Gordon Education

Our Team

Gordon Education's Mission:

To make performing arts education free, fun and accessible to all kids.  And, to use the power of the arts to:

  • Improve the learning impact of educational curriculum

  • Promote diversity and understanding

  • Cultivate creative expression

Performing arts education benefits children of all ages and is an integral and vital part of a child's development. Children who participate in the performing arts are at least three times more likely to:

  • be recognized for academic achievement

  • be elected to class office within their schools

  • participate in a math and science fair

  • win an award for school attendance and

  • win an award for writing an essay or poem.

Kids who participate in the performing arts also:

  • excel at a higher rate in math, science, and reading

  • gain confidence and self-esteem

  • strengthen communication and social skills

    Sources: The New York Times, Fast Facts About the Arts, The Arts and Economic Prosperity, Americans for the Arts, All the Arts for All the Kids: What the Arts Do, American Association of Museums FAQ, Education Encyclopedia - StateUniversity.com: Music Education


The Committees


​The Advisory Committee for Gordon Education is comprised of leaders in the Houston community that champion education, arts, youth initiates, multi-cultural relations, social media and more.  The Advisory Committee come from diverse backgrounds and interests, but they all share the common ideal that Take the Stage will be a great contribution for youth in Houston and for this country as a whole.  The committee's varied experience and counsel are taken into serious consideration as this TV program develops. The Advisory Committee works directly with Executive Director Dan Gordon to produce this program with Houston Public Media.

Advisory Committee

Denise Conway, HISD Lead Science Teacher

Jessika Davidson, Digital Marketing and Engagement Strategist
​Dean Haddock, 10Up Strategist
Lance Menster, YES Prep Managing Director of Elementary Schools 

Dale Mitchell, HISD School Support Officer
Henry Yau, PR & Marketing Director, Childen's Museum of Houston

Executive Board Members

Jason Bernal

Krista Calaway

Kristen Golden
Dan J. Gordon

Cindy Leong-Wu
Juliet McBride


Our Partners

  • Houston Public Media

  • Children's Museum of Houston

  • Houston Independent School District

Dan J. Gordon - contact​​

Creator/Executive Producer of Take the Stage

From growing up with a traveling anthropologist father and a mother devoted to performing arts and special education, Dan has naturally developed a passion for performing arts education and created Gordon Education Initiatives for the Performing Arts to produce educational media for kids with a focus on varying cultural expressions and kids with special needs.

As an educator, Dan has taught performing arts classes and directed plays for youth of all ages and demographics since 2002 in Houston, Los Angeles and New York City.  In Houston, Dan has taught for Main Street Theater, Alley Theatre, HITS Theatre, Culture Camp, Center for Success and Independence, Asia Society of Texas, YES Prep Public School system, as well he has led acting workshops in various public schools in HISD.  Dan was a member of the Education Outreach Committee for SPAHouston and is a member of Texans for the Arts.


As a theatre producer, Dan began a non-profit theatre company in 2002, The Back Porch players, which enjoyed over ten years of production and many accolades including being the first theatre company to perform at The Houston Ballet Center for Dance and being nominated for Best Play and winning Best Actress awards for In the Blood from the Houston Press Theatre Awards.  

Dan also enjoys being a "Big Brother" with the Big Brothers/Big Sisters program.

Carol-Lynn Parente - contact​​

Executive Producer of Take the Stage

Carol-Lynn Parente is an accomplished producer, winning 15 Emmy awards for her work on SESAME STREET, where she was the Executive Producer for 11 years and SVP of Creative for 6 years, overseeing the development and production of all Sesame Street content across all media platforms globally, including broadcast, digital, interactive gaming, web, apps, themed entertainment, outreach and social media.  Carol-Lynn is now the founder of Street Cred Media, providing producing, writing,directing and consulting services specializing in the creation of children's media that is engaging, entertaining and educational.


As a life-long child advocate, Kathy studied early childhood education at the University of Houston and served multi-year terms as the chairperson on boards throughout Houston that championed arts education and kids with disabilities.  Some of her favorite positions include 7 years as Cultural Arts Chair at Haude Elementary in Klein ISD, 4 years on the board of Class Act Productions and 4 years on the Klein Oak High School Theatre Booster Club.  She managed accounts in publicity, events, bookkeeping and development. 


She is a long-time volunteer for The River Performing and Visual Arts in partnership with Theatre Under the Stars where she facilitates weekly art projects for kids with special needs.  


Previously, Kathy owned a business to assign care providers for the elderly, ensuring a safe environment and allowing them to stay in their own homes.  Texas born and bred, Kathy is married and the mother of two daughters – Morgan, a theatre artist, and Maitland, an aspiring teacher.

Kathy Starr - contact​​

General Manager of Gordon Education


Allison Caplovitz, Ph.D. - contact​​

Director of Research of Take the Stage


Allison earned her doctorate in Human Development and Family Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin. Her special area of interest is the impact of educational media on children’s cognitive development.

Allison has consulted for children’s websites, children’s toys, and children’s television programs. She was the Manager of Research and Development for Blue’s Clues, an educational preschool program on Nickelodeon, an intern at Sesame Workshop, and a consultant to Fisher-Price where she assessed the learning potential of an interactive literacy product. She also authored numerous Blue’s Clues children’s books.

Allison is a member of the Center for Research on the Influences of Interactive Technology and Television on Children (CRITC), the Children’s Digital Media Center (CDMC), and the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD)

Don Geraci - contact​​​

Executive Producer of Houston Public Media


Don is Executive Producer at Houston Public Media, where he oversees a team that produces local arts, public affairs, educational and entertainment content for broadcast and digital.  At HPM Don developed the program Arts InSight and secured national distribution for the locally produced Downton Abbey after-show Manor of Speaking

Before HPM, Don was a producer and then Executive Producer for Great Day Houston, a live, daily talk & entertainment show on CBS affiliate KHOU-11.  There he worked with producers to develop Houston-centric content for a morning audience.  


Don worked as an editor and producer for production houses in Houston and Philadelphia before moving to broadcast.