Adult Education & Literacy Conference
Getting Back in the Game
October 24-25, 2022
Moore Norman Technology Center
13301 S Penn, OKC
Register for only $30!
Associate Professor of Literacy at University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Albertaeve Abington-Pitre, Ed.D. is an Associate Professor of Literacy and Director of the UL Reading Institute, at University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She teaches reading methods, assessment, and prescriptive teaching of reading and cultural competency. Teaching PK-9 and university level 34 years combined.
ABE Instructor at OIC of Oklahoma County
A 2014 University of Oklahoma graduate, Tina's tenure began as the Adult Basic Education instructor for Opportunities Industrialization Center in January 2022. Tina's strong passion to instruct and inspire connected immediately with the population as reflected by her 88% efficiency rating (learners who pass their High School Equivalency exam on their first attempt). After jump starting OIC's evening program and replicating the same level of success, Tina took over as the lead ABE instructor for Remerge, a pretrial diversion program servicing high risk mothers. Tina's efficiency rating has since improved to 95% amongst her Remerge clients as she remains one of the premiere instructors of Adult Ed.
Programs Officer at Dept of Libraries
Rebecca coordinates the grant process, reviewing reports, and offering technical assistance. She also coordinates a citizenship and immigration program. With previous experience as a local literacy program director, Rebecca has first-hand knowledge of local needs and challenges. She is a trainer, public speaker, and editor of LRO publications including Celebrating Our Journey, a collection of stories written by adult learners.
Oklahoma Director of Adult Education/Federal Program Manager at ODCTE
Special Education Teacher, School Administrator, State Coordinator for IDEA, ODCTE Federal Programs Manager
Senior Sales Consultant at Adult Education Specialists/New Readers Press
Ann Beeson has worked with literacy and adult education programs for over 21 years, and currently works in 7 states. As an independent sales consultant, Ann offers resources for adult learners, primarily through New Readers Press. In addition, Ann presents on a wide variety of topics relevant to ABE and ELL programs. She has a Master’s degree in Curriculum & Instructional design from the University of Minnesota.
HSE Coordinator at Oklahoma City Community College Adult Learning Center
Susan Bernard is the high school equivalency coordinator for the Oklahoma City Community College Adult Learning Center. She is also the author and publisher of the “I’m Not Afraid…Anymore!” series for high school equivalency preparation. Susan began writing in 2003 to provide a simple math book to help her struggling students and then moved on to write for other subjects. It has been her great pleasure over the years to lead students out of the land of fear and into the land of success.
Executive Director at OKIE811 (Oklahoma One-Call)
I serve as Executive Director for over 9 years, has 18 years of Executive Management experience with a total of 24 years managing programs, people and processes. I have worked as COO for Girl Scouts; IT Director for the State of Oklahoma; Risk Information Manager for Fleming Companies; and for First National Bank of Midwest City. I obtained my bachelor’s degree in Business Administration & Computer Science from the University of Central Oklahoma.
Associate Professor and Director of the UL Gifted Center at University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Christine J. Briggs, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in Curriculum and Instruction and is the Director for the Center for Gifted Education at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She teaches gifted education, research design, and capstone courses for candidates pursuing a M.Ed. in Gifted Education as well as co-teaching in the educational leadership Ed.D. exceptional learner concentration.
Literacy Computer Specialist at Ruth G. Hardman Adult Literacy Service Alisa Brooks has worked at Tulsa’s Ruth G. Hardman Adult Literacy Service for 20 years. Her title is literacy computer specialist, but she effectively serves as an adult learner liaison by conducting orientations into the tutoring program as well as helping adult learners find the right technology for their independent learning needs.
Customer Manager at Burlington English, Inc.
Erin Cococcia is a Customer Manager with BurlingtonEnglish; she supports customers throughout Texas, Oklahoma & Louisiana. Erin is responsible for representing BurlingtonEnglish by working with Adult Education programs that service English Language Learners in their communities. Erin earned her Master’s Degree in English Education, and has worked in the Education and Educational Publishing fields for over 15 years.
Educator Support Specialist at Essential Education
AJ Crowell is a fourth generation Oklahoma teacher with experience in special education, adult basic education distance learning, and career and technology education. As an Educator Support Specialist with Essential Education, he provides customized training and technical support to help adult education teachers and administrators implement a robust online learning system that gives all students the tools they need to learn and succeed in school, work, and life.
Field Service Representative - on Client Success Team at Aztec Software
Alan has served as the Counselor and Coordinator for Murray State College, Adjunct Professor for Murray State College and Oklahoma City Community College, High School Counselor, Assistant High School Principal, Ninth Grade Center Principal, and Director of Community Outreach and Education for Oklahoma City Community College. He brings his vast experience in best practices, education and administration to assist Aztec Software’s clients’ needs implementing a computer-based solution.
ESL Instructor at OIC of Oklahoma County
Critical thinking is the subject I would like to present. My experience with this subject stems from my current role as an ESL instructor at The Opportunities Industrialization Center of Oklahoma County, Inc. (OIC). The Executive Director DesJean Jones described me as astute the first time we met in person. I display this characteristic by first identifying the barrier, researching, finding relevance, asking questions, and analyzing the best decision to better communicate with the students.
State Relationship Manager at GED Testing Service
Jonna Forsyth joined the GED Testing Service team in January 2020. Jonna brings her extensive experience in staff development, training and education to the adult education community of professionals to support student learning and high school equivalency credentialing among adult learners. As the newest member of the GEDTS State Relationship team, Jonna works in the states of Mississippi, North Carolina, Mississippi, and Oklahoma.
Director of Office of Literacy Development at Oklahoma Dept of Libraries
Leslie Gelders has been a successful grant writer for more than 30 years. During that time grants were received from federal agencies, state agencies, foundations, and private funders. Not only does Leslie have grant writing experience, she also administers grants funded by the Oklahoma Department of Libraries, including designing applications and report forms, scoring proposals, and reviewing contracts and claim forms.
Community Engagement Manager at Unite Us
Kathy has 20+ years in the field of aging having served as the Education Director for the OU Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma Healthy Aging Initiative program implementing healthy aging programs throughout southern Oklahoma. For 12 years, Kathy served as an Area Agency on Aging Director directing programs under the Older Americans Act. Joining Unite Us, Kathy is passionate to merge social care with health care to create a better place for all to live, work, pray, and play. Kathy has a BA in Communications with minors in Sociology and Psychology. Kathy makes her home in Durant, Oklahoma and has a beautiful one-year-old granddaughter!
STEAM Specialist at Pioneer Library System
I teach and develop technology classes and provide one-on-one assistance with technology to customers at the Norman, OK central public library, part of the Pioneer Library System. I focus on digital literacy classes ranging from absolute beginners who have never used a computer before, up to people looking to make a career change and expand their skillset into software development, video game asset creation, and even robotics.
Financial Educator at TFCU
Tina Herndon began her financial career at a Native CDFI where she managed three predatory alternative loan funds and conducted 1:1 financial counseling sessions. Recently, she served as the Financial Education and Training Manager for the national nonprofit, BALANCE, where one of her responsibilities was main presenter, completing over 300 webinars in 1.5 years. In 2022, she joined the Financial Empowerment team at Tinker Federal Credit Union.
Representative at the Oklahoma House of Reprasentatives
Brian Hill has served House District 47, which covers Mustang, Oklahoma City, and Tuttle, since 2018. A businessman, public speaker, former youth pastor, author and entrepreneur, Hill continues to contribute to several business in addition to his time at the Capitol. Hill is married to his college sweetheart, Melissa, whom he met at Southwestern Christian University in Bethany. After marrying in 2001, they have been blessed with two children, Eleanor and Josiah.
Career Dev. Coor. - Special Pops at ODCTE
Katlyn Hudgins is the Career Development Coordinator for Special Populations at the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education in Stillwater. Her role includes providing professional development and technical assistance to ensure partnerships and programs are appropriate and accessible to individuals in special populations. She thoroughly enjoys connecting with other partners and stakeholders to make improvements in education and in the community.
Youth Coordinator/Outreach Specialist at Workforce Oklahoma - WIOA Program
Our program (WIOA) serves adults and young adults (ages 16-24). Some of our clients need their GED/HSE and/or have literacy issues. WIOA is the Workforce Innovation Opportunity Act. We have funding to assist with tuition/fees, books, tools, uniforms, equipment, and testing fees. Students must attend an Oklahoma school that is approved to receive our funding. We also do have employment opportunities available through our work experience and on the job training programs.
Executive Director at OIC of Oklahoma County
DesJean Peyton-Jones is the Executive Director for Opportunities Industrialization Center of Oklahoma County, Inc. (OIC), a nonprofit adult literacy agency. She is a professional life coaching, has a background in advertising, organizational management, education and training. DesJean’s professional areas of emphasis include life coaching and career coaching, with a focus on “unsticking the stuck.”
Director at Seminole Public Library
Jeanette has been in management and education or over 30 years. She supports literacy at all levels, teaching language learners and struggling readers in the public library setting. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English and Master of Arts in Reading from East Central University, as well as a Master of Science in Library Media from Oklahoma State University. She understands the challenges of library patrons and finds solutions with everyone’s main goal in mind- literacy.
Student Services Supervisor at YWCA Tulsa
I recently completed teaching an Advanced 2 ESL virtual class to approximately twelve students speaking various first languages. What was unique about this class was that I did not use a textbook, but rather chose a work of fiction to read together throughout the semester. This experience brought about engagement from those who had never been engaged in a class before, allowed students to connect with each other in meaningful ways, and taught English in a non-traditional manner.
B.R.A.N.D. Coach at Can You Brand Me
I am the author of an upcoming book “The One Game Changer to Boost your Business.” For over ten years, I was an in-house marketing professional for several companies providing brand-driven design solutions. I have been doing the same as a solopreneur since 2015 for different clients in North & South America and Africa. I have also been one of the instructors at the Business Academy of OIC (Oklahoma County), teaching students about the power of branding.
Union Adult Learning Center Director at Union Adult Learning Center
Dr. Amy McCready currently serves as the Director of Union Adult Learning Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She is in her 30th year in education having previously held several roles. Dr. McCready has extensive experience in both and research and practical applications in student retention.
National Consultant at Aztec Software
Ms. Miller worked in Adult Education for 30 years as an instructor and program director serving over 2,000 students annually. She served on the state level developing and implementing professional development programs. She now works as a national consultant providing training workshops, national webinars and state and national conference presentations.
Legal Director at Oklahoma Innocence Project
I was a career public defender, and work on behalf of those Oklahomans who have been wrongfully convicted of crimes. In both capacities I have worked on behalf of people who span the range of literacy. I will be presenting about OKIP, the types of cases we work on and the issues surrounding wrongful convictions.
Director of Curriculum and Instruction at OIC of Oklahoma County
I currently serve as the Director of Curriculum and Instruction at Opportunities Industrialization Center. After starting out as the high school equivalency instructor 8 years ago, I helped transform OIC into one of the more efficient adult education centers in the state. In addition to raising the graduation rate well over 800%, I have also been able to manifest academic success for learners with a wide variety of social challenges including ADHD, autism, and dyslexia.
Holistic Nurse, Board Certified Integrative Nurse Coach
Joni has been a Registered Nurse for 25 years with experience in various clinical departments. In her private coaching practice, Coach Joni O, she helps clients manage their body (stress), so they can manage their brain (mindset) and create a life they love! Along with being a Nurse Coach, Speaker, and Group Fitness Instructor, she is a mom to 3 kids and Wife of 30 years to her college sweetheart. She lives in Stillwater with her family and 2 fur babies.
ICT Accessibility Program Manager at Oklahoma ABLE Tech
Lyssa Prince, MLIS, CPWA is the Information and Communication Technology Program Manager with Oklahoma ABLE Tech. Lyssa's goal is to ensure that all individuals can obtain the information and knowledge they need to live extraordinary lives. She gets to move toward this goal daily by working to promote, teach, and implement digital accessibility and inclusion in Oklahoma and beyond. Ask Lyssa a question about accessibility or Oklahoma ABLE Tech, and you'll likely get an earful!
Community Relations Officer at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
Regular presenter for the past 5-6 years sharing knowledge of the requirements for naturalization. Citizenship instructors and program managers return to their classroom with knowledge and online tools from the USCIS website to boost their programs, or start a new one.
HSE Guidance Specialist at Union Adult Learning Center
I first learned about Teaching Skills That Matter through the TSTM Cohort 4 in 2022. After being a part of that professional development opportunity for a year, I was presented with an official certificate as being a Teacher Lead in TSTM.
Senior Director, Adult and Workforce Solutions at Data Recognition Corporation
Marcus Ripp is the Senior Director of Adult and Workforce Solutions at Data Recognition Corporation. Marcus manages the development, maintenance, and delivery of TABE and TABE CLAS-E with the test development, research, and IT teams at DRC. In addition to his work at DRC, Marcus spent 14 years working in multiple roles in Adult Education, starting as an ESL teacher, local program administrator and ending as the State High School Equivalency Administrator for the State of Oklahoma.
Financial Educator at TFCU
After graduation from Oklahoma State University, Kara Robinson was recruited by a giant Chicagoland floral corporation. Kara moved back home to Oklahoma after living in Chicago for years to be closer to her family. She started with Tinker Federal Credit Union as a teller and earned a coveted leadership development role within the credit union that lead her to the position of Financial Educator.
Executive Director at CASMEO.org
Saeed Sarani is an experienced leader serving in nonprofit organizations for over a decade. Saeed holds Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from the University of Florida and Oklahoma State University, respectively. He earned an M.B.A. in Management from Oklahoma City University and an M.Ed. in Instructional Leadership and Academic Curriculum from the University of Oklahoma.
ESL Instructor / Pronunciation Coach at OCCC / Color Vowel
Lynn Swanda has a master degree in ESL and has been teaching ESL for over 25 years, both internationally and in the US. She is a certified Color Vowel coach and teacher trainer with English Language Training Solutions (ELTS) and Blue Canoe. She has also taught at OCCC with the adult ESL program. She credits Color Vowel with transforming her teaching and broadening her ability to teach pronunciation and help students improve their spoken English.
Founder & CEO at CommonTeri Services
Teri Walker is the Founder & CEO of CommonTeri Services, a Salesforce service provider based in Dallas. CTS provides nonprofit customers with comprehensive, low-cost Salesforce support plans that prioritize long-term sustainability and efficiency. Teri served on the board of Literacy Texas from 2015-2021, serving as president from 2017-2020. She is a Salesforce Certified Administrator, Sales Cloud Consultant, Community Cloud Consultant, Nonprofit Cloud Consultant, and Platform App Builder.
Career Dev. Coor. at ODCTE
Kathryn Willhoite is the Career Development Coordinator at Oklahoma CareerTech, serving as the OKCareerGuide liaison for 6th grade – adults for school systems and tech centers. Kathryn previously served as an Academic Advisor and a Career Coach at Oklahoma State. Currently, she provides trainings on OKCareerGuide, a free online career development tool that assists in meeting state ICAP requirements and provides a holistic stance on career development for all populations.
Southwest Sales Representative at Essential Education
Beth Williams, from Essential Education, helps Adult Education Programs and Community-Based Organizations implement their GED®, HISET, and TABE 11/12 Academy software and instructional workbooks via a Blended Learning approach. She has worked in the educational software industry since 1986. Her primary focus is to ensure program success for ALL instructors, and she believes that ALL students can learn! She also thinks EE's Skills Mastery Report is a game-changer for instructors!
Elizabeth (Liz) Willner
Program Coordinator at Community Literacy Centers
I have been a teacher since 1986, and have taught in five US states and 2 other countries. I always focus on the joy of learning and especially the pleasure that reading can bring. However, many of our adult learners think of reading as a pronunciation exercise rather than an opportunity to enjoy themselves. This presentation is focused on a pilot study that sought to provide a reading experience to encourage adult readers to view reading as joyful and empowering.
Senior Community Engagement Manager at Unite Us
Based in Oklahoma City, OK, Kayla has a B.A. in English Education from Southwestern Oklahoma State University. Kayla has over a decade of experience working nonprofit organizations serving youth, families and justice-involved communities.
Kayla is the Senior Community Engagement Manager for the Unite Oklahoma network. During her tenure, she has led the progress toward statewide implementation, leading to a 600% increase in growth in one calendar year.