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 Financial Services/CFO
Britt Hayes has over 20 years of experience in fund accounting during which he has gained an extensive working knowledge of school finance and business operations. Mr. Hayes joined Region 18 Education Service Center in 1996 as a Business Assistant. Prior to returning to Region 18 ESC as Director of Business Services and Chief Financial Officer in 2014, Mr. Hayes served as Business Manager for Forsan ISD and Director of Financial Services at Midland ISD. In addition to experience and education, Mr. Hayes has gained both managerial and interpersonal skills that allow him to successfully lead others. Mr. Hayes is a proponent of servant leadership and he believes he has a calling to serve others. Mr. Hayes earned a B.B.A. in Accounting from Angelo State University and is a TASBO Registered Texas School Business Administrator.
Mrs. Nancy Dunnam
Deputy Director of Information Systems
Nancy Dunnam is Region 18's Deputy Director of Information Systems. Mrs. Dunnam's department is responsible for marketing and supporting web based enterprise business and student information systems for school districts, charter schools and the education service center. Information Systems assists clients with their reporting, analytical, and data access needs to meet compliance and accountability requirements as defined by the Texas educational community. Before becoming the Director of Information Systems at Region 18 in 1987, Ms. Dunnam served as an Instructional Consultant in mathematics and technology where she conducted numerous training sessions at the regional, state, and national level on curriculum development and alignment, teaching methodologies and strategies, and utilization of technology. Prior to her arrival at the ESC, she was a secondary mathematics teacher for Big Spring ISD. Mrs. Dunnam has chaired and served on numerous instructional, financial, and technological boards and committees throughout her career. Currently she chairs the State Information Task Force Committee and serves on the Texas Computer Cooperative Committee and as the Regional Coordinator of the Texas Student Data System. Mrs. Dunnam earned her Bachelor of Science Degree from Texas A&M University and completed her Master's Degree and Mid Management Certification at Stephen F. Austin State University.
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/CEO. 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 nearly 50 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.
Mrs. Nicole Gabriel
Chief Instructional Officer/CIO
Nicole Gabriel is the Chief Instructional Officer of Region 18 Education Service Center. Mrs. Gabriel oversees curriculum and instruction support and services to districts in all core content areas as well as the TEKS Resource System, Gifted & Talented services, Dyslexia and Texas K-3 Reading Academies. 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 of Arts degree in Educational Leadership from The University of Texas of the Permian Basin and Bachelor of Science degree from Angelo State University.
Mr. Casey Ritchie
Chief Technology Officer/CTO
While serving as the Director of Technology for Region 18 Education Service Center, Casey Ritchie 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.
Ms. Joann Taylor
Chief TxCEE Officer
Joann Taylor serves as the Chief TxCEE Officer. Ms. Taylor provides leadership, direction, and oversight of all TxCEE projects and staff. Ms. Taylor serves as Project Director for the Teacher and School Leaders (TSL) grant and oversees the TSL staff. Ms. Taylor directs field support efforts to TSL districts, including training and site visits, to ensure the effectiveness of TEEM. She began at TxCEE as the Human Resource Strategies Coordinator focusing on supporting districts as they build Human Capital Management Systems. Before joining TxCEE, Ms. Taylor served as the Director of Educator Effectiveness for the Austin Independent School District (AISD) where she managed Professional Pathways for Teachers, a Human Capital System that blended appraisal, compensation, leadership pathways, and professional development to focus resources on building the capacity of teachers through supports and rewards. Prior to serving as Director, Ms. Taylor worked in several roles in the Office of Educator Quality building the AISD REACH program and working with student learning objectives. Before joining Educator Quality, Ms. Taylor was a high school English teacher for ten years. Ms. Taylor graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor’s Degree in English and earned a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Concordia University.
Dr. Autumn Sloan
Director of School Improvement
Dr. Autumn Sloan is the Director of School Improvement and Leadership of Region 18 Education Service Center. Dr. Sloan's department is responsible for supporting districts and campuses in their efforts to implement turnaround protocols, as well as guide them in instructional leadership best practices. Before joining ESC 18 in 2019, Dr. Sloan gained experience working in the charter, public, rural, urban, and turnaround campus settings as a coach, teacher, and building principal for over 20 years. In 2016, Dr. Sloan was selected to study at the Harvard Graduate School of Education Principals' Center by Raise Your Hand Texas. While at the Principals' Center, she studied "School Turnaround Leaders." Dr. Sloan was asked to return to the Principals' Center at Harvard again in 2017 for "Improving Schools: The Art of Leadership." Dr. Sloan earned a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership from The University of Phoenix, a Master of Arts in Education in Secondary Education from The University of Phoenix, a Master of Education in 21st Century Teaching and Learning from The University of Oklahoma, and a Bachelor of Science from Texas Tech University.
Mr. Chris Enriquez
Coordinator of Instructional Technology and Analytics
Chris Enriquez is the Coordinator of Instructional Technology and Analytics of Region 18 Education Service Center. Mr. Enriquez is responsible for assisting and implementing instructional technology and proven instructional strategies to better impact and serve students and district stakeholders. Mr. Enriquez is also responsible for supporting districts and campuses in analyzing assessment data for the development of strategic plans to impact student learning. Prior to joining Region 18 in 2018, Mr. Enriquez worked for 15 years at Midland ISD as a science teacher and coach, later transitioning to the Teaching and Learning Data Specialist role for the district. Mr. Enriquez earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Notre Dame.