Dr. Geoffrey Orsak

Executive Director of the Moody Innovation Institute

Dr. Orsak is a national thought leader in education, innovation, and competitiveness, Dr. Orsak was one of the very first advocates in the country for including engineering in K-12 curricula with the purpose of teaching creativity and design while simultaneously bringing excitement to math and science. The Infinity Project, which Dr. Orsak both created and led, is today serving pre-college students in approximately 40 states and six countries. Before joining HPISD, Dr. Orsak served as the Executive Director of the Texas Research Alliance. He is also the former Dean of Southern Methodist University's Lyle School of Engineering.

As an educator, Dr. Orsak was selected as the first ever national “Educator of the Year” in science and engineering by the prestigious technology magazine, EE Times. He has also received numerous teaching awards from his peers and his students. As one of his high impact efforts in education, he led a team that developed the first collaborative Skunk Works Teaching Lab in the nation based on the innovative practices of the iconic and top-secret Skunk Works in Palmdale, CA, a recipient of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation in 2007. He also led the effort to bring the impactful TED conference to Dallas branded as TEDxSMU and created the first TED program for kids, TEDxKIDS.

Dr. Orsak joined the Highland Park ISD and the Moody Innovation Institute in March 2017.

Meet the Design Team

A team of staff members from throughout HPISD is in the midst of developing the Moody Innovation Institute by reimagining how the subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) are delivered in Highland Park ISD.

While HPISD is already seen as an educational leader, the Design Team’s work, made possible by a $5.8 million grant from the Moody Foundation, will enhance opportunities for HPISD students in all STEAM subjects.

Design Team members were selected from across disciplines and HPISD campuses, and all have committed their time, talent and energy to the initiative.

Other teams have been formed to ensure the grant is fully realized, including an Advisory Board representative of the community and a Steering Committee made up of district and campus leaders. A Student Advisory Board will also be formed in the near future.

Aaron Cappotelli: Intermediate and Middle School

Averie Snyder: Bradfield Elementary - Fourth Grade

Charlie Jackson: HPISD Chief Technology Officer

Cindy Gillean: HPISD Science Coordinator

Hunt Caraway: HP High School - World Geography

Jan Peterson: HP Education Foundation Executive Director, Ex Officio 

Jean Streepey: HP Middle School - Seventh-Grade Mathematics

Jenn Hampton: Hyer Elementary - Media Specialist

Kerry Fergason: HP High School - Chemistry and AP Environmental Science

Kim Brooks: Armstrong Elementary - Curriculum Integration Technologist

Lisa Ham: HPISD Director of Instructional Technology

Melynda Wright: HP High School - Mathematics Department Chair

Natalie Walker: HP High School - Choir Director and District Choral Director

Shaunna Black: Design Team Facilitator, Ex Officio

Trudy Watson: HPISD Math Coordinator

Lisa Wilson: Assistant Superintendent for Education Services, Ex Officio

Michael Warren: STEAM Coach 

Jaime Callahan: STEAM Coach

Jennifer Torres: University Park- Art

Candace Thompson: Armstrong Elementary- Campus Instructional Technologist