COABE Election Results

COABE would like to thank every candidate for running. We know that running takes time, effort, and commitment. We would like to congratulate and introduce your newly elected Board members and regional representatives.

Don FinnPresident Elect

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.

Dr. Debbie Faubus-Kendrick–Secretary

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.

David Downes–Region 1 Representative

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. 



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.