Meet the Board of Directors
- Mary Lovell – Chairman
- Dr. Wendy Eldredge - Superintendent of Schools
- Donna Wald – Executive Director Educational Foundation
- Carolyn Benavides – CFBISD Trustee Director
- Les Black - Director
- Dr. Linda Braddy – VP/Nominations
- Catherine Carlin – Secretary
- Barry Dodson - Director
- Robert Dye - Director
- Pat Enlow - Director
- Luke Erlenbusch – VP/Development
- Cristal Retana Lule - Director
- Elizabeth Martini – VP/Finance and Governance
- Jeannette Papadopoulos – VP/Programs
- Dawn Parnell – Director/CFBISD Liaison
- Alex Sagcal – Director
- Laurie Spindler – Director
- Christy Spivey - VP/Marketing
- James Weichel – Director
- Laurie Wilson – VP/Programs
Mary has volunteered for CFBISD schools since 1991 through community organizations such as North Dallas AAUW, C-FB Association for the Gifted & Talented (C-FB AGT), various PTAs and community advisory committees. She is a Texas PTA Extended Life Member recipient and in 2008 was selected as “Parent of the Year” by the Texas Association for the Gifted & Talented. She also serves on the boards of the Harvard Business School Club of Dallas, Hope International, C-FB AGT and CFB AAUW Foundation Inc. Her friends describe her as pleasantly persistent in her advocacy for our public schools.
In a special called school board meeting Tuesday, March 21, 2023, the CFBISD Board of Trustees unanimously voted to name Dr. Wendy Eldredge as the Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD superintendent.
Dr. Eldredge most recently served as the superintendent of Crandall ISD and has more than 30 years of experience in education.
"Dr. Eldredge brings tremendous experience, dedication, and heart to this role," said CFB Board of Trustees President Dr. Les Black. “Our community and staff told us they wanted an educational leader who could build a trusting culture, embrace diversity, attract and retain teachers, and of course produce results for students. We are elated that we have found that educational leader in Dr. Wendy Eldredge. We cannot wait to welcome her into our learning community.”
The CFBISD Board of Trustees began the search for a new superintendent in December, 2022. The district received applications from across the country and selected Dr. Eldredge after interviewing multiple qualified candidates.
“The Board would also like to publicly thank Mr. Brian Moersch for his service as an interim superintendent,” remarked Dr. Black. “His broad experience, deep knowledge and calm leadership were critical in guiding our district through this difficult period of transition and ensuring that we continued to move forward in the service of our mission. He is a major asset for CFBISD and the board is grateful for his dedicated service.”
Dr. Eldredge was named Crandall ISD Superintendent in 2019. She previously served in Garland ISD as Assistant Superintendent of Safety & Operations and Area Director of the South Garland K-12 feeder pattern, which encompassed ten campuses and 8,200 students. She was also a principal at two schools and one academy campus and served in various capacities researching and developing curriculum. Her career began in Dallas ISD as a teacher and curriculum specialist.
Eldredge received her Doctorate of Curriculum & Instruction and Superintendent's Certificate from Texas A&M-Commerce. Her Masters in Educational Administration and Bachelor of Science in Education was earned from Kansas State University.
While in CISD, her accomplishments include the passage of a $365-million bond election in May 2022, including a successful secondary proposition for a new Fine Arts Center. Dr. Eldredge has completed several Harvard University Graduate School of Education programs, including "The Art of Leadership, School Turnaround, and Leadership: An Evolving Vision." She is also Regional Director for Raise Your Hand Texas, a non-profit organization supporting programmatic initiatives structured to identify, pilot, and scale systemic improvements in public education.
She was the first-ever president of the Dallas-area Region 10 Chapter of the Texas Council of Women School Executives. She is also a past member of Southern Methodist University's District Leadership Fellows—a strengths-based leadership development program run by the Institute for Leadership Impact at SMU. She is also an elected member of the Texas UIL Legislative Council.
As a Director/District Liaison to the educational foundation, Donna Wald brings a breadth of experience in nonprofit management, higher education and public-school administration and has proudly served with the foundation since 2011. Donna currently serves as Director of the Educational Foundation and is excited to continue her support of the CFB ISD Educational Foundation. Donna’s prior experience includes leadership roles in university advancement and development, community relations and board governance.
A graduate of Oklahoma State University, Ms. Wald holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Art in Speech Communication with extensive research in Persuasive Communication and Narcissism. With her extensive marketing and promotions experience, Donna has worked with teams to create communication campaigns geared towards multi-level audiences and has authored several recognized strategic marketing materials.
In her spare time Ms. Wald can be found behind the podium teaching at many of the Dallas-area community colleges and serving as a volunteer to organizations promoting education and academic pursuits.
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. Carolyn is currently a member of the CFBISD Board of Trustees.
As a long-standing philanthropist, she has served the Carrollton-Farmers Branch community, as well as Denton, Navarro, and Freestone 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.
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.
Carolyn is the proud wife of forty years to her high school sweetheart and a mother of four sons and grandmother.
Dr. Watt Lesley (Les) Black is a Clinical Professor in Education Policy and Law at Southern Methodist University. Dr. Black specializes in legal and policy issues in K-12 and Higher Education. He is a recognized First Amendment scholar and has published work on expression rights of students as well as teachers, Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection analysis, and affirmative action and diversity in the public schools. He has also written about the subjects of principal development and school reform.
Prior to joining the faculty at SMU, Dr. Black was a public educator, teaching in Garland ISD before serving as an administrator in Carrollton Farmers Branch from 1997 until 2012. Upon his professional departure from CFBISD, Dr. Black remained active in the district as a parent and volunteer. From 2020 to 2023, Dr. Black served as President of the CFBISD Board of Trustees.
Dr. Black and his wife Emily have been married for 27 years and have lived in Farmers Branch since 1998. They are the proud parents of two grown children who are both CFBISD alumni. Their daughter graduated from SMU in 2023 with a dual degree in vocal performance and music education, and their son is currently studying Neuroscience at the University of Texas at Austin. In his spare time, Dr. Black runs (slowly) and has logged well over 10k miles over the last decade. Dr. Black is also an experienced guitar player and a Beatles enthusiast.
Dr. Linda Braddy is CEO of the American Red Cross North Texas Region where she oversees service delivery, fundraising, and external relations. She also manages community resilience programs, working with community partners to ensure communities build local capacity to prepare for, prevent, respond, and recover from disasters, and ensures volunteers are engaged and retained.
Dr. Braddy previously served as President of Dallas College Brookhaven Campus where she was responsible for leading initiatives that contributed to the vibrancy, growth, and economic stability of Dallas County. In 2020, she served as the inaugural Provost in an interim capacity for Dallas College as they transitioned from seven independently accredited colleges to a singly-accredited college.
Dr. Braddy also served as vice president for academic affairs (VPAA) at Tarrant County College (TCC) Northeast Campus near Fort Worth where she oversaw the library; academic support services; academic divisions, including both credit and non-credit technical programs; dual credit, and early college high schools. Prior to her role as VPAA, she served as deputy executive director of the Mathematical Association of America (MAA) in Washington, D.C., a professional association for mathematics faculty, where she oversaw programs, public policy efforts, the competitions department, and the meetings and facilities operations.
Prior to Dr. Braddy’s transition to the non-profit world in D.C., she served as dean of the division of health and natural sciences at TCC South Campus, during which time she assisted with the transition of the nursing program to the Trinity River Campus, and subsequently served as dean of the division of mathematics and natural Sciences at the South Campus. Immediately prior to her tenure as dean at TCC, she chaired the department of mathematics at East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma, where she was a tenured, full professor. At ECU, she directed professional development programs for K-12 mathematics teachers and other grant-funded initiatives to improve mathematics education, directed initiatives to redesign courses and programs, and won multiple teaching awards at the local and regional levels. Dr. Braddy received a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Oklahoma and prior to graduate school, she ran her own successful business providing inventory services for convenience stores for eight years.
Dr. Braddy has embraced change throughout her career and welcomed opportunities to lead major organizational and cultural changes at multiple organizations. She has lived in the Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) metroplex since 2009 with the exception of a four-year period she spent working in Washington, D.C.
Catherine has been active in CFBISD since joining the Farmers Branch Early Childhood PTA when her daughter was an infant. In the 20+ years since, she has held leadership positions in Local, Council, Area and Texas PTA, and in 2019 received the National PTA Lifetime Achievement Award. She has also received the Delta Kappa Gamma Friend of Education Award and the City of Carrollton Neighborhood Leadership Award. She has served on various District committees, including the Citizens Facility Advisory Committee, the CV2030 Committee and currently the Bond Oversight Committee. She also serves on the Carrollton Aqua Racers summer swim team board, and is a Destination Imagination Regional Director. And she owns Green Bay Packers stock…Go Pack Go!
Dr. Barry Dodson, Ed.D. is a retired educator spending forty years in Texas public schools. He served as a campus principal in CFBISD at five different schools including Furneaux, Country Place and Las Colinas Elementary/Middle schools. He was the founding principal for both Barbara Bush Middle School and Ranchview High School. Barry retired in 2013 after beginning the CFBISD Virtual Campus program. Barry holds a lifetime membership from both the Texas and National PTA. He and his wife Judy have been active participants in the CFBISD Educational Foundation since its beginning.
Barry has been active in the Carrollton Host Lions Club since 1984. He enjoys volunteering in multiple community service projects each year. He regularly volunteers and supports the Lions Mobile Eye Clinic, Metrocrest Services and Food pantry and Senior services.
Barry and Judy love to travel and feel blees to enjoy their retirement and to continue serving our community.
Robert is a proud-product of CFBISD graduating from R. L. Turner High School after attending both Vivian Field Middle School and Janie Stark Elementary. He was a twice-elected Mayor of Farmers Branch and served from 2017 to 2022, and also served as a DART Board of Director from 2020 to 2022. For the past 15 years, Robert has worked as a commercial real estate developer focused on industrial and multi-family products. He received his BBA from Texas Tech University and MBA from Southern Methodist University.
Pat Enlow is a retired teacher and public school administrator. She earned a Master of Education in Public School Administration from the University of North Texas and a Bachelor of Science in Education from Kansas State Teachers College. Pat’s husband, Al, describes her as the “consummate trailing spouse” as his corporate career took them to numerous locations. While in Singapore, she helped open one of the most technologically advanced schools in the world, the new Singapore American School. During this time, she and her husband traveled extensively in Asia and Australia.
She has made presentations and led workshops at state and local levels and in Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia. While working for IBM, Pat demonstrated their initial educational computer programs in a territory from New Orleans, LA to Albuquerque, NM. This resulted in Plano ISD choosing IBM to create its computer learning labs.
Today, Pat continues her love of education by advocating for retired and active public school personnel through Texas Retired Teachers Association and Carrollton-Farmers Branch Retired School Personnel Association. She has testified before the Texas Legislature’s Pensions, Investments, and Financial Services Committee, appears at candidates’ town halls and forums, and talks with State Legislators and candidates regularly to update them on public school issues.
Since 2012, she has funded an annual scholarship for a student majoring in education at Hutchinson Community College in Kansas to support those who wish to become teachers. She is on the Boards of Carrollton-Farmers Branch Retired School Personnel Association and Coppell Women’s Club and enjoys finding and scheduling the monthly programs and speakers for each organization.
Pat retired from CFBISD as Principal of McLaughlin. She was also an administrator at Kent and Landry. Pat and Al have enjoyed scuba diving, deep sea fishing, and travel. They are especially proud of their son, daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren. John attends University of Texas majoring in Architectural Engineering and Sage is a student at Texas State University.
Luke Erlenbusch has been an active parent, PTA & band booster, and volunteer within CFBISD for the last 15 years, having all three (3) of his children attending various CFBISD schools on the West side of the district during that time. Luke has served on several PTA boards and as President of the Ranchview High School Band Boosters from 2013– 2018. Luke has announced for several CFBISD events, athletics, band, and has been the announcer for Newman Smith’s Tournament of Champions band competition since 2015. Additionally, Luke has served on several district committees including multiple years on Campus Improvement Councils for various campuses, a 2-year commitment on the CFBISD District Improvement Council and was a member of the CFBISD Citizens Facility Advisory Committee.
In 2015, Luke received the Texas PTA Lifetime Membership Award, and in 2018, Luke and his wife Jennifer were both honored by the Ranchview High School Band with a Lifetime Booster Membership Award.
Cristal Retana’s personal mission is to ensure equitable access to opportunities and resources so that everyone can have an overall better quality of life. Her career has been dedicated to advocacy through public policy, establishing strategic partnerships, and bringing forward innovative solutions to reimagine systems and have hard conversations on the issues that face our communities.
Cristal has been involved in government/community affairs professionally for over 12 years. She joined the healthcare/non-profit sector in January 2018 and serves as Director of Government/Community Relations overseeing community relations efforts with a focus on health access and city and county public policy. Through this work, she has participated in a number of initiatives and coalitions to help ensure Children’s Health has a voice when it comes to the quality of life of children and families.
Cristal’s passion for advocacy and service inspired her to serve on the Farmers Branch City Council from May 2019 through May 2022. She was appointed as Deputy Mayor Pro Tem to the City Council in November of 2020 and Mayor Pro Tem in 2021; the first Latina to hold that role. Equity was a focus of her tenure which drove her to implement a number of initiatives including city’s first ever night court and the implementation of the city’s first police UNIDOS program. However, her most cherished initiative was organizing the city’s first Hispanic Heritage Festival with almost 1,000 attendees in its inaugural year.
Cristal is a first-generation Texan and proud daughter, sister, mother and military wife. She is a graduate of Texas Woman’s University where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Government and received the Senior Trailblazer award for her advocacy efforts upon graduation. Prior to joining Children’s Health, she was with the Office of the Dallas Mayor and City Council and Chief of Staff in the Texas House of Representatives. Her key roles included policy research and project management with a focus in public safety, transportation, planning, and quality of life issues.
She has been recognized with nominations to several leadership organizations and government service awards including Altrusa's Women in Government, Dallas Assembly, International Women’s Forum, Leadership Texas and was the recipient of the La Cima Young Professional of the Year Award in 2022, GNTHCC Latinas in Excellence 2023 and the Blake Anderson Community Service Award in 2019. She holds and has held leadership roles across several organizations including the Hispanic Women’s Network of Texas, DFW Hispanic 100, Metrocrest Hospital Authority, Metrocrest Services, The Family Place, Dallas Friday Group, North Dallas Chamber of Commerce and held appointments for the National League of Cities Human Development and Federal Advocacy Committee, HELO Board and more.
On her free time, she enjoys running, mentoring, and spending time with her husband Eric, her son Mateo and her family who still reside in the DFW area.
Beth Martini is a CFBISD parent of four children who have been active in Band, Athletics, and dual credit. This has provided opportunity for involvement in many areas of the school district from AGT and Destination Imagination Boards, to PTA and Band Booster Boards.. As a member of the Citizen’s Facilities Advisory Committee she contributed to the bond development and gained views of plans for the future of CFB.
As the granddaughter, daughter, sister, and mother of public school employees, Beth’s heart is in public education. She has seen how much students get out of public education with what they put into it with support and help from educators, parents, and the community.
Her education includes a BS in Pharmacy from UT Austin and an MBA from UT Dallas. Working for Texas Oncology for over 25 years balances her servant heart for oncology with that of education and research.
Jeannette Papadopoulos has served the greater Dallas Ft Worth community for 23 years. Her expertise includes experience in educational leadership, strategy, and client management with a focus on cultivating new partnerships through collaboration with school administrators, superintendents, principals, and city officials.
As a Real-estate Mortgage Loan Officer, Jeannette relies on her client management and customer service experience to ensure families change the trajectory of their life through finance counseling and home ownership. A mortgage is one of the most significant purchases a person will make, Jeannette’s keen listening skills will ensure each customer’s needs are met by asking the right questions before suggesting a mortgage solution that complements a borrower’s budget and finance strategy.
Jeannette is also very active In the community, she is a CHILDREN’S ADVOCATE through The Boys & Girls Clubs serving Denton County. She is a devoted volunteer and dedicates her time to serving on the board of the Education Foundation of Carrollton Farmers Branch ISD, Daughters of Penelope, Carter BloodCare and as a member of the DFW Hispanic 100, a local network of Latina leaders. She has owned and operated several private businesses and in her free time enjoys spending special moments being a mother to two lovely daughters and as a wife to her high school sweetheart.
Dawn Parnell has more than 17 years of experience in public education. Currently, she serves as the Chief Communications Officer for Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD. Prior to that, Dawn served in Tyler ISD as the Executive Director of Communications and in Killeen ISD as Director of the Education Foundation and Grants.
Ms. Parnell earned a BA and MA in Communications from the University of North Texas. She has an honorary life membership from Texas PTA and a CPC designation (Certified Public Communicator) from Texas Christian University.
Dawn and her husband Dennis have one grown daughter, Natalie, and enjoy camping, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.
Alex is an active member of the community and is a passionate supporter of our Public Educational System. Representing Sam Pack’s Five Star Ford and Five Star Chevrolet of Carrollton as Community/Public Relations Manager, Alex is active in three (3) Chambers of Commerce, is a Life-time PTA Member Recipient, and has been an Adjunct Professor at El Centro College/ DCCCD. Having raised his daughter in the CFBISD system (K-12), Alex’s family has experienced the good care and attention to detail available to all of our families.
Laurie Spindler is a Partner in the Bankruptcy Department at Linebarger, Goggan, Blair & Sampson, LLP in Dallas, TX. Laurie has previously served on the Board of Directors of CurePSP and facilitates an on-line support group for the adult children of patients with PSP, CBD and MSA, which the foundation supports. Laurie currently serves on two other boards and enjoys volunteering at her child’s elementary school, in her community and in the communities that her firm represents. She also enjoys travel, hiking, fitness and reading, among other hobbies.
Christy Spivey has dedicated her career to education as a former teacher and in multiple roles within the educational technology space including curriculum and assessment development, virtual school services and customer success.
She and her husband were active volunteers for Band, Athletics, and PTSA while her son attended Ranchview High School. She held board positions on the PTSA and Band Boosters, and in 2019, Christy was honored by the Ranchview High School Band with a Lifetime Booster Membership Award.
Christy currently is the Vice President of Customer Success for Istation, whose mission is to support educators, empower kids, and change lives. She leads the Customer Support and Professional Services teams in their work to help districts and schools achieve successful outcomes.
Her education includes a BA in English from the University of West Georgia and an MA in English from East Tennessee State University.
Outside of her professional work, Christy enjoys spending time with her family, reading, gardening, and watching baseball.
James Weichel has been in the banking industry for over 30 years and is currently the Texas Retail Division Manager for WaFd Bank. WaFd Bank is a $20 billion dollar bank with over 230 locations throughout the Northwest and Southwest United States. As the Retail Division Manager, he gets to lead his teams to success by overseeing the Texas retail locations for WaFd Bank.
James has served the Metrocrest Chamber of Commerce for over a decade and is a former Chairman of the Board. In 2022 he was named Citizen of the Year by the Metrocrest Chamber of Commerce. He is very involved in the community and has sat on the board for Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD Education Foundation, Rotary Club of Park Cities and Metrocrest Chamber of Commerce. Additionally, he enjoys volunteering with nonprofits like North Texas Food Bank, Meals on Wheels & Big Brothers Big Sisters. James has found his passion of helping others through financial literacy education, mentorship, and volunteering.
James lives in Rockwall, TX and has been happily married to his wife, Kristen, for 29 years. They have two children: Anna-Kate (age 24) who is a recent graduate of The University of Oklahoma and Griff (age 17) who is a Sophomore at Rockwall-Heath High School.
DIRECTOR OF ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES - As the Administrative Services Director, Laurie Wilson oversees the City Secretary’s Office, Municipal Courts, Resolution Center, Utility Billing, Special Projects, and the Solid Waste Contract. She began her career with the City of Carrollton in 2012 as an Administrative Intern in the Parks and Recreation Department. She has also served as Administrative Services Manager/City Secretary, Marketing Coordinator, and Marketing Assistant. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Political Science with a minor in Public Administration from the University of North Texas. Laurie is a Texas Registered Municipal Clerk, a Certified Public Manager, and completed the Metrocrest Chamber’s Leadership Program in 2016. She is the past President of the Urban Management Assistants of North Texas and is a member of the Texas City Manager’s Associations, North Texas City Manager’s Association, and International City Manager’s Association. Laurie is on the Board of Directors for the C-FBISD Educational Foundation, the Incoming President of the Carrollton-Farmers Branch Rotary Club and has chaired North Texas Regional Leadership Day.