Neighborhood Spotlight

PHEHA is always interested in hearing about our neighbors that are involved in many different and interesting things. Please drop us a note and share your spotlight idea(s) with us if you know of someone that we should consider spotlighting! You may send us an email with your suggestions.

  • May 01, 2018 1:39 PM | Anonymous

    interviewed by Juli Black

    Tom Brandt
    Preston Hollow Elementary School

    What's new with DISD & School Choice?
    There are so many new initiatives and choices for parents to choose from in Dallas ISD.  Whether it’s Montessori, IB, Personalized Learning, or STEM, the district is doing a great job offering options that are the best fit for a variety of student learning styles.  As a parent and a district employee, I can say that  Dallas ISD is moving in the right direction to make sure we are the #1 choice for families. 

    How long have you been in DISD? At Preston Hollow Elementary?
    I taught in Grapevine Colleyville ISD for nine years, and transferred to Townview Magnet Center as an AP U.S. History teacher in 2007.  After serving as an Assistant Principal at Townview and W.T. White High Schools, I became the principal of Preston Hollow Elementary exactly 4 years ago in April of 2014.

    Tell us about IB and what makes your school so unique.
    In a nutshell, IB is about teaching the whole child.  We realize test scores are important (we consistently have some of the best scores in the district), but more important are the foundations being built to create well rounded students who care about the world around them.  In an IB school, not only do students learn about math and reading, but they are asked to apply their learning globally and are encouraged to take action as leaders.  Additionally, there is a character aspect to the program where students are encouraged to be caring, open minded, reflective, life-long learners.   As a result of the application of this IB Learner Profile, the students and staff are conduct themselves with an international mindedness that is unique to other elementary schools. 

    Tell us about the Garden and how that came to be.
    One of the best aspects of our physical building are the great spaces for outdoor learning experiences to occur.  When we were approached by REAL School Gardens, an organization that not only helps schools build learning gardens, but also trains teachers on how to use them, we jumped at the chance.  The process included student input on the garden design, and a “Big Dig” where hundreds of volunteers showed up to build the garden.  We are now working with Home Depot to build a deck, planning a movie night for the community (showing “A Bug’s Life”), and enlisting a Yoga instructor to teach a class in the garden on May 19.  The garden is quickly becoming a major highlight of Preston Hollow Elementary.

    Have you had a good response with teachers wanting to teach at PHE?
    In my first year as principal, we had about half the staff resign or transfer to another school.  This year, we will have only 3 teachers leave due to promotions.   Because of our location and reputation, teachers line up to work at PHE.  The crop of highly qualified candidates improves every year, which makes my job of staffing much, much easier.  As a result, we have a wonderful group of highly trained, dedicated professionals who are committed to building a premiere school in Dallas. 

    What add on programs are available for a fee at PHE?
    After school activities include Robotics, Chess, Basketball, Karate, Piano, and Ballet Folklorico.  New programs are added constantly, depending on the parent demand.  For example, we are currently working on a partnership with the Perot Museum to bring a Maker Program to the school, and will be offering a summer program through the YMCA.

    What other projects are you working on (or have worked on) at PHE?
    Major initiatives aside from IB include our Dual Language program, which is an option for parents who want their children to be bilingual and biliterate, Reading Partners for community members to read with our kids, and TREAD, our reading incentive program for our kinder through 3rd grade students. 

    Tell us more about the parents, PTA and mandatory volunteer hours for out of zone transfer parents.
    Our parent involvement is crucial to our success.  Because we are a school of transfer students from other neighborhoods in Dallas, we decided to make it mandatory to become involved in the school.  We have learned that parents who give their time are more invested and take a more active role in their students’ education.  We require out of zone transfer parents to complete 20 hours of volunteer service each year.   As a result, you regularly will see parents stuffing our communication folders, working on bulletin boards, assisting in the office, or involved in PTA fundraising activities.   This has created more of a family atmosphere and one where parents get to know one another where they may not have had the chance without having the opportunity to volunteer.  The additional bonus is students seeing their parents commitment to the school, which has had a positive impact on academic achievement. 

    My wife and I have been married for 20 years (we’re aiming for 20 more).  We were high school sweethearts and met in 8th grade Algebra class.  We have a 5 year old daughter, Ella, who is also a kindergartner at Preston Hollow.   She is interested in having a pet, but to stall for time I have told her that she can have a pet as long as it doesn’t poop.  It’s taken her awhile, but she is on to me. 

    What are your hobbies and hobbies for your family?
    My wife and I have always enjoyed exercising, reading and traveling (I’ve been to 5 continents, with plans to go to my sixth, which is Africa, next summer).   Now that we have our daughter, our travels have been more local.  For example, next weekend we’re heading to a cabin in Broken Bow, Oklahoma.  As for more low key activities, a normal family weekend will usually include a trip to the movies. 

    Favorite time of year at PHE?
    Spring time when the flowers begin to bloom and students are outside using our outdoor spaces is my favorite time of year.  There’s nothing like a group of kindergartners seeing a hummingbird zip among the flowers. 

    Did someone mention Goat Yoga? Or was that just me?
    Ha!  What will they think of next?  I’m not involved in this one, but I believe we have some very dedicated yoga enthusiasts working the phone lines contacting goat farms.  Stay tuned!

    I heard something about maybe adding a track? How can our neighborhood help you reach your goal?
    We really want the community to see our school as a place where our neighbors are welcome.  We thought a track might be something our neighbors could use, but it turns out they are horribly expensive.   If it is something we see having a lot of interest and potentially have financial backing to assist us, I would love to make it happen.  

    How could our neighbors get a tour, learn more and see all the great things going on at PHE for themselves?
    I give personal tours on the first Tuesday of every month at 8:15 am.   Those interested should call the school and ask to reserve a spot.   Now that the word is out, our tour groups have been growing.  I’m always excited to show off our students and all that our community has accomplished.   For more convenient information, neighbors can always check out our website, PTA Facebook page, and Twitter account.

    What in education are you most passionate about / What is your favorite thing about being the Principal at Preston Hollow Elementary?

    Because a principal has such a deep impact on a school, I am passionate about leadership training and the implementation of proven school systems.  I have received two years of training from Teaching Trust, a reputable leadership program serving school leaders In Dallas, and was recently accepted into the Art of Leadership training at Harvard this summer.  I’ve dedicated my career to helping kids, so I want to make sure I get the best training available to have the most positive impact on the students and community I serve.    The best thing about being the Principal of Preston Hollow Elementary is being  part of something great.  I truly believe our community is building a special school which will continue to be a shining star for Dallas.   Being a part of this success and having people want to build on the momentum we have started is extremely rewarding.  

    For more convenient information, neighbors can always check out our website, PTA Facebook page, and Twitter account

  • April 10, 2018 9:37 AM | Anonymous

    interviewed by Juli Black

    Dimitri Economou
    The Spanos Corporation
    Executive VP

    How long have you lived in Preston Hollow East?
    We moved into PHE just over two years ago.

    What in the neighborhood are most passionate about / What is your favorite thing about living in Preston Hollow East?
    I think there are several things that my family and I care about.  First we care about the safety of the neighborhood because this is where we are raising our family.  Shortly after we moved into our new house, someone banged on our windows at 4 a.m. and woke up the entire house.  Since that time, we have noticed PHEHA signs increasing throughout the neighborhood.  As such we have noticed a big reduction in solicitors and “odd activity” as a result.

    Second, we care about the park because that was one of the biggest reasons we purchased the lot and built a house in the neighborhood.  The park is great for the kids and they love it.

    My favorite thing about living in PHE is the convenience to everything in Dallas and the DFW metro as a whole.

    Tell us about AG Spanos and what makes your company unique.
    A.G. Spanos Companies, a family-owned business, was founded by my grandfather in 1960, in Stockton, California, to build apartments in the region.  Since then it has grown into a national land development and construction company but is still headquartered in Stockton.  For the last 12 years,  following my grandfather’s retirement, the company is managed by my two uncles, while my brother and I run the company’s construction activities in several states.

    Tell us about your interest in PD15 and vision for the area.
    AGS is really excited to have the opportunity to bring a quality project to my own neighborhood.  Since I live nearby, this is a development I will drive by daily and be proud to show my children.

    What other projects are you working on (or have worked on) in the Dallas Area?
    My family asked me to move to Dallas from LA almost 5 years ago in order to reboot and reorganize the Texas office.  It became clear once we moved that Dallas was a great place to raise a family.  On the business side, the rebooting process required a lot more time and effort than anticipated.  However, the business relationships that have developed in the past two years have AGS evaluating lots of new deals at this time and our pipeline is solidifying as a result.

    My wife is Cary and we have two boys, Taki and Telis.


    What are your hobbies and hobbies for your family?
    In no particular order, my hobbies are going to the gym, playing XBOX with my oldest (yes I am from the Atari generation; I can’t seem to let that hobby go), traveling with my family, watching NFL and other sports, and being involved with our kids and their school activities.

    Favorite time of year in the neighborhood?
    Halloween to Christmas b/c the neighborhood is filled with decorations and both boys love seeing them while we drive, walk etc…

    Cowboys or Chargers?
    My family has owned the LA Chargers since 1983 so we are all die-hard Bolt fans.   

    PHEHA is always interested in hearing about our neighbors that are involved in many different and interesting things. Please drop us a note and share your spotlight idea(s) with us if you know of someone that we should consider spotlighting! You may send us an email with your suggestions.

  • August 09, 2016 11:51 AM | Anonymous

    Yesterday was a big day in the lives of 10 cancer patients from Children’s Medical Center of Dallas. The Carson Leslie Foundation refers to the patients as VIP’s (very important patients) and the foundation has taken up the torch, of encouraging teens in the cancer battle from Children’s Medical Center of Dallas.

    Ten VIP’s, an oncologist, a nurse and a few members of the Carson Leslie Foundation traveled by limos in time to hit the field when the team hit the field!

    Carson, continuing to make a huge impact was signed as an official Dallas Cowboy on December 22, 2006 at 14 years old, just a few months after being diagnosed with brain cancer, Carson talked about that contract and that day for the rest of his young life. During his fight, he wrote a book he titled Carry Me that was published 6 days before he died, Jerry and Stephen Jones wrote in the forward.

    “Carson, you have been a source of inspiration for me since the day I met you. Our signing you to an official Dallas Cowboys player contract was a meaningful day for me and our family. I want you to know that once you become a Dallas Cowboy, you remain a Dallas Cowboy, forever.” - Jerry Jones

    Jerry Jones has been true to his word. Carson’s spirit was present at the Dolphins game in the lives of 10 cancer patients from Children’s Medical Center of Dallas. Jerry and Stephen invited the VIP’s to pregame warm-ups then off to a private suite to watch the game with plenty of food, drinks, smiles and souvenirs! Read the press release here...

    On North Texas Giving Day, September 22, Carry Me will be on display at The Library of Congress at the Congressional Childhood Cancer Caucus, Golden Toast, an event that honors the Co-Chairmen of the Childhood Cancer Caucus.

    In Carry Me, Carson wrote,  “I feel deserted and lonely... I am not looking for some meaningful deep conversation; I am just looking for a conversation. The weather will work.”

    So with inspiration from Carson and a host of generous souls, the Carson Leslie Foundation built Carson’s Corner, the teen room on the cancer floor at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas. It’s a little corner on the cancer floor where cancer fighting teens can walk or wheel down to talk about the weather, music, movies, treatment…

    “I couldn’t help but think about Carson and how happy he would have been in there and how his life inspires us. He is continuing to impact people with his legacy and is making life better for these teens.”  - Melinda Goff, Director of Childlife, Oncology at Children’s Health of Dallas

    To keep Carson’s Corner current with technology, games, updates to the room and gifts of encouragement for the over 400 teens annually treated at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas; we need your help.

    We also provide Under Armor backpacks for newly diagnosed teen patients full of items needed for extended hospital stays; we need your help.

    In addition to Carson’s Corner and Under Armor backpacks, three times a year, in first class fashion, we take cancer fighting teens from Children’s Medical Center of Dallas out and about our great city in limos, in suites, complete with food, drinks, souvenirs, smiles and memories to a Dallas Cowboy game, a Dallas Maverick game and a Texas Ranger game; we need your help!

    Carson poured out his heart in a journal during his 3+ year battle with brain cancer. As he got weaker, he asked his English teacher to help him put his thoughts on paper and then negotiated that his journal be his passing grade for freshman English!

    And when cancer was relentless, he asked that his journal be published, “to give a voice to the teenagers and children who have cancer but are unable to express how such an illness affects their personal, social, physical and emotional life.  I want others to understand how to be a better friend to someone he/she knows,” Carson Leslie.  So at lightning speed, six days before he died, Jan Miller of Dupree Miller, published Carry Me.

    Since then, Carry Me has found a place on the hallowed shelves of The Library of Congress, thousands of copies have sold with proceeds going to encourage teens in the battle at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas and to study the disease that invaded his brain and claimed his young life.

    For more information please visit the Carson Leslie Foundation North Texas Giving Day profile page.


    PHEHA is always interested in hearing about our neighbors that are involved in many different and interesting things. Please drop us a note and share your spotlight idea(s) with us if you know of someone that we should consider spotlighting! You may send us an email with your suggestions.

  • January 13, 2016 7:40 PM | Anonymous

    interviewed by Juli Black

    The Cutting Edge: Personal Chef Service
    Brandon Torre
    Executive Chef

    Our members range from busy large families on the go to singles living alone - Newborns to 90's - healthy to indulgent as well as entertaining/party needs... You offer Personal Chef services - give us the details! 
    Personal chef services are great for many different reasons.  I offer three main services: Packaged meals, Dinner parties/ Events, and In-home cooking classes.

    • Packaged meals are prepared in your home on a weekly basis. The predetermined number of meals an portions are then packaged and refrigerated for easy reheating later.  This service is ideal for busy people/families and for those with dietary restrictions.
    • Dinner party events bring the restaurant home.  I create a menu from scratch based on your preferences and vision, then come and prepare, plate, and serve.  This often ranges from a family style affair to a elegant multiple course dinner.
    • In-home classes are a great idea for entertaining or just personal enrichment, no class is too small.  These are becoming more and more popular as gifts as well. 

    Tell us how long you have been a Chef? 
    About 10 years.

    What is your favorite dish to cook?
    I like to think of myself as well rounded, but if I had to choose one it would probably be a fresh pasta of some kind.

    You and your fiancé moved to Dallas last March, tell us your top 2-3 restaurants you've tried?
    I have to admit, I haven't been out as much as I would like but as soon as I arrived in Texas I had to try Barbeque, Pecan lodge came highly recommended and didn't disappoint.  I've also heard good things about Gemma, and Abacus. I also had a great burger at Hopdoddy.

    You teach classes at Sur La Table! What classes? What should we expect when we register? What should we expect when we go home? 
    I teach a wide variety of things at Sur La Table, it really just depends on what is scheduled for my time slot.  I am there most Monday and Thursday Mornings, as well as Wednesday nights.  My approach to teaching culinary is to try and allow the student to think independently about the process of cooking.  I try to instill technique rather than just reading from a recipe. For me it is more important to know "Why" than "How". This gives the cook freedom to improvise and experiment.

    Can card carrying PHEHA members get a discount on classes and retail items? 
    Sur La Table gives a 10% off coupon to all class participants, good on most things in the store including future classes, good the day of the class only.

    What are the 3 things every cook should own?
    Good question, definitely at least one good quality knife, a 5-9 qt. heavy bottomed pot or Dutch oven, and a good quality blender or hand blender.  I definitely could not live without these three.

    Can card carrying PHEHA members get a discount on the personal chef services you offer? (Limited time, to try, or ongoing?). 
    I am offering 10% off any service for PHEHA members' first time.  Just mention PHEHA when you book and show the card on the day of your event.

    Where did you study? 
    I did my Bachelor's at Jacksonville University and culinary school at Johnson & Wales University in Denver.

    Favorite thing about living in Dallas? 
    There is an amazing variety of cultures and people in this city, and it is growing at an alarming rate. Two factors that contribute greatly to a developing food scene. I'm excited to see what the future holds for Dallas' culinary market.

    What / Who inspires your cooking?
    My inspiration comes mainly from my Great-grandfather who came over from Italy in the early 1900s. He opened a restaurant in upstate New York and was obsessed with fresh. Fresh ingredients, fresh pasta, you name it.  Though I never met him, his philosophy rings true to me.  I think food is at it's best when minimally processed and allowed to feature itself.  Quality of ingredients is the most important part of a dish.

    I may sound over passionate, but aside from my love of football most of my hobbies involve food. I try to expand my knowledge and skill whenever possible. Right now I am working on dry curing salami and naturally fermented pickling.

    What is your favorite time of year/holiday? 
    For anyone that knows me can tell you I am not a big fan of cold weather (Thank you Dallas for helping me out there). So spring was always very welcome to me as it starts to warm up.  I also enjoy the beautiful ingredients that start popping up, like wild mushrooms and spring garlic.  It makes for great menu planning.

    Family/Kids/Pets: Do all share the love of cooking?
    As I said I have a beautiful fiancé Cristi.  We share a love of food but I usually do the honors of cooking in our house.  The rest of my family are avid cooks, especially my mother, who has always done an amazing job.


    PHEHA is always interested in hearing about our neighbors that are involved in many different and interesting things. Please drop us a note and share your spotlight idea(s) with us if you know of someone that we should consider spotlighting! You may send us an email with your suggestions.

  • December 02, 2015 11:56 AM | Anonymous
    interviewed by Juli Black

    NorthPark Center
    Taylor Zakarin
    Manager of Art Programming

    How long has the art collection been displayed at NorthPark? Briefly tell us about permanent vs. rotating collections:
    NorthPark has been an amazing place to view public art since the 1960s, but since the shopping center has been under the leadership of Nancy A. Nasher and her husband David J. Haemisegger, there is more art here than ever before. Nancy so graciously works to ensure that the people of Dallas and North Texas get to shop and eat amongst art by some of the most renown 20th and 21st century artists at NorthPark. The way we display the art is not an exact science, but works are rotated depending on other events and happenings in the shopping center, when it is felt that an area needs a refresher, or when a work goes on loan to another institution (like Ivan Navarro’s This Land is Your Land, which was sent to the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University for an exhibition). Additionally, Nancy and David began introducing exhibitions of new and younger artists beginning with Ivan Navarro, and followed most recently, by the two new works by Leo Villareal (Buckyball, 2015 in CenterPark and Diamond Sea on Level One between Dillard’s and Macy’s).

    What was the original vision of offering Art to the public?
    Being able to display art at NorthPark was very important to Raymond and Patsy Nasher, who founded NorthPark Center. Many people may never make it to a museum or gallery, whether it is because of admission prices or simply not having a particular interest. Mr. and Mrs. Nasher felt that by placing art in a shopping center, people who might never see art of that caliber would be exposed – they did not even have to like it, but as long as they noticed the art and confronted it in some regard, he achieved his goal of offering the exposure.

    What is the vision for the future of this program?

    My main goals for the art programming at NorthPark involve increased information and increased exposure for students. With the caliber of art we have at NorthPark, there is no reason why it shouldn’t be included on the field trip circuit for schools (elementary school to college). While I do give quite a few tours to school groups, in 2016 I plan on ramping this program up even more, working more closely with schools and their art teachers to bring students to NorthPark for art tours. Museums often can be intimidating to younger students, and I think the ability to learn about art in an environment that they are comfortable with is conducive to actually connecting with the art they are looking at. As for information – we’ve begun phasing out our old labels and have in their place installed extended labels with copy about each work of art and the artist. Additionally, this information can be found on our NorthPark Center app’s art tour.

    How can someone get a tour? is there an App?
    Right now we do not have an app or form for tours but because of the increased interest in tours, I am looking into a platform for the future. At present, if a group (school or otherwise) would like to schedule a tour, they can just e-mail me at and let me know when, and we can discuss logistics! I love leading groups through NorthPark in the mornings when the shopping center is a bit emptier – it’s a great time to observe all the behind the scenes work that goes into making it the pristine place you see when you are there shopping or eating or seeing a movie!

    Recent &/or notable works/displays to tell us about?
    I ABSOLUTELY encourage everyone to go see the two new Leo Villareal works I mentioned we’ve recently installed. Buckyball, 2015 in CenterPark is absolutely mesmerizing. The artist also designed “zero gravity” chairs that surround the piece, allowing viewers to sit back, relax, and enjoy the every changing light display. It’s hard to nail down the beauty of the piece in words – grab a glass of wine from Breadwinners, La Duni, or Greenhouse Market and check out the work after sundown (that’s my favorite time to see it!)

    Can we create a special program for Preston Hollow Elementary School?

    I would LOVE to work with Preston Hollow Elementary School – there are so many ways to engage elementary school students at NorthPark, whether it be through an art tour, art scavenger hunts, or various other art activities.

    Please share your story of how you secured this amazing and exciting job. Where did you study?

    I grew up in New York City on the Upper East Side – so Dallas is very different from home! I was lucky enough to go to a school that offered Art History (many, unfortunately, do not). From there, I went to Duke University and declared my major as an art history major my freshman year. The first class I ever took at Duke was Introduction to Visual Culture, and interestingly enough, it took place in the Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Auditorium in the Nasher Museum of Art on campus. I went on to join the Nasher Student Advisory Board as the museum liaison my sophomore year. My senior year I graduated with High Distinction for my thesis on Robert Rauschenberg and Bruce Conner. The thesis also culminated in an exhibition at the Nasher Museum of Art that combined works from the permanent collection at the museum with works on loan from the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, who sponsored the project. It was as though from my first day at Duke University as an undergrad, I was destined to work with the Nasher family! When I graduated, I turned down an offer to work for a New York City contemporary art gallery to take an unpaid internship at the Nasher Sculpture Center. I had never met Nancy, and had applied through the website, reaching out to Kristen Gibbins. Long story short – Kristen became my boss at the NSC and later reached out to me when she heard Nancy wanted to create this new position, Manager of Art Programming, at NorthPark Center. She encouraged me to apply. And here I am today – I really have to thank Kristen, she had faith in me that I could tackle such a huge responsibility, and I can only hope I’ve lived up to her expectations.

    My parents and older brother, Spencer live in New York City still – Spencer studied History, Environmental Science and Economics at Princeton, and is now working in Agricultural Private Equity. Unfortunately, I am pet-less – but whenever I see a Husky walking around Dallas, I am incredibly tempted to steal him/her.

    What is your favorite time of year/holiday?
    My favorite holiday has to be either 4th of July or New Years Eve – I absolutely love fireworks. My first meaningful memory is watching fireworks on New Years Eve with my family. To this day, it is not a Fourth of July or New Years without getting to see a proper fireworks show.

    PHEHA is always interested in hearing about our neighbors that are involved in many different and interesting things. Please drop us a note and share your spotlight idea(s) with us if you know of someone that we should consider spotlighting! You may send us an email with your suggestions.

  • November 02, 2015 2:24 PM | Anonymous

    interviewed by Juli Black

    How long have you lived in PHE?

    My husband Joe LaBarba and I are both native Dallasites. We both grew up in neighborhoods near here, and have lived in for over 10 years.

    What block are you on?
    Stefani Dr.

    We have a beautiful daughter who is a senior at Hockaday. Our family are members of Christ the King Church.

    Favorite thing about living in PHE?
    My favorite aspect of our neighborhood is the variety of birds. We have a darling wren couple (I assume it's the same birds,) who have repeatedly built a nest in a plant on our back porch. We followed the hatching process and the babies being fed. There are cardinals that live in our photinia bushes and a cocky woodpecker that visits regularly. Then there are the hawks...

    Tell us about Civello's Raviolismo:
    I have co-owned Civello's Raviolismo with my brother Philip for 28 years. We worked with my aunt, Frances Musso, for several years on the weekends to learn the art of pasta making and specifically ravioli for several years before we opened our shop on Peak St.

    Thanksgiving, Christmas through New Years, until well after Valentine's Day are our busiest months. Everyone is entertaining, so over the years we have added many dishes (take-out for home preparation) to help our growing retail shoppers successfully host friends and family.

    More about you - Hobbies?
    When I'm not working I enjoy reading, gardening, biking, and of course hosting friends and family at the house. This is especially enjoyable during the cool evenings in the fall, winter,  and spring.

    Local charity you participate with?
    I am a member of Les Dames d'Escoffier, (an organization of women in the food business.) We raise money to help educate and promote women in our industry. I also raise money for The American Lung Association of Texas and NTM Info &Research, both of which are personally important to me.


    PHEHA is always interested in hearing about our neighbors that are involved in many different and interesting things. Please drop us a note and share your spotlight idea(s) with us if you know of someone that we should consider spotlighting! You may send us an email with your suggestions.

  • October 02, 2015 1:49 PM | Anonymous

    interviewed by Juli Black

    How long have you lived in PHE? 

    Almost 8 years.

    What block are you on? 
    6100 block of Woodland Dr.

    My husband, Brian Glaser, and I have 3 children.  Sophie is  our 11 years old daughter and Owen and Harper are our identical twin 7 year old boys.  All three are my greatest joys!  We also have a cat, Chewy who is 22 years old (yes, 22!).  A dog named Java who is really like a cup of coffee in the morning.  3 Koi and 2 adult Goldfish who deserve the same reputation as rabbits as we had about 30 babies this summer!  Lastly, we have two hole digging rabbits. 

    Favorite thing about living in PHE?
    I love this neighborhood!  We have great neighbors, beautiful trees and lots, an incredible park to walk to, as well as easy access to everything that is incredible in Dallas.

    Tell us about Preston Hollow Elementary school:
    Over the past 2 years, I have been working hard to take our neighborhood school from good to great and give parents an excellent school option in our neighborhood. PHES has an incredible principal, Mr. Tom Brandt, dedicated parents and highly trained, supportive teachers!  My kids have been in private schools with exceptional teachers and the teachers that we have had at Preston Hollow Elementary School for 1st and 2nd grade are as good as any of them.  We still have much to do and definitely need more community support, but it is well on it's way to being the best kept secret in Preston Hollow! 

    Why and how did you get involved? 
    I truly believe that our city is only as good as it's schools and all children should have access to a high quality education. Thus I have worked in and around education for most of my adult life starting with graduating from college and going straight into Teach for America. In recent years, I have focused on improving outcomes through early childhood education with Commit! and I am now with The Budd Center for Involving Communities in Education at SMU. This is definitely my passion! 

    It's also an incredible need in our Preston Hollow community.  From the day my children were born, most conversations with other parents eventually led to "where are your kids going to go to school?".  It was stressful!  I have many private school friends and have gotten a tremendous amount of support from private schools in our area so I am not against private schools.  I just think that we should have a choice and to automatically disregard our local school is a loss for our community.  I also want my children to know economic and racial diversity.  Not as something they read or hear about, but something they feel and understand.  It will help them throughout their lives and has already made them better people. 

    Can neighbors get a tour?
    Of course!  The school offers tours and I am happy to talk to anyone or lead a tour!  Please feel free to reach out. Email me with questions, tour requests or to get more

    How can the neighborhood help support your efforts? 
    There are many opportunities to support the school.  Help our librarian shelve books, become a Reading Partners reading tutors, join our SBDM (campus leadership team that includes parents, community members and staff), donate used or new legos, donate used or new books in our donationshed on the North side of the building, and as always, donate funding to support innovative resources and instructional quality.  You can donate to our Preston Hollow Elementary School fund at the Communities Foundation of Texas.  Any amount is appreciated!

    More about you - Hobbies? 
    I have more interests and hobbies than there are hours in the day!  I love to travel, hike, mountain bike, cook, garden, read, decorate, shop and be with friends and family.

    What is your favorite time of year/holiday? 
    My favorite time of year is Spring.  We have nice cool weather, everything is so green and the air feels fresh.  It's a great time to be outdoors.

    Local charity you participate with? 
    I have a number of nonprofits and charities that I support.  Not surprisingly, those that focus on supporting and transforming education are usually my faves!  I cant list them because I would wake up at 2:00 a.m. and remember who I forgot.  Brian is quite philanthropic and when we married, knew I was too, BUT I don't think he realized just how much I would want to give away!

    Other relevant links:
    The Budd Center - SMU
    Commit! Our Kids. Our Tomorrow
    Dallas Ft Worth | Teach For America


    PHEHA is always interested in hearing about our neighbors that are involved in many different and interesting things. Please drop us a note and share your spotlight idea(s) with us if you know of someone that we should consider spotlighting! You may send us an email with your suggestions.

  • September 03, 2015 10:36 AM | Anonymous
    interviewed by Juli Black

    How long have you lived in PHE?

    My husband and I have lived in our home for 30 years.  Our  home has seen a whole lotta good, a whole lotta great and more than our share of pain…Our boy’s were brought home from the hospital here, Carson died here and my husband and I have grown old together here…

    What block are you on?

    We have 2 son’s and sweet little doggie named Otis!

    Favorite thing about living in PHE?
    It’s smack dab in the middle of Dallas and convenient to everything.

    Local charity you participate with:
    Our son Carson was diagnosed with brain cancer at 14, died at 17.  The kid packed a whole lotta life in his 17 LARGE but very short years complete with a confident swagger, a smile that would warm a room and in the end a dying wish: “make sure they study those tumors in my brain because if those tumors can help some kid some day not die from cancer like I am, I’d like that – it’s hard to have cancer.”  With that wish echoing in our hearts, the CLF (Carson Leslie Foundation) busted onto the Dallas scene a few months after his death.

    Tell us about Carson's book, Carry Me:
    Carson was a giver at heart and kept a journal during his fight for life.  When 3 new tumors showed up, June 4, 2009 he asked that his journal be published with the hope to give a voice for kids who are too small or too weak to speak about what it’s like to be a kid with cancer.  We've sold 10,000 copies and all proceeds go to research --- it’s even in The Library of Congress!
    Here’s a video of Carson talking about his book, he was very weak by this time plus radiation to his brain everyday for 6 weeks affected his brilliant brain, but his heart spills over in the video! You can purchase a copy at Dougherty’s Pharmacy or the Carson Leslie Foundation website!

    Tell us about your upcoming trip to DC:
    Before Carson was diagnosed with cancer, I had no idea that September is childhood cancer awareness month.   September 2010 after he died that January , Congressman Michael McCaul, (Chairman of Homeland Security) read Carry Me and invited me to speak in his Washington, D.C. home at his Inaugural Congressional Childhood Cancer Caucus.  Since then I have been a leader in the Bipartisan Caucus and host, “a golden toast” in D.C. to honor Congressmen McCaul and Van Hollen to thank them for giving the childhood cancer community a powerful SOAPBOX from which to shout!

    Tell us about the local impact you have had here:
    The kid had a pretty BIG impact on BIG D and Texas!
    • The Covenant School of Dallas where Carson and his bro Craig went to school, where I taught 1st grade and my husband served on the Board of Directors --- they built a $5,500,000 gymnasium. Carson was able to help design the gymnasium during last few months of his life and he humbly named it, The Carson Leslie Center!
    • When Carson was treated at Children’s, he never left his room…there was nowhere for him to go, once admitted at Children’s a cancer patient is not allowed to leave the cancer floor --- too many germs and the playroom on the cancer floor was full of little kids.  So a few months ago, CLF filled the void and built a teen room on the cancer floor and named it Carson’s Corner!  And we set up a $100,000 endowment at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas to make sure Carson’s Corner stays fresh and current!
    • In Austin, I serve on The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT), Childhood Cancer Advisory Council. Texas voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment in 2007 establishing (CPRIT) authorizing the state to issue $3 billion in bonds to fund groundbreaking cancer research and prevention programs and services in Texas.
      • Just a few months ago, CPRIT moved into their new State office space in Austin and they named their brand new conference room, The Carson Leslie Conference room! This was a clear confirmation that Carson’s story has deeply impacted CPRIT.  I believe with all my heart, when someone sits in CPRIT’S Carson Leslie Conference Room they will be reminded of my feisty, fearless boy determined to, “make sure they study those tumors in my brain…to help the next kid” and I believe that boy with swagger is STILL making a major impact on childhood cancer research. 
        • As a result of our committee’s unrelenting determination, CPRIT has narrowed their focus and has made childhood cancer research a priority and recently moved their research investment towards childhood cancer from 3% to over 31%!  I was smack dab in the middle of making sure they knew the staggering childhood cancer statistics.
          • Cancer is the #1 disease killer of American Children
          • Cancer in children is on the rise
          • One in 285 children will be diagnosed before turning 20

    Tell us about Childhood Cancer Awareness month:
    *Asterisk denotes CLF opportunities open to volunteers and participation!
    • *September 4, The BECK Group is putting on a BOW shoot benefitting CLF
    • September 9, CLF is hosting our Inaugural Researchers Symposium
    • September 17, CLF is hosting and chairing a Congressional Toast in D.C.
    • *September 23, CLF is having Trivia Night at Nickel and Rye, 8-9:30pm, $20 per person---put together a team!
    • *September –December, Southlake Kirby’s Steakhouse chose CLF to be their beneficiary for Bourbon Tastings, and TBD drink specials!
    • January 22, 2016 is CLF annual fundraising SHINDIG, we are actively hunting underwriters and items for the auction block---JOIN US!!

    PHEHA is always interested in hearing about our neighbors that are involved in many different and interesting things. Please drop us a note and share your spotlight idea(s) with us if you know of someone that we should consider spotlighting! You may send us an email with your suggestions.

  • August 28, 2015 1:47 PM | Anonymous
    interviewed by Juli Black

    How long have you lived in PHE?

    Chris and I built our home 8 years ago on Deloache between Hillcrest and Thackery. It's the house with the blue Adirondack chairs in front, where we love to sit in the evenings (when not so hot!) - a great way to meet and visit with our neighbors. When we designed the house, we included a painting studio, so not only do I get to do what I love but I get to do it from my own home.

    Where did you study?
    I earned my Bachelors degree in Fine Arts from Rhodes College and the Memphis College of Art. Upon graduation in 1978, I moved to Dallas where Neiman Marcus hired me to be the primary fashion illustrator for their newspaper and magazine ads throughout the United States.


    After ten years in the field of fashion illustration, I returned to school and earned a Masters degree and then a PhD in psychology. My area of specialization was psycho-oncology - an area of psychology that addresses the unique emotional and spiritual issues that accompany a diagnosis of cancer and other life-threatening illnesses. I enjoyed a fulfilling career in private practice, primarily working with terminally-ill patients and their families. 

    I retired from full-time practice a few years ago, having "promised myself" that I would return to art one day. I now spend most of my time in the studio, painting. Along with a new body of work that I have recently commenced (based on Chris' and my travels to Europe), I focus most of my time on fine art portraiture.

    What inspires your art?
    As an artist, I am classically trained. My portraiture is often compared with the Flemish masters like Rembrandt and Vermeer, especially in the intricate use of light to bring out my subjects' best features.



    Recent &/or notable works to tell us about?
    In addition to portrait commissions for private collections, I have completed two institutional portraits for SMU within the past year. The first shown below is Mr. Paul Loyd, Jr., benefactor of SMU's Loyd All Sports Center. The portrait now hangs in the foyer of the Sports Center at the northwest corner of Ford Stadium.
    The second portrait below is Mr. and Mrs. Gary Crum of Houston, Texas. The Crums made possible the SMU Crum Basketball Center, and this portrait hangs in its foyer. Both of these locations are open to the public


    How does one go about commissioning a portrait? 
    When someone is interested in having a portrait painted by me, we will discuss ideas for poses, location, attire, etc. Next I schedule a visit with the subject. This allows me to become acquainted with his/her unique qualities and characteristic movements. My goal is to represent the timeless essence of each person that I paint and to convey an inviting sense of who they are. During this visit, I will take dozens of photographs of the subject for my use back in the studio, thereby eliminating the need for long sittings. 

    I am blessed with three step-daughters - each a jewel in her own right - and three precious grandchildren (the fourth due in October). And as if that weren't enough, we have two four-legged babies: our mini-goldendoodles Biscuit and Bosco. 

    When I'm not painting:
    I love cooking and hosting dinners for family and friends, going to SMU football and basketball games, bicycling with Chris throughout Preston Hollow and traveling throughout Europe. We are members of Highland Park United Methodist Church, where I volunteer as a grief and end-of-life counselor.
    I've been a member for many years of the wonderful Preston Hollow Womens Club, and though recently I've been too busy to participate in their wide range of fun and enriching activities, I am hoping that will change soon.    

    Favorite thing about living in PHE?
    THE PEOPLE. With the exception of the neighborhood I grew up in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, I can honestly say that I have never felt such a close connection with my extended neighborhood as I do in Preston Hollow East. As someone who both works and plays in PHE, this integral sense of community means the world to me.

    What is your favorite time of year/holiday?
    The Fall. I love the cooler, sweater-and-boots weather, football, sipping wine fireside, dining al fresco, and getting ready for the holidays. I can hardly wait to change out our yard flag from the current "Hot Fun in the Summer Time!" to our Autumn flag.

    (214) 363 0899 office
    (972) 489 9600 cell

    PHEHA is always interested in hearing about our neighbors that are involved in many different and interesting things. Please drop us a note and share your spotlight idea(s) with us if you know of someone that we should consider spotlighting! You may send us an email with your suggestions.

Preston Hollow East Homeowners Association
PO Box 25528
Dallas, Texas 75225

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