Board of Trustees Bios

Dr. Les Black

Dr. Les Black

Background and Education
Les Black is a native Texan and life-long educator who moved to Farmers Branch in 1998.  He grew up in Denton, TX, where his parents both served on faculty at the University of North Texas. After completing his K-12 education in the Denton public schools, he enrolled in the University of North Texas, earning a Bachelor of Arts in German, a Master of Arts in Educational Administration, and eventually a Ph.D. in Educational Administration with a focus on education law and policy. 

Public Service
In addition to CFBISD Board service, Dr. Black is on the board of directors of the Denton High School Family Assistance Foundation, a non-profit foundation that provides financial assistance to Denton High School students, families, staff or alumni experiencing sudden financial stress. He has been a PTA volunteer and has also served on the City of Dallas Welcoming Communities Task Force.  

Professional and Personal
Dr. Black is currently a Professor of Education Policy and Leadership in the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development at Southern Methodist University. Prior to his work at SMU, Dr. Black was a public-school teacher and administrator, including 15 years in Carrollton-Farmers Branch. As a legal scholar, he has authored several law review articles and book chapters examining the evolving expression rights of public-school students and employees in the digital age. Dr. Black and his wife Emily have two children - a daughter in her third year at SMU, and a son who is a senior in high school. When he’s not involved with his work at SMU or service in CFBISD, Dr. Black enjoys running, playing guitar, and watching Dallas Maverick basketball.

Sally Derrick

Sally Derrick

Background and Education
Sally is a lifelong resident of CFB, having grown up in Carrollton before moving to Farmers Branch over 20 years ago. She received an Associate’s Degree of Nursing from Brookhaven College in 2001 and then went on to receive her Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Nursing from the University of Arlington in 2003, where she graduated Cum Laude.

Public Service
Before serving on the School Board, Sally served for over a decade on multiple Farmers Branch Boards and Commissions. She served as the Chair of the Family Advisory Board and also served as an active member on the Library Board, Community Watch Committee and the Charter Review Committee. 

Sally became involved in our schools through PTA where she first began serving in 2009. She has served as the PTA President at Janie Stark Elementary, Vivian Field Middle School and Newman Smith High School. She also served the Council PTA as Chair of the Gently Used Book Sale and 1st VP of Leadership Development. 

Professional and Personal
Sally is a Registered Nurse and works as the Craniofacial Team Coordinator at Children’s Health in Dallas. She has always had a love and passion for children and knew from a young age that she wanted to be a nurse. In 2018, Sally received the D Magazine Excellence in Nursing Award.  

Sally and her husband, Tony, live in Farmers Branch with their two daughters Emily and Addison, whom both attend CFBISD schools.

Cassandra Hatfield

Cassandra Hatfield

Background and Education
Mrs. Hatfield grew up in Texas public schools and was raised in Rockwall. Early in her career she lived in Carrollton and then returned with her family in 2016, in anticipation of her two children attending CFBISD schools. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies with a Texas teaching certification in 4th – 8th grade mathematics from Texas A&M University – Commerce. Later in her educational career she went on to earn an M.Ed. in Leadership of Learning with a K-12 Principal certification, an ESL certification and a specialization in conflict resolution. Additionally, she has taken additional coursework to round out a Kinder -4th grade master math teacher certification, with an emphasis in coaching.

Public Service
Mrs. Hatfield was elected to the Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD Board of Trustees in May 2021. Before serving as a Trustee, she served a one-year term on the District Improvement Council and a Campus Improvement Committee. Additionally, she has served on her children’s school PTA as the Vice President of Ways and Means, Vice President of Membership, Chair of the Family STEM Night and Science Fair, along with various other committees.  Outside of the district, Mrs. Hatfield has served on the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas STEM Advisory Board and is a Troop Cookie Manager for a local Girl Scout troop.

Professional and Personal
Mrs. Hatfield is currently a Research Project Manager at Southern Methodist University. In this role she has managed more than a dozen corporate, state, and federal STEM education research grants focused on assessment development or teacher and leader training. Her primary responsibility is to develop and oversee the day-to-day operations of each grant by designing project scopes and timelines, collaborating with personnel, and ensuring the projects produce high quality research on time and in budget. Prior to SMU, Mrs. Hatfield spent 8 years in public education in various roles, including teaching elementary and middle school mathematics. She was also a mathematics specialist, supporting teachers through coaching, providing training workshops, and analyzing data to support the identification of instructional goals. Three of her years in public education were spent in CFBISD supporting between five and nine campuses. Outside of work, you can find Mrs. Hatfield actively engaged in her children’s activities, which include Girl Scouts, theater and sports. She hopes that one day she can find time to return to her prior hobby of scrapbooking so that all of her pictures don’t just live on her iCloud.

Carolyn Benavides

Carolyn Benavides

Background and Education
Carolyn Benavides is a 4th generation Texan who grew up in South Carrollton. A CFBISD Alumni, she attended Central Elementary, Dewitt Perry Middle School and earned her diploma from R.L. Turner in 1983. She has earned numerous business and accounting related certifications during her career.

Public Service
As a long-standing philanthropist, she has served the Carrollton-Farmers Branch community, as well as Denton, Navarro, and Fairfield Counties, for many years. 

She has served as the treasurer for eight years for the Farmers Branch Little League and ten years with the CFB Soccer Association. She has also served on the CFBISD Educational Foundation board for ten years and five years on the Metrocrest Hospital Authority board.

Carolyn is the Chief Officer for the Benavides Family Charity, serving twenty-four years as an advocate for children, seniors, veterans, and refugees. She is a respected leader and coordinator in the community, bringing together several civic, community, and religious organizations to serve those in need.  

Professional and Personal
Carolyn is the Owner/Operator of Joe's Pizza in South Carrollton and a bookkeeper for American TTS, Inc.

Concurrently she serves as the Chief Officer for the Benavides Family Charity organization. Her former roles include President, LBJ Trucking Co., Inc., and bookkeeper for Ramirez Trucking.

She is the proud wife of forty years to her high school sweetheart and a mother of four sons and grandmother.

Kim Brady

Kim Brady

Background and Education
Kim Brady has been an active member of the CFBISD community for over ten years and a resident for twenty years. She graduated from Texas Christian University with bachelor's and master's degrees in special education.

Public Service
Since becoming a mom in 2006, Kim has been highly involved in the CFB community while working as a Special Education & 504 Advocate for students in public school. As a PTA member for over ten years, she has served on several PTA boards in various roles and was awarded the PTA Life Member Award. She recently served as the Council PTA President and the Band Booster President at Newman Smith HS.

Ms. Brady serves on several CFB committees, including the Bond Committee, District Improvement Committee, the Student Health Advisory Committee, and more. She is an active volunteer at many events throughout the district.

Professional and Personal
Ms. Brady has served as a middle school special education teacher and  a special education coordinator. During her time as a classroom teacher, she was awarded Teacher of the Year.

Kim and her husband Neil were married in 2002 and have two children, Scotty and Casey. Scotty is a Newman Smith High School trojan, and Casey is a Blalack Middle School bear. Since kindergarten, the Brady kids have thrived in CFBISD through academics, sports, and the fine arts. The Brady family are active members at Christ United Methodist Church in Farmers Branch.

Ileana Garza-Rojas

Ileana Garza-Rojas

Background and Education
Ileana Garza-Rojas is a 1st generation born and raised in Texas. She graduated from Garland High School and then attended community college at Dallas College before attending Texas Woman's University. She earned her degree in Government with an emphasis in legal studies. Upon graduation, she and her wife moved to Farmers Branch, Texas, to set their roots.

Public Service
Prior to serving on the Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD Board of Trustees, Ileana served on the Equity and Equality Task Force Committee and was the co-chair of the Student Health Advisory Committee. She has also served on her child's school PTA as a chair for Movie Night and was a homeroom parent and grade level parent. Ileana also was co-manager for Destination Imagination.

Additionally, Ileana has been a Dallas CASA advocate for over ten years, working with children in the foster system. She is one of the lead committee members for Rainbow Roundup in Dallas County and has hosted National Night Out within her neighborhood as a community liaison.

Professional and Personal
Ileana has pressed her way forward in the legal field. In 2005, she started as a file clerk in a small law firm. Since then, her strong work ethic has allowed her to advance through several positions within the legal field with various companies in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. In 2018, Ileana started her own freelance paralegal business specializing in insurance defense, personal injury and contracts.

Ileana is an actively involved parent. She encourages her children to explore and learn inside and outside a traditional classroom setting. Ileana loves to travel, read self-empowerment books, volunteering and spending time with family and friends.

Tara Hrbacek

Tara Hrbacek

Background and Education
Tara Hrbacek grew up in Corpus Christi, TX and moved to Carrollton in 2001. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Construction Engineering Technology from the College of Engineering at Texas Tech University.

Public Service
Tara was elected to the Board of Trustees in May 2017. Before serving on the Board, she was active in the District through multiple roles at local campus PTAs and for the CFB Council PTA.  She has served on Campus Improvement Committees at the elementary and middle school level and has also served as a parent liaison on the District Improvement Council.  Tara was also part of the inaugural class of CFB Ambassadors.

Professional and Personal
Tara is a vice president with a global engineering firm and serves as a director of finance and operations in the US business.  Prior to her finance role, she spent the majority of her career in the aviation industry through positions with general contractors, a major US airline, architectural firm and now an engineering firm.  Through the course of these positions, her focus was on project delivery and operations management, but has transitioned to organizational finance and operations supporting multiple markets such as aviation, transit and rail, maritime, water, energy, and others. Tara is married to a CFBISD graduate and together, they have one son, a 2022 graduate of CFBISD who is now a freshman in the Corps of Cadets at Texas A&M University.