Kentucky: Council on Postsecondary Education

Council Members

The Council is composed of thirteen citizen members, a faculty member, and a student member, all appointed by the Governor. The Commissioner of Education serves as a nonvoting ex-officio member.

For more information on the Council's membership terms and meetings, see KRS 164.011. For general inquiries about the CPE members, contact Heather Bingham.

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Glenn Denton, chair

Glenn David Denton is a partner of Denton Law Firm, PLLC in Paducah, Kentucky and practices law throughout western Kentucky and southern Illinois.  His practice encompasses complex civil litigation, estate and trust litigation, business law, employment law and insurance defense.  He is a 1992 graduate of Centre College and a 1995 graduate of Northern Kentucky University Chase College of Law. He received the Outstanding Recent Alumnus Award from the Chase Alumni Association in 2005.  He authored the article "Closing a Kentucky Law Office" published in 2013 by Kentucky Bar Association Bench & Bar magazine and speaks on the topic providing continuing legal education. Mr. Denton also serves on the board of directors of The Paducah Bank and Trust Company, Paducah Bank Shares, Inc., and Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company of Kentucky, where he is chair of the audit and finance committee.  He is the past chairman of the Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce and of the Paducah-McCracken County Convention and Visitors Bureau. Mr. Denton was appointed to the Council in 2008, re-appointed in 2012 and will serve on the Council through December, 2016. He was named chair in February 2015 and will serve in that role through January 2016.

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Joe Graviss, vice chair

Joe Graviss, Versailles, is an owner\operator of eight McDonald's Restaurants in Lexington, Frankfort, and Versailles. He has served the Federal Reserve Bank's 4th District as Business Advisory Council Member and was a candidate for Kentucky's 7th District State Senate seat in 2004. He is the former chairman of the Woodford County Economic Development Authority, former chairman of Bluegrass Tomorrow, co-chair of the Woodford County Task Force on commercial, residential, and small community design standards and the McDonald's National Leadership Council Representative for over 175 McDonald's Franchisees in Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio. He is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Transylvania University with majors in accounting and business administration and minors in political science and history. He is a graduate of the Leadership Central Kentucky program given by the Lexington Chamber of Commerce. He is also a licensed Certified Public Accountant. Mr. Graviss also serves on the Nursing Home Ombudsman Association of the Bluegrass Board and Woodford Tomorrow. He was appointed to the Council in 2009, re-appointed in 2015 and will serve on the Council through December, 2020.  He was named chair in February 2015 and will serve in that role through January 2016. 

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W. Bruce Ayers

W. Bruce Ayers retired as president of Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College in June of 2013, after spending more than 45 years at the institution, the last 27 as president. Under his leadership the college grew from one to five campuses, and enrollment grew from 900 to over 4,500 students. SKCTC was consistently ranked by the Aspen Institute in the top 10% of the nation's community colleges during the last several years of Ayers' presidency and during the 2012-2013 academic year was ranked as one of the Top Ten 2-year institutions in the country. In addition to strong academics, SKCTC was known for its partnerships with community organizations and educational institutions throughout the state and nation. Dr. Ayers was a leader among the nation's rural community colleges and the founding chair of the Rural Community College Alliance (RCCA). He will serve on the Council through December, 2016.

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Maryanne H. Elliott

Maryanne Honeycutt Elliott, of Louisville, is the founder of The Acorn Group. She is a formally trained leadership coach from Georgetown University in Washington, DC, and certified by Priority Management Systems. She is also a certified speaker for Vistage International, a global mentoring company for CEOs and entrepreneurs, and also for SOAR, a leadership development program for high potential women. Ms. Elliott earned a Master in Business Administration from the University of Louisville, a B.A. from Furman University in Political Science and English, is a formally trained coach from Georgetown University. She is an ACC certified coach by the International Coach Federation. Ms. Elliott will serve on the Council through December, 2017.

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Joe E. Ellis, O.D.

Joe E. Ellis is a Doctor of Optometry and is the owner of EyeCare Associates of Kentucky in Benton, Kentucky. He attended Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tennessee, from 1982-1986, receiving a Doctor of Optometry degree and attended Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky, from 1975-1979 receiving a degree in Biology. He has served as president for the Kentucky Optometric Association and past Kentucky Trustee. In 2001, Dr. Ellis was elected by his peers to serve on the Board of Trustees of the American Optometric Association. Other honors include 2010-11 President of the American Optometric Association. Dr. Ellis will serve on the Council through December, 2018.

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Dan E. Flanagan

Dan E. Flanagan, of Campbellsville, operates a large farming business and is a retired pastor. He has held several positions in state government, including deputy commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, and various positions at Campbellsville University for a number of years. He holds degrees from the University of Louisville Kent School of Social Work, the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Campbellsville University. Mr. Flanagan was appointed to the Council in 2005 and will continue to serve through December, 2016. He served as the Council's vice chair from February, 2012 through January, 2015.

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Mark Guilfoyle

Mark Guilfoyle is an attorney for DBL Law in Crestview Hills, KY and he previously served as General Counsel to the Governor, Budget Director and Secretary of the Governor's Executive Cabinet under Governor Brereton Jones from 1991 to 1995. He has also been, or still is, a member of the NKU Foundation Board of Trustees, Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, the Alliance for Catholic Urban Education, the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and has served as Chairman of Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Covington. He will serve on the Council through December, 2020.

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Dennis M. Jackson

Dennis M. Jackson, from Paducah, retired from the Paducah public schools in 2005 where he served as director of district personnel. Prior to that he served as assistant principal and athletic director at Paducah Tilghman High School and as a teacher and coach at several other schools. He has served on numerous organizations and boards, including the Murray State University Foundation, the National Alliance of Black School Educators, the Kentucky High School Athletic Association, and the Western Kentucky Association of History and Social Studies Teachers. In 1960 he was the first African American varsity athlete at Murray State University where he played football and ran track. He graduated from Murray with a bachelor of arts in physical education and later earned his master's degree in secondary education administration. He was inducted into the Kentucky High School Athletic Hall of Fame and also the Murray State Athletics Hall of Fame. He will serve on the Council through December, 2015.

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Brenda H. McGown

Brenda McGown of Bowling Green retired from the Kentucky Education Association in 2015. During her 10 years at KEA she served as Instructional Issues Specialist monitoring the implementation of the latest pre K-12 education reform effort, Senate Bill 1. Her work there also included serving as a UniServ director representing members in 17 local education agencies. Prior to this, Ms. McGown owned an educational assistance firm, Solutions, Inc., providing assistance to various LEAs in Kentucky and Indiana. She retired from the Warren County School System in 1999 where she served as a high school administrator and mathematics teacher. Ms. McGown has chaired the School Curriculum, Accountability Council and served as a Distinguished Educator working in various schools in crisis. As a member of the Education and Professional Standards Board, Board of Examiners, she has participated in over 15 college of education reviews, chairing many of them. This Western Kentucky University graduate counts Kentucky Teacher of the Year as one of her highest honors. Ms. McGown will serve on the Council through December, 2017.

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Pam Miller

Pam Miller, of Lexington, served as mayor of Lexington-Fayette County from 1993 to 2003. Prior to that she served on the Urban County Council from 1974 to 1977 and 1980 to 1993. She taught history and French in Connecticut and worked for the Congressional Quarterly in Washington, D.C., and the Boston Globe. Ms. Miller is a member and former chair of the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence. She received her bachelor’s degree in history from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. She will serve on the Council through December, 2018. Ms. Miller served as the Council's vice chair from February 2010 until December 2011 and as the Council's chair from February 2012 through January 2015.

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Donna Moore

Donna Moore of Lexington, retired from Kentucky Educational Television in 2004. During her 30 years at KET she was senior producer of public affairs and director of programming before being named Deputy Executive Director for Programming and Production. She chaired the Governor's Education Transition Team in 2007. She currently chairs the Midway University Board of Trustees, The Women's Network, the KET Authority and serves on various community boards. She holds an associate degree from Midway College and a bachelor of arts in business education from the University of Kentucky. Ms. Moore will serve on the Council through December, 2019.

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Marcia Milby Ridings

Marcia Milby Ridings is the principal of the London law firm of Hamm, Milby & Ridings. She was president of the Kentucky Bar Association in 1995-96 and was named Outstanding Lawyer of Kentucky in 2006. Ms. Ridings currently serves on the Board of Governors of the American Bar Association. She is on the Board of the Baptist Healthcare System (chair of the audit committee) and serves as Chair of Baptist Health Corbin. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company and the Laurel County Public  Library. She holds a bachelor's degree from Georgetown College and Master's and Juris Doctorate degrees from the University of Kentucky. She is a former Regent of Kentucky State University and  previously served on the Board of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. She is a former member of CPE, having been appointed in 1997 after the passage of House Bill 1.  Her current term on the Council expires December 31, 2015.

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Robert H. Staat

Robert Staat, Ph.D., of Goshen, is the faculty representative to the council. He joined the University of Louisville in 1976 as a professor of microbiology. In addition to his teaching duties and research on infectious dental diseases, he serves as a faculty senator and is the immediate past chair of the UofL Faculty Senate. Currently, he is a member of the UofL Athletic Association Board and the Coalition of Senate and Faculty Leaders. Dr. Staat's education includes a Bachelors and Master's Degree from the University of New Mexico and the Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. In addition to his work in academia, Dr. Staat is a hobbyist and woodworker and is president of a model railroad manufacturing business. His CPE term will expire June 30, 2017.

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Sherrill Brakmeier Zimmerman

Sherrill Zimmerman is a retired educator from Louisville, Kentucky where she was a teacher, assistant principal and a magnet program coordinator for Jefferson County Public Schools. She has made numerous presentations at state and national conferences on many aspects of middle school education. She also coached cheerleading at the University of Louisville leading them to three national championships. Ms. Zimmerman has served on several boards including the Children's Hospital Foundation Board in Louisville. In addition, she holds a bachelor's degree in biology, a master's degree in education and administrative certification all from the University of Louisville. Ms. Zimmerman will serve on the Council through December, 2019.

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Terry Holliday

Terry Holliday, Ph.D., was selected as Kentucky's fifth commissioner of education in July 2009, and serves on the Council as an exofficio, nonvoting member. Holliday served as superintendent of the more than 20,000-student Iredell-Statesville school district from 2002 until 2009. Under his leadership, the Iredell-Statesville school district received the 2008 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. He earned a bachelor's degree from Furman University, a master's degree and doctorate from Winthrop University, and a doctorate from the University of South Carolina. Holliday is retiring from the Kentucky Department of Education, effective August 31, 2015. On August 5, 2015, the Kentucky Board of Education named Kevin C. Brown, Associate Commissioner and General Counsel for the Kentucky Department of Education, as interim commissioner of education.


Last Updated 9/10/2015