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Leadership Team

Dr. Joy Goldstein, Director


Dr. Sara Lawrence, Texas A&M University – Texarkana

Sara lawerenceSara C. Lawrence is an Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Educational Psychology at Texas A&M University-Texarkana. Sara has been an educator for over 25 years starting as a special educator in public schools. Her love for the arts and writing started with her college experience at the University of Virginia and The Fralin Museum of Art. In addition to teaching students with special needs, Sara has taught art and directed arts-in-education programs. While her primary arts discipline is visual arts, Sara has always been an avid reader of literature and enjoys writing poetry. 



Ashleigh Bridges, Texas High School

Ashley BridgesI am Ashleigh Bridges, and I am currently teaching English at Texas High School. I graduated from Texas A&M University-Texarkana and was able to participate in the East Texas Writing Project in the summer of 2017. During the Writing Project, I was able to connect with other writers and teachers, which opened my eyes to new ways to teach writing in a fun, creative way for the students. I decided to serve on the East Texas Writing Project’s leadership team because I enjoyed meeting other people in my field. Serving on the leadership team is meaningful to me because I get to reach out to teachers and collaborate to create new ideas for our students. Teachers can always learn more and grow in their field to benefit their students, and that is what I want to do as well as help other teachers.


Daina Land, Maud Elementary

Daine LandDaina Land currently teaches 4th and 5th grade writing at Maud Elementary and works as a Member of Gretchen Bernabei’s Trail of Breadcrumbs Trainer Collaborative, presenting Gretchen’s writing techniques to Texas teachers. She has taught creative writing workshops for children, has worked with the Young Writers’ Workshop, and is a teacher consultant for the East Texas Writing Project.




Kara Wicks, Texas High School

kara wicksKara Wicks currently teaches English III at Texas High School. It is a pleasure to be a part of the ETWP for the connection with other professionals who share a love for writing and teaching writing.





Jonna Sikes, Queen City


Jonna Sikes currently teaches seventh grade reading and eighth grade writing at Queen City ISD. Being a part of the East Texas Writing Project this past summer changed the way I approach teaching in my classroom. I am definitely more thoughtful in the way I prepare my lessons for my students and am an advocate on my campus for writing in all genres. The Writing Project also has given me the opportunity to share and learn from other educators. 




Valerie Shirley, Pleasant Grove

  • 7101 University Ave
  • Texarkana, TX 75503
  • p: 903.223.3000
  • f: 903.223.3104
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