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Board of Directors

Board of Directors 2018-10-15T09:36:05+00:00

Maryann Overath

AVEY Board Chair

Maryann Overath is a marketing and media attorney with Dell Inc., where she also administers Dell’s pro bono health law project, a collaborative program with Disability Rights Texas. Previously, she worked with a number of non-profit legal organizations, including the Southern Disability Law Center, Advocacy, Inc., Texas Legal Services Center and the Texas Civil Rights Project. Maryann’s civil rights practice has focused on the provision of legal services to children with disabilities and chronic health conditions in the areas of health and education.

Susan Moffat

AVEY Board Vice-Chair

A former journalist and legislative researcher, Susan Moffat is longtime community activist focusing primarily on issues related to education, equity and the local economy. She is the current Education Chair of Liveable City, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization, and is a founding member of Save Texas Schools. As a strong proponent of the arts, Moffat led the effort to designate arts education as a key element of AISD’s Strategic Plan, served on the steering committee of the Kennedy Center’s Any Given Child initiative for Austin and currently chairs the Austin Creative Classroom Fund. A graduate of Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts of Boston, she is married to Nick Barbaro, founder and publisher of the Austin Chronicle and co-founder of SXSW; they are the parents of an AISD graduate.

William “Buddy” Steele

AVEY Board Secretary

William “Buddy” Steele is a retired attorney at Locke Lord in Austin, Texas. He has substantial experience in business litigation, arbitration, and mediation in federal and state courts. Buddy has served as a Board Member for the YMCA Camp Grady Spruce, the Westcave Preserve, and as a Member on the Transportation Committee at the Austin Chamber of Commerce. Before joining the Austin Voices board, Buddy served on the Austin Project Board of Trustees for 5 years and as Board President for three years.

Joy Baskin

Joy became the Director of Legal Services of the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) in October 2005, after working as an attorney in TASB’s Legal Services for eight years. As director, Joy oversees the division’s activities and informs TASB’s other service areas about legal developments. Joy is a frequent presenter on school law topics, including open government, student issues, and religion in schools. She is an active member of the school law section of the State Bar of Texas, including serving on its executive council as Chair of the section. Joy is also a member of the Texas Council of School Attorneys and the National Council of School Attorneys. She currently serves as a member of the Supreme Court of Texas Permanent Judicial Commission for Children, Youth, and Families Education Committee. As a mother of two sons who are AISD students, Joy has been an active PTA volunteer and board member of the Austin Shakespeare Festival. She and her family are active members of Covenant Presbyterian Church.

Chrys Dougherty, IV, Ph.D.

Chrys is a Senior Research Scientist at ACT, Inc./The National Center for Educational Achievement. His recent writing has addressed the importance of early learning, the challenge of catching up students who are far behind, the consistency of districts’ value-added measures across subjects and grade levels, and how school districts can support educators’ use of data. After teaching science in an elementary school in Oakland, California, Dr. Dougherty received his Master of Public Affairs degree from the LBJ School of Public Affairs and Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University. He taught statistics, economics, econometrics, and education policy courses at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, and authored, Asking the Right Questions about Schools: a Parents’ Guide. Before joining Austin Voices, Chrys served for many years on the board of The Austin Project.

Ara Merjanian

Ara is the Principal and CEO at AM Associates. Ara has served for 20 years in various senior positions with institutions of higher education and Texas State legislative and executive branch agencies, including Blueprint Director for the E3 Alliance at Austin Community College and Director for Planning and Development and Workforce Education and School-to-Careers Policy Advisor in the Governor’s Office of Budget and Planning. In addition to Austin Voices, he serves on several non-profit boards and advisory committees, including the CAN Community Council, and was named a “Best Practices Partner” by the National Partnership for Reinventing Government. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Business Administration, and he is a Certified Facilitator.