COABE 2018 Board of Director Election Results

Welcome and congratulations to Laurie Kirstead-Joseph, incoming Region 7 Representative and Larriann Torrez, incoming Region 8 Representative.Their terms begin on July 1, 2018. Thank you to Josh Evans and Kelley Kieth for running as candidates for position on the board, and thank you to the many members that voted in the region 7 elections! 

Thank you to our outgoing Regional Representatives Rhea Watson (Region 7 Representative) and Branka Marceta (Region 8 Representative).

Region 7 Representative
Laurie Kierstead-Joseph

The Regional Representative shall serve a three (3) year term.


Laurie Kierstead-Joseph is motivated to serve on the COABE Board to support Region 7 students and teachers through high-quality professional learning and highlighting the impact and importance of adult education. Laurie has served in adult education for nearly 20 years. She began her career as a volunteer in the ESL classroom and quickly discovered that adult education was where she was meant to be.  After seven years of teaching ESL, Laurie stepped into professional development, training, and program leadership roles. She has 11 years of experience leading the development, implementation, and evaluation of educational programming. Laurie has a bachelor's degree in Linguistics and a master's degree in Leadership in Higher Education. She has completed the Leadership Excellence Academy and the Professional Development Leadership Academy, multi-year programs that helped develop her strengths in program improvement through data-driven decision-making, sustained job-embedded professional development, and change management. She has been a member of COABE and her state association, AALL, for years - including having served on the AALL Board as Board President. As a COABE member, she has presented workshops and webinars about developing Integrated Education and Training (IET) programs. As AALL Board President, she led the Board in broadening the focus beyond professional development to include advocacy and networking to strengthen the field of adult education. 

Currently, Laurie is the Director of Adult Education Services (AES) with Pima Community College's Adult Basic Education for College and Career Division, which serves 6,000 students per year. In AES, she oversees the programs and services that help students access adult education and those that help them transition to college and career. AES includes intake and registration for adult basic education and English language acquisition for adult students, HSE and certification testing, and transition services and programs. She has led the development of innovative IET programs including Integrated Education and Basic Skills Training (IBEST) programs in hospitality, medical assisting, behavioral health, and machining, creating powerful opportunities for ABE and ELAA learners to access career pathways. Laurie also serves as a liaison with local WIOA and workforce partners. She co-wrote the WIOA local plan and memorandum of understanding and is working to further integrate and align services across the core partner programs.

REGION 8 Representative
LArriann Torrez

The Regional Representative shall serve a three (3) year term.


Mrs. Larriann Torrez was born and raised in the Central Valley. She earned her undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at Fresno Pacific University, including a Bachelor of Arts in Management and Organizational Leadership and a Master of Arts in Education and Administration Services. Mrs. Torrez is completing a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership from Brandman University and will graduate in May of 2018. Mrs. Torrez is Vice President of the Tulare County Hispanic Leadership Network, representative on the Sequoias Adult Education Leadership Committee, Chair of the Tulare County Workforce Development Board's Referral Committee, and has served on the California Council for Adult Education State Executive Board from 2007-2017 as Member-at-Large, President Elect, President, and Past President.

Mrs. Torrez is currently employed with Tulare Joint Union High School District (TJUHSD) in Tulare, CA, and has been the Director of Tulare Adult School since 2016. Larriann served as Assistant Director of Tulare Adult School from 2011-2016 and as principal of Sierra Vista Charter High School from 2013-2016. Prior to employment with TJUHSD, Larriann was a program manager for Proteus, Inc., a nonprofit, community-based organization in Visalia, CA. Mrs. Torrez began her career in adult education in 1994 at Porterville Adult School where she taught evening GED® and high school diploma classes. Mrs. Torrez' career includes multiple recognitions, including ACSA Region XI Adult Education Administrator of the Year and Tulare County Hispanic Leadership Network Administrator of the Year in 2014, Tulare County Office of Education, Excellence in Education Finalist in 2014, Caroline S. Casida Meritorious Leadership Award from the California Council for Adult Education in 2009, Proteus Teacher of the Year in 2005, and the Charles O. Peterson Meritorious Service Award from the California Council for Adult Education in 2005.