If you spend 5 minutes in a classroom with our April Dallas Hero, Jayda Batchelder, you will instantly see her passion for education and helping children succeed. Jayda began her career in education with Teach for America at a middle school in Oak Cliff (never having been to Dallas before!) She was a rock star, winning the Texas Instruments STEM Teacher of the Year award in 2012.

Seeing her students excel in middle school classes was amazing, but Jayda realized that while good grades were one thing, the path to college — taking the right classes in high school, the importance of the SATs, preparing for internships, saving for college and applying for scholarships, etc. — was still an area the kids could use guidance. Thus the concept for Education Opens Doors was born.

Partnering with other teachers, Jayda developed the curriculum for what is now the Roadmap to Success program. This program is currently taught in 49 local and statewide partnerships, including 14 Dallas ISD middle schools as well as the 13 Dallas CAN Academies and other charter schools in the city.

In 2015, Jayda was also a “40 Under 40” Dallas Business Journal honoree. Our city is lucky to have her!