About WWHS Community Foundation

The Woodrow Wilson High School Community Foundation is an IRS 501(c)(3) approved Texas nonprofit corporation founded to support and benefit Woodrow, the Woodrow Community, and DISD. It provides general financial support to the campus, including specific initiatives like the International Baccalaureate program. It also serves as a clearinghouse for scholarships given to selected graduating Woodrow seniors each year.


The purpose of the Woodrow Wilson High School Community Foundation is to support excellent education in the public schools in the Woodrow feeder pattern in the form of loans, grants and scholarships.


The Foundation’s vision also includes providing resources and support for a wide range of needs and opportunities within the community that is tightly connected to Woodrow Wilson High School and the schools in its feeder pattern. Our dream is to be able to help fund large projects, such as physical facilities within the schools, as well as smaller causes, such as loans or grants to meet special needs of school-connected individuals.

Richard H. Vitale, President

Mr. Vitale was born and reared in Dallas, Texas and is a proud graduate Woodrow Wilson High School, Class of 1991. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Mr. Vitale joined a Bank of America predecessor company in 1994, and upon graduation, he returned to North Texas with the Bank. He currently is a Senior Vice President at Bank of America and leads the Bank’s Not-for-Profit Healthcare and Institutions Practice for North and Central Texas. He is Founding President of the Woodrow Wilson High School Community Foundation.

Gary Griffith, Vice President

Gary Griffith was elected to the Dallas City Council in May 2003 and served two terms through June 2007. He believes strongly in community service and gives his volunteer time by serving on a variety of boards for charitable organizations in Dallas. Mr Griffith grew up in East Dallas and is a proud graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School, Class of 1966.

Emily Martin, Secretary

Emily L. Martin is the managing partner of Thompson & Martin, a strategic communications firm she founded in 1987. She earned both a BA in psychology and an MBA in marketing from Southern Methodist University. In addition, she earned a ThM from Dallas Theological Seminary. In recent years, Ms. Martin’s volunteer activities have centered around public schools and mentoring organizations, including two terms as president of the Woodrow PTA from 2007-2009.

Jason Kulas, Treasurer

Mr. Kulas is the CFO and board member of Santander Consumer, USA Inc. Mr. Kulas joined Santander Consumer USA in January 2007 after serving as a Managing Director for JPMorgan Securities, Inc. He has also worked as an Adjunct Professor of marketing at Texas Christian University. Mr. Kulas earned a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry with a minor in Religious Studies from Southern Methodist University, and an MBA from Texas Christian University. He & his wife Amy are very active community volunteers in a variety of areas. Mr. Kulas is a proud member of the Woodrow class of 1989.

Susan Schuerger

Susan Schuerger has been a tireless advocate for her schools and the community. Susan has served as PTA president and SBDM committees at Lakewood Elementary, J.L. Long Middle School, and Woodrow Wilson High School. She founded and is presently the chairman of the Woodrow Wilson Community Council, a consortium of PTA and SBDM members from each of the Woodrow feeder schools. She has been involved in education as a Clinical Instructor of Physical Therapy, developed program curriculum for the Texas Tech School of Physical Therapy, and was an Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy at Southwestern University School of Allied Health, teaching and revising curriculum. She is the proud parent of five Woodrow graduates.

Paul Dalton

D. Paul Dalton is a Shareholder in the Commercial Litigation Section of Cowles & Thompson. His practice is generally devoted to commercial and complex business litigation. Mr. Dalton has devoted substantial volunteer time to public high school management, curriculum and facilities issues during many years of service on the School-Centered Education Council for Woodrow Wilson High School, including service as Chair from 1996-1998. He is a proud member of the Woodrow Wilson Class of 1968.

Jody Hodges

Jody Hodges joined Bank of America in 2002, and has worked in the Greater Texas Commercial Banking group since 2004. Mr. Hodges serves as a Board Member of the Greater Coppell YMCA, The Greatest Thing Foundation and Zoomago, Inc. He has been active through the Bank serving on the Fort Worth Leadership Council and serving as past Chairman of the American Heart Walk and March of Dimes, March for Babies campaigns. He is a member of Irving Bible Church (IBC) along with his wife Nikki and son Christian.

Mike Morath

Mr. Morath is District 2 Trustee of the Dallas Independent School District. Previously, he was President of Minute Menu Systems, a company that processes claims for a federal child care subsidy serving about million low income children each day. He has been involved in a large array of community & volunteer activities in Dallas and abroad. He is a graduate of Garland High School, getting a full International Baccalaureate diploma that helped him subsequently graduate from college in 2½ years.

Patricia Arvanitis

Patricia Arvanitis has been involved with many school organizations both private and public and is currently serving as the PTSA president of Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. Her understanding of the value a strong community can make in a child's education has led her to co-found Leadership DISD, which she currently serves as president. Patricia also serves on the DISD Magnet School Parent Advisory Council Leadership DISD develops education-focused, informed leaders within Dallas to affect change and help to lead support efforts to bring about significant improvements in public schools. Patricia has a BA in Communications from the University of Texas, Dallas and a Master’s Certificate in Conflict Resolution from Southern Methodist University. Since 1993, she has owned her own graphic design and printing firm. Patricia also serves on the DISD Magnet School Parent Advisory Council, and the Board of Directors for the Children’s Cancer Fund.

Bruce Bradford

Recently hired as President & CEO of the North Dallas Chamber of Commerce after 30 years in commercial banking, Bradford is also an advisor to a number of entrepreneurial ventures through his consulting firm, Criterium Solutions LLC. Bradford also serves on the board of two privately-held businesses, one in the business process outsourcing market-space; the second in the green energy sector. On the civic front, Bradford serves on the board, executive committee and as immediate-past chair for The Concilio (http://www.theconcilio,org) , a Dallas-based nonprofit agency that addresses educational and healthcare needs within the region. Bradford holds BBA and MBA degrees from Lamar University in Beaumont

Alise Cortez

As a professional/organizational development consultant in Dallas, Alise Cortez designs and conducts professional and leadership development workshops. She is an adjunct faculty member of the University of Phoenix, teaching Psychology-related courses. Alise is an active member of the Board of the YMCA at White Rock, and is a past president of the Lakewood Service League.

Mary Hendrix

Dr. Mary Hendrix is Vice-President for Student Access and Success for Texas A&M University-Commerce, where she has been on faculty for the past 28 years in various key leadership positions. Since she assumed this position in January 2009, the university has increased enrollment 22% and has set numerous enrollment milestones, including reaching 11,000 students in Fall 2011. In addition, student retention, persistence, and graduation rates have increased each semester. A former public school teacher, counselor, and administrator, Dr. Hendrix has also served as an educational consultant to state departments of education, regional educational consortia, and public schools. She holds the Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and has a master’s degree in Counseling with an emphasis in Student Personnel and Guidance. She has served in many leadership positions at community, state, and national levels. Dr. Hendrix has garnered numerous awards, including: American Vocational Guidance Association Service Award, Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, Commerce ISD Hall of Fame, Texas Vocational Guidance Association Outstanding Educator, and she was nominated for the Latina Living Legend Award by the DFW Hispanic 100 organization in 2010.

Amy Jones

Amy Jones is an East Dallas native and attended Lakewood Elementary School, J.L. Long Middle School and Woodrow Wilson High School (Class of 1995). Amy went on to graduate from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas in May of 2000 with a B.B.A. in Accounting and a M.S. in Accounting (Taxation). Amy is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the state of Texas. From May 2000 to August 2012, Amy worked for Deloitte Tax LLP’s International Tax Services group in both the Dallas and New York City offices. Since August 2012, Amy has been the International Tax Compliance Senior Manager at Texas Instruments Incorporated. Amy currently resides in Lakewood with her dog, Jack.

Monica Latin

Monica Latin chairs Carrington Coleman’s business litigation practice. As an active trial lawyer who is also Board Certified in Civil Appeals by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, she handles trials, arbitrations, and appeals throughout the country. She has been named by D Magazine as one of the “Best Lawyers in Dallas” for business litigation since 2008, and one of the “Best Women Lawyers in Dallas” as well. She has also been recognized by Texas Monthly magazine as a "Super Lawyer" each year since that award began in 2003. She was named the "Outstanding Young Lawyer of Dallas" in 2004, and was twice named one of the "Best Lawyers Under 40 in Dallas" by D Magazine. Ms. Latin is Chair Elect of Dallas Regional Chamber’s Leadership Dallas Alumni Association, and graduated with Mike Morath from the program in 2009. She and her husband live in East Dallas.

Dustin Marshall

Dustin Marshall is CEO of Hazel’s Hot Shot, an expedited freight and logistics company headquartered in Dallas, TX. Hazel’s focuses on time-critical shipments and operates via several divisions which provide an array of transportation services. Prior to joining Hazel’s, Marshall was a manager in the Chicago office of Bain & Company. Mr. Marshall is deeply involved in the Dallas-Ft. Worth community and is passionate about education reform. He serves on the Board of Reading Partners Dallas and the Board of Governors for Uplift Education. He is a recipient of the Dallas Business Journal’s "40-under-40" award, an alumnus of Leadership Dallas, and a finalist for the Dallas Foundation’s "Good Works Under 40" award. Marshall has a bachelor of science (BS) in economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University. He and his wife, Denise, reside in the Preston Hollow neighborhood of Dallas with their four children.

Spencer Patterson

Spencer Patterson is a Principal in the Dallas office of Fish & Richardson P.C. His practice focuses on various aspects of intellectual property law, including US and international patent preparation and prosecution, patent portfolio management, and strategic intellectual property protection and enforcement. He earned an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and graduated with honors from George Washington University Law School. He has served as a member of the Greater Dallas Chamber’s Technology Business Council and is active in the Friends of Lakewood Elementary School. He and his wife have a son at Lakewood E.S. and are passionate about strengthening the public education opportunities provided in East Dallas and throughout the state.

Kenneth Sheets

Kenneth Sheets was elected in November 2010 for District 107 in the Texas House of Representatives. A graduate of Mansfield High School, Kenneth enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and has proudly served our country for the past 15 years on both active duty and in the reserves. While serving in the Marine Corps, he graduated with an Honors Degree in Political Science from the University of Texas at Arlington After graduation, Kenneth entered the Marine Corps legal program and attended the Dedman School of Law at Southern Methodist University. He received his Juris Doctor in 2004, and served as Student Bar President. He then served as Judge Advocate in the Marine Corps. Kenneth continues to practice law as an associate with Payne & Blanchard, LLP., where he specializes in civil defense. He serves as a member of the House Committee on Insurance and the House Committee on Economic and Small Business Development in the Texas House of Representatives.

Leigh Peden Straughn

A longtime East Dallas resident, Leigh Peden Straughn attended Lakewood Elementary, J.L. Long Middle School and Woodrow Wilson High School (Class of 1991). Currently a stay-at-home mother to four boys, Leigh previously worked as a management consultant in the Houston office of McKinsey & Company and as a Director in the Advertising department of The Dallas Morning News. Leigh presently serves on the board of the Lakewood Early Childhood PTA and volunteers through the Children & Family Ministry at The Church of the Incarnation and for its preschool, Incarnation Academy. She graduated magna cum laude from Rice University and holds an MBA from The Wharton School at The University of Pennsylvania.

Tanner Vick

Tanner Vick graduated from Texas Tech University with his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting in 2007. He currently works in the transaction services practice at KPMG, LLP, which he joined in November 2011. Prior to working at KPMG, Tanner spent four years in the audit practice at PwC (Price Waterhouse Coopers & Lybrand). Tanner is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the state of Texas. He enjoys spending time with his wife, and is an avid golfer and tennis player.

Lon R. Williams, Jr.

Lon R. Williams, Jr.is a labor and employment attorney, a Shareholder with Polsinelli Shughart PC in Dallas. He advises, counsels and trains management concerning employment discrimination, wrongful discharge, equal employment opportunity, occupational safety and health, wage and hour, labor relations and related issues in the employment relationship. His education includes a J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, 1977; Master of Science in Foreign Service, Georgetown University, 1976; and B.A., Southern Methodist University, 1970. Of note, Lon has been named to Super Lawyers, Corporate Counsel Edition, 2008 and 2009; Texas Super Lawyers, 2003-2011; and Best Lawyers in America, 2006-2011. He was the Student Body President, SMU, 1969-1970; a Republican Congressional Nominee, U.S. 5th District of Texas, 1988; and Assistant to Deputy Secretary of Defense, 1975 -1977. His long list of civic leadership positions is highlighted with service for several schools, including St. John’s Episcopal School, Dallas Can Academy, and SMU Alumni Association.

"I've always loved Woodrow Wilson High School and owe a tremendous amount to the school. I'm giving back what I can."

Richard H. Vitale, Founding President & Class of 1991

"Strong public schools are critical to our community. This Foundation is committed to directing resources to strengthen our schools."

Emily L. Martin



Memorandum of Understanding with DISD
Read More - PDF

DISD Board of Trustee Resolution
Read More - PDF

Memorandum of Understanding with Woodrow Wilson High School Alumni Association
Read More - PDF

Read More - PDF


Woodrow Feeder Pattern

Woodrow Wilson High School

J. L. Long Middle School

Elementary Schools

Stonewall Jackson Elementary School

Lakewood Elementary School

Robert E Lee Elementary School

William Lipscomb Elementary School

Eduardo Mata Elementary School

Mount Auburn Elementary School

O.M. Roberts Elementary School


Woodrow Wilson PTA


Stonewall Jackson PTA

Lakewood PTA

Lakewood Early Childhood PTA

Robert E Lee PTA

Old East Dallas Early Childhood PTA

Neighborhood Associations

Wilshire Heights

Greenland Hills Neighborhood Association

Lakewood Neighborhood Association

Vickery Place Neighborhood Association

The Woodrow Wilson Community Council includes representatives from PTAs, Early Childhood PTAs and Site Based Decision Making Committees serving the schools that form the feeder pattern for East Dallas' historic Woodrow Wilson High School. The Council is committed to working cooperatively to further the needs and goals of each group in the Woodrow community.