Administrative Staff

Larry Elsner, MSSW, Executive Director,

"My 28-year-old daughter is an Open Door graduate so I have witnessed firsthand how her early education experiences helped shape her into the pretty incredible person she is today. I believe that all children—regardless of special needs, regardless of family backgrounds—are entitled to a strong start in life. I want every child to have the opportunities that Sophie has enjoyed."


Missy Sanchez, Site Director,
Open Door Central,

"I believe that every child should have an opportunity to learn and grow in an emotionally supportive environment that values and fosters their natural curiosity. It is a child’s innate curiosity that makes them our world’s greatest explorers. It is our job, our responsibility, as early childhood educators, to provide each child in our care with a road map that will set them up for success as they pursue their future educational journeys."


Sheila Matthews, Site Director,
Open Door East,

"Every child is special, unique, and deserves a chance to attend a quality, safe, and loving educational environment."


Tracey Matchefts, Site Director,
Open Door at M Station,

"I believe that each child is a unique individual who needs a safe, caring, loving, open environment in which to grow emotionally, intellectually, physically and socially. I want to assist children in discovering who they are, so they feel free to express their own opinions and nurture their own ideas. My goal is to instill in them a life- long love of learning."


Board of Directors

Tony Clark*, Vice Chair
General Motors

Elaine Xu, CPA, Treasurer
Maxwell, Locke & Ritter LLP

Kate Burns

Laura Hernandez Gold, LCSW
Austin Travis County Integral Care

Tara Kirkland, MPA
Mission Capital

Coleen Linden
National Instruments

Cherisse Robison
Children's Advocacy Centers of Texas

Will Tung
Community Volunteer

Chris Weimer
Norton Rose Fulbright

Michael Sponseller, McCombs Board Fellow
University of Texas at Austin

Cathy McHorse, Chair
United Way of Central Texas

Meghan Alexander*, Secretary
Alexander Law Firm

Buddy Beger

Robin Gose*, Ed.D.

Laura Griebel
Easterseals Central Texas

Rushmi Kumar*
Community Volunteer

John McGlothlin, PhD
Southwest Retirement Specialists

Josh Romero
Jackson Walker LPC

Cherelle VanBrakle
Dell Children's Medical Center

Emily Yeager
Austin Reading Recipes

Kathrine Thigpen, McCombs Board Fellow
University of Texas at Austin


*Current Open Door parent