Sharing the Harvest at Blackshear 1

Donna (on the left) shares greens and herbs from the children’s garden with Blackshear Elementary Fine Arts Academy staff members (l-r) Mele Deleon, Neimi Castellano, and daily volunteer and grandparent, Ms. B.

Donna Hoffman is Sustainability Coordinator and Interim Director for Blackshear Bridge.  Hoffman received a Bachelor of Science in Communications from the University of Texas at Austin in 1984. She worked at Austin’s PBS station KLRU, produced radio news programs in Syracuse, NY, Dublin Ireland and Austin Texas; and participated in three global conferences of AMARC, the World Association of Community Oriented Radio.  Hoffman has managed nonprofit organizations’ programs in moveme nts for social justice for tenants, women, labor, and people of color. She taught English at Del Valle and LBJ High Schools and served from 2004-2011 as Communications Coordinator for the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club amplifying stories in print, radio, tv, and social media to protect clean air and health, conserve water and wildlands, and reduce impacts of climate change. Donna has been organic gardening since 1997.  She has served as School Garden Mentor at Blackshear Elementary School since 2011 and on the School’s Campus Advisory Committee since 2014.  Contact Donna:  donnaleehoffman@gmail.com

GinaTillisGina Tillis, MA is the First Year Experience Coordinator at Huston-Tillotson University.  She has a passionate calling for teaching Sociology, Anthropology and Ethnic Studies and developing and directing educational empowerment programs. She received her M.A. from Grambling State University wherein she studied Sociology of Education and continued her graduate studies in critical pedagogy at California State University, San Marcos. She champions the idea that education is ultimately the practice of freedom and that all students deserve an engaging, enlightening, and empowering pedagogy that helps them envision the relationship between knowledge facilitated in the classroom, who they are, and who they ultimately aspire to become.

Soil Testing with Huston-Tillotson's Dirt Y Profesor

Masino aka The Dirt-y Professor (standing on left) teaches soil condition testing with Blackshear Teaching Assistant Neimi Castellano and students.

Amanda Masino, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Biology at Huston-Tillotson University, a historically black institution located in east Austin. Dr. Masino has a research background in genetics and developmental biology and teaches courses that range across biology, including Environmental Biology, Anatomy and Physiology, and Molecular Immunology. She has successfully developed inquiry-based and service learning projects that emphasize undergraduate research and comunity engagement with local and national partners, including the University of Texas and the Environmental Protection Agency. She advises or co-advises several student organizations, including the Minority Association of Premedical Students and the sustainability organization Green is the New Black.  Contact Amanda: ammasino@htu.edu

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Kevin (on the right) shares the glory of African American Cultural Heritage Day at Blackshear with Blackshear Principal Betty Jenkins (on his right), a Blackshear family (left), AISD Community Engagement Specialist Terry Russell (smiling, center) , and AISD School Board Trustee Dr. Ted Gordon (silver haired gent, back center).


Kevin Ritcherson (on the right in the photo above) is a highly requested presenter with Test Prep Seminars.  He presents around 40 boot camps a year. He has coached 12,000+ students over the last 3 academic years.  A native Austinite, Ritcherson graduated from the LBJ Science Academy in Austin, Texas. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with an emphasis in entrepreneurial studies from Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas.  Kevin has an extensive background in the business world, ranging from legal and regulatory guides for bank account management to commercial architect recruiting.  Ritcherson maintains an active real estate license with the State of Texas.  He has owned/operated a youth sports summer camp and serves as an NFL Youth FLAG Football Official, a mentor, tutor, and youth leader at his church.  Kevin and his family live in Historic Central East Austin. Kevin’s family history includes civic leaders, pastors, and a college president in Central East Austin.  Sites erected after his family include: Downs Field on East 12th Street and Downs Library on the Huston-Tillotson University campus. His children attend schools in Central East Austin and he is actively involved with his community and fraternity. Kevin has a great a sense of humor, a light-hearted approach, and brings tension-relieving test knowledge to the table.  Contact  Kevin:  kritcherson@testprepseminars.org


One response to “Leadership

  1. Pingback: Shiny Love Mother’s Day | blackshear bridge·

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