Brandi Watts on LinkedIn
Brandi began her career in education as an inclusion specialist, helping teachers meet the academic and social needs of students with profound learning disabilities and emotional disturbances. During her 10 years as an educator, Brandi also taught mathematics and college preparatory courses and worked with a wide range of students, including those who would be the first in their families to graduate from high school and attend college. Drawing on her extensive classroom experience, Brandi then became an instructional coach and academic facilitator for schools undergoing critical academic and cultural transformations.
Since joining Stand in 2016, Brandi has leveraged this expertise to help build one of the largest family engagement programs in Texas, Home Visit Partnerships. The central tenet of this program is that when parents and teachers have relationships of trust and are equal partners in the success of students, education can more fully address the needs of children. Brandi designs and facilitates the teacher trainings for this program and coaches educator participants through its implementation. She is also part of the Stand team that developed the first-of-its-kind app which helps school districts and teachers track relationship-building visits. In 2020 she overhauled the training curriculum and, working side-by-side with the Stand Illinois office, helped launch Connection Conversations for educators and families in Chicago Public Schools. Teachers and families across eight school districts have participated in these programs and have connected through over 28,000 home visits.
Brandi is a member of the team that designed Ready for Kindness, a professional development program which serves as primer for Teach Kindness, a suite of best-in-class social-emotional learning activities and classroom content from leading providers. In 2020, Ready for Kindness helped 20 schools in Chicago prioritize resiliency, flexibility, and supportive school culture in the midst of the pandemic.
Brandi leads the communications and marketing work of Stand Texas and supports the office’s fundraising. She is a member of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee for Stand nationally. In this role, she reviews Stand’s internal policies through an equity lens, and she co-facilitates modules on issues such as voter enfranchisement and white fragility.
Brandi is one of fewer than 1,000 professionals nationwide who hold a DiversityFIRST Certification from the National Diversity Council. She earned a B.A. in interdisciplinary studies and a master’s degree in humanities, both from the University of Texas at Dallas.