Thanks to our dedicated and committed board members for their service 

to the students, staff and families of LAE!

Governing Board (L to R): Juanda Tate, Catalina Lechuga, Jacqueline Banda, Evita Garces (not pictured, Brian McGovern)

February 3, 2024

Regular Board Meeting

Board members with CFO (R. Tuck) and Superintendent (L. Mantei

Governing Board Members

Evita Garces

Board President

Evita Garces, known as "Evie," is the Vice President of Aircraft Maintenance for American Airlines based out of DFW. With a strong background in aircraft maintenance, Evie has made a name for herself in an otherwise male-dominated arena. She started her career on the aircraft maintenance track, earning her Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) license to eventually become an Aviation Maintenance Technician. She has continued to work her way up within the company, serving in various positions, including Manager of Aircraft Maintenance, Managing Director of Line Maintenance, Managing Director of Maintenance Planning- Base, and Strategic and Managing Director of Maintenance Operations Control.

Evie graduated from the College of Aeronautics and Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern with an MBA. She currently lives in Dallas but is a New Yorker at heart.

Evie joined LAE's governing board in September of 2021. Her business background and knowledge coupled with her desire to give back to the community make her a  great addition to the team.

Juanda Tate

Board Vice-President

Juanda joined the LAE Board in September and was subsequently elected Board Treasurer in November of 2021.  Although Ms. Tate retired in early 2019, she currently volunteers at The Dallas Arboretum as well as Duncanville Community Theatre.

Juanda is originally from Illinois where she was employed as a bank teller (American National Bank), a court reporter (the City of Chicago), and then a legal secretary with several large law firms.  During her 18+ years living in Houston TX, a career change led her to the oil and gas industry – first as an Executive Assistant in Human Resources at BP and then in Health, Safety & Environmental at Cameron.  After moving to the DFW area, she was employed by Baylor Scott & White as an Executive Assistant and Community Healthcare Worker.

Jacqueline Banda

Board Secretary

Jacqueline Banda joined the board in September of 2021. She is a student majoring in Political Science and minoring in Criminal Justice & Communications at the University of North Texas. She was enrolled in our first Kindergarten class of 2006 and graduated from our school in 2015. 

She is currently employed at Cane Rosso Rescue as the Center Operations Manager and is elated to be on the board providing alumni insight. 

Brian McGovern

Board Treasurer

Brian has been a board member of La Academia de Estrellas since 2012. He is a retired attorney.  

Almost all of Brian's employment history was with the United States government. His first professional employment was with United States Senator Abraham Ribicoff of his home state of Connecticut.  

Subsequently, Brian went to work for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commissions (EEOC).  He worked for EEOC in Washington, D.C., Little Rock, Arkansas and Dallas, Texas.  In Brian's last position with the EEOC he was Deputy Director of the Dallas District Office. Brian has also held positions with the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service. During his time with LAE, Brian has served as Board Secretary, Vice President and currently serves as Board President.  

 Catalina Lechuga

Board Member

Catalina has been actively involved with the school from the beginning, when her eldest son enrolled in our first 3rd grade class.  Over the past 12 years, all the Lechuga children have attended LAE.  Catalina has given of her time in other ways, serving on the LPAC and as PTO president.  She is a licensed mortician and works with grieving families in the Dallas metropolitan area.   Catalina joined LAE's board in 2012 and currently holds the position of board vice president.   She brings an important and valuable perspective to board discussions and decisions.  

La Academia de Estrellas, like all charter schools in Texas, is governed by a board of directors.  

LAE's governing board by-laws state that the board must be comprised of no less than 3 and no more than 9 directors, who are self-appointed for 3-year terms.

Board meetings are held regularly and are, by law, open to the public.  

Meeting notices are posted 72 hours prior to the date and time of the board meeting.   

Unless otherwise posted, all board meetings are held at the Kiest campus, 4680 W. Kiest Blvd., Dallas, TX.  

Staff, parents and others members of the public are welcome to attend board meetings but should be advised that meetings typically last 2-4 hours. 

Please note that the board president may call for the board to go into executive session to discuss legal, contractual and personnel matters.  The executive session is not open to the public, so during this time, public attendees are not permitted in the meeting room. 

2023-2024 Board Meeting Agendas and Approved Minutes

August 26, 2023 Agenda Approved Minutes

October 17, 2023 Agenda Approved Minutes

November 4, 2023 Agenda Approved Minutes  

December 16, 2023 Agenda Approved Minutes

February 3, 2024 Agenda Approved Minutes

April 20, 2024 Agenda Approved Minutes

May 9, 2024 Agenda Approved Minutes

June 6, 2024 Agenda Approved Minutes

2022-2023 Board Meeting Agendas and Approved Minutes

August 29, 2022 Agenda Approved Minutes

October 8, 2022 Agenda Approved Minutes

December 10, 2022 Agenda Approved Minutes

January 14, 2023 Agenda Approved Minutes

February 18, 2023 Agenda Approved Minutes

April 29, 2023 Agenda Approved Minutes

July 29, 2023 Agenda Approved Minutes