Ervin Knezek
Founder and Innovator

Texas-born lifelong educator, Ervin Knezek, Ed.D., is Founder, Innovator, and Teacher at lead4ward. Ervin works with educators at all levels in designing and implementing learning systems to meet ever-increasing standards for students.
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Kim Lehman
Chief Financial Officer

Kim Lehman provides financial, operational, and strategic direction for lead4ward. Kim has guided lead4ward from its infancy to become an integral partner in Texas education. She leads with an eye on service and a vision for improving educational outcomes.
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Justin Richardson
Chief Learning Officer

Bringing years of district leadership experience, Justin Richardson, Ed.D., is passionate about engaging, challenging, and supporting educators to create something new and amazing! He believes our purpose as educators is to bring out the greatness in others.
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Clee Upchurch
Chief Operations Officer

Drawing from experience in education and business, Clee Upchurch, M.Ed., has worked at the intersection of education and innovation for over twenty years. Clee provides direction in communication, partnerships, service offerings, product development, operations, and general strategy for lead4ward. Read more–>


John Fessenden
Leadership & Accountability

John Fessenden is an experienced education consultant who works with school districts, campuses, and regional educational service centers in the areas of assessment, accountability, and data analysis.
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Stephanie Camarillo-Zelenak

Stephanie Camarillo-Zelenak is an experienced educational consultant who works with campuses, districts, and regional education service centers in the areas of designing and implementing teaching and learning systems, and much more. Read more–>

Brad Gibson

Brad Gibson, M.Ed., has spent his life and professional career empowering and equipping others for success. Brad is regarded as an accomplished and engaging presenter with a knack for bringing clarity to complex processes. Read more–>

Shelby Ellis

Shelby Ellis, M.Ed., is an experienced educational consultant focusing on curriculum alignment, high-yield instructional strategies, and leadership. She is a champion for education. Read more–>

Diane Potter

As a leadership consultant and coach, Diane Potter works with campus leaders to enhance their confidence through increased competence in their work. She also provides individually tailored leadership coaching. Read more–>

Sophia Acevedo

Sophia Acevedo is the 2021 Texas recipient of the U.S. Department of Education’s Terrell Bell award. As principal, Sophia led her school to several TEA distinctions, including being named a National Blue-Ribbon campus. Read more–>

LeAnn Fisher
Leadership & Accountability

LeAnn supports school districts, campuses and regional education service centers in the areas of assessment, accountability and data analysis. Read more–>

Nancy Crouch

Nancy is an experienced educational consultant who works with state agencies, education service centers, and school districts in developing and implementing teaching and learning systems.
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Jodi Denton
Social Studies

Social Studies enthusiast, Jodi Denton, M.Ed., serves as one of lead4ward’s content leaders. Utilizing the experiences of her 20 years of service in education, Jodi empowers teachers, support teams and administrators to meet the increasingly complex requirements. Read more–>

Kathy Clapsaddle
Special Education

Kathy Clapsaddle has been a champion of special educators for over 20 years. She has used her passion and experience serving pre-service educators and district professionals as the slightly nerdy, yet enthusiastic, special education voice at lead4ward since 2016. Read more–>

Lakisha Ball
English Language Arts

Lakisha Ball, Ed.S., is an experienced educational consultant who works with local education agencies and service centers in the areas of curriculum development, instruction, and reading language arts. Read more–>

Debbie Boyer
Induction Series

Debbie Boyer is wholeheartedly passionate about people, learning, innovation, and life. She is an encourager, supporter, and champion of educators who loves helping teachers grow and flourish. Read more–>

Wade Labay
Leadership & Data

With over 20 years of service in education, Wade Labay, Ed.D., brings a unique set of skills and experiences to the lead4ward team, serving districts in the areas of leadership and data visualization/analysis. Read more–>

Jennie Ramsey

Jennie Ramsey is a Science consultant who focuses on connecting content with high-impact instructional experiences in the classroom. A lifelong fan of the sciences, Jennie’s first career was as a Registered Nurse. Read more–>

Lori Tatum
Graphic and Web Design

Lori brings over 25 years of design, web development, and client service experience to lead4ward. Working primarily in the education field, Lori feels passionately about supporting what is best for students.
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Marie Deasy
Professional Development Scheduling

Marie works diligently with clients to obtain the training best suited for their needs. Professionalism, attention to detail, and, sometimes, creativity come into play when managing the schedule. Read more–>

Sandy Lucero
Resources and Special Projects

Sandy manages our free resources. Believing that “more” does not necessarily mean “better,” she is driven to synthesize and distill what is essential to create tools for teachers and leaders that are clear, useful, and up-to-date.
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D’Ann Kidd
Client Services

D’Ann brings over 20 years of educational support experience to lead4ward. She works in client services and strives to provide a exceptional customer service experience for every client.
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Matt Morgan

An avid organizer, Matt Morgan brings his passion for building efficiency and problem-solving to lead4ward. Matt supports our team with technical assistance, website maintenance, and database management.
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Alex Kavich

Alex’s passions are finding creative ways to solve problems through technology and supporting educators in their quest to improve every student’s learning. Alex creates solutions for the schools we serve and lead4ward.
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Jennifer Hill
Accounts Administration

Jennifer manages lead4ward’s registration and accounts receivable, including invoicing and collections. Her multifaceted background enriches her work and contribution to education as a whole.
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Jayme Alexander
Event Management

Jayme Alexander has served special populations as a teacher and consultant for over 15 years. In her current role as the event guru at lead4ward, she is devoted to creating space for educators to learn, take risks, and innovate.

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Mary Carney
Contracts & RFPs

Mary manages contracts, RFPs, and invoicing. She works with clients and procurement departments to make sure all paperwork is in place prior to professional development or consulting services.
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Sharon Escobedo
Human Resources & Administration

Sharon manages benefits, payroll, and other business office responsibilities for lead4ward. Sharon brings over 25 years of experience.
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