SER-Niños Charter School Board Members
Rene Gonzalez, Board President
Waynel Sexton PhD., Board Vice-President
Dr. Waynel Sexton was born in Borger, he is an assistant professor in the Department of Developmental Pediatrics at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHSC-H).She works in the Children Learning Institute (CLI) and manages the Texas Reading First (TRF) Grant. CLI delivers professional development activities and technical assistance to funded Texas Reading First districts and campuses. Dr. Sexton's degrees include a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Reading and Teacher Education. She has 32 years of public school experience with extensive teaching and administrative experience serving as a teacher for 26 years, a literacy coach for 3 years, Associate Reading Manager for the Houston ISD for 3 years, and as a private consultant for 3 years. As a teacher, Dr. Sexton worked with at-risk students and taught over 400 children how to read. Dr. Sexton has been published in the Journal of Educational Research and is the recipient of the Teacher of the Year Award for Houston ISD and the Patrice Johnson Outstanding Graduate Award for Leadership Houston.
Dominique M. Varner, Board Secretary
Dominique Varner was born in Dallas. She graduated from the University of Texas in Austin with a BBA. She attended South Texas College of Law where she obtained a J.D. Upon graduation she joined the law firm of Hughes, Watters & Askanase, L.L.P. where she is a partner. Dominique Varner is active in the Houston Young Lawyers Association, Houston Young Lawyers Foundation and President of Italian-American Lawyers Association of Texas from 1997-2000. Dominique is married with two young children.
Forest Ralph - Board Treasurer
Juan L. Salazar, Board Member
Born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. Graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a BBA in Finance. He has been in the Trust and Bank Financial Services industries for over 30 years in Ft. Worth, San Antonio, Houston, Texas as well as New Orleans, Louisiana. He has been active in the past in several civic organizations including the Mexican American Chamber of Commerce, SER Jobs for Progress and Adelante and has presented STAY IN SCHOOL presentations to area high schools. Juan and his wife Irma reside in Houston and enjoy golf and tennis in their spare time.
Joseph G. Soliz, Board Member
Joseph Soliz was born in Corpus Christi, Texas, graduated from Corpus Christi Academy High School in 1972. He attended Southwest Texas State University and graduated with a degree in Political Science. Joseph attended Harvard University's School of Law where he obtained a J.D. in 1979. Upon graduating he moved to Houston to practice law. Joseph owns and operates The Soliz Law Firm P.L.L.C. Joseph is married to Juanita and they have two children.
Larry J. Payne, Board Member
Born in Orange, Texas, Larry graduated from University of St. Thomas and was recently bestowed “The Alumni of the Year” Award.As Vice President of The Desir Group – a Human Capital Management, Education, Training, and Consulting Firm based in Houston, Larry continues to demonstrate his passion for educational issues. Outspoken on education and social justice issues, Larry brings his interest to the public with a weekly TV show "Dialogue Houston" and “Interchange,” a weekly radio show on KCOH-AM (1230) to his mix of programs he hosts to serve the public interest. His career in public service includes notable positions at the city, state and congressional levels.
The Heart of HoUSton: Lessons in Servant Leadership, is Larry’s most recent endeavor. The book explores ways in which we can create sustainable leadership, personal transformation and authentic involvement for individuals and organizations.
Larry's actively participates in the following community organizations: The American Leadership Forum; The Institute for Spirituality and Health; The Greater Houston Women’s Foundation; Children At Risk; The National Conference for Community and Justice; Houston Graduate School of Theology; Interfaith Ministries; Leadership Houston; Center for Houston’s Future; Teach for America; The University of St. Thomas - Social Justice Committee; Education Foundation of Harris County; Catholic Charities; and SER-Niños Public Charter School, where he is a proud “Founding Board Member”.