Larkin Tackett is the founder and CEO of MAYA Consulting, which provides a range of services in the education sector. Prior to his consulting career, Larkin served as Executive Director of IDEA Public Schools in Austin, where he managed school principals and led the organization’s community engagement, fundraising, and growth in the Austin region. By 2022, IDEA Austin will grow from six to 26 schools and serve more than 20,000 students. Larkin raised $20 million in philanthropic funding to support this growth. In 2017, he won the Austin Under 40 Award for Youth and Education.
In addition to his work at IDEA, Larkin served as the director of Place-Based Initiatives in the Obama Administration’s U.S. Department of Education. There, he managed the Promise Neighborhoods program and led the Department's place-based strategy to support comprehensive education reform in high-poverty neighborhoods. Larkin also worked at the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs and served as legislative director for Texas State Senator Judith Zaffirini and committee director for California State Senator Dean Florez. He began his career as an eighth-grade social studies and journalism teacher with Teach For America at Eliza Miller Junior High School in West Helena, Arkansas, a small town in the Mississippi Delta.
When he’s not obsessing about educational improvement, Larkin loves to read, run, and play with his kids. He has run 23 marathons in different states as part of goal to complete a marathon in each of the 50 states and D.C.. Larkin and his wife Katie, a special education professor at UT Austin, are proud foster parents.
Austin's Best Breakfast Taco: Migas at Veracruz All Natural
The University of Texas at Austin, Red McCombs School of Business
Master of Business Adminstration
Bachelor of Arts, Politics & History
CASA of Travis County
Little Helping Hands
Rachel Franco is a Staff Consultant for MAYA. She recently earned her Masters of Education in Language and Literacy at Harvard Graduate School of Education. Rachel has served as a classroom reading teacher, specializing in both elementary and secondary literacy curriculum and instruction. Rachel began teaching in 2013 as a part of Teach for America in Detroit, Michigan.
Rachel attended DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. As a DePaul Leadership Scholar, she learned the values of service through the teachings and practices of St. Vincent de Paul and St. Louise de Marillac. Through tutoring elementary-aged students on the northwest side to GED prep on the south side, she cultivated a desire to teach through the lens of Kimberlé Crenshaw's intersectional identities. She also served as Co-Editor-in-Chief for Threshold, DePaul's award winning literary and art magazine. Rachel graduated with honors as a first-generation graduate.
When Rachel is not working towards educational equity, she is reading, swimming and spending time with her family in South Austin.
An Afternoon in Austin Must-Haves: Reading a new book from Book People on the hillside of Barton Springs. Afterward grabbing a cheeseburger and milkshake down the road at Sandy's.
Harvard University, Graduate School of Education
Master of Education in Language & Literacy
Bachelor of Arts, Media & Cinema Studies
• Central Texas Food Bank
Karen Weissinger is excited to continue working for educational equity by supporting a range of school districts and other organizations as a consultant with MAYA. Prior to consulting, Karen was the Founding Principal of IDEA Rundberg Academy, where her students and staff earned two State Distinctions in Academic Achievement in Reading and Student Progress, and the highest Index 2 Student Progress results out of all 20 IDEA elementary schools. Additionally, in 2018, IDEA Public Schools was one of seven districts in the state and Rundberg Academy was one of five IDEA schools to be named to the Texas Honor Roll as a school distinguished for its academic achievement and for closing achievement gaps.
Before her work as a Principal, Karen taught Seventh and Eighth Grade English Language Arts at the Soulsville Charter School and was a Director of Operations at Cornerstone Preparatory School, a Tennessee Achievement District school, in her hometown of Memphis, Tennessee. Karen began her education career in 2006 as a Teach for America New York City Corps Member teaching Seventh Grade English at I.S. 162 Lola Rodriguez De Tio, a traditional public school in the South Bronx. Then, Karen was a founding Sixth Grade Writing Teacher at Brooklyn’s Kings Collegiate Charter School, part of the Uncommon Charter Schools Network, where her Sixth Graders’ performance on the New York State Exam earned Kings Collegiate a 6th place ranking for middle schools on the Chancellor’s School Progress Report out of more than 1100 NYC schools.
In her spare time, Karen enjoys distance running and spending time with her daughter, Beth, her son, Wynn, and her husband, Douglas.
Austin Loves: Jogging around Lake Austin, eating pizza at Home Slice and Via 313, enjoying breakfast tacos at Taco Deli, watching movies with her husband at The Alamo Drafthouse, and playing at city parks with her kids.
Masters of Science in Teaching
University of Mississippi, Honors College
Bachelor of Arts, English
Minor, Business Administration