Staff Directory

Esmeralda Cardoso


Esmeralda Cardoso is the founding school leader of KIPP DFW’s second middle school, KIPP Destiny Middle School located in the Red Bird community of southern Dallas. Prior to seizing the opportunity to open KIPP Destiny Middle School in her own community, Esmeralda participated in the KIPP Fisher Fellowship Program for one year and served as assistant principal at KIPP Truth Academy for three years. She first joined KIPP Truth Academy in 2006, serving as sixth grade math teacher and sixth grade level chair. She was a founding teacher at Uplift’s Hampton Preparatory in Dallas, TX where she taught sixth and seventh grade mathematics, fifth grade math lab and served as seventh grade level chair. She began her teaching career at YES Prep-Southeast in Houston, TX, as seventh grade mathematics teacher in 2004. Esmeralda received her B.A. in Electrical Engineering and Hispanic Studies from Rice University and her M.Ed. in Educational Leadership with Urban School Specialization from Southern Methodist University. Outside of KIPP, she spends her free time with her two children, husband, and supportive extended family.


Cynite Cooke

Founding Assistant Principal

Cynite Cooke is the founding Assistant Principal at KIPP Destiny Middle School. As a first generation college graduate, Cynite earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Texas State University- San Marcos in 2008. After reaching a key milestone in her own life, Cynite realized education was the key that unlocked opportunities she never taught she would have and vowed to spread this message to youth around the country. In 2009, Cynite joined Teach for America relocated to Baltimore, Maryland where she taught in Baltimore City Public Schools and attended The Johns Hopkins University. Cynite took on several teaching and leadership roles while in BCPS and found a passion for data driven decision making. At Johns Hopkins, Cynite received a Master of Arts in Teaching in Elementary Education and a Master of Science in Educational Studies. Additionally, she obtained professional certifications in School Administration, Advanced Professional Teaching, and Data Driven Decision Making and Organizational Improvements. As Cynite continues to pursue her own education and career goals, she is dedicated to advocating and educating students and families who live in underserved communities.


Dr. Kristal Smart

Culture Coach

Dr. Kristal Smart is the Culture Coach for KIPP Destiny Middle School. She relocated to Dallas after nine successful years of teaching in Memphis, Tennessee's Public School Districts. She began her KIPP journey as a founding lead teacher for KIPP Truth Elementary. Originally from White Hall, Arkansas she received her Bachelor's Degree in Secondary Education from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and went on to pursue her Master's Degree ('09) Educational Specialists, Ed.S Degree ('12) and Doctorate Degree ('16) from Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. Kristal believes having a positive culture is a key factor and the foundation of any organization’s success. This belief is what inspired her research which heavily focused on components of leadership and school culture practices. Outside of KIPP, Kristal loves to spend time with her husband and one-year-old daughter Scarlett. In her free time she enjoys Sunday brunches, vacations to the beach, cooking, and watching sports with her husband.


Alicia Thomas

Director of Campus Operations

Alicia Thomas is from Hughes, Arkansas and is very proud to have been raised in a small town. She attended the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff in Pine Bluff, Arkansas where she earned her BS in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance. Alicia earned her Masters of Arts in Teaching from the University of Arkansas at Monticello and taught Career and Technical Education for 4 years in her hometown. When Alicia moved to Dallas in 2011, she began teaching Career and Technical Education at a charter school for 2 years before transitioning into administration. Alicia joined KIPP DFW in 2015 as KIPP Destiny’s Director of Campus Operations. She enjoys working behind the scenes to ensure that students and staff have what they need to ensure that there is great teaching and learning happening at KIPP Destiny on a daily basis. Alicia truly enjoys being a soccer mom for her 2 sons, Nicholas and Brenton (Dooda Bug), eating crushed ice, and listening to music.


KIPP Destiny Middle School 2016-2017 Staff Directory

Name Role Email Address
Esmeralda Cardoso     Principal
Cynite Cook Assistant Principal
Kimberly Corbitt 7th Grade Science Teacher
Christine Crowe Reading Interventionist
Marsha Fountain 6th Grade English Teacher
Jorge Gallaga Urban Teacher Resident
Allyson LaFrance School Operations Assistant
Katie McGee 7th Grade English Teacher
India Miles 7th Grade History Through Writing Teacher
Nikki Newman 6th Grade English Teacher/Parent and Community Liaison
Alex O'Neal 6th and 7th Grade Math Teacher
Tony Pascall 7th Grade Math Teacher
Amanda Prell Urban Teachers Resident
Morgan Przybylski Special Education Teacher
Erika Sevall Counselor
Kristal Smart Culture Coach
Shannon Strong 6th Grade Science Teacher
Jessica Suarez Second Language Acquisition Coordinator
Joanna Sutton 6th Grade Math Teacher
Alicia Thomas Director of Campus Operations
Cynthia Torres School Operations Manager
Vernon Turner 6th Grade History Through Writing Teacher
KeJuan Weaver Fitness and Technology Teacher
Samantha Williams   Special Education Teacher


5th Grade Humanities


5th Grade Math


5th Grade Math 


5th Grade Science


5th Grade ELA


5th Grade ELA


6th Grade ELA


6th Grade ELA


6th Grade Math


6th Grade Math


6th Grade Humanities


6th Grade Science


7th/8th  Grade ELA


7th Grade Character


7th Grade ELA


7th Grade Math


7th Grade Science


8th Grade ELA


8th Grade Algebra


Math Interventionist


8th grade Science


8th Grade History


Assistant Principal


Literacy Coach


Assistant Principal



Assistant Principal


School Leader