Governor Abbott Appoints Five To State Board For Educator Certification

March 2, 2021 | Appointment

Governor Greg Abbott has appointed Kyrsten Arbuckle and Melissa Isaacs and reappointed Rohanna Brooks-Sykes and Emily Garcia to the State Board for Educator Certification for terms set to expire on February 1, 2025. Additionally, the Governor appointed Bob Brescia, Ed.D. for a term set to expire on February 1, 2023. The board develops certification and continuing education requirements and standards of conduct for public school teachers.

Kyrsten Arbuckle of Austin is a former small business owner. She is a member of the Parent Service Organization Leadership Team for Valor Public Schools, community market volunteer for Community First! Village, a small group leader for Providence Church, and a coordinator for Moms in Prayer. Arbuckle received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from Texas Christian University.

Melissa Isaacs of Jewett is a secondary school teacher for Buffalo ISD. She is a member of Innovative Teachers of Texas, American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences, and the Career and Technical Association of Texas and a former member of the Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher Association of Texas. Additionally, she is a board member of the Texas FCCLA Board of Directors. Isaacs received a Bachelor of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences and a minor in Secondary Education from Sam Houston State University, Master of Theological Studies from the University of Dallas, and a Master of Science from Family and Consumer Sciences and a minor in Curriculum and Instruction from Sam Houston State University.

Rohanna Brooks-Sykes of Spring is a related services counselor at Klein High School and is a certified school and a licensed professional counselor supervisor. She is vice-chair of the State Board for Educator Certification and a member of the Texas School Counselors Association, Texas Counselors Association (TCA), former chair of the TCA Public Policy and Advocacy Committee and former co-chair of the TCA Human Rights Committee. She is currently the chair of the Spring Creek Counseling Association (SCCA) Legislative Committee and a member of the Klein Leadership Coalition.  Brooks-Sykes is former president of SCCA and former member of the Klein District Instructional Development Council, Klein Unite for Understanding Diversity Council and Klein District Improvement Plan: Closing the Achievement Gap.  She is the 2013 recipient of the TCA Dr. Jamesanna Kirven Outstanding Counselor Award. 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.

Emily Garcia of Dallas is the Executive Director of Urban Teachers. Previously, she served as a middle school Director for Uplift Education, and was a teacher and an assistant principal for Grand Prairie ISD. She is a founding member of The Commit Partnership's Best in Class Coalition, a member of P.E.O. International, a Leadership ISD Alumni and an Emergency Leader in Philanthropy fellow. Additionally, she volunteers as a deputy voter registrar for Dallas County, and also supports the International Student Foundation. Garcia received a Bachelor of Arts in Crime and Justice Studies from The University of Texas at Dallas and a Master of Education from Southern Methodist University. She serves as the alternative educator preparation program representative, which is a non-voting position, and is not subject to Senate confirmation. 

Bob Brescia, Ed.D. of Odessa is a Teacher of Record for Ector County Independent School District, and an adjunct professor for Wilmington University. He previously served as the Executive Director for The John Ben Shepperd Public Leadership Institute, and served as the Head of School for Saint Joseph Academy in Brownsville. He is a board member of the Salvation Army – Odessa and Constituting America and a member of the Odessa Information & Discussion Group. He is the former chairman of Basin PBS and the American Red Cross of the Permian Basin and former president of Rotary International – Greater Odessa. Brescia is a U.S. Army veteran, and received a Bachelor of Arts in Civil Government from Norwich University, a Master of Science in Computer Information Systems and a Master of Arts in International Relations from Boston University – European Division, and a Doctor of Education in Executive Leadership with distinction from The George Washington University.

These appointments are subject to Senate confirmation.