Vance graduated from University of Oregon with a bachelor’s degree in Spanish. He earned his master’s degree in education from St. Peter’s College in New Jersey.