Skip to content

ACT Newsroom & Blog

Hide All News & Blogs View All News & Blogs

2019 ACT College & Career Readiness Champions Announced Today

Congratulations to our 2019 champions! Today we celebrate the success of students and education and workforce professionals who are shining exemplars for the advancement of college and career readiness for all.

Join us in recognizing the high school seniors, and the K-12, postsecondary, and workforce professionals in each state who are demonstrating persistence through adversity, a collaborative approach to problem-solving, and a passion for learning and leading others to find their own success. Use #ACTChampions and tag @ACT to tell us about the champions in your state, and to cheer them on.

Learn more about this initiative and what it means to be a champion from our district managers.

Southeast District Manager, Bobby Rush
(Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia)

Midwest District Manager, Tim Osborn
(Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin)

Northeast District Manager, Debra FitzGerald
(Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, D.C., Delaware, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, West Virginia)

Southwest District Manager, Mike DiNicola
(Arkansas, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas)

Northwest District Manager, Savanah Schott
(Alaska, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming)

2019 ACT Champions

High School Seniors (Student Champions)

Katherine Grubbs (Alabama)
Franklyn Correa (Alaska)
Mac McGraw (Arizona)
Adam Ray (Arkansas)
Angel Emodi (California)
Amy Pollart (Colorado)
Hae Young Yi (Connecticut)
Esha Shah (Delaware)
Ella Gantman (District of Columbia)
Hannah Faughnan (Florida)
Jochebed Yeboah (Georgia)
Ryan Park (Hawai'i)
Katie Luong (Idaho)
Anahi Anaya (Illinois)
Shamari Walker (Indiana)
Jaimie Stites (Iowa)
Brylee Aldridge (Kansas)
Grace Raber (Kentucky)
Mikell Zuvich (Louisiana)
Daniel Wortman (Maine)
Zy'Kearra Miller (Maryland)
Katelyn Malvese (Massachusetts)
Niral Patel (Michigan)
Khadar Abdi (Minnesota)
Lindsey Hill (Mississippi)
Madelyn Johnson (Missouri)
Sophia Cajune (Montana)
Saray Bedoya (Nebraska)
Jessica Diaz-Acuna (Nevada)
Catherine Boles (New Hampshire)
Chelsea Castillo (New Jersey)
Alexandro Garcia (New Mexico)
Zianna Beltran (New York)
Aaron Penny (North Carolina)
Elizabeth Fish (North Dakota)
Olivia Sexton (Ohio)
Jake Garcia (Oklahoma)
Annel Amelia Leon (Oregon)
Cindy Chau (Pennsylvania)
Nathan Katzman (Rhode Island)
Joy Bernal (South Carolina)
Zahlanii Henderson (South Dakota)
Kameron Santiago (Tennessee)
Liana Cabe (Texas)
Sage Anderson (Utah)
Ian Wallace (Vermont)
Amber Williams (Virginia)
Katie Liu (Washington)
Casey Jewell (West Virginia)
Madison Xiong (Wisconsin)
Sage Dobby (Wyoming)

K-12 Professionals (K-12 Champions)

Ina Harbison (Alabama)
Erika Schneider (Alaska)
Rocio Ruiz (Arizona)
Barbara Miller (Arkansas)
Janet Haun (California)
Conna Holley (Colorado)
Kelly O'Leary (Connecticut)
Carolyn Fox (Delaware)
Raymond Briscoe (District of Columbia)
Ugur Baslanti (Florida)
Thaddius Brown (Georgia)
Bill Spradlin (Hawai'i)
Barb Denny (Idaho)
Tricia Blackard (Illinois)
Chris Duzenbery (Indiana)
Tom Kettmann (Iowa)
Crystal Hurla (Kansas)
Anthony Zechella (Kentucky)
Brittni Carroll (Louisiana)
Natalie Gaudette (Maryland)
Allen Wang (Massachusetts)
Kayla Nichols (Michigan)
Carly Norman (Minnesota)
Montgomery Hinton (Mississippi)
Amy Brown (Missouri)
Jim Weber (Montana)
Jana Goranson (Nebraska)
Erin Been (Nevada)
William Dodge (New Hampshire)
Christina Moeller (New Jersey)
Patricia Black (New Mexico)
Melissa Morrin (New York)
Canecca Mayes (North Carolina)
Joyce Larson (North Dakota)
Tina Drake (Ohio)
Melanie Day (Oklahoma )
Tim Ray (Oregon)
Amy Keller (Pennsylvania)
Lisa Ventetuolo (Rhode Island)
Kristen Starcher (South Carolina)
Shanna Martin (South Dakota)
Kimberly Gass (Tennessee)
Steven Shoemaker (Texas)
John Tripp (Utah)
Anne Christie (Virginia)
Cathy Kerr (Washington )
Barbara Heckert (West Virginia)
Laura Buschendorf (Wisconsin)
Mary Kerns (Wyoming)

Postsecondary Professionals (Postsecondary Champions)

Lisa Smith (Alabama)
Kaitlin DeMarcus (Alaska)
Marcela Lopez (Arizona)
Amber Smith (Arkansas)
Victor Rojas (California)
Kimberly VanHoosier-Carey (Colorado)
Steven Paternoster (Connecticut)
Barika Barboza (Florida)
Corine Ackerson-Jones (Georgia )
Trevi Hardy (Idaho)
Roman Ortega Jr. (Illinois)
Claire Maxison (Indiana)
Heather Nissen (Iowa)
Dr. Alan Bearman (Kansas)
Sophia Ellis (Kentucky)
Stacy Gilbert (Louisiana)
Scott Voisine (Maine)
Althea Green (Maryland)
Gretchen Heaton (Massachusetts)
Anita Lopez Schlabach (Michigan)
Jim Miles (Mississippi)
Tameka Randle (Missouri)
Carina Beck (Montana)
Tammy Green (Nebraska)
Nicholas Mathews (Nevada)
Edem Tetteh (New Jersey)
Manuel Varela (New Mexico)
Parker Prajec (New York)
Shannon Brown (North Carolina)
Jennifer King (Ohio)
Alicia McCullar (Oklahoma)
Julie Rossi (Oregon)
Maureen Murtha (Pennsylvania)
James Ladd (South Carolina)
Debbie Toms (South Dakota)
Brian Donavant (Tennessee)
Mary Jo Parker (Texas)
Bonnie Mortensen (Utah)
Iona Black (Virginia)
Michelle Platt (Washington)
Heather Taylor (West Virginia)
Tanya Boettcher (Wisconsin)

Workforce Professionals (Workforce Champions)

Jeremy Hodge (Alabama)
Miranda Musich (Alaska)
Richard Branam (Arizona)
Ruthie Courtney (Arkansas)
Alma Salazar (California)
Walter and Valita Luckett (Connecticut)
Larré Davis (Florida)
Kathy Lindberg (Georgia)
Ron Umehira (Hawai'i)
Tyler Lenzi (Idaho)
Thomas McDermott (Indiana)
Denise Forney (Iowa)
Amanda Jerome (Kentucky)
Angie White (Louisiana)
Tom Hoff (Minnesota)
Ryan Ashley (Mississippi)
Bryan Herrick (Missouri)
Annie Chase (Montana)
Keith Station (Nebraska)
Ritika Shamdasani (North Carolina)
Tim Myers (Ohio)
Pamela Ehlers (Oklahoma)
Vonnie Mikkelsen (Oregon)
MeLinda Ammerman (South Carolina)
Monica Wepking (South Dakota)
Dan Caldwell (Tennessee)
Randy LeCompte (Texas)
Debra Crowder (Virginia)
John Glynn (Wisconsin)

Media Kits & My Success

You’ve learned about the initiative, read the list of Champions, and now you’re inspired. What now? Check out our media kits below to help spread the word about the champions in your state. Then, head on over to to share your story of success and join a community of support and resources to promote lifelong learning. You’ll even find some champions’ stories in the mix to keep you motivated. Together, we can help more people achieve education and workplace success.

About the College and Career Readiness Campaign

The ACT College and Career Readiness Champions are high school seniors, K-12 professionals, postsecondary professionals and workforce professionals who are making a positive impact on their communities through their efforts to advance college and career readiness for all. Champions are individuals across the country who support ACT’s mission of education and workplace success. To learn more, visit

About My Success

Success is as unique as a fingerprint—and so is the journey to achieve it. The My Success campaign was created to provide a community of support, stories and resources for lifelong learning, to encourage and inspire individuals navigating their journey to find success. Join our community of support and share your story of success by using #MyStoryMySuccess or visiting

Follow ACT

 Facebook   Twitter   LinkedIn   Instagram   YouTube   Pinterest

About ACT

ACT is a mission-driven, nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people achieve education and workplace success. Grounded in 60 years of research, ACT is a trusted leader in college and career readiness solutions. Each year, ACT serves millions of students, job seekers, schools, government agencies and employers in the US and around the world with learning resources, assessments, research and credentials designed to help them succeed from elementary school through career.