Austin, TX (STL.News) Governor Greg Abbott has appointed April Estrada, Ed.D. and Barbie Ezell and reappointed Amy Litzinger, Susan Nichols, Ph.D., Agatha Thibideaux, and Jo Ann Garza Wofford and to the Continuing Advisory Committee for Special Education for terms set to expire on February 1, 2025. The committee provides policy guidance on special education and related services for children with disabilities in Texas.
April Estrada, Ed.D. of Wylie is the Director of Special Populations for Region 10 ESC. She is a member of Texas Council of Administrators of Special Education, the Council of Women School Executives, and the Texas Association of School Administrators. Additionally, she volunteers for the special needs ministry at First Baptist Church of Wylie and is an adjunct professor at Dallas Baptist University. Estrada received a Bachelor of Science from the University of North Texas and a Master and Doctorate in Education Leadership from Dallas Baptist University.
Barbara “Barbie” Ezell of Portland is Director of Special Education for Gregory-Portland ISD. She is a member and House of Delegates Representative for Region 2 of the Texas Council for Administrators of Special Education. Additionally, she is a member of the First United Methodist Church of Portland and is a Zeta Tau Alpha alumna. Ezell received a Bachelor of Science from Southwest Texas State University and a Master of Science from Corpus Christi State University, with certifications as a Counselor and Special Education Counselor. She also obtained additional certifications as an Educational Diagnostician and Administrator from Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi.
Amy Litzinger of Austin is a public policy specialist with the Texas Parent to Parent (TxP2P). She is a member and vice chair of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission Intellectual and Developmental Disability (IDD) System Redesign Advisory Committee and a member of the Texas Children’s Policy Council. Additionally, she is the former membership chairman and governing board member of National Youth Leadership Network and former executive committee vice chairman and policy workgroup chairman of the National Council on Disability Youth Advisory Council. Litzinger received a Bachelor of Arts in English and Political Science from Southwestern University and a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Austin Seminary.
Susan Nichols, Ph.D. of Carrollton is currently serving as the Interim Executive Director at the University of North Texas Kristin Farmer Autism Center in Denton. She is a member of the Texas Association of Behavior Analysts and Association of Professional Behavior Analysts and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)/Licensed Behavior Analyst (LBA). Nichols received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Texas Woman’s University and a Master of Education and Doctor of Philosophy in Special Education from the University of North Texas.
Agata K. “Agatha” Thibodeaux of Katy is the current chair of the Continuing Advisory Committee for Special Education and member of the Special Education Allotment Advisory Committee. A proud mother of two boys, with her youngest having Autism, has propelled her to be an active advocate for the special needs community. She is a member of the Katy Independent School District Parent Teacher Association and former member of the American Marketing Association. Thibodeaux received a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing and Advertising from Metropolitan State University in Denver.
Jo Ann Garza Wofford of New Braunfels a vice president and private trust administrator with Frost Bank Wealth Advisory Services based out of the San Antonio region. Jo Ann and her husband were instrumental in creating New Braunfels Independent School District’s Special Education Parent Advisory Committee. Wofford received a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from The University of Texas at Austin.