Spark Tank Grant Recipient Spotlight: Monsters Dance Convention – Nimitz High School Kings Dance Crew

Spark Tank Grant Recipient Spotlight: Nimitz High School Kings Dance Crew - Monsters Dance Convention

Kristianna Hogan Nimitz Dance Convention Spark Tank (12) (1)
Each month, the Irving Schools Foundation Programs Committee meets to evaluate Spark Tank grant proposals from Irving ISD teachers, counselors, administrators, staff, and employees. Last March, a group of enthusiastic students surprised the committee with an energetically artistic performance of hip hop. Keep reading to learn more about the Nimitz High School’s Kings Dance Crew and their journey to the MONSTERS Dance Convention.
Kristianna Hogan Nimitz Dance Convention Spark Tank 4
The Kings Dance Crew performing for the Spark Tank Committee at the Irving Independent Adminstration Building, March 2022.
Kristianna Hogan Nimitz Dance Convention Spark Tank 7
Kings Dance Crew representatives, Fabiola and Jessica, presenting to the Spark Tank Committee. March 2022.

During the 2021-2022 school year, the Kings Dance Crew was established in the 2017-2018 school year at Nimitz High School. The crew is a 5th year varsity dance organization at Nimitz and masters the hip hop dance style. During the fall semester, the crew participates in pep rallies and football games while in the spring semester, contests and showcases are pursued to promote character, leadership, and school spirit amongst the members of the dance team.

The Kings visited the Spark Tank Committee at the Irving ISD Administration Building last March. Spark Tank is the Irving Schools Foundation adaptation of the show “Shark Tank,” where Irving ISD staff and employees are invited to propose innovative ideas for funding to a special committee composed of ISF board members and program sponsors. This competitive grant program awards funds for innovative, enriching, and out-of-the-ordinary classroom projects and learning experiences for students of all ages across Irving ISD. Previous projects and experiences funded include grants for band and orchestra outings, grants for special education classroom equipment, grants for STEM based activities off campus, and many more!

Once a Spark Tank application is submitted and reviewed, the group is invited to present to the committee, followed by questions and comments. Most decisions take place immediately after the presentation and grant recipients are surprised with the funds. 

This was the case for the Kings Dance Crew. 

The Kings arrived in formation and delivered an impressive presentation. In addition to their speeches and slideshow, they showed the committee their talents with a full hip hop choreography! In their blue uniforms, they took over the building’s atrium with intensity, power, and spirit. To further enhance their skills and exhibit their abilities outside the classroom, the Kings visited the committee in search of a grant to attend the MONSTERS Dance Convention.

Kristianna Hogan Nimitz Dance Convention Spark Tank 14
The Kings celebrating as the Spark Tank committee awarded them a $18,294.70 grant for them to attend the MONSTERS Dance Convention.
kingsdancevon2
The Kings Dance Crew at the MONSTERS Dance Convention, May 2022.
kingsjessicalandry
Jessica Landry, ISF Scholarship Recipient (Forever a Bulldog Scholarship presented by John Haley Elementary School), and the Kings Dance Crew.
kingsdanceconvention
The Kings Dance Crew posing at the MONSTERS Dance Convention, May 2022.

The Kings arrived in formation and delivered an impressive presentation. In addition to their speeches and slideshow, they showed the committee their talents with a full hip hop choreography! In their blue uniforms, they took over the building’s atrium with intensity, power, and spirit. 

To further enhance their skills and exhibit their abilities outside the classroom, the Kings visited the committee in search of a grant to attend the MONSTERS Dance Convention. At the end of their presentation, the Kings showed why their hard work and dedication was worthy of an incredible opportunity such that of the MONSTERS Dance Convention.

 They revealed that as a low cost dance team, they didn’t have the resources to fund further events outside of their successful football and competition season. A motion to grant the requested amount was made. With no opposition, the motion passed. 

The Kings were awarded $18,294.70!

The dance convention took place in May, marking one last memorable experience before summer vacation for the crew, especially on the lives of the dancers who were graduating seniors. Among them, Sr. Lieutenant, Jessica Landry, describes the fun she had attending. 

She says, “At convention we took master classes with professional choreographers while also being able to see a wide variety of styles among the people [we] danced with. My favorite part about convention was the dance battles. I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much because I never really watched them, but seeing them in person with amazing dancers was truly an astounding experience.” 

She experienced the self-fulfillment that the MONSTERS Dance Convention is all about. Jessica first joined the Kings her sophomore year and climbed up to a leadership position along the way. She stepped out of her comfort zone throughout her time in the crew but learned valuable lessons in exchange. “I would have never thought about going [to the convention] by myself, and being able to go with my team made the experience a lot better.” 

Jessica Landry was also one of the 100+ ISF scholarship recipients! Awarded the Forever a Bulldog Scholarship presented by John Haley Elementary School, Jessica plans to attend the University of Texas at Arlington to pursue a career in nursing and may even try out for the dance team, too! 

We are so proud of the accomplishments that the Nimitz HS Kings Crew was able to fulfill this school year. The ISF team can’t wait to see what is next for them and their alumni! Congratulations!


TaKeisha Campbell

Board Member

TaKeisha Campbell

Board Member

TaKeisha Campbell joined CoreLogic in 2003, where she has held multiple positions within the company such as Professional Accountant, Operations Supervisor and now as a Professional, Human Resources.  She is a part of the CoreLogic Connect team which consists of 4 Pillars, Live More, Play More, Learn More & Give More.  TaKeisha is the Chair of CoreLogic’s Give More Pillar, which helps to promote, organize, and facilitate volunteer and charitable giving opportunities that help people while fostering teamwork and connection in the workplace for over 1,800 employees at the Dallas Campus.  Through the Give More Pillar she has established multiple philanthropic relationships within the community and is driven to help others and drive engagement for all involved.   

TaKeisha currently holds a Bachelor of Applied Arts & Science degree in Organizational Leadership from Texas A& M University – Commerce and is pursuing her SHRM CP certification.

Elizabeth Kern

Board Member

Elizabeth Kern

Board Member

Elizabeth Kern serves as the Director, Supply Chain of Micropac Industries, Inc, an aerospace electronics manufacturer providing mission critical products to the space, aerospace, military, medical, and industrial markets.  In her role as Director, Elizabeth is responsible for all aspects of the supply chain including contract negotiations, disruption mitigation, production planning, source selection, and legal compliance.  Elizabeth supports employee development through mentoring, training, education and career coaching.

Elizabeth developed a passion for business as a young girl watching her parents build a thriving business.  Her core business values were established through watching her mother and father build and run a business, nurture their employees, help the community, all while balancing the challenges of raising a family.  She truly embraces a “win – win” philosophy, believing that in all aspects of life, success is measured in balancing one’s passion with the ambitions of others.

Elizabeth has progressed through increasing levels of responsibility supporting and managing purchasing, production planning, Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP) implementations, and Government audits.

Elizabeth earned her Masters of Business Administration from the University of Dallas, successfully presenting her team capstone project.

Elizabeth lives in Irving with her husband, Joel, and their two daughters.

Brian Summers

Board Member

Brian Summers

Board Member

Brian Summers has lived in Irving almost his entire life. He attended Brandenburg Elementary, Travis Middle School, and graduated from MacArthur High School.

Brian has worked for Consolidated Electrical Distributors since 2011. He’s been the owner of a  bartending service for more than 40 years and enjoys playing Santa Claus during Christmas holidays.

Vianey Mansoori

Board Member

Vianey Mansoori

Board Member

Vianey Mansoori is a former elementary and middle school educator who has lived in Irving for over 30 years.

Whether it be through her time spent tutoring students in the classroom or organizing student concerts as a board member of the Irving Symphony League, Vianey has spent time understanding the educational priorities and challenges of the Irving community.

As a volunteer and board member with the Irving School Foundation, Vianey is passionate about advancing educational and leadership opportunities for all students.

She has three daughters and enjoys traveling, reading, Yoga, and spending time with her family in her free time. 

Christine Kellogg

Board Member

Christine Kellogg

Board Member

Christine Kellogg is a vice president with Frost’s private banking group. She joined Frost in 2023 and has been in the financial industry for more than 15 years. 

Her responsibilities include helping clients navigate their sophisticated and diverse financial needs by developing a tailored plan and unique combination of services designed to protect and grow wealth to reach future goals.

Christine is a General Securities representative and an Investment Adviser Representative. She also holds her Texas General Lines for Life, Accident, Health and HMO and Property and Casualty insurance licenses.

Christine previously served as an ambassador for Junior Achievement and was an advocate for Project Cure in Houston, Texas. In addition to her work at Frost, she is an avid reader of all genres and enjoys writing. In fact, Christine published a young adult novel in 2013 and plans to have a second career in writing during retirement. She also enjoys trying new restaurants and loves suggestions on new places to try.

 

Teresa Villasenor

Office Manager

Teresa Villasenor

Office Manager

Teresa is a proud born and raised Texan. She attended schools in Arlington, TX and graduated from Lamar High School in 2001 (go Vikings!). She received a Professional Computer Secretary Diploma from Iverson Business School in 2002 and attended Tarrant County College where she earned her Associates Degree in Office Administration in 2007.

Before joining ISF in 2024, she worked for 20 years with the best firefighters in Texas (maybe the whole United States but we may be biased) here in Irving. She loves to meet new people and go to new places. Her favorite trips are her annual summer and winter road trips with her niece and nephew. Her free time is well spent with her wonderful family.

In her role with ISF, Teresa will serve many roles, including serving as your main point of contact for any questions or assistance you might have/need as a Board Member, so I know you will get to know her fast!

Ashley Mozek

Director of Operations

Ashley Mozek

Director of Operations

Ashley’s bio coming VERY soon!

Bethlyn Fisher

Programs Assistant

Bethlyn Fisher

Programs Assistant

Bethlyn is a native to the Wise County area and holds a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies with a concentration in Elementary Education from Tarleton State University.

Bethlyn comes to Irving Schools Foundation with a background in teaching. Prior to her time with ISF, she taught in Irving ISD at Elliott Elementary for 6 years. She also has experience in Irving ISD as a swim instructor for the district’s Swim Safe program. Bethlyn’s main passions include helping the community and teaching others.

Bethlyn lives in Bedford with her husband, Dillon, and 2 cats, Gadget and Gizmo. Her hobbies include swimming, reading, baking, crafting, exercising, and caring for her plant collection.

Bethlyn Fisher

Programs Assistant

Bethlyn Fisher

Programs Assistant

Bethlyn is a native to the Wise County area and holds a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies with a concentration in Elementary Education from Tarleton State University.

Bethlyn comes to Irving Schools Foundation with a background in teaching. Prior to her time with ISF, she taught in Irving ISD at Elliott Elementary for 6 years. She also has experience in Irving ISD as a swim instructor for the district’s Swim Safe program. Bethlyn’s main passions include helping the community and teaching others.

Bethlyn lives in Bedford with her husband, Dillon, and 2 cats, Gadget and Gizmo. Her hobbies include swimming, reading, baking, crafting, exercising, and caring for her plant collection.

Adriana Colunga

Development Manager

Adriana Colunga

Development Manager

Margie Stipes

Director Emerita

Margie Stipes

Director Emerita

Margie Stipes has been an Irving resident since 1955. She and her late husband, John, raised three children together, Randy, now deceased, Larry, and Stacie. Margie worked 30 years as a secretary at American Airlines, receiving the company’s Customer First Award.

She has been active in schools and the community, serving on several bond program committees and with the city’s Charter Review Committee. Margie was president of the Nimitz High School Booster Club for several years and has been a longtime member of both the Keep Irving Beautiful Board and the Irving Schools Foundation Board of Directors.

Margie’s accolades include the High Spirited Citizen Award, Greater Irving Las Colinas Chamber of Commerce Community Service Award, Irving Schools Foundation Gala Award, and multiple local and national PTA awards for extended service. In 2014, she was inducted into the Irving Sports Hall of Fame. Margie is honored to be a namesake for IISD’s John and Margie Stipes Elementary School in south Irving.

Randy Randle

Board Member

Randy Randle

Board Member

Randy Randle is a lifelong resident of Irving. He attended Otis Brown Elementary School, Bowie Junior High School and graduated from Nimitz High School.  Randy attended The University of Texas at Arlington and received a Business Administration degree in accounting.

Mr. Randle has been married to Lynda for 28 years and has two sons who attended Irving Schools.  Randy has long been serving in leadership roles in both our schools and our community.  He has served as PTA fundraising chairman, Band Booster president and chairman of baseball concessions for the Booster Club.  Randy has served on two campus improvement committees and the District Improvement Committee.

Randy served on the Irving City Council for six years and was chairman of the finance committee. He also served as chairman of the City of Irving Bond Task Force.

Randy has attended the same church for 66 years and serves as a trustee, as well as chairman of the building committee.  Randy works in the family business, which has been in Irving for 60 years.

Andy Jones

Board Member

Andy Jones

Board Member

Andy is Vice President and Learning Experience Development Team Manager for Texas Capital Bank.

He has received the Volunteer of the Year Award at Texas Capital for the last two years. Andy continues to volunteer at the Resource Center Community Health Clinic (9 Years), the AT&T Performing Arts Center (6 years), Make a Wish Foundation (5 years), Oak Lawn United Methodist Church Administrative Board (1 year) and the Dallas Titans (9 years), a local softball team where he has coordinated raising over $120,000 to give back to the community in the form of back-to-school supplies, food for a local food pantry and sending children with cancer to summer camp.

Andy has a Masters Degree from the University of South Carolina and a Bachelor Degree from Winthrop University.

Kitty Boyle

Board Member

Kitty Boyle

Board Member

Kitty has held many leadership positions throughout her 55 years in Irving, TX including founding and serving as past chair for the Community College Association for Texas Trustees. Kitty is presently Chair of the board for the Ranch Academy, a charter school, where she have served on the board since 1998.

All six of her children graduated from IISD as have five of Kitty’s grandchildren as well. In 2011, Kitty and her husband John were named the Irving High Spirited Citizens. Kitty has a genuine heart for the citizens of Irving and it doesn’t go unnoticed.

Tracy McNeil

Secretary

Tracy McNeil

Secretary

Tracy McNeil is a Senior Sales Agent at Liberty Mutual Insurance/Comparison Insurance Agency. Prior, she retired from Enterprise Rent a Car after 27 years, with her achievements ranking her repeatedly in the top 10% nationwide.

In 2015, Tracy was voted Liberty Insurance Rookie of the Year for both Auto and Home. That same year, she joined ISF, serving on the Board of Directors before taking on the role of  Secretary of the Executive Committee. She has volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House Charities for Children and has great passion for the youth in Irving ISD.

Roger Carbajal

Personnel Chair

Roger Carbajal

Personnel Chair