The Texas Education Exchange Team Brings Years of Experience, Service to New Technology Endeavor
From their years of experience to their commitment to education, you can see a distinction in the team leading The Texas Education Exchange. From business and operations to technology to communications, each team member has valuable expertise and understanding when it comes to innovating and creating new paths forward for educators in Texas.
The Director of The Exchange, Jerry Lashley, spent 12 years in public service for cities and organizations before moving into education. His experience in entrepreneurship, business, and service allowed him to dream big and see opportunities where others did not. Jerry has devoted 16 years to public education, spending nearly a decade with YES! Prep Public Schools in Houston and five years with the Region 4 Educational Service Center. His primary focus has been business operations, including transportation, safety and health, child nutrition, technology, ASCENDER, and TSDS/PEIMS. During his work at Region 4, Jerry found educators at all levels lacked access to simple data interoperability that would allow them to do their jobs more efficiently and help students in the process. That’s when he began reaching out to learn more about what could solve this entrenched statewide problem. Through this journey, Jerry discovered Ed-Fi, a technology that would help him realize this dream of interoperability in Texas. He began working toward a solution that would benefit all regions, all districts, and all educators. Jerry now runs all day-to-day operations of The Exchange, connecting organizations while building a new outlook on technology from the ground up in Texas.
Claire Savidge brings incredible knowledge of contract operations and vendor and project management to the table. She spent the last 12 years in education, learning the ropes from the ground up and settling into transportation operations management. Claire started this journey at YES Prep Public Schools. She worked to develop and build the transportation department, organizing bussing for thousands of students daily across the Houston area while managing a budget of $8 million. Following that, Claire became the Director of Operations and Accounts for a transportation technology start-up that managed services for 25 districts in four states. In this position, she led the account and operations management teams, managed a $12 million budget, oversaw the routing team, and provided overall transportation guidance to build the company. Now, Claire upholds contracts, works with vendors, and oversees The Exchange and its operations daily.
The Exchange intersects Letty Fuentes’ passions for technology, education, and data. Letty has more than six years of education work spanning government, non-profit, and public and private companies. You can drill down her expertise to product management, software development, and business analysis. Letty is an incredibly technology-driven proficient worker who believes she can find the right balance in her work through non-profits, where decision-making can happen quickly, and the focus isn’t just the bottom line.
Communication is huge when building a new brand and data solution. Jennifer Duncan has 15 years of experience writing, crafting, and delivering creative content for live on-air broadcasts. She is an ideal storyteller to craft and convey the message of The Exchange based on her experience connecting with large-scale audiences and highlighting the unique stories of the people behind the features. Her media relations and community development expertise prepares her for the work with The Exchange, engaging with a wide array of audiences and communicating their stories. Jennifer is passionate about educating others through her work, starting that education through journalism and continuing it now through growing The Exchange across the Lone Star State.
When it comes to data, Richard Esteviz knew it was his calling after taking on extra projects while working for Amazon. Complex numbers and the ability to create workstream efficiency were exciting for Richard. He dove head-first into business analysis and learned every system he could. From there, he began creating data solutions utilizing cloud pipelines and managing the AWS budget for his program and its products (i.e., Redshift, Quicksight, S3, EC2, Glue, Snowflake, DynamoDB, Beanstalk, Airflow, Athena & Security Products IAM & KMS). After seven years with Amazon, Richard shifted to Ulta to further expand his knowledge. Richard’s knowledge of data analytics is powerful, and he can create systems that make sense of data that might overwhelm others. This ability primes him for work on The Exchange, building a solution for Texas educators that will make students successful.
Lynn Clarke discovered a love for education after finding a job at Region 6 Education Service Center by chance. She’s spent 16 years in education and found incredible support within her organization after learning her son had autism. She saw firsthand the impact education could have on students and their families lives. She later worked with adults seeking GEDs and found purpose in helping those turn their lives around. Lynn recalls the true joy she saw in the faces of the graduates when they walked across the stage and what helping them realize a dream meant to her. She later moved to the Houston area and took a position with Region 4. Now, as The Exchange department secretary, she gets to help Jerry realize his dream daily. Lynn is honored to be a part of his team and to watch The Exchange come to fruition.