Kathy Heinzerling, Executive Director

Kathy came to Breakthrough Houston in 2009 after 31 years as co-director at Chinquapin Preparatory School. Her background working with economically disadvantaged students, as well as her experience with education and administration, makes Kathy uniquely qualified for her role. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Barat College and a Masters of Science in Biology from the University of St. Louis. A tireless volunteer for various civic organizations, she has won numerous honors and recognitions, including the keys to the City of Houston in recognition of her educational leadership. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling to spend time with her four sons and five grandchildren.

Twenewaa Adu-Oppong, College Bound Program Director


Twenewaa joined Breakthrough Houston in 2019 as the 9th and 10th Grade College Bound Program Director. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, Twenewaa served as a college advisor at a large public school for predominately first-generation, students of color. Twenewaa has worked with 2 Breakthrough sites over the past 4 years, and remains passionate about bridging gaps in access and success for groups that continue to be underrepresented in higher education. 

Kurchi Basu, College Bound Program Director

Kurchi joined Breakthrough Houston in 2018 as the College Bound Program Director. Originally from Madison, Wisconsin, she earned a B.A. in sociology/anthropology/Latin American Studies from Carleton College, as well as an M.Ed from University of St. Thomas. Kurchi is a former Teach for America corps member, with 7 years of experience working with first generation college bound students in HISD, most recently as the college advisor at Waltrip High School in Garden Oaks.

JoAnna Duncan, Program Director (HISD-Gregory Lincoln)

JoAnna joins Breakthrough Houston as the Program Director at Gregory-Lincoln Education Center. JoAnna is a proud graduate of the University of Florida, where she earned a B.S. in Public Relations. JoAnna moved to Houston through Teach for America and taught elementary education in HISD. She then spent six years developing instructional leaders at YES Prep Public Schools. Most recently, she served as a School Director for Teach for America during their five-week summer Institute training for corps members. In her free time, JoAnna loves to travel, try new restaurants, and spend time with her fur baby, Diggy.

Melinda Guthrie, Development Director

While Melinda comes to Breakthrough Houston from another Houston nonprofit organization, she has worked in both the nonprofit and business sectors here in the U.S. and abroad, in fields as diverse as oil and gas, finance and leadership training. She has a natural ability to develop strong, long-term relationships and a deep and genuine passion for providing equitable educational opportunities for all students. 

 Jarvis Lundy, Program Director ( BTH at Connect)

 Jarvis Lundy joins Breakthrough Houston as Program Director at the Connect Community. Originally from South Florida, he earned his B.A. in Africana Studies from the University of Miami. He rejoins the Breakthrough family after working as a school year and summer teacher with Breakthrough Miami while in college.  Jarvis has spent over a decade working to ensure that our most underserved students receive a high-quality education.  He has worked to successfully turnaround some of the most challenging schools in New Orleans as a school teacher, founding leader, and principal for 8 years.  Most recently, he transitioned to Texas in 2018 as a founding principal to lay the groundwork for a new elementary school here in Houston. When not at work, Jarvis is cooking, spending time outdoors, or cheering on his Miami Hurricanes.

Linda Alexander, Program Director (BTH at Saint John’s School)

Linda joins Breakthrough Houston as the Program Director at the St. John’s School. She has been connected to Breakthrough since 2011 as a summer teacher, volunteer, and instructional coach. Linda earned her B.A in Mathematics from The University of Texas at Austin (Hook ‘em) and her Masters in Educational Leadership from Stephen F. Austin State University. She has worked in Aldine ISD and most recently in SBISD at a school for the highly gifted. In her free time, she enjoys morning walks, traveling, brunch, and spending time with her amazing family.