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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Stephanie Garcia is a professional accountant at the firm of Garza/Gonzalez and Associates in
downtown San Antonio. She earned her bachelor’s in accounting from Texas A&M University in San Antonio (TAMU-SA) in 2017. She earned her Master of Professional Accounting from TAMU-SA in 2018.
Garcia is a 2011 graduate of Fox Technical High School, San Antonio’s innovative magnet program.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Rita Fried - Business Manager
In 2003, Rita Fried, after thirty-two years away, moved back home to Roscoe, Texas with her
family. She and husband, Ray, have three children, Barbara DeVries, Christopher Fried and Carli Posey. Barbara is a School Counselor in Wichita, Kansas, Christopher is a Texas Game Warden in East Texas and Carli is a Middle School Math Teacher in the Hays, Texas CISD. She has four
Prior to working in the public school business, Rita worked in the private sector in banking, law office, school tax office, agricultural business, and home building business on the finance side of each. Mrs. Fried has worked in the public school business for the last nineteen years. Two years in the Aledo, Texas ISD and the past seventeen years for Roscoe Collegiate ISD. She became Business Manager for RCISD in January of 2007, reporting to Dr. Kim Alexander, Superintendent. She managed the daily operations of all financial and business affairs for RCISD including, but not limited to, accounting, human resources, accounts receivable, accounts payable, purchasing, tax collections, budgets and risk management. During her time at RCISD, she assisted in managing four construction projects in addition to the daily operations of the District.
As of August 2020, Mrs. Fried serves as CFO for Collegiate Edu-Nation.
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.
Greg Wortham - Chief Marketing & Communications Officer
Greg Wortham, a graduate of Sweetwater High School, attended Rice University, and graduated magna cum laude with a double major in policy studies and political science. He then earned his Master of Public Affairs and JD from the University of Texas at Austin, where he graduated with honors. He is licensed to practice law in the State of Texas, Washington, DC, and before the US Supreme Court.
Wortham simultaneously worked for two Texas state senators covering 50+ Texas counties (legislative director for District 30 and rural policy adviser for District 24) while in graduate school and law school. As an undergraduate, Wortham assisted with public relations, game-day duties, and training camp for two National Football League teams (Houston Oilers & New Orleans Saints). After graduating from law school, Wortham worked for two Washington, DC, law firms from 1991-1998 (based in Los Angeles and Atlanta), and served as a rural policy adviser to the pre-election Presidential Transition team for Bill Clinton in 1991-1992.
Wortham served as Senior Corporate Counsel to the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association locally in Arlington, VA, and nationwide with duties including national rural development strategies, energy policy guidance to co-ops across the US, and legal guidance for the Touchstone Energy national brand initiative. He was Executive Vice President and COO for New York City’s first Rochdale Cooperative Group Ltd from 1998-2004, with leadership and daily operations responsibilities for energy operations.
After returning to Sweetwater-Roscoe in 2005, Wortham formed the Texas Wind Energy Clearinghouse to lead Texas in becoming the world’s sixth largest nation for wind energy development and operations. Wortham was elected to four terms as Mayor of Sweetwater, Texas from 2007-2014. In 2004, Greg formed New Amsterdam Global Solutions, LLC, a trade association of stakeholders in Texas’ wind energy industry, which he has operated since its inception. In his mayoral and wind energy operations work, Wortham has hired and supervised more than 40 paid high school and university interns in Texas and Los Angeles.
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.
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.