The following are the speakers from the 2013 National Early College Conference.
- Freeman A. Hrabowski, III, President of The University of Maryland, Baltimore County
- Stanley S. Litow, IBM’s Vice President of Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs and President of IBM’s Foundation
- Tony Habit, President, NC New Schools
- Marlene Seltzer, President and CEO, Jobs for the Future
- Joel Vargas, Vice President, High School Through College, Jobs for the Future
- Harold Brown, President, EDWorks
- Greg Darnieder, U.S. Secretary Education’s senior advisor on the College Access Initiative
- Antwan Wilson, Assistant Superintendent for Post-Secondary Readiness, Denver Public Schools
- Daniel P. King, Superintendent of Schools, Pharr-San Juan-Alamo (PSJA)Independent School District (Texas)
- Austin Obasohan, Superintendent, Duplin County Schools, NC
- Rebecca Garland, Chief Academic Officer, NC Department of Public Instruction
- Lizzette Gonzalez Reynolds, Deputy Commissioner, Texas Education Agency
- Thomas J. Lasley, II, Executive Director, Learn to Earn Dayton, Dayton Foundation; and Professor, School of Education and Allied Professions, University of Dayton.
- Joyce C. Loveless, Senior Director School Services, North Carolina New Schools
- Michael Webb, Associate VP, High School Through College, Jobs for the Future
- Lavonne M. Sheffield, Associate VP, Early College Design Services, Jobs for the Future
- Carrie Pickworth, Research Associate of University: K-12 Outreach, North Carolina State University
- Catherine J. Pena, Instructional Coach, Educate Texas
- Scott R. Ralls, President, North Carolina Community College System
- Josephine Reed-Taylor, Deputy Commissioner, Technical College System of Georgia
- Whitney Sims, Teacher, Caldwell Early College, NC
- Micah Braswell, Teacher, Early/Middle College at NC A&T, NC
- Alma Garcia, Program Officer, Educate Texas
- Suzanne Gibbons, Teacher, Wake NC State STEM Early College, NC
- Patricia Gregson, Associate Commissioner, Vocational, Workforce and College Readiness Programming, Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
- Nicole Murray, Lead Teacher/Administrator, Duplin Early College High School
Freeman A. Hrabowski, III is President of The University of Maryland, Baltimore County. His research and publications focus on science and math education, with special emphasis on minority participation and performance. He chaired the National Academies’ committee that produced the recent report, Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America’s Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads. He also was recently named by President Obama to chair the newly created President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans. TIME magazine named him one of America’s 10 Best College Presidents in 2009, and one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World” in 2012.
In 2011, he received both the TIAA-CREF Theodore M. Hesburgh Award for Leadership Excellence and the Carnegie Corporation of New York’s Academic Leadership Award, recognized by many as the nation’s highest awards among higher education leaders. Also in 2011, he was named one of seven Top American Leaders by The Washington Post and the Harvard Kennedy School’s Center for Public Leadership. In 2012, he received the Heinz Award for his contributions to improving the “Human Condition” and was among the inaugural inductees into the U.S. News & World Report STEM Solutions Leadership Hall of Fame.
He serves as a consultant to the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the National Academies, and universities and school systems nationally. He also serves on the boards of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, France-Merrick Foundation, Marguerite Casey Foundation (Chair), T. Rowe Price Group, The Urban Institute, McCormick & Company, and the Baltimore Equitable Society.
Stanley S. Litow is IBM’s Vice President of Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs and President of IBM’s Foundation. Under his leadership, IBM has been widely regarded as the global leader in Corporate Citizenship, and praised for societal and environmental leadership, labor practices, and civic leadership. Under Mr. Litow, IBM has developed innovative voice recognition technology to help children and adults learn to read, a humanitarian virtual supercomputer to speed research on cancer and AIDS, and new digital imaging technology to improve water quality. Mr. Litow helped devise IBM’s Corporate Service Corps, a corporate version of the Peace Corps, to train and deploy thousands of IBM’s future leaders; the Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH), a grade 9 through 14 schools initiative to engage companies, colleges, communities and schools to help strengthen America’s economic competitiveness by connecting education to jobs; and IBM’s Smarter Cities Challenge, which is helping 100 cities worldwide become more effective. A prolific author, Mr. Litow’s articles and commentary have appeared in publications including: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, the Bush Center Blog, Education Week, HBS Working Papers, The Huffington Post, Newsday, The New York Times, the New York University Annual Survey of American Law, the Peace Corps 50th Anniversary Monograph (Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan), U.S. News & World Report, The Yale Law Journal and publications of the American Academy of Sciences.
Tony Habit as founding president, developed NC New Schools to become a $60 million private-public venture to transform secondary education in North Carolina. He is an experienced leader for the development of school reform and innovation strategies with government, higher education, and the private sector. Habit partnered with Office of the Governor, the State Board of Education, colleges and universities and others to create the largest network of early college high schools in the nation. Under Habit’s leadership, North Carolina’s early colleges were named by the Harvard Kennedy School of Government as an “Innovation in American Government” award recipient.
Habit regularly presents to governmental committees and commissions at the state and federal levels including presentations to the United States Senate HELP committee. He has traveled extensively to learn about school innovation in other countries. In 2000 he was named an Eisenhower Fellow to travel to Australia and New Zealand to study market competition and school quality and the use of technology to enhance teaching. He leads strategies to improve teacher effectiveness, to reinvent leadership development, to incorporate technology into schools and classrooms, to blend secondary and post-secondary strategies for learning and to leverage the engagement of the private sector for school success.
He serves on boards and advisory committees for several organizations including the National High School Center, North Carolina eLearning Commission, World View and the Joining Our Businesses and Schools (JOBS) Commission. Habit earned a doctorate in educational administration from Columbia University, Teachers College in New York. He began his career as a counselor for special needs students in middle and high schools. The Public School Forum of North Carolina presented Habit with its inaugural Lever Award that recognizes leadership for public-private partnerships that transform public education.
Marlene Seltzer is president and CEO of Jobs for the Future. A nationally recognized thought leader, Ms. Seltzer is a frequent consultant and speaker on systemic reforms in secondary and postsecondary education and the ability of the labor market to serve low-income workers, employers, and local and state economies. Her commentaries and other writing help the nation think in new ways about policy and program delivery at all levels of government.
Before joining JFF in 1996, Ms. Seltzer held a number of prominent positions in nonprofit management, government, and the field of workforce development. From 1987 to 1989, she was commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Employment and Training, after serving as deputy commissioner for four years. She administered the Commonwealth’s $1 billion federal- and state-funded employment and training programs, including ET Choices—a $40 million comprehensive state welfare-to-work effort. As president of Seltzer Associates, a for-profit consulting firm, Ms. Seltzer provided policy development assistance to the U.S. Department of Labor on its workforce development initiatives. She also served as co-founder and president of Employment Resources, Inc., a nonprofit, community-based workforce development organization.
Joel Vargas leads the work of Jobs for the Future‘s High School through College team and helps to set the organization’s priorities and direction. He also researches and advises on state policies to promote improved high school and postsecondary success for underserved students. He has helped policymakers and intermediary organizations develop state and federal policies that expand early college schools and other school designs incorporating college coursework into high school.
Since joining JFF in 2002, Dr. Vargas has designed and implemented a research and state policy agenda for implementing early college designs; created policy frameworks, tools, and model legislation; written and edited white papers, research, and national publications; provided technical assistance to state task forces and policy working groups; served on a number of national advisory groups; and organized and presented at national policy conferences. In 2005, Dr. Vargas was featured in the Chronicle of Higher Education as one of “Higher Education’s Next Generation of Thinkers.”
Harold Brown is the founding President of EDWorks, an organization established by KnowledgeWorks to provide school districts with the strategies, support, and technical assistance needed to improve the school experience and boost student achievement and opportunity. EDWorks is now working with school districts across the nation to develop the early college high school, STEM (science-technology-engineering-mathematics) academies, and small school redesign initiatives necessary to transform 20th century high schools into 21st century learning environments.
As vice president of KnowledgeWorks Foundation’s School Improvement program, Harold Brown managed the Ohio High School Transformation Initiative (OHSTI), a nearly $100 million dollar initiative to transform large, struggling urban high schools into smaller, more successful schools. Brown also managed the Foundation’s Early College High School initiative, an initiative devoted to giving underserved students the opportunity to gain an associate’s degree, or 60 hours of college credit upon high school graduation.
Brown is frequently quoted on key education issues including high school reform, higher education, achievement gaps, and multicultural access. A native of Oxford, Ohio, Brown earned his bachelor’s degree in government, with honors, from Harvard University. Currently, he serves or recently has served on the boards of the Cincinnati Youth Collaborative, Buckeye Boys Ranch (adolescent mental health service provider), the National College Access Network, Alliance for Excellent Education’s Secondary Advisory Board, Cincinnati Police Chief’s Community Advisory Board, and the Metro STEM Early College High School. He is also a recent graduate of the prestigious Leadership Cincinnati program, Class 34.
In keeping with EdWorks’ goal of creating opportunities for all children, Brown frequently travels to high schools, speaking with students, teachers, and administrators about their needs, challenges, and victories. He says he works for education because he believes in its power. “I believe that education is a key for quality of life and advancement for all people, especially those who are racially, culturally, and economically ‘non-majority,’” says Brown. “Education opens doors to opportunities that otherwise might remain closed.”
Greg Darnieder is the U.S. Secretary Education’s senior advisor on the College Access Initiative. He was formerly Director of the Department of College and Career Prepartion at Chicago Public Schools. Before joining CPS, Darnieder was executive director of the Steans Family Foundation and also headed up CYCLE, a youth program in Cabrini-Green.
Antwan Wilson, Assistant Superintendent for Post-Secondary Readiness, Denver Public Schools, has served as a teacher, principal and district administrator. In his present role as Assistant Superintendent of Post-Secondary Readiness in Denver Public Schools his charge is to lead district middle and high schools. Additionally his office is responsible for leading district college readiness efforts, Advanced Placement Programs, AVID programs, Counseling programs, Career and Technical Education Programs, International Baccalaureate, Intensive Pathway Schools, and Turnaround Efforts.
Daniel P. King, Superintendent of Schools, Pharr-San Juan-Alamo (PSJA)Independent School District (Texas), has been a school superintendent for the last 14 years. He was recently named the 2013 Texas Superintendent of the Year by the American Association of School Administrators and was the 2006 Superintendent of the Year for the Texas Association of School Boards. Under his leadership, PSJA has become a state and national model for dropout prevention and recovery. PSJA has undertaken College (All students, Ready.Connected.Complete.™) to initiate and scale up a network of Early College High Schools, concurrent and dual enrolment, and college and career connected career pathways, leading to 12 college hours by high school graduation, with many students earning more – up to an Associate’s Degree.
Before coming to PSJA, Dr. King led Hidalgo ISD (3,300 students) for eight years. Under his leadership, a district that had once been among the lowest performing in the state of Texas became the first Early College School District in the nation. In 2007, U.S. News and World Report named Hidalgo High School the 11th best High School in the nation and #1 in Texas.
Austin Obasohan is the superintendent of the Duplin County Schools, the only school system in North Carolina and one of three in the nation to implement district-wide early college.
Located in the rural southeast part of the state, the district is made up of roughly equal percentages of white, Hispanic, and African-American students. About 70 percent qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. Among the county’s adults, 80 percent have no postsecondary credential. Since his arrival, the high school graduation rate in the county has risen, growing from 71 percent in 2009-10 to 80.7 percent in 2011-12.
Dr. Obasohan has a marketing degree from Sussex College of Technology in England and earned his doctorate in educational leadership from Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C. In his 30-year career in education, he has worked with public schools in Alabama, Virginia, and North Carolina.
Rebecca Garland is the Chief Academic Officer for the Department of Public Instruction. Before assuming this position, Dr. Garland served as the Executive Director of the NC State Board of Education. In her thirty plus years in education, she has also been a teacher in the Harnett County School System, a DPI consultant in content and Gifted Education, a Director of Middle Schools/Arts/ and Gifted Education for Alamance-Burlington Schools, and an Associate Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction for Orange County Schools. Dr. Garland holds a BA in History from UNC-G, a Master’s in Education from Campbell University, and a Doctorate in Education Leadership from NC State University. In addition to serving a number of boards and commissions, she spends her time reading political thrillers and attending Wolfpack sports events.
Lizzette Gonzalez Reynolds currently serves as the Chief Deputy Commissioner for the Texas Education Agency (TEA). In that capacity, she oversees management of the agency for Commissioner of Education Michael L. Williams. She previously served as the Deputy Commissioner for Policy and Programs at TEA.
Prior to coming to TEA, Lizzette served in a number of capacities related to education policy and implementation. In 2002, she was appointed Special Assistant in the Office of Legislation and Congressional Affairs during the Bush Administration. When her role model Margaret Spellings became Secretary of Education, she served as the Secretary’s Regional Representative for the states of Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas.
Lizzette’s “education” in education policy began as Legislative Director to the late State Senator Teel Bivins who championed education quality for all students on behalf of her next employer, then-Governor George W. Bush. As Legislative Deputy Director, she provided oversight and support for the Governor’s legislative agenda in the Texas Senate, which included ensuring the Texas education system was focused on quality for all students through accountability and policy reform.
Thomas J. Lasley, II is Executive Director of Learn to Earn Dayton at the Dayton Foundation and Professor, School of Education and Allied Professions at the University of Dayton. From 1998 until 2010 he served as Dean, School of Education and Allied Professions, University of Dayton. He completed his baccalaureate (1969), masters (1972) and doctoral degree (1978) at the Ohio State University.
He serves on a variety of nonprofit boards or committees including Dayton Literary Peace Prize ( Trustee), Boonshoft Museum of Natural History (Trustee Emeritus), Think TV Network (Education Chair), National Council on Teacher Quality ( Board ) the United Theological Seminary (Trustee), the Ohio College Access Network (Chair), and Young People Succeeding (Co-champion), Parents Advocating Choice in Education ( Chair ) and is one of two regional “Community Liaison” representatives to the Air Force Materiel Command, United States Air Force. He is past president of the national Project 30 Alliance and the Dayton Council on World Affairs. He has also served on a variety of regional and state level commissions and boards including the Ohio Governor’s Commission on Teaching Success and the Ohio Board of Regents’ Planning and Accountability Committee.
Dr. Lasley has published in excess of 70 articles in professional journals and also has published a wide variety of op-eds in both regional and national newspapers (Education Week, Columbus Dispatch, Dayton Daily News). He has authored or co-authored 14 books. He was instrumental in helping to co-found the Dayton Early College Academy, which is a unique educational partnership between the University of Dayton and the Dayton Public Schools.
Joyce C. Loveless is an experienced educator with a diverse background in teaching and learning, professional development, and cultural competency. Loveless has worked extensively to promote accomplished teaching, professional development, teacher leadership and student achievement, especially in high need communities.
At the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, Loveless directed its signature diversity and equity programs. She created partnerships and leveraged resources with national education associations, school systems, foundations, and school-business community organizations. She has served as an advisory board member for NC State’s Friday Institute for Educational Innovation, North Carolina’s Beginning Teacher Support Standards Commission and the Center for Teaching Quality’s Science and Math Initiative. She has contributed to papers on national teaching and professional development standards as well as the recruitment and retention of accomplished teachers in underrepresented communities.
Loveless began her career in Wake County, N.C., as a language arts teacher at Zebulon Middle School. She holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Virginia Tech and a master’s degree in adult education and development from NC State University. She is an Education Policy Fellow for the Institute of Educational Leadership and is a National Board Certified Teacher.
Michael Webb leads the Early College High School Initiative’s capacity building work. This includes supporting the network of 13 early college intermediary organizations and managing the initiative’s Student Information System, a secure, confidential collection of data about students attending early college schools throughout the United States.
Dr. Webb has spent most of his career working to improve public education. He has taught college, high school, and adult education. Prior to joining JFF, he served as vice president of New Visions for Public Schools where he helped lead the effort to create small schools in New York City. As director of education at the National Urban League, he was a voice for community involvement in mathematics and science education reform. He has also served on city and state commissions to reform education for students underserved by the public school system.
Dr. Webb received a B.A. in English/Ethnic Studies from St. John Fisher College, an M.A. from San Francisco State University, and a Doctor of Education from Teachers College, Columbia University.
Sheffield is a veteran teacher and administrator with over 35 years of experience. She was most recently school superintendent in Rockford, Illinois, a district serving 30,000 students. Her accomplishments included aligning the district’s curricula—and classroom instruction strategies—to state standards. Prior to Rockford, she was superintendent of the Recovery School District in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where she led the development of curricula that met the needs of specialized student populations.
Sheffield began her career as a teacher in the Detroit public school system and has also served as chief of staff to the mayor of Cleveland, chief academic officer of Detroit public schools, and chief accountability officer for Philadelphia public schools.
Sheffield has a Bachelor’s degree in education and a Master’s degree in education from Wayne State University in Michigan, as well as a doctorate in education from the University of Michigan.
Carrie Pickworth is a Research Associate at North Carolina State University focusing on Prototyping University Outreach to K-12/STEM Education. In her present role she has been investigating the complexities of various K-12 outreach programs from lab tours, to camps, to professional development, to early college high school partnerships. Dr. Pickworth is modeling university-wide K-12/STEM outreach at research institutions. A particular interest is the development of a University network for advancing rural student success through research in Agriscience and Biotechnology. Previously Dr. Pickworth was an Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator at The Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute.
Catherine J. Pena is an external instructional coach contracted by Educate Texas where she is currently working on the Early College Expansion Partnership, i3 grant, in the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo Independent School District. Catherine’s career in education began over 20 years ago and includes positions as an elementary school teacher, middle and high school math teacher, district math strategist, and college prep assistant principal. Her most rewarding experience as an educator is being a founding teacher at Achieve ECHS in McAllen, Texas. It is at Achieve where she discovered her passion for the work done by early college high schools: to provide the opportunity of college for all, no matter their socioeconomic background and expound on the belief that all students have the ability to succeed in college. Through her work with Educate Texas, Catherine continues to work toward her mission of providing the opportunity of college for all students by promoting and supporting college readiness standards and practices.
Dr. R. Scott Ralls is the seventh president of the North Carolina Community College System. With 58 colleges serving approximately 900,000 students each year, the NC Community College System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the United States and is internationally recognized for its programs to foster economic and workforce development.
Having assumed the presidency on May 1, 2008, Dr. Ralls is the first former community college president to serve in this post in 30 years and only the second former North Carolina community college president to hold this position. In his brief tenure, he has successfully led efforts to achieve the first weighted-funding for technical education in the System’s history, redesigned customized training programs to provide greater support for existing businesses that focus on technology and productivity investments, and helped shape the System’s Creating Success budgeting and advocacy campaign that is resulting in enhancements to equipment and healthcare program funding. He has been a close collaborator with Governor Beverly Perdue in the creation of her JobsNOW economic transition and accelerated job training strategies, led the creation of the system-wide Code Green initiative that fosters clean energy job training and campus sustainability incentives, and implemented a system-wide approach to establish guiding goals focused on student success and credential completion.
Josephine Reed-Taylor is the Deputy Commissioner for the Technical College System of Georgia. Prior to this position, she served as Assistant Commissioner for TCSG and State Director for Adult Education. Before joining the Technical College System of Georgia in 2006, Reed-Taylor was the Senior Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs at Minneapolis Community and Technical College. Under her leadership, the system has converted from quarters to semesters, merged several colleges and increased transfer and articulation agreements with the University System of Georgia and the Georgia Association of Independent Colleges.
Reed-Taylor’s professional career includes administrative positions in higher education, including Interim President, vice president for academic affairs, dean of instruction, and dean of students. She has served in leadership roles at the national, regional, state and local levels for a variety of professional organizations including The American Council on Education’s Network of Women Administrators including a term as Chair of the Executive Board, service on the Board of the National Council of Instructional Administrators (AACC), Trustee for the Higher Learning Commission, and member of the 2010 class of Leadership Atlanta.
Whitney Sims has been a teacher at Caldwell Early College High School in Hudson, NC since 2009. She taught Honors English I for two years and has been the 10th Grade Seminar teacher for the past three years. This course focuses on building college readiness skills as well as an appreciation for Caldwell County history and culture. Whitney has a Bachelor’s Degree in Middle Grades Education with concentrations in Language Arts and Social Studies from Appalachian State University as well as a Master’s Degree in Curriculum Specialist from Appalachian State University.
Micah Braswell is a CTE educator at the Middle College at North Carolina A&T State University in NC. His work exemplifies the school’s maxim: “we teach our students how to think, not what to think.” Braswell attended North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University where he received his bachelor’s degree in Business Management, and master’s degree in Business Education.
Alma Garcia, with more than three decades experience in education from K-12 to higher education, offers a wealth of knowledge as the Program Officer for Educate Texas’ Early College High School initiative. She started her career as a bilingual education teacher in the Brownsville Independent School District, where she went on to serve as an elementary and secondary school principal. She later joined the University of Texas at Brownsville, where, as an adjunct professor, she designed instructional methods courses for graduate and undergraduate students in secondary education programs, and later served as director of GEAR UP, a college awareness, readiness, enrollment and outreach program. She joined Educate Texas in 2004 and is among the foremost expert on dual enrollment, dual credit and early college high schools in the state. Ms. Garcia was instrumental in work- ing with grantee high schools and institutions of higher learning in aligning their curriculum and building community support and with the Texas Education Agency on its new ECHS designation process. She earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Pan American University (now The University of Texas-Pan American) and has a master’s in educational administration from Stephen F. Austin University.
Suzanne Gibbons received her Master’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in Secondary Mathematics Education, undergraduate degree from Appalachian State University in Middle Grades Education with concentrations in Mathematics and Science, and has earned National Board Certification. In the past 8 years, Suzanne has taught 6th and 8th grade mathematics and science, Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, Integrated Mathematics 1 and 2, and Common Core Mathematics 1, 2, and 3. She helped open Rowan County Early College in Salisbury, NC where she taught 9th grade mathematics for four years and is now teaching 9th grade mathematics at Wake NC State STEM Early College High School in Raleigh, NC. Suzanne also works for North Carolina Virtual Public Schools where she teaches a STEM Math 1 course and is on the team that is developing content for project-based STEM Math 1, 2, and 3 courses.
Since January of 2012, Patricia (Pati) Gregson has served as Associate Commissioner for Vocational, Workforce and College Readiness Programs at the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. She over- sees the Center to improve the Commonwealth’s public education system so that students are prepared to succeed in postsecondary education, compete in the global economy, and understand the rights and responsibilities of American citizens.
In her current role, Gregson contributes to the Agency’s mission by providing quality work- based learning experiences connected to class- room teaching and learning to give students the academic, technical/technological and workplace skills necessary to compete in higher education and high performance workplaces. Previously, she was Vice President for Access and Transition at Mount Wachusett Community College.
Gregson is a past member of Governor Patrick’s Readiness Project’s High School Plus Subcommittee, the statewide Dropout Prevention and Recovery Commission, statewide Dual Enrollment Advisory Board, and is currently appointed to the statewide College Participation Advisory Group. She served as President for the New England Educational Opportunity Association and is a past Board member of the National Council for Opportunity in Education.
Nicole Murray is the lead teacher/administrator at Duplin Early College High School in Kenansville, NC. Serving approximately 170 students in grades 9 through 13 this year, DECHS is in its fifth year on the campus of James Sprunt Community College. Nicole became the administrator at DECHS in September 2012 after teaching chemistry, physics, and engineering since the school opened.
During her sixteen years as an educator, Nicole has provided beginning teacher support, presented professional development at the school, district and community college level, and written science curriculum at the local and state level. In 2008, Nicole was named the Southeast Regional Teacher of the Year. She also achieved National Board Certification in 2005.
A native of Greenville, NC, Nicole earned a BS in Science Education and a BA in Chemistry from North Carolina State University in 1997. She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in School Administration from East Carolina University.