The State Board for Educator Certification was created by the Texas Legislature in 1995 to recognize public school educators as professionals and grant educators the authority to govern the standards of their profession. The Board oversees all aspects of the preparation, certification and standards of conduct of public school educators.
Governor's Appointments to the State Board for Educator Certification
The Texas Education Code requires that the governor appoint the following 11 voting members of the SBEC board, for six-year terms: four classroom teachers, one counselor, two administrators, and four citizens. Four non-voting members also serve on the board: the governor appoints a dean of a college of education and a person who has experience working for and knowledge of an alternative certification preparation program, the Commissioner of Education appoints a staff member of the Texas Education Agency, and the Commissioner of Higher Education appoints a staff member of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
Sandra Bridges of Rockwall teaches career and technology education for Rockwall I.S.D. She has taught at the elementary, middle school, and most recently the high school level, in Rockwall for the past 20 years. In 2012, Mrs. Bridges was one of the first teachers in her district to receive the prestigious “Lifetime Inspiration Award ” for receiving the “Most Inspirational Teacher Award” three or more times. Prior to her career in education, Mrs. Bridges was employed as a state and federal probation officer as well as an investigator for the Office of the Attorney General. Mrs. Bridges has been married for over 30 years to Justice David L. Bridges of the Fifth Court of Appeals in Dallas, Texas. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Texas at Tyler. Her term expires February 1st, 2019.
Jill Harrison Druesedow, board vice-chair,is a journalism and English teacher at Haskell High School, where she is also chair of the English department and the publications director. She is a member of the National and Texas Councils of Teachers of English and the Texas Association of Journalism Educators. Ms. Druesedow received a bachelor's degree and a master's degree from Midwestern State University, and completed postgraduate work at Hardin Simmons University and Abilene Christian University. Her term expires February 1, 2019.
Suzanne McCall, board secretary, of Lubbock is an elementary school teacher in the Slaton Independent School District. She is president of the Slaton Classroom Teacher Association, director of District 17 of the Texas Classroom Teacher Association, and a sustaining member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority. She is also a past coach of the Slaton Little Dribblers and a past volunteer with the Lubbock Food Bank. Ms. McCall received a bachelor's degree from Texas Woman's University. Her term expires February 1, 2017.
Laurie J. Turner, Ed.D., of Corpus Christi is an American history teacher at Gregory-Portland Junior High School and former Social Studies Department Head. She is president of the Flour Bluff ISD Education Foundation and vice-president and sub-committee member of Corpus Christi Community Outreach. She is a member of the Nueces County Historical Commission, former coordinator for the Collaborative Education Program for Americas and a former Court Appointed Special Advocate. She is also former coordinator for the Safety 1st Campaign, member of the Campus Improvement Committee and Calendar Committee for Gregory Portland ISD. Turner received a Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice from the University of Portland, a Masters of Public Administration in public policy from Washington University and a Doctor of Education from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.
Rohanna Brooks-Sykes of Spring is a related services counselor at Klein Forest High School and is a nationally certified counselor and a licensed professional counselor supervisor. She is a member of the Texas School Counselors Association, Texas Counselors Association (TCA), chair of the TCA Public Policy and Advocacy Committee and former co-chair of the TCA Human Rights Committee. She is chair of the Spring Creek Counseling Association (SCCA) Legislative Committee, former president of SCCA and former member of the Klein District Instructional Development Committee and the Klein District Improvement Plan: Closing the Achievement Gap. Brooks-Sykes received a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of Houston and a Master of Arts in counseling from Prairie View A&M University.
Arturo J. “Art” Cavazos, Ed.D. of Harlingen is superintendent for the Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District. He is a member of the University of Texas College of Education Advisory Council and participated in the National ConnectED Superintendents Summit. He is a member of the Texas Association of School Administrators, American Association of School Administrators, Texas High Performance Schools Consortium and the Ford Next Generation Superintendents Council. He is also board president of the Boys and Girls Club, board member of Su Clinica Familiar, South Texas Emergency Care Foundation, United Way of Cameron County Finance Committee and Harlingen Chamber of Commerce. He is a former member of the Academic Achievement Distinction Designation Committee and The University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southmost College P-16 Council. Cavazos received a Bachelor of Science in elementary education and a Master of Education from The University of Texas Pan-American and a Doctor of Education from The University of Texas at Austin.
Susan Simpson Hull, Ph.D., of Grand Prairie has been a Texas educator for 34 years, serving as a teacher, coach, principal, and superintendent. She is in her seventh year as the superintendent of the Grand Prairie ISD, an urban/suburban district of 28,000 students. A Texas superintendent for more than two decades, Hull has served in five school districts ranging from small rural to her current district. She was selected as the 2005 Texas Superintendent of the Year by the Texas Association of School Boards and the Texas Association of School Administrators. Dr. Hull received her Bachelor of Science and Master of Education degrees from East Texas State University in 1980 and 1989 respectively, and her superintendent certification from the University of Texas at Tyler in 1993. She received her Ph.D. in Educational Administration from Texas A&M University in 2003. Her term expires February 1, 2017.
Laurie Bricker of Houston is a retired investment banker and currently works as a consultant. She serves on the council of All Kids Alliance and is an advisory board member of the Friends of the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston ISD. She is a two-time former President of the Houston ISD Board of Trustees, and a former appointed member of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB). She is a graduate and past board member of Leadership Houston and the American Leadership Forum. She served as a member of the University of Texas Commission of 125, as well as recently served on the THECB’s committee that created 60X30 TX. She received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin, and a master’s degree in education from the University of Houston. She is a life member of both the University of Texas and the University of Houston alumna organizations. Her term expires February 1, 2019.
Dawn Buckingham, M.D., of Lakeway is an ophthalmologist and partner at the Eye Physicians of Austin. She is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology; the American, Texas, and Travis County Medical associations; Austin Ophthalmological Society; Bailey Square Surgery Center Medical Executive Committee; and Texas Ophthalmological Association Foundation Board of Trustees. She is a member and past president of the Texas Ophthalmological Association, a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, president of the Galveston Eye Association, and a clinical assistant professor at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. She is also a member of the Heritage Society of Austin and Prevent Blindness Texas, and a volunteer physician for Eye Care America and Project Access Austin. Buckingham received a bachelor's degree from The University of Texas and a medical degree from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Her term expires February 1, 2019.
Leon Leal of Grapevine is owner of Abba Staffing and Consulting Inc. and Abba Professional Group. He is a member, past vice president and past secretary of the Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District Board of Trustees, and a member and past 2005 Bond Planning Committee chairman of the Grapevine-Colleyville Education Foundation Board of Directors. He is a volunteer for the Grapevine High School College Go Center, and a past trustee and past member of the Baylor Regional Medical Center at Grapevine Finance and Growth and Quality committees. He is also president and founder of the Grapevine Youth Wrestling Board, a past officer for the Grapevine Youth Baseball Board, past member of the Grapevine Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, and a past volunteer for Keep Grapevine Beautiful. He has served on the Grapevine Mills Mall Tax Increment Finance Board and the Tax Increment Financing District Reinvestment Zone. Mr. Leal received a bachelor's degree from the University of Oklahoma. His term expires February 1, 2017.
Sandie Mullins of Houston is a former Houston Community College Trustee for District VI. She is a board member of the West Houston Leadership Institute and former member of the West Houston Hospital and West Houston Region P-16 Education Council. Mullins co-founded and served as president for Super Neighborhood 17, co-chaired the Business and Education Committee for Houston West Chamber of Commerce and served as a member of the Economic Development, West Houston Public Safety, Governmental Affairs and Teacher of the Year Committees. She also volunteers for the March of Dimes, American Heart Association, American Red Cross, Texas Children’s Hospitals, The Collaborative for Children and Grace Presbyterian Church. Mullins received a Bachelor of Science in education from Texas A&M University and a Master of Business Administration in marketing from St. Mary’s University.
Grant W. Simpson, Ph.D., of Gainesville is dean and professor, School of Education, at St. Edward's University. He serves as the chairman for the Legislative Committee of the Texas Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. He received a bachelor's degree from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, a master's degree in special education from the University of Texas and a doctorate in educational administration from Texas A&M University. His term expires February 1, 2017.
The Higher Education Coordinating Board Representative
Rex Peebles, Ph.D., is the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board assistant commissioner of P-16 Initiatives. Dr. Peebles has 30 years of experience in higher education, including positions as instructor, professor, department head, dean, and vice president of instruction. He currently serves as the Assistant Commissioner of the Academic Quality and Workforce division of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Dr. Peebles served six years as a member of the Undergraduate Education Advisory Committee, serving from 2010 to 2012 as the committee’s co-chair. The Core Curriculum, applicable to all public colleges and universities in Texas was revised during that tenure. In 2010, he was the recipient of the Ray Williams Outstanding Leadership Award from the Texas Community College Instructional Administrators (TCCIA). He served as a co-chair of the LEAP Texas Task Force prior to coming to the Coordinating Board. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from The University of Texas at Dallas, a Master’s in Political Science from The University of Texas at Arlington, and his Ph.D. in Government from The University of Texas at Austin. He has co-authored a Texas state and local government textbook, Texas Politics and Government: Ideas, Institutions, and Policies and authored The Theoria and Praxis of Obligations to Future Generations.
Texas Education Agency Representative
Martin Winchester is the TEA deputy commissioner of Educator Support. He has taught at the elementary, middle, and high school levels in the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo school district. For three years he served as the Chief Schools Officer of IDEA Public Schools overseeing the recruitment, selection, training and supervision of all the district’s principals and curriculum team. Mr. Winchester is a former National Board Certified Teacher and holds degrees from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, the University of Minnesota and the University of Texas-Pan American. He is married to the former Yolanda Sandoval and has a son Ethan and twin daughters Sophia and Audrey.