Governor Abbott Appoints Seven To Continuing Advisory Committee For Special Education

Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s Communication

The committee provides policy guidance on special education and related services for children with disabilities in Texas.

Governor Greg Abbott has appointed Alicia Giordano to the Continuing Advisory Committee for Special Education for a term set to expire on February 1, 2021. Additionally, the Governor appointed Jen Stratton and Ray Tijerina and reappointed Shemica Allen, Teresa Bronsky, Stephanie Martinez, and Jana McKelvey for terms set to expire on February 1, 2023. The committee provides policy guidance on special education and related services for children with disabilities in Texas.

Alicia Giordano of Humble is the former Houston region area director for Aupaircare and a former educator. She is a member of the International Dyslexia Association, SAG/AFTRA, and NYU Torchbearers and a former member of the National Golden Key Honor Society. She is a representative for the University of Houston Charter School Parent Advisory Committee, former auction co-chair for School for Young Children-Houston, former auction committee member for Lakeshore Elementary-Humble ISD, and a former member of the Kingwood Area Mothers of Multiples Executive Board. Giordano received a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education from the University of Florida, Master of Arts in educational theatre from New York University, and a Master of Arts in applied educational psychology in reading from Teachers College at Columbia University.

Jen Stratton of Austin is CEO of Stratton Strategies, a strategic communication and speech consulting firm. She is a Sunday school storyteller at Hill Country Bible Church and a former volunteer debate coach at Anderson High School. Stratton received a Bachelor of Arts in political science and a minor in speech communication from McKendree University.

Ray Tijerina of San Antonio is the Director of Talent for Compass Rose Academy. He was formerly the San Antonio Regional Talent Recruiter and Academic Counselor with IDEA Public Schools and Student Advisor with San Antonio Can High School. He is serving as a member of City Education Partners’ Educate 210 Talent Steering Committee and the South San Antonio Chamber of Commerce Education Workforce Committee. He is a Veteran of the United States Navy where he served honorably for nine years. Tijerina received a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science from Ashford University. 

Shemica S. Allen of Allen is CEO and founder of Personalized Learning Solutions, LLC. She is a former educator with 15 years of teaching and administration experience working with students with disabilities and their parents and guardians. She is certified to teach Special Education and Physical Education and also received her Principal certification in 2010. She is also a member of National Association for Professional Special Education Advocates. Allen received a Bachelor of Science in education from the University of Arkansas and a Master of Science in kinesiology with a specialization in adapted physical activity from Texas Christian University.

Teresa Bronsky of Plano is head of school for Bridge Builder Academy in Richardson. She is a member of the Plano ISD Special Education Advisory Committee and House District 67 Educational Advisory Board. She is also a member of the Council for Exceptional Children, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, and the National Association of Special Education Teachers. Bronsky received a Bachelor of Science in elementary education with a specialization in special education from Texas Woman’s University.

Stephanie Martinez of Laredo is the student success coordinator at Texas A&M International University in Laredo. She was previously appointed as a student regent to the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents. She also serves as part-time faculty at the University, where she enjoys working with first year freshman students. Martinez received a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in communications from Texas A&M International University.

Jana McKelvey of Austin is a founding member and steering committee member for Texans for Special Education Reform, member of the Eanes ISD Parent Working Group and a project advisory committee member for the Young Leaders for Safe and Inclusive Communities’ Project at SAFE (Stop Abuse For Everyone). She also volunteers for Camp Grace at Austin Oak Church and as an educational consultant. She is a former member of the Eanes ISD Digital Learning Task Force and a former volunteer for the Westlake Chapter Young Men’s Service League and the Global Orphan Projects. McKelvey received a Bachelor of Science in agricultural economics from Texas A&M University.