Texas School District Accounting & Audit Conference Speaker Biographies

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Blake Rodgers, CPA

Rodgers is a Partner in Deloitte’s audit and assurance practice in Dallas. He has more than 15 years of experience in the state and local government industry, focusing on both financial statement and grant compliance audits and assisting governments with financial statement preparation and audit readiness. He served as a Practice Fellow at the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) in Norwalk, Conn., from 2012 to 2014, as the project manager on the GAAP Hierarchy Project. Rodgers is a CPA in the state of Texas and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Association of Government Accountants, and TXCPA.


Tracy Ginsburg, Ed.D., CAE

Ginsburg serves as the Executive Director for the Texas Association of School Business Officials (TASBO). Prior to joining TASBO, she served as the Chief Financial Officer for Fort Bend and Round Rock ISD. She also worked in El Paso and Socorro ISD as an auditor and business official.


Amanda Brownson, Ph.D

Brownson has been working in public education for 25 years, and in Texas school finance for 15. She recently served the Director of State Funding at the Texas Education Agency, where she oversaw the distribution of the state’s nearly $20 billion Foundation School Program. Prior to joining TEA, she worked as a consultant at Moak, Casey & Associates, where she assisted school districts with revenue projection, conducted research, and provided legislative support. Currently, she is the Associate Executive Director of Governmental Relations for the Texas Association of School Business Officials. She began her career as a teacher in Texas and in California. She holds a Ph.D. in Education Policy and Planning, and her dissertation focused on the impact of state funding reforms brought about through the Edgewood litigation in Texas.


Janét Spurgin

Spurgin has a long history of building and maintaining school finance data models used to calculate state aid and developing tools to evaluate education funding proposals. Prior to her 13 years of service at the Legislative Budget Board, Janét worked for 19 years at the Texas Education Agency in the Divisions of School Finance and Fiscal Analysis, Interagency Coordination, Research and Program Evaluation, and Governmental Relations.


Reema Parappilly, CISA

Parappilly provides IT Advisory Services to public sector and public company clients. Her clients include school districts, cities, state agencies, higher education, public and private companies. She focuses on IT audits, including internal audits, internal controls over financial reporting, and SOC reports.


Karen Smith, CPA, CIA

Smith is the Chief Financial Officer at Cypress-Fairbanks ISD.  Cypress-Fairbanks is the third largest district in Texas with over 117,000 students. She has worked in school business for over 28 years with experience in budget, accounting, risk management, child nutrition and internal audit. She has a BBA in Accounting from Texas A&M University and is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Internal Auditor and a Registered Texas School Business Official. She is a past board member for the Texas Association of School Business Officials and serves on the Association of School Business Officials International Legislative Advocacy Committee.


Lindsey Kennimer, CPA

Kennimer has 14 years of public accounting experience serving governmental entities, specifically school districts. She has extensive experience in financial statement audits and single audits of school districts.Lindsey is a member of the AICPA, TSCPA, GAQC, TASBO, GFOA Special Review Committee, and holds the Advanced Single Audit Certificate issued by the AICPA.


Amy Copeland

Copeland joined the Texas Education Agency (TEA) in 2012 as the Foundation School Program (FSP) Operations Manager. After three years in that role, she served for three years as the State Funding Division’s assistant director is now the Director of State Funding. The State Funding Division administers the FSP, including recapture and facilities funding programs as well as the bond guarantee program, and is responsible for the distribution of around $25 billion annually in state aid and the collection of $2 billion in excess local revenue for public education. Copeland has a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Wyoming. She is a Certified School Risk Manager and is pursuing a RTSBA certification through TASBO.


David Marx, CPA

Marx has been with the Texas Education Agency for almost 10 years, six of the years he served as the Director of Financial Compliance. He was in public accounting prior to to his time at the TEA.


Guadalupe Garcia, CPA

Garcia is an Audit Partner with Whitley Penn, a public accounting firm with offices in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, and Plano. He has 13 years of experience providing audit services to school districts, cities, counties, colleges, universities, and other special-purpose governments. Garcia is a frequent speaker at industry events on topics ranging from financial accounting and reporting, federal program compliance, and auditing. He holds the AICPA’s Advanced Single Audit Certificate, is a member of the GFOA’s Special Review Committee and currently serves on the Texas Society of CPAs and Houston CPA Society Board of Directors. He is a graduate of the University of Houston.



Nelson is the Director of Digital Forensics at Lindquist LLP in San Ramon, CA. He is a seasoned investigative professional and problem solver. He has significant experience in forensic accounting, investigations and digital forensics. His areas of expertise include: Assistance with internal investigations where there are allegations of wrongdoing and malfeasance; Utilization of investigative tools and technology to perform link analysis techniques to augment investigative efforts where business and financial records are missing; Receiverships, and Digital forensic acquisition and analysis of various forms of digital media using court- and peer-accepted tools.


Diana Ward, CPA

Ward has worked at JRBT in Waco her entire 30 year career. She is the firm's Governmental Audit Quality Partner, and oversees the firm's governmental and single audit practice. She has served as a peer reviewer for the past six years, and has the AICPA Digital badge for single audits.