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Our Board


Erin Davis Valdez

Education Policy Director

Erin Davis Valdez is education policy director at Texas Public Policy Foundation. She has been passionate about the transformational power of education all her life. She taught for over a decade in Austin-area schools and served as an assistant principal at a public charter school in Lewisville. These experiences have given her the opportunity to see first-hand how students can thrive when they have options that meet their unique abilities and interests.

Since joining the Foundation, Valdez has conducted research on career and technical education at the secondary and post-secondary levels, apprenticeships, higher education, and workforce development in Texas. She educates legislators and their staff on these issues and leads coalition efforts to bring employers’ voices into education policy. Valdez earned an M.A. in classics from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a B.A. in classical studies from Hillsdale College.

Tim Karpos

Tim Karpos

Tim Karpos is a veteran of the local tech industry, having worked for Dell Technologies for 26 years. His experience, most recently as a Senior Director in Dell’s Product Group, includes roles leading product management, regional marketing, and services marketing teams. Tim received his Masters of Business Administration from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin.

Tonya Dezso

Retired High-Tech Executive

Tonya spent over 35 years in high tech industry. She started out as a design engineer but after receiving her MBA began transitioning into product support and customer facing roles. Her career grew into management and product planning and ended in executive roles leading large scale business transformation projects for both AMD and Dell Technologies.

Tonya is passionate about community service and since retirement has had volunteer roles as a disaster response specialist with the American Red Cross, business plan mentor to start-up business through SCORE Mentorship Program and as a driver for Meals on Wheels of Central Texas.

Tonya comes from a family that always stressed the importance of education. She believes that access to a quality education that fits the need of the person is the key for each person to reach their potential. Tonya looks forward to bringing her skills of strategic planning and execution to help fulfill the mission of ThrivePoint Texas.

Chris Galloway

Chris Galloway, Ph.D.

Dr. Chris Galloway is an experienced k-12 education leader who has served as an urban principal and rural school district superintendent. He began his teaching career at a charter school in 2008, where he taught social studies and coached wrestling before joining one of the largest school districts in San Antonio. Throughout his career, Dr. Galloway has worked to improve student achievement, post-secondary readiness, and equity for all students. In his current leadership role, Dr. Galloway supports superintendents through the Texas Strategic Leadership project as an executive coach for Education Service Center Region 20.

Dr. Galloway graduated from Texas State University with a Ph.D. in school improvement in 2019. In the spring of 2024, he returned to his alma mater in San Marcos as an adjunct professor to teach graduate students in the superintendent certification program. In addition to being a dedicated educator, Dr. Galloway is an Army veteran with six years of prior service as a military police officer.


Mark Cantú, Ph.D.

Mark Cantú, Ph.D., is a resident of San Marcos, Texas. He moved to San Marcos to attend Texas State University in 2009. He is currently the founding Director of the Center for Effective Districts at Education Service Center, Region 20 where he leads a team that supports Superintendents across Texas through the strategic planning process. As a former administrator, he led campuses and districts in urban and rural settings across Texas, focusing on school turnaround and redesign to create equitable and extraordinary student experiences and outcomes. His research interests include cultivating innovative spaces in school communities that honor Mexican-American families and educators. He uses pláticas and other critical dynamic pedagogies to engage others in critical reflection and storytelling, leading to action and system improvements.

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