Tina L. Bloomer, Workforce Education Policy Associate for the Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges, works on policy issues regarding low income and underserved students' education, employment, and success outcomes including serving as staff lead on Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-BEST) and project manager for the Student Achievement Initiative, a system performance funding model. Ms. Bloomer serves as staff lead on Green Economy and as project director for the Achieving the Dream initiatives for Washington State.
Lennox McLendon is Special Advisor to the National Council of State Directors of Adult Education (NCSDAE), the adult education state directors' professional association. He has over thirty years experience in adult education and literacy. He began as a part-time teacher and over the years has taught ABE, GED, Adult High School, and ESL. For six years he was a local adult education program manager.
After his years at the local level, he spent a little over ten years with the Virginia Department of Education as a regional consultant for 30 local adult education and programs. The next twelve years he was state director of adult education in Virginia.
His professional contributions during that time included chair of the National Coalition for Literacy, leadership roles with the National Council of State Directors, and advisory roles with partners such as the American Bar Association's Law and Literacy Initiative.
Currently, he is the Executive Director of the National Adult Education Professional Development Consortium. In that role he has two functions: first, to respond to the adult education information needs of Congress and White House staff members; secondly, to facilitate professional development activities for the state directors of adult education and their staff members.
Leslie Heizer Newquist is the Interim Executive Dean Professional Technical and Workforce Education, Green River Community College. In her previous role as Director of the Washington State Center of Excellence for Careers in Education, Leslie Heizer Newquist worked with WA state I-BEST faculty and administrators to offer I-BEST Summer Institutes to faculty teams. In her current role as the Interim Executive Dean of Professional/Technical Programs, Leslie Heizer Newquist works with faculty and administrators across campus to implement I-BEST programs.
Kim Ward is the Associate Dean for Adult Basic Skills at Tacoma Community College in Tacoma, WA. She holds a M.ed in TESOL and currently serves as the Associate Dean for Adult Basic Skills at Tacoma Community College. She began her career in adult education and ESL working at a local community based organization where she taught ESL to Spanish speaking immigrants. She later transitioned to a local technical college where she taught and developed curriculum in ABE, GED, ESL, and Vocational ESL. It was here that she began working side by side with professional technical instructors to address the needs of English language learners enrolled in the college's technical training programs. In addition to this work, Kim spent time teaching Workplace ESL and developing curriculum that addressed both workplace literacy needs and cultural expectations in the workplace.
Kim later transitioned to a local community college where she now oversees ESL, ABE/GED, Family Literacy, and several Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training programs. Tacoma Community College was one of ten pilot programs in Washington State that set the stage for the statewide IBEST initiative. Today, Kim works closely with instructors and administrators in the professional/technical areas of the college to develop and carry out these programs.