• Meet the Team

  • Marcus Leadership Academy has assembled a faculty that is committed to create together a learning community that knows no limits to the LEADERSHIP potential and academic SUCCESS of every student, every staff member, every day!

  • Mr. Calvo's photo

    Daniel Calvo


    Daniel Calvo is proud to join Marcus Leadership Academy as a Principal on its 60th anniversary. He is proudly transitioning to take the reigns and continue the legacy of greatness and commitment to cultural and academic excellence that distinguishes Marcus Leadership Academy. Read More ->

  • Tarannum Khandekar


    Tarannum Khandekar is excited to join Dallas ISD at Marcus Leadership Academy as a counselor. Her goal is to ensure equitable academic, career and social/emotional development opportunities for all students. She obtained her master’s in educational psychology from Texas A&M University.  Read More ->


  • Madeline Nayfa

    STEM Instructional Coach

    Madeline Nayfa joins the Herbert Marcus family as the Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) campus instructional coach as she enters her 5th year in education. During her journey in education, Ms. Nayfa has found her passion for instilling the belief in others that they can do anything they set their mind to. Read More ->

  • Lindsey Aldridge

    Lighthouse Coordinator

    Ms. Aldridge began her career in Dallas Independent School District right out of college. She started teaching 3rd grade at John J. Pershing Elementary. She has worked for several elementary schools around the area but has been here at Herbert Marcus teaching Gifted and Talented students for 13 years. Read More ->

  • Ruth Lara

    Office Manager

    Ruth Lara started as a parent volunteer when her firstborn son was in Pre-K at Tom C. Gooch Elementary in Dallas ISD.  Her volunteer service and experience with UPS as part of the Human Resources department led Ruth to become a Pre-K teacher's assistant at Marcus Leadership Academy in 2012--a position she held until being promoted to Community Liaison in 2015.  After a year of dedicated service as the Community Liaison, Mrs. Lara was promoted to Office Manager in 2016 and has excelled in the position ever since... Read More ->

  • Kim Ashmore

    Assistant Principal

    Assistant Principal Kim Ashmore joins the Marcus Leadership Academy with over 16 years of educational experience.  Ms. Ashmore has been advocating for the equity of instruction for students since the beginning of her educational career and continues to fight to ensure that ALL students have quitable access to quality education. Read More ->

  • Arturo Saenz

    3rd-5th Literacy Instructional Coach

    Literacy Coach Arturo V. Sáenz joins the Herbert Marcus family with 5 years of educational experience in the United States. During his service at Dallas ISD, Mr. Arturo Saenz has worked hard to provide students with meaningful lessons while creating a happy and welcoming environment for them. Read More ->

  • Monica Garcia

    Newcomer Coordinator

    Mrs. Monica Garcia began her career in education back in 2013 as part of a DISD’s Alternative Certification program. Since then, she has been offering her services as a bilingual teacher at Herbert Marcus Elementary. She is in charge of the newcomers strategic interventions at Marcus Leadership Academy Read More ->

  • Gisela Velasquez

    Parent Liasion

    My name is Gisela Velazquez and I was born in Guerrero, Mexico. I came to the United States when I was 9 years old. I have 5 siblings and I am the middle child. I am family oriented and enjoy spending time with my two boys who also attend DISD schools. Read More ->

  • Amelyza Martinez

    PK-2nd Literacy Instructional Coach

    Amelyza Martinez joins the Herbert Marcus family as the Pre-K – 2 Campus Instructional Coach with 13 years of experience in Education and 9 years in Administration. Ms. Martinez is passionate about creating engaging hands-on learning experiences for students with trackable data. Read More ->



  • Shannon Wright

    Assistant Principal

    Assistant Principal Shannon Wright joins the Herbert Marcus Community with over 14 years of educational experience in Dallas ISD. During her career in education, Mrs. Wright has been building efficacy in students and teachers through providing formal and informal instructional learning experiences leading to academic success for all students. Read More ->

  • Vincent Cleamons

    Testing Coordinator

    Vincent Cleamons began his teaching career in 2005 as a middle school math teacher in Okmulgee, OK. Since then he has taught grades 4-12, and in 2018, found a home teaching 4th grade math and science at Herbert Marcus Elementary. In 2020, he became the campus Testing Coordinator and currently oversees assessments and logistics. Read More ->

  • Dani Lopez

    Campus Records Coordinator

    My name is Daniela Lopez. My children have all attended Marcus Leadership Academy just like their mother.  The enormous love I have for this school motivated me to become a parent volunteer and get involved with the PTA for 6 years.  Read More ->

  • Blanca Gomez


    Blanca Gomez's love of helping children and parents led her to Marcus Leadership Academy in November of 2002 when she became Coach's teacher's assistant.  Her attention to detail caught the eye of the Campus Registrar who borrowed Blanca to assist with student records as the CRC assisstant.  Ms. Gomez possesses a knack for understanding each person’s uniqueness which is why she was chosen to be a Pre-K teacher's assistant for many years until landing her current position as the "face" of Marcus Leadership Academy as the front desk Clerk.  Read More ->