Lani Popp is a speech-language pathologist, small-business owner, musician, volunteer, and most important of all, a passionate educator. She has spent her life serving Texas students, including working 16 years in public schools (four in inner city schools) and 11 years in private school. Lani is also a passionate champion for children with autism, with expertise in social communication deficits. She currently works with students with disabilities in Northside Independent School District.
Raised in a Naval family, Lani has a deep love for America and the military. From her parents, she has gained an appreciation for the principles of hard work and dedication, which she applied to achieve a Bachelor of Education and a Master of Science in Speech Pathology and Audiology from Baylor University. She holds a teaching certificate in Texas and a Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) in Speech Pathology from the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association.
As a speech-language pathologist, Lani specializes in working with students with autism and social communication disorder. Lani developed a social skills curriculum that is designed for students with autism, emotional/behavioral disorders, ADHD and other disorders that might result in social communication deficits. She has also produced music and visuals to teach speech, language and socials skills.
As well as working as a speech-language pathologist, Lani has invested in students’ lives by teaching elementary music, middle school theater arts, classical guitar, as well as coaching cheerleading and directing high school show choir performances. Her show choir students and classical guitar students consistently earned a I (the highest score given) at the Texas State TAPPS music competition.
While teaching music, Lani took part in the National Anthem Project. She worked with Governor Perry and State Representative Frank Corte to designate the state of Texas as a National Anthem State. She led more than 100 students and their families to Washington, DC to sing the National Anthem with thousands of students from across the United States. During that time, she was honored to be a national finalist for the teacher of the year award from the Veterans of Foreign Wars, which recognizes exceptional teachers for their outstanding commitment to teaching Americanism and patriotism.
Lani also has a passion for teaching other educators. She has spoken at a variety of conferences and conventions in Texas, regionally and nationally. She has presented at the Texas Speech-Language and Hearing Association Convention, Texas Autism Conference, Texas Behavior Support State Conference, Texas Assistive Technology Conference, Texas Music Educators Association Convention, The Southwest Region of American Music Therapy Association Conference and the American Music Therapy Association Conference.
Lani owns two businesses, one of which produces music to help improve speech, language and social skills, and the second produces materials and curriculum to teach social skills. She also wrote a musical score for a musical play performed by students with special needs. Each summer, she works at a camp for students with special needs.
Lani has volunteered for multiple political campaigns, helped found Hill Country Conservative Neighbors, and has been a precinct chair since 2012. She has attended all except one Republican State Convention since 1996.
As a candidate for State Board of Education in District 5, Lani is endorsed by current board member Ken Mercer, who is not seeking re-election. She is also been endorsed and is being supported by Mark Dorazio, SREC District 25; Robert Casias, SREC member SD 19; Naomi Narvaiz, past SREC member SD 21; Kathy Haigler, former Caldwell County Chairman; Sue Piner, Comal County Republican Club president; Laura Koerner, Fair Oaks Ranch City Council; Sylvia Gartner, past president of San Antonio Republican Women and over 30 precinct chairs.
Lani has been married for 38 years to her high school sweetheart, David, who is a Pediatrician and Air Force veteran. Together, they have five children; four of whom are educators in Texas public schools, and one who is an oral surgeon in the United State Air Force. Lani and David enjoy traveling and spending time with their five grandchildren.
As a lifelong worship leader, Lani can be found on many Sundays singing in the choir at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio.