Board of Directors


Clarence Robert Carter, MBA

Donna Jean Carter, PhD

Kimberly Bethea, PhD

Wayne Bethea



Barry Caison

Joycelyn Collins

Crystal Davis

Lori Donoho

Isaac Jackson

Michelle A. Plummer, Esquire

Clarence Robert Carter, MBA

Clarence R. Carter, a recently retired educator and entrepreneur, serves the GateWay Academy as Chair of the Board of Directors. His 45+ year span of management experience and educational background provide the unique leadership combination essential to bring the boarding school into fruition.

Starting out in the field of Human Services, Mr. Carter earned his B.A. in Social Work from Michigan State University and immediately began working with incarcerated male juvenile offenders in a Michigan residential treatment facility, later supervising and counseling those young men recently released to their communities. Seeing the severity of the educational deficits in his young charges and the need to intervene in the formal system of education on their behalf, Mr. Carter returned to Michigan State to earn a Master's degree in Educational Administration. He subsequently joined the Grand Rapids Public School's management team. While there, Mr. Carter worked with at-risk young men assuring that they were prepared to become gainfully employed as productive contributors to society through a Career and Vocational Education Program which he developed for underserved youth.

Seeking to make an even greater contribution to the lives of underserved youth, Mr. Carter, a life-long learner, left the security of what he knew to enter the hallowed halls of the Harvard Business School. He thought it prudent that he gain a better understanding of the Business world and the opportunities it holds for qualified young men. He also saw this as an opportunity to push forward the somewhat timid social agency approach to provision of service. After earning his Master's degree in Business Administration from Harvard, Mr. Carter earned his bona fides through increasingly responsible positions including financial analysis and budgeting, sales, marketing, and strategic planning, in renowned corporations including, Xerox, General Motors, Lear-Siegler, and Honeywell.

Along the way, Mr. Carter also found time to serve as adjunct professor of Business at DeVry Institute of Technology and Grand Valley State University, however, he never forgot the youth at-risk in our society and continued to seek ways to give back to the community by marrying the business and the educational worlds. In 2002, he returned to the field of education full time becoming Principal of a K-12 Christian School two years later, where he remained until his retirement in 2011.

Donna Jean Carter, PhD

Dr. Donna Jean Carter, President of the GateWay Academy, has recently retired after working in the field of education for close to 50 years. She has taught at all levels and has experience both in large and small public and private school settings. Dr. Carter has demonstrated expertise in training teachers and in curriculum writing. She has held numerous administrative positions in public education at both district level as a School Superintendent and on the post-secondary level in the public and private community college settings and in private School of Ministry. She has also been an adjunct professor in several State Universities in CA and MN.

Dr. Carter has worked with reading disabled children and at-risk male incarcerated teenagers. She has authored 3 children's primers and a wealth of professional educational articles, including her doctoral dissertation on the positive effects on high school students of experienced-based career education. She has traveled the world and knows the value of wide cultural exposure.

Dr. Carter was honored to serve as President of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, one of the largest international, professional education organizations. She has spoken at many national conferences including NSBA, NABSE, and ASCD. She holds teaching certifications in MI, MN, and SC.

Dr. Carter holds a BA, an MA and a PHD from Michigan State University and a second Master's degree in Management and Human Resource Development from John F. Kennedy University, Orinda, California.

Kimberly A. Bethea, PhD

Dr. Kimberly Bethea, a native Mississippian, has worked in the field of education for 20 years. She has had the opportunity to address the academic needs of students at all levels (from elementary, middle and high school to college) and from various groups (traditional, returning, and at-risk). Dr. Bethea has held teaching positions in public and private high schools, community colleges, and four-year colleges. She also has significant experience in higher education administration. Whether teaching students, advising students, or developing and implementing student programs, Dr. Bethea has always remained committed to helping students realize their full potential.

Dr. Bethea holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Jackson State University, a Master of Science degree in Mathematics from Howard University and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Curriculum & Instruction with a Concentration in Mathematics Education from the University of Maryland.

Barry Caison

Barry Caison earned A.A.S. Degrees in Civil and Construction Engineering Technology from Northern Virginia Community College in 1983 and 1990 and a Bachelor of Science degree in Construction Engineering with an area of concentration in land development, water resources and building construction from the University of the District of Columbia in 2003. He completed a Professional Master of Engineering with a concentration in Project Management from the University of Maryland in 2007.

Currently serving as Project Manager for Ben Dyer Associates, Inc., Mr. Caison brings over 20 years of experience in real estate/land development projects and in the analysis, design construction and maintenance of residential, commercial and institutional developments. This includes roads, water and sewer systems, landscape design, critical areas, storm drain and stormwater management systems and sediment control practices.

Mr. Caison has training and experience in preparing construction plans, and preparing and obtaining construction, wetland, and waterways permits. He is trained and experienced in hydrology and hydraulics. This experience includes the analysis and design of storm drain systems, stormwater management and water quality Best Management Practice systems (bio-retention areas). He is also trained and experienced in land planning and engineering design. This experience includes obtaining information of all utilities associated with a property, obtaining site histories, analyzing a site's development potential, preparing design and construction drawings for storm drain systems, stormwater management systems, sediment control systems, and roadways, and performing grading, earthwork computations and construction cost estimates.

Mr. Caison's diverse background includes experience in institutional construction management, and he is also a former government engineer and program manager for Fairfax County, Virginia, experienced in the areas of flood control dams, stormwater management/storm drain systems and walkways design, construction, inspection and maintenance. His assignments have included Prince George's County, Maryland, Fairfax and Arlington Counties in Virginia. His professional affiliations include the American Society of Civil Engineers American Concrete Institute and the State of Maryland-Certified Erosion & Sediment Control Maryland #14957.

Joycelyn L. Collins

Ms.Joycelyn L. Collins has over 30 years of experience in the communications field, with a focus on writing and editing. She currently serves as Secretary of the GateWay Academy. Since 2008, she has worked as a program analyst performing policy analysis, program implementation, and documentation functions for the Federal Emergency Management Agency [FEMA].

Ms. Collins previously spent 13 years at CSC, the last 5 as Communications Manager for the National Flood Insurance Program Bureau and Statistical Agent contract. She directed the daily operations of the Communications Group in developing, maintaining, and disseminating program documentation. Ms. Collins oversaw the development, production, printing, and online posting of more than two dozen different public awareness materials, including a 40-page magazine-style quarterly newsletter with a distribution of 90,000.

Earlier in her career, Ms. Collins spent 17 years with Vitro Corporation, a federal contractor for the Department of Defense. Her responsibilities included developing a variety of proposals, policy documents, newsletters and brochures, technical articles, speeches and presentations, and technical manuals. She served as a Proposal Manager in the Business Development sector, overseeing the production of over 100 proposals annually. As a writer-editor, Ms. Collins developed a Cultural Diversity Plan for a National Aeronautics and Space Association (NASA) bid that has since been used as a prototype at NASA and at other companies. As an elected member of the Vitro Technical Journal Editorial Board, she edited two award-winning articles.

Ms. Collins earned a BA degree from the University of Virginia, completing degree requirements in both Communications and African-American Studies with an English minor. She received a full fellowship to Cornell University, where she earned a Master of Professional Studies degree in African and African-American Studies. While a graduate assistant at Cornell, Ms. Collins was co-instructor of an English Department basic writing skills course for advanced placement students.

Crystal D. Davis

Crystal D. Davis is a financial advisor with H.D. Vest Financial Services and the director of operations for Davis & Ritter CPAs, LLC, a family-owned accounting firm in Camp Springs, Md. She holds securities and insurance licenses in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Virginia, and has geared her financial planning practice toward helping women and young adults find their financial footing.

Before joining the financial planning business in 2009, Crystal spent much of her professional life as a journalist, working for more than a decade as an editor and newsroom leader for such publications as The Washington Post, USA Today, the Detroit Free Press, McClatchy Newspapers and Roll Call. She continues to serve as a consultant and editor for such publications as the NAACP's Crisis magazine and Diverse: Issues In Higher Education magazine through her communications consulting business.

Crystal graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor's degree in communications from Howard University. She is currently pursuing CFP® certification and has won several awards and fellowships, including ones from The Financial Planning Institute and Dow Jones. She is a member of the Association of African American Financial Advisors, the Greater Washington Urban League and the National Council of Negro Women. Crystal is also a member of Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc. (TLOD), a women's service organization focusing on youth and senior citizens, where she serves as chief information officer for the Prince George's County Chapter and corresponding secretary for TLOD's Area II.

Crystal is a native Washingtonian and resides in Bowie, MD.

Lori A. Donoho

Lori Donoho's professional experience has focused on increasing educational opportunities for underserved children. From teaching mathematics in an alternative high school, to providing academic tutorials, college preparation, professional internships, cultural and social enrichment, community involvement, life skills programming, mentoring and post-secondary support, her goal was to provide opportunities for students to connect to resources that increase the likelihood of achieving their dreams. With 25 years in the field of education and with nonprofit organizations, her work extended to building support networks and relationships with a broad sector of constituents ranging from K-12 students, college students, teachers, administrators, community based organizations, professional associations, colleges and universities businesses, government agencies and political leaders.

Over half of her professional career was with the "I Have A Dream" Foundation® serving as the Director of a local affiliate in Washington, D.C. as well as Director of Programs, Managing Director of Training and Support, and Managing Director of Affiliate Relations at the national level. Immediately prior to working with "I Have A Dream", she served as an Education Program Specialist with the Southeast Eisenhower Mathematics and Science Consortium at SERVE (Southeast Regional Vision for Education), one of ten national, federally-funded, education labs, providing research-based technical assistance and professional development for systemic reform in mathematics and science education. She also served as a Software Trainer for ExecuTrain of Atlanta, specializing in Microsoft Office software for businesses. Miss Donoho's teaching experience at Northdale Magnet Academy in Baton Rouge, Louisiana solidified her belief that all children can learn and succeed if given the proper supports with high expectations. From LA, Miss Donoho went on to serve as the Southeast Regional Recruiter for Teach For America with the goal of increasing the pool of like-minded teachers to bring the same to areas where there was a high need.

Miss Donoho holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mathematics from Emory University, and has studied education at Louisiana State University, and Florida International University.. She also plays an active role in leadership in church as the Ministry Head of the Fine Arts and Drama ministry and has served as a volunteer with the church's high school for more than 10 years.

Isaac Tyrone Jackson, Sr.

Isaac T. Jackson, Sr., is a current adult leader in Troop 81 of the Boy Scouts of America, a former United States Marine Corps Non-Commissioned Officer, and Retired Naval Officer.

Commencing his professional career with the Department of Defense (DoD) in the field of Systems Engineering and Information Technology Management, Mr. Jackson earned an A.S. in Science from Valley Forge Military College and then chose to complete a B.S. in Computer Science from Hampton University. While attending Hampton University, Mr. Jackson enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and is a veteran of Operation Desert Storm/Desert Shield. After graduating from Hampton University and during his enlistment with the Marine Corps Reserves, Mr. Jackson began working for the DoD in the area of Information Technology Systems Development.

Because of his interest in Software Engineering, Mr. Jackson chose to further his studies in Computer Science, and while working for the DoD, obtained a Master's degree in Computer Science from Howard University. Seeking to use what he learned in the area of Computer Science, Mr. Jackson went to work for the Department of Commerce's Patent and Trademark Office as a Patent Examiner in the area of databases, data mining, file management, and data structures. After obtaining an in-depth understanding of the patent examination process, Mr. Jackson was employed by the DoD's Defense Information Systems agency where he now works as a Project Manager for Emerging Information Technology Capabilities having acquired over 20 years of service in the DoD.

Michele A. Plummer, Esquire

Michele A. Plummer is a staff attorney in the Child Advocacy Unit at the Legal Aid Bureau, Inc. in Baltimore City. As a staff attorney, she represents and advocates for children in the foster care system in Baltimore City whose ages range from birth to 21 years. During her 10 years at the Legal Aid Bureau, Inc. she has had the opportunity to empower youth by giving them information and counseling them to make good decisions regarding their lives.

In the course of her career, Michele has worked with youth of all ages from varying backgrounds in multiple capacities. In the legal field, she represented the best interests of children involved in child custody cases as a court appointed Guardian ad Litem during her years as a sole practitioner. In the educational arena, she has worked as a part-time elementary school tutor in math and reading in the District of Columbia, additionally serving youngsters as a long-term substitute in Head Start. Michele also gained supervisory experience at Bowie State University during the colleges' New Student Orientation Program for which she provided oversight to a staff of college students and visiting program youth. Additionally, over the last 14 years Michele has continued faithfully to volunteer in the nursery program at her church, serving infants and teaching toddlers while supervising other youth and adult staff volunteers.

Michele derives from a multicultural background. Having travelled to many countries, she continues to enjoy learning about and experiencing other cultures. A focus on education established early in Michele's life, resulted in her earning both an Artium Baccalaurei as a sociology major at Dartmouth College and a Juris Doctor at George Washington University.

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