Young Friends Board

Kyra Barrett

Teacher, Houston Independent School District

In her own words, this is how Kyra describes Playworks: “Through creative games, enormous energy, and giant hearts, the coaches and staff give students people that can bring a smile to their face any day of the week. The Playworks program is a true asset to building a strong school culture.” And she would know. Kyra is a teacher for Houston Independent School District (HISD). When she’s not at work, Kyra is shopping, at a concert or musical, or snuggling in with a good book. She hails from Cochranville, Pennsylvania, but she cheers for “Rally the Catamount,” the mascot from her alma mater, University of Vermont. Kyra’s favorite sport is field hockey and she dominates the game “I Spy.”

Russell Etheredge

Program Director, Cornerstone Family Ministries

You can call Russell by his nickname, Bird. And he is soaring, helping families in the Spring Branch community through his job at Cornerstone Family Ministries. Russell is originally from Waco, Texas. He traveled to Dallas to get his degree from Dallas Baptist University. In his spare time, you can find him hiking or video editing. He has a knack for creativity in his video projects and as a part-time bass player! Since Playworks is about physical activity and playing, we asked Russell to share his favorite sport to play, and his answer? Basketball!

Ryan Jensen

Accountant II, EOG Resources

As a former student-athlete, Ryan Jensen wants to pass on the lessons of teamwork, dedication, and discipline that sports taught him throughout his life. He says, “Playworks aims to make sure that every kid is able to participate in and enjoy the privilege of fun, safe, and engaging physical fitness at recess and after school through organized sports. This is even more relevant in the modern era where so much is done through smartphones, tablets, and computers. It is important to make sure that kids are getting the exercise that they need in order to achieve in the classroom and get the most out of school.” We couldn’t agree more, Ryan! When he’s not hanging at home with his puppy, Ryan spends the weekend with friends watching or playing sports or video games. He is a native Texan, born in Midland and raised in Cypress. He graduated from Southwestern University and has a knack for word and puzzle games.

Kellie O’Quinn

Assistant Director, Public Policy and Early Education, Children at Risk

Kellie is eloquent when she speaks about Playworks: “Playworks benefits the development, education, and future of students by providing them opportunities for physical activity and leadership in their schools and community.” Her work with Children at Risk compliments Playworks’ mission beautifully. Kelly is a native of Houston, Texas, graduating from Texas A&M. She enjoys watching a good old baseball game (Go Astros!). Kellie has a self-proclaimed flair for cleaning, organizing, finding cats to pet, and analyzing policy and data!

Callie Thomas

Associate, D. Supkis Cheek, PLLC

Callie is a real pal of Playworks and, how convenient, her nickname is CalPal! When she talks about us she describes Playworks as, “an organization that provides an outlet for kids to be kids. Playworks helps kids learn to interact with others while having fun. Through play, we grow together.” Speaking of playing, Callie’s favorite sport to play is soccer. In her free time, she can be found playing her favorite sport in a park, baking, or reading. She’s originally from Versailles, Kentucky. Callie is a Wildcat, graduating from the University of Kentucky. She is currently working on her master’s at the University of Houston.