Julie H. Ambler has been the Head of School at The Woodlands Christian Academy since 2006. Under her direction, Woodlands Christian is becoming a leader in Christ-centered college preparatory education serving students in grades Pre-K through 12th grade. Previously, she served on the school’s Executive Board for four years.
Mrs. Ambler is past-president and co-founder of the Montgomery County Coalition of Christian Schools and past-president of the Executive Women’s Alliance. She currently serves on the boards of Leadership Montgomery County, The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Rotary Club of The Woodlands, where she has been named a Paul Harris Fellow. A graduate of The Hockaday School in Dallas, Mrs. Ambler holds a B.A. and an M.B.A. from The University of Texas at Austin. For seventeen years, she worked as a real estate investment banker in Houston, Texas, and Los Angeles, California, where she financed in excess of $1.2 billion of commercial real estate transactions nationwide.
She is married to Price Ambler and is the mother of two children, Julia and J.P., both of whom are graduates of The Woodlands Christian Academy. Mrs. Ambler is a member of The Crossing Church.
Mark Brezina is one of eight children raised by a single mother. As the only family in American football history to have six brothers play for the same major university, Mark and his five brothers were football standouts at the University of Houston. The family was recently honored with a memorial dedicated in the plaza of the new football stadium.
Mark graduated in 1972 from the University of Houston. He received his Masters from the University of Alabama, Birmingham and has advanced studies at the University of Maryland and Harvard University. Prior to entering the public sector, Mr. Brezina was in business for 12 years, played professional football, taught high school and coached high school football.
In 1989 Mark served as Delegation Leader to the (former) USSR for the American-Soviet Youth Exchange and received a Presidential Appointment, serving on the staff of HUD Secretary Jack Kemp. Mark served the Department as Special Assistant to the Regional Administrator and as the Resident Initiatives Coordinator for the Southeast Region in Public Housing. For eighteen years he served as the Tennessee Field Office Director for HUD.
In 2011 he was appointed Deputy Regional Administrator of HUD, Region VI leading 750 employees in eleven offices in Louisiana, Arkansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. His operational oversight in Region VI delivered billions of dollars in multifamily and single-family insurance, hundreds of millions of dollars in grants for low-income housing, community development, and for enforcement of the nation’s fair housing laws.
Mark served as Senior Advisor to the Secretary on Disasters and implemented FEMA’s first Disaster Recovery Framework. A member of the Secretary’s Tiger Team he served as Chair of National Evaluation of Offices. He has overseen fifteen offices in three regions and served as coach to senior officials throughout the U.S.
During his tenure at HUD Mark authored HUD’s Youth Sports and Cultural Initiative that went nationwide. He was Founding Member of the Hank Aaron Rookie Leagues of Atlanta and served as Chair of the HUD-NFL Task Force. He was a speaker at Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Inner City Games in Los Angeles, California. Mark received the Secretary’s Award for Excellence and the Boys and Girls Club National Award.
Mark serves on the National Advisory Board of the Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge University. He has been married 42 years to the former Deborah Lynne Davis of Houston. They have three adult children.
Merida surrendered her life to Christ in 1972 and has never looked back. She graduated from George Peabody College for Teachers in 1973, married her high school sweetheart, Sam, in 1974 and has been happily married 40+ years. They were blessed with five children in six years, thus five teenagers in house at one time which was a marvelous adventure. They have 15 grandchildren. Merida conducts parenting workshops and leads ladies’ retreats, and has served in Christian education for 31 years. Currently she is superintendent at Westminster Christian Academy in Opelousas, Louisiana. She began in the classroom, started a branch campus for WCA in Lafayette, served as principal for 14 years, and offered further instructional supervisor/teacher training for 3 years. She has been superintendent at WCA for 9 years.
“Jesus is my life, my joy and my all. His Word is my passion, along with Christian education and the next generation. I remain grateful for my salvation because I do not deserve it. I am honored to serve in Christian education. It lets me know that Father God has an incredible sense of humor and loves me enough to put me in a position that requires absolute, desperate dependence upon Him moment by moment day by day. Psalm 131 has become one of my favorites. My life is not my own and my deep yearning is to be found faithful in everything to which Father God calls me to put my hand.”
Michael Francisco grew up in Los Alamos, New Mexico, where he was formed in the faith and was homeschooled. He became close to his future wife in a two-year worldviews class taught to a small group of homeschool students based on the Understanding the Times curriculum. Having sensed a calling to the law after taking a constitutional law class taught by Michael Farris, he went on to attend Hillsdale College and pursue a liberal arts education – majoring in History and Philosophy. Upon graduation, he married his high school sweetheart, classmate, and debate partner, and the two moved to Ithaca, New York, where Michael obtained a legal degree from Cornell Law School. He had the privilege of clerking for the Hon. Timothy M. Tymkovich for the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.
Michael’s legal career has included working for a large law firm that represented religious institutions (including Summit Ministries), serving as the Assistant Solicitor General under the Colorado Attorney General, and currently in private practice at a boutique law firm focused on appeals, civil litigation, and representing religious organizations. His legal experience has included filing numerous briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing cases in the Colorado Supreme Court and representing religious groups as ranging from national church denominations to local nonprofits.
Michael and Christina are currently raising four children (Geneva, Clara, Benjamin, and Augustin) in Colorado Springs where they enjoy the beauty of God’s creation and Christian community in the area.
Mikkel Mandt went to Upper Arlington High School in Columbus, Ohio, and graduated from Ohio State University with a Bachelors and Masters in Engineering. He served with the U.S. Navy in the Western Pacific, and has 20+ years in the Naval Reserve. He worked 4 years for Kimberly Clark Corporation, 9 years for Houdaille Industries, and started his own company in 1981, Fluidyne, which designs and supplies wastewater treatment systems.
He has served on the Board of Directors of Tentmakers youth ministries, is the President of Fluidyne, and is an inventor with foreign and U.S. patents. He served on committee for Young Life, and his company has supplied treatment systems for five Young Life camps.
Mike is a registered Professional Engineer, and has consulted widely in North America and throughout the world. He has been granted more than 40 patents worldwide in the areas of biological process, aeration, disinfection, and sequencing batch reactors. His technology has been used in Asia, Australia, South America, and Europe as well as North America. He has contributed to the design of over 500 wastewater treatment plants.
He and his wife Jan have 3 children.
Steve Austin was born in 1952, was raised in rural Indiana and later in western North Carolina. He is a graduate of Bob Jones University (salutatorian) and earned his Master of Business Administration from the University of Georgia. Mr. Austin is a Certified Public Accountant (California and Georgia).
He was an Audit Partner with PriceWaterhouse and McGladrey and Pullen for over 20 years. Currently he serves as the Managing Partner at Swenson Advisors, LLP, and a regional accounting firm in Southern California.
He is a frequent speaker worldwide on contemporary accounting, ethics, and corporate governance topics and is the author of Rise of the New Ethics Class which focuses on business ethics. Steve serves on 20 Boards and related committees such as Brandman University, Santa Fe Christian Schools, Reason Why International, and Summit Ministries.
He and his wife Gail of 35 years have 3 daughters.
Dr. Tony Jeffrey has a Bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies from American Christian College, a Master of Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from the University of North Texas. This is Dr. Jeffrey’s 33rd year in Christian school administration. He is in his eleventh year as Headmaster of Providence Christian School of Texas and previously served at Trinity Christian Academy for 23 years in a variety of roles. Dr. Jeffrey is married to Kathy and has three children; Cole-29; Clark-27; and Cate-21. Dr. and Mrs. Jeffrey have homeschooled all of their children.