Dr. Dewitt Smith
Dr. Dewitt Smith is the Executive Director/CEO of Region 18 Service Center.
Before being named Executive Director/CEO in July 2017, Dr. Smith was Superintendent of schools in Wink-Loving ISD. While in WLISD, Dr. Smith was honored as the Region 18 Superintendent of the Year. During his career as an educator, Dr. Smith has served as a superintendent, principal, assistant principal and classroom teacher. His professional experience is wide-ranging and diverse in nature including service in Arlington ISD, Everman ISD, Tom Bean ISD, and Wink-Loving ISD. Regardless of the challenges, Dr. Smith has a proven track record of aligning people, plans, and practices around a shared purpose in order to improve performance. In 2010, Dr. Smith was selected to study at the Harvard Graduate School of Education Principals’ Center by Raise Your Hand Texas. While at the Principal Center, he studied “Improving Schools: The Art of Leadership.” In 2012, he was nominated to attend the Center for Executive Leadership at Lamar University. Dr. Smith earned a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership from Lamar University, a Master of Education in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from The University of Texas at Arlington and a Bachelor of Arts in History from The University of Texas at Arlington.
Mr. Britt Hayes
Deputy Director of Finance
Mr. Hayes has over 20 years of experience in fund accounting in which he has gained an extensive working knowledge of school finance and business operations. Mr. Hayes has a B.B.A. in Accounting from Angelo State University and is a TASBO Registered Texas School Business Administrator. Mr. Hayes started at Region 18 Education Service Center in 1996 as a Business Assistant until 2001. From 2001-2002, Mr. Hayes was the Business Manager at Forsan ISD. From 2002-20014 Mr. Hayes was the Director of Financial Services at Midland ISD. In 2014, Mr. Hayes returned to Region 18 ESC as the Director of Business Services and Chief Financial Officer. In addition to experience and education, he has gained both managerial and interpersonal skills that allows him to successfully lead others. Mr. Hayes is a proponent of servant leadership and he believes he has a calling to serve others.
Mrs. Linda Jolly
Deputy Director of School Improvement & Federal Programs
Linda Jolly is Region 18’s Deputy Director of School Improvement and State and Federal Programs, reporting to Dr. Dewitt Smith, Executive Director. Mrs. Jolly is responsible for several of Region 18 Education Service Center components in providing programs, services and resources to enhance teacher and school district leaders’ effectiveness and positively impact student performance. Mrs. Jolly oversees the coordination of providing support to districts/campuses through state and federal programs assistance and compliance supports. All components offer workshops that can further be customized and provide on-site support in districts/campuses. Before joining Region 18 in July, 2018, Mrs. Jolly worked at Wink-Loving ISD and Midland ISD in administrative positions. Mrs. Jolly has been in education for 47 years and has served in various campus and district administrative positions. Mrs. Jolly earned a Master's of Education from Texas Tech University, Mid-Management from UTPB and her Bachelor of Science degree from Texas Tech University.
Ms. Joann Taylor
Chief TxCEE Officer
Mrs. Nicole Gabriel
Chief Instructional Officer
Nicole Gabriel is the Chief Instructional Officer of Region 18 Education Service Center (ESC18). Previously, Mrs. Gabriel was an Instructional Leadership Consultant for two years. Before joining Region 18 ESC in 2012, Mrs. Gabriel was a Principal for Midland ISD. During her career as an educator, Mrs. Gabriel has served as a principal, assistant principal, and math teacher. Mrs. Gabriel earned a Master's of Arts degree in Educational Leadership from The University of Texas of the Permian Basin and Bachelor of Science degree for Angelo State University.
Mr. Casey Ritchie
Chief Technology Officer
While serving as the Director of Technology for Region 18 Education Service Center, Casey has pioneered multiple programs for the benefit of Texas education. Mr. Ritchie secured $17.2 million in Broadband Technologies Opportunity Program (BTOP) funds to provide high-speed broadband to rural markets in the region. Mr. Ritchie's diligence, organization, and attention to detail allowed Region 18 Education Service Center to be the only recipient of BTOP funds. Mr. Ritchie's further efforts to secure and maintain partnerships with regional telecommunication companies ensured long-term sustainability of the project as they managed physical infrastructure and Region 18 ESC managed network operations. Construction and rollout took five years to complete and allowed for Region 18 ESC to serve as the Internet service provider. This allowed for even the most rural of LEAs to participate fully and flawlessly in video conferencing, streaming video, live web-based interactivity, virtual desktop/server systems, network based security systems, and more. Mr. Ritchie expanded districts technology by aligning technology services to E-Rate and assisting LEAs with securing E-Rate funds to increase technology adoption. Most recently, Mr. Ritchie has supported the creation of the Texas elearning network: escU.