2018 Speakers

Nutt_headshotDr. Lee Ann Nutt – “Are You a Belief Maker or Breaker?”
Dr. Lee Ann Nutt serves as President at Lone Star College-Tomball. Prior to assuming the top position in February 2015, Dr. Nutt served as the institution’s Vice President of Instruction (VPI) for over three years. For over 12 years, from 1999 – 2011, she served in various administrative roles at North Central Texas College, including Dean of Continuing Education, Provost, and Vice President of Instruction.

Salazar-Zamora_headshotDr. Martha Salazar-Zamora
The Tomball ISD Board of Trustees hired Dr. Martha Salazar-Zamora as superintendent of schools effective April 1, 2017. Salazar-Zamora joined Tomball nearly three years ago as the chief academic officer. She has worked in education for 30 years. She joined Tomball from Round Rock ISD, where she served as the deputy superintendent of curriculum and administration. She also worked in Spring ISD as an area superintendent, an assistant superintendent, and the executive director of student/school services. She earned a doctorate of education at Texas A&M University, a master of education in educational administration and a master of education in special education at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, and a bachelor of science at Texas A&I University.

Nesloney_headshotTodd Nesloney – “Tell Your Story”
Todd Nesloney is the Principal/Lead Learner at a PreK-5 school in Texas. He is an award-winning author who has written several books including “Stories from Webb”, “Kids Deserve It!” and “Flipping 2.0: Practical Strategies for Flipping Your Class” as well as his children’s book “Spruce & Lucy”. Todd has been recognized by the National School Board Association as one of the “20 to Watch” in Education, by the Center for Digital Education as one of their “Top 40 Innovators in Education”, by the BAMMYs as the “National Elementary Principal of the Year” and the “National Elementary Teacher of the Year”, by the Texas Computer Education Association as their “Texas Elementary Teacher of the Year”, and by the White House as a Connected Educator “Champion of Change”.

Esparza_headshotSabrina Esparza – “Beautiful Bumps”
Sabrina Esparza is a Lone Star College Student in the lifePATH program. She has earned a Lone Star College Certificate in Foundational Occupational Studies, is working on a second Lone Star College Certificate in General Occupational Studies, and plans to become a personal trainer. Sabrina has worked in the fashion industry in Houston, styling models for the runway. Currently, she using her sense of fashion and style managing her own online boutique.

Wade_Jerrel_smDr. Jerrel Wade – “It’s Gotta be the Shoes”
Dr. Jerrel Wade is the Lone Star College-Tomball Vice President of Administrative Services. Jerrel earned a Doctor of Education from the University of Houston in 2014, a Master of Education in Adult and Higher Education from the University of Oklahoma in 2003, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Science Education from the University of Oklahoma in 2001.

Throughout his career, Jerrel has held numerous roles that have impact both organizational and student success. His full scope of higher education experiences include strategic planning, budgeting, student recruitment, student life, Greek affairs, judicial affairs, orientation, mentoring, and first year experience programs.
Among his community activities, Jerrel serves as a board member for the Greater Tomball Area Chamber of Commerce, the Tomball Education Foundation, and the American Association of Blacks in Higher Education. He also serves as Fellow for the American Association of Blacks in Higher Education – Leadership and Mentoring Institute and is also a Life Member of the Texas Association of Black Personnel in Higher Education.

Lopez_Yolanda_smAmerica Yolanda Lopez – “Empowering Diversity”
Yolanda Lopez is no stranger to raising questions about social issues, she worked for eight years in Malaysia advocating for refugees at a nonprofit organization. A strong belief in education as a human right led Yolanda to create a refugee school to provide education to refugee children living in Malaysia. She created three community centers in that country to provide children and adults with education, healthcare, and legal services.

Guided by her humanist principles, Yolanda is an advocate for human rights and has given talks on refugee and human rights issues for different organizations throughout Malaysia, including the United Nations Refugee Agency.
A native of Ecuador, Yolanda lived in Malaysia and Gabon before moving to the United States. She has broad experience working with people from very different backgrounds, primarily working on environmental and social issues.

Presently, Yolanda works as a Grant Developer at Lone Star College. She believes grant writing is more than just writing, it is finding funding opportunities for the college to support students, their families, and society.

She has two master’s degrees. One in Sustainable Tourism from Texas A&M University and one in Sociology from Sam Houston State University.

Williams_George_smGeorge Williams – “Education on the Red Planet: A Chance to Start Over?”
George Williams has been teaching for 23 years. 21 of these years are in Tomball ISD. He received his Bachelors of Music Education in 1995 at Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi and taught his first two years of his career in Greenwood, Mississippi as a K-4 music teacher. In Tomball, he taught 5th grade general music and 6th grade choir for 6 years at Tomball Intermediate School and then 12 years as a K-4 Music teacher at Rosehill Elementary. For 10 of those years he also sang Opera professionally. During his years at Rosehill he moon lighted as a Technology Trainer for a stipend and the rest was history. He found his new love in teaching technology to teachers, so he pursued and received his Educational Technology Leadership Masters Degree from Lamar University. In 2015, he landed a job as an Instructional Technology Specialist working for Tomball ISD’s Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment Department. He now tells people he works for the CIA.

Raynor_Autumn_smAutumn Raynor – “Recipe for a Right Mind”
Autumn Raynor is a professor of speech communication at Houston Community College. Outside of class, she frequently moderates college community discussions on communication and race. She has previously taught Speech course at Lone Star College and, Speech and African-American Studies courses at her alma mater, the University of Houston. Professor Raynor earned both her Bachelor of Arts in Corporate and Organizational Communication and her Master of Arts in Speech Communication at UH. As a professional speechwriter, professor Raynor has helped several Texas-based candidates and business-people realize their speech goals. She holds membership in the Public Relations Society of America, the Texas Community College Teachers Association, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. Her research and presentation interests include themes of word choice, media structures, intercultural interactions and restorative communication. Raynor lives in Houston with her husband, two daughters, a really cute dog, and more books than she has time to count.

Nimon_Paul_smPaul Nimon – “Education – Now Including Humans”
Paul Nimon, M.Ed. is a high school English teacher and Adjunct Professor. For the past 13 years, he has taught multiple levels and subjects from English and Newspaper, to Broadcasting and Photo Journalism with a keen eye for finding and telling stories. He is an award-winning Professor at Lone Star College, having been nominated four times for the Adjunct Excellence Award, and winning the award recently in 2017. He loves connecting with his students and infusing his love for media and film into his various lessons. Paul also enjoys collaborating with his fellow educators on curriculum design. In his spare time, Paul enjoys reading, writing, and watching movies with his wonderful wife.

Castellanos_Janeth del Carmen_smJaneth Del Carmen Castellanos – “Be the Butterfly”
Alumni Janeth Del Carmen Castellanos was an involved student at Tomball Lone Star College from 2015 to 2017. Last fall she was awarded the Terry Scholarship to attend Sam Houston State University on a full ride. Carmen credits her supportive academic professors and advisors for her grounding achievements and continuing success at Sam Houston. “My professors and TRiO advisors at Lone Star College gave me the tools and the confidence to embrace my full potential”. Carmen plans to pursue a Master’s degree in criminal justice. Eventually, she hopes to work as a crime analyst for the FBI, researching criminals and patterns to prevent further crimes. “Lone Star College has helped shape me into the person I am today and, I have to say, I am pretty proud of who stares back at me in the mirror.”

Files_Jacob_smJacob Files – “College…I Can’t Even”
Jacob Files is a student at Lone Star College-Tomball and an Honors College Fellow. His experience includes being the Customer Service and Project Manager for Smart Office USA. In addition to serving as a Youth Pastor, he also serves as the Vice President of Organization for The Honors College at Lone Star College-Tomball and is the recipient of the Honors College Fellow Scholarship.


Cassandra Jones – “Teach and Resist: How To Revolutionize Your Classroom Through Community Organizing”
Cassandra D. Jones is a passionate education reformer. A graduate of the University of Houston, her career began as a Founding Educator at South Early College High School in Houston, Texas.  Through her school’s partnership with Coalition of Essential Schools, she began her time in the classroom as an instructor that viewed education through a social justice lens.  Her experience as a member of the SECHS Leadership Team, English Department Chair, and Title I Coordinator, prepared her to venture out of the classroom into important leadership roles with Citizen Schools, Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Houston, and Fort Bend ISD.  Her roles have afforded her the opportunity to grow first year educators, coordinate fundraising events, and mobilize communities.  As an ESL and English Language Arts certified educator, she provided high quality instruction that addressed the systemic issues that create achievement gaps in our communities at Lockhart Elementary.  She currently serves as the Manager of Organizing Strategy-Texas for Leadership for Educational Equity.

Lewis_MargaretJelinek_smMargaret Jelinek Lewis – “The Hard Task of Doing Nothing”
Margaret Jelinek Lewis earned her PhD in Developmental Psychology from The Ohio State University and a BA in Linguistics and Cognitive Sciences from Rice University. This is Margaret’s 25th year teaching General Psychology; she also teaches Lifespan Development, and Human Sexuality, which she has been teaching in some form or another since age three. She has been at Lone Star College – Tomball since 2003. Her interests lie at the intersection of developmental psychology and human sexuality: how we think about sex, sexuality, and relationships over time; how our understanding of sexuality develops. She recently also started exploring positive psychology and happiness research, which is the focus of her Honors Psychology course. She is examining factors that contribute to each of these – goal setting, GRIT, meditation, habits, exercise, sleep, creativity, and community service.  Her own community service centers around her synagogue and Boy Scouts. Margaret has also worked in Assistive Technology, Human-Computer Interactions and Computer Usability. She is conversationally fluent in ASL.