A group of local community members was brought together by a common cause in 2018: to support the betterment of Memorial Elementary. For many years, this local elementary school had been overlooked by the surrounding community.  With the formal founding of Lift Memorial as a 501(3)(c) non-profit organization, we are now actively tying together community resources and education supporters to promote new initiatives and assist with ongoing program development at Memorial Elementary.  Lift Memorial's overarching goal is to make Memorial Elementary our neighborhood's "school of choice". Contact us to learn more and become involved with our efforts.


Dear Community, 2019 has been an incredible year because of you!  Read in more depth about our collective success by clicking the link below.


The People Behind the Movement



Although David is not an educator himself, one of his greatest passions is local school reform. As president of Lift Memorial, he has successfully brought together a group of individuals who support the value of public education and community involvement. David brings his wonderful vision, charisma, and work ethic to Lift and consistently pushes our board members to think bigger. He and his wife have one young daughter who is not yet old enough to attend Memorial Elementary.



Tami has devoted significant time to various community endeavors since her recent retirement. As vice president of Lift Memorial and president of the Crestwood Civic Club, she has been working hard to promote a positive relationship between Memorial Elementary and the neighborhood in which it is located. One of Tami's many passions revolves around gardening. She has been integral in establishing the partnership between Urban Harvest and Memorial Elementary. She, herself, has spent numerous hours tending the school's garden and has organized several wonderful Saturday garden day events for students, teachers, administration, Urban Harvest, and community members to come together to assist with planting and garden maintenance. 



Since 2016, Tim has served as the pastor of Messiah Lutheran Church in the Rice Military neighborhood. He and his wife have two wonderful grown children. Tim and his church have partnered with Memorial Elementary; in May 2018, he began frequently bringing Gabriel, the congregation's comfort dog, to visit the students at the school. As Lift Memorial's community officer, Tim is interested in bringing mentoring and other community programs to Memorial Elementary and finding additional ways to support students' psychosocial development.



Crystal has lived in Memorial Elementary's zoned neighborhood for over 10 years. She is a founding member of Lift Memorial and believes in the power of community efforts to support local education. As Lift Memorial's secretary, Crystal has been integral in helping the organization to achieve 501(c)(3) non-profit status. She diligently supports many of Lift's efforts and initiatives and is particularly interested in supporting the school's application to become an authorized International Baccalaureate program. Outside of work and Lift Memorial, Crystal spends her time chasing after her two young sons who are not quite old enough to attend the local elementary school.



Robert is the father of a current student at Memorial Elementary.  He and his family moved to the neighborhood relatively recently. Engaging with the school and Lift Memorial has helped him to become involved in the community, make new friends, and stay up-to-date on the latest neighborhood developments. Robert believes that a school cannot educate a child in isolation; it takes a committed community - a village.  Within the context of Lift Memorial, Robert serves as the treasurer and devotes time to managing our accounts and understanding the business side of a non-profit organization. He is also an active member of Lift's fundraising committee and developed a number of ideas through which our organization can raise funds for its initiatives. 



Tatyana moved to Houston in 2014, landing in the Cottage Grove neighborhood that would become home for her growing family. Since then, kids Theo and Valentina have entered the picture and turned their lives upside down with new concerns, such as education. Tatyana has always volunteered for various causes and now has shifted her focus to the immediate community. She believes in the shared responsibility to uplift the neighborhood we live in, as well and our local school. As a digital marketing professional, it was natural to help and contribute her gained knowledge and expertise to LIFT Memorial. She is excited about raising awareness about the various community events lined up, as well as redesigning the school's library where kids can foster a shared passion for reading.



Joana is the mother of a current student at Memorial Elementary. She firmly believes in creating a tight relationship between a community and its local school, as schools are where minds are formed. "If everyone in the area can come together, we can have a huge positive impact on these children," she has said. As a small business owner, Joana brings her marketing skills to Lift Memorial and enthusiastically supports a variety of initiatives. In addition to her role in Lift Memorial, she is an active member of the school's PTO and serves as a liaison between the two groups.



Amanda is married with two boys who attend Memorial Elementary School.  She values public education and the merit of utilizing the local community school ("learn local").  She is passionate about the value of holistic education--a vision about more than just test scores as viable measures of success.  Amanda is active in both the Memorial Elementary Community and within Lift Memorial in supporting the school.  She is particularly focused on community engagement and increasing the local enrollment at Memorial Elementary School.



Spencer first moved to the Rice Military neighborhood in 2005.  In addition to living locally, he and his family have enjoyed opportunities to reside overseas in Norway and Canada. He and his wife have a bilingual household and strongly believe in the value of learning and speaking multiple languages.  "Languages are important to our family," he has said. "The dual language program of Memorial Elementary is an important principle of learning in our eyes."  Spencer is a technologist at heart and in work and has been heavily involved in developing Lift Memorial's website and brochures that can be shared within the community to promote our initiatives and the school. He wants to see the school, community, and students thrive and is particularly interested in supporting the school's science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs.



Longtime residents of Crestwood, Sima and her husband are proud parents of a student at Memorial Elementary and the decision to join the school came after Sima crossed paths with a few local individuals passionate about bringing great public education for every student at her neighborhood school. Sima has been driven by a strong belief that all children should have access to a high quality education that ignites their intellectual curiosity, moves their focus from getting good grades to learning what excites them and what matters to the world, and help them thrive beyond their circumstances. Schools are often a focal point for community involvement, and Sima’s purpose of serving on Lift Memorial’s board is to bring the diversity of zoned neighborhood to our neighborhood school, build sustaining community involvement opportunities to bring community partners into school, and empower the teachers to provide inspiring and meaningful education: all leading to help give every student the resources they need to thrive. 



Scott has lived in Crestwood for 30 years and has observed the evolution of the neighborhood and school firsthand. Although he has older children who have attended various schools outside of the neighborhood, Scott and his wife made the intentional decision to enroll their youngest child at Memorial Elementary. They couldn't be happier. "It is only going to get better every year and we are grateful to enjoy the benefits of neighborhood education," he has said. Within the context of Lift Memorial, Scott is helping to bridge the gap between the school and local businesses and professionals. He brings great entrepreneurial expertise and a lively spirit to our grassroots  efforts.



Tasha lives in the Cottage Grove neighborhood and has a passion for education.  She believes in the power of community and is committed to dispelling myths about public education.  As an adviser to our board, Tasha attends Lift’s meetings and supports many of our initiatives. She and her husband have a young son who is not quite old enough to attend elementary school.



Dr. Garcia is the principal of Memorial Elementary.  She is a wonderful advocate for the school and has been actively working since 2015 to bring in great teachers and administrators. As an adviser to our board, Dr. Garcia regularly attends Lift’s meetings and generously devotes her time to supporting our ongoing initiatives. She has been open to Lift’s ongoing involvement at the school and actively collaborates with Lift’s board members to generate ideas for ways in which to expand programming and increase enrollment. 

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