Introducing the Ellevation Texas Team
Texas has been a leader in ensuring that educators and stakeholders collaborate to make decisions about ELLs. In 2014 when we implemented Ellevation in Harlandale ISD, our first district partner in the state, it was clear that we needed to hire the best, listen and learn, and continue to innovate. And today, with more than 80 district partners in the state, this commitment has only grown.
Courtney Weber, M.Ed.
Courtney is an Instructional Designer at Ellevation and currently resides in Austin, TX.
Though born and raised in Missouri, Courtney has lived in Texas for over 20 years and considers herself to be a Texan at heart. She holds a B.A. in English Literature and an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from Texas Tech University. Prior to Ellevation, Courtney taught in Pflugerville ISD for eight years and helped expand the district's high school ESL Newcomer Center. She then moved to the district level where she served as a Sheltered Instruction and LPAC Specialist.
Lauren Dill, Ed.D.
Lauren is a Director, Enterprise Accounts at Ellevation and currently resides in Dallas, TX.
Lauren began her career as a bilingual educator and quickly moved into district leadership where she helped formulate policies and procedures that positively impacted the lives of ELLs. She has served on the North Central Texas ASCD Board as well as Texas Association of Bilingual Education. Lauren earned her Doctorate of Education and has 10 years of service to Texas public schools.
Heather Pollack, M.Ed.
Heather Pollack is an Engagement Director at Ellevation and currently resides in Katy, TX.
Prior to Ellevation, Heather was an elementary ESL teacher for seven years, a professional development manager for five years, and an assistant principal/principal interim for 3.5 years for Houston ISD. Heather holds a B.A. in English Literature from University of Houston and an M.Ed. in Educational Administration from Lamar University.
Christina Estes, M.Ed.
Christina Estes is a Senior Implementation Manager at Ellevation and currently resides in Houston, TX.
Previously, she worked in Texas public schools for 14 years as an ELL teacher, instructional coach and professional development specialist. Christina holds a B.A. in English from the University of Texas at Austin and an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from Texas A&M University - Central Texas.
Lauren Carrasquillo, M.Ed.
Lauren Carrasquillo is a Partner Operations Manager at Ellevation and currently resides in Houston, TX.
Prior to Ellevation, Lauren spent four years working in higher education administration at the University of Houston and Rice University. Lauren received her Masters of Adult and Higher Education (M.Ed) from the University of Houston-Victoria.
Hirva Raj is the Regional Sales Manager for Texas at Ellevation and currently lives in Houston, TX.
With over 16 years of experience of working with school districts, Hirva is always focused on being an advocate for student achievement. Hirva is a first generation EL, received her degree in mathematics from The University of Texas at Austin, bleeds burnt orange, is a mother of two amazing boys, and loves doing what is best for all kids, every time.
Michael Makidon, Ph.D.
Michael is an Engagement Director at Ellevation and currently resides in Dallas, TX.
Michael began his career as an ESL educator and LPAC teacher. After eight years in the classroom, Michael moved into district leadership where he supervised a team of curriculum writers, led key district initiatives, and helped oversee the Ellevation platform and Strategies K-12 implementation, training, and configuration in one of the largest school districts in Texas. Michael has also served as a visiting professor in Guatemala and helped design and launch a Spanish online program in a well-established graduate institution. Michael earned his Ph.D. and has 11 years of service to Texas public schools.
Demetrius Johnson, M.S.
Demetrius Johnson is a Training Solutions Manager at Ellevation and currently resides in Humble, TX.
Prior to Ellevation, Demetrius spent 9 years in the education field as a teacher, coordinator, and online PD designer. Demetrius holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Nova Southeastern and an M.S. in Entertainment Business from Full Sail University.
Ariadne is a Training Solutions Manager at Ellevation Education and currently resides in Houston, TX.
Raised in Venezuela, Ari moved to the US as soon as she began her higher education studies. She initiated her career in education through Teach for America and has developed experience teaching Dual Language, Bilingual, and ESL students since then. Prior to joining Ellevation, she also served as a Multilingual Programs Specialist for the Houston ISD Multilingual Programs Department, where she led PD and training for the Secondary Division. She currently holds a B.A in International Political Economy and is now planning to complete her MBA in 2018.
Jen is an Instructional Consultant at Ellevation and currently resides in Dallas, TX.
Born and raised in San Antonio, TX, Jen graduated from Texas A&M University and began her professional path in the classroom as an English Language Arts and ESL teacher. She served students and educators as an LPAC Lead Teacher, ESL Case Manager, and ESL Department Lead before moving to the district level as an Instructional Specialist for the Department of English Language Learners. Jen has earned a master’s degree in Educational Leadership with a Principal License from Stephen F. Austin with plans to continue learning and advocating for ELs.
Cristina is a Training Solutions Manager at Ellevation and currently resides in Wylie, TX.
Born and raised by the Texas-Mexico border, Cristina graduated from the University of Texas Pan-American (RGV) and began her professional path in the classroom as an English Language Arts teacher. She served students and educators as an AVID Coordinator and Instructional Coach for teachers. Cristina has earned a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Literacy from University of Texas Arlington with plans to continue cultivating her passion for language, literacy, and learning.