Superintendent Leadership Team
Chief of Communications
Toni Cordova joined Dallas ISD as Chief of Communications in December 2015 and oversees the district’s diverse communications efforts, including News and Information, Marketing and Messaging, which coordinates internal and external communications, Dallas Schools Television, Translation Services and the district’s call center, Dallas ISD Connect.
A leader in public education for 23 years, Cordova previously served as chief of staff for the Albuquerque (New Mexico) Public Schools, where she managed communications, student and community service, and the board office for the state’s largest school district. She has led communications efforts for five school districts and served as point person for strategy for school districts in San Jose, California; Tucson, Arizona; and El Paso, Texas.
Cordova holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration and a Master of Business Administration, both earned at the University of Arizona.
Dr. Ivonne Durant
Chief Academic Officer
Ivonne Durant returned to Dallas ISD in June 2017 as chief academic officer, a position she previously held in 2011. Durant also served in Dallas ISD as a principal, executive director, and area superintendent. Most recently, she served as deputy superintendent of Academics and School Leadership in El Paso ISD where she provided guidance in the development of structure and procedures for academic and school leadership departments. Durant, highly experienced in school leadership and management, bilingual education and early childhood education, will lead the Teaching and Learning Division.
Durant holds a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Western New Mexico University. She later earned a Master’s in Educational Administration from the University of Texas at El Paso and a Doctorate in Educational Administration from Texas A&M University- Commerce.
Dr. Stephanie Elizalde
Chief of School Leadership
Stephanie Elizalde assumed the post of Dallas ISD Chief of School Leadership in December 2015 to provide direction for instructional programs at the district’s 227 schools with a focus on increasing student achievement and improving instruction. Elizalde joined the district in 2011 as director of the STEM program. Most recently, she served as assistant superintendent of School Leadership and feeder pattern executive director.
Prior to joining Dallas ISD, Elizalde, who has 28 years of experience in educational leadership, held a variety of leadership positions in San Antonio ISD and Southwest ISD. She served as early college high school leadership facilitator with the Texas High School Project and as assistant superintendent for curriculum with the Shekinah Learning Institute.
Elizalde holds bachelor's and master’s degrees from the University of Texas at San Antonio and a doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin.
Chief Technology Officer
Jack Kelanic is the district's chief technology officer. Kelanic brings more than 20 years of technology leadership experience to his new post. His responsibilities include developing the long-range technology plan to enable digital learning for Dallas ISD students and improving technology support for schools and district business operations.
Prior to his appointment to Dallas ISD, Kelanic served as the director of information technology for the city of Tacoma, where he led key initiatives such as open data and analytics, mobile government services, digital equity, and technology infrastructure modernization. He also served as the chief information systems director for the Los Angeles Unified School District, where he worked for nearly 14 years in various technology leadership capacities.
Kelanic holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Vanderbilt University.
Deputy Superintendent of Operations
The Dallas Independent School District has appointed Scott Layne as the district’s deputy superintendent of Operations. Layne joined Dallas ISD in August 2016 as chief of Operations and brings 34 years of public education experience to the district, most of it served as assistant superintendent for School Support Services for the Irving Independent School District, where he managed more than 700 employees. His responsibilities included maintenance, grounds, custodial, energy management, warehouse, transportation, safety and security, construction, food service, technology services, risk management, fixed assets/surplus, records management, health services, and athletics.
During Layne’s 25-year tenure with Irving ISD, he also managed the district’s 1997, 2001 and 2007 bond construction programs, which totaled approximately $575 million.
Dr. Pamela Lear
Chief of Staff
Pamela Lear was appointed Dallas ISD’s Chief of Staff in March 2017. Lear has served Dallas ISD in various leadership capacities since 2012 and began her career with the district as director of High School Redesign. Her experience in education spans nearly 30 years, beginning as a teacher in southern California. She most recently served as deputy chief of School Leadership and was responsible for leading 109 campuses and administrators.
Before joining Dallas ISD Lear was an administrator in the Bay Area as a principal, director of Region IV System of District and Support, and an executive director of Educational Services.
Lear graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in psychology. She later earned a master’s degree from St. Mary’s College and her doctorate in educational leadership from Texas Christian University.
Dr. Brian C. Lusk
Chief of Strategic Initiatives
Brian C. Lusk assumed the post of Dallas ISD’s chief of Strategic Initiatives in December 2018 after serving as the acting chief of that office for several months. Lusk was tapped for the position after serving in a number of district leadership roles including deputy chief of School Leadership, and executive director overseeing the H. Grady Spruce High School, Thomas Jefferson High School, and Woodrow Wilson High School feeder patterns.
In his role, Lusk will continue oversight of the district’s public school choice expansion, early college high school and P-TECH programs, Theory of Action and School Performance Framework.
With more than twenty years in education, Lusk began his career as a teacher before moving to an assistant principalship and later principal at the helm of elementary, middle and high school campuses.
Lusk holds a degree in elementary education from California University of Pennsylvania. He later earned a master’s in educational administration from Texas A & M University, Commerce and a doctorate in educational leadership and policy from the University of Texas at Austin.
Chief of Financial Services
Dwayne Thompson brings more than 23 years of financial experience to the position of chief financial officer, where he leads a team of experienced professionals in developing the district’s operational budget and overseeing and managing fiscal operations.
Prior to his appointment to Dallas ISD, Thompson served as the chief financial officer for Owasso Public Schools in Owasso, Oklahoma, where he prepared and monitored the operational budget and supervised fiscal operations, including purchasing, treasury and maintenance. Thompson led key initiatives such as implementing an online requisition payment system and helping to develop the district’s first ever summer food program for economically disadvantaged students. He also served for nearly 14 years as the chief financial officer for Broken Arrow Public Schools
Thompson holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Oklahoma Baptist University and is one of only eight CFOs in the state of Texas to hold a Certified Administrator of School Finance and Operations certificate.
Dr. Cynthia Wilson
Chief of Human Capital Management
Cynthia Wilson serves as Dallas ISD’s chief of Human Capital Management. Wilson most recently was chief of staff at Houston ISD after serving as Dallas ISD chief of staff until 2017. Prior to coming to Dallas in 2015, she served as superintendent of the Orangeburg Consolidated School District 5 in South Carolina for six years. While there, she led the district through many initiatives and milestones including increasing the graduation rate, improving physical campuses, developing a limited version of school choice and supporting an effort that supports struggling male students of color.
For more than 22 years, Wilson served as a teacher, principal and both a regional and area superintendent in the state’s largest school system, Houston ISD, where she was highly regarded for her support of a diverse and multilingual student population and earned high marks through that district’s performance pay system.
Wilson graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in psychology. She later earned a master’s degree from the University of Houston and her doctorate in educational leadership from South Carolina State University.