CACC General Info
Columbia Area Career Center [South] main office is located just north of Rock Bridge High School. Please use the main entrance on the Southwest side of the building.
CACC also has programs located at Battle High School [North] and Hickman High School [Central].
JoAnn Carpenter, Assistant to the Director
John Higgins, Assistant Director
Adult Programs Supervisor
Strategic Communications Manager
Parking for visitors is available on the south and west side of the main entrance of our south campus, clearly marked “Visitor Parking.”
To get information about a staff member simply select a name from the drop down list.
Mary Allee — Student Services
Mrs. Allee has been in the education field and in the Columbia School District since 1999. She currently serves as a career technical resource educator for Columbia Area Career Center at the south campus and at Battle High School. She is alumna of both Southeast Missouri State University and the University of Missouri-Columbia and holds her Master of Science in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. She rounds out her experience by being being a member of the National Honor Society and the Columbia Missouri National Education Association. Mrs. Allee is constantly looking for new challenges and strives to help students reach their fullest potential.
Bob Allee — Computer Aided Design/ 3D Animation design
B.S. in Industrial Technology, Northwest Missouri State University, Maryville, Missouri Post-Graduate work at Dakota State University, Mitchell, South Dakota Central Missouri State University, Warrensburg Missouri Industrial Technology CADD/CAM Instructor Construction - Northwest Missouri Construction Manufacturing Assembly - Mt Ayr Products
Amanda Brown — Administration
Mrs. Brown started her journey as a high school student at a career center graphic arts class. She fell in love with the craft and decided to continue her education at Truman State University. In 2003, she graduated with her BFA in visual communications. Upon graduation, Mrs. Brown has: taught graphic arts, worked for private advertising firms and served as the creative director for the Missouri Department of Higher Education. During this time she also pursued her graduate degree and in 2010 received her M.Ed. in career and technical education with an emphasis in business and marketing from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Currently, she is serving as the strategic communications manager for Columbia Area Career Center. Her goal is to serve CACC by providing effective communications to the community and beyond.
|Position:||Strategic Communications Manager|
Julie Bruns — Adult Education
Julie Bruns is a Certified Surgical Technologist with more than 10 years of experience in the field. She has worked in a variety of settings including level-one trauma hospitals. Plus, she has experience in sterile processing and management. She has her adult teaching certificate through the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Ms. Bruns was named preceptor of the year at Capital Region Medical Center two years in a row. She is a graduate of Columbia Public Schools Surgical Technology Program and returned as faculty in 2015.
|Position:||CST- Surgical Technology Instructor|
Ellen Buechler — Guidance
Ellen Buechler earned her Master’s degree in Educational and Counseling Psychology, a specialization in Testing / Evaluation as well as Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Mrs. Buechler has her teaching certification in 7 - 12 guidance counseling, her national certification and license as an Evaluator and certification and license as a Rehabilitation Counselor. She has been employed with Columbia Public Schools as a Professional School Counselor/ Career Planning Specialist housed at Columbia Area Career Center since 1998. She has worked with youth at risk of dropping out of school and professional development for educators and with adults/youth with various disabilities since 1983. She is a member of American School Counseling Association and Missouri School Counseling Association; Region 3 Guidance/Career Development with ACTE; National and Missouri Career Development Association, National Dropout Prevention Network and Missouri Association for College Admission Counseling.
|Position:||Career Planning Specialist|
JoAnn Carpenter — Administration
Jeff Cochran — Digital Media
Jeff Cochran earned a Bachelor's of Business Education in 1997 and a Master's degree in Educational Technology 2003 from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He's taught business and digital media courses at CACC since 2000. Jeff has earned certifications with Adobe and Microsoft products and is an adjunct professor for the University of Missouri-Kansas City. He currently splits time between teaching high school digital media courses and technology training/integration for CACC staff.
Dee Crosby — PLTW - Engineering
Crosby’s Schedule 1A: CACC–room 126 2A: Conference Lunch and transition from CACC to RBHS 3A: Tech Theater in 408 4A: Tech Theater in PAC 1B: Tech Theater in 408 2B: Planning Lunch and transition from RBHS to CACC 3B: Career Center–room 126 4B: CACC–room 126
Kristi Deneke — Digital Media
Kristi Deneke earned an Educational Specialist degree in Information Science and Learning Technologies from the University of Missouri-Columbia, a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from Drake University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She has taught Digital Media, Business and English classes for 15 years in mid-Missouri. Mrs. Deneke is an Adobe Certified Associate in Visual Communication using Adobe Photoshop, Graphic Design and Illustration using Adobe Illustrator, and Print and Digital Media Publication using Adobe InDesign.
Kevin Duncan — Agriculture
Mr. Duncan grew up at Centertown, Missouri and attended Russellville High School. He served as FFA president, vice president, and treasurer while in High School. He attended the University of Missouri and received a bachelors and master degree in agriculture education. Mr. Duncan taught previously at Carthage Tech Center and worked for Cargil Animal Nutrition since graduation. He is married with two children.
Laura Estabrooks — Geospatial Technology & Information Technology
Mrs. Estabrooks has a master’s in geographic information science and a bachelors in criminal justice. She has worked as a systems analyst and GIS instructor for Columbia. Her prior responsibilities include the 911 administrator and assistant emergency management director. She retired from the City of Columbia after 29 years and began teaching at CACC in 2008. Her classes include GIS and the advanced Information Technology courses. She also maintains a certification as a CCNA instructor.
Katie Frink — Culinary Arts
B.S. Business Administration, University of Missouri AOS Culinary Arts, The Culinary Institute of America
Scott Fuenfhausen — Marketing
Mr. Fuenfhausen spent 17 years working in Advertising and Marketing on the client side (5 years) and agency side (12 years) in Chicago and St. Louis. He possesses a Masters of Business Administration from Fontbonne University and a Bachelor of Journalism from Mizzou. He received his Teaching Certification from Avila University and is nearing completion of his Masters of Marketing from Webster University. This is Scott's seventh year teaching Marketing.
Carrie Golightly — Adult Health Sciences
Carrie Golightly is a certified surgical technologist with more than 10 years of experience in the field. Six of those 10 years were spent in a level-one trauma center. She has her adult teaching certificate and is a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. She currently serves as Treasurer of the Missouri Assembly of the Association of Surgical Technologists. She is a graduate of Columbia Public Schools’ Surgical Technology Program and is now proud to lead the program. She has been with the program since 2010.
|Position:||CST- Surgical Technology Program Coordinator|
Nat Graham — Computer Science
Nathaniel Graham has been in the IT industry six years both public and private sector. He has tutored subject matters from Introductory Programming to Advanced Algorithms and has spoken in multiple tracks on the topics of usability design, and program development at an industry conference. Additionally, he has been a consultant with an Atlanta based company for five years. The languages he has worked with are: C++, PERL, PHP, XSLT as well as web design. His bachelors degree in Computer Information Systems from Columbia College. He is also a local entrepreneur.
Gina Greenplate — Teaching Professions
Gina earned her Bachelor's degree in Human Development and Family Studies with emphasis on Children in Group Settings and Master's degree in Special Education with emphasis on Autism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. (MIZ...) She's taught Teaching Professions courses at Columbia Area Career Center since 2008 and is an adjunct professor at University of Central Missouri and University of Missouri - Kansas City. She currently travels to Hickman and Battle High Schools in addition to teaching courses at Columbia Area Career Center.
Susan Griggs — Student Support
Ms. Griggs earned a Bachelors degree in Recreation Administration from Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds, England and a Masters degree in Recreation Administration from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Ms. Griggs worked in the recreation field for 10 years before returning to school to complete both a Masters and Specialist degrees at the University of Missouri in Special Education. She joined the CACC staff in 2012 after teaching at Hickman and Rock Bridge High Schools.
|Position:||Career and Technical Resource Educator|
Meridith Haley — Agricultural Education
Meridith Haley is an Agricultural Education teacher at Columbia Area Career Center. She is originally from Sweet Springs, MO and has earned both her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degree in Agricultural Education from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Ms. Haley currently teaches Exploring Ag, Wildlife, Animal Science, Small Gas Engines and Welding Technology. She is also a sponsor of the FFA organization.
Brook Harlan — Culinary Arts
B.S. Professional Studies - Culinary Institute of America Associates of Arts - Culinary Institute of America Internship Commanders Palace, New Orleans, LA, Food Editor Inside Columbia Magazine
John Higgins — Administration
Mr. Higgins has a BS in Construction Management from Missouri State University, and MA in Teaching, & EdS in Human Services/Occupational & Technical Education (UCM). He was the Career Education Counselor & Adult Education Program Coordinator at Boonslick Technical Education Center prior to joining CACC.
Karen Hirst — PLTW Principles of Biomedical Science and Human Body Systems
I have a Bachelor’s of Science in Agriculture Education and a Master’s degree in gifted education from the University of Missouri-Columbia. I started my teaching career in 2001. I have taught a number of science courses over the course of my career. I also spent several years teaching gifted education. I spent two summers training at the University of Missouri-Rolla, Science and Technology for PLTW’s Principles of Biomedical Science and Human Body Systems courses. I strongly believe that science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills are very important 21st century skills. I spent six summers, directing Camp Invention, a hands-on STEM based science camp sponsored in part by the National Inventor’s Hall of Fame. Additionally I teach science and creative problem solving at College for Kids in Fulton, Missouri during the summer. I also believe that students should develop strong teamwork, and creative problem solving skills. In 2007 I began coaching Destination Imagination, creative problem solving teams. I have taken five teams to global competition. In 2012, my middle school team, placed first in the instant challenge portion of the science challenge at the national competition. I love to see students engaged and involved in school and in extra-curricular activities.
Al Howell — Engineering & Industrial Technology
Rose Hudson — Adult Health Sciences
Rose is the administrative support for the Health Science Center—Practical Nursing and Surgical Technology Programs. She has been employed with the Columbia Public Schools for approximately 30 years.
Sondra Inman — Student Services
Ms. Inman has over 25 years experience in career services. Previously she has worked at Western Indiana Employment and Training Office, Indiana University Career Development Center, and Indiana University Alumni Association. She has a BS in Telecommunications with an emphasis in Management and Marketing from Ball State University.
|Position:||Dual Credit and Data Secretary|
Bill Irvin — Certified Welding
WS Certified Pipe/Plate. 39 Years of welding and fabrication experience.
Tony Kindwall — PLTW - Digital Electronics / Robotics & Computer Integrated Manufacturing
Mr. Kindwall has worked in the Electronics, Information Technology, and Telecommunications industries for more than 20 years. He teaches PLTW - Digital Electronics, Robotics and Computer Integrated Manufacturing.
Corey Kohnle — Administration
Ms. Kohnle comes to CACC from Oakland Middle School, where she was a business teacher. She has her Bachelors in Organizational Management, Masters in Business Administration, and Masters in Education with an emphasis in Curriculum and Instruction, and Education Specialist in Administration. She mentors new teachers to ensure their first years are enjoyable and successful.
Brad Mann — Civil Engineering/Architecture Computer Aided Design
More than 13 years of experience in Civil/Architectural design and engineering
Jared Monroe — Automotive Technology
Mr. Monroe educational and training background include Nashville Automotive Diesel College - Automotive/Diesel Tech; A/C Delco ASA Vision Hi-Tech Training, BG Products, ASE. He has previous experience in automotive diagnostics and repair.
Sandy Morrow — Digital Media
Sandy Morrow earned a Masters degree in Practical Arts and Vocational-Technical Education from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of Missouri. She has 11 years of teaching a variety of business courses at the secondary level, and has over six years experience working in Mid-Missouri. Mrs. Morrow is certified by Microsoft as a Microsoft Office User Specialist in Word, Excel, Access and PowerPoint; and is an Adobe Certified Associate in Visual Communication using Adobe Photoshop, Graphic Design and Illustration using Adobe Illustrator, Visual Design Specialist, Video Communication using Adobe Premiere Pro, and Print and Digital Media Publication using Adobe InDesign. She is a member of Missouri Association for Career and Technical Education, Missouri Business Education Association and Missouri State Teachers Association.
Dru Nash — Student Services
Ms. Nash has more than 22 years of experience in education and counseling. She received her MEd in Counseling from Stephens College and her BS in Education from Culver Stockton College. Prior to joining CACC as the Dual Credit Coordinator and Counselor, Ms. Nash was a Guidance Counselor at Battle High School and has also worked at Lange Middle School and Rock Bridge High School.
|Position:||Dual Credit Coordinator and Counselor|
Nicole Overeem — Student Services
Ms. Overeem has a Master Degree in Special Education (K-12) and a Bachelor Degree in Psychology, both from Columbia College. She has over 18 years with CPS and was most recently a Learning Specialist at Battle High School. She enjoys cinema, film-making, origami, hiking, float trips, cooking, and music.
|Position:||Career & Technical Resource Educator|
Chris Phelps —
Mr. Phelps joins the CACC team from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, where he served as an Emergency Medical Services Inspector. He has also worked as an EMS Educator and Paramedic for the University of Missouri Hospital.
Mr. Phelps earned his Certified Nursing Assistant certification while attending Boonslick Technical Education Center during high school and later returned to complete his EMT. He also received his paramedic education from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Notably, he is a past district and state SkillsUSA champion in Nurse Assisting.
Julie Purcell — Electronics - Robotics, PLTW Intro to Engineering & Principles of Engineering
10 years in Industry as an Industrial Engineer. 3 years teaching in Francis Howell School District in St. Charles, MO. 14 years teaching in Columbia Public Schools, Columbia, MO. Masters in ELL, Certified in Physics First Program for 9th grade, Certified to teach Project Lead the Way Intro. to Engineering, and Design and Principles of Engineering.
Ashley Rackers — Professions in Healthcare
Ms. Rackers, RN, BSN, has been a nurse for more than 13 years, including five years as a Nurse Educator and three in Nursing Administration. She keeps up her nursing skills by occasionally working for the University of Missouri Health Care System.
Eric Radmer — Construction
As a former student of the CACC Construction Program, I am excited to bring my industry experiences to the classroom and job site. My goal is to give students an experience that mirrors real-world experience and prepare them for life outside of an educational setting. I have a vested interest in the quality of the construction workforce and feel that being to impact the industry at an early stage with strength our local workforce for years to come.
Jeff Rayl — Culinary Arts
B.S. Hotel Restaurant Administration, Missouri State University, Springfield, MO Associate Culinary Arts Scottsdale Culinary Institute, Scottsdale, AZ Executive Chef – Illini Country Club, Springfield, IL Kitchen Manager Houlihan’s, Kansas City, MO
Christine Roberson — Laboratory Technology
I received my Bachelor's in Biology from Colorado College, and then spent seven years in the biopharmaceutical and medical device fields. This included four years in Colorado, and three years in Minnesota. During my time in Colorado I worked at a company (since been bought by Amgen) which researched and produced recombinant human protein products. I worked in the group which developed assays and supported testing of the pilot scale experiments, early clinical trial products and final large scale production. As part of my job duties I trained in-coming analysts. I was sent to companies in the United States and in the Netherlands to train analysts, supervise technology transfer, and facilitate assay validation to support regulatory filings. In Minnesota, I worked at a medical device company that used bacteria to produce a complex carbohydrate used in eye surgery. I ran assays to support production, which included raw materials, environmental monitoring, in-process samples, and final product analysis. Additionally, I trained analysts, and coordinated the stability program for both in-house and contract products. I received my Master's degree in education (M.Ed.) from MU. I did my final project on using Multiple Intelligence theory to support a wide variety of learners. I hope that my experience in industry, my education background, and my love of biology will add richness and depth to the Laboratory Technology program.
Dr. Brandon Russell — Administration
Dr. Russell earned a Doctorate in Education from Saint Louis University in May 2015 and has also earned an Education Specialist in Educational Administration-Superintendency (2010) and a Master of Science in Industrial Vocational Technical Education (1999) from the University of Central Missouri. He started his college career at Kansas City Kansas Community College, where he earned an Associate of Arts degree, before transferring to Northwest Missouri State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Journalism and Graphic Communications. #OABAAB
He has six years teaching experience and 14 years experience in career education leadership and central office administration. Dr. Russell is currently serving as president of the Missouri Council of Career and Technical Administrators, and is also member of Missouri Association of Career and Technical Education, and the Association of Career and Technical Education.
Patrick Sasser — Digital Media
Patrick Sasser earned a bachelor's degree in Interactive Digital Media with an emphasis in New Media from Northwest Missouri State University in 2003. He earned a Master's Degree from the University of Missouri in Educational Technology in the Fall of 2010. He's also currently pursuing a doctorate in Information Sciences and Learning Technologies from the University of Missouri. He also worked at Shelter Insurance as a java programmer and freelances in the web design industry in the Mid-Missouri area. Mr. Sasser has been teaching at CACC since 2009.
Mikah Simpson — Marketing/Entrepreneurship
Ms. Simpson has a BA in Marketing and a MA in Teaching from Columbia College. She brings to CACC a professional background in Marketing.
Jeaniene Thompson — Administration
Jeaniene Thompson is the administrative assistant at CACC. In this role, she provides instructional leadership for new teachers, assists teachers with curriculum development, coordinates professional development training, including Technology Centers That Work activities and district collaboration, and is a member of the administrative team. Ms. Thompson earned an Educational Specialist degree in Information Science and Learning Technologies through the University of Missouri-Columbia College of Education. She also holds a master's degree in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Business Education and a bachelor's degree in Business Education, both also from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Until May 2012 she taught digital media courses through the Columbia Area Career Center at Hickman High School for fifteen years. Prior to teaching, Ms. Thompson worked in the business environment for fifteen years. She is a member of the Missouri Council of Career and Technical Administrators and the Missouri Association of Career and Technical Education.
Barbara Townsend — Adult Health Sciences
Graduate Burge School of Nursing BA Columbia College
Christian Vachaudez — Professional & Community Education
B. A. History and Political Science, Columbia College, Columbia, MO Service in higher education financial aid since 2008
|Position:||Financial Aid Administrator|
Monica Widhalm — Administration
My educational background is Business & Computer Science. I worked for AT&T for 11 years in Information Systems. I spent the next 17 years as a stay at home mom raising three daughters. I joined CACC in 2013 as the attendance secretary. I love being around the students and our amazing teachers.
Dr. Rebecca Wimer-Pisano — Administration
Dr. Wimer-Pisano has a Master’s Degree in Student Personnel Services from the College of New Jersey and a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Her dissertation topic was the “Retention of Young Women in High School Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Career and Technical Education Programs. Starting her college career at North Central Missouri College, Dr. Wimer-Pisano earned an Associate of Arts degree before transferring to Truman State University. She graduated with honors from Truman and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Social Science Education. Following graduation she worked as a high school social studies teacher in Princeton, Missouri. After teaching three years, Dr. Wimer-Pisano completed her master’s degree and worked as a school counselor for 24 years serving students in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Missouri. She is in her sixth year as an administrator at Columbia Area Career Center. Dr. Wimer-Pisano is a member of the Missouri Association of Career and Technical Education, Association of Career and Technical Education and Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Joe Wittman — Broadcast Journalism
Joe Wittman earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communication (Radio and TV) from the University of Missouri in 1999. He started his career as a news videographer and editor for the local ABC station WOLO, in Columbia, South Carolina. Joe’s next position was at the FOX affiliate WUHF in Rochester, New York. There he was a sports videographer, editor, and producer. Joe shot and produced sports for nightly sportscasts and a weekly half hour sports show. He covered everything from the NFL to high school field hockey. Joe’s work in sports journalism earned him a position at Tulsa University as the video production manager for the athletic department. Joe was the manager and director of all diamond vision productions for home basketball games. Joe also shot and produced various feature stories for Tulsa University coaches’ shows. Columbia, Missouri came calling next and Joe became a senior video producer at KOMU-TV. For six years Joe worked in commercial production, news promotion, long format video production, and sports production. He played a large role as a videographer and producer for Mizzou Athletics, working on coaches’ shows and travelling with the football team. After KOMU, Joe took his talents to the City of Columbia. As a video producer Joe worked with various departments of local government to promote new programs and policies. He was awarded a 2011 National Telly Award for his video feature on the SWAT team. The last position Joe held before the Columbia Area Career Center was as an instructor of broadcast journalism for Missouri Valley College, in Marshall, Missouri. While there, he taught students everything from writing a radio news script to directing a live sports broadcast. In his free time(which is very little) Joe has been a freelance videographer for Metro Sports, Mizzou Sports Properties, and Left field Productions (Producers of Pawn Stars and Truck Stop Mo.)