Board of Trustees
The Highland Park ISD Board of Trustees consists of seven members, each of whom has been elected to serve a three-year term. School board members are entrusted with the responsibility of setting policy and promoting educational excellence for Highland Park ISD, and receive no compensation.
Jim Hitzelberger joined the Board of Trustees in 2009 and was elected to serve as the President in 2017. He previously served as Board Vice President and the Chair of the School Board's Facilities Committee. Prior to joining the board, he served as a member of the Finance Committee, the Facilities Committee, and the Superintendent Search Focus Group. Hitzelberger served as president of the Highland Park High School Alumni Association from 2004-06.
Hitzelberger is an attorney and mediator. Raised in the Park Cities, he is a 1974 graduate of Highland Park High School. He received his bachelor’s degree in 1979 from the University of San Diego and earned his law degree from the University of Tulsa School of Law in 1992. He was admitted to the Texas bar in 1993 and to the Washington bar in 2002. He is a 2001 graduate of the American Academy of Attorney-Mediators.
Hitzelberger served as president of the Garland Bar Association. He is a member of the Dallas Bar Association.
Jim is married to Laurie and is the father of three sons, Christian, a first-year student in the Plant and Soil Science Master's Degree program at Texas A&M; Michael, a junior at Bennington College; and Mark, a freshman at the University of Oregon. The Hitzelbergers are members of Highland Park United Methodist Church.
Kelly J. Walker
Kelly Walker joined the Board of Trustees in 2010 and was elected to serve as Vice President in 2017. She currently serves on the Advisory Board for the HP Education Foundation and is a guild member of La Fiesta de las Seis Banderas. She previously served as the School Board Finance Officer, Chair to the Board Facilities Committee, and is a former member of the Hyer PTA Gift Committee and the HPISD Strategic Planning Committee.
Walker was born in Dallas and has been a University Park resident for the past 25 years. She received her bachelor’s degree in geology from Tarleton State University in 1985 and is a Registered Professional Geologist in the state of Texas. She is the president and founder of Benchmark Environmental Consultants in Dallas, and she has previously served on public and private boards of directors and continues to serve as a board member and advisory member to privately held companies.
Walker served as a City of University Park councilperson from 2004-10 and the Mayor Pro Tem from 2008-09. She currently serves on the Capital Projects Committee for the city, the YMCA Girls Sports Committee and the C.A.R.E. board.
She and her husband, James P. Walker, Jr., have two children, Cameron, a senior at Highland Park High School and Claire, a sophomore at Highland Park High School. The Walkers are members of the Highland Park United Methodist Church.
Lee E. Michaels
Lee Michaels joined the HPISD Board of Trustees in 2015 and was elected to serve as the School Board Secretary in 2017. She also serves as Education Services liaison, PTA liaison and as board rep on the Park Cities Behavioral Health Awareness Task Force. Prior to her election, she served as a member of the Finance Committee and in numerous PTA roles, including President of HPMS and Chair of the Gift Committee, Parent Education Committee and Building/Grounds Committee for HPISD schools.
Born in Lexington, Kentucky and raised primarily in Sarasota, Florida, Mrs. Michaels received her bachelor’s degree from Vassar College in 1984. After a brief career in banking, she attended the SMU Dedman School of Law and received her law degree in 1991. She practiced corporate law for various firms and corporations for more than 10 years and also worked as a Career Counselor at The Dedman School of Law.
She currently serves on the Board of the Dallas Holocaust Museum Center for Education and Tolerance, and on the board of C.A.R.E. (Chemical Awareness Resources and Education). She also is a member of the Grant Halliburton Foundation’s Auxiliary, an organization that addresses the mental health of teenagers and suicide prevention. Ms. Michaels also volunteers with Meals on Wheels, Vickery Meadow Food Bank, and The Bridge.
Lee and her husband, Paul, have two children. Kate is a 2011 HPHS graduate and a 2015 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania. Lindsey is a 2014 HPHS graduate and is a senior at Washington and Lee University.
Paul E. Rowsey
Paul Rowsey joined the Board of Trustees in 2010, and he currently serves as the School Board Finance Officer. He previously served as the Board Vice President, Board Secretary, and as a member of the Finance Committee, the Facilities Committee and the Superintendent Search Focus Group. Rowsey is a past president of the Highland Park Sports Club.
Edward Herring was elected to the Highland Park Independent School District Board of Trustees in May 2016. Prior to being elected to the Board, he served as a member of the District’s Finance Committee since 2014.
Herring is the Co-Founder and Co-Managing Partner of Tailwater Capital, a specialized private equity firm focused on the energy industry. He has over 23 years of investment experience, and his primary responsibilities at Tailwater include deal sourcing, execution and monitoring of the investments as well as management of the Firm. Prior to co-founding Tailwater, Herring was a Partner with HM Capital and served on the firm’s Investment Committee. He also worked in the Investment Banking Division of Goldman, Sachs & Co. from 1993-1996. Raised in the Park Cities, Herring attended Bradfield Elementary, McCulloch Middle School and Highland Park High School, where he graduated as salutatorian in 1989. Herring received a double major in Economics and Political Science from Stanford University in 1993 and earned an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1998.
Herring has previously served on numerous public and private boards of directors and currently serves as a board member of fourteen privately-held companies in the energy sector. As a former Board member of Capital for Kids, Herring has been active in charitable organizations focused on improving the lives and educational opportunities for children in North Texas. Herring is also an active volunteer for the YMCA and has coached his children’s sports teams for over 30 seasons.
He and his wife, Kay, who is also a 1989 Highland Park graduate, have four children all of whom attend or attended HPISD schools: James, a recent graduate of Highland Park High School who now attends Harvard University; Johnny, a sophomore at HPHS; Luke, an eighth-grader at Highland Park Middle School; and Abbie, a sixth-grader at McCulloch Intermediate. The Herrings are members of Highland Park United Methodist Church.
Stacy A. Kelly
Stacy Kelly was elected to the Highland Park ISD Board of Trustees in May of 2017. Prior to joining the board, Stacy led or served in 20+ positions across HPISD schools and District including 2012-13 University Park Elementary School PTA President, MISHPMS Raider Café Volunteer Chairperson, HPISD Learner for Future Profile, Mad for Plaid Community Liaison, and HPISD Superintendent Search Focus Group.
Tom H. Sharpe
Tom Sharpe was elected to the Highland Park Independent School District Board of Trustees in May 2017. Prior to being elected to the Board, he served as a member of the District’s Finance Committee since 2011. He previously served on the Demographic Advisory Committee in 2010.
Sharpe is Vice President of Compatriot Capital, Inc., a real estate investment and operating company, and a subsidiary of Sammons Enterprises, one of the largest private companies in the United States. Prior to Compatriot Capital, Tom was in senior management at Savoya (a travel logistics firm) and Watermark Community Church. Before his time at Watermark, Sharpe was a partner at E2M Partners, a private equity firm focused on commercial real estate investment, which followed several years working for JPMorgan in its mid-corporate investment banking division. Raised in the Park Cities, he attended Armstrong Elementary, McCulloch Middle School and Highland Park High School, where he graduated as valedictorian in 1992. Sharpe received a BS in Computer Systems Engineering from Stanford University in 1996 and earned an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business in 2003. Prior to business school, he was a Lieutenant in the US Navy where he served as a junior officer aboard the USS Salt Lake City (SSN 716), a nuclear-powered fast-attack submarine.
Sharpe has volunteered with several organizations around the community, including the UP Elementary Dads Club (President, 2010-2011), Boy Scout Troop 82 and the Park Cities YMCA, through which he has coached numerous teams for his three children. He and his wife, Catherine, have three children who attend HPISD schools: Jack, a junior at HPHS; Tyler, a sophomore at HPHS; and Campbell, a seventh-grader at HPMS. The Sharpes are active members of Watermark Community Church.