Stephen F. Austin State University

SFA Charter Board Information

SFA Charter Board Members 2016-2017

Judy A. Abbott, Ph.D.
Judy A. Abbott, Ph.D. - Dean and Professor, SFA Charter School Board of Directors, chair Phone: 936.468.1410

Dr. Judy A. Abbott was named dean and professor of the James I. Perkins College of Education at Stephen F. Austin State University and joined the faculty August 1, 2010. Abbott earned degrees from the University of Oklahoma (B.S. and M.S.) and from the University of Texas at Austin (Ph.D.).

As dean of the Perkins College of Education, Dr. Abbott is responsible for SFA's largest college with an enrollment of approximately 4,200 students (about 1/3 of the total SFA enrollment) and with about 100 full-time faculty and about 75 part-time faculty. But she does not limit her work to leading the college; she also is involved within the community. She has served on the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and is continuing her leadership as the chair of the Chamber's Education Committee. As chair, she coordinates the Leaders of Tomorrow initiative (LOT Crew)-a 9-month leadership program for grade eight students selected from both the city and the county middle schools. Additionally, Dr. Abbott serves on the board of directors for the Friends of Historic Nacogdoches, Inc., and is involved in promoting the city of Nacogdoches as an important Texas treasure.

Liz Vaughan, Ph.D.
Liz Vaughan, Ph.D. - Department Chair, SFA Charter School Board of Directors, member Phone: 936.468.2904
Dr. Liz Vaughan has earned degrees from Stephen F. Austin State University (B.S. Ed. and M.Ed.) and University of South Florida (Ph.D.). She taught preschoolers in the Early Childhood Lab for four years. She later joined the early childhood faculty in the Department of Elementary Education at SFA for 9 years before taking a position at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania. In 2008 she returned to SFA as assistant chair/professor of elementary education. She became chair of the department in 2011.
Jana McCall, M.Ed.
Jana McCall, M.Ed. - SFASU Charter School Board of Directors, teacher representative Phone: 936.468.5899
Lori Harkness, Ed.D.
Lori Harkness, Ed.D. - Director of Early Childhood Lab, SFA Charter School Board of Directors, campus coordinator Phone: 936.468.4006

Dr. Lori Harkness has worked as faculty for the James I. Perkins College of Education at Stephen F. Austin State University since August 1998. She became the Director of the Early Childhood Lab in August 2004. Harkness earned degrees from Stephen F. Austin State University (B.S.I.S. and M.Ed.) and from Walden University, (Ed.D.).

Dr. Harkness was born and raised in Nacogdoches and is the mother for four children, two SFA Charter School graduates, one currently enrolled in the SFA Charter School, and one enrolled in the Early Childhood Lab.

Adam Akerson, Ed.D.
Adam Akerson, Ed.D. - SFA Charter School Board of Directors, Elementary Education representative Phone: 936.468.2269
Dr. Adam Akerson is originally from North East Iowa. Upon earning a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education from the University of Northern Iowa, he moved to Texas to begin a teaching career in San Antonio. After spending a number of years teaching primary grades, while earning a M.Ed. degree in Teacher Leadership, he went on to obtain an Ed.D. in Curriculum & Instruction with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education from the University of Houston. In 2011, Dr. Akerson accepted a faculty position in the department of Elementary Education here at Stephen F. Austin State University. He currently serves as the Program Coordinator of EC-6 education and coordinates field experience opportunities for pre-service teachers at the SFA Charter School. Some of his research interests include: mentoring, teacher preparation, and mathematics education. Additionally, Dr. Akerson serves on a number of department, college, and university committees.
Dr. Jeremy Smith
Dr. Jeremy Smith - SFA Charter School Board of Directors, parent representative Phone: 936.205.9922

Born and raised by two incredible parents in Wichita Falls, Texas, Dr. Jeremy Smith was instilled with the most important tools he needed to become a good physician long before grade school was finished. He was taught to have character, respect others and learned the ability to listen.

In addition to what he learned from his parents, Dr. Smith was formally educated at Midwestern State University where he completed a Bachelors of Science focused on zoology and premedical sciences. Several highlights during his undergraduate study and postgraduate training include time spent in the Dalquest Field research areas of West Texas, University of Oklahoma's Lake Texhoma Biological Institute, and study abroad to King's College in London, England at Waterloo. In 2003, Dr. Smith graduated with a Medical Degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas. His residency in Family Medicine was completed in 2006 at University of Texas Health Science Center in Tyler, Texas.

Following residency, Dr. Smith moved his medical practice and his family to Nacogdoches, Texas.

Weldon T. Beard
Weldon T. Beard - SFA Charter School Board of Directors, community representative

Hometown: Sulphur Springs, Tx
GETCAP Head Start Director February 2005 to present ( 5 Counties with 12 Locations)
Bachelor of Business Administration Concentration: Management (SFASU) 1995
Johnson & Johnson Head Start Management Fellows Program (UCLA Graduate School of Management) 2014
Texas Child Care Director Certification 2008

Professional Activities Stephen F. Austin State University Charter School Board (2008- Present)
Texas Heads Start Association - Board President
Region VI Head Start Association (5 States Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New, Mexico, Texas) - Board Treasure