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Executive Director

Camila currently serves as the Executive Director for Dallas Kids First. She became involved in public school governance in Dallas through the CAMP Fellowship, where she learned all about the role of the Dallas ISD School Board and the critical part Trustees play in driving policy for students across Dallas.

Originally from Chile, Camila immigrated with her family first to New Orleans and then to Dallas where she attended Richardson High School in Richardson ISD. After graduating from the University of Texas at Austin, Camila went on to become a teacher through the New York City Teaching Fellows and earned her Master’s in Education through Hunter College.

After one year in Washington Heights and five in the South Bronx, Camila returned to Dallas and was immersed into the education landscape through her work as an instructional coach with Teaching Trust. There, she coached teachers in over 40 campuses across Dallas/Ft.Worth to grow their classroom practice and develop leadership skills in educators looking to expand their influence.

Now, Camila’s full time focus is energizing the community to participate in local policy and elections. Always challenging the status quo, Camila hopes to increase voter turnout and community engagement around the foundation of any city’s future - its public schools.

Camila resides in Dallas ISD District 5, currently served by Trustee Lew Blackburn. 

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Melissa Higginbotham serves as the Director of Operations for Dallas Kids First. Her children attended Dallas ISD schools from 2000-2015 and during much of that time her volunteer focus was in the classroom, serving on the Site Based Decision-Making committee and PTA on her children’s campuses in numerous leadership roles. She began attending Dallas ISD Board of Trustees meetings in 2010 on a regular basis and began to realize the impact of the decisions being made at that level and the importance of understanding policy guiding the District.

Melissa first volunteered for DKF in the election cycle of 2012 and knocked on voters’ doors for both endorsed candidates that year, Bernadette Nutall and Dan Micciche. Since that time, her work with Dallas Kids First has included many hours spent on trustee campaigns and in board meetings advocating for strong leadership at the governance level of Dallas ISD. Dallas ISD is educating over 157,000 students and Melissa is passionate about each one receiving increased opportunity through a stronger education.

Melissa is a product of Corpus Christi public schools and holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Baylor University. She resides in Dallas ISD District 1, currently served by Trustee Edwin Flores.