Education Opens Doors consists of talented individuals who work together to empower students to purposefully navigate through high school to college. These individuals help Education Opens Doors make a collective impact by contributing their talents to our team. We are grateful for all the work they are doing to change the future of today’s students.
Jayda Batchelder, Founding Executive Director
In 2008, Jayda Batchelder studied at the School for International Training in Geneva, Switzerland, which sparked her interest in a broad range of global issues, particularly those of education, health, and policy. She joined Teach for America- DFW as a charter corps member in 2009, and became an 8th grade science teacher at a high need school in southern Dallas. Her students showed great success in their studies, and Jayda excelled in the classroom. She became the science department chair, and in 2012, she received both the State and National Alternatively Certified Teacher of the Year awards, and also received a STEM Teacher of the Year award from Texas Instruments.
However, she knew something was lacking in her middle school students’ education. In 2010, Jayda spearheaded the creation of the Roadmap to Success Program after seeing firsthand the gap in college knowledge and soft skills for middle and high school students. She and her colleagues were faced with the reality that content mastery alone did not adequately prepare their students for success. They searched for a resource or program to meet this need, and when they realized one did not exist, they developed the Roadmap to Success student manual. Jayda observed a clear difference in the way that the manual changed her students’ aspirations and their understanding of the route to college. She realized that even more students needed this resource, so Jayda left the classroom, and founded Education Opens Doors in 2012. She built upon the information contained in the Roadmap to Success student manual, creating an accompanying curriculum with resources for teachers, and piloted the Roadmap to Success Program with 1,500 local students in 2013. Since that time, the organization has grown exponentially, having served over 15,000 students in the Dallas area as one of the only college access programs focused on middle school students.
Jayda has continued to guide and grow the organization as its Executive Director, leading program development, team building, and fundraising efforts. To date, EOD has earned over 1.5 million dollars in philanthropic and earned income. Jayda has grown the organization to 9 staff members, and increased the annual budget to over $800,000 in just over 4 years of existence. Her goal is to expand the Roadmap to Success Program to reach over 8,000 students during the 2016-2017 school year. Regardless of the task at hand, Jayda’s results-driven and entrepreneurial approach has led the Education Opens Doors’ team to gain broad support from the local community as they continue their mission of empowering students to purposefully navigate through high school to college.
Jayda’s work in the college access sphere has garnered her a number of accolades. In 2015, Jayda was named a “40 Under 40” honoree by the Dallas Business Journal, and in 2016 was selected as Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation Entrepreneur. She actively pursues opportunities to grow as a nonprofit executive, completing Marsha Clark’s Power of Self Class in 2015, and was selected as a 2016 Alternate for the Marshall Memorial Fellowship. Jayda also serves as a member of the Dallas Kids First Advisory Board, and has also served as a Board Member for Young Leaders in Education and as a member of the Dallas Boys and Girls Club Scholarship Committee. In her free time, Jayda loves finding adventure and new experiences both near and far, and is working to fill her passport by exploring new countries every chance she gets.
B. Celestino Carreón, Impact Manager
Cel earned an undergraduate degree in Secondary Social Studies Education from Bowling Green State University. Following graduation, he worked for Student Support Services (SSS), a federally funded TRiO program, serving first-generation, low-income and students with disabilities at Siena Heights University. As the SSS Program Coordinator, Celestino taught college prep courses, served as an advisor, implemented an intensive freshman transition summer camp, and ran a mentoring and tutoring program. During his time with Siena Heights University, Carreón obtained a Master of Arts in Teaching, focusing on Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). Pursuing opportunities to use his teaching degree, Cel backpacked South America and taught in Peru for one year before becoming a Peace Corps Volunteer. In Morocco, he served at a community youth center focusing on youth development while partnering with local counterparts.
As an Impact Manager, Celestino aspires to blend his experience as an educator, program coordinator, and community development volunteer to serve as a resource for Roadmap To Success teachers and instructors.
Emily Cook, Manager of Development
Emily graduated from Texas A&M University with her B.A. in English in May 2010 and M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction in December 2011. Prior to joining Education Opens Doors, Emily worked with students in various capacities in the nonprofit sector through nonprofits, schools, and churches. She was trained as an educator prior to joining the fundraising profession. While her passion lies in a number of children’s issues, foremost in her heart is education. Emily joined the Education Opens Doors team in July 2014. As Manager of Development, Emily supports the work of Education Opens Doors by managing the “fundraising vision” for the organization. Emily is also primarily responsible for cultivating foundation and corporate funders, including writing grants and managing the grant calendar.
Courtney Fadley, Curriculum Specialist
After graduating from Texas Christian University with a Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology, Fadley had aspirations of becoming a pediatric physical therapist. Her career goals turned after witnessing the broken education system limiting impoverished children in Zambia, Africa to unpromising futures. Her experience in Zambia ignited a passion to advance education opportunities for children back home in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Fadley began her career as a teacher at a Dallas charter school teaching 6th, 7th and 8th grade science. After just two years, Fadley was offered the opportunity become the Science, Technology and Engineering Department Chair where she served for two years. In addition she was a lead teacher in the school’s efforts to achieve the IB MYP accreditation, which was granted in 2012. In addition, Fadley was selected as a K-12 Science Classroom Specialist for the University of Colorado research team, Phet, where she wrote teacher supplemental lessons and development materials for their online science simulations.
Fadley enjoys transforming her knowledge of building a positive learning community into a college readiness curriculum. As an Impact Manager and Curriculum Specialist, Fadley develops and continuously improves a teacher guide and school program to supplement the successful Roadmap to Success manual. Fadley is a “resource on the ground” where she serves participating campuses as a consultant. Fadley is committed to providing thoughtful feedback and encouragement to teachers participating in the Roadmap to Success program to ensure students are equipped with the knowledge and skills to purposefully navigate through high school to college.
Sandra Godina, Impact Manager
Sandra graduated from the University of Georgia in May of 2013 with degrees in History and Social Studies Education. After a semester of student teaching in a North Georgia middle school, she recognized that she was meant to serve high need communities. Sandra led a classroom as a 2013 Teach for America corps member in Fort Worth, Texas. During her time, she was able to support students and families in their pursuit of significant academic and social goals. In the midst of her second year, she worked with a group of fifth graders and teachers to organize the first “College Night” at her school. This event confirmed her belief that all children are capable of more than even adults can imagine for them.
Sandra facilitated professional development at a school wide and district level and served on committees which developed academic action plans with school leadership. She recognizes the impact that vision led leadership can have within schools and organizations. During the summer of 2016, she led sessions at Teach for America’s DFW Institute regarding Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. This experience has fortified her belief that social identity work is at the heart of the educational equity movement. She looks forward to exploring the manners in which her interests and strengths come together as an Impact Manager at Education Opens Doors.
Andy Lovley, Director Of Operations
Andy graduated from the College of the Holy Cross in 2006 with a degree in History and Secondary Education. From there, he pursued his loves of teaching and travel, volunteering and taught in schools in Japan, Taiwan, Chile, Hawaii, and Boston for over five years. Prior to joining Education Opens Doors in 2015, Andy spent two years at the University of Arkansas Clinton School, obtaining a Masters of Public Service degree. During his graduate studies, he partnered with educational nonprofits based in Thailand and Panama, developing monitoring and evaluation systems and designing a K-12 curriculum for indigenous youth in underserved communities. After one year as an Impact Manager, Andy now applies his passion for developing and strengthening organizational practices as the EOD Manager of Operations. From systems streamlining to strategic initiatives to talent management, Andy enjoys the daily dabbling of life at EOD.
Ellen Miller, Marketing and Program Coordinator
Ellen Miller earned her BA in Justice from American University in Washington, D.C. While living in the city, she volunteered for Facilitating Leadership in Youth, a youth tutoring and mentoring organization in the underserved community of Anacostia, and it was there that she first glimpsed the vast inequities in the education system. After returning to Texas, Ellen joined the team at Reading Partners North Texas. As a site coordinator, she managed a literacy center at a high-needs Dallas ISD elementary school, managing 60 tutors who served 45 students twice weekly with one-on-one literacy intervention. After completing her AmeriCorps term of service, she joined Urban Teachers, building local and regional relationships and helped recruit the program’s inaugural cohort of teaching residents for the DFW area. She joins Education Opens Doors to support operations across the organization.
Summerlin Northrup, Impact Manager
Summerlin graduated from Baylor University in 2014 with her BS in Elementary Education. While she was at Baylor, Summerlin interned in several schools where she saw the needs of her underserved students. She also had the opportunity to study abroad and teach in Australian schools where her desire to improve the education system in the U.S. grew.
After graduating, Summerlin taught fourth grade in Mesquite, TX, where her students dreamed of and often spoke about going to college someday. She saw a tough road ahead for them and wanted to be a part of the solution. She went on to explore the business side of the education world, where she was able to meet with educators and administrators around Texas, discussing the needs and gaps in their schools and how best to meet student needs. These experiences led Summerlin to Education Opens Doors, where she is excited to be in different classrooms as an Impact Manager. She is eager to work with and support teachers as they guide students through the Roadmap to Success program!
Amy Dinh Tran, Director of Programs
Amy Tran, a proud native Californian, received her BA in Sociology and Mass Communications from the University of California, Berkeley in 2009. Following her passion to advocate for the rights of underrepresented communities, Amy pursued a career in both the labor and student organizing movements in San Francisco and Washington, D.C. Amy’s experience in organizing strengthened her commitment for social, racial, and educational justice. In 2012, she returned to UC Berkeley to earn her Masters in Social Welfare degree with a concentration in management and program planning. During her studies, Amy served as a counselor at a school-based health center where she practiced narrative therapy and restorative justice with high school youth. Her experience in the high school environment grounded Amy’s commitment to educational equity in school settings.
Amy joined the Education Opens Doors team as an Impact Manager in 2014. She provides training and direct support to school administrators and teachers implementing the Roadmap To Success program. Today, in addition to her role as an Impact Manager, Amy is also the Director of Programs. She leads a team of 4 Impact Managers and collaborates with the Executive Director to responsibly and strategically grow the impact of the Roadmap To Success program.
Kia Williams, Director of Strategic Partnerships
Kia Ervin Williams, a native of the Washington, DC area, is a nonprofit leader with nearly 15 years of experience in strategic planning and partnerships, project management, marketing and community relations. Prior to joining Education Opens Doors, she served as the founding Executive Director of Accelerate Delaware, where she was responsible for retaining millennials in Delaware by creating opportunities for young professionals to advance socially, civically and professionally in the state. Voted top 40 Under 40 in Delaware, Kia was honored for professional excellence and inspiring her community.
Kia obtained a Bachelor of Science in Communications with a concentration in Public Relations from North Carolina A&T State University. She began her career in communications with NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity program. After many successful years in corporate America, Kia returned to her community-based roots in the non-profit sector and earned a Master’s degree in Counseling and is currently pursuing a graduate certification in Nonprofit Management from Harvard University.
Known for her passion, integrity and creativity, Kia is committed to being a life-long learner who makes a relevant impact within her community.