Meet the Board of Directors
- Donna Wald – Director Educational Foundation
- Luke Erlenbusch – Chairman
- Dr. John E. Chapman, III – Superintendent of Schools
- Carolyn Benavides – Director/Development
- Dr. Linda Braddy – Director
- Catherine Carlin – Director
- Nate Frere – Director
- Mary Lovell – Director/Finance & Governance
- Cris Manning – Director
- Elizabeth Martini – Director
- Dr. Steve Nguyen – Director
- Jeannette Papadopoulos – Director
- Dawn Parnell – Director/CFBISD Liaison
- Alex Sagcal – Director/Nominations
- Laurie Spindler – Director
- Tauren Thompson - Director
- James Weichel – Director
- Laurie Wilson – Director/Programs
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.
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.
Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD Superintendent John E. Chapman III, Ed.D., joined the district as Superintendent of Schools in July, 2018.
Dr. Chapman holds a Bachelor of Science in Education from McMurry University, a Master of Education from Wayland Baptist University in Mid-Management and a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership from Texas Tech University.
He began his teaching and coaching career in Lubbock, Texas. During his educational career, he has served as an assistant principal, junior high principal, and high school principal. He has also served as superintendent in Chillicothe ISD, Ennis ISD and Comfort ISD. Dr. Chapman was previously named the Superintendent of the Year for Region 13 and Region 10.
"I am extremely honored and blessed to serve the students, staff and families in Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD. I genuinely believe that CFBISD is the best school district in the State of Texas,” said Dr. Chapman. “The upcoming years promise exciting experiences for your child in our unbelievable community.”
Dr. John Chapman added, “Supporting our students is central to our mission at CFBISD. We are here to guide your child as they become the best version of themselves in and outside the classroom. Together we can create a path for your child to become a successful, life-long learner who will be a successful member of our community.” Mother Teresa states, “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”
Dr. Chapman is married and has two sons.
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.
Linda Braddy is President of Dallas College Brookhaven where she is responsible for leading initiatives which contribute to the vibrancy, growth, and economic stability of Dallas County. She recently also 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. She previously served as Vice President for Academic Affairs (VPAA) at Tarrant County College 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 Department. While at MAA, she increased the externally funded programs portfolio from $8 million to $14.5 million and co-authored multiple publications. She has raised a total of $18.5 million in gifts and grants over the course of her career.
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 (ECU) in Ada, Oklahoma, where she was a tenured, full professor.
Dr. Braddy has embraced change throughout her career and welcomed opportunities to lead major organizational and cultural changes at multiple organizations. She has worked throughout her career to promote the use of evidence-based teaching practices that improve student learning outcomes, and in the past decade, she has focused on promoting social justice in society through higher education.
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!
Nate Frere is an Account Manager and Consultant with 11 years of industry experience. He represents Indeco Sales, a Texas-based manufacturer and supplier of educational furniture. A native Iowan, Nate started his furniture career with The HON Company where he has held positions in Safety Engineering, Process Improvement, Manufacturing Leadership, Business Development, and Sales. He graduated from Iowa State University in ’09.
Nate is married and has a 7-month-old daughter. He enjoys spending time with his family, cooking, gardening, live theater/music, video games, long walks, and art.
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 currently serves on the Citizens Bond Advisory Council. 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.
Cris Manning is a seasoned higher education professional with over a decade and a half of experience developing and managing strategic alliances between universities and employer-partners. Currently, Cris serves as a Senior Consultant with Colorado Technical University. In this role, Cris negotiates and executes academic partnerships, aligns University products, services, and resources to expressed partner needs, and coordinates communication and engagement strategies across partnering organizations.
Prior to joining the CTU team, Cris served as Strategic Account Manager with DeVry University, Director of Partner Engagement and Recruitment with Abilene Christian University, and Account Executive with Apollo Education Group. His wealth of experience in brand development and strategic account management has produced successful partnerships between the universities that he has represented and many of the most recognizable and respected global brands.
In addition to being a member with the CFBISD Educational Foundation Board of Directors, Cris’ is Co-Lead for the Watch D.O.G.S. program at his daughters’ elementary school, and a member of the District of Innovation Committee for Lewisville Independent School District.
Cris holds a Bachelor of Science/Business Management, Master of Business Administration, and Master of Management/Public Administration. He has also participated in Innovator’s Accelerator, Ferrazzi Greenlight Sales Effectiveness training, Disney Institute Relationship Management program, and has completed coursework toward a Doctor of Management with a concentration in Organizational Leadership.
Outside of his professional work, Cris enjoys time with his wife and two little girls, coaching softball, exercising, and spending time in nature.
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.
Steve Nguyen earned his Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Optometry degrees at the University of Houston and has been in practice in Dallas since 1997. He is active in his professional associations at the local, state, and federal level. He also has an interest in public policy and was appointed by Governors Perry and Abbott to serve on various statewide councils, including the Texas Statewide Health Coordinating Council, the Institute for Healthcare Quality and Efficiency, and the Advisory Council on Cultural Affairs. Nguyen also served on the Comptroller Small Business Advisory Council and is currently the Chairman of the Las Colinas Association. He and his wife Lien have lived in the CFB ISD area since 2004. They have two children, Max and Sidney…and a four legged “child” Cho.
Jeannette Papadopoulos serves as the Chief Operating Officer for Communities in Schools of the Dallas Region (CISDR). Jeannette oversees the program at existing campuses, as well as the growth of CISDR in DFW school districts. Key capabilities include experience in strategy, client management, and opportunity to cultivate new partnerships. She has demonstrated the ability to collaborate with senior level education leaders including school administrators, superintendents, office administrators, executive directors, principals, and college leaders. Jeannette’s collaborative work provides students with advanced opportunity to change the trajectory of their life through counseling, mentoring, internships and opportuni6es to break barriers. For her first year at CISDR, Jeannette managed and supervised a team of four Regional Directors, four Clinical staff and eighty-six site coordinators across 10 school districts in 6 Dallas-area counties.
Jeannette’s impact on CISDR and the community is tangible, expanding program services from 86 to approximately 145 campuses across North Texas within one year for the 2021-2022 school year. These new campuses include two school districts who have never before been partners with CISDR, representing hundreds more children who will have access to life saving interventions and over $850,000 in additional revenue. Maintaining strong relationships with district leadership has been key to this success. More than anything, Jeannette has the spirit of an entrepreneur and the heart of a public servant. In the community, Jeannette is an active volunteer and gives freely of her time and expertise. Jeannette additionally serves on the board of DFW Hispanic 100, a local network of Latina leaders. She has owned and operated several private businesses on her personal time and in her free time enjoys spending time being a mother to two lovely daughters and 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.
Tauren Thompson is an experienced small business and corporate level sales and marketing representative with a demonstrated history of proven sales results, and work experience in both media and insurance industries. He has additional experience with music and entertainment management. Tauren has been an active member of the Educational Foundation for several years and enjoys spending his free time with his family and enjoying nature.
James Weichel is a Commercial Banker with WaFd Bank and has been in the banking industry for 28 years. James works with commercial clients in the Dallas-Ft Worth area to address their banking needs.
James is very involved in the community and currently serves on the Metrocrest Chamber of Commerce (Addison, Carrollton and Farmers Branch) as a board member and previously as Chairman of Board. He also serves on the Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD Education Foundation as a board member. James is a member of the Park Cities Rotary Club and has participated in volunteer projects with the North Texas Food Bank, Dallas Meals on Wheels and Big Brothers Big Sisters.
James lives in Rockwall, TX and has been married for 26 years. He and his wife Kristen have two children: Anna-Kate (age 21) who attends the University of Oklahoma and Griff (age 14) who attends Cain Middle School.
Laurie Wilson began her career with the City of Carrollton in 2012. She is currently the Director of Administrative Services/City Secretary and has also served as Administrative Services Manager, Marketing Coordinator, and Marketing Assistant. Laurie joined the Carrollton team as an Administrative Intern in the Parks and Recreation Department. 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 and completed the Metrocrest Chamber’s Leadership Program in 2016. She is the Vice President for the Urban Management Assistants of North Texas, an active member of the Texas Municipal Clerks Association and serves as the Membership Chair for the North Texas Chapter. Laurie is on the Board of Directors for the CFBISD Educational Foundation, the Carrollton-Farmers Branch Rotary Club, and has chaired North Texas Regional Leadership Day.