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Texas ACE Staff

Johanna Murton, Family Engagement Specialist

Ms. Murton is originally from London and she was a high school English and Media teacher in central England for 11 years. Ms. Murton has a Bachelor's Degree in History and German, and a Masters Degree in English. 

In 2017 she moved with her scientist husband to Galveston, when he was hired for a research position at UTMB. 

She loves living in Galveston and working in GISD with the Texas ACE After School Program, in the position of Family Engagement Specialist. When she’s not at work she enjoys crochet, church, taking photos, and spending time with her husband, her daughter Alice, and dog Charlie.

Daphanie Vansickle, Parker Site Coordinator

Ms. Vansickle is originally from Texas but spent the majority of her teen years in Rhode Island. She graduated from Rhode Island College with a Bachelors in Psychology and earned her Masters from Webster University. 

In 2018, she moved to Galveston to be near family. She has been working for GISD with the Texas ACE After School Program for 4 years and enjoys creating educational programs for the students. 

In her spare time she enjoys crocheting, paper crafting, quilt making, and cross-stitching. 

Synethia Dorsey, LA Morgan Site Coordinator

Ms. Synethia Dorsey is a BOI, she graduated from Ball High School. In High School she took a 2-year child care course and that is when she knew teaching was her passion.  She received her Associates from Galveston College and her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston Clear Lake. She has been working with children for 20 + years and her favorite part about working for Texas ACE is working with students and helping them excel in their education. 

Ms. Dorsey’s favorite foods are Mexican and pizza and she loves spending time with her children, grandchild, and family as well as cooking, traveling, and shopping. 



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Lupe Ruttiger, Curriculum Writer

Lupe is a proud BOI and feels blessed to serve the children and families in her hometown.  She has served in the youth development field for over twenty years and has been a certified educator for fifteen years.  Lupe is passionate about the field of education, especially in the out-of-school time sector.  She earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Houston – Clear Lake and is currently earning a master’s degree in Educational Psychology from Capella University.  She is married to her handsome husband, Ronnie Ruttiger, Jr. and in her spare time enjoys gardening, reading, and watching the Astros win.

Wes Holland, Oppe Site Coordinator

Wes Holland was born in Atlanta, Georgia and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. After high school he attended the University of Alabama’s Restaurant Hospitality Management Program. He received his Pedorthic Certification from Oklahoma State University with Honors. He was Head Pedorthist at Pedorthic Care Center in Birmingham, Alabama and Healthsound Medical Center from 1998-2006. In 2006 he opened his own practice with locations in Birmingham and Montgomery, Alabama. During the next 12 years he held numerous offices on the Alabama State Board of Prosthetics and Orthotics as well as compliance officer. He was the youngest president elected to the state board and the only pedorthist elected to the position. In 2018 he sold the practices and moved to Galveston to be closer to family. After substitute teaching in the life skills programs of GISD he accepted a position as Texas ACE site coordinator. Wes is married to a fellow GISD educator and has three children. In his spare time he likes to fish, brew, and spend time with his family.

Mary Munson, Crenshaw Site Coordinator

Mary Munson is originally from Phoenix, Arizona where she was born and raised. Mrs. Munson and her husband have been married for 18 years and have 4 daughters. Her oldest daughter is a freshman at Texas A&M and her other 3 daughters are students of GISD. Mrs. Munson worked in banking and finance for 15 years before she decided to pursue a career in education. She was a 21st CCLC site coordinator in Arizona before moving to Houston where she also worked as a Texas ACE coordinator. The day after Mrs. Munson and her family made their long journey from Arizona to Houston Texas she could not wait any longer to go to the beach and check out Galveston. As soon as they arrived on the island she and her whole family knew that one day they would make Galveston their home. Now that she lives here in Galveston she enjoys spending her time walking on the beach and hanging out with her family.   



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Iesha Deyon, Ball High Site Coordinator

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Jesica Medellin, Project Director

Jesica Medellin, MEd, is the current Texas ACE Project Director. She moved to Galveston in 2018, previously she was living in Ogden, UT where she worked as a special education teacher, a GEAR Up Site Coordinator, and worked with inner city youth in middle and high school as well as adjudicated youth. She’s worked in both district and Charter schools and worked with students from kindergarten through 12th grade as well as helping former students with their freshman year of college. 

She earned her Bachelors in Communication/Journalism with a minor in Technical Writing from Weber State University in 2006. After being hired as an AmeriCorps Literacy Leader in 2010 she began to pursue her Masters in Curriculum and Instruction Design with a special education endorsement and graduated in 2014. She was level 2 certified in Utah and is certified to teach in Texas as well. 

She is passionate about the people of Galveston and works to connect both community and school to create positive changes that will benefit the future employees (students) of the island. 

Austen Anderson, Burnet Site Coordinator

Austen Anderson was born in South-East Houston. He graduated from Texas A&M at the University of Galveston in 2016 with a Bachelor's degree in Marine Biology. He has lived in Salt Lake City, Utah and lived a short time in San Clemente, California. 

Austen started an environmental business called Mountain Ocean Project doing recycling pickups and beach cleanups. He is an entrepreneur at heart. 

In his free time you can find him in the metaverse, reselling gaming consoles, or surfing. One day he hopes to run a large environmental business to combat climate change. His inspirations are Elon Musk, Gary Vaynerchuk, and his dad. 

He really enjoys teaching young people life skills through Texas ACE and his environmental business.



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Juana Ramirez, Administrative Assistant

Juana Ramirez is Administrative Assistant for the Texas ACE program. She was born in Mexico and raised in Galveston. She graduated Cosmetology School in 2015 and also has her AAS Degree. Juana is married to a Sergeant at the Galveston Port Police Department and is a proud “Girl Mom” of two admirable little ladies. 

In her free time, Mrs. Ramirez enjoys down time and making memories. Hobbies include crafting, trying out DIY tutorials and new recipes in the kitchen, as well as boosting people's confidence with her stylist talent.