Communities In Schools of Houston is thrilled to announce the addition of two new members to our board of directors. Jennifer Espey and Suzanne Stiles, both of whom are active members of the Spring Branch and Memorial Villages communities and have been hands-on supporters of CIS, are joining the board upon the formal vote.

Jennifer Espey is mother to two teenagers and a 12-year-old, all of whom attend Spring Branch ISD schools. She is passionate about the Communities In Schools programs at Spring Branch Middle School and Memorial High School, working closely with the on-campus CIS student support specialists, Nelda Zuniga of SBMS and Sophie Fronk of MHS. Jennifer helps coach the weekly CIS Running Club and helps coordinate SBMS Study Bear Buddies – a peer-to-peer homework help program which partners NJHS members with CIS and teacher-referred students. Jennifer also is the Community Network Coordinator at SBMS, an SBISD Mentor and MHS College Greeter. Her past volunteer efforts at Memorial Drive Elementary include chairing the MDE auction, Cultural Arts committee, student newspaper and Spelling Bee. Jennifer and her husband, Lin, have lived on four continents and share an affinity for rescue dogs from places like Tunisia, Qatar, and Katy, Texas.

Suzanne Stiles is a native Houstonian and graduated from Memorial High School in 1991. She and her husband, Adam, whom she met while they were in college at SMU, have three girls, ages 14, 13 and 11.  Suzanne is a stay-at-home mom and full-time volunteer who is president of the Spring Branch ISD Council of PTAs, serves on the Executive Board of the Spring Branch Education Foundation, serves on the Spring Branch ISD District Information Team and two Campus Improvement Teams, is president of the Houston Pi Beta Phi Foundation, Vice President of Philanthropy of the Bayou Villages National Charity League and a sustaining member of the Junior League of Houston. She is also actively involved with her church, Memorial Drive Presbyterian. For her on-the-side fun job, Suzanne writes the monthly Memorial Mentions column for the local magazine, Absolutely Memorial, and works as an account executive.

Communities In Schools of Houston expanded services in Spring Branch ISD as part of the Memorial Village community’s commitment to provide teachers and students the best resources available. All students have different needs at different times, whether they need additional practice to master math concepts, are anxious about issues with friends or their health, or seeking internships or community service. Together, we are working to proactively identify and provide support needed to students who may be trying to work through issues on their own.

A full 97 percent of students served through CIS’ case management services showed marked improvement in academics, attendance and/or class engagement/behavior in Spring Branch ISD’s 35 schools. CIS provides more than $1.7 million annually to fund student support services and coordinate more than $515,000 of in-kind services and goods for Spring Branch ISD schools. Every dollar invested in CIS creates $18.80 of economic benefit for the community with an annual rate of return of 24.8 percent.

CIS of Houston supports more than 22,000 SBISD students for success in school, college, careers and in life, and we are excited to welcome Jennifer and Suzanne as we pledge to continue our commitment to do whatever it takes to help students thrive.