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Meet UP Partnership's K12 and Postsecondary team

Our K12 and Postsecondary team members are driving the work by convening our postsecondary partners as our community aims to reach the Future Ready Bexar County North Star goal of increasing enrollment in postsecondary education or credential programs to 70% by 2030.

UP Partnership’s K12 and Postsecondary team works with our partners to adopt measurable outcomes and to create strategies to achieve those outcomes.

Specifically, the team works with partners to expand equitable access to resources and programs to increase postsecondary enrollment and success through the Diplomás systems change network and the Equitable Enrollment Collaborative (EEC).

The mission of Diplomás is simple — it is a collective impact effort uniting 23 cross-sector partners to increase the college attainment and quality of life of San Antonio’s Dreamer/Latinx students. The work continues to be important and needed.

The purpose of the EEC is to dissolve barriers students often face when transitioning from K12 into postsecondary. 

Equitable Enrollment Collaborative is a space for ISDs, institutions of higher education IHEs and community-based organizations CBOs to work together to build city-wide bridges to postsecondary education that intentionally close equity gaps for all students and ensure they are ready for the future and the workforce.

The team spearheading the work of Diplomás and EEC consists of Briana Hagelgans, Ed.D., Director of K12 and Postsecondary, Lowell Butler, Ed.D., Senior Manager of Coaching and Facilitation, and Jonathan Weaver, Senior Manager of Community Engagement.

Get to know the K12 & Postsecondary Team

Briana Hagelgans, Ed.D., is a first generation college graduate and the oldest of four siblings. She is proud to say that two of her siblings have also obtained a postsecondary degree with one still in medical school. She obtained her Associates and Bachelors degrees in Business Management before she found her passion within the postsecondary field. As a first generation college graduate, Briana experienced first- hand the transformational power that a postsecondary degree holds and how it impacts not only students but their families. Briana has also earned her master’s degrees and doctorates in educational leadership and has held a variety of roles within postsecondary at the 2-year and 4-year level. Prior to her position at UP Partnership, Briana was a member of the Diplomás Network and the Equitable Enrollment Collaborative. 

Briana is an avid reader who loves to garden. One of her personal goals is to own land where she can build her homestead that has an abundance of fruit and vegetable plants, as well as an array of flowers, including native varieties. Of course, her homestead would not be complete without friendly ducks, egg-laying hens and gorgeous views in all directions.

She finds joy in cleaning, which she admits scares most people. However, for her, if she is thinking through a challenge, doing a load of dishes or laundry usually helps her work through that slump.

Briana’s advice to all is: “if you aren’t making mistakes, you aren’t learning.”

Lowell Butler, Ed.D. spent his early years in Louisiana before moving to the Mississippi Gulf Coast when he was a teenager. He obtained both his Associate and Bachelor degrees in Business Administration from Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and the University of Southern Mississippi. After college, he got involved in national service through Americorps where he worked on social issues ranging from integrating technology in Mississippi high schools to hunger insecurity and reducing poverty in San Antonio.

He loves all things Southern Mississippi and is always on the hunt for the best soul and New Orleans style restaurants in San Antonio. He spent last year as a Texas Education Policy Fellow, hosted by the College of Education, at Texas Tech University, and recently earned his Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration.

Lowell is a McDonald’s superfan! He was unsuccessful, though, in getting a McDonald’s meal named after him, which he called the McLB that includes two plain McDoubles, large fries, large Hi-C Orange and BBQ sauce.

His advice to all is: “we really need to understand and fully accept that the young people of today are our future consumers and producers of all our goods and services, whether it is education, housing, employment, etc. Intergenerational conflict occurs because we expect young people to engage in systems, have the same motivators, definitions of success, and even the same challenges as we did. When they don’t, they’re penalized or denigrated. This leads to disconnection. It’s time for new models, new ways of thinking that are informed by young people, and that’s what Future Ready is about!”

Jonathan Weaver was born and raised on San Antonio’s south and southeast sides of town. He is the product of San Antonio ISD, having graduated from Fox Tech’s Law Magnet program in 2010. He continued his education at the University of Texas at San Antonio, obtaining a bachelor degree in Global Affairs.

Having always known that he wanted to serve his community, Jonathan has worked in the nonprofit sector for almost 10 years. He previously worked in various organizations, but it wasn’t until his time at Good Samaritan that he started to think of the inequalities that exist in our community and the systems that keep them in place, which is what drew him to UP Partnership’s work.

In his free time, Jonathan enjoys doing home improvement projects, such as plumbing, yard work, concrete, and wood work, and he also plays the drums and piano. He always likes smoking BBQ the “hard way” — burning the wood before sunrise and managing the heat over many hours. For 15 years, Jonathan has collected various Marvel items that, to this day, remain unopened.

Jonathan’s advice to all is: “do NOT waste your time or energy on what others think about you or things that make you upset. Focus on what you can control. Enjoy the small things; they often get overlooked in the present and are the things you miss once they are gone.”

For more information about Diplomás and the Equitable Enrollment Collaborative, please visit or donate to the work here. You can also follow our progress by signing up for our newsletter and by following us on social media.