Who We Are

Meet the CEN servant leaders:

CEN Board of Directors – a group of dedicated volunteers committed to creating better learning outcomes and life prospects for rural students, and brighter futures for rural communities.

CEN Leadership – a team of future-focused educators intent on helping rural leaders transform their schools toward college- and career-ready learning outcomes for ALL their students.

Learn more about those folks below.

CEN Board

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Jacob Tiemann - President

Mr. Tiemann earned his undergraduate degree in Agricultural Science from Texas A&M University and his Master’s Degree in Education from Abilene Christian University

Tiemann taught agricultural science at Roscoe High School for six years. He also held positions as Director of Early College High School of Roscoe Independent School District, Grant Manager, and STEM Director for Roscoe Independent School District

Mr. Tiemann also oversaw the Roscoe Collegiate High School, building relationships with local businesses and industries to provide students with opportunities for internships and job-shadowing activities.

His work includes managing a cumulative total of over $700,000 in grant funds. Tiemann currently serves as sales executive for an agricultural company.

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Dawna Fullwood - Treasurer

Dawna Fullwood was born and raised in Texas and graduated from Anson High School. Upon graduation, Dawna attended Angelo State University where she received her Bachelors of Art in Communications with a Minor in Marketing/Management. Dawna has worked in the financial industry for over 29 years.

Dawna is currently Senior Vice President of Retail Operations for Roscoe State Bank where she also serves as an Advisory Director. She also serves on the IBAT Services Board.

Dawna is married with two sons, who both currently attend Texas A&M University. She enjoys spending time with her family, reading, and traveling to new places.

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Stephen Bailey - Secretary

Stephen Bailey is an enthusiastic and engaging educator with a passion for motivating students to set and reach academic and personal goals. He received his BA in Communication from Abilene Christian University and his MS in Communication Studies from Texas Christian University.

As an Instructor of Communication at Tarrant County College (TCC), Bailey demonstrates the communication skills he learned as a business owner, pastor, manager, and non-profit director.

Before turning his focus toward education, Bailey worked as the General Manager of Reel FX – Creative Studios, an award-winning animation and special effects company in Dallas. He has also served as the Associate Pastor of Lake Cities Church in Trophy Club, Texas, and as the
Executive Director of Fortress Youth Development Center, a non-profit organization that works with at-risk urban youth in Southeast Fort Worth. Equipped with his work experience and a variety of teaching strategies, Bailey strives to reach a diverse student body at TCC, which includes Early College High School students.

When not in the classroom, you can find Bailey playing golf or singing around Fort Worth with his band, Back Roads. He and his wife Stephanie are the proud parents of two beautiful daughters and enjoy traveling when time allows.

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Emily Perdue

Dr. Perdue earned both a BS in agribusiness management and rural development and a MS in agriculture, forestry and consumer sciences from West Virginia University. Her PhD in agricultural leadership, education and communications is from Texas A&M University. She is an Assistant Professor of agriculture and extension education at West Virginia University (WVU) and serves as the WVU Extension Specialist in youth leadership and community outreach.

Perdue is a native West Virginian and a graduate of Nitro High School in Nitro, West Virginia. Although she did not realize it at the time, her grandparents were sowing the seeds of her life’s work when they taught her about the importance of education and community. She regularly helped her grandparents on their farm in Boone County, West Virginia, where she learned how to grow and preserve food.

“What I have learned through my travels and through school is if you want to make impactful change in an increasingly interconnected world, it starts at home.” Perdue views her role as an agricultural educator as an opportunity to pass on the lessons she learned as a child and build on them to help today’s youth become engaged, proactive participants in their communities through in-school 4-H and early college programs.

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Alton Frailey

Alton Frailey, a native of Nacogdoches, Texas, is a veteran professional educator of more than 35 years.

Frailey retired in 2016 after serving as superintendent of the nearly 74,000-student Katy Independent School District near Houston, Texas for nine years. He has served as superintendent of the DeSoto Independent School District near Dallas, Texas and as Superintendent of Schools for Cincinnati Public Schools in Cincinnati, Ohio. From March 2018 through March 2020 he served as Interim Superintendent for the Nacogdoches Independent School District.

Frailey has held numerous professional elected leadership positions including President of the American Association of School Administrators (AASA), President of the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA), President of the Urban Superintendents Association of America (USAA), President of the Texas Association of Suburban/Mid-Urban Schools (TAS-MUS), and Chairman of the University Interscholastic League Legislative Council.

Frailey has also served on various civic boards. In 1999, he was elected to the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District Board of Trustees, which was selected as the 2002 Texas Honor Board. In 2015, Texas Governor Gregg Abbott appointed Frailey to the Stephen F. Austin State University Board of Regents for a six-year term. He currently serves as Chair of the board. He works with the Flip Flippen Group as one of three members of the LeadWorthy Board and is Chair of the Capturing Kids’ Hearts Foundation Board. He also serves as a member of the Board of Directors for Battelle for Kids. Additionally, he has served on the board of directors for the Katy Area Chamber of Commerce, Katy Area Economic Development Council, Junior Achievement of Southeast Texas, West Houston Association, and The Bible Seminary.

He is currently President of Alton L. Frailey & Associates, LLC, specializing in leadership development, community engagement, school board team building, and executive coaching.

He and his wife, Anissa, have been married thirty years and live in Fulshear, Texas.

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Johnny Veselka

Dr. Johnny L. Veselka has served public education for nearly 50 years. He retired in June 2018 as Executive Director of the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA), a position he held for more than 32 years.

A former classroom teacher in the North East Independent School District (San Antonio) from 1969-
1974, Veselka joined the TASA staff in 1974, and was appointed as Executive Director in January 1986. From 1979 to 1981, he participated in the Cooperative Superintendency Program, the doctoral superintendency preparation program jointly sponsored by The University of Texas at Austin and the Texas Education Agency; he earned his PhD in educational administration from The University of Texas at Austin in 1982. He earned his BA and MA degrees from St. Mary’s University and a Master in Educational Administration degree from The University of Texas at Austin. Under his leadership, TASA became a major voice for school administrators on legislative issues and state policy matters, and became the leading provider of professional development programs for school system leaders in the State of Texas.

Since the formation of the Public Education Visioning Institute in 2006 by 35 public school superintendents who were inspired to come together to create a new vision for public education in Texas, and the subsequent publication of “Creating a New Vision for Public Education in Texas” in 2008, TASA’s mission has focused on promoting, providing, and developing leaders who create and sustain student-centered schools and develop future-ready students.

Veselka has received numerous awards during his career, including the Key Communicator Award (2009) from the Texas School Public Relations Association and the Golden Deeds for Education Award (2003), presented annually by Texas A&M University and TASA. Upon his retirement, the TASA Executive Committee recognized him as Executive Director Emeritus.

Veselka currently chairs the Board of Directors of the Foundation for the Art and Science of Learning and consults with organizations that provide professional development and other services to public schools.

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John Perdue

The Honorable John D. Perdue is West Virginia’s 24th State Treasurer. As State Treasurer, Perdue has modernized the office, creating a transparent, secure, and state-of-the-art operation. As the banker of state government, Treasurer Perdue manages more than $16 billion of state money annually. His office has set records in the Unclaimed Property Division by returning millions of dollars to rightful owners over the course of his administration. He established the WVABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) program for people with disabilities and the SMART529 college savings program. In addition, he oversees the state’s Board of Treasury Investments and the West Virginia Retirement Plus deferred compensation plan, and has hosted dozens of workshops to help West Virginians better manage their financial assets.

Treasurer Perdue’s commitment to education is unparalleled; his nationally recognized NetWorth financial education program received the Excellence in Financial Literacy Education Award in 2009. The NetWorth program was also selected as a regional finalist for the Council of State Government Innovations Award for two consecutive years. Treasurer Perdue is the only West Virginia State Treasurer to serve as president of the National Association of State Treasurers. He was honored as the organization’s Treasurer of the Year in 2007. He is also past president of the National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators, and received the organization’s Unclaimed Property Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.

Treasurer Perdue has been elected to serve a record six terms. He holds the title of longest-serving State Treasurer in West Virginia and is the second longest-serving State Treasurer in the nation. Treasurer Perdue started his public service career with the Department of Agriculture. During his time there he held several positions, including the title of Assistant Commissioner. In 1989, he became Executive Assistant to former Governor Gaston Caperton, and served as a member of his executive staff for eight years.

John Perdue is a 1972 graduate of West Virginia University and a native of Boone County, WV. He and his wife Robin have two adult daughters.

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Susan Holley

Dr. Susan Holley received her EdD in Educational Administration from Baylor University in 1991. For 34 years, Dr. Holley served in public schools in the roles of teacher, counselor, principal, central office administrator, and superintendent. She received the Texas Council of Women School Executives State Leadership Award and served on the state board for both the Texas Rural Education Association and the Texas Association of Rural Schools. Dr. Holley was Associate Executive Director for School Transformation and Leadership Services at the Texas Association of School Administrators (TASA) for nine years before joining the Department of Educational Administration and Human Resources (EAHR) at Texas A&M University in 2017 as Clinical Associate Professor. Dr. Holley teaches courses in principalship, superintendency, and organizational change, and supervises the principal practicum experience.

At Texas A&M University, Dr. Holley is the director of the John R. Hoyle Memorial Administrative Leadership Institute (ALI) and serves on the Council for Educator Preparation Programs and the department’s Executive Committee.

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Eric Reeves

Eric Reeves is a native Texan who spent five terms in the North Carolina State Senate where he chaired the Senate’s technology committee and served as an Appropriations Chair on the Education Oversight Committee. Prior to working in the Senate, Reeves served on the Raleigh City Council for two terms and on the Board of Wake Technical Community College in Raleigh, NC. He has spent most of his professional life focused on public policy issues.

Reeves has helped start numerous technology companies in the education market, most notably Dude Solutions based in NC. Recently, Reeves started GreenLight Credentials, which enables students to own and share their academic records with colleges and employers. The goal is to streamline college admissions and employment processes. Currently, Reeves serves on the board of the Perot Museum of Nature and Science and the board of the Region 10 Education Service Center. He is also Chairman of the Dallas Independent School District’s P-TECH Industry Advisory Board.

Reeves received his BA from Duke University and his JD from Wake Forest University.

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Craig Rotter

Craig Rotter graduated from Texas A&M University in August 1992 with a BBA in Business Administration. Coming from the small town of Poth (yes, it rhymes with “both”), and graduating in a high school class of 43, College Station was one of the largest places he had ever seen.

Rotter worked in retail bank management at Frost Bank in San Antonio until 1995, when he moved back to College Station, to earn three more degrees: a BS in Agricultural Economics in 1996, an M.ED in Agricultural Leadership Education in 1998, and a Ph.D in Agricultural Leadership Education in 2004.

Starting in 2001, Rotter worked in Student Affairs (Department of Residence Life - Texas A&M University), directing student leadership development programs as Coordinator of Leadership Education until 2004, serving as Coordinator of Residence Life until 2012, and Assistant Director for Academic Support Initiatives until March 2019.

In 2005, Rotter returned to teaching leadership education in the Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education & Communications at Texas A&M University through the Leadership Living Learning Community (L3C), an award-winning high impact learning experience for first-year college students through May 2018. Rotter taught 80-160 students in ALED 202, the introductory course for students seeking a degree in leadership education from 2017-2019. He also has served on the Texas A&M University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Development Council since 2013.

In 2018, Rotter was named Executive Director of Texas Rural Leadership Program (TRLP). TRLP is a program within Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and has maintained 501(c)3 status. Its mission is to create positive change through the delivery of engaging and effective adult leadership and community development programs in rural Texas and for underserved communities. Traveling across rural Texas and doing all he can to build a better future for rural Texans has been the next big journey for this homegrown leadership educator.

CEN Team

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Kim Alexander - Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Kim Alexander grew up on a farm near Roscoe, Texas and has farmed and ranched in that area since graduation from college in 1976. He was employed by the Roscoe Independent School District in 1988, where he served as superintendent from 2003 to 2019. Since 2019, he has served as CEO of Collegiate Edu-Nation.

Dr. Alexander received his BS in Education from Angelo State University in 1976, his Master of Education in Educational Administration from Abilene Christian University in 1985, and his EdD in Agricultural Education in 2007 from Texas A&M and Texas Tech Universities, through a joint doctoral program. Dr. Alexander is a member of the Texas Association of School Administrators, the American Association of School Administration, and Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society.

During his doctoral research, Dr. Alexander became involved in a study investigating differentiated instruction for economically disadvantaged learners. This spurred additional, extensive research into understanding generational poverty and educating students in the cycle of generational poverty more effectively. As a result of that research, Roscoe Collegiate Independent School District became a school-wide Early College High School in 2009 and a school-wide STEM Academy in 2012, which evolved into the first rural school-wide P-TECH in 2017.

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Marsha Alexander - Chief Operating Officer

Marsha Alexander grew up on a farm 20 miles south of Sweetwater, Texas and has been a co-owner and partner with her husband Dr. Kim Alexander in their farming and ranching business since 1976. They have two children Roddy Alexander and Kari Su Olcese. Roddy manages the farm and ranch operation in Roscoe and Kari Su is a Speech Pathologist in El Paso, Texas.

Mrs. Alexander received her Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Angelo State University in 1976 and her Master of Education degree in Guidance and Counseling from Abilene Christian University in 1986. Upon completion of her degree from Angelo State University, Mrs. Alexander began her first job in banking as a mortgage loan officer and remained in that position from 1976 – December 1980. She began her education career at Roscoe High School as a math and business teacher in January 1981. In 1986, she became the Guidance Counselor for the district and in 2010 was named as the Dean of Academic Affairs at Roscoe Collegiate ISD. In her role as Dean of Academic Affairs she was the chief liaison between the district and higher education partners, created and implemented degree plans for students, not only for high school completion but also the Associate’s degree, industry recognized certifications and entrance into four year universities and/or the workforce, and was over the creation of the master schedule, as well as, overseeing implementation of curriculum standards.

Currently, she serves as Chief Operations Officer of Collegiate Edu-Nation.

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RACHAEL MCCLAIN - CHIEF OF STAFF

Rachael McClain comes to CEN with a passion to see all students have opportunities for future success in college, career, or military pathways. From rural North Georgia, Rachael grew up within a family of farmers and blue-collar workers and saw how barriers to college can prevent young people from accessing the resources to achieve their goals and dreams.

Rachael earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree focusing on marketing and management from the University of North Georgia. She entered the business world gaining experience in marketing, management, and human resources. She had an opportunity to use her real-world experience to teach high school students and opted to enter the education field. She earned her Master of Arts in Teaching from the University of Georgia. She continued her education with a Ph.D. from the University of Georgia specializing in Workforce Education. Her research focus reflects her passion for supporting students facing barriers to college and career success.

Rachael moved with her husband, Mark, and their children to West Texas in 2013. Rachael has worked in a rural ISD as the Chief Academic Officer supporting instructional design, monitoring attainment of student outcomes, securing grants for program initiatives, creating professional development programs, and coaching principals as academic leaders. Most recently, Rachael has worked with innovative programs to support school improvement with the intention of providing educational environments for all students to succeed. These innovative programs include launching P-TECH and T-STEM school models and creating charter partnerships to restart an academically failing campus.

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Nelson Coulter - Chief Organizational Learning Officer

Nelson Coulter has held a lot of titles: rancher, educator, author, musician, entrepreneur, coach, mentor, consultant, and professor. He has coached, taught, and been published in many settings.

As a first generation college completer, Coulter earned a BS degree from Angelo State University in 1980, a MA degree from Sul Ross State University in 1998, and a EdD. in Educational Leadership from Texas Tech University in 2006.

Coulter has served in public schools of all shapes, sizes, and contexts. He currently serves as Assistant Professor of Professional Practice at Louisiana State University - Shreveport.

His most cherished titles, however, are the ones not attached to career identity: son, husband, dad, and granddad.

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Nina Jones, CPA - Chief Financial Officer

Nina Jones is a Certified Public Accountant and is the President/CEO of Nina Jones CPA PLLC. Her firm’s mission is to outsource Chief Financial Officer (CFO) functions to small business (for profit & nonprofit) that do not need a full time CFO. Her list of clients she serves ranges from entertainment, sports and nonprofit industries and has been in the accounting industry for over 30 years.

Nina began her career with nonprofits at the age of 20 where she was the Office Manager for the Airport Area YMCA. At the YMCA Nina oversaw a staff of 3, trained and received certification as a lifeguard, taught swimming lessons and aerobics. But eventually became the first in-house Director of Finance for The Urban Alternative (a worldwide outreach of Dr. Tony Evans) by the age of 30. Being TUA’s first in-house Director, Nina developed all the policies & procedures for the organization, oversaw a staff of 5 and managed to reduce the outside auditors time from 2 weeks to 3 days on site. Nina’s last position in corporate America was the Chief Financial Officer for Goodwill Industries of Dallas where she managed a staff of 10 with an organizational budget of $20 million in revenue and over $50 million in assets. As Goodwill’s CFO, Nina was over Finance/Accounting, IT, Human Resources and the Work Injury Program.

Nina is an active member of her church, Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship and for 12 years she was the Commander of the AWANA program for kids from ages of 3 years old through the 6th grade. She managed a volunteer workforce of over 60 individuals that taught kids scripture, participated in local competitions where the kids excelled in many of those Bible competitions.

During this time, Nina’s CPA firm was growing, and in 2014 Nina left corporate America to focus on her firm full time. As stated above, her firm works with various clients and industries which affords her firm the diversity to handle not only finance/accounting matters, but also be involved in risk management, investments, legal, human resources, taxes, budgeting, strategic planning and IT.

Nina has also taught Accounting courses for For Profit and Nonprofit businesses at the University of Texas at Arlington Continuing Education department. She has also assisted Intuit Software company in helping many individuals and small businesses in the preparation of their tax returns.

Nina graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington with a Bachelor of Business Administration specializing in Accounting, a Master of Business Administration from Dallas Baptist University and has her Certified Public Accountancy license. Nina is a member of the American Institute of Public Accountants, a deaconess at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship and sits on the board of the Oak Cliff Christian Federal Credit Union, Downtown Arlington Management Group and the Levitt Pavilion in Arlington.

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Lupe Singh - Chief School Officer

Singh comes to CEN with a passion for education and the implementation of new and innovative programs that add new opportunities of growth for all students. With her varied professional background, she has gained an understanding of academic challenges that are necessary to address at every level of the educational hierarchy.

SIngh took the traditional steps up the educational ladder by starting her career as a classroom teacher and progressing up to an assistant principal, principal, district administrator, and superintendent.

As a first generation college graduate, Singh earned a BA degree from Sul Ross State University in 1984 and later earned two MA degrees from Sul Ross State University.

Being the daughter of a former farmer and being raised in a small rural community, SIngh can relate to the mission of CEN on many levels.

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Darrell Dromgoole - Chief Community Development Officer

Dr. Dromgoole began his career with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in 1984 and has held numerous positions with the agency. He spent 13 years as a County Extension Agent-Agriculture in Victoria, Crosby, Calhoun and Collin counties. In 1997, Dr. Dromgoole was promoted to District Extension Director – Agriculture in Extension District 10 in Uvalde Texas. In 2002, Dr. Dromgoole assumed the position of District Extension Administrator in Extension District 11 in Corpus Christi. In 2007, he assumed the Regional Program Director for Agriculture position in the North Region. From 2008-2014 Dr. Dromgoole served as Associate Director for County Operations. In 2014 Dr. Dromgoole left the administrative ranks to assume a position as an Associate Professor and Extension Specialist with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.

Dr. Dromgoole received his EdD in Agriculture Education from Texas A&M and Texas Tech Universities. He also holds a MS in Agriculture Education from Texas Tech University and a BS degree in Agriculture Economics from Texas A&M University.

Dr. Dromgoole’s area of focus during his 36-year career is the design and implementation of innovative educational programs for both youth and adult audiences that result in positive community change. He is the author of a number of Extension publications and provides weekly educational content to Extension educators related to program development.

Dr. Dromgoole has been honored during his career with numerous awards including two Superior Service Awards from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and was twice honored with the Vice Chancellor Award in Excellence.

Dr. Dromgoole is a member of Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, Alpha Zeta Honor Fraternity and Epsilon Sigma Phi Extension Professional’s society.

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Susan Grove - Philanthropic Engagement Coordinator

Susan Grove grew up in a small rural town in Northwest Indiana and lived there with her family until she graduated high school. As a first-generation college student, Susan attended Purdue University to earn her undergraduate degree in Political Science. Shortly after college graduation, she married her husband, Joseph Grove, who was a member of the US Navy. After eight years of military service, Susan, her husband, and her children decided to relocate to the Dallas area to be close to family.

In 2011, Susan earned her master's degree in Management from Texas A&M University-Commerce. Then in 2019, she earned her Ph.D. in Human Resource Development from the University of Texas at Tyler. Susan has over 16 years of experience in the field of higher education. Most recently, she served as the Associate Dean of Student Services, and prior to this position, she was the Grant Manager for two federally funded programs.

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Brittany Williams - Director of Continuing Education

Brittany Williams grew up on a farm in Haskell, Texas, where she developed a lifelong fascination for agriculture and a high regard for FFA and 4H. She has always been interested in exploring opportunities and bringing them back to cultivate in the rural communities of Texas.

Brittany earned a B.S. in Biology from Texas Tech University in 2003, completed an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership in 2015, and is currently pursuing an Ed.D. in the Agricultural Education program at Texas Tech University. As both a professional educator and a business owner, she has learned, first-hand, the challenges educators face in battling the dilemmas of lack of specialization, the need for impactful role models, and the life-limiting effects of generational poverty.

As a first-generation college graduate and partner alongside her husband (who broke the chain of generational poverty in his family through a welding career) Brittany knows that it just takes one in a family to set the expectation for the future. As Director of Continuing Education for CEN, Brittany seeks to revitalize rural Texas and America by breaking the generational chain of poverty and instilling a will to be lifelong learners in students, preparing them for jobs that don't yet exist.

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Andy Wilson - Program Director

Andy Wilson is passionate about school transformation, college access for all students, the defeat of generational poverty, and the economic prosperity of Texas and the United States. He has been an educator for 22 years serving in Cleburne, Albany, and Roscoe Collegiate ISD’s. He was the superintendent of Roscoe Collegiate ISD for two years, and he is currently the Program Director for Collegiate Edu-Nation. He earned his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Education degrees at Abilene Christian University in 1992 and 2001. He is writing a dissertation on college access through distributed learning as he completes his Doctor of Education degree from Texas A&M and Texas Tech Universities .
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Sherrie Whittenburg - Research Based Instructional Strategies Specialist

Sherrie Whittenburg joined the CEN team in May 2022 as the Research Based Instructional Strategies Specialist after devoting the entirety of her career to the education of the students of Nolan County and the improvement of classroom teachers across the region. She brings to CEN, energy and enthusiasm for helping teachers discover ways to motivate and encourage their students to own their learning.

Her education was earned through Sweetwater ISD in Sweetwater, Texas and Abilene Christian University. Sherrie’s 21 years in the classroom span grades 4 through 12, with the majority of her time teaching US History to 8th graders. For five years, Sherrie served the teachers of Snyder ISD as an Instructional Coach and just before coming to CEN, was a consultant for Region 14 Education Service Center.

Sherrie was raised in Sweetwater, as was her husband, Scott, and together they raised their children in the same community where the Whittenburg family has lived for over 125 years and for over 60 years have contributed to the education of the students of Sweetwater ISD.

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Dan Boren

Dan Boren was born and raised south of Detroit, Michigan. The son of a Ford Motor Company supervisor, Dan learned from his father the love for understanding how things work. After receiving his associates degree at Rochester College in Rochester Hills, Michigan, he moved to the southeastern United States to earn his bachelor's degree at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee.

While teaching in Greater Atlanta Chrisitan School in Norcross, GA, Dan began his master’s degree in teaching physics at Georgia State University. In 1997 he completed the degree at Saginaw Valley State University in University Center, Michigan. In 2007, Dan made his way to Roscoe, Texas, when he accepted a ministerial position after having completed a master’s in Christian ministry. While serving as the pulpit minister at the Roscoe church of Christ, Dan began teaching again as a part-time instructor at the newly designated Collegiate school in Roscoe. That part-time position developed into a full-time position as an adjunct College Physics instructor, First Robotics coach, Director of Engineering, and Director of Edu Make-it, a student run business that offered internships for students in the engineering pathway. The First Robotics Competition team he helped create was considered by some in the First Robotics organization as the “Model” of how to have a competitive FRC team in a small rural district.

In 2019, at the beginning of the pandemic, Dan received a call from his nephew who is in Human Resources at local hospital, asking if “Roscoe would be able to print some N-95 level masks in their Edu Make-it shop.” After finding a file of a newly created design at the Medical University of South Carolina, Dan’s team of students created a prototype that passed a FIT test by a certified Respiratory Therapist. The masks efficacy led to more that 750 masks and 1500 filter cartridges being 3D printed and distributed to 5 local hospitals in four different counties in West Texas.

In 2021, Dan and his wife Shannon relocated to Lubbock, Texas, for family reasons. Dan joined the staff at Hale Center High School and started dual-enrollment courses in physics and astronomy. He also started a successful First Technical Challenge (FTC) robotics team. He concluded his 32-year teaching career having spent 28 of those years in rural STEM education.

Dan knows first-hand the impact and importance of the P-20 Collegiate Model. All four of his children graduated from Roscoe Collegiate and have benefited from the opportunities that were presented to them during their experience there.

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Dave Plymale

Dave Plymale is a veteran educator who served in south and east Texas school districts as a teacher, coach, principal, and superintendent. He retired in December 2019 as superintendent at Goliad ISD, concluding a 41-year career. He has since held positions as a mentor, interim superintendent, and search consultant. Dave is also a TEA authorized provider for school board training in Evaluating and Improving Student Outcomes (EISO), Team Building, Framework for School Board Improvement, Texas Education Code (Update), and Human Trafficking.

Plymale received his Bachelor of Science in Education degree from Northwest Missouri State University and Master of Science from Marshall University in West Virginia. His post master’s studies were at the University of Texas-Permian Basin, where he earned his superintendent certification. He has served on several committees during his career with the Texas Association of School Administrators and the Texas Association of Community Schools.

Dave resides in Goliad County with his wife Kristi. They have 6 adult children who graduated from Texas public schools.

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Kendall Riggan

Kendall Riggan joins CEN as the AmeriCorps Program Director, which will allow CEN to build capacity within network districts by placing service members on site to support the implementation of the CEN model. She brings experience in grants administration and finance, as well as a passion for rural communities, like her own, as well as rural schools, such as the one her own children, Kynlee and Rhett, attend.

As a first-generation college graduate, Kendall earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, focusing in Finance, from the University of Arizona in 2006. Upon moving to Snyder, Texas in 2007, Kendall earned her teaching credentials and began teaching in Snyder ISD. She earned a Master of Education in Educational Administration from Abilene Christian University in 2011. Kendall progressed to campus administrator, then moved into district administration in the Business Office, which allowed her to blend her background in Finance with her passion for public education.

With experience as an educator and as a business owner, Kendall understands the unique challenges that rural communities face in terms of educating and preparing students for roles within their communities. She believes in the mission and methodologies of CEN to improve student outcomes and break the chain of generational poverty.

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Kelly Springfield

Kelly Springfield comes to CEN with a desire to ensure all students are given the support, encouragement, and guidance to graduate high school with an industry certification and/or associate degree. Growing up in a missionary family, Kelly saw first-hand the levels of poverty in other countries that stem from the lack of education and opportunity. Thus, she is motivated to work with rural students and make sure they are provided ample opportunity to lift themselves out of the poverty cycle that exists in many of their communities. Kelly earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Sul Ross State University.

Her desire was to enter the world of politics and she served as a legislative assistant and campaign treasurer for Representative Pete P. Gallego before switching her focus to education. Throughout her diverse teaching career, Kelly has taught in districts in west, central and south Texas where she taught all core subjects, coached multiple sports, served as an academic coach, taught dyslexia classes, and served as the program director for an Early College High School. She also served as a counselor after completing her Master of Education in School Counseling. In addition to serving in public education, Kelly has worked in the realm of non-profit through Educate Texas where she was a Leadership Coach for the CCRSM campuses in the west Texas area.

Kelly uses her knowledge as a classroom teacher, counselor, and CCRSM coach to provide support and guidance to teachers and administrators in the CEN network to ensure that districts are providing the necessary resources for ALL students to break the poverty cycle.

CEN Strategic Partners

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Ron Hadley

WhereRUgoing.com

Ron Hadley founded whereRUgoing.com and its team to expand his life’s work of investing in people, their success and their futures.

Ron’s career impact spans 25 years, all 50 states, and 6 continents – leading teams and projects that have affected millions of professionals, volunteers, families and students with meaningful, positive growth in life and career. Prior to launching the resources and team of whereRUgoing.com, Ron served as a Managing Director for The Commit Partnership (one of the nation’s leading cradle-to-career collective impacts within the Strive Network).

He is a third-generation graduate of a private university in northern Illinois; with post-graduate work at University of Illinois-Chicago, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and Dallas Theological; as well as additional training from FranklinCovey and the Dale Carnegie Institute.

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Gary Briers and Glen Shinn

Global Consulting Solutions

GCS emphasizes a commitment to innovation through science, appropriate technologies, and innovative ways to advance education, food security, prosperity, and peace through collaboration. Work spans curriculum innovations of a P-20 systems model for rural schools, STEM curricula, competency-based higher education, and training curriculum. Clients include U.S., Afghan, Dutch, and South Sudanese agriculture, education, and development. They were awarded the 2017 Texas A&M AgriLife Vice Chancellor’s Award in Excellence-Collaboration.

Dr. Shinn is Professor Emeritus & Borlaug Senior Scientist with Texas A&M University and has lead Herat Afghanistan & Southern Iraq agricultural development initiatives. Dr. Briers has over 40 years of service as a faculty member and professor with Texas A&M University.

P20 – Start Early, Stay Late

We take a comprehensive approach to education, engaging whole communities in an effort that continues from the first day of Pre-K to the launch of a meaningful career.
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