Chuck Cook

Interim CEO


As the Interim CEO of TCSA, Chuck Cook manages daily operations and has oversight of the policy priorities for the organization. He is also a founding board member of TCSA.

Chuck Cook continues to serve as CEO of Responsive Education Solutions (ResponsiveEd) and has been an instrumental force in Texas school choice since 1998. Chuck has lead ResponsiveEd’s expansion into one of the largest charter school systems in the state—operating more than 70 campuses, employing more than 2,200 educators, and serving more than 22,000 students in Grade K-12. ResponsiveEd’s community schools include various models such as dropout recovery campuses, specialized mission academies, and STEM high schools. Additionally, Chuck founded the Foundation School for Autism in San Antonio, the first tuition-free charter school for students with autism in the state of Texas. Chuck’s vision is to see ResponsiveEd continue its expansion into a national network of 500 high quality, character-focused schools of choice, serving 125,000 students.

Bruce Marchand, Ed.D.

Interim VP of Operations / Director of Training Services


Dr. Bruce Marchand brings 35 years of public education experience to TCSA, serving in several large Texas independent school districts as a teacher, principal, curriculum director, and executive director of elementary education. From 2010-2016, Dr. Marchand served as superintendent of Pineywoods Community Academy charter school in Lufkin, Texas, where under his direction the school grew by more than 800 students and increased its budget by nine million dollars. His focus is developing and coordinating education and training for charter governance boards, CEOs, teachers, and other school staff to assist schools in their successful operation and to help charter leaders to meet the professional training requirements as set forth by the state of Texas. Bruce also helps to direct many of the day to day operations of the association. He holds a doctorate in Educational Administration from Texas A&M – Commerce where his study on factors related to charter failure in Texas has been presented at several national research conferences and is considered an important addition to the existing literature on improving charter school efficacy.

Christine F. Nishimura

General Counsel


Christine brings over a decade of education and legal experience to the TCSA General Counsel position. As a Teach For America corps member, Christine taught middle school at Aspire Public Schools, a charter school in Huntington Park, CA. While in law school, Christine worked with fellow Teach For America Alumni to create a restorative justice program at an Austin area middle school. Immediately following law school, Christine received an Equal Justice Works Fellowship to work at Disability Rights Texas where Christine practiced special education law. She is also an adjunct professor at The University of Texas School of Law teaching trial skills courses. Christine received her B.A. from the University of Michigan, her J.D. from The University of Texas School of Law, and is licensed to practice law in the State of Texas.

Laura Kelly

Director of Quality Services


As the Director of Quality Services, Laura assists leaders and governing teams with their strategic planning and performance improvement efforts and she supports start-up teams in organizational creation, culture building, and business model validation. Additionally, Laura oversees the Quality Framework tools and data systems used by TCSA’s member schools to increase educational and operational performance. Prior to joining the TCSA team, Laura led the charter school quality, educational productivity, and organizational improvement efforts for the Institute for Public School Initiatives at The University of Texas at Austin (IPSI). While there, she spearheaded the Institute’s conversion from a bureaucratic, paper-laden department into a telecommuting, paperless, learning organization. Formerly in the private sector, Laura has worked in education reform for the last eleven years and specializes in organizational effectiveness and school quality. Laura graduated with summa cum laude from St. Edward’s University with a Bachelors of Arts in Business Administration.

Erin Tholen

Director of Development


As the TCSA Director of Development, Erin builds and implements strategies to engage corporate and philanthropic partners to support the Association’s mission through a diversified funding portfolio. Her collaborative experience across multiple sectors supports the Association’s goal of connecting key decision-makers with one-another to drive results. During her five years with TCSA, Erin has overseen all membership programs and managed earned revenue and cooperative agreements. Before moving to Texas, Erin worked for a large, community-based non-profit agency in California. There, she connected families, schools, local government and local foundations to implement a ground-breaking results-based accountability structure for schools in Santa Barbara County. She graduated with honors from The University of Arizona and received her Master of Education from Arizona State University.

Chris Bash, MBA

Director of Marketing


As Director of Marketing, Chris provides TCSA with marketing plans and support needed to achieve the mission, objectives and directives of the association. Chris has over 20 years of experience in business, marketing and design. During his career, he has worked across 7 vastly different industries, most recently spending eight years in the finance sector. Chris holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration and a Bachelors of Arts degree with honors in Advertising, both from Texas Tech University.

Phillip Ramati

Director of Communications


Phillip brings more than two decades of media experience as both an award-winning journalist and in public relations. Phillip comes to TCSA after two years as communications specialist with the University of North Carolina System, writing features and news releases about the 17 incumbent campuses. Before that, he spent the previous 18 years as a general assignment reporter with The Macon (Ga.) Telegraph, covering government, education, crime, business and features. Phillip received his Bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Georgia.

Elliott Nguyen

Director of Charter School Growth and Development


Elliott Nguyen is the Director of Charter School Growth and Development at TCSA. He has more than ten years of experience in the non-profit and education sectors. Leveraging his experience in campus operations, student and family engagement, and school launches, Elliott seeks to expand current charter school networks within Texas, recruit out-of-state operators to the Lone Star State, and identify and develop future charter school leaders. Prior to his tenure at TCSA, Elliott worked at IDEA Public Schools leading the work around operational readiness for the entire network and was most recently the Assistant Principal of Operations in K-10 school in Austin. Elliott’s experience also includes his work at the Junior Statesman Foundation in Washington, D.C. Elliott has degrees in Political Science and East Asian Studies from Wittenberg University in Ohio.

Geanene Trahan

Director of Financial Operations


Geanene brings eight years of nonprofit experience including financial forecasting, strategic planning, fiscal grant management, and executive leadership. Prior to joining TCSA, Geanene served as the Vice President of Operations and Finance at Easter Seals Central Texas. Geanene has a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Dillard University.

Nadia D. Luna

Director of Membership


Nadia Luna is responsible for coordinating memberships for schools, solution providers and supporters of Texas charter schools and hopes to continue TCSA’s record of strong member engagement. Prior to joining TCSA, she was the executive assistant and compliance paralegal at a workers’ compensation law firm, but was drawn back into education, having previously served as a School Success Intern for Breakthrough! Austin during her undergraduate career at the University of Texas. There she helped create first-generation college students. Working with charter schools over the last few years has proved to be fulfilling and she looks forward to cultivating relationships with school leaders across Texas.

Alyssa Townsend, CMP

Director of Events


Alyssa joined the TCSA team in 2014. She is responsible for the planning and execution of the TCSA Annual Conferences and other meetings to ensure they reflect the strategic objectives of the TCSA through streamlining event logistics and communications. Alyssa began her career in the hotel industry working for Bellagio and Hyatt in hotel sales and event management. In addition to her experience in the hospitality industry, she has a Bachelor of Science in Event Management from UCF’s Rosen College of Hospitality Management.

Janie Muñoz

Operations and Events Manager


Prior to joining TCSA, Janie worked for the University of Texas at Arlington’s (UTA) Center for Environmental Excellence as an Operations Manager for six years. While at UTA, she assisted in staff training, developing policy guidelines, general agency outreach and project management of an environmental contract held with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) that covered the entire state of Texas. She has over ten years in public service with other state agencies such as the TCEQ and University of Texas (UT) at Austin. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Bachelor of Science in Communications Studies from UT Austin.

Erika Rocha

Central Texas Outreach & Field Manager


Erika Rocha is the Central Texas Outreach & Field Manager for Central Texas at TCSA. Erika works closely with various Austin public charter schools’ staff empowering parents to advocate for students on a wide range of different issues both at the state and local level. With these efforts, Erika is creating a road map for the rest of the state to follow. Erika has worked on several state and local elections increasing voter participation and helping neighbors organize their communities. In addition, she has worked with the President’s non-profit organization on issue-based campaigns advocating alongside community leaders promoting sensible policy.