Jackie Walley is part of the SAM Support staff. She was previously the MSIS Administrator for the Hattiesburg Public School District. She has worked in the field of education for the past 30 years while serving both the Richton School District and Hattiesburg Public School District. Jackie has worked as a teacher, intervention coordinator, and alternative school director. She has also served as MSIS Primary and SAM Spectra Administrator prior to beginning her career at CA.
Claire French has been part of the SAM Support Team for the past 19 years. Before coming to CA, she was a teacher in the Pearl Public Schools for 13 years. Claire is a natural teacher and it comes through in every aspect of her role here at CA from supporting our users to training at all levels.
Diann Welch has been with the CA family as a SAM Support Specialist since 2001. Her dedication and passion for SAM and her love for the school districts have made SAM the success it is today. Prior to working at CA, she worked at Simpson County School District and West Jasper School District. Her combined experiences give her working with public schools for 38 years.
Jo Ann Henderson
Jo Ann Henderson has worked as a SAM Support Specialist since 2011. Prior to joining CA, she worked for 35 years teaching in High schools and working as a SAM Administrator. The knowledge she brings from the field has helped her bring new insight to the organization.
Kim Cathey has been part of the CA Family for 23 years. She started her career as the receptionist and bookkeeper and has worked her way up to the Director of Marathon Support and Comptroller. Her personal belief is “being able to help others is good for the soul and well being of a person”. She goes BEYOND what is expected in every thing she does.
Nancy Cotnam works as a Marathon Software Support Specialist and has been with CA since 2012. Prior to joining the CA Family, Nancy worked as a teacher, Accounts Payable and Account Receivable clerk, Human Resource Specialist, and a Payroll Administrator. Her vast knowledge and experience that she has brought to CA has been and continues to be invaluable.
Linda Johnson works as a Marathon Support Specialist. During her almost 11 years with the CA Family, she has worked with both SAM SPECTRA and Marathon software products. In 2000, she retired from Laurel School District where she had worked in many different capacities from data management to training staff in the use of Technology. Today, she still continues to Support and Train Mississippi School Districts users.
Karen Benefield is retired from Enterprise School District prior to joining the Central Access Team. At Enterprise, she served as both Business Manager and the SAM/MSIS Coordinator. With that, she brings a unique set of skills to her role on the Marathon Support Staff. She currently lives in Enterprise, MS.
Emily Beach works as a Marathon Software Support Specialist. Prior to joining the Central Access team April 2018, she worked with Covington County School District as Business Manager (6 years), Payroll/Human Resources Manager (2 years) and as an administrative assistant (2 years). Emily is a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi with a Degree in Business Administration and is a Licensed School District Business Administrator. As the newest member of the CA Marathon Support Team, she brings new ideas, experiences and suggestions to the CA team with a desire to help make our customer’s jobs easier and more efficient.
Debbie Watkins Jones retired as Finance Director for Madison County Schools with 18 1/2 years and a very successful career. With over 33 years of experience in school and governmental accounting including 7 years in public accounting. Past experience includes Comptroller for Starkville Schools, City Accountant for the City of Starkville and a Staff accountant with Watkins, Ward and Stafford CPA's.
Cory McBride is the SAM Project Manager on the Development team and has been with CA for almost 6 years. His most note-worthy contributions to the team have been the District Transfer functionality, the AIM and ActiveParent iOS apps, and the new Online Student Registration feature. Cory is a valuable team member with the intent to take SAM SPECTRA to new levels and going beyond.
Chris Jennings is the Director of Development. For the past 10 years, he has worked closely with SAM Support, Marathon Support, Mississippi Department of Education, software partners, and customers to ensure CA offers the best solution to users while complying with the mandates of the ever changing education landscape.
Core Learning, LLC
Dr. John W. Jordan, a Mississippi State University graduate and veteran of the United States Army, served in public education as a teacher, principal, assistant superintendent, superintendent, deputy state superintendent all in the State of Mississippi. Upon leaving state service in 2005, Dr. Jordan served as the first executive director of the Mississippi Children’s Museum helping to secure the necessary funds needed for the development of the museum. In July of 2009, Dr. Jordan was called back into service where he served as State Superintendent of Education for an interim period at the request of the State Board of Education. On September 1, 2012, Dr. Jordan formed Core Learning, LLC. a Mississippi based consulting firm which has grown into one of the most trusted consulting companies in Mississippi. Dr. Jordan hails from Carter, Mississippi, a small farm community in Northwest Yazoo County and he and his wife Lou Salvo Jordan currently reside in Madison, Mississippi. John and Lou Jordan are proud parents of three children and six grandchildren.
Lamar County Schools
Ross Randall currently serves as the Director of Technology for the Lamar County School District. His career in educational technology started in 2005 and has included leading technology departments in 3 school districts. He has also served as the president for METLA and MECA and is currently the METLA Executive Director. Ross serves on several state advisory councils with MDE and other state agencies.
Hattiesburg School District
Dane Conrad currently serves as Director of Technology for the Hattiesburg Public School District. Dane started working in educational technology in 1998 and has included the roles of teacher, technology coordinator, and director at the district level. He has served as President and board member for MECA and is currently serving as board member for METLA. Dane has served on advisory committees with the Office of Technology and Strategic Services at MDE and the Research and Curriculum Unit at MSU
Young Law Group
J. Wilson Eaton III Associate, Young Law Group, PLLC
Areas of Experience and Practice:
• Management Labor & Employment Law
Teacher non-renewal / termination hearings
Wage and Hour Law
Administrative agency proceedings (e.g. EEOC, DOL)
• OSHA & Workplace Safety Matters
• State & Federal Court Trial Representation
Petal School District
Brooke Walter has experience as a school counselor and district data manager. With nearly ten years in education, she enjoys using her unique experience to assist educators utilize technology more efficiently so they can get back to the needs of students. Brooke holds a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology with a School Counseling emphasis and is currently the Career & Technical Education Counselor at Petal High School for the Petal School District.
CPA / Consultant
Suzanne Smith, CPA, has enjoyed practicing public accounting and auditing for the past ten years. She started her career at the Office of the Mississippi State Auditor where she worked for 7 years and served for 18 years as the Chief Fiscal Officer for Meridian Public Schools. She has performed Single Audits for many Mississippi school districts and consults regularly with districts in all areas of school finance.
MS Department of Education
Donna Nester is the Bureau Manager for School Financial Services at the MS Department of Education. She has been in the public school accounting profession for over 20 years; working in the Lauderdale County School District, Meridian Public Schools District, and the Ocean Springs School District.
MS Department of Education
Sarita Donaldson is the Bureau Director of the Core School Applications group within the Office of Technology and Strategic Services (OTSS). She has been with the Mississippi Department of Education for 17 years. She has worked in various concentrated areas of MSIS data and her goal is to ensure high support and training for district/school users so they can understand and interpret their data to support student achievement.
MS Department of Education
Dorothy Holloway has worked for the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) – Office of Technology and Strategic Services (OTSS) as a System Analyst for past 18 years.She has worked in various positions analyzing different systems and her goal is to update the users so they can take the action they need to support their district/school. She believes that the key to making things possible is that we should strive to improve our knowledge through information.
Gulfport School District
Shannon Doughty graduated with her elementary education degree in 1995 from the University of Southern Mississippi. She graduated from Alcorn State University with a masters’ degree in Secondary Science in 2001. Shannon She continued her education by graduating from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2011 with a Specialist’s Degree in Educational Leadership. She is currently working on her Doctorate in Educational Leadership at USM.
Hattiesburg School District
Bonnie Granger earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Accounting/Data Processing and her Masters of Professional Accountancy from the University of Southern Mississippi. In addition, she earned her Juris Doctorate from Loyola University –New Orleans School of Law. Currently, Bonnie also serves as MDE financial consultant for one of the Mississippi districts under Conservatorship. Mrs. Granger is the Business Manager for Hattiesburg Schools.
MS Department of Education
Toni Kersh is currently the Bureau Director for the Mississippi Department of Education, Office of Compulsory School Attendance Enforcement. She has 27 years of experience in the field of education with 19 of them with the Mississippi Department of Education. Mrs. Kersh received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Communicative Disorders from Jackson State University in 1988 and a Master of Science Degree in Communicative Disorders from the University of Mississippi in 1990.
Dr. Ronnie McGehee
A Natchez Mississippi native, Dr. Ronnie McGehee graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1977 with a B.S. degree in Education. He received his M.S. degree in Administration from Mississippi College in 1990, and his Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Mississippi State University in 2008. With over 30 years of experience as a teacher, coach, athletic director, transportation director, assistant principal, principal, and deputy superintendent, Dr. McGehee was named Interim Superintendent of the Madison County School District in October 2011, prior to being elected Superintendent in November 2011, and again in November of 2015. Only one year into his first four year term as Superintendent, he led the fifth largest school district in the state of Mississippi to achieve an “A” rating in 2013. Madison County is one of the first county school districts to achieve this rating on the statewide accountability model. Beginning with the 2014-15 school year, his 1:M Digital Initiative placed an Apple MacBook in the hands of every student in grades 9 – 12; and in the 2015-16 school year, every middle school student received a Chromebook. In addition, he has initiated a student BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) program in the district, established Wi-Fi connections at all 22 school locations, implemented block scheduling in the middle schools, began ICT/STEM course offerings in 6th grade, led an intensive national leadership training (NISL) for district administrators, instituted the first administration of the ACT test at no charge to all 11th graders at the district’s high schools, began a credit recovery program to establish a safety net for seniors, established an employee REBATE program, created an employee wellness coordinator position, reorganized the district’s maintenance procurement process, funded fifteen Literacy Specialists and hired a team of Math Specialists, and began a Dual Enrollment/Dual Credit program in conjunction with the local community college. His focus on “Motivate, Educate and Graduate” resulted in over 89% of the 2015 senior class graduating on time.
Linda Nelson has over 15 years navigating in the ed tech space working with companies such has McGraw-Hill and Pearson, to include providing clients with integration solutions and LMS consultation. Personalized learning and adaptive technologies have been an area of specialization and interests through out her career and a continued effort to improve the way the world learns.
Jann Arnold Has 20 years experience as a school district CFO and Student Management System Administrator, and as a governmental auditor. She earned her BSBA in Accounting from the University of Arkansas and is a Certified Public Accountant. Jann served three years on the US Department of Education Technical Advisory Committee and currently serves as Director of Corporate Partnerships for BrightBytes
Susan Thompson has over 20 years of experience in the K12 market from the state level to the district level. She has served as a project manager and integration specialist for companies that provided different ERP student information systems, such as MAXIMUS/SchoolMAX, GlobaScholar/Pinnacle including state-wide implementation management. Susan understands the unique challenges and needs of the staff at the district and school level and is excited to be able to be one of the people on your team who pushes for you to be successful! Susan is passionate about her customers and has received awards for service delivery excellence while working with MAXIMUS. Susan currently serves as an Integration Manager for Bright Bytes and happily serves Central Access and their fantastic customers who utilize the District Data Integrator
Madison County Schools
Stephanie Permenter currently serves as the Director of Secondary Student Information and Data for Madison County Schools. The majority of her professional responsibilities include being the liaison for professional school counselors and training and supporting SAM data clerks, records clerks, and attendance clerks. She helps administrators, faculty, and staff of the 23 schools with their daily activities, helps ensure they comply with Accountability Standards, MDE requirements, State, and Federal law, evaluates and evolves office procedure throughout the district, analyzes data collected from SAM and many other sources that empowers her and fellow administrators to make knowledgeable and sound decisions regarding every facet of policy throughout the district, and ultimately ensures that kids come first with every Madison County Schools employee. Though she loves her lifestyle in education, her favorite role in life is being the mother of two wonder teenage boys, Keaton and Brady, and wife to husband, Billy.
BIO TO FOLLOW
Antoinette Brooks began her career with the Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi (PERS) in 2012 as a PERS Tech. She is currently a Field Representative in the Retirement Education Department. The Retirement Education Department is responsible for conducting educational seminars across the state of Mississippi to employers, members, and retirees.
Antoinette attended Jackson State University where she received a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education as well as a Master of Teaching in Early Childhood Education.
She resides in Clinton, MS with her son. When she’s not working, Antoinette enjoys traveling to new places and watching her favorite football team (Dallas Cowboys) dominate the field.
Dr. Toy Watts
Dr. Toy L. Watts is a seasoned leader with over 20 years of experience in education having served as teacher, counselor, coach, principal, assistant superintendent and most currently superintendent of the Laurel School District in Laurel, Mississippi. Dr. Watts received a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Dillard University, a Master of Education in School Counseling, a Specialist in Education in Educational Administration and a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Administration all from the University of Southern Mississippi She has served in multiple districts including Pass Christian, Bay St. Louis, Vicksburg-Warren, Atlanta Public, Moss Point and Laurel. Dr. Watts is married to Rev. Cory Watts and they are the proud parents of three children; Josie, Tory and Joy.
Louis King - Louis King is the Office Director of Healthy Schools, Mississippi Department of Education. Mr. King oversees the School Based Administrative Claiming Program (SBAC). Before this role, Mr. King spent 7 years working in the Office of Special Education as a program coordinator. Mr. King holds a master's degree in public administration from Belhaven University and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from The University of Southern Mississippi. In his spare time, he enjoys real estate investing and home renovations.