Laura is a veteran educator with over 30 years of experience as a teacher, department chair, dean, principal, chief of schools and education executive. A certified school superintendent Laura holds a Bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a Master’s degree in educational leadership. Laura has been at the forefront of innovation in relation to student motivation, curriculum, effective learning and staff development. She decided to harness this experience to tackle the need of helping deserving students find funding to support their higher education dreams.
Hope Williams Bruner
Hope Williams Bruner has made a career out of helping children and seniors, those populations that typically can help themselves the least. Helping others is at the core of Hope’s values. It began when she was a teenager helping her father who was a senior citizen. In her early twenties she worked her way through college as a pre-school teacher. While in college she donated a kidney to her mother who was ailing from end stage renal failure. By then Hope was in grad-school and an Area Director for Head Start. However, she put her career and education on hold to care for her parents. Her mom post-stoke and her dad with dementia. Her journey with her parents lead her to the senior healthcare and housing arena where she has held various positions up to Vice President. Hope is also a Senior Managing Partner for EVB and Associates and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Education.
Monica Jolla is an Assistant Controller at Omni Hotels & Resorts. She is responsible for the leadership and operational oversight of corporate financial reporting and analysis. Prior to joining Omni in 2014, Monica spent over twenty years in various accounting positions with Fortune 500 companies. Monica is a CPA and earned a bachelor’s degree in Finance from University of Louisiana – Lafayette and an MBA from Texas A&M – Commerce. She is a member of American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Texas State Societies of CPAs. Monica is active in her community as a Big Sister with Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Texas. Her passion for academic excellence developed while growing up in a family of educators.
Gloria has thirty-three years of experience in a variety of positions in the field of education. In addition to teaching high school English for nineteen years, she has experience at the Texas Education Agency in curriculum, assessment, and an innovative program, Partnership Schools Initiative. Gloria has also worked as a high school assistant principal at Georgetown I.S.D. and as the Secondary Language Arts Coordinator for Round Rock I.S.D. She has worked with elementary, middle and high school teachers, school districts, regional education service centers, advisory committees, and at the national level on a committee developing a portfolio teacher evaluation system. Gloria Amescua graduated with a Bachelor’s in English and Spanish and a Master’s in Education in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Texas at Austin.
Gary L. Hawthorne
Gary is a Cum Laude Graduate from Texas State University, with a Bachelor Degree in Journalism and Speech Communications. He has a Master’s Degree in Business Management. Gary has had a progressive career with three top Fortune 100 corporations. Currently, Marketing Director at Verizon, he leads the Marketing Creative Execution for Verizon’s FIOS portfolio. He is a published author, and an award-winning Speaker. He credits education as the key to success.