COABE Board Elections

Voting closes by 12CST on April 4, 2017, and the election results will be made public at the closing session of the COABE conference in Orlando, Florida on April 5, 2017. If you have any questions or need assistance voting, please contact

Don FinnPresident Elect Candidate

Dr. Don Finn has been an adult educator for 25 years and is currently dean of the school of education at Regent University. He is an associate professor of adult education & professional development and a current COABE executive board member. Don has served in various capacities for the Virginia Association for Adult and Continuing Education (VAACE) for 16 years including treasurer, long-term planning chair, conference chair, and VAACE president (2009-2012). As president, he made great strides to build bridges and strengthen relationships and partnerships between VAACE and state and national organizations and groups. Don was awarded Virginia's Outstanding Adult Education Leadership Award in 2013 and the VAACE President's Award for Service in 2014. In 2010, Don was voted Regent University's School of Education Faculty Member of the Year by his students and colleagues. He has been an independent adult education consultant and has provided professional development for various adult education associations and learning organizations around the country. He has served as a steering committee member for The Center for Research in Adult Learning (a project of the CCCU), as an article reviewer for a national higher education publication, and as a consultant with an international textbook publisher. Don has published numerous book chapters and articles on the topic of adult learning and has presented at state, regional, national, and international adult education conferences and meetings. Don's volunteer service to COABE includes planning and chairing the highly successful 2012 COABE conference in Norfolk, Virginia, co-chair of the 2015 COABE conference in Denver, and conference program chair for the 2016 and 2017 COABE conferences. Don has participated in 11 of the past 12 COABE conferences and has delivered numerous conference and pre-conference sessions at many of these conferences. His elected service to COABE includes Region 2 representative (2013-2015) and secretary to the board since 2015. He and his wife Laurie Ann have been married since 1990 and have 3 adult children. Don and Laurie Ann serve together as volunteers at an equine therapy center in their community working directly with adults and children with disabilities.



Hector Martinez is the director for the Garden City Community College Adult Learning Center. Mr. Martinez came from Mexico to the United States in 2000. Working with adults in Mexico for seven years prior to his arrival to the U.S., Mr. Martinez's experiences include 12 years as technology instructor, employability skills and implementation instructor, and computer network management. Mr. Martinez volunteered his time for more than 18 months at the Garden City Adult Learning Center so he could help others. In time, the center asked him to accept a position as technology instructor. From there, he worked helping others as he worked his way to the director's position. Mr. Martinez has been the president of the Kansas Adult Education Association, which worked on marketing ideas for adult education, and has been an advocate for strengthening the funds in Kansas for adult education. Mr. Martinez participated in the Kansas Leadership Academy through the KBOR. He also implemented the first Spanish literacy program in cooperation with the Mexican Government. Hector has been serving as the technology chair on the COABE Board since 2015.


Dr. Debbie Faubus-Kendrick–Secretary Candidate

Dr. Debbie Faubus-Kendrick Dr. Debbie Faubus-Kendrick has been an educator for 35 years. For over nine years, she has fulfilled the role as director of the Crawford County Adult Education Center in Van Buren, Arkansas. Debbie is an adjunct psychology professor for Vincennes University. She earned her Ed.D. from the University of Arkansas. She has served as president and vice-president of the Arkansas Association of Continuing and Adult Education (AACAE), president of the Arkansas Association of Adult Education Administrators, and secretary of the Arkansas Adult Education Advisory Council. Debbie currently serves as legislative chairperson for Arkansas Adult Education and Adult Education Representative for the Regional WIOA Board and a Northwest Representative for the Arkansas Adult Education Advisory Council. She was chosen by Arkansas Association of Alternative Educators (AAAE) as 2008 Outstanding Teacher of the Year and 2014 AACAE Outstanding Administrator of the Year. Dr. Faubus-Kendrick works tirelessly to serve both her community and to further adult education in Arkansas. Debbie is involved in several community activities including Parents as Teachers Supervisor, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), Boys and Girls Club of Van Buren, Head Start Policy Council and Board, and State Plumbing Examiners Board. She was instrumental in bringing Vincennes University classes to Crawford County which precipitated the first university graduation in the county. Debbie has been a member of COABE for 9 years, and she has served as the COABE Region 6 representative.



Kim Olson Kim Olson has been the executive director for Cornerstones Career Learning Center, Inc. in South Dakota since 1994. Previous to that she spent time as an instructor and education coordinator of the organization. She was the Missouri Valley Adult Educator and the South Dakota Adult Educator of the year in 2000. She is the longest continually active board member of the South Dakota Association for Lifelong Learning, filling every administrative position since 1995. Kim is a professional educator, administrator, GED® Test Examiner, and trainer. She is a certified teacher with 20 years of teaching and administrative experience in adult education and business and industry training. She has been a certified manager in Program Improvement since 2011. She led an instructional team in the development of a successful managed enrollment program that she has administered since 2006. Kim has been serving as the Region 5 representative for the COABE Board since 2014.


David Downes–Region 1 Representative Candidate

David Downes David Downes has worked at all levels of education during his career, beginning with graduate level research in counseling and instruction at a community college, to counseling and remediation work in K-12 systems, and culminating in adult and continuing education administration in Connecticut for the past eleven years. Along the way he has garnered state awards both for development of a statewide school counseling curriculum and also for his legislative advocacy leadership [in adult education] on behalf of the Connecticut Association for Adult and Continuing Education (CAACE) . On a local level he was awarded the "Build No Fences" community award for the many ways that the West Hartford, CT adult education program has partnered with family resource services, libraries, religious organizations, workplace educators, and the chamber of commerce. 


Jesse Roylance–Region 1 Representative Candidate

Jesse Roylance is the Director of Adult and Continuing Education for Schenectady City School District overseeing programs enrolling over 2500 students in HSE, ESL, Career training, incarcerated education, alternative K-12 education, and a rich continuing education program in an inner city environment struggling with poverty and creating successful pathways for its residents. In addition, his office oversees one of the largest High School Equivalency testing facilities in New York State and has created several new training programs working with colleges, employers, community agencies, city agencies, as well as community advocacy groups.

Originally a community business owner and long-time community volunteer, Jesse was a Teacher and School Counselor in both rural and inner city school districts for 7 years. He has been a School Administrator for 9 years in Adult Education and oversees a large and diverse program in Schenectady NY. He is currently President-Elect of the NYACCE board, the largest Adult Education organization in NYS providing professional development and advisement to the NYS department of education. Jesse has served on the NYS “TASC” taskforce on the implementation of the new HSE assessment, the Schenectady County College and Career Counseling Center’s advisory board, the municipal housing Family Self-Sufficiency board, and is an active member of the New York State Association of Incarcerated Educational Professionals (NYSAIEP), New York Association of Training and Employment Professionals (NYATEP), and ASCD. Jesse has received citations and awards from the Schenectady City Council and the Human Rights Commission for his service to the community and is currently an Assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 3062.



Dr. Danielle Miles Dr. Danielle Miles has served over ten years as an adult education and workforce development instructor with Bevill State Community College in Fayette, Alabama. Danielle holds an associate's degree in liberal arts from Bevill State Community College, a bachelor's degree in business administration, a master's degree in business management from Faulkner University, and a Ph.D. in education and community college leadership from Mississippi State University. She currently serves as treasurer and completed her second term as state-wide District 3 board member for the Alabama Association of Public and Continuing Adult Education. She is an active member of the Campus Leadership Team, Delta Kappa Gamma Women's Educator Society, and Winfield Chamber of Commerce. Danielle is currently participating in the OER STEM Project Facilitators Training for Open Educational Resources to Support Adult STEM Teaching and Learning funded by the U.S. Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) and led by American Institutes for Research (AIR) held in Washington D.C. She is the 2013 recipient of the Delta Kappa Gamma Lucille Cornette Professional Development Award, COABE Scholarship Award, and the 2014 Delta Kappa Gamma International Scholarship. Dr. Miles has been serving as the Region 3 representative on the COABE Board since 2014.




Jeff Arnott has extensive experience in the administration of adult education programs in the state of Florida. He is an active member of the Adult and Community Educators of Florida state-level board where he serves as the treasurer and standing board member. He is the current president of the Florida Adult and Technical Distance Education Consortium and he is an instructor for the Institute of Professional Development for Adult Educators.Jeff also sits on a state-level committee to explore and create a state model for adult career pathways and accelerated models for adult education programs. He is a key members of the Adult High School and GED advisory committees for the Florida Department of Education.  He is a legislative advocate for adult students and teachers in the state of Florida as well.  Jeff is currently the Treasurer and a Regional Representative for ACE of Florida.



Alex Harris Alex Harris has been the state director for adult education in Iowa since January 2012. As the director and state administrator for the HiSET,™ Alex leads the department's efforts in adult education for achieving high school equivalency diplomas. Iowa's adult education and literacy mission is to provide accessible, quality instruction that develops life, work, and literacy skills. From 1996 to 2001, Alex Harris worked with the Australian Department of Training and Workforce Development to provide training and job placement services for non-English speaking job seekers and under skilled workers in Sydney, Australia. Prior to joining the department, Alex Harris worked from 2002-2010 with a school district assisting special needs students successfully transition to college, work, and life. Under his leadership the program served several hundred students making significant life changes. In his role as state director, he has led extensive strategic planning and policy initiatives to craft a blueprint for Iowa's adult education and literacy reform in order to transform service delivery and begin to build career pathways for Iowa adults. Alex Harris has established collaborative partnerships with the private sector and other public agencies to increase awareness of the needs for adult education participants.



Kelly Ann Winchester began her adult education career as an ABE student in the East Central College program. After obtaining a GED, Kelly attended Southeast Missouri State University with a GED Academic Scholarship and graduated with honors. Kelly began working at Jefferson College as a part-time adult education instructor and as a juvenile detention staff monitor for Jefferson County. After four years at Jefferson College, she was promoted to a full-time position as a youth services coordinator, working with the Workforce Investment Act Program, and in 2011 promoted again to head resource instructor of adult education services, then promoted once more to lead instructor of adult education services in June 2013. After 10 years with Jefferson College AEL, Concordance Academy of Leadership recruited her in 2016 as the first educator hired as an education and employment pathways specialist (EEPS). As an EEPS, she is responsible for development of Concordance Academy's education program. She implements education and employment preparation interventions for incarcerated adults' pre-release and is responsible for transitioning participants into a wide range of occupational and continued educational opportunities immediately upon release from prison.