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Lewisville ISD Hosts ‘Funny Rocket Scientist,' Shayla Rivera

Community event inspires district staff and community.

As Lewisville ISD continues the ongoing journey of cultural proficiency with its staff, a new priority to join alongside the community is becoming the new norm.

“Cultural proficiency is not limited to education,” LISD Executive Director of Professional Learning Dr. Shawna Miller said. “Through expanding our journey to include community partnerships and community learning events, we are able to gain greater awareness of each other’s experiences and perspectives, honor our unique stories and work collectively to cultivate environments that encourage ongoing dialogue about diversity and inclusion for all.” 

Shayla Rivers speaks to crowd

As part of this series of community learning events, LISD recently hosted Shayla Rivera, an Aerospace Engineer, former Rocket Scientist with NASA, Texas A&M Professor of Practice and standup comedian. 

Shayla Rivera speaks to crowd

Rivera inspires audiences by using what she calls the A-B-C Principle – Awareness Begins Change. 

Rivera's talk focused on exploring the different perspectives of diversity and the power of welcoming what makes everyone different. 

Shayla Rivera holds small jar in front of audience

As a gift to audience members, Rivera gave small jars with handcrafted “worry” dolls inside, to remind them of this encouraging afternoon and to release the lids on the “jars” and worries in their lives. 

“Shayla Rivera's analogy about having lids on jars that limit your potential resonates with our work,” Miller said. “We continue to have important conversations with our employees, students, and community members to gain perspectives on what ‘lids’ might be in place that can be removed to help all students thrive in a future they create.” 

Recognizing that cultural proficiency is not limited to education, Lewisville ISD welcomes the opportunity to engage in conversations and share the importance of cultural proficiency among one another. To find future cultural proficiency events in the LISD community, visit