Robert Peña, President
Robert Peña is an Educational Consultant for ESC Region 18 specializing in Science, STEM, and TEKS Resource System. Robert has been in the education field for 22 years, serving as a Science Teacher, Science Supervisor, and Science Director, all in Midland ISD. He has a Bachelor of Science in Geology and Master of Arts in Education, with an emphasis in Secondary Science, from New Mexico State University.
Robert has been married for 21 years to Amber and has two children, Danica and Davian, who are both Carver Center alumni. Currently, Danica is a freshman at the University of Texas at Austin and Davian is a freshman at Legacy Freshman High School.
Robert is a member of the Texas Science Education Leadership Association, Science Teachers Association of Texas, National Science Teachers Association, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, TEKS Resource System Leadership Team, and Texas Computer Education Association. Robert's passion is science education and helping teachers and students. He looks forward to serving on the Carver Center Board and assisting the administration in reaching their goals.
Leah Robertson, Secretary
Leah has been living and practicing law in Midland since 2007. She loves west Texas and is very involved in our community. Leah served in the U.S. Army as an Avionics Mechanic and while stationed in Germany was deployed briefly to Kosovo as part of an international peacekeeping effort. After her service in the U.S. Army, Leah completed her bachelors and law degree. During the first stages of her law career, she was a prosecutor for five years with the Midland County District Attorney's Office, where she became a trial team chief and led prosecutions of misdemeanors and felonies. After her time as an Assistant District Attorney, Leah transitioned to being the in-house attorney for Midland Independent School District, a position she held for six years. Leah also served as Of Counsel at Ward & Myers, where she focused on family law, estate planning, employment law and criminal law.
Currently, Leah is the Presiding Judge of the 385th District Court. Leah serves on the Safe Place of the Permian Basin board, the Midland Community Theatre board, the Midland County Library Advisory board and the Carver Center board. Leah was chosen as one of the top 20 Under 40 young professionals in 2016. Leah is also a graduate of Leadership Midland and Leadership Texas.
Ryan Lovell, Treasurer
Ryan Lovell is a native of Midland, Texas. He has worked in banking for over 20 years, joining Community National Bank in 2000, and is currently serving as the Chief Financial Officer. Ryan graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Management from Texas Tech University and later earned his Master of Professional Accounting degree from the University of Texas of the Permian Basin. He received his Certified Fraud Examiner designation in October 2016 and is a member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.
Ryan has been married to Hillary for 21 years and they have two children, Katie and John, both attending school in MISD. Ryan currently serves on the board of the FBI Midland Citizen’s Academy Alumni Association and has previously served with Midland Need to Read, the UTPB Accounting Association, and the Beta Gamma Sigma Business Honor Society. He is also a graduate of Leadership Midland.
Melissa Ware has been an active member of the Midland community for over 27 years. She has served the citizens of Midland as a parent, volunteer, and educator. Most recently, Melissa was part of initializing the transformation process of Midland ISD as they began the journey to becoming a System of Great Schools. As the Portfolio and Policy Manager, Melissa has four years of progress monitoring experience as a liaison between MISD and the 1882 partnerships.
Melissa brings a wealth of knowledge to the Carver Center board due to expertise in all aspects of partnership schools, experience within MISD, and as a former Carver parent. Melissa has dedicated herself to projects ensuring every Midland ISD student has access to quality education. Melissa previously owned Midland Secretariat, a stationery business, as well as served the community of Midland through roles with the MISD Values Project, Midland County Excellence in Education Awards Chairman, Midland Students First Executive Director, 1 to 1 Tutoring Coordinator, Midland ISD PTA, Booster Clubs, Midland Symphony Guild, First Baptist Church, Midland Memorial Hospital, Junior League of Midland, Midland ISD Disciplinary Committee, and Midland ISD Apply Midland Unified Enrollment Project.
Melissa and her husband, Carl, have been blessed with three wonderful children. Jackson recently graduated from the University of Oklahoma and is working as an architect in Dallas. Hannah is a junior at the University of Oklahoma studying Chemical Biosciences, and Grace is a senior at Midland High School.
Ayotunde Esho moved to Midland, Texas from New York City in 2014 after completing his dental education and residency training at the New York University College of Dentistry and Mount Sinai Hospital respectively. He and his beautiful wife of fourteen years have since adopted the Permian Basin as their home, along with their set of twins who both currently attend Carver Center.
He was born and raised in Nigeria, where his appreciation for education was developed, and he has always been an advocate for providing a learning environment where every child can thrive and harness their unique talent.
In the course of his career, Ayotunde has held multiple leadership roles such as: Managing Clinical Director at Aspen Dental, Lead Dentist at Smile Brand and Dental Provider at the Midland County Jail. He is currently in the process of transitioning to his solo practice but remains actively involved in peer mentoring and has received multiple awards and accolades as a result.
He is a member of the American Dental Association, the Texas Dental Association and the Permian Basin Dental Association and is involved in several community outreach programs.