Meet the YES Prep Elementary Schools Leadership Team!
Michelle LaFlure is the founding principal of one of the first two elementary campuses YES Prep will open in the 2020-2021 school year. Michelle served as a principal at YES Prep North Central (NC) Secondary from 2014 to 2019. Prior to becoming principal, Michelle taught all levels of Spanish, 6-8 grade English, and history at NC. She also was the first ever NC dean of instruction and then worked as the NC director of academics for four years. Michelle has a B.A. in Elementary Education from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and a master's in Education from the University of St. Thomas. She was a 2001 Teach For America Corps Member at Barrick Elementary School before transitioning to the NC Trailblazer family. As a first generation college graduate, Michelle is passionate about increasing opportunities for all students and ensuring every student has an excellent education.
Prior to joining YES Prep, Diana worked as a classroom teacher for more than 10 years in Colombia, Guatemala and the United States. She comes with experience as a grade level chair and teacher in general and bilingual elementary education. She has also taught adults and children with exceptionalities. Most recently, Diana served as a teacher specialist and administrator at De Chaumes Elementary in Houston Independent School District. Diana has a bachelor’s in Education from the University of Antioquia in Colombia and a master's in Educational Administration from Texas A&M University.
YES Prep Managing Director of Elementary School Programs Lance Menster has a 25-year record leading elementary school programs for thousands of children in the Houston area. Most recently, he was the Elementary Curriculum and Development Officer in Houston Independent School District (HISD), providing leadership for curriculum, instruction, and formative assessment, including job-embedded teacher development specialists. Previously, he served as HISD’s assistant superintendent for professional support and development and as the district’s elementary math curriculum manager. Prior to HISD, he worked at the Houston Annenberg Challenge and served as a classroom teacher and math specialist in Alief Independent School District. Lance is a proud alumnus of the University of Northern Iowa and the University of St. Thomas, where he earned a bachelor’s in Elementary Education and a master’s in School Administration, respectively.
Elizabeth (Beth) Carlson-Young
Elementary Head of Schools
Elizabeth joins us as YES Prep's first elementary head of schools. Most recently, Beth served as principal of De Chaumes Elementary in Houston Independent School District (HISD) as well as a lead principal in the school district. Dedicated to advocating for students and ensuring they were challenged and supported, Beth led her teams to earn the highest recognition from the Texas Education Agency.
Beth began her career in education as an elementary school teacher and has taught reading and English in both middle and high schools. She taught for five years in Colombia before joining HISD and building a successful newcomers’ program at Sam Houston Math, Science, and Technology Center. She continued her career at Hamilton Middle School as dean of students, working with the English Language Arts (ELA), English as a Second Language (ESL), and Spanish departments, as well as the sixth and eighth grade teams.