The Board of Trustees is responsible for the administration of the system under provisions of the state constitution and laws. The board is composed of nine trustees who are appointed to staggered terms of six years. Three trustees are direct appointments of the governor. Two trustees are appointed by the governor from a list prepared by the State Board of Education. Two trustees are appointed by the governor from the three public school district active member candidates who have been nominated for each position by employees of public school districts. One trustee is appointed by the governor from the three higher education active member candidates nominated by employees of institutions of higher education. One trustee is appointed by the governor from the three retired member candidates who are nominated by retired TRS members.
TRS Board of Trustees (Terms expire August 31)
R. David Kelly, Chairman, 2017 Plano
Managing Partner of Straight Line Realty Partners
R. David Kelly is chairman of Sol-Wind LLC, an alternative energy sector company. He is a member of the Dallas Assembly and Al Masah Capital Advisory Board. He is also past chairman of the Texas Public Finance Authority, and past director of the Texas Handicapped Accessibility Initiative and Dallas Affordable Housing Coalition. Kelly received a bachelor's degree from Harvard University and a Master of Business Administration from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business Administration. Kelly is a direct appointment of the governor, has served since 2007 and was reappointed for a second term. He will continue to serve as board chair for a term to expire at the pleasure of the governor.
Nanette Sissney, Vice Chair, 2015 Whitesboro
School Counselor, Whitesboro Independent School District
Nanette Sissney of Whitesboro is an intermediate school counselor for the Whitesboro Independent School District. She is immediate past president of the Texas Classroom Teachers Association (TCTA), a statewide non-partisan organization representing more than 50,000 teachers and other non-administrative education professionals across the state. Sissney is also a previous second vice president of the Delta Kappa Gamma Kappa Zeta Chapter. She has served as a trustee for the First United Methodist Church of Whitesboro on several occasions and as a volunteer with the Whitesboro Ministerial Alliance. Sissney received a bachelor’s degree from Texas Woman’s University and a master’s degree in education from
Southeastern Oklahoma State University. She has been an educator for 23 years, including teaching government and economics for 12 years. Prior to her work as an educator, she spent many years as a financial auditor and analyst in the private sector. Sissney is appointed by the governor from three public school district active member candidates nominated by employees of public school districts.
Todd Barth, 2015 Houston
President, Bowers Properties Inc.
Todd Barth of Houston is president of Bowers Properties Inc. He is a member of the State Bar of Texas, and past member of the Permanent School Fund Investment Advisory Committee for the Private Equity Real Estate, Energy and Infrastructure Portfolio. He is also a member of the Texas Business Hall of Fame Foundation Board of Directors and past vice president of finance for the Neuhaus Education Center. Barth received a bachelor's degree from the University of Rochester, a Master of Business Administration from the Owen Graduate School of Management, and a law degree from Vanderbilt University. Barth is a direct appointment of the governor.
T. Karen Charleston, 2017 Houston
Space Management Assistant, Prairie View A&M University
T. Karen Charleston of Houston has been employed with Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU) for more than 23 years, holding a bachelor of arts degree in music education from Huston-Tillotson University. While working in the university’s Physical Plant Administration, she researched, prepared and successfully presented seven PVAMU buildings listed on the National Register. She is currently a space management assistant for PVAMU. Charleston is a leader of the Prairie View Chapter of the Texas State Employees Union, and a member of the PVAMU Institutional BioSafety Committee, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, and Tau Beta Sigma National Honorary Band Sorority. She is a past board member and chair of the PVAMU Staff Advisory Council, and a past member of the National Association for Multicultural Educators and Texas Historical Commission African American Heritage Task Force.
Charleston is appointed by the governor from the three higher education active member candidates nominated by employees of institutions of higher education.
Joe Colonnetta, 2019 Dallas
Joe Colonnetta is a private investor. He is a board member of the Baylor Health Care System Foundation and the Texas Prepaid Higher Education Tuition Board. He is also a Boy Scout merit badge counselor. Colonnetta received a bachelor's degree from the University of Houston. He has more than 20 years of investment management experience, including private equity and debt investments on behalf of pension funds, endowments and family offices. Colonnetta is a direct appointment of the governor.
David Corpus, 2019 Humble
Senior Vice President, CommunityBank of Texas, N.A.
David Corpus is senior vice president of CommunityBank of Texas, N.A. He has worked in the banking industry for the past 29 years. His areas of specialty include commercial, industrial and commercial real estate transactions. He has extensive experience in bank mergers, acquisitions and De Novos. He also serves on the Harris County Housing Finance Corporation Board of Directors, an appointment by Harris County Judge Ed Emmett. He is chairman of the Tejano Center for Community Concerns Board of Directors, vice chairman of the Raul Yzaguirre School for Success and a board member of the Harris County Housing Finance Corporation. He is also past board treasurer for the Association for the Advancement of Mexican Americans and a former adjunct instructor for the Houston Community College Systems.
His board service with other charitable organizations spans more than 25 years. Corpus holds a Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) degree in management, and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Our Lady of The Lake University at San Antonio. He is appointed by the governor from a list prepared by the State Board of Education.
Christopher Moss, 2015 Lufkin
Vice President, The Advanced Financial Group
Christopher Moss is vice president of The Advanced Financial Group and is a registered representative of Woodlands Securities Corporation, member FINRA and SIPC, and an investment advisory agent of Woodlands Asset Management Inc. He is a member of the Pineywoods Chapter of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors and vice chair of the Volunteer Services Council of the Lufkin State Supported Living Center. Moss is also past president of the Lufkin Host Lions Club and currently serves as chair of the Angelina County Vision 2020 Government Foundation and treasurer for the Family Crisis Center of East Texas. He received a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University and earned a master’s degree in Business Administration from Sam Houston State University. Moss is appointed by the governor from a list prepared by the State Board of Education.
Anita Smith Palmer, 2017 Jacksboro
Former Texas Public School Teacher, Administrator and University Adjunct Professor
Anita Smith Palmer of Wichita Falls is a published artist and author, community volunteer and retired educator with 30 years teaching and administrative experience, including 12 years of service in the Wichita Falls Independent School District. She is president of the Olney Hamilton Hospital Foundation, an honorary life member of the National Parent
Teacher Association, past district president of the Texas Retired Teachers Association (TRTA), and a former member of TRTA's State Retirement Education Committee. Palmer, who holds eight state teaching certifications, was also Hall County Teacher of the Year and served as an adjunct professor at Midwestern State University. Her past experience includes serving as president of the American Association of University Women and District 16 Classroom Teachers Association, chair of the College Financial Aid Clinic, a judge and director of the University Interscholastic League, and a member of the Texas Board of Nursing. Palmer received a bachelor's and master's degree in education from Southwestern Oklahoma State University. Palmer is appointed by the governor from the three retired member candidates who are nominated by retired TRS members.
Dolores Ramirez, 2019 San Benito
Teacher, San Benito Consolidated Independent School District
Dolores Ramirez is a first grade teacher at Rangerville Elementary School in the San Benito Consolidated Independent School District (SBCISD). She has also served as president of the Texas Classroom Teachers Association (TCTA), an independent, nonunion association for Texas teaching professionals.
Currently, Ramirez is the San Benito local TCTA president. She served at the statewide level as chair of the TCTA budget committee and seven years as a District 1 director on the TCTA Directors’ Council. She is a faculty representative with the San Benito Classroom Teachers Association where she has also held the president and vice president positions.
Ramirez has served as president of the District 1 Coordinating Council, member of the Region 1 Teacher of the Year panel, and grant proposal reader for TEA with the Even Start Literacy Program. She has represented her campus on the Superintendent’s Advisory Council and her grade level on the Campus Improvement Team. She was named Teacher of the Year for Rangerville Elementary School in 2006. Ramirez earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A&I University in Kingsville (now Texas A&M) and bilingual certification from the University of Texas, Brownsville. She is appointed by the governor from the three public school district active member candidates nominated by employees of public school districts.