About Us

Our Vision

A world in which every child – regardless of race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status- has an equal opportunity for educational and future success.

Our Mission

To provide holistic child development through academic, cultural and life-skill programs with active parental involvement.

Beacon Hill Preparatory Institute is a not-for-profit organization that changes the odds for students with high-quality, high-impact learning opportunities that create pathways to success. Based in Dallas, the organization reaches 1,500+ students annually in Dallas, the surrounding Southern sector and Fort Worth.

Our core programs include in-school math and reading tutoring, as well as afterschool, summer and other academic enrichment programs in underserved neighborhoods.

Our formula for bridging learning gaps for students is proven, data-driven education programs led by professionals with a vested interest in the local community. Nine out of 10 Beacon Hill students increase their reading and/or math grade level with the help of our tutoring.


  • Academic Excellence
  • Exceptional Customer Service
  • Respect, Trust and Dignity
  • Growth and Opportunities
  • Operational Efficiency)

Our History

The Beacon Hill Preparatory Institute (Beacon Hill) concept began in the summer of 2003 when Charnella Derry (our current Executive Director) and Stephanie Lilly were trying to meet the needs of their own children. Between their families, they had 6 children at various grade levels. The two women were college roommates and graduates of Texas A&M University and both had a passion for supplemental education. They both came from families of educators and valued collaborative teaching and learning: education starts at home and ends in school. They wanted to give their children's teachers something to build on. After each family tried and used various accelerated programs, they decided (with teachers’ encouragement) to pass on to other families the lessons they had learned.

As African Americans, they were especially aware of how so many minority and low-income students continued to score low on standardized tests. They were determined to help make a dent in this problem, starting in the Dallas community. They knew that education had to be a partnership between the teacher, student, and parent; all three had to work together in order for the child to excel.

Initially, the academy was modeled after one of the oldest Chinese schools in the Dallas Metroplex & local Math and Reading Centers. While attending area Chinese schools, students work on reading and math at least 1 year above their grade level in a classroom environment. They also offer enrichment classes in Chinese origami, chess, basketball, and other activities. At local Math and Reading Learning Centers, students work through an individualized, self-paced program, but there are no enrichment activities.
Beacon Hill evolved into a non-profit in 2006 and our first partnership formed: Beacon Hill provided staff and volunteers, Mountain View College provided space, and Gideon Math and Reading offered their quality curriculum focused on students in South Dallas, but extending to the Metroplex.


  • In-school tutoring at 15+ Elementary School Campuses
  • After-School tutoring at Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD), Bill J. Priest Campus, and area Partner locations (PreK-12th )
  • Enrichment programming (all ages)
  • Parent Prep Academy (all parents)
  • College Prep Program (9th-12th grade)
  • Summer Bridge Program (all ages).

Beacon Hill has served as a catalyst in transforming the minds and lives of students as well as promoting family and community support of the education process. During the last ten years, we have serviced over 8,000 students, parents, and families across 13 local school districts and communities.

In 2014-15 Beacon Hill contracted with Dallas Independent School District to provide In-school literacy tutoring for 2 of the I-2020 (Imagine 2020) schools. Much to our excitement and surprise, in August 2015 that we had been awarded funding for EIGHT additional I-2020 schools! This occurred because school principals were excited about our high success rates! The impact: We moved f rom serving 525 Students in 2015-2016 to over 1,100 students in 2019-2020. This is great news for our kids!

These days we are motivated by hearing students say "Oh! I see!" We see how their attitudes change after being around parents and students with the same goals and drive—to graduate and live meaningful, productive lives. It is amazing to see their quiz and test grades improve, report card grades change, and STAAR scores improve— “commended” scores are a real reason to celebrate! It is always on our minds that if we had not caught this child, “What road would they be on now ?

Our vision: A world in which every child - regardless of race, ethnicity or socioeconomic status - has an equal opportunity for educational and future success.

Our mission: To provide holistic child development through academic, cultural and life- skill programs with active parental involvement.

Staff Directory

Kayla Carthel
Development Consultant

Ciara Castro
Accounting Associate

Jazmyn Charles
Development Coordinator

Paul Fuentes
IT Manager

Christie Jones
Human Resource Associate

Faith Joyner-Wells
Executive Assistant/Office Manager

Sarah Long
Jr. Accounting Associate

Megan Mitchell
Volunteer/Special Events Coordinator

Paul Newman
Hr, Ops & Talent Development Manager

Marie Temomo
Jr Business Data Analyst

Michael Angelo Williams, Jr.
Supply & Logistics Manager

Felecia Daniels
Program Manager

Alexandra Hardesty
Program Manager

Antoine Holley
Program Manager

Charnella Derry
President and Founder

Robert Bisor
Chairman of the Board
VP External Affairs – Texas A&M University (Retired)
BBA Marketing – Texas A&M

Llewellyn Derry
Vice Chairman of the Board
President – Secure In Depth, LLC
Graduate Finance Certificate – SMU
MBA International Business Management – University of Dallas
Bachelors – Economics – Texas A&M University

Sharron Steele
Strategic Planning Chair
Executive Director – Montgomery County Public Schools
Deputy Director – Services Employees International Union (or SEIU)
Ed. M – Harvard Graduate School of Education
MBA – Duke University – Fuqua School of Business
BA – Computer Science – Wellesley College

Vista Lyons
Secretary of the Board
Partner Attorney – Ford Harrison, LLP
Graduate Finance Certificate – SMU
DAKKE Fine Cars, LLC – Owner
JD – University of Texas Law School
BA – Cornell University

Jan M. Hamlin
Treasurer of the Board
Senior Accountant – Exxon Mobil (Retired)
Financial Professional
DAKKE Fine Cars, LLC – Owner
BS – Accounting – Grambling State Universityl

Charnella Derry
Ex Officio Board Member
President/Co Founder – Beacon Hill Preparatory Institute
MBA – Corporate Finance – University of Dallas
BBA Accounting – Texas A&M University

Troy Higgins
Branch Office Manager – Morgan Stanley
Certified Financial Planner
MBA Corp Finance, Dallas Baptist University
BBA Management University of Texas at Arlington

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