Project Description

The Human Capital Support Council Behind successful students are talented and dedicated teachers, principals, administrators, and the people preparing and supporting them. The Human Capital Support Council works to improve cradle-to-career student outcomes by collectively strengthening the quality of the educator pipeline, developing and retaining effective educators, and elevating education as a revered profession. Meeting monthly, members include human resource leaders from area school districts, their higher education and alternative certification talent partners, private sector businesses, and foundations.

Garrett Boone
Charles Glover
Tawana Grover
Alex Hales
Demetrus Liggins
Fernando Medina
Rhonda Nelson
Sarah Cotton Nelson
Roosevelt Nivens
Jeremy Smith
Lacey Tomanek
Ellen Wood

booneGarrett Boone
Chairman Emeritus, Container Store
Garrett Boone never considered a career in retailing. Instead, he grew up aspiring to become an architect, later opting for a bachelor’s degree in European history from Rice University and a master’s degree in history from the University of Texas at Austin. But he was bit by the retailing bug soon after returning home from college, and that bug would later develop into a business venture that would spark a new retail category.

By 1976, Boone, an avid woodworker as well, was determined to start his own business. Leaving his job, Boone and two friends, Dallas architect John Mullen, and Kip Tindell (Chairman and CEO), a colleague from Montgomery Ward and Storehouse, discussed the idea of opening a handmade furniture store. After two years of creating furniture prototypes, preparing cost analyses and investigating companion products, they scrapped this home furnishings idea for an original retail concept: a store devoted entirely to storage and organization products for the home. The idea came to Boone following a visit to a home improvement show in Dallas in January, 1978. Tindell, Boone and Mullen decided to open a retail store offering an exceptional and eclectic mix of products devoted to helping people simplify their lives. Before the store was opened, the initial name “Basics” was changed to a more suitable and exciting name for their unique venture – The Container Store. With the unique and innovative products selected, The Container Store’s first location at Preston Road and Forest Lane in North Dallas was unveiled on July 1, 1978.

Boone’s love for retailing remains true today. That bug that bit him in 1969 is still apparent. As Chairman Emeritus, he frequently visits the company’s 56 stores to work the sales floor and to interact with customers and employees. His commitment to maintaining the company’s unique culture has played a vital role in The Container Store being selected by FORTUNE magazine as a “Best Company to Work For” 13 years in a row. In 2006, along with Kip and Sharon Tindell (Chief Merchandising Officer), Boone was inducted into the Retailing Hall of Fame. In his role as Chairman Emeritus at The Container Store, he attends all new store openings, major celebrations and cultural events as well as conducting ‘Selling with Garrett’ seminars

In 2006, Garrett Boone co-founded Texas Business for Clean Air in an effort to derail a fast track initiative to construct 11 coal-burning energy plants in North Texas using out dated air quality controls. Their efforts in promoting ‘clean air is good for business in Texas’ have been heralded nationally and recently were the subject of a Robert Redford documentary Fighting Goliath: Texas Coal Wars. Texas Business for Clean Air was 2010 recipient of the CATEE Outstanding Nonprofit Organization of the Year. In 2007 Boone was First runner-up for Texan of the Year awarded by The Dallas Morning News.

Boone sits on the Boards of the YMCA of the USA and the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas where he just concluded a successful $28 million capital campaign as chairman. He is on the Board of Directors for The Woodall Rogers Park Foundation, Trinity Trust Foundation, The Boone Family Foundation, North Texas Commission Clean Air Task Force and TreeHouse, Inc. He is highly involved in the Trinity Paddling Trails and Bird Count Initiatives and is a member of the advisory board for The Dallas Women’s Foundation, Teach for America. He is an advocate for public education and served on the Dallas ISD Star Commission to share business best practices with DISD.

gloverCharles Glover
Senior Fellow, Bellwether Education Partners
Charles is a Senior Fellow with Bellwether Education Partners, a nonprofit organization working to improve educational outcomes for low-income students. He focuses on both Talent Services and Strategic Advising at Bellwether. Prior to joining Bellwether, Charles served as the Chief of Human Capital Management for Dallas Independent School District. He was on a senior Cabinet that oversaw and led an urban district with more than 158,000 students and 20,000 employees. During this time he established rigorous teacher and principal selection models grounded in research-based competencies of “predictive success indicators,” and led significant change management by implementing a casebased support model for principal and school needs. Charles was the founding Executive Director of TFA-Dallas/Ft. Worth in 2009, and in that capacity oversaw its growth into one of the Teach for America’s largest regions. His career in education began as a middle school teacher and a coach with the Durham Public Schools. He currently serves on the Board of Advisors for Education Opens Doors and HOBY–Texas North. Charles earned his M. Ed. at Harvard University and holds a Bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University.

Alex Hales
Executive Director, Teach for America – DFW
Alexandra Hales is the Executive Director of Teach For America-Dallas/Fort Worth. She began her career in education in 2007 when she joined the South Louisiana Teach For America corps as a first grade teacher. Alex set rigorous expectations for her students, modeled leadership through her ongoing involvement in the school community, and fostered high levels of student achievement. As a second-year teacher, Alex was selected by her fellow educators as the top elementary teacher in the district and was named East Feliciana Parish Elementary Teacher of the Year. In 2009, Alex was a key leader in opening the Teach For America charter region in Dallas-Fort Worth, where she first served as a manager, teacher leadership development and was quickly promoted to leading all teacher support and development initiatives. Under Alex’s leadership, corps members have become valued members of their school communities. In a 2011 independent survey of local school leaders employing corps members, partner principals reported that their corps members made a positive difference in their school community. Ninety-seven percent reported they would hire another corps member if they had an open position to fill, and hundred percent indicated that their corps members are as or better prepared than other new teachers.

Alex earned her BA from Lake Forest College, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa with degrees in Political Science and History, captained the women’s varsity swim team, and served as Student Government president.

Demetrus Liggins
Executive Director of Human Resources, Grand Prairie Independent School District
Demetrus Liggins is the Executive Director of Human Resources for the Grand Prairie Independent School District. He has 15 years experience as an educator. He hold a bachelors and masters degree from California State University Fresno, Principal and Superintendent Certification from Stephen F. Austin University and a educational leadership doctoral degree from the University of Texas at Arlington.

nelsonRhonda Nelson
Senior Director of Strategic People Initiatives, Uplift Education
A recognized human resources leader known for building the strategic vision to achieve recruitment and development organization goals, Rhonda Nelson has formalized network wide recruitment practices and initiated professional development for potential internal leaders at Uplift Education. As Senior Director of Strategic People Initiatives, Rhonda leads all recruitment efforts, career progression practices and reward & recognition strategies. Her overall goal is to recruit high level candidates who will receive meaningful evaluations and effectively grow in their position and into others.

With over eight years HR experience ranging from HR Assistant at Dallas Housing Authority to HR Generalist at United Way, Rhonda joined Uplift Education, a growing charter school organization as the Director of Human Resources standardizing processes on compensation, benefits, compliance reporting, employee relations and personnel transactions. She soon moved into her current position with the growing demand to recruit, retain and reward valuable staff.

Rhonda holds a Bachelor of Business Administration and MBA from Northwood University in Cedar Hill, Dallas. She also maintains an active membership with SHRM and Dallas HR. Rhonda also had the honor of being selected to participate in the inaugural class of the KIPP Leadership Design Fellowship 2012, which brought a dynamic group of reform-minded educators, engaged in a community practice around effective principal hiring and development programs.

Roosevelt Nivens
Ass. Superintendent of Achievement and Organizational Management, Lancaster Independent School District
When asked his philosophy on education, Roosevelt Nivens takes a bold stand, “Educating our young people is my ministry. I welcome the responsibility of teaching young boys how to become young men, how to take responsibility for their own actions, and how to love their families. I teach them they are to be great men, husbands, and fathers…in that order. I also have the opportunity to show the young ladies how they are to be treated by a man and I am able to show them nothing is more important than self-respect.”

Roosevelt teaches three simple principles to his students; make people happy to see you coming and not going, be dependable, and be productive. His passion is to cultivate a school district environment where young men and young women are encouraged to mature into responsible adults.

Roosevelt was born and raised in Langston, Oklahoma. Education comes naturally to Roosevelt; his dad, Roosevelt Sr., was an educator for 46 years and his mom, Barbara, was a teacher for 36 years. In 1990, Roosevelt majored in Education while attending Liberty University, in Lynchburg, Virginia, on a football scholarship. He later graduated from college in 1995 and realized his life-long dream of playing professional football. However, his football career was quickly halted due to an injury and he found himself executing his “back-up plan”, using his degree in education.

In 1996 he began his teaching and coaching career with Dallas Independent School District and later, in 2001, he found his way to the principalship with Lancaster Independent School District. He has served as Assistant Principal at Lancaster Jr. High and Lancaster High School. He later moved, in 2005, to become Principal at Lancaster Middle School. His last campus position was Principal of Lancaster High School for four years. He currently serves the students, staff, and community as Assistant Superintendent of Achievement and Organizational Management; and is completing a doctoral degree from Texas A&M University – Commerce.

Jeremy Smith
Rainwater Charitable Foundation (RCF)
Jeremy joined the Rainwater Charitable Foundation team in 2009. RCF is private family foundation whose giving primarily focuses on PK-12 public education and medical research in neurodegenerative diseases both in the US and abroad.

Within education, the mission of the RCF is to help the nation’s most underserved students with a focus on a) expanding high-quality early childhood education options for parents, b) promoting high-quality school leadership and c) supporting cradle to career efforts in North Texas and South Carolina. The foundation also recently began making grants to efforts in India and East Africa.

Prior to joining Rainwater, Jeremy worked in management consulting for four years, first with McKinsey & Company, serving clients in consumer packaged goods, technology and health care; and later as an Associate Director with DenuoSource LLC, primarily in marketing and organizational design.

Prior to McKinsey, Jeremy worked in operations research at Merck & Co., where he managed global ops improvement projects in both Latin America and Asia. Jeremy is a graduate of the Harvard Business School, the Harvard Divinity School. He received his BS in engineering from the University of Arkansas. He currently serves as a board member at East Dallas Community Schools and the Texas Association for Infant Mental Health.

Lacey Tomanek
Managing Director of Partnerships & Human Capital, TFA – DFW
Biography coming soon.

Ellen Wood
Co-Founder, Teaching Trust
Ellen spent two decades working in the investment, healthcare and real estate industries, with her last role as a partner and portfolio manager at Carlson Capital in Dallas, Texas. In 2005, she refocused her career and interests on education and at-risk youth. She serves on various education-focused foundation boards and grant committees including Dallas Social Venture Partners, the 0-5 Funders’ Collaborative and the Vickery Meadow Youth Development Foundation. She is a member of the Education Task Force for West Dallas and has had a nearly two decade commitment to Girls Inc. Ellen also serves as a member of the Investment Committees for the MR and Evelyn Hudson Foundation, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation, and the Texas A&M Foundation (advisory member). She has also served in multiple roles at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, most recently as a member of the Business School Fund and chair of multiple class reunion fundraising campaigns. She was the recipient of the John Gardner Volunteer Leadership Award in 2006. Ellen received an MBA from Stanford University and a BBA in Accounting from the University of Texas at Austin. She has also earned both a CPA and CFA designation.