Patricia Arvanitis is the Co-Founder and CEO of Leadership ISD Texas. Over the last eight years she has guided the organization’s vision, development, growth, and impact. Under Patricia’s guidance Leadership ISD has grown into a highly regarded statewide civic development and advocacy organization and has informed and equipped over 800 advocates and policy makers across Texas to influence educational equity and excellence.
As an entrepreneur for over twenty years, Patricia built a business which contributed to her community by developing better communications and branding for schools, non-profits, and businesses. Prior to opening her design and printing company in 1993, Patricia spent several years in the banking industry in Dallas. During this time, she also began her interest in education by serving as a mentor at North Dallas High School.
Patricia’s advocacy work in education began with her own child, who was diagnosed with learning differences at an early age. As her daughter grew, so did Patricia’s interest in education advocacy. Her involvement with other parents in public education exposed her to the heart-breaking disparities between her daughter’s public education and that of children attending schools in the same system. As her awareness grew, so did her outrage and determination to eliminate systemic inequities that determine a child’s future based on race, income, or zip code. With that determination came the need to create better pathways for parents and community members to lead the work in changing policies, practices, and leadership so all students are prepared to reach for their boldest dreams.
These experiences proved valuable as she took on the role as PTA President at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts where she tripled the size of membership and helped create new parent empowerment programs. Through her work with the Booker T. community, Patricia became involved in state level education policy impacting not only Dallas ISD students but all students in Texas. Like many parents before her, advocacy for her own daughter Dillon ignited a passion and desire to affect change for all children. She partnered with other city leaders to create Leadership ISD in 2011 so others like her could learn about the challenges facing our public schools and find their own pathway to advocacy and civic leadership.
Patricia served as part of the Strive National Equity in Education Fellowship where she worked as part of a four person Dallas Team with four other city teams to develop a plan to address educational inequities in Dallas. In addition to this Fellowship, Patricia served as a part of the Dallas Public Voices Fellowship and is currently part of the Truth, Racial Healing, & Transformation Fellowship. In addition to these Fellowships, Patricia served on the following boards and committees in support of education; Booker T. Washington Arts Advisory Board, Woodrow Wilson High School Community Foundation, Conrad High School Academies Advisory Committee, Commit! Leadership Council, DISD Public School Choice Advisory Committee, and the District of Innovation Advisory Committee.
Patricia completed her undergraduate work in Communications at the University of Texas, Dallas and her graduate work in Conflict Management at Southern Methodist University. Her daughter, Dillon, graduated from Dallas ISD and attended Carnegie Mellon University. Patricia and her husband, Tony Bell, reside in northwest Dallas.