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The CAST Schools Network Board is comprised of industry and civic leaders that oversee the nonprofit charged with implementing CAST Schools, ensuring fidelity to the model and the promise that students maximize their options. The board approves the nonprofit budget, helps shape the school curriculum, and sets the direction for the network. As co-creators, the board plays a critical role in school design, provides mentorship, real-world experiences internships, and job opportunities, and thereby shapes the career and life readiness of the extended family of CAST students.
Dr. Albright is the President of the Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports statewide initiatives to identify, pilot and scale systemic improvements in public education. Before that, she served as Chair of the Department of Education at Trinity University. A lifelong devotee to improving education and connecting students to the world beyond the classroom, Dr. Albright was named the 2004 Texas High School Principal of the Year by the H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards when she was the school leader of the International School of the Americas. Acting as the principal evaluator for CAST allows her to stay close to her roots as a school leader and principal coach. Dr. Albright believes that CAST schools are “redefining what it means to deeply partner with the community.” Dr. Albright earned her undergraduate and master’s degrees from Trinity University and her Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Teachers College – Columbia University.
Yvette Benavides is vice president of Benavides Studio Inc. and Benavides Picture Framing, art handling and design businesses that have served the San Antonio community since 1997. She is the owner of The 1906 art complex, and cofounder and director of S.M.A.R.T. 501c3, a nonprofit that builds community through arts education and practice with working artists. After college, she lived in Seattle and San Francisco, where she worked in business development for drugstore.com and served as director of operations for Catamount Ventures, an early seed-stage venture-capital firm. She moved to San Antonio in 2000, and first became immersed in the local contemporary arts community through her work with Artpace founder Linda Pace. Since 2008, S.M.A.R.T.’s innovative four-step process and unprecedented partnership with Briscoe Elementary has resulted in an arts-education curriculum that supports the International Baccalaureate goals of Briscoe Elementary and builds a foundation for creative expression throughout students’ lives and careers. In 2019, S.M.A.R.T. launched beMOCA, Briscoe Elementary Museum of Contemporary Art, which gives students the tools to communicate their vision through contemporary art and museum practice. With a passion for building programs and activating ideas, she looks forward to working with CAST to create engaging platforms for our next generation of young innovators. She is also a parent and sits on the Advanced Learning Academy advisory board.
David Heard is a cyber security executive and a longtime civic advocate for the growth of smart jobs and the tech industry in San Antonio. He is Chief Marketing Officer for SecureLogix and the co-founder and CEO of Tech Bloc. He and the Tech Bloc community have been among the biggest champions of CAST Tech, and he jokes with Tech Bloc cofounder Lew Moorman that if CAST hadn’t proposed building a tech high school, they would have done it themselves. “CAST Schools are innovating within the public school system and opening industry-led pathways for some of San Antonio’s most disadvantaged youth into careers many of them thought previously unattainable,” Heard said. “I believe in challenging and disrupting existing institutions and models to foster innovation and progress and this is what CAST Schools are attempting to do.” Heard has a master’s degree in business administration from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin, and a Master of Public Administration from the George Bush School of Public Administration at Texas A&M College Station.
Lisa Lewis is the Vice President of People & Culture at CPS Energy, where her works focuses on recruitment, leadership and employee development, technical training, and talent retention. She fervently believes that “every student should walk out of high school with a plan” that prepares them for their future, whether that plan includes going to work immediately, gaining high-demand technical skills or pursuing more academic study. Lewis believes that having choices is empowering. As a vice president at CPS Energy, she has fostered growth of the utility’s internship partnerships and mentoring programs, shifting their focus on building a workforce pipeline and making her a natural fit for the CAST Network board. Lewis has a bachelor’s degree in marketing communications from Texas State University.
Dr. Lyssa Ochoa is a board-certified vascular surgeon and founder of the San Antonio Vascular and Endovascular Clinic (The SAVE Clinic) in South San Antonio. The mission of The SAVE Clinic is to reduce the number of diabetes-related amputations in San Antonio, which occur in rates up to 3 times the statewide rate in some of the city’s most underserved and socioeconomically challenged zip codes. Because diabetes-related amputations are a complex population health problem, Dr. Ochoa believes the educational approach of CAST Schools will help create the future leaders to solve it. “This epidemic requires leaders to thoroughly understand a community’s strengths and challenges and develop tailored solutions. CAST Med creates the opportunity to develop dynamic leaders who will help forge a better future for our city.” Dr. Ochoa was born and raised along the Texas-Mexico border and attended medical school, general surgery residency, and vascular surgery residency at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX.
As an H-E-B executive, Kate Rogers created an array of initiatives promoting health and education in San Antonio and Texas. These include the H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards, the largest monetary awards program in the state honoring outstanding public school teachers, principals and school districts. She also created H-E-B’s Read 3 program to ensure that all children begin their school experience with an equal opportunity to succeed. She then became the founding President of the Holdsworth Center, a statewide effort promoting and supporting systemic leadership and change within school districts. During that time, she helped design CAST Schools, and played an integral role as a founder by convening industry and higher education partners. “We saw a critical need in San Antonio to help graduates build skills and connections that will allow them to move seamlessly into high-demand jobs,” she said. “Our model benefits both the individual student and the economy as a whole." Rogers now serves as a director at the Charles Butt Charitable Foundation, shaping the organization’s philanthropic and educational efforts in San Antonio. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in advertising and public relations from Texas Christian University, and is studying for her master’s degree in Public Affairs at the LBJ School at UT Austin.