Adult Basic Education Faculty and Staff
Margaret Jacob, ABE Coordinator
Margaret Jacob began working for Adult Basic Education in 1989 as a part-time coordinator for the Adult Education for the Homeless grant. In 1990 she assumed a full-time position with the Job Opportunities and Basic Skills (JOBS) program, where she served as coordinator/instructor for six and a half years, teaching all subjects at all levels. When JOBS ended in 1997, she became the outreach coordinator for ABE. Margaret was asked to serve as interim chair of the General Education Department in the fall of 2000 and did so until December of 2003. At that time she assumed her present duties as program coordinator for ABE Region V, which encompasses seven counties of southeastern Idaho.
Margaret received a BA in American Studies and an MA in English from Idaho State University. Before returning to ISU as an employee, she worked at the Portneuf District Library in Chubbuck for ten years. Among her achievements, she has been recognized as an Adult Basic Education Advanced Instructor through the Idaho Professional Development Series (IPDS). In 2010 she received the College of Technology Staff Excellence Award and was recognized as a Zonta Woman of Achievement. Through ABE, she also completed the two-year Leadership Excellence Academy, a Program Manager Training and Certification Project. Most recently, she completed the ISU Spring 2012 Leadership Development Program. She currently serves as second vice president of Delta Kappa Gamma, Beta Chapter, a society for women educators. Her hobbies include gardening and travel. Margaret has traveled to forty-seven states and to countries on four continents.
Heather Gooch , Instructor
Heather Gooch is a graduate from Utah State University with a B.A. in American Studies and Spanish. She received a M.Ed. in Human Resource Training and Development with an emphasis in adult education from Idaho State University. Her travel experiences led her to an interest in working with people from around the world. Heather has been an ESL instructor since 1996 teaching students in Blackfoot and Pocatello. Heather enjoys spending time in her backyard while listening to birds and reading.
Janna Graham, Instructor
Janna Graham has taught for the Adult Basic Education program since 2002. She graduated from St. Cloud State University in 1995 with a B.A. in English, and earned an M.A. in English from Idaho State University in 2003. She teaches English as a Second Language (ESL) as well as basic reading, writing, math and GED preparation.
Gail Hunt, Instructor
Gail Hunt has a B.S. in Psychology and an M.S. in Special Education from the University of Illinois. She taught for 15 years in several different public school settings, grade school through high school. She also holds a degree from the ISU Health Information Technology Program and has worked as office manager for a local neurology practice for eleven years. Gail began teaching math for the Adult Basic Education Program in 2012. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors, hiking, skiing, raising chickens and gardening. Gail loves learning and sharing the joy of learning with others.
Geraldine (Jerri) Ray Johnson, Instructor
Jerri taught for the Pocatello School District for 28 years before retiring in 2001. In 2003 she began working at the ISU GED center as the language and reading teacher. Being the mother of five adult children and grandmother of nearly nine grandchildren keeps her busy. She recently visited her youngest daughter’s family in Germany. It was a dream come true to see historical places only formerly known from books and T.V. Summers are spent working in the garden and yard as well as picnics with grandkids, reading and time with family. Her off-hour interests are tying quilts and target shooting with her sons. Much time is spent in helping service organizations such as the Salvation Army, SEICAA’s Stone Soup fundraiser and anything to do with assisting the troops in the Middle East. Her two sons served with the Army in Iraq in 2004-05. She often is the chief cook and bottle washer at her brother’s business, Dutch Oven Delights. . Jerri says she totally enjoys working at the GED Center and takes great pleasure in seeing people reach their dreams and goals. The friends she has made here are precious, both faculty and students.
LeeAnne Lish, Instructor
LeeAnne Lish received a Bachelor of Science from Utah State University in Logan Utah. She received a Master of Education degree from Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, in 1986. She completed her Computer Software Engineering Technology Certification from Idaho State University in 2002. She taught elementary school in Pocatello from 1975 to 2009, after which she retired to care for her elderly mother. She has been employed as the ABE Night Program Assistant since 1993, working with adult learners in the ABE Night Program. Her current evening responsibilities include teaching language and beginning math three nights a week. In 2009 she became the ABE Outreach Assistant, working with the outreach representatives from Aberdeen, American Falls, Blackfoot, Bannock County Youth Development Center, Grace, MK Place, Montpelier, Shelley, Soda Springs, and Preston. She also currently assists with training for administering the Test of Adult Basic Education and with data entry and approvals. She is immediate past president of Beta Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma, honorary women teachers' society. She enjoys music (especially singing), handwork, reading, staying at her second home in Island Park, Idaho, and spending time with her family and her two Pomeranians.
Mike Serpa, Instructor
Mike Serpa has a B.S. and M.S. in Physics from Idaho State University. He worked for AMI Semiconductors for over 34 years as a process engineer and a technical manager. Mike has volunteered as a classroom assistant at the New Horizons High School and at the Pocatello Women's Correctional Center. He has been in the Adult Basic Education Program since 2009 and currently teaches mathematics to GED and prospective College of Technology students. In his free time Mike enjoys fly-fishing, tying his own flies, gardening and studying classical piano, reading scientific literature and being a grandfather.
IT Support Tech
Susanne Shatto is a native Idahoan. She is currently working as IT Tech Support and tutors students with the Resource Center. She has a certificate in Bookkeeping from the College of Southern Idaho, an Associate of Applied Science degree in Accounting and Computer Programming from the College of Southern Idaho, an Associate of Arts degree in Physical Education from Ricks College, a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Computer Information Systems, and a Masters of Education degree in Human Resource Training and Development. She has been a coordinator and a trainer for the Northwest Regional Literacy Resource Center for Idaho. She is a member of Phi Delta Kappa and Delta Kappa Pi, an education honor society. She belongs to the Idaho Life long learning Association and Mountain Plains Adult Education Association and has been a member of the Accounting Society and the Association of Management Accounting. She loves to read and if the opportunity unveiled itself would probably be a professional student because she loves the learning and discovery process. Susanne likes sports and the outdoors and enjoys camping and especially being with her family. She has two children, one boy and one girl. She has one granddaughter, the apple of her eye.
Connie Sistrunk, Administrative Assistant
Connie Sistrunk began working at Idaho State University part-time as a peer advisor with Student Services at the College of Technology in 2007. She joined the ABE General Education Family in 2009 after completing her Associate's Degree in Business Information Administrative Management and a Certificate in Business Information Accounting Technology with honors. She has almost completed her second Associate's Degree in Accounting Technology and is working towards her Bachelor's of Applied Technology consecutively. She proudly was a member of the Business Professionals of America, placing second nationally for Human Resources and as a top ten keyboardist. Actively, she is a member of Delta Kappa Gamma. She loves to work with the students because they make the job rewarding as they create their own goals and obtain them! Being a late-bloomer herself, she knows it is never too late to start!
Valerie Watts, Instructor
A native Pocatelloan, Valerie Watts has held a variety of teaching positions both here and in Southern California. After graduating from Idaho State University, her first teaching jobs were in the Academic Skills Development (now TGE) and Adult Basic Education programs on the College of Technology campus. In 2012, Valerie returned to ABE to teach math again. She finds it especially gratifying assisting students in their educational journey. Valerie enjoys accompanying her husband on motorcycle trips and working outdoors on various summer projects at home.