BOARD OF DIRECTORS BIOS

Amanda Hitson Cassity

Retired Educator

Amanda Hitson Cassity is a graduate of the Tuscaloosa City School System and The University of Alabama, earning four degrees from the Capstone, including a Ph.D. in Educational Administration. She has 36 years of experience in education and retired in July 2019, having served in both the Tuscaloosa City Schools and Tuscaloosa County School System as an educator, administrator, director of secondary instruction, and regional director of curriculum and instruction for PreK-12. In addition to her continued involvement as an adjunct professor, principal coach, and frequent lecturer, she also volunteers with Five Horizons, teaches ESL adults, and is a member of Calvary Baptist Church.

Janet Crowder

Retired Educator

Janet Crowder is a graduate of Tuscaloosa County schools and has an MA degree in secondary education from the University of Alabama. She retired as a public high school social studies teacher after 25 years of service. Janet has served on the Board of Directors for Family Counseling Services and as a deacon for First Presbyterian Church. Currently, she volunteers as house corporation president for Alpha Chi Omegas. 

Jheovanny Gomez

Small Business Owner, Jalapenos

A native of Colombia, South America, Jheovanny Gomez moved to Tuscaloosa in May 1999 to study English at the ELI (English Language Institute) at the University of Alabama. He has an Associates Degree in Business Administration from Shelton State Community College. In 2001, he helped open the first Jalapeños Mexican Grill in Downtown Tuscaloosa, and subsequently, he was offered the opportunity to become a Co-owner. Jheovanny has served in leadership roles in various organizations, including the Diverse Business Council of West Alabama, Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama, Druid City Business League, Boys and Girls Club of West Alabama, Rising Tide, and Holt High School.

Eric Heslop

President, Cadence Bank

Eric Heslop serves as Community Banking Executive for Cadence Bank. A graduate of the University of Alabama, Eric has more than 20 years of experience in the financial services industry. He has served in leadership roles in various nonprofit organizations, including Black Warrior Council/BSA, Easterseals West Alabama, Easterseals Alabama, and United Way West Alabama.

Bobby Ingram

CPA, JamisonMoneyFarmer PCPresident, Board of Directors

After years of experience at Price Waterhouse and Ernst & Young, Bobby Ingram was admitted as a partner in 2000 and assumed the role of managing partner in 2009 at Jessup, Ingram, Burns & Associates, LLP. In 2014, Bobby became a shareholder and executive committee member of JamisonMoneyFarmer. Bobby has served in leadership roles in various organizations, including AlabamaGermany Partnership, TEF, Community Foundation of West Alabama, UA Geological Sciences Advisory Board, UA School of Accounting Advisory BoardBlack Warrior Council/Boy Scouts of AmericaChamber of Commerce of West Alabama, and the Capstone Health Services Foundation.

Molly Ingram

Executive Director, DCH Foundation

Molly Baldwin Ingram currently serves as the Vice President of Development for DCH Health System. Since her arrival in Tuscaloosa in 2011, she has also served in volunteer leadership roles on the boards of Tuscaloosa Magnet PTA, Big Brothers Big Sisters of West Alabama, Canterbury Chapel, Schoolyard Roots, and the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama.

Donny Jones

Chief Operating Officer (COO), Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama

Donny Jones graduated with honors from the University of Alabama with a degree in Management Information Systems and Computer Science. He has been with the Chamber since March 1998 and is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Chamber and also leads all workforce development efforts, serving as Executive Director of the Region 3 Workforce Development Council/West Alabama Works. Donny serves on the Board of Directors of the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama, is an appointed member of the Alabama Workforce Council, and is an Education Attainment Fellow with the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives. 

Shelley Jones

Retired Educator & Community Volunteer

Shelley Jones taught and worked in the Tuscaloosa City Schools system for more than 30 years, serving as a teacher at Northington Elementary School and a principal at Woodland Forrest Elementary School. She was a city school board member for eight years following her retirement in 1994. Shelley, one of the first members of the college’s board of advisors, is an instructor in the UA Honors College and has served on the boards of DCH Foundation and the Community Foundation for West Alabama.

Kelley Miller

Vice President, First South Farm Credit

Kelley Miller is the Vice President / Branch Manager of the Northport Branch of First South Farm Credit. He graduated from Auburn University in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Business and Economics. Kelley has served as the Agricultural World Leader for the West Alabama World of Works (WOW Expo) held at Shelton State Community College since it began in 2015. 

Dr. Charles Nash

Senior Vice Chancellor, The University of Alabama System (Retired)

Dr. Charles Nash retired as Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs for The University of Alabama System. In his career, Charles has served as a high school science teacher, assistant band director, assistant principal, principal, assistant vice chancellor, school of education dean, and higher education accreditation administrator. He has served as chairman of the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama and the United Way as well as president of the Rotary Club of Tuscaloosa. 

Sandra Ray

Former State & Local School Board Member

Sandra Ray is a retired real estate broker and former member of the Tuscaloosa County and the Alabama State Boards of Education. She is active in civic and business organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama, Leadership Alabama, and Leadership Tuscaloosa. Currently, Sandra serves on the Arts Council and Easter Seals Boards and as a participant in Book Buddies through Rotary. 

Sally Reel

Corporate Accounts Manager, Tamko Building ProductsSecretary, Board of Directors

Sally Reel holds a civil engineering degree from Clemson University and has served in many volunteer positions within the Tuscaloosa community, including Junior Achievement, Junior League (past president), TMSM PTSA (past president), and Christ Episcopal Church (Vestry member, ECW past president, and Stewardship Chair, Sunday school teacher). She has been employed by TAMKO Building Products, LLC, for 20 years.

Juanita Sanderford

Controller, JamisonMoneyFarmer PC

Juanita Sanderford is an employee of JamisonMoneyFarmer PC. She has been a member of both the Nick’s Kids Foundation Board and the Tuscaloosa Education Foundation board for four years. As a member of Capstone Church, she works specifically with girls in 9th – 12th grades. 

Jennifer Stripling

CPA, JamisonMoneyFarmer PCTreasurer, Board of Directors

Jennifer Stripling is a CPA at JamisonMoneyFarmer PC and specializes in corporate and individual income tax. She graduated from the Tuscaloosa City Schools in 2000 and then from the University of Alabama with her Masters of Tax Accounting in 2005. Jennifer is the current treasurer of TEF. She has previously served as treasurer of the Service Guild of Birmingham and is a graduate of Leadership Tuscaloosa.

Mark Sullivan (Retired)

Tuscaloosa Market President, Synovus BankVice President, Board of Directors

Mark Sullivan is Tuscaloosa Market President for Synovus Bank and has worked for Synovus since 1991. Sullivan holds a bachelor’s degree in Corporate Finance and a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Alabama. He has served in leadership roles in various

organizations, including the United Way of West Alabama, Hospice of West Alabama, The DCH Foundation, Arts & Humanities Council of Tuscaloosa, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of West Alabama, Tuscaloosa County Industrial Development Authority, Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama, Black Warrior Council/Boy Scouts of America, Junior Achievement, Agape of Central Alabama, State of Alabama Prepaid Affordable College Tuition Board, and the University Church of Christ.

Charlotte Wheeler

Retired Educator

Charlotte Wheeler is a retired educator and the former Director of Grants, Guidance/Testing, and ESL for the Tuscaloosa City Schools. In addition to serving on TEF's Board, Charlotte is also active in the Tuscaloosa community and serves as an Adopt-A- College Student Parent with Tide4Christ, a member of Soroptimist International of Tuscaloosa, and a member of Soroptimist International Southern Region of the Americas' Laws and Resolutions Committee. She is also currently a member of and Ladies Bible class teacher at Central Church of Christ.

Dr. Anne Witt

Instructor, University of Alabama

Dr. Anne Witt teaches Music Education and Strings at the University of Alabama. She has been an active teacher both in her hometown of Tuscaloosa (since 2003) and previously in Austin and Arlington, Texas. Anne founded the Strings in Schools program for the Tuscaloosa City Schools, in which over 400 students learn string instruments in daily school classes. She has been a state and national leader and continues to be a professional cellist.

Dr. Mike Daria

Ex Officio, Superintendent, Tuscaloosa City Schools

Dr. Mike Daria serves as the Superintendent for the Tuscaloosa City Schools. He started his education career with the Greene County Schools before coming to the Tuscaloosa City Schools in 1996. Daria has served as an English teacher, assistant principal, principal, executive director of personnel, and assistant superintendent prior to his current role. He received his Ed.D. in Educational Administration from the University of Alabama. 

Dr. Keri Johnson

Ex Officio, Superintendent, Tuscaloosa County School System

Dr. Johnson comes to TCSS from Alabaster City Schools, where she served as Coordinator of Secondary Education and Exceptional Education. Previously, she held positions within Shelby County Schools. Dr. Johnson has also served as an adjunct instructor for Samford University and the University of Montevallo. She holds a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership from Samford University, Bachelor of Science degree in Special Education from Jacksonville State University, a Master of Arts in Special Education from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, a Certification in Educational Administration from the University of Montevallo, and an Education Specialist in Educational Administration from the University of Montevallo.

Cathy Wood

Director, Tuscaloosa Juvenile Detention Center

Cathy Wood is a 1974 graduate of Tuscaloosa High School and a 1978 graduate of the University of Alabama with a Special Education degree. In November 2006, she retired from public education after 28 years. From 2006 to 2017, Cathy served as Assistant Director of the Tuscaloosa County Detention Center, and in 2017, she was promoted to Director of the Tuscaloosa County Detention Center. Cathy is very active in the community and has been involved with John Croyle’s Big Oak Ranch, Caring Days Adult Daycare Center, Belle Arts Study Club, Tuscaloosa Civinettes, and The Church of the Highlands.

Terri Brewer

Board Liaison, Tuscaloosa County School System

Terri Brewer joined the Tuscaloosa County School System as Director of Public Relations in August 2018. Prior to that, Terri worked in broadcast journalism for 15 years, with most of that time as a television news reporter, anchor, and producer. Terri has been honored with several journalism awards from the Alabama Broadcasters Association and Alabama Associated Press Broadcasters Association, as well as several Regional Edward R. Murrow Awards and Southeast Regional Emmy nominations. Terri is a member of the Alabama School Public Relations Association, National School Public Relations Association, Junior League of Tuscaloosa, and is a graduate of Leadership Tuscaloosa. Terri holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Alabama. 

Lesley Bruinton

Board Liaison, Tuscaloosa City Schools

Lesley Bruinton is an Accredited in Public Relations practitioner with more than 15 years of professional experience. The former television journalist now serves as the Public Relations Coordinator for the Tuscaloosa City Schools. She is a two-time past president of ALSPRA, the Alabama School Public Relations Association, and a two-time Gold Medallion winner from the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA). Bruinton holds a bachelor’s degree in Telecommunication and Film from the University of Alabama and a master’s degree in Strategic Communication from Troy University. She presently serves as NSPRA President Elect.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Pam Pruitt

Retired Educator

Pam Pruitt is a graduate of the University of Alabama. During her 35 years in education, she served as a Special Education Teacher in the Tuscaloosa City School System for 22 years and the Education Director for Brewer Porch Children’s Center until she retired in 2017. She currently serves as a part-time Reading Interventionist and a Prevention Specialist for the Drug Education Council. Pam is an active member of Pilgrim Rest Baptist Church, and she has been involved in organizations, including the Foster Grandparent Advisory Board, West Alabama Literacy Council, UA Retirees Association Board, Las Amiga Junior Federated Girl’s Club, and the Tuscaloosa Chapter of the Links, Inc.

Mark Nelson

Attorney, Malone & Nelson

Since graduating from law school, Mark Nelson has practiced at Malone & Nelson. He was born and raised in Tuscaloosa, graduated from Central High School, and attended the University of Alabama, where he received both his B.S. in Commerce and Business Administration and his J.D. from the University of Alabama School of Law. Mark and his family are active in mission trips with the First Baptist Church of Tuscaloosa.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

OUR MISSION

The mission of the Tuscaloosa Education Foundation is to provide support and financial resources to enhance public education through a partnership with local school systems.

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CONTACT

P. O. Box 2491
Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35403

T: 205-792-0077

E: tboman@tuscaloosaeducationfoundation.org

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