Advisory Board

Prior to being elected to the Texas House of Representatives, State Representative Dr. Alma A. Allen was elected to, and served on, the State Board of Education for over 10 years.Beginning her career in education as a teacher at Parker Elementary School and Grimes Elementary School, Dr. Allen went on to become assistant principal at Foster Elementary School and then served as principle at Peck Elementary School, Windsor Village Vanguard Magnet School, and G.B.M. Turner Elementary School. She also worked in human resources and central administration, and retired from Houston Independent School District after 39 years. Thereafter, Dr. Allen continued her career in education as an Adjunct Professor at both Texas Southern University and Prairie View A&M University. Currently, she is a motivational speaker, and an educational consultant.

Dr. Allen holds a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Education degree from Texas Southern University and a Doctorate of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Houston, as well as a certificate in administration and supervision from the University of Houston. Dr. Allen has received many awards and honors, including Principal of the year, District 5, and Outstanding Alumnus of the University of Houston. Dr. Allen also received the Texas Freedom Network "Walking the Walk Award", from Governor Ann Richards, the Living Legend Award, presented by the Texas Alliance Of Black School Educators, and was recently honored in her hometown of Livingston, Texas, with Alma Allen Day.

Dr. Allen is a member of the Houston Association of Professional Administrators, American Association of Supervision and Curriculum, Texas Association of School Administrators, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Texans Concerned for Superior Schools, the Women's Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Democratic Women, The American Association of Curriculum and Development, and the Council of Negro Women.

Dr. Allen was elected to the Texas House of Representatives on November 2, 2004 and re-elected November 2006 and November 2008. She is running unopposed for her fourth term. Dr. Allen and her late husband, Lawrence A. Allen, Sr., are the proud parents of two children and the grandparents of five grandchildren.

Dr. James E. Anderson was recruited by the University of Houston following his graduation from Ohio State University, starting his teaching career in the College of Education.

Dr. Anderson came to the University of Houston at a time of deep and complex transformational changes in the nation’s fabric of life. He brought to the College of Education curriculum new perspectives and visions to help future teachers and administrators go into schools equipped with the sensibilities and skills to be both passionate and compassionate role models in a changing world. Dr. Anderson went on to join the University of Houston administrative team, serving as Administrative Intern in the Provost Office, he subsequently served as Assistant to the President for Diversity, Executive Associate to the Chancellor/President, and Executive Associate to the Chancellor/ President for Community Relations

A charter member of HAABSE and a longtime Advisory Board Member, Dr. Anderson Has served as a teacher, mentor, communicator, administrator, an advocate for education, social justice and understanding, and a bridge-builder for the betterment of relations among communities and cultures. Thus, a more peaceful, just, and educated society is and has always been Dr. Anderson’s mission, purpose, and motivation in life.

Dr. Jay Cummings Dr. Jay Cummings has been a dedicated, contributing, supportive, and outstanding member of NABSE for many years. In addition, he was one the tri-founders for the Dallas Regional ABSE and a founder as well as Vice President and President of the Texas ABSE for over 20 years. He led successfully Task Force III NABSE’s Demonstration Schools and Communities Initiative for 15 years and made effective schooling as well as high academic achievement of students the hallmark of excellence for teachers, administrators, and stakeholders. He has distinguished service on the Instruction Support and Higher Education Commissions resulting in the President’s Award and the W.E.B Dubois Higher Education Award. Dr. Cummings founded the Center for the Development Study of Effective Pedagogy at Texas Southern University in the 1990’s.

Dr. Cummings' education includes a baccalaureate degree from Central State University (1963), an M.Ed. from Cleveland State University (1971), and a Ph.D from the Ohio State University (1974) in programs that were comprised of studies in educational administration, curriculum instruction and supervision as well as cultural anthropology. He was a Ford Fellow at Ohio State University. Other fellowships for summer institutes have enabled him to expand his knowledge base at Johns Hopkins University, Duke University and the Aspen Institute while serving as the President National State Directors for Career and Technology Education.

Dr. Cummings is in his 47th year of professional service to the educational community with positive experiences gained from Cleveland Public Schools, Dallas Independent School District, Texas Education Agency, University of North Texas and Texas Southern University. He was the first student-athlete in first 100 years of Central State University to be enshrined in both the Athletic and Achievement Halls of Fame.

Currently, Dr. Cummings is engaged as a tenured Professor in the College of Education at Texas Southern University leading and teaching in the Department of Educational Administration and Foundations. He continues to write, serve and advocate for excellence, equity and legitimacy for learners of African descent by preparing teachers, counselors, administrators, and policy influentials who are caring, committed, competent and culturally responsive. Dr. Cummings is an executive board member of AdvancED, a P-12 Accrediting Agency that recognizes public and private schools and school districts in 30 states and 67 countries. He also served as the Vice President for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 2010 - 11. His advocacy for children, communities, and education is fortified by service as the President of Earl Carl Institute for Legal and Social Policy, Inc. of the Thurgood Marshall School of Law with continuing membership on the Community Advisory Board for KTSU, the University’s Public Radio Station. He is a “Life Member” of NABSE.

Dr. Margaret Ford Fisher is President of the Houston Community College Northeast where she has served as president for fifteen years. During those years, she has worked with the college team and community supporters to create a dynamic educational institution with leading--‐edge academic and workforce programs, state of the art educational facilities, and impressive student successes. The Houston Community College Northeast is comprised of five campuses and is one of six colleges within the Houston Community College District that serves over 70,000 students each semester.

Dr. Ford Fisher was born in Marion, Alabama. She completed her Baccalaureate and Masters Degrees in English at Wichita State University, her Doctoral Degree in Education at the University of Houston, and Certificates from Oxford University in International Relations and Kansas State University in Urban and Regional Planning. Dr. Ford Fisher has over thirty years of experience in higher education. She began her higher education career as a professor at Wichita State University where she taught Cross--‐Cultural Communications for ten years. She has also been a visiting professor in Cultural Communications at Bethany College in Lindsborg Kansas, and an adjunct faculty member in the English Departments at the University of Houston and Texas Southern University. In addition to her scholarly career, Ford Fisher is an aficionado of broadcast and print journalism and the power of the written and spoken word. She has been a television producer and host with PBS Television Programs such as the Margaret Ford Show on KUHT Channel 8, Images on CBS Channel 11, and was producer and host of the Capitol Report that was a statewide PBS syndication.

Ford Fisher has also published broadly in refereed and non--‐refereed publications and has a recent article in Rolling Out Magazine entitled, “African American Children Can Succeed In School.” Dr. Ford Fisher Has published several books including the best--‐selling text on Dual Credit and a new book to be released in December entitled, Learning for Ownership: Empowering African American Children For Success in the Twenty--‐First Century. Dr. Ford Fisher is an advocate for increased emphasis on STEM Programs In secondary and postsecondary institutions. She testified before the U. S. House of Representatives, Research and Science Education Subcommittee, on her college’s successful implementation of an NSF Grant to prepare at--‐risk students in STEM Programs for transfer to four--‐year institutions. She serves on local and national boards and is actively involved in civic activities throughout the Houston Community.

Dr. Ford Fisher is married to Attorney Raymond Lamar Fisher and resides in Houston, Texas.

Paula Harris was elected to the Board of Education in November 2007. She served as first vice president in her first year as a trustee and again in 2010. She was sworn in as president in January 2011.

Ms. Harris is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a degree in petroleum engineering. In her 20-plus year career in the energy industry, Ms. Harris has held a variety of positions at Schlumberger, from field engineer where she managed operations on offshore rigs in the Gulf of Mexico, to sales engineer and North American recruiting manager. As worldwide training manager, Ms. Harris developed business opportunities and teams in Europe, Africa, the Soviet Union, China, South America, and Australia.

As a successful engineer she earned numerous awards and recognitions while maintaining a strong community presence. She currently holds the position of Director of Community Affairs at Schlumberger. In this role, she is responsible for the company’s community and civic involvement and educational initiatives, which focus on math, science and engineering programs for children.

Ms. Harris wrote the book For Sister: The Guide for Professional Black Women, published in 2003. She formed her own publishing company, Madison House Publishing, and in 2007 published the children’s book When I Grow UP I Want to Be an Engineer.

Ms. Harris is a recipient of the Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce role model award, and is a state appointee to the Texas Energy Planning Council. She also serves on the Board of Directors for Space Center Houston, where she chairs the education subcommittee. Ms. Harris has been profiled in a number of publications including Money Magazine, Black Engineer, Graduating Engineer, Houston Style Magazine and Houston Women.

Ms. Harris is a member of the Executive Leadership Council, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Jack and Jill of America, and the American Leadership Forum.

Ms. Harris and her husband Dwayne are the owners of DPM Investments. They have one daughter who attends an HISD school.

Throughout his life, Hoffman has established and participated in many educational and community-based programs. In 2001 he created the Barbara Jean Hoffman Memorial Foundation, a nonprofit organization named in honor of his late mother, which provided over $500,000 of scholarships, and school supplies to thousands of economically disadvantaged children in the Houston area. The program now operates as a scholarship endowment at Prairie View A&M University for nursing and engineering students.

As board president, Hoffman developed and introduced the HISD Board of Education's Monitoring System. This reform-driven board policy is the first of its kind to systematically measure HISD's progress in achieving district goals and core values.

His most recent educational and community affiliations include service on the Cypress-Fairbanks ISD Community Leadership Committee, Fairfield Community Home Owners' Association Board of Directors, and Fairfield Little League Sports Association Sponsor. He has formerly served on the Board of Directors of the Texas Association of School Boards and as an educational consultant.

Mr. Hoffman has been recognized for his community service by the City of Houston, Harris County, the State of Texas, the United States Congress, and the United States Department of Education. He is a recipient of the 2011 President's View & Vision Award from Prairie View A&M University where he is a distinguished alumni.

Kevin and his wife Angela are graduates of Prairie View A&M University. They have two children who attend Cypress-Fairbanks ISD schools.

Darryl King, Co-founder and CEO, of the Principle Partnering Group, LLC. (PPG) leads and directs the firm’s activities in all aspects of vision casting, program development and optimum resource delegation. The firm is a premiere management consulting organization with an unsurpassed track record in helping companies of all sizes establish, manage, and maintain successful business-to-business collaborations. The firm offers objective solutions, effective project management, and strategic support services across all business segments.

PPG currently serves as the Program Advisor for Parsons Transportation in support of the METRO Light Rail Project. Mr. King conducts program oversight as he leads the PPG team toward successful implementation of program policies and procedures for the METRO Solutions 2 LRT Project’s SBE/DBE Program in support of the Prime Contractor’s, Parsons Transportation Group, SBE/DBE management team. Together, PPG and the Parsons team work collaboratively such that all stakeholders are informed about the progress of the METRO Solutions 2 LRT Project’s SBE/DBE program. As the CEO of The Principle Partnering Group, Mr. King ensures that resources are in place such that PPG serves as a liaison between the Prime Contractor and the actual and potential sub contractors in establishing and monitoring performance in pursuit of the SBE/DBE objectives. Mr. King has strategically recruited and acquired a professional team of leaders and specialists to ensure the development and implementation of outreach, 49 CFR, Part 26 compliance, monitoring, reporting, and workforce training plans designed to assist in attaining the overall METRO Solutions 2 LRT Project SBE/DBE goals.

Darryl King has more than 35 years of experience in successful business strategies, intentional community involvement and profitable business partnerships. Mr. King has quietly and consistently worked to open doors of opportunity for numerous businesses and organizations throughout the Houston metropolitan area. His efforts have not gone unrecognized as he was appointed and effectively positioned on statewide boards, as well as positions of local leadership, over the past 25 years.

Mr. King is as an advocate for the economically disadvantaged and minority communities. He is a specialist in outreach to African American businesses, churches, community and neighborhood organizations in the Houston metropolitan area. Mr. King has served as Chairman of the Houston Area Urban League, Greater Houston Area Hotel & Motel Association Board Member, Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau Board Secretary, Board Vice-Chairman and Board Chairman, Foxshire Development Board Chairman, Houston Superbowl XXXVIII Host Committee, former mayor-appointed Houston Clean Commission Commissioner, and former- governor appointed Coastal Water Authority Board Member.

simsDowen Sims holds Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Houston. He leads the K-16 Educational Facilities Program Management Sector in Texas for Lockwood, Andrews, and Newnam [LAN] – a LEO A DALY Architects Company. He has managed well in excess of three billion dollars in school bonds and capital improvements projects. As a longtime leader in Program Management, Architectural, and Construction services - Mr. Sims’ success for clients is driven by his ability to streamline cost while maintaining strict quality and schedule adherence.

Mr. Sims is a native of Baytown, Texas and current resident of the Houston area. He previously taught mathematics and synergistics in Goose Creek ISD, Fort Bend ISD, and LaMarque ISD. He is very involved many civic and professional organizations. Mr. Sims has been a committed Education Foundation Board member at Galena Park and Sheldon ISD. He serves on the Barrett Management District advisory board. Member of the Council of Educational Facility Planners International (CEFPI).

Mr. Sims is a 14-year U.S. Army veteran who proudly served as Staff Sergeant in a combat heavy engineer unit as a technical designer and project manager. Dowen has been married 25 years to Dr. Regina Sims, Assistant Principal at Galena Park ISD. They have a son and daughter who are the pride and joy of their lives. Mr. Sims is a deacon who often volunteers his time at charities that service women and children, veterans, and the homeless.

A native Houstonian, Ann Williams became a resident of the Alief community 17 years ago. Williams viewed Alief as a safe place to raise her children and a community to experience diversity.  She was elected to the Alief ISD Board of Education in 2011. Currently, she is an Alief ISD Board of Trustee- Position 3. Ms. Williams has been involved with the following groups and organizations: Regional VP- Texas Caucus Black School Board, Houston Galveston Area Council, Abundant Life Cathedral- Board of Education, West Houston P-16 Council, National Black Caucus of School Board Members, National Hispanic Caucus of School Board Members, Texas Association of School Boards (TASB),  TASB School Board Advocacy Network, Gulf Coast Association of School Boards, and West Houston Democrat Club.

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