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About

About: Headliner

Founder

Mary Murimi, Ph.D., RD, LDN 

Dr. Murimi is Professor of Nutrition in the College of Human Sciences at Texas Tech University, Past President for the Society of Nutrition Education and Behavior, Past Associate Editor for the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, and Past Chancellor of Daystar University in Kenya Africa. Dr. Murimi’s research focuses on understanding the effects of the community environment on the nutrition status of the residents, and identifying coping strategies for food insecurity and factors that influence dietary behavior, especially among low-income populations.

 

Recently, Dr. Murimi’s research has evolved to the study of usage of native vegetables in Africa to combat food insecurity and looking at ways of combating stunting in selected communities in Bangladesh. She has reported the findings of her research nationally and internationally with over 50 presentations in either oral, or publications at peer reviewed scientific journals. Dr. Murimi has received numerous recognitions for her achievements including the Society of Nutrition Education and Behavior mid-career achievement award.

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About: About
About: About

Meet The Team

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Andrew W. Spangler

General Counsel, Board Chair

Andrew Spangler brings a varied, but uniquely relevant, background to the Board for Top of the Hill Girls School.  Andrew is passionate about education and believes that greater access to education is the most relevant predictor for future success.  He has walked out those beliefs personally by seeking higher education opportunities across various fields.  As an engineer, Andrew has a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering, cum laude, from Texas Tech University.  As a pastor, he received a Master of Arts in Theological Studies, summa cum laude, from Liberty University.  And in his current occupation as a lawyer, he obtained a Juris Doctor, cum laude, from SMU School of Law and is less than a year away from completing an LLM in Business Law with a concentration in Cybersecurity, Data, and Privacy from Florida State University School of Law.  

His work experience has been just as varied as his educational background.  After graduating from law school, he worked for the premier patent firm in the world before becoming a federal clerk in East Texas.  Following that clerkship, he started his own law firm.  Within two years, his firm became a consistent national leader in patent plaintiff filings in the United States.  Today, he currently works in-house at a technology startup company that allows him to leverage his expertise in technology, corporate governance, and strategy.

In addition to his legal success, Andrew also has a passion for ministry.  From 2016 until 2022, he left the practice of law and went into full time ministry.  Andrew ended up working at two different large churches as an Executive Pastor but with a personal passion for outreach and cross-cultural ministries.  In North Carolina, he founded the Jubilee Institute, which is a ministry dedicated to coming alongside area Hispanic churches that eventually led to the launch of another non-profit organization Andrew serves as a Board member on, Immigrant HOPE of the Sandhills.  Over the years, he has traveled extensively providing pastoral training, discipleship development, and evangelism.  This includes approximately a dozen visits to at least five different countries across Central and South America.  But he has a special place in his heart for Africa as well.  He has traveled to Rwanda twice, Tanzania once, and Kenya twice, including a visit to the Kakuma Refugee Camp.

Serving as Board Chair for the Top of the Hill Girls School provides a unique opportunity for Andrew to leverage all that he has experienced before with the goal of seeing young women become the future leaders of their generation.  In addition, because of his high ethical standards, Andrew brings a “best practices” mind-set to issues around controls and legal compliance for the school.  Long term, Andrew fully expects Top of the Hill Girls School to become ECFA compliant, thereby providing greater certainty around integrity, accountability and transparency for donors and fund management. 

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Ricardo Torres,
Vice Board Chair,
Creative Direction

Interested in architecture as the mediation of both the local and the global; through a commitment to site sensitivity, material culture, and social agency.  He has a multidisciplinary background and holds Master’s degrees in both Marketing and Architecture. 

Principal / Founder
Estudio Ricardo Torres

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Heather Greenhalgh,

 Education/Curriculum Planning

An expert on curriculum development, digital pedagogy, and women’s/girls’ education. Heather currently works as Coordinator of Curriculum for C&I Department at Texas Tech University.

Coordinator of Curriculum for C&I Department, Texas Tech University

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Kate Kabahuma,

Treasurer

Kate has a passion to bring high quality educational opportunities, and avenues for wealth and better health, to young women across all of East Africa.

Accountant
Big Four Accounting

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David Blake,

Governance & Overall Strategy

Global expert on skills, the future of work, and future-proofing companies and their employees; Co-founder and Executive Director of Degreed; Coauthor of The Expertise Economy.


Co-Founder &
Executive Chairman at Degreed

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Andrew Conachey,

Managing Director

Andrew is a tax and accounting professional at a Fortune 500 company and passionate about education and empowering those who desire to succeed.


Accounting
 Amsterdam, Holland

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Lisa Zhao,

Social Outreach

Lisa worked in Ogilvy advertising agency to serve international brands including Unilever and Philips. She also worked in LEGO Toy to lead the China digital strategy and innovation projects. She believes in the power of education and the right of equal opportunity.


Digital Marketing,
Make-a-Wish Foundation

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Mindy Hamilton
Secretary

As a retired elementary and secondary teacher/administrator, Mindy brings twenty plus years of educational experience to the board.

She holds a Master’s of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction and is passionate about making learning experiential and engaging.


Retired
 Texas

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John Gwan,
Technology Advisor

John is a Senior Software Developer working at an Ivy League University. He's also involved in an ambitious tech startup project in Africa.

Having been a high school instructor himself, he has a passion for quality elementary and secondary education- especially in STEM-related fields.


Senior Software Developer,
Connecticut

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Ann Lee

The first thing you need to know about me is that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior, and all I do is in order to serve Him. My career, in the filed of education, includes teaching secondary English, working as reading specialist, mentoring first year teachers, and serving as an administrator for three high schools. Additionally, I was involved in the start up of a number alternative schools. Teaching Bible study classes, Sunday School and VBS are other activities in which I have been involved.

Over the past eight years, I have had the privilege of going on ten mission trips, four of those to Kenya where I feel in love with the people. While on one of those trips, I got a chance to meet Mary. I was thrilled to hear about her vision for this school. Later, I was surprised and excited when she called me and ask if I would consider being on the board.

My husband, George, who supports all my endeavors, and I have a blended family including three children, four grandchildren and two great grandchildren. 

I am pleased and excited to be part of this amazing opportunity in build THGSS

About: About

Our Vision

Plant the seeds of Peace and Hope.

To develop a transformational 21st century secondary education model system that is relevant and sustainable.

Professor Mary Murimi, Ph.D.

A Vision for Top of the Hill

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Our Mission

 The Top of the Hill School prepares young women from across the region and around the country for college, careers, and a Christian faith based life. Within a family school environment and a rigorous experiential curriculum, we challenge our young women to work hard; think and reason; be fulfilled; serve the common good; and be prepared to lead as citizens of the world, uniquely guided by our motto, “Always Aim Higher.”

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