The MACAE Board of Directors is compiled of elected and appointed members of the MACAE Association at Large. Ex Officio Officers are invited on behalf of the board. Elected and appointed members serve two year terms.
Ex Officio Member
Chief Data Strategist, Michigan College Access Network
Peter Ruark joined the MACAE board in 2015. He currently serves Chief Data Strategist for the Michigan College Access Network.
As chief data strategist, Peter Ruark leads MCAN’s data collection and analysis efforts and helps the organization develop and improve strategies in pursuit of Sixty by 30.
Prior to joining MCAN, Peter worked as a senior policy analyst at the Michigan League for Public Policy, a state-level organization that comprehensively addresses poverty and financial hardship and analyzes the impact of Michigan’s budgets and policies on residents with low incomes. While there, he specialized in public policy related to adult and postsecondary education, job quality, public assistance, and corrections. His work included writing analyses of how public policy affects Michigan residents and recommendations for making it better, looking at batches of data to find patterns and stories, and writing op-eds for various print and online media outfits. Peter also visited lawmakers, gave testimony in legislative committee hearings, and engaged in other forms of advocacy and policy work.
Peter knew when he graduated from college that he wanted to work to make the world a better place. As such, most of his work has been at nonprofit organizations. Peter’s experiences also include directing an after-school tutoring program for at-risk children in Grand Rapids, teaching English at the university and high school levels in China, and working in the mental health field. He served on the board of directors of the Michigan chapter of the National Association of Social Workers from 2009 to 2014, and he is currently on the board of the Michigan Adult, Community and Alternative Education Association.
Peter holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy and psychology from Calvin University. He grew up wanting to go to college, but struggled with grades and confidence during his first years at Calvin University. Unsure about his career goals, Peter decided that studying the humanities and social sciences would give him flexibility to find a fulfilling career. It was during his postgraduate teaching experience in China, that Peter discovered his passion for helping others. He returned to the U.S. and earned a Master of Social Work with a concentration in policy, planning, and administration from Western Michigan University.
Outside of work, Peter enjoys reading, writing, vegetable and pollinator gardening, listening to music, watching classic and foreign films, brewing kombucha, and serving on the boards of the Friends of Turner-Dodge House and the Lansing Poetry Club.
Tammy presently administers adult education and high school summer school programs through Troy School District in Troy, MI. Programs include English as a Second Language, Adult Basic Education, High School Completion, GED prep, Career Certification (IET/IELCE), and High School Summer School. She oversees the hiring, training, and evaluation of staff in both in-seat and virtual learning programs. She is responsible for six budgets, including five state and federal grants.
Tammy is the current President of the Michigan Association of Community and Adult Educators (MACAE), a statewide association advocating and supporting lifelong learning programs. Her previous experience as a School Board Member and business owner have offered her the opportunity to look at programming needs from different perspectives. It has also given her experience in strategic planning, high level communications, and management of both union and non-union programs. She previously served as the MACAE Treasurer and President of the Oakland County Community and Adult Educators Association.
Tammy joined MACAE because she believes it is important to serve the community you are a part of. It is also imperative to stay in the loop with state level action in such flux in the past few years. MACAE is a great way to stay connected to peers, the State of Michigan Adult Education office, and key partners in programming! Being a part of MACAE has helped Tammy grow her expertise in adult and community education. The mentorships and networking available through an active MACAE involvement is irreplaceable.
In his role as Chief Executive Officer of the Michigan Works! Association, Ryan connects with various stakeholders to generate enthusiasm for workforce development policies and priorities that will positively impact Michigan businesses and workers. To accomplish these objectives, Ryan focuses on building cooperation across the state, while orchestrating the efforts of the Michigan Works! staff, board members, and other stakeholders toward common goals that reflect the needs of the workforce development system.
Prior to joining the Michigan Works! Association, Ryan spent eight years with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. Most recently, Ryan served as a Regional Director of Growth & Development at the MEDC, where he led a team focused primarily on business retention and expansion.
He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Oakland University in 2011.
Ryan believes that anything can be accomplished through teamwork, dedication, and a positive attitude. He uses these characteristics to build strategic working relationships, using a collaborative atmosphere as the foundation for success.
Michael Evans joined the MACAE Board of Directors in July 2021. He serves as the Director of the Kalamazoo Literacy Council.
Michael is a member of the Advocacy and Adult Basic Education/Literacy Sub committees. He is the MACAE Region F Representative representing Berrien, Branch, Cass, Calhoun, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph, and Van Buren counites in Southwest Michigan.
I am a firm believer that you do not pick your career; your career picks you. Guess that’s why I’ve spent the last 16 years in education instead of being a dentist. After spending one year teaching at Allen Academy in Detroit, I was lucky enough to take a position at my alma mater, Hamady High School, part of Westwood Heights Schools just outside of Flint. Over the years I taught every science class the school offered along with math and history classes. While I had never really considered adult education, some staffing changes led to an open position in the district’s Academy West Adult Education. My wife, who has been working in the program since its beginning, suggested that I apply to transfer. I’ll admit I was a little hesitant at first, but soon I found myself making the jump. And what a jump it has been; refreshing, challenging, and rewarding all at the same time. For the last six years, I have been working as both program coordinator and teacher. Since joining the world of adult education, I have found a renewed enthusiasm for teaching. I have taken great pride in learning everything I can about working with adult learners and helping them succeed both in and out of the classroom. With adult education, the sky’s the limit.
Chad is the Adult Education Coordinator and Teacher at Academy West at Westwood Heights School District. He is the MACAE Region E Representative covering Prosperity Region 6.
Ted has gained a wide range of experiences during his past 20 years as an educator. He spent 17 years at Pinckney Community Schools working at the middle school level as a full-time sub, taught social studies at the High School, and spent a little over 2 years as the Assistant Principal. During his time with Pinckney he coached varsity hockey, was a club/class sponsor, Link Crew Coordinator, and Student Government advisor.
He has been at Livingston ESA for over 2 years now where he has taken on his current role as the Director of Adult and Alternative Education. In this role he operates an Alternative Education Quarterly Learning Network in his county and directs WAY Livingston Plus+ School (7-12) & Livingston ESA Adult Education. He serves in the Livingston County Literacy Coalition as a volunteer board member within his community.
Ted is the Director of Adult and Alternative Education at the Livingston Educational Services Agency. He serves as a MACAE At-Large Representative.
Whitney Dettmer is the Assistant Director of Adult Education for Iosco RESA. Her program covers an 8 county region in North Eastern Michigan. She travels to all 10 learning labs and 3 jails frequently. She completed her teaching degree at the University of Michigan and her masters in educational leadership at Florida Atlantic University. Whitney’s work experience included time in elementary education. In adult education, she has great experience in agreements between adult education and workforce development programming, career navigation and satellite or jail programs.
Whitney serves as MACAE High School Equivalency and High School Completion Chair and as the MACAE Region B Representative and a voice for all programs in the northern lower peninsula.
Karyn Goven has worked in public education for over 20 years. A majority of that time has been in various Adult, Community, and Early Childhood leadership positions. Karyn worked with the state and opened 9 Learning Labs in Detroit. She currently is the Director of Workforce Development for Southwest Solutions in Detroit, MI. She oversees a Michigan Works Career Center, Earn + Learn programs, Randolph CTE, PATH, Youthbuild, Re-entry and the Learning Labs. She is responsible for overseeing a staff, maintaining an annual budget, staff professional development, data and institutional reporting, program and career pathways development, student retention, and writes grants that will continue to grow support with families in Detroit.
Karyn coordinates networking opportunities for members across the state to share ideas as the Vice President of the MACAE Board of Directors. In addition she serves as the MACAE Workforce Development Chairperson bringing together stakeholders from across the state to improve the system for all participants.
Oogie’s experiences include nine years as the Director of Adult Education for the Wyoming Public Schools and the Kent ISD with an additional twelve-years as an administrator with the Wyoming Public Schools serving as Newhall Middle School Principal and Omega Alternative High School’s Dean of Students. Prior to Oogie’s service as a K-12 administrator, he served as a college administrator at Grand Valley State University, Central Michigan University and Aquinas College. He currently serves as a Board Member of Head Start for Kent County (Past President), Central Michigan University Alumni Board (Emeritus) and the West Michigan Literacy Center’s Advisory Council.
Oogie serves as the MACAE Advocacy Committee Chairperson. The Committee is committed to supporting the importance of adult, alternative, community education and workforce development to policymakers at the local, state and national level.
Kelly has gained a wide range of experience working in the front office at Huron Valley Adult and Alternative Education. She has extensive experience with student intervention support services, MAERS student data management, test administration and program management.
She most recently served as the MACAE Fall Conference 2019 Co-Chairperson. She serves as an active member of the High School Equivalency Committee.
My community education career began in 1976 as a programmer then Assistant Director of Community Education and the first Executive Director, Southeastern Livingston County Recreation Authority (SELCRA). I advocated for and facilitated five units of government for the creation of SELCRA. I became Director of Community Education, Novi Community Schools in 1998.
Also, I have served as an advocate for state and national funding of adult and community education programs among State Legislative and Congressional leadership. Served in leadership roles for several organizations: NCEA Board of Directors, MACAE President, MACAE Government Affairs Chair, Oakland County Community & Adult Education (OCCAE) President, Michigan Adult Education Advisory Board, Providence Hospital Community Relations Board, President of St. George Lutheran Church Council and Vice Chair of the Novi Youth Assistance Board.
Renae has been in Adult Education for ten years now. In addition to her duties and responsibilities at Romulus she also works as an instructor the Washtenaw County Community College’s WCC’s Adult Transitions Program. She serves as the current President of the Wayne / Monroe Adult, Alternative, and Community Education Association- another association that has been around for many years. In addition she shares her expertise with the MACAE High School Equivalency Committee serving as the Committee Chairperson.
Renae has a passion with connecting and learning with other educators and sharing best practices and resources to meet the needs of students.
She serves as the MACAE Professional Development Chairperson. In this role she is instrumental in planning MACAE’s professional learning experiences for support staff, instructors and program administration and managers.
Bill Henry is currently the Director of Consolidated Community School Services, a consortium of 10 school districts in the Eastern Upper Peninsula that provide Adult education, alternative education, preschools and enrichment programs. Bill’s previous employment in education has included working as a teacher and college instructor. Before working in education he worked in the retail banking and investment field. As the MACAE Region A representative, Bill represents all the Upper Peninsula.
I started my education in Fruitport in 2006 working as a teacher for Fruitport Adult Education. When I state “education”, that means our students are teaching me as well. As non-traditional students, they all teach me in numerous ways every day while in the classroom. We, in Adult Education, truly meet amazing people and help them achieve their goals in many different ways.
I was also a non-traditional student when I chose to go to college and pursue my degree in hydrogeology. At that time, my children were only 2 & 6 years old. I met many challenges while pursuing my education, but they were obstacles I was able to overcome with the help of my husband and children. While taking classes at Western Michigan University, I realized how much I loved working with people and fellow students. It was then I decided I had the yearning to teach. I switched my major to education and continued working towards my goal. It was during my teaching internship that I realized what a continual field of change working in the
classroom is. I love the challenges and have acquired a huge passion for working with the Adult Education students.
A few years back, I took on the challenge of being the of Director for Adult Education and thoroughly enjoy working for such a great district. Adult Education is an ever changing field and continues to assist students in achieving their educational goals, obtaining a job or pursuing a college degree.
Brenda serves as the MACAE Region C Representative for the thirteen county region in West Michigan.
Mariah McNier–Shafer is the Outreach Director for the Refugee Development Center (RDC) in Lansing. After receiving her MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) in 2010, she worked at Michigan State University in the English Language Center as well as the Visiting International Professional Program (VIPP). Additionally, she worked at Lansing Community College for eight years as an English Instructor . To her great fortune, and after years of volunteering, her relationship with the RDC turned into a full time position in 2013. Currently, you can find her advocating for students’ success, attending an outreach event, or collaborating with a community partner to ensure future opportunities for all newcomers. She believes that a best led life includes some mess, some sweat, and some adventure. Most importantly, she believes in being the best she can be for her family. Her ideal day is surrounded by loved ones, feet in the dirt or sand, and eyes on Lake Michigan.
MACAE Region G Representative and At-Large Data Information Representative
Alternative and Adult Education Specialist, Livingston ESA
Joel graduated from Alma College with a degree in Political Science and Sociology/Anthropology. His original plan was to be a lawyer, but after careful consideration, he decided to follow in the footsteps of several of his relatives and become a teacher instead. This led him to return to school to earn his teaching certificate from Michigan State University. Shortly thereafter, he began working for Livingston ESA as a mentor for the WAY Livingston Plus+ School (7-12). Over time he also took on the roles of lead mathematics/social studies instructor and technology manager for the program. A few years later he became the first lead teacher for the new Livingston ESA Adult Education program. More recently he has taken on the data management and analysis responsibilities for the Adult Education program as well. In addition to his many roles at Livingston ESA, Joel also sits on the board for the Livingston County Literacy Coalition. In that capacity, he has been the Secretary for two years and the Technology Director for nearly five.
Joel joined the MACAE board in July of 2022 and now serves as the MACAE Region G Representative for the Southeast Michigan counties of Hillsdale, Jackson, Lenawee, Livingston, Monroe, and Washtenaw.