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Board Leadership

Highland Park ISD Board of Trustees

HPISD Board of Trustees 2022-23

Back row (left to right): Bryce Benson (Secretary, Place 3), Dr. Tom Trigg (Superintendent of Schools), Jae Ellis (Trustee, Place 4), Tom H. Sharpe (President, Place 7), Stacy A. Kelly, (Trustee, Place 6). Front row: Maryjane Bonfield (Vice President, Place 2), Doug Woodward (Finance Officer, Place 1), Ellen Lee (TASB Delegate, Place 5).

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.


Board President Tom Sharpe

Tom H. Sharpe

President, Place 7

Term expiration: 2023
[email protected]

Tom Sharpe joined the Highland Park Independent School District Board of Trustees in May 2017 and was elected to serve as the President in 2021. He previously served as Chair of the HPISD Fall Reopening Committee. Prior to being elected to the Board, he served as a member of the District’s Finance Committee since 2011 and 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 have all attended HPISD schools beginning in Kindergarten at UP Elementary. Jack (HPHS Class of 2020) attends Wake Forest University, Tyler (HPHS Class of 2021) attends Vanderbilt University, and Campbell is a junior at HPHS. The Sharpes are active members of Watermark Community Church.

Trustee Maryjane Bonfield 2021
Maryjane Bonfield

Vice President, Place 2


Term expiration: 2024
[email protected]


Maryjane Bonfield was elected to the Highland Park Independent School District Board of Trustees in May 2021.

Bonfield attended University Park Elementary School, McCulloch Middle School and Highland Park High School, where she graduated “Top Ten” and received the Blanket Award in 1996.  She received a double major in mathematics and fine arts from Vanderbilt University in 2000 and earned her law degree from the SMU Dedman School of Law in 2004. Between college and law school, Bonfield worked as a business consultant for Arthur Andersen. Following law school, she worked as a judicial clerk for the Texas Supreme Court and then as a corporate attorney for Carrington, Coleman, Sloman & Blumenthal, LLP.

Prior to being elected to the Board, Bonfield served in many different volunteer capacities across the district. She has served as a member of the HPISD Facilities Advisory Committee, the HPISD Technology Committee, the Highland Park Education Foundation Board, as well as the Foundation’s Bylaws Committee. Bonfield co-chaired the Hyer Legacy Committee and chaired the 5th Elementary PTO Establishment Committee. She has held several different positions within the Hyer PTA including the e-News Chair, Cafeteria Finance Chair, and most recently, Hyer PTA President. 

Bonfield is married to Chris Bonfield. They have three children, all of whom attend HPISD schools: Boone (Class of 2026), Mary Hays (Class of 2028), and Duke (Class of 2030). The Bonfields are active members of Park Cities Presbyterian Church. 

Trustee Bryce Benson
Bryce Benson

Secretary, Place 3


Term expiration: 2025
[email protected]


Bryce Benson was elected to the HPISD Board of Trustees in 2021 and fulfilled a partial term ending in 2022. He was reelected in 2022 for a full three-year term and was also elected to serve as Board Secretary. Prior to his election in 2021, he served as President of the University Park Elementary School Dads Club, and on the executive boards of the Boone Elementary Dads Club and the Raiders Dads Club. He volunteers in the cafeteria at MIS/HPMS and Highland Park High School, works in the carpool line at Boone Elementary and has served as a den leader for Cub Scout Pack 70 at UP Elementary since 2011. He currently serves as the Board representative for the Highland Park Education Foundation and as the co-representative for the Education Services Committee.
Benson is a partner at Akerman LLP, a national law firm with over seven hundred attorneys. His legal practice focuses on business and securities litigation, and he serves as head of the litigation practice group in Dallas. Benson considers it an honor to use his law degree on pro bono matters, particularly adoption. He graduated cum laude from Vanderbilt University with a degree in history and a minor in Spanish, and from the University of Texas School of Law. Studying abroad in Madrid, Spain was a highlight of college and fostered a life-long love of travel and appreciation for other cultures.
In addition to his volunteer roles for HPISD, Benson is an Eagle Project Coach for Boy Scout Troop 518 in University Park. He earned his Eagle Scout award in 1990 and is proud to be the parent of two Eagle Scouts with his youngest son starting Scouts in the fall of 2022. 
Benson is married to Amy, whom he met in the fourth grade. They have three sons in HPISD schools: Carter (Class of 2023), Caleb (Class of 2025) and Barrett (Class of 2030). Amy served on the Executive Board of the University Park Elementary PTA for two years and will have a PTA role at the high school in 2022-23. The Bensons are active members of Park Cities Presbyterian Church, where Mr. Benson has served as a deacon and chair of the Justice Committee.

Trustee Doug Woodward
Doug Woodward

Finance Officer, Place 1


Term expiration: 2024
[email protected]


Doug Woodward was elected to the Highland Park Independent School District Board of Trustees in May 2021 and serves as the school board's Finance Officer.

Prior to his election to the Board, he served as a member of the 2019 HPISD Boundary Rezoning Committee as well as numerous volunteer leadership roles across HPISD campuses.

Born and raised in Allenhurst, NJ, Woodward graduated from Christian Brothers Academy and went on to receive his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Kentucky in 1984 and his MBA from Rollins College in 1996. He began his professional career with Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati, OH and has built a successful career in Consumer Goods with executive roles at Walt Disney Attractions, 7-Eleven Inc., MillerCoors and Dean Foods. Currently, he serves as Vice President, Sales Strategy & Operations at CROSSMARK, a leading national sales and marketing services agency based in Plano. 

In addition to his HPISD service, Woodward is a graduate of Leadership University Park and has served the city on numerous committees including Public Safety, Retail Advisory and the Centennial Master Plan Focus Committee. He has also served the Finance and Scholarship committees for the Highland Park Education Foundation, as Stewardship Chair for United Way Metropolitan Dallas and on the Board of Directors for United Cerebral Palsy (now Ability Connection).

Woodward is married to Genevieve and has two children, Dylan (HPHS Class of 2022) attends the University of Alabama) and Maggie (Class of 2024) is a junior at HPHS. They are active members of Highland Park United Methodist Church where he has led Sunday School and Confirmation classes, served on the executive committee for Carpenters for Christ and volunteered multiple times as a member of HPUMC’s international mission team in Costa Rica.

Board Secretary Jae Ellis
Jae Ellis

Trustee, Place 4

Term expiration: 2025
[email protected]

Jae Ellis joined the HPISD Board of Trustees in 2019 and currently serves on the Finance Committee, Property Acquisition Committee, and Design & Construction (Facilities) Committee.  Ellis also serves as the Board’s Representative on HPISD’s Sounding Board for Inclusive and Respectful Schools and as the Board’s Liaison to the Park Cities Dads Club. Earlier in his School Board service, Ellis served as Board Secretary, a member of HPISD’s Calendar Committee, and the Board’s Liaison to the HP Sports Club.
Having graduated from Highland Park High School in 1990 and Harvard University in 1994, Ellis returned to HPISD to work as a classroom teacher and coach at Highland Park High School before he earned his law degree from The University of Texas in 1999. Ellis has been licensed to practice law since 1999, and he currently serves as a Regional Sales Executive for publicly traded CS DISCO (NYSE: LAW), where he provides litigation technology solutions for law firm and in-house attorneys.
Prior to joining the HPISD Board of Trustees, Ellis served as the Chairman of the Board for Project Unity, a DFW organization made-up of community leaders from multiple communities, races, ethnicities, and faiths, with the mission of combatting racism and injustice by promoting meaningful conversations, fellowship, and the development of genuine and diverse friendships. Ellis continues to serve as a community facilitator of “Together We Dine” programs for Project Unity.  Ellis is also a member of the Salesmanship Club of Dallas, where he serves as an elementary school reading buddy at the Momentous Institute in Oak Cliff.  Ellis is also a member of the Board of Directors of Friends of Harvard Football.

Ellis is married to former HPISD classroom teacher and HPHS 1990 graduate, Liza (Graham) Ellis. Liza and Jae are the proud parents of two children: Caroline (HPHS Class of 2019) attends the University of Texas and Judge (Class of 2023) is a senior at HPHS.

Trustee Ellen Lee
Ellen Lee

TASB Delegate, Place 5

Term expiration: 2025
[email protected]

Ellen Lee was elected to the Highland Park Independent School District Board of Trustees in May 2022 and serves as the district's Delegate to the Texas Association of School Boards.

Lee attended University Park Elementary School, McCulloch Middle School and Highland Park High School, where she graduated “Top Ten” in 1992. She received a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the University of Virginia in 1996 and a Teacher Certification from the University of Texas at Dallas in 1997. Following her time in education, Lee was a copywriter for nonprofit organizations including World Vision, World Concern, Open Doors and others. 

Prior to being elected to the Board, Lee served in various volunteer roles throughout the district. She was a member of the HPISD Boundary Redistricting Committee, the Highland Park Education Foundation and the Parent Education Committee. She also volunteered in the community including initiatives related to the Golden Pennies for Teachers Campaign. She has given 15 years of service in classrooms, libraries, cafeterias, outdoor gardens and on field trips.

In addition to her volunteer roles for HPISD, Lee is a graduate of the City of University Park’s Leadership UP Program and has subsequently served on the City’s Zoning and Development Advisory Committee and the City’s 100 Year Master Plan HPISD/SMU/UP Focus Group.

Lee is married to Paul Lee (Class of 1994). They have three children, all of whom have attended HPISD schools: Trip (HPHS Class of 2020) attends Texas A&M University, Davis (HPHS Class of 2022) attends Texas A&M University, and Marshall (Class of 2025) is a sophmore at HPHS. The Lees are active members of Watermark Community Church. 

Board Vice President Stacy Kelly
Stacy A. Kelly
Trustee, Place 6

Term expiration: 2023
[email protected]

Stacy Kelly was elected to the Highland Park ISD Board of Trustees in May of 2017 serving as Vice President during 2021-22 school year. She presently serves as a Co-Board Liaison for Educational Services and the Liaison for the PTA/Os. Prior to joining the board, Kelly led or served in 20+ positions across HPISD schools and in the district focused on leadership and fundraising.

Kelly was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. In 1987, after graduating cum laude with a BS in Human Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Arizona, she joined the United States Air Force where she faithfully and enthusiastically served our country. She led teams of people that transformed ideas into health care service delivery programs for military members and their families serving in multiple command and operational roles. During that time, she also graduated summa cum laude with a Masters in Healthcare Administration from Baylor University. In 2008, after serving 21 years (13 active and 8 reserves), she retired as a decorated Lieutenant Colonel, and immediately started her own healthcare consulting practice. She also taught at the SMU Cox Business Leadership Center as an Adjunct Instructor from 2017-2020.
Kelly has been involved with several organizations serving at-risk children, women, and veterans. In 2017, she co-chaired Heroes for Children’s largest fundraiser, Heroes and Handbags. She was on the Board of Dress for Success Dallas for nearly four years. She has been volunteering on the same Meals on Wheels route for ten years, and actively volunteers at other DFW charities.
Kelly is married to Joe Wiseman, and they are the proud parents of two children, Harrison (HPHS Class of 2020 and now a Purdue Boilermaker) and Ainsley Wiseman (HPHS Class of 2022 and a soon to be Fighting Pickle). When she’s not working or serving, she can be found reading, cooking, or traveling and exploring with her family. To date, they have spent almost a full year in tents and RVs visiting places throughout North America, Central America, Europe, and Australia.