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.
Shana Drury serves as the Associate 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. Ben Stafford began working with Lamar State College Port Arthur in 2010 as a business consultant. Since joining the college, he has also served as the Director of Institutional Effectiveness and the Department Chair for Allied Health. He currently offers consulting services in the field of early childhood education, serves as a business consultant to the City of Port Arthur, and serves as the Dean of Technical Programs for the College.
Ben Stafford completed an Associate of Science degree in Industrial Engineering and a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Lamar in 1981 and 1985 respectively. He later completed a Master’s Degree in Social Work at the University of Houston’s Graduate School of Social Work. Ben also holds a master’s degree in public health from and a Doctorate in Public Health Administration from University of Texas’ School of Public Health.
Dr. Laura Sanchez, Curriculum and Accreditation Officer
Laura currently serves as the Curriculum and Accreditation Officer at South Texas College leading the department that coordinates all new program development, curriculum revisions, course scheduling, instructional program review, and student evaluations of faculty. She is responsible for all regional accreditation initiatives at the College, and serves as the Accreditation Liaison with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Laura also teaches as an adjunct instructor for the College Success department at South Texas College.
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.
Ronda Dozier is the past Dean of Workforce and Continuing Education at Texarkana College and currently serves as the Program Coordinator for Cosmetology. She oversees 12 certificate programs and the Continuing Education Department that also provides industry training. In addition to the credit programs in her division, the non-credit programs include Professional Driving Academy, EMT Academy, Fire Academy, and a variety of Allied Health certificates.
Ronda received the Distinguished Excellence in Leadership award from the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development. She earned her MBA from WGU, Texas, and was recently selected to serve as a member of the WGU Texas Chancellor’s Club. Ronda is currently enrolled in a doctoral program for higher education leadership with plans to graduate in 2018. “The most exciting part of serving in my current role at Texarkana College is watching the students succeed and enter the workforce that will lead them to a better quality of life.”
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.
Rafael Brisita serves as an associate professor and division chair at St. Philip’s College a part of the Alamo Colleges. He serves and is the current past chair of the State of Texas Higher Workforce Education Leadership Committee. Mr. Brisita has been involved with Workforce Education for over 25 years – teaching and developing programs for just-in-time operations to assist in the opening and operations of plants such as the Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Toyota, Caterpillar, and consulting with the Department of Defense. He also served on the City of San Antonio transition team that converted the old Kelly Air Force Base to a nationally recognized aerospace and manufacturing hub. Mr. Brisita was one of the team members that started the nationally recognized dual credit Alamo Academies that recently received the 2012 Texas Higher Education Star Award from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) and the National Bellwether 2014 award. His credentials include the FAA A&P license, Bachelor and Master science in education.
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 15 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.
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.
I have been involved with Career and Technical Education for close to 20 years. I began my higher education career as a Tech Prep Coordinator for the Upper East Texas Tech Prep Consortium at Paris Junior College, where I promoted to Tech Prep Director after two years. In that position, I developed local articulation agreements and six-year plans, fostered partnerships, and managed Perkins Tech Prep grants. I was also present at the inception and implementation of Advanced Technical Credit (ATC). 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 and was just elected to the TACTE Board of Directors. 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. I also serve the community in fighting domestic violence by serving on the Board of Directors for the Family Peace Project. I have three fur babies, two nephews, one niece, and my wonderful parents and brother that keep me busy . . . they are my world.
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.