Quinton Vance, Executive Director

Quinton Vance joined KIPP DFW as Executive Director in July of 2013. For the six years, Quinn was a regional leader within KIPP NYC, where he oversaw the development of KIPP NYC’s initial K-4 elementary programs, managed the creation of aligned curriculum and assessment tools to support instructional outcomes across KIPP NYC elementary schools, selected and trained the founding school leadership teams of the elementary schools, and provided instrumental leadership coaching and guidance for KIPP leaders schools across the nation.

Vance has worked in education for over 15 years. He earned his stripes in the instructional environment while spending multiple years in early childhood classrooms as a kindergarten teacher. Prior to joining KIPP, Vance was heavily involved in the Teach For America program. He earned a BA in Spanish from the University of Oregon, and a Masters of Education from St. Peter’s College. Quinton resides in Dallas with his wife Lauren and their two young children.

Donnidra Johnson, Managing Director of Finance & Operations

Donnidra Johnson joined KIPP DFW in 2011 and currently serves as Managing Director of Finance & Operations. In this role, she oversees all business operations for KIPP DFW and manages and supports the Finance, Operations, and Talent departments. Donnidra leads regional initiatives to design, implement, and monitor systems and practices that enhance organizational efficiency and scalability. She leads the continuous assessment of KIPP DFW's expansion plan to grow from one school serving 350 students in 2012 to 10 schools serving over 5,000 students in southern Dallas by 2022.

Prior to joining KIPP DFW, Donnidra spent four years as a public accountant at Ernst & Young where she created, executed, and reviewed audit procedures for several Fortune 500 companies' annual financial statement audits and quarterly reviews. Donnidra also has strategic planning, operations, and business consulting experience with Humana, KIPP NYC, and New York’s Future Leaders Institute Charter School.

Donnidra earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Florida, a Master of Science in Accounting from the University of Virginia, and a Master of Business Administration with specializations in Strategy and Entrepreneurship & Innovation from New York University. When In her free time, she enjoys traveling with her husband, Rashard, and having fun with their two children.

Mackenzie Martin, Development Director

Mackenzie Martin is the Director of Development at KIPP Dallas-Fort Worth. In this role, Mackenzie leads the fundraising efforts for KIPP DFW’s 10-year, eight-school growth plan. Before moving to Dallas to assume her role at KIPP DFW, Mackenzie served as the Director of Community Education and Special Events for I Live Here, I Give Here (Austin’s Campaign for Philanthropy) where she led a collaboration of philanthropists, nonprofit organizations and local businesses. Mackenzie’s passion for community engagement, early childhood education and social justice have led her to be involved with Texas nonprofit organizations for over 10 years. Mackenzie has received a Texas Social Media Award nomination from the Austin American Statesman and was selected as a ‘Young Philanthropist’ by Giving City Magazine. Mackenzie is a member of Association of Fundraising Professionals and The Junior League of Dallas.

Lauren Vance, Chief Academic Officer

Lauren is the Chief Academic Officer of KIPP DFW. Prior to joining KIPP DFW, Lauren was the Senior Director of Principal Development Programs at the KIPP Foundation. Lauren joined KIPP in 2012 after 10 years with Uncommon Schools in New York City and Boston. She co-founded Kings Collegiate Charter School in Brooklyn in 2007 and led the school from August 2007 – June 2010. She then served as Associate Managing Director, managing the principals and academic programs of Uncommon NYC’s middle schools, from July 2010 until June 2012. Before her leadership roles, Lauren taught 7th and 8th grade math at Roxbury Preparatory Charter School in Boston, MA for three years, and 7th grade Math and Science at Ferndale Middle School in High Point, NC for two years. Lauren earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Middle Grades Education at Appalachian State University in North Carolina (her home state) and a Master of Education degree at the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University. She is enjoying getting to know Dallas after moving here in 2013 with her husband Quinn and two children Alex and Ella. She enjoys spending time with her family, jogging, seeing movies in the theater, and watching Modern Family.

Dominick DiFalco, Director of KIPP Through College

Dominick began his career in higher education as Writing Center Director at Pace University. He then entered the not-for-profit sector, serving as Director of College Academics for KIPP Through College in NYC beginning in 2008. Operating out of the South Bronx, he assisted high school and college students, developing academic support and college persistence initiatives, as well as managing the successful College Scholars Program. After holding a consulting position for KIPP Foundation, he joined Uncommon Schools to create an alumni services program in upstate New York, where he worked for two years. Dominick joined KIPP Dallas-Fort Worth in July of 2013 and is thrilled to be a part of the KIPP DFW team and family. He earned hiss B.A. from Pace University and received his M.A. in English Language and Literature from Brooklyn College.

Cara Eng, Director of Regional Operations

Cara Eng immigrated to the US at the start of first grade with zero English ability.  Because of teachers who had high expectations, she flourished in an urban school system and achieved her dream of graduating Rice University.  While at Rice, Cara learned about the achievement gap in public education; this became her calling.  She wants all children to be able to attain the American Dream because that is what America has done for her family.  As Director of Regional Operations, Cara is excited to work with a hard-working group of individuals who believe in the potential of all children.  She leads the growth of the Operations Team to support expansion to reach 5,000 students by 2022.

Prior to joining KIPP DFW, Cara taught for 3 years in both traditional public and charter schools as a member of Teach for America’s Camden corps.  After teaching, she earned a Master in Business Administration with concentration in Non-Profit Management at Yale School of Management.  From Yale, she transitioned back to her hometown of Houston to be a campus Operations Manager at YES Prep where she created systems to improve substitute efficiency, managed the budget, designed the school schedule, and implemented a flip schedule to increase staff satisfaction.  On a district level, she led the Lottery Task Force that redesigned the lottery system to be fully web-based and automated and created professional development for the Operations staff.  Cara believes that all problems have a solution, and this motivates her to do her best for KIPPsters every day.

Outside of work, Cara enjoys playing strategic board games with her husband Sanford and reading young-adult fiction. 

Randall Fowler, Director of Talent

Randall Fowler joined KIPP DFW as the Director of Talent in the spring of 2014. During his time as an intern with Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Randall began to recognize challenges faced by certain communities that were negatively impacted by limited educational opportunities. As a result, he became motivated to work in education. In 2008, he began his career as a Teach For America corps member, where he taught humanities to high school students at the D. M. Therrell School of Law, Government, and Public Policy in Atlanta Public Schools. After his commitment to Teach For America, Randall moved back to Dallas and continued teaching in Dallas Independent School District. From there, Randall was asked to join the national recruitment team of Teach For America, as Recruitment Manager throughout Texas. From the experiences he gathered with Teach For America, Randall transitioned to become the Talent Recruitment Strategist for Uplift Education, where he led talent acquisitions at the central management levels, as well as the expansion of ten schools. In his role with KIPP DFW, Randall leads the efforts to recruit, retain, and reward the highest caliber of education-minded individuals, as well as manage the organizational framework of its employees.

Michael A. Horne, KIPP Truth Academy School Leader

Prior to becoming Principal of KIPP Truth Academy, Michael served as the Dean of Instruction at KIPP Truth Academy. Before joining the KIPP family, Michael was a kindergarten teacher at Excellence Charter School in Brooklyn, New York and a seventh grade English teacher at Roxbury Preparatory Charter School in Roxbury, Massachusetts, where students consistently outperform their district and state peers.

In addition to Michael’s teaching and leadership roles, in 2012 he was selected to the KIPP Fisher Fellowship program, a highly selective leadership training program designed to prepare leaders to found and lead KIPP schools. Michael was also selected to the Miles Family Fellowship program, a two-year leadership program to support emerging KIPP school leaders. In 2005, Michael won the Amherst College Class of 1954 Commitment to Teaching award.

Michael earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Amherst College, a Master in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and a Master of Education Policy and Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he is currently an advanced doctoral student. Outside of work, Michael enjoys spending time with his wife Marissa, a native of Dallas, and learning lessons from their precocious daughter, Bailey.

Katie Gilleland, KIPP Destiny Elementary School Leader 

Katie is a Dallas native, earning her degree in education from the University of North Texas and an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from Abilene Christian University. In 2006, she taught in Denton Independent School District as a substitute teacher, and then taught in Irving Independent School District for five years, looping with her many of her students through first grade, second grade, and then fourth grade. Katie also helped design Irving ISD’s district-wide math curriculum and served as one of their district-wide balanced literacy trainers. In 2012, she joined KIPP DFW to be the sixth grade World Humanities teacher at KIPP TRUTH Academy and grade level chair. A year later, she transitioned to KIPP Destiny Elementary to lead the founding kindergarten team as grade level chair in the fall and as assistant principal in spring 2014. Katie Gilleland is excited to step up as successor leader for KIPP Destiny Elementary this spring as she continues to help our flagship elementary school fulfill its destiny for every KIPPster to and through college.

Esmeralda Cardoso, KIPP Destiny Middle School Founding School Leader 

Esmeralda is currently in her school-planning year as a member of the KIPP Fisher Fellows and will be the founding school leader of KIPP DFW’s second middle school, KIPP Destiny Middle School. Prior to earning the Fisher Fellowship, she served as assistant principal for three years at KIPP Truth Academy. She first joined KIPP Truth Academy in 2006, serving as sixth grade math teacher and sixth grade level chair. Prior to joining the KIPP team, she was a founding teacher at Uplift Education - Hampton Preparatory in Dallas, TX where she taught sixth and seventh grade mathematics, fifth grade math lab and served as seventh grade level chair. She began her teaching career at YES Prep-Southeast in Houston, TX, as seventh grade mathematics teacher in 2004. Esmeralda received her B.A. in Electrical Engineering and Hispanic Studies from Rice University and her M.Ed. in Educational Leadership with Urban School Specialization from Southern Methodist University. Outside of KIPP, she spends her free time with her two wonderful children and husband.

Katie Hill, KIPP Truth Elementary School Founding School Leader 

Katie is a 2014 Fisher Fellow and will be the founding school leader at KIPP Truth Elementary. She previously was a Miles Family Fellow and the Director of Special Education at KIPP Truth Academy. Prior to joining the KIPP DFW team and family, Katie was a full-time, principal intern in Durham Public Schools, and the Director of Special Education at Maureen Joy Charter School in Durham, North Carolina. An alumna of Teach For America - Eastern North Carolina, she taught special education in inclusion, resource, and self-contained settings. Katie has served three times as a School Director for Teach For America at both the Mississippi Delta and Tulsa Institutes and was a Corps Member Advisor at the Chicago Institute. Katie is the recipient of the Sue Lehmann Excellence in Teaching Award, the Sontag Prize for Urban Education, was a national finalist for Teach For America’s Alumni Award in Teaching, and is featured in Teaching As Leadership: The Highly Effective Teacher's Guide to Closing the Achievement Gap. Katie received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Colorado State University and holds a Master of School Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.