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That’s a Wrap! Our Final #AskExcelinEd Summer Learning Series Post

• Lizzette Gonzalez Reynolds


We’re wrapping up our #AskExcelinEd Summer Learning Series today. Thanks for following along as the ExcelinEd team shared what they were learning over the summer, and remember you can always access this series on our blog. We hope you enjoyed it!

Meet Lizzette Gonzalez Reynolds

ExcelinEd’s Vice President of Policy

I grew up in the Lower Rio Grande Valley in South Texas. My parents did their best to support us financially, but at the end of the day, they left it up to my siblings and me to figure out our own pathways to success. For me, it was making good grades, self-advocating for rigorous coursework and getting accepted to college. Once there, it was up to me to figure out how to pay for it and how to earn the credits necessary to get my degree. I believe the opportunity for high school students to earn at least one meaningful post-secondary credential is absolutely critical for individual success and our country’s economic success. (Check out our College and Career Pathways policy page for more info!)

I Prefer…

Print Book over E-Book

Text over Phone Call

Traditional Watch over Smart Watch

Tea over Coffee

My Twitter Favorites






Recommended News Read

Remembering ‘A Nation At Risk’: Reflections on Politics and Policy” — Education Next

What I’m Reading

I’m currently reading The Content of Their Character: Inquiries into the Varieties of Moral Formation by James Hunter and Ryan Olson. It offers a powerful reminder that academics are important, but so is the moral and civic formation of our students.

I also recommend that everyone re-read A Nation at Risk. (This copy is from the ERIC archives in all its glory!)

My Favorite Quotes

  • “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” — Nelson Mandela
  • “It is easier to build strong children than repair broken men.” — Frederick Douglass
  • “The parenting style that is good for grit is also good for most other things; be really, really demanding, and be very, very supportive.” — Angela Duckworth
  • “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me.'” — Erma Bombeck

ExcelinEd Resource Highlight

My colleague Karla Phillip’s blog post, “A Mother’s Crusade: My Special-Needs Daughter Is Thriving in a School Committed to Inclusion. I’m Fighting So More Kids Have That Chance,” reminds me that when we advocate for policy we should always remember (1) our families and (2) that one size does NOT fit all.

About the author

Lizzette Gonzalez Reynolds

Lizzette serves as Vice President of Policy for ExcelinEd, bringing almost three decades of policy and legislative experience at both the state and federal level to the organization. In her home state of Texas, Lizzette served as deputy legislative director for then-Gov. George W. Bush and most recently as Chief Deputy Commissioner for the Texas Education Agency. Under Secretary of Education Rod Paige, Lizzette served as Special Assistant in the Office of Legislation and Congressional Affairs, where she guided the reauthorizations of IDEA and Head Start. She also served as the Secretary’s Regional Representative under Secretary Margaret Spellings. Her career reflects deep experience in education policy development and implementation as well as the “how-to” of legislative work needed to advance education reforms. Among her numerous appointments, Lizzette currently sits on the board of the KnowledgeWorks Foundation, the Austin advisory board of IDEA Public Schools and the advisory board of UTeach. She received her undergraduate degree from Southwestern University.