The Board of Directors serve as the leadership of TACTE and includes the President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, Immediate Past President, Executive Director and nine Directors. Board of Directors serve in office for three years while officers serve for two. If you have any questions or would like to get involved with TACTE, feel free to contact any of these members.
Dr. Lesley Keeling-Olson first came to Temple College as the Department Chair of Criminal Justice and currently serves as the Division Director of Business and Career Professions. She has been involved in Career and Technical Education (CTE) since 1989 as a practitioner and in CTE education for 17 years. Lesley first completed a Bachelor’s from Baylor University before coming back to Temple College to obtain two Associates in Criminal Justice. She later completed a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Tarleton State University and a Doctorate in Educational Administration from University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. One of her passions is working with Perkins and continuing to work as a practitioner in CTE.
Shana Drury serves as the Dean of Instructional Services for Vernon College. Vernon College is located in Vernon, Texas with three additional centers in Wichita Falls, Texas and one in Seymour, Texas. Shana serves as the Perkins Coordinator, updates THECB curriculum, oversees career & technical education rules and regulations, plus supervises the Continuing Education department.
Dr. Alexander Okwonna currently serves as the Dean of Natural Science and Health Science at San Jacinto College’s South Campus. He oversees the operation of five science (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Geology, and Engineering) and five allied health (Nursing, Pharmacy Technician, Physical Therapist Assistant, Occupational Therapy Assistant, and Kinesiology) programs.
Dr. Okwonna received an Associate of Science degree from Houston Community College, a Master’s in Education degree from the University of Houston, and a Doctorate in Pharmacy from Texas Southern University. Dr. Okwonna is a licensed Pharmacist and has over ten years of experience in community and hospital settings. Before accepting his current position, Dr. Okwonna taught pharmacology courses for ten years and served eight years in the United States Army.
Active in a number of professional, health, industry, and community organizations, Dr. Okwonna serves on the Pearland Chamber of Commerce Community Council and the Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital Advisory Board. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Texas Association of College Technical Educators (TACTE) and Texas Association of Black Personnel in Higher Education (TABPHE). He is also a life member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Dr. Okwonna has received several awards including The U.S. Army Certificate of Achievement for Outstanding Performance as Class Leader, San Jacinto College’s Distinguished Faculty Award, the Inaugural Houston Community College Distinguished Alumni Award, and The League for Innovation in Community College’s John & Suanne Roueche Excellence Award.
Terri Nix has served in higher education for over 20 years, serving in roles of staff, then a faculty member in business and accounting. Terri is currently the Dean of Workforce for Howard College, San Angelo. She oversees programs and curriculum development for CTE and Health Professions and serves on the accreditation committee for her district. “Taking on administrative duties is a great part of my job, but I still love being in the classroom and having interaction with students.”
Terri holds a Master’s of Business Administration with an emphasis in Accountancy from the University of Texas of the Permian Basin. In addition, Terri has a certification in Organizational Management from the University of Arizona. Terri serves as a member of the WECM Leadership Committee, Programs of Study, and Texas Community College Teachers Association.
Christa Jones, Director of Workforce Education at Eastfield College has been with the Dallas County Community College District for 15 years, successfully leading a variety of projects, programs and grants. She is currently responsible for managing the Perkins Basic Grant, assist with new program development, coordinate curriculum revisions, coordinate annual advisory council meetings, and assist with a variety of college and district initiatives.
Her professional experience includes new program development, strategic planning, innovative marketing strategies, contract negotiations, and delivering training for a variety of computer technical and soft skills. In her previous role as District Coordinator of Academic Programs, she coordinated Tech Prep/Career Pathways, Field and Study Abroad Programs, and Teacher Education. Mrs. Jones holds several industry certifications including Crucial Conversations trainer, Speed of Trust trainer, Certified Program Planner, ROPES trainer, Cisco Certified Academy Instructor, and Microsoft Office User trainer. Among her numerous recognitions and awards for excellent performance and innovative practices are Innovator of the Year 2007-2008 (DCCCD and League for Innovation) and Employee of the Year (2006-2007 and 2009-2010). She was featured in the 2012 Yearbook of the Center for Digital Education and Converge as one of the Top 50 Technology Innovators in Education. Livebinders.com recognized her as a Knowledge Leader for the creative use of Livebinders in higher education. Mrs. Jones’ curiosity for creative use of technology allows her to manage projects efficiently and maximize resources.
Mrs. Jones presented at numerous local, state, and national conferences on technology, leadership and conflict resolution.
Mrs. Jones graduated summa cum laude from the University of North Texas in Denton with a BAAS in Applied Technology and Performance Improvement in May 2009. In addition, she completed the Mediation Certificate at UNT, two Applied Associate Degrees from Mountain View College in Information Technology, and a Computer Programming Degree from Germany.
Mrs. Jones is and has been involved in many professional and community projects, including Homes of Hope (Costa Rica), e-Tutor for SOLA – School of Leadership Afghanistan, Parent Action Committee at TxCAN, mentor for Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Leadership Garland, Leadership Southwest, and numerous councils and advisory committees at Independent School Districts and the Dallas County Community College District.
Curt Pervier has served education for 38 years as a faculty member in Computer Graphics and a community college dean. Curt has 18 years as full time faculty and 20 years as Dean of Applied Technology for Midland College. Curt holds a Bachelor and Master of Science from the University of North Texas. He currently serves as facilitator for the Workforce Education Course Manual, board member of the Texas Association of College Technical Educators, board member of the Midland Airport Economic Development board and the Permian Basin Workforce Development board.
D’Wayne Shaw started his career in CTE as an automotive instructor at Kilgore College in the fall of 1999. While at KC, he has also served as the Lead Instructor for Transportation Technologies, Department Chair of the Technologies areas, Technical Dual Credit Coordinator and is currently the Dean of Public Services and Industrial Technologies. He is also an Evaluation Team Leader for the ASE Education Foundation and a member of the Workforce Education Course Manual (WECM) Advisory Committee.
D’Wayne completed an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Automotive Technology from Kilgore College. He later completed a Bachelor’s of Applied Arts and Science as well as his Master’s Degree in Human Resource Development from University of Texas in Tyler.
I have been involved with Career and Technical Education for close to 20 years. I began my higher education career as a Tech Prep Director for the Upper East Texas Tech Prep Consortium at Paris Junior College. After 13 years in that role, I became the Director of Dual Credit at Trinity Valley Community College. In my current role, I manage the academic and technical dual credit programs for 27 independent school districts, 31 high schools, and over 2,000 students. I also supervise 65 embedded high school dual credit academic and CTE faculty at the high schools. I have been a member of the Texas Association of College Technical Educators (TACTE) since 2006. During my time in higher education, I have also served on the Career & Technology Association of Texas state board, state chairperson for the Part-II Tech Prep Re-Write Committee for the GIPWE and have served on the TEXASgenuine marketing advisory committee since 2009. I earned an undergraduate degree in Business Administration and a graduate degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, with an emphasis in Management. I am currently working towards a doctorate in Higher Educational Leadership and am All But Dissertation (ABD).
I am a proud native Texan who lives in Athens, Texas. I support the city of Athens by serving on the Board of Directors for the Athens Chamber of Commerce and volunteering on the City of Athens Cultural Resources Committee and Keep Athens Beautiful Board of Directors. I have four fur babies, two nephews, one niece, and my wonderful parents and brother that keep me busy . . . they are my world.
Timothy (Tim) Park is an assistant professor of Business and Management at Texas’s first online community college campus, TCC Connect. TCC Connect is and one of the six campuses that make up the Tarrant County College District in Fort Worth Texas. He is the past discipline coordinator (administrative chair) for business and economics, recipient of the Trinity River campus adjunct of the year award in 2014 and president of the Tarrant County Toastmasters Club. Currently, Tim is president-elect of the Connect campus faculty association, a member of the Business Academic Curriculum Team and is working towards his Doctor of Education in Community College Leadership at the National American University Roache Graduate Center.
Tim teaches many different business classes, but his passions are Business Communications and Project Management. An accomplished speaker, corporate trainer and sales consultant, Tim enjoys helping small companies grow into their potential. His mantra is “Managers must know how to make money, save money and save time!” When he is not teaching, Tim enjoys fishing, working on his old convertible and travel.
Susan Cannon is the Project Manager of Grants at Collin College. She manages the college’s Perkins Grant, the Economic Development Administration Regional Innovation Strategies Grant with the Department of Commerce, and the Innovation Challenge, the internal grant funding opportunity at Collin College. In addition, she serves on the Staff Council at Collin College, a newly created elected body meant to address issues relevant to staff across all Collin College campuses. She has a B.A. in English from the University of South Alabama and an MBA in Information Systems from the University of Dallas. Her career in higher education began in financial aid over 25 years ago, and after a detour into non-profit accounting, continued at Collin College, first as a grant accountant and then in project management of grants.
Dr. Stacy Ebert currently serves as the Dean of Legal and Health Sciences at Alvin Community College. Her division includes the Legal departments (Criminal Justice, the Police Academy, Paralegal, and Court Reporting) and the Health Science departments (Nursing, Respiratory Care, Polysomnography, Diagnostic Cardio Vascular Sonography, EMS, Pharmacy Tech, Health Information Management, and Neurodiagnostic Technician).
Dr. Ebert received a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Northern Michigan University and a Doctorate in Chiropractic from Parker College of Chiropractic. Dr. Ebert is a licensed Chiropractor and was in private practice for over 12 years prior to accepting a position at Alvin Community College. While in practice, Dr. Ebert was also an adjunct instructor at Texas College of Chiropractic and Alvin Community College. She has instructed Biology, A&P, Pathology, Kinesiology, Business & Ethics, Nutrition and Cardio-Kickboxing.
Pursuing her passion for education, Dr. Ebert joined Alvin Community College full-time, in 2009, as the Massage Therapy Coordinator. In 2013, she was promoted to Director of Allied Health, CEWD. Her passion and involvement in workforce training led her to a position as Director of Allied Health over credit programs. She continued to expand her leadership skills and knowledge of technical programs and, in October of 2018, became Dean, Legal and Health Sciences.
Debbie Huffman serves as Dean of Career & Technical Education at North Central Texas College (NCTC). She has been with NCTC for over 25 years, serving previously in the roles of IT support, faculty member, and Dean of eLearning. She is a member of the Institutional Effectiveness & Accreditation Committee, as well as a member of the Texoma Workforce Board.
Debbie holds a Master of Science in Computer Education & Cognitive Systems from the University of North Texas, a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences from the University of North Texas, and an Associate of Applied Science from NCTC.
Kevin Morris started his educational career in 1985 as an adjunct professor with San Jacinto College in real estate and business. He became a full-time faculty in 1997 and later served as Department Chair of Business and Real Estate for 10 years until 2012. In 2012, Kevin assumed his current position of Dean of Business and Technology for San Jacinto College South Campus where he provides support, guidance and leadership for both workforce and transfer degree and certificate programs.
Mr. Morris received his undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University and completed his graduate studies at University of Houston. He has held several offices and received numerous awards such as:
• The John & Suanne Roueche Excellence Award (Administrator Excellence Award).
• Don Roose Award for Excellence,
• NISOD Excellence Award
• Certified Real Estate Instructor (CREI)
• Distinguished Faculty Level 3
• Paul Harris Fellow
• Scholarship Chairman for North Shore Rotary
• Past President of the Texas Real Estate Teachers Association (TRETA).
Mr. Morris has presented at numerous local, state and national conferences over topics in teaching and learning as well as higher education administration. His passion is educating others and promoting lifelong learning. Although he holds a Texas Real Estate Brokers license and serves as a Dean, he still enjoys the classroom, serving as an adjunct faculty member and helping students see their dreams come to fruition.
Finally, while we have learned that quantifiable success of our community colleges throughout the nation is contingent upon solid partnerships and a shared vision with our students, faculty, and communities, Mr. Morris also understands the importance of having business and industry partners at the table helping to shape this success as well. As a board member for TACTE, he is excited to be in a position to encourage collaboration of this magnitude across the state.
Tammy Samarripa currently serves as the Department Chair for Nursing & Allied Health programs at Central Texas College in Killeen. Prior to her Chair position, she served as the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Program Director for 14 years. As much as she enjoys administration and leadership, teaching is still an important part of her career. She actively teaches courses in the EMS Program and in the Homeland Security/Emergency Management programs at Central Texas College.
Tammy received her Master’s degree in Public Health from American Military University.
In addition, she currently serves as a Site Visitor Captain for the Committee on Accreditation of Educational Programs for the Emergency Medical Services Programs (CoAEMSP), and has served on multiple Texas Higher Education Workforce committees, Education committees, State Curriculum committees and Strategic Planning committees.
In 2018, Tammy received Congressional Recognition for her extensive work to assist with active duty military and exiting military service members working in and transitioning in/out of health-related professions.