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. In addition, she is a director of the Park Cities Baptist Church Library. She earned both a BA in psychology and an MBA in marketing from Southern Methodist University. She also 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.

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. In 2015, she was awarded the prestigious and rare Extended Service Award by the Texas Congress of Parekts and Teachers. 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 the Principal Attorney at Dalton Law, pllc, where he represents individual and business clients in a variety of civil litigation and transactional matters. As a certified mediator, he also assists parties in trying to resolve their disputes by agreement. 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 and is President of the Woodrow Wilson High School Alumni Association.


Jody Hodges, Treasurer

Jody Hodges is currently the Senior Vice President & Manager of Healthcare Banking of the Dallas market at Bank of Texas. Hodges previously held the position of Senior Vice President with Bank of America within the Greater Texas Commercial Banking group. He currently serves on the board of the White Rock YMCA. While at Bank of America, he also served on the Fort Worth Leadership Council, as the past chairman of the American Heart Walk and March of Dimes March for Babies campaigns. Hodges earned his bachelor’s degree from West Texas A&M University as Cum Laude. He earned his MBA from Texas Christian University and graduated with distinction. He also holds a Series 7 and 63 investment license. He currently resides in East Dallas with his wife, Nikki, and their two children.

Mike Morath

Mike 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 is the Executive Director of Leadership ISD, guiding the organization’s development, growth, and impact. Patricia is one of the founders of the organization and has been instrumental in developing both the structure and the programming. Prior to opening her own design and printing firm in 1993, Patricia spent several years in the banking industry here in Dallas. Patricia has been involved in a number of volunteer leadership roles supporting education, including serving as PTSA President at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, and the Arts Magnet Advisory Board. Patricia completed her undergraduate work in Communications at the University of Texas, Dallas and her graduate work in Conflict Management at Southern Methodist University.

Bruce Bradford

Bruce Bradford, president & CEO of the North Dallas Chamber of Commerce after 30 years in commercial banking, 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.

Derek Hopf

Derek Hopf graduated from Indiana University in 2009 where he was a Chairman’s Award winner and Hutton Honors College Merit Scholar. Prior to moving to Dallas, Derek worked as a software consultant for several large healthcare systems in New York. In 2011, his interest in science and math education led him to Reasoning Mind, a nonprofit that designs and implements an interactive, web-based mathematics curriculum for elementary and middle schools. Derek now serves as a senior development associate and capital campaign manager for Reasoning Mind. He is also a 2015 Community Fellow with Leadership ISD. In his free time, Derek enjoys performing regularly in an improvisational comedy troupe, following Indiana basketball, and learning all he can about science and astronomy.

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.

Melissa Kingston

Melissa Kingston practices law in the areas of commercial litigation with the law firm of Friedman & Feiger, LLP. She received her B.A. from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1996, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with Honors. She received her J.D. from Baylor University School of Law in 1999. Ms. Kingston is also an active member of the Dallas community and has served as a volunteer for the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program; as various chair, vice-chair and membership positions with the Dallas Bar Association; and, as a community liaison and outside general counsel for non-profit groups and community advocacy groups. Ms. Kingston has volunteered on several community improvement projects, including several projects in the Lower Greenville Avenue area; as a board member and officer of the Dallas Homeowners League; as well as projects to support and promote DISD schools in her neighborhood. Ms. Kingston is also a 2012 DISD Leadership Class member.

Lacey La Pointe

Lacey LaPointe currently serves as the vice president of advancement for the Dallas Zoo overseeing the areas of membership, marketing, communications and development. Before the Dallas Zoo Lacey spent several years at the YMCA of Dallas as the vice president of development where she oversaw development and communications and led a $46M capital campaign to build branches in Rockwall, White Rock and Park Cities. Lacey also served as the director of development for the Great Plains Region for Southern Methodist University. Lacey is a Dallas native and currently lives in Wylie with her husband Eric, their two daughters who are in high school at Wylie East and a beagle named Louie.

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.

Cheryl Murray

Cheryl Camin Murray is a corporate healthcare shareholder at Winstead PC. She represents clients on entity formation, contractual and regulatory issues, HIPAA, the HITECH Act, and Stark Law matters, as well as compliance with other federal and state laws. She is a frequent speaker and author on health law-related topics. Active in her community, Cheryl is on the Board of the Southwest Transplant Alliance, North Dallas Chamber of Commerce, Dallas Friday Group, and Dallas Bar Association. Cheryl is a former Kidney Walk Chair for the National Kidney Foundation serving North Texas. She is a former officer of the Texas Young Lawyers Association and Dallas Association of Young Lawyers, and co-founder of the Dallas Association of Young Lawyers Freedom Run. Cheryl received her Bachelors of Arts from Texas A&M University, a Master of Public Health from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and her law degree from the University of Houston.

Celeste Newton

Celeste Newton is currently an accountant for Patterson Thoma Family Office. She provides accounting, tax, and financial services for the office as well as assists in cash management. Before joining Patterson Thoma, she worked at Deloitte as a tax consultant for hedge funds and investment partnerships. Celeste is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the state of Texas. She holds Bachelor of Accounting and Master of Professional Accounting degrees from the University of Texas at Austin. Celeste currently lives in the Knox-Henderson area with her yellow Labrador, Chloe.

Spencer Patterson

Spencer Patterson is an attorney with Grable Martin Fulton PLLC. His practice focuses on various aspects of intellectual property law, including US and international patent and trademark preparation and prosecution, patent portfolio management, and strategic intellectual property protection and enforcement. Previously, Patterson had his own practice following several years practicing at three large law firms, including 10 years as a partner at the intellectual property law firm of Fish & Richardson P.C. 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.

Risa Renna

Risa Renna is a human capital talent manager in the Advisory Consumer Industrial Products and Services practice of PwC. She operates as a business partner to leadership with regard to human capital strategy initiatives and provides HR expertise in the areas of coaching and development, talent management, performance management, employee relations and HR policy interpretation. She joined the company in 2011. Risa's professional experience also includes marketing and communications with a focus on account service in industries ranging from consumer packaged goods to information technology and telecommunications. Risa is a graduate of the Cox School of Business MBA program at Southern Methodist University where she pursued concentrations in management and finance. She has an undergraduate degree in psychology from Baylor University. She and her husband, Matt, live with their young daughter in the M streets in East Dallas.

Eric Schenkelberg

Eric Schenkelberg is vice president of operations for the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas. He began his career with the YMCA 26 years ago in a small town in Iowa and after several years of running youth sports, adult sports and summer day camp, Eric moved to Dallas and worked as a program director at the Irving YMCA (a branch under the umbrella of the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas). He then worked as executive director in Abilene for four years, and later moved to Arlington to serve as vice president of the YMCA. While there, he opened a new building and renovated two others. After that, Eric moved to Houston for six years before returning to Dallas and the White Rock YMCA, which is also a branch under the umbrella of the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas.

Kenneth Sheets

Kenneth Sheets was elected in November 2014 to his third term 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 18 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, the House Committee on Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence, and the House Committee on Local and Consent Calendars 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.

Anne Thomas

Anne Thomas has served as the executive director of AVANCE-Dallas since April 2012. As executive director, she establishes a strong fiscal base, casts the vision of the agency, and keeps the programs focused on the mission. A firm proponent of early childhood intervention, Anne guides the organization in advancing at-risk children through time-tested educational strategies, and her vibrant leadership style energizes the staff in transforming children’s lives. She brings to her position more than two decades of experience in non-profit operations at a number of organizations, including AVANCE-Dallas, Big Thought, the ChildCareGroup, and the Coalition for the Homeless of Houston/Harris County.

Tanner Vick

Tanner Vick is a Senior Manager in the transaction advisory services group with Riveron Consulting LP. Previously, Tanner worked in the transaction services group at KPMG LLP and the audit practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP. He graduated from Texas Tech University with his bachelors and masters degrees accounting in 2007. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the state of Texas. Tanner plays an active role in the Dallas community through the Young Professionals Dallas Regional Chamber, Association for Corporate Growth and the First Tee of Greater Dallas. He and his wife, Jennifer, reside in East Dallas with their daughter.

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
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DISD Board of Trustee Resolution
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Memorandum of Understanding with Woodrow Wilson High School Alumni Association
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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.