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About Us

About Texans for Education Reform

 

Texans for Education Reform (TER) is a bipartisan, non-profit organization of educational, business and civic leaders who are committed to our children. We no longer accept the status quo of mediocre and failing schools with statistics like those reported in a 2014 Harvard study which showed that 73.5% of Texas 8th grade students are not proficient in reading and 60% are not proficient in math. TER is working to ensure all Texas children have access to high performing public schools that will prepare them to think critically in order to succeed in their career and life.

The mission of TER is to advance policies to transform Texas public schools for every Texas child – regardless of race, ethnicity or zip code. We advocate policies that focus on students first and yield measurable results.

TER supports proven education strategies that provide local communities with tools to improve public schools, empower parents, and create meaningful improvements in the classroom. 

Our Board

Douglas L. Foshee, Chairman

Douglas L. Foshee has spent over thirty years in the Energy Industry and is founder and owner of Sallyport Investments, LLC. Foshee has served in various executive positions in the industry, including most recently as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of El Paso Corporation, owner of North America’s largest natural gas pipeline system one of North America’s largest natural gas producers. In addition, Foshee served as chief financial officer and chief operating officer of Halliburton Company, and president, chief executive officer and chairman of Nuevo Energy Company, among others.

Foshee has been actively involved in civic and philanthropic endeavors for many years, particularly in education. He served on the board of Small Steps Nurturing Center, a faith-based preschool for underprivileged children for over a decade. In addition, Foshee currently serves on KIPP’s board of trustees, Rice University’s Board of Trustees, and the Council of Overseers at the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Management at Rice University. Foshee and his family have founded and continue to support scholarship programs at Rice University, separately at the Jones School at Rice University, at Baylor University, at Texas State University and at the Texas Business Hall of Fame, primarily but not exclusively for underprivileged students and military veterans. In addition, the Foshee Family founded and funds a summer institute at Texas State University for KIPP students and provides significant support to Genesys Works and Cristo Rey Jesuit School.

Foshee earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the Jesse H. Jones School at Rice University in 1992 and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Southwest Texas State University in 1982. He is also a graduate of the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking at Southern Methodist University.

Foshee also serves on the boards of Cameron International Corporation, Texas Business Hall of Fame Foundation, and Houston Endowment Inc. He also formerly chaired the board of directors of The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Houston Branch. In 2009, Foshee was appointed by the U.S. Treasury and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to serve in a leadership role as an independent trustee of the AIG Credit Facility Trust. The Trust was established by the U.S. Treasury to hold a 77.9 percent equity interest in American International Group (AIG).

He is a recipient of the 2007 Ellis Island Medal of Honor for his commitment to helping children succeed and his leadership role in the business community. In 2008, Foshee was named Distinguished Alumni at Texas State University, and in 2012 he was inducted into the Texas Business Hall of Fame.

Woody Hunt, Secretary

Woody L. Hunt is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Hunt Companies, Inc., and its affiliated companies. Founded in 1947, Hunt Companies, Inc. is an industry-leading real estate company dedicated to building value through development, investment and management. Together, Hunt and its affiliates have more than $13 billion in assets under management. For decades, Hunt has focused on the key areas of public private partnerships, community development, real asset investment management, and multifamily housing.

Woody graduated with honors from The University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor's Degree in Finance, and he subsequently received his MBA in Finance from UT. Woody also earned an MA Degree in Management from the Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California.

In addition to his duties with Hunt, Woody is a member of the Board of Directors for Complete College America; founding chairman and current board member of the Medical Centers of Americas Foundation in El Paso; foundation trustee on the College for all Texans Foundation; member of the Board of Visitors of the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center-Houston; founding member of the Paso del Norte Group in El Paso where he now serves on the Executive Committee; previously served as Chairman of the Texas Business Leadership Council, where he now serves on the Executive Committee; member of the Texas Institute for Education Reform; member of the Development Board at the University of Texas at El Paso; member of the Development Board for the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at El Paso; a member of the Western Governors University (WGU) Texas Advisory Board; and a member of the Board of Directors for El Paso Electric and WestStar Bank.

He was previously the Vice-Chairman of The University of Texas System Board of Regents; served seven years, three as Chairman, on the Board of Directors of The University of Texas Investment Management Company (UTIMCO); was chairman of the Texas Select Commission on Higher Education and Global Competitiveness; was a member of the Commission for College Ready Texas and the Texas Tax Reform Commission; was a member of the National Board of the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE); was a member of the Texas Advisory Committee on Higher Education Cost Efficiencies; was a member of the Task Force on Higher Education Incentive Funding; was a member of the Council for Continuous Improvement and Innovation in Texas Higher Education; and was the chairman of the Paso del Norte Health Foundation. He was a member of the Board of Directors and chairman of the Finance Committee of PNM Resources in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and has served on numerous other civic, non-profit and professional boards.

Hugh Fitzsimons

Hugh Fitzsimons, of San Antonio, has been working on initiatives to assure quality public education to every Texas child for nearly 30 years.  He is a former co-owner and managing director of the San Pedro Ranch in Carrizo Springs and a Co-founder of Frontier State Bank in Eagle Pass (now Sterling Bank).  He is also a Co-founder of First National Bank in Carrizo Springs (now Sterling Bank) and a former Director of Camino Real Banchares, Inc.  He also served on the Texas Aeronautics Commission from 1966-1972.

Mr. Fitzsimons has served on the Board of Directors of th∂e Ewing Halsell Foundation (EHF) based in San Antonio since 1987.  EHF is a long-time supporter of a wide range of quality education initiatives. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Putting Children First, Children First, CEO, America Child Advocates and the Center for Education Reform. 

Mr. Fitzsimons was born on January 19, 1930, in Shreveport, Louisiana.  He moved to San Antonio, Texas in 1933. He attended the Texas Military Institute in San Antonio and graduated from Southern Methodist University.  He is an avid breeder of thoroughbreds for racing and polo and has served as Director of the Texas Thoroughbred Breeders Association.  He is also a member of the Thoroughbred Club of America, the Grayson Jockey Club Foundation, and the Jockey Club.  He is a former member of the Texas Racing Commission and Past President of the Texas Thoroughbred Association.  He is a founding member of the Texas Racing Hall of Fame.

Julie Linn

Julie Linn is the Senior Vice President  for Advancement and Policy of Great Hearts Texas.  She served as President of Texans for Education Reform (TER) from 2014 to 2015. Before her leadership role at TER, Julie served as the Education Advisor to Texas Governor Rick Perry where she was responsible for implementation and oversight of key education policy issues pertaining to K-12.

Prior to that, Julie was the Director of International Partnerships at the College Board, where she led their strategic relationships with K-12 international schools, education organizations and government agencies. She also has worked for an education technology company to create innovative online and blended learning programs in the U.S. and abroad, including a stint to establish the organization's office in Singapore.

Julie began her career in the Texas House of Representatives, and served as chief committee clerk on the House Committee on Public Education.

Julie holds a Masters in Public Service and Administration of the George Bush School of Government at Texas A&M University.  She received her B.A. from Dallas Baptist University.

Dr. Rod Paige

Rod Paige is a life-long educator and served as U.S. Secretary of Education from 2001 to 2005. As Secretary, Paige was an unstinting advocate of student achievement, employing "best of breed" solutions to achieve results towards the Department's goal of raising national standards of educational excellence.

Paige earned his reputation for seeking out and implementing innovative approaches to systemic academic improvement when he served as Dean of the College of Education at Texas Southern University, where he established the University's Center for Excellence in Urban Education. He has also shown a knack for inclusive leadership, first as a trustee and then as Superintendent of the Houston Independent School District, then the nation's seventh largest district. In 2001, he was named National Superintendent of the Year by the American Association of School Administrators. Following his time in the Cabinet, Paige served as a Public Policy Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. In 2006 he authored The War Against Hope: Why Teachers’ Unions Hurt Children, Hinder Teachers and Endanger Public Education and most recently in 2010 published The Black-White Achievement Gap: Why Closing it is the Greatest Civil Rights Issue of Our Time. In his quest to improve the quality of education for all students, he is an active member of several highly respected boards including the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, The Broad Foundation, American College of Education, New England College of Business, Universal Technical Institute, Houston A+ Challenge, Texas Institute for Education Reform and the National Council of Economic Education's Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce, among other organizations.

Florence Shapiro

Florence Shapiro was raised in Dallas and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education. Shapiro, a former public school teacher, is recognized as an education reformer whose chief concern is that all students in the state of Texas deserve a great education. She spent the last 9 years as Chair of the Senate Education Committee during a distinguished 19-year career as a Republican leader in the Texas State Senate. Prior to the Texas Senate, Shapiro spent six terms on the Plano City Council, served as the Mayor of Plano, and President of the Texas Municipal League.

As a State Senator, she is best known for her work in regional mobility, setting accountability standards for public education, and for protecting children from sexual predators. Many of the Texas laws Shapiro authored have been duplicated in other state legislatures and in Congress. Shapiro has been a teacher, a small business owner, a volunteer, a board chairman, and President and Founder of such groups as the Collin County Junior League and the Information & Referral Center of Collin County receiving over 250 awards for her public service.

Today, Shapiro is a public policy consultant and she serves on several community Boards including the Dallas Holocaust Museum Center, Collin County Business Alliance, Communities Foundation of Texas and Children’s Medical Center of Dallas. 

Lionel Sosa
Lionel is the founder of Sosa, Bromley, Aguilar & Associates, now Bromley Communications, that grew to become the largest hispanic agency in the U.S. He has been Hispanic Media Consultant in seven Republican presidential campaigns beginning in 1980. He is a recognized expert in Hispanic consumer and voter behavior. Lionel was named one of the "25 most influential Hispanics in America" by Time Magazine and is a member of the Texas Business Hall of Fame. He is the author of "Think and Grow Rich: a Latino Choice" published by Random House, "The Americano Dream: How Latinos Can Achieve Success in Business and in Life" published by Dutton, and "Children of the Revolución: How the Mexican Revolution Changed America" distributed by University of Texas Press. Lionel has served on the Board of Regents of The Texas A&M University System, the Board of Trustees for the University of the Incarnate Word, the Boards of Sesame Workshop, creators of Sesame Street, ACT (American College Testing) and the Public Broadcasting System. He chaired both the United Way of San Antonio and the San Antonio Symphony.
 
Dick Weekley

Richard Weekley is a native Houstonian and a graduate of Southern Methodist University, receiving his bachelor’s in Economics in 1967. He served in the United States Navy as a Line Officer, serving in Vietnam. He has been active in the real estate business throughout his career, including commercial development and brokerage, serving as Chairman of Weekley Development Company. He is co-founder and Vice-Chairman of David Weekley Homes, one of the largest privately owned homebuilding companies in America, with 2012 sales of $861 million.

Dick has long been active in community affairs, currently serving on the Board of the Greater Houston Partnership, the Board of the Metropolitan YMCA (and former Chairman), and the Board of the Texas Business Leadership Council. He is a founder of Texans for Lawsuit Reform and its Chairman and CEO, as well as a founder of the Quality of Life Coalition in Houston. Dick and his wife Meg have three grown children and one grandchild.

 

 

Advisory Board

Chase Untermeyer (Chair)
Gay W. Gaddis
Shea Morenz
Massey Villarreal (Co-Chair)
Buddy Garcia
Michael Morgan
Bill and Lydia Addy
Mark Gibson
Catherine Mosbacher
Richard Agnich
Dan Gilbane
Paul Murphy
Eddie Aldrete
Don Glendenning
Charles Nettles
Andrew Alexander
Nina Godiwalla
Dennis Nixon
Stanford J. Alexander
Irma Diaz Gonzalez
Erle Nye
Willie J. Alexander
Joseph G. Greenberg
Peter O'Donnell
Steven D. Alvis
Mark Gregg
John O'Neill
Charles Amato
Antonio Grijalva
Stephen Owen
Hope Andrade
Shawn A. J. Gross
Patrick Oxford
John S. Arnoldy
Bill and Cynthia Guill
Rolando Pablos
Trent Aulbaugh
James T. Hackett
Raymond Palacios
Andrew Baker
David Handley
Daniel Parsley
Mike Ballases
Alan Hassenflu
Thomas J. Perich
Mickey Barrett
Robert Hatcher
Jeanne Johnson Phillips
Ken Barth
Phil Hawk
Richard and Karen Pollock
Peter Beck
William C. Helms
Caren Prothro
Daniel G. Bellow
Earl J. Hesterberg, Jr.
J. Puckett
Gil Besing
Jeffrey Hines
Rudy Ramos
Randy Best
Paul Hobby
Mike Rawlings
Bruce Bilger
Lee Hobson
Bob and Anne Raymond
Albert Black
Ned Holmes
Eduardo A. Rodriguez
Jack S. Blanton, Jr.
James Huffines
Jamey Rootes
Jeanne Whitman Bobbitt
Ray and Nancy Ann Hunt
Will and Catherine Rose
Garrett and Cecilia Boone
Shawn Hurwitz
Robert Rowling
Mike and Jana Boswell
Bobby Jenkins
Cynthia Rubio
Bud Brigham
Jodie L. Jiles
Cynthia Sakulenzki
Mark Brooker
Dianne Johnson
Benjamin Samuels
J.W. Brown
Walter Johnson
Fern Santini
J. Robert Brown
Bob Kaminski
Kenton Schaefer
John and Penny Butler
Larry Kellner
Bret Schuch
Kirbyjon Caldwell
Mark Kelly
John Scovell
Dougal Cameron
Nancy Kinder
Nicholas Serafy
Richard J. Campo
Carla Knobloch
Gene and Robin Shepherd
Deborah Cannon
Ellecia Knolle
Karen Shuford
Quico Canseco
John Knox
Annette Simmons
Chip Carlisle
Dr. Bobby Lyle
Thomas Simmons
Martha Carnes
Sharon Lyle
Joseph Slovacek
Richard Castro
Chris and Ann Mahowald
Josephine P. Smith
William E. Chiles
Dee Margo
Lionel Sosa
Glenn H. Clements
Dustin Marshall
Mark Speese
Ernest Cockrell
Dan Martinez
Roger Staubach
Richard Collins
Lowry Mays
Gary Stein
Scott Cone
Don McAdams
Paige Stewart
David Corrigan
David McClanahan
Charles Swanson
Mark Cover
Red McCombs
Jere Thompson
Harlan Crow
Rick McCord
Rice Tilley
Kathy Crow
Clint McDonnough
Dick and Diane Trabulsi
James Crownover
Cappy McGarr
Ken Travis
Robin Curle
Suzanne Perot McGee
Bob and Ann Utley
James D. Dannenbaum
Richard McGee
F. Gary Valdez
Michael Dardick
Colleen McHugh
Lori Vetters
Greg Davis
Scott McLean
Mark Wallace
Mark Desjardins
Charles McMahen
Peter Wareing
Joseph C. Dilg
Robert McNair
Marcus A. Watts
Michael Dokupil
Don and Joanie McNamara
Jack and Teri Sue Wensinger
Alan Dreeben
Mark Melton
Dr. Christopher White
Charles W. Duncan, Jr.
Anne Mendelsohn
Phillip and Donell Wiggins
Mac Dunwoody
Ben Mendez
J. William
Kent Eastman
Paula Mendoza
Jim Windham
Lynn Elsenhans
William Montgomery
Daniel Wolterman
John Esparza
Jacob Monty
Ed Wulfe
Dr. Larry Faulkner
Jack Moore
Sanjiv Yajnik
Regen Horchow Fearon
Michael Morath
Chuck Young
Edwin Flores
Gilberto Moreno
Fred Zeidman
Lupe Fraga