Literacy Instruction for Texas (LIFT) Announces Linda K. Johnson as CEO

DALLAS – Literacy Instruction for Texas (LIFT), a leading provider of adult literacy services in North Texas, announced the selection of education and nonprofit leader Linda K. Johnson as its next president and chief executive officer.  Johnson joins LIFT from Dallas Independent School District (DISD), where she served as the Executive Director of the College and Career Readiness departments.  Johnson will succeed Lisa Hembry, who joined LIFT in 2010 and will retire this year.

LIFT was founded in 1961 by the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW), Greater Dallas Section, in response to their concern over the illiteracy rate among adults in the Dallas area.  Under Hembry’s leadership, the organization relocated to CitySquare’s Opportunity Center, a collective impact campus, and formed partnerships with The Shelton School, DISD, and Southern Methodist University to provide innovative literacy curriculum and curriculum delivery tools.  LIFT also partnered with Dallas Theater Center’s (DTC) Public Works Dallas to offer theater classes to LIFT students, teachers and staff, and participated in DTC’s Tony award-winning production of The Tempest.

Johnson was selected by the board due to her extensive background in nonprofit management, strategic planning, and data analysis, her knowledge of career readiness programs, and her experience in understanding the education and skills required to join today’s workforce and go to college.

“Linda has a vision for LIFT that has inspired us to imagine a greater impact for low-literate and illiterate adults who want to develop the skills needed to improve their lives,” said Paul Thibodeaux, Chair of the LIFT Board of Directors.  “She is passionate about helping adults develop the literacy skills they need to improve their lives, and has valuable experience in helping our students achieve those goals.”

While working for DISD, Johnson oversaw district efforts that increased student performance in college and career programs, including the expansion of career programs to more than 200 high-growth pathways.  She has more than two decades of nonprofit management experience, serving for 15 years in the CEO role for various organizations in Texas and Connecticut.

Johnson earned a Ph.D. in Public and Urban Administration from the University of Texas at Arlington, and an M.B.A from the University of Dallas.  She was a developer of the College and Career Readiness Indicator System (CRIS), and won the 2012 Council of the Great City Schools/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Research and Assessment Leadership national award for her white paper “Early Indicators of Future College Success.”

Job Posting: Part-Time ELA Site Coordinator


The ELA Site Coordinator (ELA SC) is a part-time position reporting to the ELA Program Director or representative. ELA SC is responsible for the overall administration of the English Language Acquisition program at their particular location, including but not limited to site negotiations, volunteer teacher and student recruitment, student interviewing, assessment, enrollment, class assignment, record keeping, statistical tracking, marketing, handling of student registration fees (money order or check only), book and supply management, student and volunteer recognition, and substitute teaching.


Plano/Richardson Site Coordinator

  • 6:00 pm to 9 pm on Mondays and Wednesdays in Plano
  • 6:00 pm to 9 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Plano
  • 8:30 am to 1:30 pm on Saturdays in Richardson

Frisco Site Coordinator

  • 9:30 am to 12:30 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays in Frisco


Primary Responsibilities:

  • Assist to establish and coordinate LIFT ELA program at partnership sites, as outlined by the partnership agreement or MOU
  • Recruit, manage, and assist with training of all ELA volunteer teachers
  • Create student and teacher rosters for each semester if not done by the office
  • Arrive to the site early and ensure the classes run smoothly
  • Provide monthly reports
  • Maintain accurate book inventory records
  • Responsible for student ELA registration, testing, and collection of student registration forms and fees in check or money order only. Submit to ELA Program Director or Manager
  • Maintain contact with the ELA Program Director and/or Manager via email or phone. Respond to communications in a timely manner
  • Turn in time sheets and expenses on time if employed by LIFT
  • Serve as the substitute teacher when needed
  • Attend teacher training annually and encourage volunteer teachers to do the same



  • Strong organizational skills
  • Good communication skills
  • Good interpersonal skills; working with staff, students, volunteers and partnering agencies
  • Willing to commit to the success of the students and the program overall
  • Basic computer skills: email, Excel, and Word



LIFT is an EOE (Equal Opportunity Employer)


For more information, please contact Rubi Orozco at 214-824-2000, ext. 3212 or

LIFT student featured in DMN series on working poor

LIFT student Ron Reney reads at roughly a fourth-grade level. He makes ends meet by working two $11-an-hour jobs, washing dishes and working in a warehouse. But the finances got more complicated in late May when he and his girlfriend welcomed a baby girl into their family. Learn more about Ron’s story in this Dallas Morning News series on the working poor in Dallas.