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John Spence co-founded Service Learning Texas (then known as the Texas Center for Service-Learning) in 1997, two years after he started working with the Learn and Serve America program while an education specialist at the Texas Education Agency. Under his leadership, SLT has successfully managed nine Learn and Serve grants, a Department of Education grant, and two State Farm driver safety grants that have involved nearly 700,000 K-12 students in service-learning projects across the state.
John was a founding board member of the National Service-Learning Partnership and the State Education Agency K-12 Service-Learning Network. He currently serves on the board of the Texas Association of Partners in Education. In 1999, he and SLT co-founder Andrea England co-authored Reflection: A Guide to Effective Service-Learning.
He holds an M.A. and Ph.D. candidacy in history from Indiana University, and a B.A. degree in history with high honors from Bates College. He is also a graduate of the Leadership Austin Essential Class of 2007, dedicated to encouraging innovative, collaborative solutions for regional challenges.
Isela Diharce joined Service Learning Texas in 2007, after serving as circulation information manager at Meximerica Media, Inc. Earlier in her career, she spent nearly two decades providing administrative support to the Eanes, Austin, and San Marcos school districts.
Fluent in both Spanish and English, Isela also works as a freelance translator. A data processing graduate of Durham Business College, Isela is pursuing an associate degree at Austin Community College.