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Student Biographies - Ed.D. in Professional Leadership - K-12

Our Ed.D. students come from diverse personal and professional backgrounds. They contribute importantly to the learning environment and provide unique opportunities to build strong and lasting networks.

Our Students

Main Campus Cohort

Tracey Bennett

Tracey Bennett

Originally from Del City, Oklahoma, Tracey Bennett attended the University of Oklahoma and earned a B.A. in English. Knowing that her passion was to teach, she continued her education at the University of Oklahoma and pursed an M.Ed. in Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum with an emphasis in English Education. During that time, she also met the requirements to earn her teaching certification in Reading/Language Arts. Tracey officially started her teaching career in Detroit, where she taught 7th grade English Language Arts for 7 years at Post Middle School. She continued teaching in Cypress, Texas for Cypress Fairbanks, ISD at Truitt Middle School where she taught 6th grade reading and 7th grade reading workshop. Tracey was honored with the recognition of teacher of the year at Truitt and moved to a curriculum support position for the next two years at the school. She attended Sam Houston State University to earn an M.Ed. in Educational Administration. Upon graduation, she served as the director of Instruction at Campbell Middle School for 8 years. Wanting to expand her experience with grade levels, Tracey accepted her current position as an assistant principal at Andre’ Elementary School in Cy-Fair ISD. Tracey holds certifications in Principal (EC-12), Core Subjects (EC-6), English Language Arts and Reading (4-8), English as a Second Language Supplemental (EC-8), Special Education Supplemental (EC-8), and Gifted & Talented (CFISD). As a lifelong learner, Tracey is thrilled to pursue her doctorate degree at the University of Houston. Her aspiration is to become a principal who makes a difference in the lives of both students and teachers.
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Danny Bonner

Bonner is the assistant principal of assessment at Klein Oak High School in the Klein ISD. His past positions in education include middle school assistant principal, math instructional specialist, math teacher, and football coach. He has a M.Ed. from Stephen F. Austin State University and a B.S. from Texas A&M University. Danny is passionate about educational leadership and is focused on closing achievement gaps, knowing students by name/strength/and need, building relationships, professional learning communities and inspiring a love for learning. He has focused his research efforts at UH on financial literacy education. Bonner is a father and husband who loves spending time with his family and friends, enjoying the outdoors, traveling, cooking and trying new things.

 

Lee Carrier

Lee Carrier

Carrier currently serves as the K-12 visual arts curriculum coordinator for Cypress-Fairbanks ISD. She is a native Texan who graduated from the University of Houston (UH) with a B.A. in art with an EC-12 teaching certification in 2006. Carrier started her teaching career in CFISD 14 years ago as the drawing and painting teacher at Cypress Springs High School, her alma mater. Lee received her M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction at UH in 2007. She sponsored the Young Ladies for Positive Action high school step team and school art club while at Cypress Springs. In 2009 Lee opened Cypress Lakes High School as the lead art teacher, chartered the campus National Arts Honor Society and earned an EC-12 principal certification. In 2012 Lee was given the opportunity to teach future teachers at Texas Southern University as adjunct professor. 

Carrier’s high school students received local, state and national recognitions as well as scholarships from the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, Visual Arts Scholastic Event, Scholastic Art & Writing contest and Mayor’s Art Scholarship contest. During her teaching career, Carrier volunteered with her students in creating 10 X 10-foot murals at Via Colori Street Painting Festival, an annual two-day fundraiser held in downtown Houston for the Center for Hearing and Speech. In the summer Lee taught elementary children from the Southwest Houston area at Willow Meadows Baptist Church Fine Arts Camp for 5 years. Carrier transitioned into her current role as coordinator in 2015 and continues to use her varied teaching experiences to support educators and administrators in fostering student growth.

Carrier served as the Houston regional representative from 2007 to 2013 on the Texas Art Education Association council. She was also chosen as guest speaker and featured artist at the 2016 Conference where she spoke to educators on the positive impact that teaching and practicing art had on her classroom. She was also featured in the TAEA Trends publication that same year.

With a goal to enrich the human condition and engage viewers in communal spaces, Carrier creates large scale murals for the city of Houston. Her most recent murals are at Riel Restaurant, St. Arnold’s Brewery and Prairie View A&M Northwest Houston Center Library. She has exhibited artwork at the Houston Museum of African American Culture, Community Artists’ Collective, Lawndale Art Center, Art Institute of Houston, Project Row House of Third Ward, TSU University Museum, Museum of Fine Arts Houston- Glassell School of Art and the George R. Brown Contemporary Arts Fair.

Carrier’s commitment to art education stems from her passion to educate the whole child. As a third time Cougar and doctoral student at UH, Carrier desires to further develop her knowledge and skills in leadership and policy studies through the executive Ed.D. in K-12 professional leadership program.

Jeff Collier

Jeff Collier

Jeff Collier is originally from St. Louis, Missouri and has been a Houstonian since 2013.  He obtained his Bachelor of Music Education from Missouri State University Honors College with a General Business Minor.  During his time at Missouri State he performed, as a member of the saxophone section, with the Missouri State University Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble and was drum major of the PRIDE Marching Band for two years.  He currently is the assistant band director at Baker 6th Grade Campus in La Porte ISD.  Before Baker,  he taught at East Chambers ISD in Winne, Texas, where he taught 5th-12th grade band/music.  During his tenure at East Chambers the band experienced significant growth and earned multiple Sweepstakes at UIL Contest.  He received his Master of Education in Educational Leadership from the University of North Texas and has received Principal, Music, English as a Second Language (supplemental), and Gifted and Talented (supplemental) certification.  He has been published in the Southwestern Musician for creating an instrument sponsorship program that has put instruments in the hands of over 20 economically disadvantaged students.  He started his Ed.D. in Professional Leadership the Spring of 2017 at University of Houston in an attempt to expand his knowledge and his role as a leader in the field of education.  He is passionate about studying motivational techniques and strategies to inspire students, particular within diverse populations and low socioeconomic status schools.  Jeff is married to Cassie Collier who is also a student at UH, pursuing her Ph.D. in Management Information Systems.  They are members of Caring Critters and love taking their dog, Archie, to hospitals on weekends to help cheer up the patients and doctors.
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Dave DeJohn

DeJohn serves as the director of digital cinema for Cypress Fairbanks ISD and adjunct professor at Lone Star College CyFair. He has been in the production field since 1990 but entered the world of education in 2008 as a video production teacher, winning campus teacher of the year in the first year. DeJohn went on to lead students from a title 1 school to win the jury prize at the South by Southwest Film Festival in 2011. As a teacher then team leader, he began to see disparities along racial lines with students and families and wanted to do more beyond the campus level. As a father of seven African American children and 6 grandchildren, the new focus became more of a calling. After working in the Middle East for 3.5 years to earn the money for the MFA in digital cinema, DeJohn returned to a district level position, then won the adjunct excellence award at Lone Star College. Inspired by a presentation demonstrating UH to possess strengths in social justice, DeJohn was hooked and entered the Ed.D. in educational leadership program. He hopes to merge his talent of media with research to make a difference in students and families who are racially discriminated against by systems of oppression. DeJohn is married to his high school sweetheart Mignon Yvonne DeJohn.

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Megan Dickey

Megan Dickey currently serves as the program coordinator for the Tri-County East Regional Day School Program for the Deaf, where she manages services for students with an auditory impairment for 16 school districts. After earning her B.A. in Communications Disorders and her M.A. in Deaf Studies/Deaf Education from Lamar University, she started teaching students with hearing loss in her hometown district of Goose Creek. Megan has taken an interest is raising the achievement levels of students in Special Education and specifically Deaf Education through supporting teachers and families. In her spare time, she enjoys camping and exploring the outdoors with her husband and children as well as serving in her church.
Tammy Edwards

Tammy Edwards

Tammy Edwards is a native Texan, leading as chief academic officer/assistant superintendent for the Stafford Municipal School District where she oversees the student affairs, school leadership, CTE, Athletics, Counselors, Nurses, Fine Arts, and Technology departments. Prior to this role, in 2010 she had the privilege of opening Ridge Point High School in Fort Bend ISD and serving as its first principal. Before her role in Fort Bend, Tammy was the principal at Gentry Junior School in Goose Creek CISD. She began her career in 1988 as a high school teacher and coach before moving into administration in 2002 as an assistant principal. Tammy has served in rural, urban, and suburban school settings, ranging in size from class 3A to 6A with students from all cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. From this wide range of experience she has learned that kids are kids - no matter their background - and that what matters most in delivering a great education are not fancy programs but high quality teachers. Tammy was born into a family of educators, in which both parents were school administrators, as are both her sisters. She earned her B.A. from Southeastern Oklahoma State University and her M.A. from the University of Houston. She is also a proud mother of four amazing young people: Vallen (23), Vance and Vince (21), and Victoria (16).
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Toni Hill-Kennedy

Hill-Kennedy is an educational leader, altruist, and devoted wife and mother who believes in Gandhi’s quote, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world." She understands that positive change starts within herself. She earned a B.S. in education from Clemson University, a master’s degree in anthropology from the University of Houston, and a MBA—education management from the University of St. Thomas. She is a doctoral candidate at the University of Houston College of Education. Toni has persevered as an educator and researcher and she continuously makes a positive difference for others. She has served as a science teacher, content specialist, new teacher mentor, department chairperson, teacher of the year, master teacher curriculum ariter, instructional specialist and assistant principal. Currently, she is a career and technology instructor of anatomy and physiology. She keeps a determination and drive to master skills crucial for ongoing widespread positive change.

 Andrew Maddocks

Andrew Maddocks

Andrew Maddocks teaches Theatre Arts, Technical Theatre, and International Baccalaureate Theatre as the Director of Theatre and Fine Arts Department Chair at The Westchester Academy for International Studies in Spring Branch Independent School District. Andrew earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of Houston - Downtown. In the intervening time, he studied acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City and has performed on stage in Houston, New York, and Edinburgh, Scotland. He has always been interested in the performing arts, especially in the transformative power of educational theatre. His current focus in research seeks to explore the effects of financial inequality on performing arts programs for middle and high school students and how that creates an inequity that hinders student achievement. Outside of his academic pursuits, Andrew enjoys spending time with his wife Emily, and their new baby daughter Amaya. He enjoys directing and acting in plays and also hiking and fishing. Andrew’s hope is to pursue a career in teacher education, helping to guide and shape the next generation of passionate and professional teachers at the university level.
 Matthew Mahony

Matthew Mahony

Mahony is a student in the University of Houston’s Ed.D program. He is originally from Southern Louisiana and came to Texas during college, where he earned an undergraduate degree from Trinity University in San Antonio. He holds a B.A. in English with a minor in Spanish as well as an M.A. in education administration from Sam Houston State University. During his more than 18 years in public education, Mahony has supported teachers, students and staff in grades 6–12 in several districts in the greater Houston area. In his current role, he serves as the associate principal at Summer Creek High School in Humble ISD. Previously, he worked in Conroe ISD and Galena Park ISD in various administrative, academic and athletic capacities. Some of his roles have included: assistant principal, English instructional specialist (grades 6–12), summer school administrator, English department chair, English teacher (grades 9–12), team leader, high school soccer coach, UIL academics coach, club sponsor and mentor. Mahony is passionate about learning, teaching and leading and he believes education is the lens through which we can explore and access the world around us. As a result, he hopes to use his continued education in the K-12 Executive Leadership program to provide students with the resources and guidance for social, emotional and academic success; facilitate the instructional and professional growth of teachers; and lead the community in which he serves.

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Deidra Perry

Perry, of New Orleans, LA is a first generation student who moved to Houston, TX following Hurricane Katrina. She attended Southern University A&M in Baton Rouge, LA, Texas Southern University in Houston, TX and eventually University of Phoenix where she earned an A.A. in elementary education and a B.S. in management with a minor in human resource management. She went on to receive her M.S. in human resource development from University of Houston. Perry currently serves as a department business administrator in the Provost Business Office at University of Houston. In this role, she oversees and manages the administrative, financial, and human resources of several departments. Perry has an extensive background of leadership, finance, human resource and administrative experience in various industries and organizations. Her research interests include educational policy, school safety, financial literacy and college/career readiness of special populations. She is also a devoted mother of three children (Jai, Lundyn and Eric). In her spare time, she enjoys attending church, dancing and reading.

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Deirdre Riordan

Riordan is an educator in the Houston Independent School District with ten years of teaching experience. She has previously worked in public and private settings in Texas and Mexico. She has experience teaching kindergarten through college. Riordab loves working with kids and she is a passionate educator. She has a B.A. from Trinity University and a master’s in curriculum and instruction from the University of Houston. She is a dedicated mother to her son, Lukas and her dog, Ninja Warrior.

 Tracy Robinson

Tracy Robinson

Tracy Robinson Gatewood is the dean of Students at Jack Yates Senior High School. She provides instructional coaching and support to the Social Studies, Fine Arts and JROTC departments, as well as monitors discipline for grade 10. Prior to this position, she was an instructional specialist with High School Ahead Academy, where she provided instructional coaching and support to the Math, English Language Arts, Science and Social Studies Departments. Prior to her administrative roles,Tracy taught sixth grade World Cultures and Science for four years. She graduated from the University of Nebraska with a B.A. in Urban Studies, the University of Oklahoma with an M.A. in Public Administration, and UH with an M.Ed. in Administration and Supervision. She holds certifications in Principal EC-12, Instructional Leadership Development (ILD), and Generalist Grades 4-8. Tracy would like to focus her research on the Turnaround Model for school improvement.
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Ricardo Rodriguez

Ricardo Rodriguez currently serves as the Academics Program Manager with Houston ISD’s Talent Acquisition Team. In his role, Ricardo leads efforts to develop teacher pipeline programs and partnerships with universities across the region. This grow-your-own focus on building HISD’s future educator workforce has led to successful programs with Sam Houston State University, Texas Tech, and University of Houston. Prior to his current role, Ricardo served as a College Success Manager with Houston ISD leading district initiatives which drove College Readiness efforts for nearly 50 high schools and over 10,000 seniors. Ricardo joins education with an extensive business background having served in various leadership capacities with Wells Fargo Bank for over 9 years. Between roles with Retail Banking, Mortgage, and Insurance –Ricardo has now found a true passion in education and looks to serve advocacy and awareness efforts which will provide access to college and career for all undeserved communities. Outside of the day-to-day, Ricardo also remains active with professional organizations including the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s Emerging Leaders Institute, Houston Hispanic Forum, United Way’s Project Blue Print, and City of Houston’s LGBTQ Advisory Board. Ricardo holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology with minor in Psychology from Texas A&M- San Antonio and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Development from University of Houston. Through the Ed.D. Program – he will continue to be a voice which ensures Education, Exposure, and Empowerment.
 David Sanchez

David Sanchez

David Sanchez, M.S., is a graduate from the University of Houston and is an instructional assistant professor/master teacher for the teachHOUSTON program at UH. He recruits and teaches future math/science educators while giving them field-based experiences in the classroom. In addition, he serves as the program director for the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp and the StatOil Summer STEM camp at UH. Mr. Sanchez’ passion for teaching began as a middle school teacher at Ortiz Middle School, HISD: for over 12 years he worked with the Houston Independent School District (HISD), KIPP Charter Program, and Klein ISD as a math teacher in middle and high schools. He received three Teacher of the Year Awards for inspiring and challenging students throughout his career (2007, 2011, and 2013.) Mr. Sanchez served as an Instructional Technology Specialist, District Curriculum Writing Specialist and various department chair/leads throughout his teaching career. He has taught middle school math, Algebra I and II, Geometry, Pre-Calculus and Calculus.

Before he pursued his career as a teacher, David served in the US Army (1991-1999). Having held various leadership roles, he uses this experience to guide his students through their educational endeavors. Growing up in and out of inner city kids’ shelters, David is familiar with the hardships many of the students he serves go through daily; this has led him to reach out to the youth in the pursuit of giving them a sense of hope. He believes that all kids deserve great instruction and he holds all his future educators to high standards as he mentors them through their teacher programs. Mr. Sanchez is currently enrolled in the Educational Leadership Doctorate program at UH.
 Kimberly Walters

Kimberly Walters

Kimberly Walters is a passionate educator of 17 years committed to providing equal educational opportunities for all students, particularly those who have been historically disenfranchised. She currently serves as a high school assistant principal in Klein ISD. Kimberly is an enthusiastic supporter of public education and feels that pursuing her Ed.D in Educational Leadership at UH has further sparked her passion for learning and teaching as well as her involvement in advocacy work at the grassroots level. She is an avid reader and enjoys reading educational research to enhance the pedagogical practices on her campus in order to increase student achievement. Kimberly’s mission and commitment throughout her career is to "always do what's best for kids.” She helped lead her campus to being recognized as a Model PLC School by Solution Tree and a School Transforming Learning by N2 Learning. Kimberly believes in celebrating diversity: she developed a No Place for Hate coalition on her campus and created B.R.I.D.G.E. (Building Resilient, Independent, Determined Girls Towards Excellence), a club for girls focused on character development and post-secondary preparedness. She funded these organizations through grants from the Klein Education Foundation and the AAUW. She believes in supporting the whole child, and developed a food pantry on her campus to support students and families in need. Kimberly intends to leverage the knowledge gained in this program to assist districts in their cultural responsiveness and dedication to social justice in order to help close the achievement gap of our most disadvantaged students. Born in Beaumont, TX, Kimberly moved to Dallas as a young child and graduated from Garland High School in 1994. She earned a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Spanish in 1998 from UH. In 1997, she was awarded a congressional internship in Washington, D.C. with Representative Sheila Jackson Lee through the Mickey Leland internship program. This experience led to her interest in public policy. She has an M.Ed. in Leadership from UH-Victoria as well as Principal EC-12, Secondary Spanish, Secondary Psychology, and Instructional Leadership Development (ILD) certifications with an ESL supplement. Before becoming an administrator, she taught Spanish 1, 2 and Native Speakers in both Alief and CyFair ISDs. Kimberly currently resides in Tomball, TX with her two daughters, Alayna and Arianna, and their new Chorkie puppy, Prince Rogers Nelson.

Sugar Land Cohort

Walter Berringer

Walter Berringer

After graduating from the University of North Texas, Walter taught at Crownover Middle School in Corinth, Texas. He served CMS for 1 year, and then went to Corsicana High School. While at CHS, he taught English, coached girl's soccer and coached football under Coach Dave Henigan before transitioning into school administration. At Corsicana High School, he served as an assistant principal and associate principal respectively. His experience at Corsicana High School helped him grow as an educator and a person. He has been fortunate enough work with some of the finest educators in the state of Texas while educating some of the most excellent students. As an assistant principal at Grapevine High School, he was exposed to true diversity in the realm of students enrolling from countries such as, but not limited to, Honduras, Dubai, Russia, Egypt, and South Africa. That experience lent itself to challenging his thought process of meeting the needs all students regardless of their educational or socio-economic background. He has been the principal at Charles Richard Drew Elementary School since July 2012. It transitioned from a 5th-6th grade campus to now a 1st-5th grade elementary campus this fall (2016). His motivation derives from seeing the students succeed in the different facets of their education and lives. He believes it is important to be a life-long learner and have an undying commitment to education and diversity.