Meet the Team

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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

Click on each picture below and hover over it to read a bio on each Design Team member.

Aaron Cappotelli

Intermediate and Middle School

Aaron is our “Yes” man that supports the design team with his unfaltering willingness to help forward our mission through polished communication and spectacular media.

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Averie Snyder

 

Bradfield Elementary - Fourth Grade

Averie brings her passion to the team while ensuring our design encompasses and benefits all learners, from our youngest Scots to the oldest.

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Charlie Jackson

HPISD Chief Technology Officer

Charlie not only provides the infrastructure for our team keeping us wired and powered in any location, but he also brings his insightful nature with an eye for detail.

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Cindy Gillean

HPISD Science Coordinator

Cindy is our “wow” factor who brings respect, excitement, joy, and awe while never forgetting the innocence and power of discovering through STEAM.

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Hunt Caraway

HP High School - World Geography

Hunt ensures the presence of our stakeholders throughout our process by voicing their perspectives and safeguarding our vision.

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Jan Peterson

HP Education Foundation Executive Director

Serving as our foremost guide and executor, Jan is the matron of our group and the wellspring from which the Moody Innovation Institute arises; none of this would be possible without her dignified perseverance and hospitality.

Jean Streepey

HP Middle School - Seventh-grade Mathematics

Jean is the service-oriented heart of our team who aims to highlight, celebrate, and expand the vast talent and innovation already present within our district.

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Jenn Hampton

Hyer Elementary - Media Specialist

Jenn is one of our project managers and our resident expert on design thinking who brings guiding processes that dig deeper to find our true direction.

Kendra Davison Hagan

University Park Elementary - Third Grade

Kendra reinforces our team by bringing empathy to the process along with her diverse literature knowledge that provides supporting evidence for our groundwork.

Kerry Fergason

HP High School - Chemistry and AP Environmental Science

Kerry strives to recognize individual contributions to our team and form the most effective communication, both spoken and visual, to deliver to our community.

Kim Brooks

Armstrong Elementary - Curriculum Integration Technologist

Kim is one of our project managers who keeps diligent and invaluable documentation and speaks eloquently when sharing intuitive insights about our work.

Lisa Ham

HPISD Director of Instructional Technology

Lisa is the cortex of our team working overtime to keep us organized and functional while building us up with her inner artistry.

Melynda Wright

HP High School - Mathematics Department Chair

Melynda leads our team with reserved grace and provides us with an elegant collection of words that guide our trailblazing endeavor.

Natalie Walker

HP High School - Choir Director and District Choral Director

Natalie enables the team to work systemically to reach our big picture while intricately weaving creative artistry within our canvas.

Shaunna Black

Design Team Facilitator

Shaunna is the glue that molds our group into a working formation through activities and techniques that allow us to define the path of our journey in order to attain our vision, mission, and values.

Trudy Watson

HPISD Math Coordinator

Trudy keeps our team grounded by taking time to process and organize the details of our work, often through creating powerful graphic organizers.