Peter Ruark : Senior Policy Analyst, Michigan League for Public Policy, Ex Officio

Peter Ruark

Senior Policy Analyst, Michigan League for Public Policy, Ex Officio

Peter Ruark joined the MACAE board in 2022. He currently serves as Senior Policy Analyst at the Michigan League for Public Policy (MLPP), a nonpartisan policy institute dedicated to economic opportunity for all. He specializes in state-level policy related to adult and postsecondary education, job quality, public assistance, consumer financial protection and corrections. His work there includes research and writing, legislative relations, participating in coalitions with state partners (including MACAE!), and representing MLPP’s positions in the media. He served on the board of directors of the Michigan chapter of the National Association of Social Workers from 2009 to 2014.

Prior to joining the League in 2001, Peter directed an after-school tutoring program for at-risk children in Grand Rapids, taught English at the university and high school levels in China and worked in the mental health field. Peter holds a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and psychology from Calvin College and a Master of Social Work with a concentration in policy, planning and administration from Western Michigan University. In his spare time, he enjoys serving on the boards of the Lansing Poetry Club and the Friends of Turner-Dodge House, as well as writing, gardening, cycling and brewing kombucha.
Tammy Brown : President

Tammy Brown


Director of Continuing Education

Troy Public Schools

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.
Ryan Hundt : Ex Officio Member, Chief Executive Officer, Michigan Works! Association

Ryan Hundt

Ex Officio Member, Chief Executive Officer, Michigan Works! Association

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 : MACAE Region F Representative

Michael Evans

MACAE Region F Representative

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.
Chad Zitterkoph : MACAE Region E Representative

Chad Zitterkoph

MACAE Region E Representative

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 Kroll : MACAE At-Large Representative

Ted Kroll

MACAE At-Large Representative

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 : MACAE Region B Representative

Whitney Dettmer

MACAE Region B 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 : Vice President

Karyn Goven

Vice President

Director of Workforce Development

Southwest Solutions

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 La Mar : Advocacy Chairperson, At- Large

Oogie La Mar

Advocacy Chairperson, At- Large

Director of Adult Education

Kent ISD Adult Education

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 Vella : Treasurer, At-Large Representative

Kelly Vella

Treasurer, At-Large Representative

Adult Education Secretary

Huron Valley Adult and Alternative Education

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.
Bob Steeh : Past President

Bob Steeh

Past President

Novi Community Schools

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 Gowen : Professional Development Chairperson

Renae Gowen

Professional Development Chairperson

Adult Education Coordinator

Romulus Adult Education

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.
Heather Robidoux : Networking Chairperson

Heather Robidoux

Networking Chairperson

Heather Robidoux is the Adult Education Program Supervisor for Michigan Works! Southeast where she oversees adult education programming across three counties and works to connect regional adult education and workforce development efforts. She focuses on collaboration and utilizing innovative strategies and technology to help Michigan Works! Southeast become more efficient, more engaging, and more participant-centered.

Heather has 10+ years in the field of education, specializing in early literacy, foundational mathematics, working with English Language Learners, and providing professional development to colleagues.  In addition, she has worked to develop youth and adult career readiness programs and has developed creative workforce solutions through partnerships with local businesses.  Heather holds a BA in Spanish and a MA in Educational Studies both from the University of Michigan.

As the MACAE Networking Chairperson, Heather works to expand MACAE Membership and connectivity among the members at large.
Bill Henry : MACAE Region A Representative

Bill Henry

MACAE Region A Representative

Director of Adult Education
Consolidated Community Schools

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.
Brenda Baker : MACAE Region C Representative

Brenda Baker

MACAE Region C Representative

Director of Adult Education

Fruitport Public Schools

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.
Stacie Zeien : MACAE Region D Representative

Stacie Zeien

MACAE Region D Representative

Stacie has experience in alternative and adult education and currently serves as the Adult Education Coordinator/Navigator at Mt. Pleasant Community Education.  Her current position allows her to directly assist students in overcoming any barrier that prevent them from learning and to support their educational and career exploration goals.  In addition, Stacie works extensively with her colleagues to provide professional development and training.

Stacie serves as a member of the Alternative Education Committee.  She serves as the MACAE Region E Representative for Mid-Michigan including the Lansing, Mt. Pleasant and Saginaw areas.
Maha Ayoub : MACAE Region H Representative

Maha Ayoub

MACAE Region H Representative

Maha Makki is the current Assistant Supervisor of the Dearborn Schools Adult and Community Education Department. Prior to joining Dearborn Schools, Maha spent her career in the corporate and private sector. Joining Adult Ed has been one of the most enriching and fulfilling experiences. Being part of MACAE is wonderful as it expanded the sharing of knowledge of other Adult and Community Ed programs across the state. Meeting all the amazing people across the state is a phenomenal experience.

Maha’s favorite thing in the world is watching TV at night with her 2 teenage sons! Spending time with them whether Kayaking, hiking, or any outdoor activity is the most precious thing.

Maha is the current MACAE Region H Representative for Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties and Co-Chair of the MACAE Advocacy Committee.
Joel Render : MACAE Region G Representative

Joel Render

MACAE Region G Representative

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.
Shelley Hanson : MACAE At-Large Representative

Shelley Hanson

MACAE At-Large Representative

Director of Adult, Alternative and Community Education

Swan Valley Schools

Shelley serves as the Director of Adult and Community Education and Principal of Alternative Education at Swan Valley.  She has extensive experience in Child Development, Family Literacy and Secondary Education.  She holds a K-12 Michigan Educational Leadership Certificate.

In her role, Shelley oversees many aspects of programming in her district from community and events and planning to student intervention support and financial oversight and community relations.

Shelley serves as an At-Large Representative on the MACAE Board and Chairperson of the Alternative Education Committee.