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Introducing the Experts for our 2020 Mentor Workshop

Updated: Sep 2, 2020

I'm excited to write about our upcoming 4th Annual Mentor Workshop, August 29, 2020. Although the COVID Pandemic has sidelined a lot of activities, I couldn't let this annual event not happen. We have a lot of momentum as we help people answer questions and get better direction in their careers and lives.

Below are the bios of our experts who are delivering messages live and via video on Saturday. Our heart-felt thanks to everyone who is participating as most of the experts this year have a career in education, which delivery of, has been a major challenge this year. So "thank you for taking time out of your schedule" to help others!

Eric Johnson-City of Dallas Mayor

Eric Johnson was elected as Mayor of Dallas in June 2019. He was born in Dallas, Texas in 1975 to working class parents and raised in West Dallas and Oak Cliff. He attended Dallas Independent School District schools through the first grade before earning a scholarship to Greenhill School through the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas. After graduating high school, Mayor Johnson earned his undergraduate degree with honors from Harvard University before earning a graduate degree from Princeton University and a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Mayor Johnson and his wife, Nikki, have two sons, William and George. He is a member of the Mountain View Church of Christ. Mayor Johnson has been a practicing lawyer in Dallas for over fifteen years. He is a former member of the Texas House of Representatives, where he represented Dallas from 2010 to 2019. During his tenure in the Texas House of Representatives, Mayor Johnson served on twenty prominent legislative committees and as the Chairman of the Dallas Area Legislative Delegation.

Dr. Michael Hinojosa-Superintendent of the Dallas Independent School District

Dr. Michael Hinojosa returned to Dallas ISD when he was named by the board of trustees to serve as superintendent in October 2015. Dr. Hinojosa has served 20 years as a superintendent/CEO of six public education systems, including two of the 25 largest school systems in America, Dallas ISD in Texas and the Cobb County School District in suburban Atlanta, Georgia. His career in public education, from teacher and coach to superintendent/CEO, spans more than three decades.

With a firm belief that education and not environment is the key to a student’s success, he has led several school districts to improved student achievement. Dr. Hinojosa’s recognitions include being named 2002 Superintendent of the Year by the Texas Association of School Boards and 2005 Superintendent of the Year by the University of Texas at Austin. He was honored as Distinguished Alumnus by the College of Education at Texas Tech University and as the Outstanding Latino Educator by the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents in 2014. He is a past president of the Texas Association of School Administrators. He has served as an educational consultant for various organizations that support public education, including as a master teacher and coach for the American Association of School Administrators and the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents.

Dr. Hinojosa, a proud graduate of Dallas Independent School District, holds a doctorate in education from the University of Texas at Austin. He and wife Kitty have two sons, graduates of Princeton University and Harvard University. He has a son from a previous marriage who graduated from Texas Tech University. All three attended Dallas ISD for a significant portion of their K-12 careers.

Timmy Newsome, Former Pro Football Player

Timmy Newsome earned a degree in business administration, with a concentration in computer science, from Winston-Salem State University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

A member of three collegiate football hall of fames, Timmy, a former Dallas Cowboys football player, was named to the The Dallas Cowboys Weekly Newspaper all-decade team (1980-1989). He finished his career as the 9th leading receiver in Dallas Cowboys history and considered " of the more unique players the Cowboys have had..." by (March 24, 2017).

Football off seasons (1981-1989) were spent working as a computer-programmer/analyst in banking (ATMs), voter registration and elections systems. In 1991, Newsome founded Newtec Business Solutions (NBS), developing software for wholesale and distribution businesses. Today, NBS is a managed services technology company, and unified communications and collaboration products and services provider to the private and education sector.

Newsome's past community-service activities include: vice-chairman of the Board Of Trustees at Winston-Salem State University (NC) and before that a member of the board of visitors; chairman of the school-community council for Townview Magnet High School (Dallas, Texas); a member of the school-community council for the Business And Management Center (now part of Townview); and Board Of Directors for Friends of Wednesday's Child.

Newsome enjoys long-distance running, tennis, weight-lifting and the performing and visual arts.

Mita Havlick, Executive Director of Dallas Education Foundation

Mita Havlick serves as the Executive Director of the Dallas Education Foundation, the non-profit philanthropic partner of Dallas ISD. As an active community member and public education advocate, Mita has worked over the last fifteen years to help improve the quality of life of our North Texas neighbors and advance opportunities for all students within the public education framework of Dallas ISD.

Mita leads the Foundation focused on its core values of stewardship, integrity, equity, collaboration, transparency, credibility and sustainability combined with her impassioned belief that every child has the fundamental right of access to a quality public education.

With degrees in Physics and Computer Science as well as a background in technical sales, project and program management, consulting and journalism, Mita has chosen to lend her analytical and communication skills to the non-profit and public education eco-system.

Aaron Bath, Paralegal

Aaron has worked in litigation since 2001 overseeing 120+ trials during his career. Currently, Aaron serves as the Director of Legal Operations & Litigation Management for Balfour Beatty, a $14 Billion market-cap multinational infrastructure group with capabilities in construction services, engineering, and infrastructure investments. Before joining Balfour Beatty, Aaron was the first ever non-attorney to serve as Director of Litigation for Copart, Inc. – a multi-billion dollar public company in the automotive technology space. Prior to working in-house, Aaron worked for several top litigation law firms in Dallas and New York as their senior managing trial paralegal. Contemporaneous to his day job, Aaron is the adjunct professor of legal technology, eDiscovery, and litigation management at Southern Methodist University (SMU) and Baylor Law School, and previously earned his Bachelor's degree in Jurisprudential studies and a graduate-level Paralegal certificate from SMU. Most recently, Aaron completed a professional certificate in Data Science & Analytics for Executives from Columbia University in New York, and a Micro Masters in Artificial Intelligence from MIT. In addition to authoring numerous articles in the areas of litigation management and legal technology, Aaron has been called as a subject-matter expert at trial for cases involving discovery abuse and violations. Aaron is the current President-Elect for the Dallas Area Paralegal Association (DAPA) and serves on the national Board of Directors for the Association of Certified eDiscovery Specialist (ACEDS).

Debbie Oaks McBride, Paralegal

With more than thirty years of corporate and transactional paralegal experience, Debbie Oaks McBride is currently in-house paralegal for NGP, a multi-billion dollar private equity firm headquartered in Dallas, Texas. In addition to her paralegal experience, she has five years legal recruiting experience.

Debbie is a Past President and Ambassador of the Paralegal Division of the State Bar of Texas. In 2009, she was honored with the prestigious Paralegal Division Award of Excellence. She is also a Past President of the Dallas Area Paralegal Association and served as Executive Director for five years. In 2005, she was selected as DAPA Paralegal of the Year and Volunteer of the Year and in 2007, received the DAPA President’s Award.

Debbie currently lives in Highland Village with her husband, Mike and children. She is a member of the Women’s Energy Network, Texas High School Coaches Wives Association and American Football Coaches Wives Association.

Cynthia Minchillo, Paralegal

Cynthia Minchillo began her paralegal career in 1988, and currently works as a senior paralegal for Chalker Flores, LLP, an intellectual property law firm. She became a PACE Registered Paralegal in 1997 and was a Board Certified paralegal in personal injury trial law by Texas Board of Legal Specialization from 1996 to 2014. She is a member of the Dallas Area Paralegal Association, National Federation of Paralegal Associations and the Paralegal Division of the State Bar of Texas. She served as DAPA’s president and held numerous appointed positions for all three associations. In 1998, she was awarded DAPA’s Paralegal of the Year award, and in 2014 awarded NFPA’s Volunteer of the Year Award and DAPA’S prestigious Michele Boerder Lifetime Achievement Award. She served as the ABA Approval Commission Representative of NFPA from 2008-2011, as an ABA special site visitor from 2011-2017, and served as the Committee Chair and host of the NFPA National Paralegal Convention in Dallas in 2014. Cynthia was a frequent presenter and author on continuing legal education topics, teaches for Collin College’s paralegal program, and proudly taught for El Centro's paralegal program. On her time off, Cynthia enjoys equestrian activities, her pets, and her family.

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