Visionary. Passionate. Resilient.

Education Opens Doors is staffed by individuals who embody these characteristics and represent our core values. Each member of the Education Opens Doors team cares deeply about increasing student access to college knowledge.

Allen Anderson
Director of Strategic Partnerships and Talent
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Anderson
Allen Anderson
Director of Strategic Partnerships and Talent

allen@educationopensdoors.org

Allen Anderson serves as the Director of Strategic Partnerships and Talent at Education Opens Doors, where he leads the cultivation, relationship management and strategy around EOD partners, as well as oversees talent strategy and development for the organization.

Prior to joining Education Opens Doors, Allen worked at Uplift Education for 10 years and served in several leadership roles. From 2017 – 2020, he worked as the Sr. Director of Talent Acquisition where he oversaw all recruitment, selection, and talent partnerships work. He also had the privilege of opening an Uplift school as the founding Middle School Director at Uplift Grand Preparatory in 2014.

Allen is a 2009 charter Teach for America DFW alum, and a graduate from The University of Oklahoma where he majored in Public Relations. He received his masters in Education Policy and Urban Leadership from Southern Methodist University. He also serves as the Board Chair for the Teach for America DFW Alumni Board and is a board member of the Teach for America Regional Advisory Board.

When i was in middle school, i wanted to be…

A sports agent.

Joe Babeu
Operations Manager
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Babeu
Joe Babeu
Operations Manager

joe@educationopensdoors.org

Joe completed his BA in Linguistics, Russian Studies, and Comparative Cultures at Brandeis University. The social justice mission of his alma mater inspired Joe to join Teach For America in 2015 to work directly in addressing educational inequity. He loved working with his students to empower their growth, but soon saw that the academic mastery his students achieved was not enough to ensure their long term success. It was after this realization that Joe knew he needed to address the systemic barriers students faced, not just the academic ones. He joined Education Opens Doors in 2019 as the Executive Assistant, where he coordinates the daily operations of the office and supports the planning and execution of organizational initiatives. He completed his Masters of Education at Southern Methodist University.

When i was in middle school, i wanted to be…

A science fiction author.

Jayda Batchelder
Founder & CEO
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Batchelder
Jayda Batchelder
Founder & CEO

jbatchelder@educationopensdoors.org

Jayda Batchelder currently serves as the Founder & CEO of Education Opens Doors, setting and achieving strategic priorities, raising capital through fundraising and program sales and attracting and retaining top talent while responsibly managing the organization and budget.

Jayda was inspired to create Education Opens Doors while working as a Teach For America corps member at a high need middle school in Dallas, TX. It was through her work as an award-winning science teacher that she realized content mastery alone did not adequately prepare her students for success. She searched for a resource or program to meet this need, and when she realized one did not exist, she developed the Roadmap to Success student manual. In 2012 she left the classroom to launch Education Opens Doors to expand student access to the Roadmap to Success.

Jayda’s work in the college access sphere has garnered her a number of accolades. In 2015, Jayda was named a “40 Under 40” honoree by the Dallas Business Journal. In 2016, she was selected as a Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation Entrepreneur and in 2017 was selected as a Marshall Memorial Fellow. Most recently she was honored as an inaugural recipient of the I Stand for Parkland Community First Award.

When I was in middle school, I wanted to be…

I wanted to be a marine biologist (funny because I lived in a landlocked state) or a veterinarian!

Chappel Billings
Director of Digital Learning and Technology Innovation
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Billings
Chappel Billings
Director of Digital Learning and Technology Innovation

chappel@educationopensdoors.org

Chappel Billings, Ed.M. is an instructional designer and training facilitator. Chappel, a Chicago native, has over 18 years of experience in education, serving in the roles of special education teacher, assistant principal, special education coordinator and instructional designer. Motivated by her passion for adult learning and technology, Chappel advises training and development professionals on ways to leverage technology and innovation strategies to create transformative training experiences.

Chappel holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Special Education from Eastern Illinois University and a Masters of Arts degree in School Leadership from Concordia University, Chicago.  She is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Educational Technology from Concordia University.  Chappel Billings is a 2018 Future School Leaders Network Inductee.

 

when i was in middle school, i wanted to be…

A bodybuilder or a teacher.

Susan Coran
Manager of Talent
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Coran
Susan Coran
Manager of Talent

susan@educationopensdoors.org

Susan is excited to continue to serve the Dallas-Fort Worth community as the Manager of Talent to help provide educational access to all students, regardless of their background.

As a college student, Susan had the privilege to intern on Capitol Hill where she first began to work on legislation initiatives to reduce the burden of student loans and close the achievement gap. Upon graduation, Susan was accepted as a 2014 Teach for America Corps Member where she worked as an 8th Grade English and Language Arts teacher for 3 years. Following her Teach for America commitment, Susan continued to support the West Dallas community as a Middle School Reading Interventionist. Susan has experience developing student-centered curriculum, creating and leading adult professional development, as well as mentoring new teachers.

Susan was awarded one of five Dallas Mavericks Teacher of the Year awards in 2018. She holds a BA in Political Science from The George Washington University and an MA in Education from Southern Methodist University.

 

when i was in middle school, i wanted to be…

An Academy Award winning actress.

Nia Cottonham
Impact Manager
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Cottonham
Nia Cottonham
Impact Manager

nia@educationopensdoors.org

Nia is excited to continue to serve the Dallas-Fort Worth community as an Impact Manager to help provide educational access to all students and empower the next generation of leaders. Prior to joining the EOD team, Nia professionally worked as a single-gender educator in Dallas, Tx. In 2016, she began her career in education as a DFW Teach for America corp member teaching 8th grade english language arts and reading for 2 years.  Upon leaving 8th grade she continued teaching scholars reading and language arts from grades 5 to first. Through her experiences working with students from diverse backgrounds and populations, one thing has remained evident: education opens the door for opportunities for others to live out their purpose. She whole-heartedly believes that the gift of knowledge and understanding of opportunities and one’s own potential, ignites their ability to walk in their God-given purpose. Nia has experience developing student-centered curriculum, creating and leading adult professional development, as well as mentoring new teachers.

Jasmine Davis
Impact Manager
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Davis
Jasmine Davis
Impact Manager

jasmine@educationopensdoors.org

Jasmine is an Impact Manager at Education Opens Doors. A native of Pittsburgh, PA, Jasmine relocated to Texas to pursue her teaching career, joining Teach for America DFW in 2015. For six years, Jasmine taught elementary Mathematics and Reading Language Arts. It was during this time that Jasmine learned first hand of the profound ways in which students in underserved Dallas communities were being denied access to an equitable education. She experienced the crumbling systemic structures that prevent students, namely students of color, from achieving high academic gains. Her passion to change this continued to grow until she realized she needed to attack the problem from other vantage points. Jasmine has committed herself to finding the best ways to serve students and their communities and continuing the work of closing the opportunity gap once and for all.

Jasmine holds a Bachelors of Science in Education from California University of Pennsylvania. She is looking forward to serving with Education Opens Doors and helping students to not only realize their potential, but helping to provide them the tools and knowledge necessary to achieve and thrive beyond academic standards.

Stephanie Epps
Director of Programs
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Epps
Stephanie Epps
Director of Programs

stephanie@educationopensdoors.org

Stephanie Epps serves as Director of Programs for Education Opens Doors. She was born and raised in Indiana although she has spent most of her adulthood in the Bay Area. As a Stanford alum with a B.A. in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, Stephanie started her career at Google and went on to work in tech/educational technology at a couple of start-ups where she realized her passion for college access, workforce development, and program management. She also provides DEI, team/culture building, and professional development resources and training to professionals in need. In 2014, Stephanie combined her passion and skills to shift from tech to the mission-based work of the non-profit world and has loved it ever since. She focuses on social impact through working with low income, first generation college students and communities of color to help support their paths to success.

When I was in middle school, I wanted to be…

a CFO of a Fortune 500 company.

Melissa Flynn, APR
Deputy Director
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Flynn, APR
Melissa Flynn, APR
Deputy Director

melissa@educationopensdoors.org

As the daughter and granddaughter of lifelong educators in underprivileged Detroit-area schools, Melissa Flynn has always had a passion for education. She currently serves as Deputy Director focused on strategic planning, growth initiatives and marketing/communications.

With more than two decades of experience leading strategy and public relations/marketing for nonprofits and companies of all sizes – most recently as an independent consultant – she is driven to use her skills “for good.” She’s proud to have worked with a variety of educational organizations, from Educate Texas to Trident Technical College System to several State Departments of Education, and for important cause-based organizations, including St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Melissa earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Michigan, a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Tennessee and is Accredited in Public Relations (APR) by the Public Relations Society of America. She is also the past president of PRSA Dallas and a relentless pet rescue advocate.

When I was in middle school, I wanted to be…

A mechanical engineer.

Victoria Ferrell-Ortiz
Program Coordinator
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Ferrell-Ortiz
Victoria Ferrell-Ortiz
Program Coordinator

victoria@educationopensdoors.org

Victoria Ferrell-Ortiz is the Programming Coordinator, at Education Opens Doors. She is from West Dallas and South Oak Cliff. Victoria’s mother was an educator within DISD and impressed upon her the importance of being a lifelong learner at a young age. She attended the Judge Barefoot Sanders Law Magnet School at Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Magnet Center. In 2016, she received her Bachelor of Arts in Integrative Studies from the University of North Texas in Denton, with concentrations in international studies, sociology, and public administration and community service. Additionally, she minored in social sciences, and earned a certification in Latino and Mexican American Studies.

Beyond her vocation, her avocation has been community activism. She is serving as an at large Commissioner for the Arts and Culture Commission. Victoria is also a member of the first cohort of Emerging Historians to come out of the Dallas Mexican American Historical League.

WHEN I WAS IN MIDDLE SCHOOL, I WANTED TO BE…

a food critic & attorney.

Devon Lockard
Data Manager
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Lockard
Devon Lockard
Data Manager

devon@educationopensdoors.org

Devon Lockard, M.Ed., is the Data Manager at Education Opens Doors. Devon’s education background started out with a position as a physics and math teacher in a high-needs school in Wichita, Kansas where he conducted a mentorship program targeting Black male students and coached Track and Field. He later became a program director for a TRIO college access program that targets low-income and first generation students before he relocated to Dallas and taught math in Dallas Public Schools. Devon gained experiences in education research as an assistant data scientist at the University of Oklahoma finding ways to improve campus policies to increase retention, as well as being a research assistant at Southern Methodist University delving into student debt and teachers of color in the labor market. Devon holds a passion for youth development and mentorship as a previous board member and program advisor for a non-profit focused on college access for Black male students.

Devon Lockard received his Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education: Physics from Wichita State University and also completed a Master’s degree in Adult and Higher Education: Institutional Research from the University of Oklahoma. Devon is currently a Ph.D. student in Education at Southern Methodist University with research focuses in econometrics and access, retention, and success of underrepresented populations.

 

when i was in middle school, i wanted to be…

An astronomer.

Andy Lovley
Director of Operations and Innovation
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Lovley
Andy Lovley
Director of Operations and Innovation

andy@educationopensdoors.org

Prior to joining Education Opens Doors in 2015, Andy spent eight years pursuing his loves of teaching and travel, working with underprivileged students in Taiwanese cities, an impoverished Chilean desert town, and a marginalized indigenous Panamanian island. As a result of these and many other global and local experiences, his perspectives (and wonder) have deeply broadened, affirming his belief in the value a degree holds no matter where one calls home. Andy earned his Bachelor of Arts in History and Secondary Education from Holy Cross in 2006 and a Masters of Public Service from the University of Arkansas Clinton School in 2015. In his current role, Andy is deeply entrenched in most facets of the organization’s operations. Human resources, research and development, supply chain management, financial reporting, and major marketing initiatives are some of the areas that he oversees as Director of Operations and Innovation.

When I was in middle school, I wanted to be…

The starting shortstop for the Boston Red Sox.

Jorgie Marin
Senior Impact Manager
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Marin
Jorgie Marin
Senior Impact Manager

jorgie@educationopensdoors.org

Jorgie Marin serves as a Senior Impact Manager of Partnerships at Education Opens Doors. She was born and raised in Los Angeles County. It was at the University of California, Riverside that Jorgie found her passion supporting freshman students through programming as a Program Coordinator, in particular serving as a mentor to first-generation college students such as herself. This brought her to the DFW metroplex where she became a bilingual elementary teacher at Fort Worth ISD, Dallas ISD, and eventually Momentous Institute. Early on, Jorgie discovered how social emotional learning and culturally responsive pedagogy could propel her students of color beyond any other measure. While in the classroom, Jorgie created her own social emotional learning curriculum, implemented culturally responsive teaching practices, and created parent workshops to equip parents with the academic tools to support their children at home – all in hopes of teaching the whole child. Outside of the classroom, Jorgie has participated in various fellowships including Leadership for Educational Equity’s Policy Advocacy Fellowship and the Policy Advisor Fellowship, Teaching Trust’s Adult Leadership cohort, the Urban Leaders Fellows, and Leadership ISD. It was during a summer at College Track Los Angeles that she gained a better understanding of how to break down the barriers students face to access higher education. As she continues to learn more through her experiences in education policy, organizing, and professional development, Jorgie is committed to serving teachers and students in high need communities to create access and equity in education. She currently supports Dallas ISD partners in districts 4, 5, 6, 7, and 9.

Jorgie holds a B.A in Public Policy and a minor in Political Science from the University of California, Riverside.

When I was in middle school, I wanted to be…

A veterinarian.

Jeff McGuire
Policy and Advocacy Manager
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McGuire
Jeff McGuire
Policy and Advocacy Manager

jeff@educationopensdoors.org

Jeff McGuire is the Policy and Advocacy Manager at Education Opens Doors. Prior to joining EOD, Jeff served as an 11th grade AP English teacher and IB English teacher in West Dallas for three years. Before becoming a classroom teacher, Jeff worked for an education non-profit advocacy group in Washington, D.C., where his work focused on improving the educational circumstances for military-connected children. Prior to his career in education, Jeff served five years as an Airborne Infantryman in the U.S. Army, serving one twelve-month deployment to Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom and one eighteen-month deployment to South Korea.

Jeff received his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Oklahoma and holds a Master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University in Education, and a Master’s degree from George Mason University in Conflict Analysis and Resolution.

 

when i was in middle school, i wanted to be…

A writer.

Marcus Piñon
Executive Assistant
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Piñon
Marcus Piñon
Executive Assistant

marcus@educationopensdoors.org

Marcus is the new and excited Executive Assistant for Education Opens Doors. Joining the team at the beginning of 2021, he hopes to not only be a valuable team member, but to also gain insight on how to help people from low-income and/or minority backgrounds circumvent the systemic obstacles they face every day. Marcus currently holds a B.F.A. in Theatre with a minor in Business Administration from Southern Methodist University and is continuing his education
by pursuing an M.S. in Information Technology and Management at the University of Texas at Dallas.

Out of all his positions such as after-school program counselor, camp counselor, and other jobs centered on helping kids, his favorite thus far has been working with the teachers and kids in the DISD Deaf Education portion of the Callier Child Development Center; a program with a focus on discovering and meeting every child’s specific needs. Marcus has also been awarded the renowned title of Cooper Camp Counselor of the Year, an accolade voted on by 5-year-olds to 13-year-olds in Cooper Aerobics’ Summer Fit & Fun Camps. He attributes this award to his belief in empathetic-driven environments where one can learn and grow, but also have a whole lot of fun in the process.

WHEN I WAS IN MIDDLE SCHOOL, I WANTED TO BE…

a chef. (I still make a great omelet!)

Nausheen Ukani
Impact Manager
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Ukani
Nausheen Ukani
Impact Manager

nausheen@educationopensdoors.org

Prior to joining the team at EOD, Nausheen professionally worked as an educator teaching students with limited English proficiency in Fulton County Schools. Through her experiences working with students from different backgrounds and populations, one thing has remained consistent: their potential. She firmly believes that each student is capable and deserving of post-secondary educational success, but circumstantially, the opportunity to act on that said potential is not always there. Nausheen has been on a mission since to involve herself in work that brings opportunity to all students, regardless of the barriers they may face. In her role as an Impact Manager, she will continue to support teachers in equipping their students with the awareness, knowledge, and skills they need through the Roadmap to Success program.

 

when i was in middle school, i wanted to be…

A pilot.

Christine Vu
Partnerships Coordinator
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Vu
Christine Vu
Partnerships Coordinator

christine@educationopensdoors.org

Christine Vu serves as the Partnerships Coordinator at Education Opens Doors. She is a first-generation college graduate and received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Masters in Marketing from the University of Texas at Dallas.
Christine has always had a passion for education and the opportunities it provides. After starting her career in the private sector, Christine decided to dedicate her efforts toward combating social disparities and focused on education. She is an AmeriCorps alum and served in Title I schools, leading literacy programs for underserved students and communities in Dallas. She continued her work in Title I schools managing education programs for multiple schools across the Dallas metroplex focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Christine believes in the power of community and in the ability we all have to transform lives. She enjoys cooking, practicing yoga, and taking road trips with her dogs and husband.

WHEN I WAS IN MIDDLE SCHOOL, I WANTED TO BE…

a veterinarian!

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