About CIS 

A recent study by the Search Institute found that only one-in-five at-risk youth could identify a trusted, caring adult in their life. At its core, Communities In Schools exists to provide that trusted, caring relationship to a student who would otherwise not have one.

Who We Are

Communities In Schools was brought to Tarrant County in 1992 by a United Way-led task force that saw a need for an effective and efficient stay-in-school program. Over the past 30 years, our evidenced-based model has expanded and now serves 71 schools across 11 school districts. 

At Communities In Schools of Greater Tarrant County, we do whatever it takes to keep our students in school and on the path to graduation.

Who We Serve

CIS serves over 5,000 at-risk students, Pre-K through 12th grade, across Greater Tarrant County.

A Message From Our CEO

“Think back to your days as a young person in school. Who helped you most to achieve success? You might be thinking of a teacher, coach, family member, or a mentor. What were the biggest challenges you faced? WHAT IF you were poor, had experienced trauma, weren’t sure where your next meal was coming from, didn’t have clean clothes to wear to school, had a toothache, needed glasses, or were experiencing abuse or neglect? Who would have helped you? Who would you tell? And who would connect you with local services to help you and your family overcome these obstacles, to ensure your continued success?

That’s where Communities In Schools comes in. Our social workers are warriors. They walk beside a student and their family throughout the child’s time at school, providing integrated student supports, making home visits, and ensuring students stay on track for academic success. The answer to the “Who” questions I posed here is: CIS. Our area schools serve many, many children considered at-risk for a host of reasons. These students often perform poorly in school. Many eventually drop out, and people wonder why. Schools, by themselves, are not equipped to address these needs. It’s my feeling that every school should have someone working inside the campus, full-time, whose job it is to find out what’s going on behind the scenes…and respond. Someone to bring hope and help the student work toward a brighter future.

CIS is changing students’ lives. We invite you to learn more about our mission, and we look forward to finding ways to partner.”
— Lindsey Garner

A Message From Our Board Chair

“By serving on the CIS Board of Directors, I know that I am having a measurable impact in my community. CIS’ singular focus at keeping students in school through wrap-around case management and mental health support makes it easy to track our effectiveness. It is clear from our state of Texas audited results that CIS is making a difference in the lives of the students we serve – they stay in school, they make the grades, and they graduate. I can’t think of another organization in Tarrant County that has a bigger, more direct, or measurable positive impact on our children and our future.”

— Jason Brown

History

1992

A United Way task force brings Communities In Schools to Fort Worth. CIS of Fort Worth hires Mike Steele as Chief Executive Officer. Four program staff begin case management services to 200 students in 2 high schools.

1995

CIS of Fort Worth is awarded United Way Partner status.

1998

CIS expands to 18 schools, establishing programs in Everman ISD and Arlington ISD. CIS of Fort Worth changes its name to Communities In Schools of Greater Tarrant County.

2012

CIS establishes an Endowment for long-term sustainability.

2014

CIS is named one of the “Top 3 Workplaces for Women in Tarrant County” by the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce.

2017

CEO Mike Steele retires after 25 years. Lindsey Garner is named President and CEO.

2018

CIS pilots its Mental Health Supports program within one school in Fort Worth ISD. Within 3 years, the program grows to 11 counselors providing services to schools across four districts.

2022

CIS of Greater Tarrant County celebrates its 30th anniversary and now serves 72 schools across 11 districts in four counties.

Leadership

Lindsey Garner

Lindsey Garner

President and CEO

Rachel Kreidler

Rachel Kreidler

Chief Development Officer

Lauren Sly, LMSW

Lauren Sly, LMSW

Chief Programs Officer

Kaitlin Tollison, LCSW

Kaitlin Tollison, LCSW

Chief Clinical Officer

Nancy Wright

Nancy Wright

Chief Financial Officer

Meet the Board

YaShanna Aidara

YaShanna Aidara

Una Bailey

Una Bailey

Corey Bearden

Corey Bearden

David Bekerman

David Bekerman

Bryson Bowden

Bryson Bowden

Jason Brown

Jason Brown

Christian Burton

Christian Burton

Leah Collette

Leah Collette

Niketa Dennis

Niketa Dennis

Karen Green

Karen Green

Danyatta Harrell

Danyatta Harrell

Roy Johnson

Roy Johnson

Craig Lesok

Craig Lesok

Leah Marek

Leah Marek

Jennifer Nanni

Jennifer Nanni

Teresa Paslay

Teresa Paslay

Bob Pence

Bob Pence

Jonathan Rittenhouse

Jonathan Rittenhouse

Alison Sanburg

Alison Sanburg

Kay Sanders

Kay Sanders

Cindy Schallawitz

Cindy Schallawitz

Caitlin Sims

Caitlin Sims

Rachel Willis

Rachel Willis

Leslie Wilson

Leslie Wilson

Financials

In a continuing effort to provide the highest standards of financial management and reports, CIS of Greater Tarrant County provides online access to all financial information, including independent audits and 990s.

Reports