Superintendent Leadership Team

  • Robert Abel

    Robert Abel
    Chief of Human Capital Management

    Robert Abel has served in Dallas ISD’s Human Capital Management Department since 2016 as an executive director, assistant superintendent and deputy chief. Prior to coming to Dallas ISD, Abel was division director of High Schools/Support Services at Irving ISD, where he supervised all aspects of the district’s five high schools, newcomer center, alternative education programs, career development center, and other areas. Abel brings more than 20 years of experience in education to his role as deputy chief. He earned a bachelor’s degree in cell and molecular biology from Oklahoma State University and a Master of Education from The University of Texas at Arlington.

    Tamika Alford-Stevens

    Dr. Tamika Alford-Stephens
    Chief Financial Officer

    Tamika Alford-Stephens joins Dallas ISD as the new chief financial officer, reporting to Deputy Superintendent Dwayne Thompson. Prior to coming to Dallas, Alford-Stephens had been chief business and operations officer for Aldine Independent School District, where she oversaw district resources to drive improvements in processes and practices that promoted organizational efficiency and optimized student-learning experiences and saved the district $5 million through operational efficiencies. She began her 21-year career in education as a third-grade teacher at Aldine ISD. At Aldine ISD, she oversaw federal programs, grant accounting, and finances before being named chief financial officer in 2017 followed by becoming chief business and operations officer. She has a bachelor’s degree from Dillard University, a master’s degree in education administration from Prairie View A&M University, a master’s degree in business administration from the University of St. Thomas and a doctorate in educational leadership from Sam Houston State University.

    Susana Cordova

    Susana Cordova
    Deputy Superintendent

    Before joining Dallas ISD as deputy superintendent, Susana Cordova served as superintendent of Denver Public Schools. Cordova has more than 30 years of experience in education as a teacher and school leader at elementary, middle and high school levels. She began her teaching career as a bilingual middle and high school teacher, serving for a time as an elementary assistant principal and principal at a Title I school, which saw a 33% increase on the state’s reading assessment over four years. As superintendent in Denver, Cordova led significant improvements in student outcomes over the past five years, including an 8% increase in graduation rates and a 10% improvement in Latino/a student graduation rates. In 2020, under her leadership, students completed more than 31,000 rigorous courses with a passing rate of 89%, and elementary multilingual students outperformed their peers across the state in reading.

    Libby Daniels

    Libby Daniels
    Chief of Communications

    Libby Daniels has been named Chief of Communications. Daniels has been with Dallas ISD since 2008 and has served in a variety of leadership positions, including deputy chief of Communications, executive director in charge of media relations, digital media, marketing, Dallas Schools Television, special events and customer service. She has worked strategically with departments to ensure brand alignment and consistent messaging and provided strategic leadership during crisis management. She brings to the position more than 30 years of experience in communications both in the private and public sectors. Daniels earned her degree in communications from North Texas State University in Denton.

    Tiffany Huitt

    Tiffany Huitt
    Chief of School Leadership

    Tiffany Huitt has served as deputy chief of Academics in Teaching and Learning and executive director of magnet schools in School Leadership after spending five years as the principal of the School of Science and Engineering at Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Magnet Center, one of the top high schools in the country. She began her career in Dallas in 1999 as a science teacher at the Dallas Environmental Science Academy. Since then, she has worked as lead science teacher and instructional coach while also developing science curriculum assessments and professional development for K-12 science courses. She serves on local and state committees, such as TEA Science Standards TEKS Revisions Committee and the Leadership Council for the Global Learning Network. She earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Paul Quinn College and a master’s degree in interdisciplinary sciences from The University of Texas at Arlington.

    Pam Lear

    Dr. Pamela Lear
    Chief of Staff and Racial Equity

    Pamela Lear was appointed Dallas ISD’s Chief of Staff in March 2017. In October 2020, her role expanded to also formally lead the Racial Equity Department with the title Chief of Staff and Racial Equity. 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

    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 continues the 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 20 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.

    Dwayne Thompson

    Dwayne Thompson
    Deputy Superintendent

    Dwayne Thompson brings more than 23 years of financial experience to the position of chief business 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.

    Shannon Trejo

    Shannon Trejo
    Chief Academic Officer

    Chief Academic Officer Shannon Trejo has 28 years of educational experience in various capacities, and prior to her current position, she served as Dallas ISD assistant superintendent for Language, Literacy and Social Studies. In that role, she led six departments—Dyslexia/504, Reading Language Arts, Social Studies, Dual Language and English Learner Services, World Languages, and Multi-Tiered Systems of Support—and focused on the creation and implementation of a districtwide curriculum. Trejo earned a bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas at Austin and a master’s degree in educational administration from The University of Texas in Arlington.

    Laurie Vondersaar

    Dr. Laurie Vondersaar
    Acting Chief Technology Officer

    Deputy Chief of IT Laurie Vondersaar has been appointed as acting chief of Technology to replace Jack Kelanic, who has been hired as the chief technology officer for the Los Angeles Unified School District. Vondersaar has been with the district since June. Prior to coming to Dallas, she was assistant superintendent of Strategic Initiative and Communication for Lovejoy ISD. In her 21 years of experience, she has also held the position of chief technology officer at various districts. She holds a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies and a master’s degree in computer education and cognitive systems from the University of North Texas and a doctorate in educational administration from Concordia University.