The following Board Members have been elected to the board for the 2018 school year. There are five elected officials for this organization. Each member of the board will abide by the bylaws set by the organization.
Rhonda Skillern-Jones, Houston ISD
Rhonda Skillern-Jones is a wife and mother of five children: three girls and two boys, including twins. She is a native Houstonian who has earned both a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in clinical sociology from Texas Southern University. As a volunteer social worker at the Mount Ararat Baptist Church, Skillern-Jones assists families with seniors and youth to overcome economic obstacles to their wellbeing. She and her family enjoy their 13-year membership at the church. Skillern-Jones has a strong faith in God and cites her parents as her heroes and role models. She served HISD in a volunteer capacity for 25 years before joining the school board. She has a passion for education and children, and believes that all children deserve an equitable and quality education for a fair start in achieving their maximum potential.
Ms. Skillern-Jones was first elected to the HISD Board of Education in 2011, and is currently serving her second consecutive term. She has held several leadership positions on the board, including assistant secretary, secretary, first vice president, and president. She also represents HISD on the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) Board of Directors, and is Vice Chair of the Steering Committee for the National School Boards Association's Council of Urban Boards of Education (CUBE). She also sits on the National Black Caucus of School Boards. Her other memberships include Delta Sigma Theta, Top Ladies of Distinction, and NAACP.
Dr. Lew Blackburn, Dallas ISD
Dr. Lew Blackburn was elected to the Dallas ISD Board of Trustees in June 2001, having served in every leadership role, including President, Vice President, Secretary and various committee chairs. He has served as a TASB Director. He is a Master Trustee, through Leadership TASB.
Dr. Blackburn is a career educator, beginning with the Dallas ISD as an instrumental music teacher. He has earned a Bachelor's degree in Music Education, and a Master's degree in Educational Administration from Texas A&M University-Commerce. He earned a Doctorate of Philosophy degree in Educational Administration from The University of Texas at Austin.
Dr. Blackburn currently serves as Chief Special Projects Officer with Texans Can Academies, one of the largest Texas charter school operators for with more than 5,000 high school students. He has served school districts as Principal, Executive Director of Human Resources, Chief Business Officer, and adjunct professor of educational administration.
Bobby Blount is an engineer currently serving as a project leader and mid-level manager for The MITRE Corporation in San Antonio. He manages engineers and projects finding solutions to the Department of Defense’s cyber and security challenges. He also leads engineering teams identifying Information Technology solutions for city and federal governments. Bobby has received national, state, and local awards and recognitions for his community support efforts and initiatives. He currently serves as Chair or President of the following boards: Bexar County School Boards Coalition, Northside ISD Board of Trustees, Lone Star Investment Pool Board of Directors, San Antonio Area African American Community Fund Steering Committee, Board of Directors Dragons Soccer Club. He currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors or Steering Committees for Department of Energy National and Regional Science Bowl Steering Committee, Texas Solar Race Car Event, The MITRE Corporation Cultural Diversity Advisory Committee, John Jay Science and Engineering Advisory Committee. Bobby also serves on the Northside Education Foundation Grants Committee.
Josie Smith-Wright, Gonzales ISD
Assistant Secretary – Treasurer
Josie Smith-Wright was elected to the Gonzales ISD School Board in 2002 and has served as the President and currently the Secretary. She attended Texas A&I, Texas College and Durham Business College, and is currently employed at the Texas Place. She is the proud parent of Shannon, a UNT graduate, and Kelvin who attended Navarro Jr. College. She has a daughter-in-law Victoria and is a proud "GG" to MaLayiah and Kezza. She is a member of Providence Missionary Baptist Church and serve as the Church Clerk and choir director.
She is a member of TASB Legislative Advisory Counsel and served as a LAC representative, a LTASB graduate and Master Trustee. As a member of the TCBSBM, she has served as the Central Regional VP, Secretary, President - Elect and 2011-2012 TCBSB President, Casino Night and Educational Summit Chair. She currently serves on the Gonzales Appraisal District Board of Directors, Victoria College Gonzales Board of Directors and Gonzales Education Foundation Board.
Christene Chadwick Moss
Immediate Past President
Christene Chadwick Moss currently serves as the second vice-president of the Fort Worth ISD Board of Education. First elected to represent District 3 of the FWISD in 1990.She was the first female Black board president. Moss is a registered nurse consultant. She is a graduate of Fort Worth Public Schools and hold a master’s degree from Texas Woman’s University. Moss taught a Tarrant County College where she served as an adjunct professor
Christene Moss Elementary School was named in her honor. The Salvation Army named its Children’s Library in her honor for her assistance in establishing a facility for homeless students.
Mrs. Moss is an advocate for all children and the empowerment of education. She is particularly passionate about literacy, and the District’s commitment to all students reading on or above grade level by the time they are in third grade. She strongly believes childhood literacy can determine future success in all subjects, including math and science.
Mrs. Moss serves as chairwoman for the Racial Equity Committee of FWISD, Represents FWISD as a Director on the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB), Moss is a Master School Board Trustee of Leadership TASB and a member of Leadership Fort Worth. She is President of the Texas Caucus of Black School Board Members (TCBSBM), Co-chair of the Education committee for the African American Leadership Institute, and serves on the Texas Wesleyan University Advisory Dual Credit Board.
Mrs. Moss is also a Fellow of the Center for Reform of School Systems and served on the Council of Urban Board of Education Steering Committee, (CUBE) She Led the transformation of the FWISD Board of Education to 9 single member district and led the initiative to create single gender schools as a result YMLA & YWLA.
She is a member of the Psi Zeta Chapter, Zeta Phi Beta sorority, Ft. Worth Area Negro Business and Professional Women’s Inc., Ft Worth Tarrant County of Black Democrats, and NAACP. Just to name a few, Moss has received numerous citations and honors in recognition of her work in education, volunteering, civic and community services.
She is married to Former City Council Member Franklin D. Moss, Sr.; they have three children, three granddaughters and two grandsons.
The Regional Vice Presidents shall be elected by the membership from their respective regions at the Annual Meeting. The Regional Vice Presidents shall serve as chief elected officers of their respective regions and shall be responsible for facilitating regional workshops.
Carl Sherman, Jr., DeSoto ISD
North (ESC Regions 9, 10, 11, 14)
Carl Sherman, Jr. has lived in DeSoto, Texas with his wife Veronica for five years. Together they have two children, Carl III and Danielle. He earned his bachelor's degree in business administration from Northwood University and is now pursuing his MBA. Mr. Sherman currently owns a small business which provides janitorial and restoration services for commercial and residential clients. He is also a member of the Oak Gardens Church in Dallas where he serves as a Deacon. As an avid proponent of educating young minds, he has spent time in the classroom teaching at the DeSoto Freshman Campus and substituting at various DeSoto schools. Mr. Sherman grew up in DeSoto and has worked within the community throughout his life including coaching basketball teams in the 'DYBA' and a select summer team. Mr. Sherman will work diligently with DeSoto students, teachers and administration to ensure that DeSoto students are academically prepared to be successful in college and beyond.
Dawn Jordan-Wells, Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD
North (ESC Regions 9, 10, 11, 14)
Dawn Jordan-Wells was elected to the Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD School Board in 2013 and has served as Vice President and Secretary. She was their first African American School Board member and is currently serving her second consecutive term. Jordan-Wells graduated from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois and is currently employed by American Airlines in Fort Worth, Texas. She and her husband Larry are the proud parents of Jasmin, who attends Texas State University, and Jaden, who attends LD Bell High School. She also has a stepson, LaVarius, who lives in Chicago and who has made her a proud Nana of one year old, Lennox. Jordan-Wells is a member of St John Church in Southlake, Texas as well as a member Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She is a retired Major (O-4) of the Texas Air National Guard. Jordan-Wells is a 2014 Leadership TASB graduate and Master Trustee.
James Fuller, Midland ISD
West (ESC Regions 16, 17, 18, 19)
Mr. James E. Fuller (USMC, Honorably Discharged) was born in San Angelo, Texas. He taught social studies and English as well as served as the department chair of English in Lubbock ISD schools. He is currently employed at Midland College as the Special Advisor, P-16 Initiative and the Director of the Midland College Teaching and Learning Professional Development Center. In addition, Mr. Fuller works with the UIL Barbara Jordan Historical Essay Competition. He was elected to the Midland ISD Board in 1988, where he has attended all Texas Association of School Boards sponsored summer institutes since being elected to the board.
Mr. Fuller has earned numerous awards and recognitions, including Commended Recognition as a member of the Midland ISD Region 18 Board-Superintendent Leadership Team, commendation from the State Board of Education, Master School Board Trustee Certification (1998) and TASB ISD Level 1 Certification (1999), and an Honorary Life Membership from the National Congress of Parents and Teachers. In addition, he was a member of the MISD Region 18 Honor Board-2003 which was a state finalist. He is married to Robbyne Hocker Fuller; they have one son, a granddaughter and a great grandson.
Larry "Doc" Hawthorne, Corsicana ISD
Central (ESC Regions 12, 13, 15, 20)
Larry "Doc" Hawthorne is a 1972 Graduate of Hubbard High School. Larry has worked through several positions over the 43 years and retired from ExxonMobil Jan 31, 2017, Larry is currently employed by Energy Transfer as a Senior Specialist Emergency Response located in Corsicana, Texas. Doc Hawthorne earned his Associate Degree from Navarro College. In 1994, Doc earned a BA Degree in Business Administration from Dallas Baptist University, and later a Master Degree in 1997. Doc also attained a Mediation Certification from DBU in 1999 along with a Baylor School of Law and McLennan County Dispute Resolution Center Certificate for Divorce Mediation. Doc has served as a Hubbard Board of Trustee from for the past 27 years 1990 to 2017 as presently serves as Board President. Larry Doc Hawthorne also is a 2007 Master Trustee. Larry also serves as President of the C. M. Blanks Civic Club, and Ruth Field Civic Club and Hubbard Recreation Center Advisor. Larry also presently serves as a Board of Trustee for the Texas Association of School Board Risk Management Fund Board in Austin, Texas since 2007 to present and serves as Chair for Membership Services, and also serves on the Nomination Committee. Larry has been names Man of the Year by the Hubbard Chamber in 1990, Citizen of the Year 2005, and inducted into the Chamber Hall of Fame in 2013.
Lovie M. Whyte, Teague ISD
Central (ESC Regions 12, 13, 15, 20)
Lovie M. Whyte is the Vice President of the Teague ISD Board and has been a member since election in 1985. Her passion for children and her community is reflected in her Charter Member status for the Child Protective Service Board, Teague Young Farmers Association, and Lord’s Storehouse Board as its Secretary.
While working for the City of Teague for 14 years, she was recognized as Employee of the Month, Citizen of the Year, and was awarded the prestigious Boyd Cup.
Lovie M. Whyte also holds memberships in the Pleasant Hill MB Church as part of its leadership, Booker T. Washington/J. A. Brooks National Alumni Association as Assistant Treasurer, Freestone County E.E. Wheat NAACP as a Lifetime Member, and Freestone County Retired Teachers Association as an Associate Member.
Chris A. Bell, Spring ISD
South (ESC Regions 1, 2, 3, 4)
Chris A. Bell is a sixth generation Texan who was elected to the Spring ISD Board of Trustees in November 2013 and re-elected in 2016. Prior to his election, he had served on over 15 school and district committees including the Spring Education Foundation Board of Directors. In 2013, Mr. Bell was recognized by a local chamber of commerce for his many volunteer efforts within the district. He is the proud parent of two college students. He currently works in higher education with the University of Houston-Downtown.
Wanda Adams, Houston ISD
South (ESC Regions 1, 2, 3, 4)
Wanda Adams was elected to the HISD Board of Education in 2013 after serving the limit of three two-year terms as Houston City Councilmember for District D. In addition to representing HISD District X, Adams also servers as Board of Education President. Her long career in public service includes work for the Houston Housing Authority, Harris County Mental Health and Mental Retardation Association, and the Mayor's Assistance Office. She recently served on the NCAA Final Four Sustainability Committee and the Super Bowl LI Sustainability Committee. Ms. Adams is also the first African-American woman to be appointed to the server on the Harris County Appraisal District Board of Directors. She is passionate about women's issues such as breast cancer awareness and domestic violence, raising thousands of dollars for both causes. Among her awards are having a community park and community door named in her honor; being featured in Houston Woman magazine's Top 50 Women in Houston; and being named the Houston Area Association of Young Children's Elected Official of the Year.
East (ESC Regions 5, 6, 7, 8)
James Andrew “Skeet” Keeton is married to Mary Lynn Gaines-Keeton and reside in Texarkana, Texas. Together they have ten children with one passing in 1998. James is a Viet Nam era Veteran serving in the United States Army. After graduating from Booker T. Washington High School in 1965 in Texarkana, Arkansas, James attended Texarkana Community College where he met racial obstacles preventing him from continuing his education at Texarkana College. After returning home from the Army he decided to give it another try and later graduated with an Associate’s Degree in Applied Science for Mid Management. Later years, James completed his required courses at the same college getting his Certification in Real Estate.
After returning home to Texarkana, James began his real work career as a Community Organizer with the Office of Economic Opportunity, later becoming the Director of that program (Delivery of Services). There he was employed for eight years. After the funding was becoming none existing, he began a career with the Department of Defense working at Red River Army Depot (RRAD). The Depot later divided into two operations; one being DOD Maintenance and the other Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) Supply. James was assigned to DLA as a Supervisor/Manager where he retired after 32 years of Federal Service in February 2008. Prior to his retiring he was doing real estate and continues to this date, being licensed in Texas and Arkansas.
James public and community affiliations are: President of the Liberty Eylau ISD School Board of Trustees, serving on the board over twenty one years. Currently serving as Regional Vice President for the North East Texas Region; past TCBSBM’S Secretary; President of the North East Texas Alliance of Black School Educators; Board member of the Texas Alliance of Black School Educators; Member of the National Alliance of Black School Educators; President of the Boys and Girls Club of America serving as the Club representative on the Salvation Army Board; President of the Macedonia Eylau Community in Action (MECA) for twenty three years; Board Member of the Local Selective Service Board; Board Member of the Historical Cemetery Society of Texas (HCST) where issues are addressed concerning the care and finding of African American Cemeteries in the State of Texas; Trustee Chairman and Sunday School Superintendent of the St. Paul UMC in Texarkana, Texas; and member of the Oldest and Boldest Civil Rights Organization in America “ The Nation Association for the Advancement of Colored People” (NAACP).
James has received many awards over the years from various fraternities, sororities, civic and public organizations. He currently resides with his wife Mary in Texarkana, Texas.
Rev. Orenthia Mason
East (ESC Regions 5, 6, 7, 8)