Governor Greg Abbott has appointed Rex Gore, Bernie Francis, Hannah Smith, and Josue Tamarez Torres to the Texas Commission on Virtual Education for terms at the governor’s discretion. In addition, Gore was appointed chairman of the commission. The commission was established to develop and make recommendations regarding the delivery of virtual education in the public school system and state funding for virtual education under the Foundation School Program.
Rex gore of Austin is president of PJS of Texas and co-founder of CleanScapes. He is a member of the State Board for Educator Certification and a former board member of the Building Owners and Managers Association, the Austin Real Estate Board, the Austin Chamber of Commerce, and the Boy Scouts of America. He is a member of the IDEA Public Schools Regional Board of Directors and a member of the Texas Business Leadership Council Education Working Group. He is co-founder and board member of PelotonU and past chairman of the board of TCSA – Charter Schools Now C4 and Regents School of Austin. Gore received a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics and a Masters of Business Administration from Kansas State University.
Bernie Francois de Carrollton is CEO of Business Control Systems. He is a member of the advisory board of Texas Western Governor’s University, a former vice president and former board member of the Texas Mutual Insurance Company, and a former city councilor and interim mayor of the City of Carrollton. He has been appointed Governor of the Texas State University System Board of Regents, the Texas State Technical College System Board of Regents, the Higher Education Incentive Funding Task Force, and the Special Commission on Higher Education and Competitiveness. global. In addition, he is a past member of the board of directors of the North Central Texas Workforce Board and a former member of the Texas Institute for Education Reform. Francis received a Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems from the University of Texas at Dallas and served in the United States Air Force.
Hannah smith of Southlake is counsel for Schaerr Jaffe LLP, an appellate law firm in Washington, DC, and is a director for the Carroll Independent School District. Previously, she was a Senior Advisor and Fellow of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and was a clerk to the United States Supreme Court Justices Alito and Thomas. She is a board member of the Religious Freedom Institute and the DFW Alliance for Religious Freedom and Senior Fellow for the International Center for Legal and Religious Studies. Smith received a BA in Public and International Affairs, focusing on educational reform policy, from Princeton University and a JD from Brigham Young University Law School.
Joshua Tamarez Torres of Forney is a seasoned teacher, ISD Dallas master teacher, mentor teacher and member of the campus education leadership team for the Dallas Independent School District, where he worked for over 10 years. . In addition, he has a Master Teacher designation under the Texas Teacher Incentive Allotment. He is a math coach for the Texas Math and Science Coaches Association, former education researcher and professional development facilitator for Teaching Trust, and former policy researcher for Teach Plus. He has received numerous teaching awards in recent years including Dallas ISD and South East Dallas Chamber of Commerce Teacher of the Year, Campus Teacher of the Year, Maverick Award: Top Scoring Teacher, Hall of Fame: Top Team Award and STAAR Playmaker Prize. He is a former Teach for America Corps Member, Mentor and Ambassador, and a former member of the Home Visit Project. Torres graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration from Baruch College.