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Administrative Office

Administrative Operations and Membership Services

Association of American Educators
25909 Pala, Suite 330
Mission Viejo, CA 92691
Tel: 800-704-7799, 949-595-7979
Fax: 949-595-7970
Email: Website Contact Form


Alicia Huntsman, Senior Director of Membership Services

Mission Viejo, California

Debbie Brown, Senior Membership Services Specialist
Krystal Chavez, Membership Billing Manager
Ellen Cole, Paralegal, Legal Services
Julie Evans, Assistant Director of Legal Services
Iris Lacey, Membership Payment Processor
Sharon Nelson, Senior Director of Legal Services
Katie Stout, Membership Services Manager
Grace Talberg, Human Resources and Accounting Manager
Cari Vedder, Assistant Director of Membership Services

National and Foundation Offices

Education Policy, Communications, and AAE Foundation

Association of American Educators
532 Durham Road, Suite 101A
Newtown, PA 18940
Tel: 800-704-7799, 949-595-7979
Fax: 949-595-7970
Email: Website Contact Form


Colin Sharkey, Executive Director

Newtown, Pennsylvania

Meghana Arumilli, Fonteva Database Manager
Megan Huban
, Executive Assistant/Project Coordinator
Noelani Kahapea, Senior Director of Policy & Advocacy
Christina Mazzanti, Senior Director of Communications

State Chapter and Regional Offices

Local Member Services, Outreach, and Communications


Amy Douglas, Director of Legal Services, Arkansas
Ariel Elliott, Regional Director, Colorado
Allison Greenwood, Ed.D., Executive Director, Arkansas
Danielle Kelley, Regional Director, Arkansas
Garry Sigle, Executive Director, Kansas
Dana Williams, State Director, Georgia & Director of Recruiting, AAE
Jennifer Wooten, Project Coordinator, Arkansas
Chuck Zurcher, Regional Membership Director, Nebraska

Visit the State Chapters and Partners page for state offices and web links

Open Positions

Email jobs -at- for more information

Regional Membership Director, California
Regional Membership Director, Idaho
Regional Membership Director, Kansas
Regional Membership Director, New Jersey
Regional Membership Director, Pennsylvania
Director of Charter School Services
Director of Membership Growth
Membership Engagement Manager

Staff Bios

Colin Sharkey

Executive Director

Colin Sharkey is executive director of the Association of American Educators and AAE Foundation. 

Mr. Sharkey previously served as Executive Vice President, responsible for day-to-day operations, including setting and meeting membership and revenue goals, hiring and supervising managers and staff, controlling expenses, and developing and directing operating procedures to support AAE’s objectives and policies. Before that, Mr. Sharkey served as senior director of national projects for AAE, spearheading numerous innovative technology, membership, expansion, and development initiatives.

Prior to joining AAE, Colin served the project coordinator for the coalition relations department at The Heritage Foundation, where he supported numerous projects, including the annual Resource Bank Meeting, Policy Experts, and the Leadership for America campaign. Before that Colin worked at the Collegiate Network as a program officer providing financial and technical assistance to nearly one hundred independent college newspapers. While he was at the Collegiate Network, a program of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, Colin served as Managing Editor of CAMPUS Magazine Online, created and directed the National Security Online Resource Center, and blogged for National Review Online. Colin has been interviewed on Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, and numerous local and syndicated radio programs.

Born and raised in Abington, Pennsylvania, Colin is a proud product of the award-winning Abington public school district. Colin completed a two-year honors program at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania, and he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Political Science at the University of Notre Dame.

If forced to choose only one, Colin’s favorite educator is his tenth grade English teacher, Mr. Ted Weiner, who is a passionate and knowledgeable teacher with high expectations.

Meghana Arumilli

Fonteva Database Manager

Meghana Arumilli serves as the Fonteva Database Manager for the Association of American Educators. In this role, Meghana is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the membership database system, including troubleshooting technical issues, developing new customizations, and providing daily support to team members using the Fonteva system.

Meghana previously worked as a Salesforce Administrator for an IT consulting firm where she configured workflows, built custom reports and dashboards, and maintained system security settings. Meghana is a 2018 graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a B.S.A in Nutrition and a 2021 graduate of Liberty University with a M.S. in Biomedical Sciences.

Meghana was born in India and raised in Dallas, Texas, where she still currently resides. Outside of work, she loves spending time with her family, friends and dog, as well as supporting her favorite sports teams, the Dallas Cowboys and Mavericks.

Meghana’s favorite and most influential educator is her 10th grade AP Language teacher, Mrs. Smith, who made writing countless essays and the subject of English enjoyable through her kindness and sense of humor.


Debbie Brown

Senior Member Services Specialist

Debbie Brown works as a senior member services specialist for the Association of American Educators where she manages all of the online applications and monitors membership services emails and web contacts. She also serves as an editorial assistant for AAE’s various publications. Her past work experience includes office positions with churches, schools, engineering and legal firms. She and her husband are both natives of Orange County, California, are very active in their church and choir, and have two grown children and two grandsons.

Debbie’s favorite educator is her tenth grade English teacher, Mr. Fox, who instilled in her a love for the English language and for reading.


Krystal Chavez

Membership Billing Manager

Krystal Chavez is the Membership Billing manager for the Association of American Educators. She majored in Early Childhood Education at Saddleback College, Mission Viejo, California. Prior to joining AAE, Krystal had worked as an Assistant Director for KinderCare Learning Education in Southern Orange County. She was the recipient of the Legacy Award in 2018 named as the Top Educator Nationwide. Her achievement was recognized by the Laguna Niguel Mayor and City Assembly.

Raised in Dana Point, California, Krystal loves spending quality time with her family. Her favorite pastimes are taking her son for a run on the beach, experiencing the beauty of the surf, watching the sunset, all while taking in the fresh ocean breeze. Krystal’s hobbies are cooking, creating charcuterie boards, music and painting.


Ellen Cole

Paralegal, Legal Services

Ellen Cole is the Legal Services paralegal and works closely with Sharon Nelson in servicing our members. She is the Legal point of contact for members, and facilitates the insurance claims process and attorney referrals. Aside from a caring personality, Ellen brings 23 years of legal experience to AAE members.

Ellen is a Chicago native and a die-hard Cubs fan. She has two grown sons and three beautiful grandchildren.

Ellen’s favorite educator is her high school volleyball and softball coach, Sr. Jackie Schmitz. Sr. Jackie exemplified kindness, faith, hard work, and integrity, all wrapped up in a great sense of humor.


Amy Douglas

Director of Legal Services, Arkansas

Amy is the Director of Legal Services for the Arkansas State Teachers Association. She has been practicing law since 2006 and has extensive experience in criminal and education law. She was a Public Defender for the State of Arkansas, specializing in criminal cases, for 16 years and most recently served as the Managing Attorney for the Professional Licensure Standards Board (PLSB) for the Arkansas Department of Education. Amy is an Arkansas native and lover of the Razorbacks, traveling, and anything that sparkles (in no particular order). She and her daughter, Avery Claire, travel and explore every chance they get but mostly to the beach.


Ariel Elliott

Regional Director, Colorado

Ariel Elliott serves as regional director for the Professional Association of Colorado Educators (PACE), supporting and serving PACE members throughout Colorado, and working to introduce many more educators to the benefits of PACE and the importance of membership in a professional association.

Ariel started her professional career in hotel management before transitioning to the association industry five years ago. She recently served as Education Director and Membership Development Director at the Professional Independent Insurance Agents of Colorado (now Trusted Choice Insurance Agents of Colorado). As membership director, Ariel grew membership and other programs offered by the association substantially. Ariel is a licensed property and casualty insurance professional and a tax professional.

Originally from the Park Hill area, Ariel was born, raised, and educated in Denver, Colorado. Ariel and her family are deeply rooted in the community and are still very active. She is a mother of three and a big kid at heart.

Ariel’s favorite educator is her eighth grade math teacher, Mr. Wagner, who instilled in her that you must respect and treat others the way you want to be treated no matter what.

Julie Evans

Legal Services Manager

Julie Evans serves as the Association of American Educators legal services manager. Prior to joining AAE, Julie worked for the Saddleback Valley Unified School District where she was on the management team for the before and after school day care program. As much as she loves working with children, she thoroughly enjoys providing services and support to teachers in her role with AAE.

Julie is a native Californian and she enjoys spending time with friends and family, volunteering at church, taking trips to Big Bear and going to Disneyland.

Julie’s favorite educator is her third grade teacher, Mrs. Relf, who took a genuine interest in each of her students and was always willing to go the extra mile to see her students succeed.


Allison Greenwood

Executive Director, Arkansas

Dr. Allison Greenwood is Executive Director of the Arkansas State Teachers Association (ASTA), a state chapter of the Association of American Educators (AAE). She has served as an educator in Arkansas, Tennessee and Mississippi. Believing passionately in the power of education to expand human potential and the source for empowerment and unity in our country is what drives Greenwood.

Her professional career began as an early childhood teacher in West Memphis, AR. She served as program manager at one of the first Arkansas Better Chance (ABC) programs which led to her appointment as Administrator of Child and Adolescent Services and Director of Education at Lakeside Behavioral Health System in Memphis, TN. She served as principal/superintendent for 6-12 and K-12 schools for children with emotional disturbances and conduct disorders in Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas. She has managed numerous behavioral health and educational programs, including acute care, intensive outpatient, residential care, alternative learning environments, and outpatient offices. Dr. Greenwood held faculty appointments at Arkansas State University-Jonesboro and University of Arkansas at Little Rock where she taught classes in early childhood education, special education, middle level education, and secondary education.

Dr. Greenwood has a doctorate of Instruction and Curriculum emphasizing in Early Childhood from the University of Memphis. She holds an MSE in Early Childhood with a certification in Educational Administration and a BSE in Early Childhood from Arkansas State University in Jonesboro.

Allison lives in North Little Rock. She enjoys rehabbing houses, painting, outdoor activities, spending time with family and friends at the lake, and advocating for children and educators.


Megan Huban

Executive Assistant/Office Manager

Megan Huban is the Executive Assistant/Office Manager for the Association of American Educators and AAE Foundation. In this role, Megan provides high level administrative support to the Executive Director and helps execute strategic priorities while contributing to the achievement of AAE’s mission. Prior to joining AAE, Megan worked as an Executive Assistant to the CEO of an automobile transmission franchise. Before that, Megan worked at an investment firm as the Executive Assistant to the General Counsel.

Megan grew up attending public school in Palmyra, Pennsylvania and graduated magna cum laude from Temple University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Broadcasting, Telecommunications and Mass Media. She lives in Glenside, Pennsylvania, with her two beautiful daughters and feisty Belgian Malinois, Grace.

Megan’s favorite educator is her 12th grade Journalism teacher, Ms. Aura Hill, who had a passion for teaching, loved all of her students and made learning exciting.


Alicia Huntsman

Senior Director of Membership Services

Alicia Huntsman serves as the Senior Director of Membership Services for the Association of American Educators. In this role, Alicia is responsible for managing the AAE membership office located in Orange County, California. In addition, Alicia serves as the Assistant Secretary and Assistant Treasurer to the AAE and AAE Foundation Board. Prior to joining AAE, Alicia worked for both large and smaller companies in management positions. She has a background in accounting, payroll, and executive administrative duties.

Alicia lives in Orange County, California with her two sons. She enjoys spending her free time at the beach, visiting national parks, and taking family vacations.

Alicia’s favorite teacher is her 8th grade teacher, Mr. Michael Vick, whose teaching style made class exciting and made each student feel important. He accompanied the class on a memorable field trip to Washington D.C.


Noelani Kahapea

Senior Director of Policy and Advocacy

Noelani Kahapea serves as the senior director of policy and advocacy for the Association of American Educators. In this role Noelani cultivates AAE's outreach to the broader education and labor reform policy community.

Prior to joining AAE, Noelani served as the Senior Policy Staff on education and labor policy for the Republican Study Committee in the House of Representatives under three chairmen: Rep. Bill Flores, Rep. Mark Walker, and Rep. Mike Johnson. She also served as the Senior Legislative Assistant to Hawai'i Senate Minority Leader Sam Slom.

Noelani grew up with a diverse educational background, as she attended both public and private schools and was homeschooled. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of Hawai'i at Manoa with a degree in Political Science. As the daughter, granddaughter, niece, and cousin of teachers, she truly values teachers, admires the role they play in a child's education, and has a true passion for K-12 education policy.

In her free time, Noelani enjoys dancing hula and visiting Disney World. Noelani has also been cast as an extra in a few television shows and movies including Hawaii Five-0 and Jurassic World.

It is easy for Noelani to pick a favorite teacher: her mom, Debbie. Debbie not only taught public school for many years, she also homeschooled Noelani and her two siblings. She instilled not only a love for learning, but also many valuable life lessons that Noelani has finally admitted are priceless.

Danielle Kelley

Regional Director, Arkansas

Danielle Kelley is a Regional Director of the Arkansas State Teachers Association (ASTA), a state chapter of AAE. Danielle taught Theatre, Oral Communication, English, and Journalism for 19 years across Arkansas, Mississippi, and Alabama. She graduated from Mississippi State University with her Bachelor's degree in Secondary Education and Public Relations. Before beginning her teaching career, she worked in corporate public relations in Dallas, Texas and even auditioned for a Broadway show. Danielle loves all things British and spends her spare time recreating recipes from The Great British Baking Show and Downton Abbey. She loves to sew, travel, throw parties, and is an active member of Central Baptist Church in Jonesboro, AR. She has been married to her husband Sam, who is also a teacher, since 2005, and they have three children, two boys and a girl.


Iris Lacey

Membership Payment Processor

Iris Lacey is the membership payment processor for monthly payments in the AAE California office. Her past work experience has been with various industries including chemical, computer, and copier-printing companies. She grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and now resides in Southern California with her husband. She has two grown daughters, and her grandson and granddaughter are the loves in her life.

Her favorite educator is her third grade teacher, Mr. Williams, made a difference by spending extra time with a “lefty”.


Christina Mazzanti

Senior Director of Communications

Christina Mazzanti is the Senior Director of Communications for the Association of American Educators. She is responsible for advancing AAE’s mission, growth and member service through internal and external communications strategies. This position directs awareness and engagement efforts related to member communications, marketing communications, brand management, media relations, and publications including AAE’s flagship newsletter, Education Matters. Prior to AAE, Christina was Director of Communications with The Center for Education Reform. Her diverse and extensive communications, marketing, and brand management experience also includes leadership roles with Youth For Understanding USA, De Shields Associates, Grace Creek Media, The Cronkite Ward Company, and the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).

Christina is a graduate of the University of Maryland and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications degree. Originally from Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, Christina and her husband are long-time residents of Alexandria, Virginia.

Christina’s favorite educator is her 11th grade history teacher, Mr. Bellow, who always found a way to give every lesson a “punchline.”


Sharon Nelson

Senior Director of Legal Services

Sharon Nelson is the Senior Director of Legal Services for the Association of American Educators. In this capacity, Ms. Nelson oversees AAE's extensive legal teams across the country and works daily with members and panel counsel to address member legal concerns.

A passionate advocate for educators, Ms. Nelson has been a lawyer focusing on employee rights issues for nearly 25 years. Before joining AAE, Ms. Nelson worked in private practice advocating for employee rights.

As a litigator, Ms. Nelson has conducted numerous jury trials, arbitrations and administrative hearings. Licensed in Nevada and California, Ms. Nelson has practiced extensively in all state and federal courts in those jurisdictions.

Ms. Nelson's favorite educator is Mr. VonBergon who taught her that life was for living and learning and that there was nothing she could not achieve.


Garry Sigle

Regional Membership Director, AAE and Executive Director, Kansas

Garry Sigle serves as a regional director of the Association of American Educators, as well as the executive director of AAE’s state chapter in Kansas. Garry served for 33 years as a teacher and coach at Riley County High School in Riley, Kansas.

He is a 1978 graduate of Fort Hays State University with a B.S. in Industrial Arts and a 1982 graduate of Kansas State University with a M.S. in Physical Education. While at Fort Hays, Garry was a five-time NAIA All-American in cross-country and track and field. In 2010, Garry was inducted into the Fort Hays State University Tiger Sports Hall of Fame.

At Riley County High School, Garry taught Woodworking and Drafting and was awarded the 1998 Wal-Mart Area Teacher of the Year. In addition to his teaching duties, Garry was the Head Girls’ and Boys’ Cross Country and Track and Field Coach. His teams won a total of 12 state championships, 7 in girls cross country, 3 in boys cross country and one each in girls and boys track and field. He coached 17 individual state champions in cross country and 56 individual state champions in track and field. Garry finished his track and field coaching career with a streak of 17 consecutive years with at least one individual state champion. The track at Riley County High School was renamed the Garry Sigle Track in 2011.

Garry earned Kansas Coaches Association Coach of the Year 3 times, twice in Girls Cross Country (1992 and 2009) and once in Girls Track and Field (1998). He was also the Midwest Region Girls Track and Field Coach of the Year in 1999 and the Girls Cross Country Coach of the Year in 2010. Garry was active at the state level in the Kansas Coaches Association serving as the Chairman for Cross Country for 10 years. In addition, he served as the president of the Kansas Cross Country and Track and Field Coaches Association from 1996 to 2004. Garry was inducted into the Kansas Fellowship of Christian Athletes Coaches Hall of Fame, the Kansas State High School Activities Association Hall of Fame, and the Osborne County Hall of Fame.

Garry has been a member of the Association of American Educators since 1996. In 2008, Garry was the chairperson of the Riley County Educators, a local teacher organization, which successfully voted to decertify from the Kansas NEA. The Riley County Educators then became the recognized bargaining unit for the Riley County teachers. He previously served on KANAAE’s board of directors before becoming Executive Director of KANAAE in 2011.

Garry and his wife, Linda, have three sons.

Garry's favorite educator is Coach Kent Litton because he had high expectations and made Garry realize he was capable of achieving great things through hard work and perseverance.

Katie Stout

Membership Services Manager

Katie Stout is the Membership Services Manager for the Association of American Educators. She received her bachelor’s degree in Communications from California State University, Fullerton. Prior to joining AAE, Katie worked as a coordinator for the Saddleback Valley Unified School District’s afterschool program.

Born and raised in Orange County, CA, Katie loves everything Disney related. She and her soon-to-be husband love spending time with their families, friends and going to sporting events. Katie’s favorite activities are her weekly walks with her grandma and watching reality TV.

Katie’s favorite teacher is her 6th grade teacher Mrs. Prickett. She was very kind, patient and had new and innovative ways to teach.



Grace Talberg

Human Resources and Accounting Manager

Grace has served as Human Resources and Accounting Manager for AAE since 2007. In this role, Grace conducts a variety of HR functional areas including payroll administration, managing benefits, onboarding, employee handbook development, policy and procedure update and reviews, employee relations issues, and guidance on federal and state employment law compliance. In addition to Human Resources, Grace prepares bank reconciliations, financial statements, and schedules to support tax returns.

Grace was born and raised in the Philippines, and graduated from Colegio de la Purisima Concepcion with a bachelor’s degree in Commerce. After graduation, Grace relocated to California with her family. Grace continued her professional development at Chapman University, CA. Grace is an active member of the Society of Human Resources Management and Human Capital Institute. Outside of work, Grace loves spending time with family, traveling, walking her dog, and finding new places for brunch.

Grace’s favorite educator was her high school freshman choir teacher, Sister Lucia, who had the voice of an angel. Sister Lucia showed compassion for her students and had the best combination of strictness and kindness.



Cari Vedder

Group Accounts Manager

Cari Vedder is group accounts manager for the Association of American Educators in California. Her role within AAE focuses on the management of payroll deduction services for educational entities across the nation.

Born and raised in Littleton, Colorado, she graduated from Colorado State University and earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Marketing. While attending CSU, she met her husband Joshua and they have two amazing children. Cari’s prior work experience includes sales, account management, and staffing management. During her free time she enjoys running, reading, and spending time with her family.

Cari’s most memorable and influential educator is her 6th grade teacher, Mr. Paul Stanko, who taught her to always be who you are and to take pride in the work you do.


Dana Williams

State Director, Georgia and Director of Recruiting, AAE

Dana Williams serves as state director for the Association of American Educators in Georgia.

Dana has worked as an assistant principal, special education leader, and special education teacher for a public charter school in Georgia serving K-8th grade students. Prior to Dana’s work in education, she worked as an analyst for a consumer products company and as a sales representative. Dana holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and marketing, a master’s degree in early childhood education, and a specialist degree in educational leadership.

Dana is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia.

Her most memorable educator is her fifth grade teacher, Mr. Thomas, who continuously told her that she could accomplish anything she set her mind to do. He also held Dana to very high expectations.

Jennifer Wooten

Project Coordinator, Arkansas

Jennifer is the Project Coordinator for the Arkansas State Teachers Association. In this role, Jennifer provides high level administrative support to the Executive Director and helps execute strategic priorities while contributing to the achievement of ASTA’s mission. Prior to joining ASTA, Jennifer used her background in psychology/social work to empower students. One of her favorite roles was working with children and their families as a family engagement specialist in a public elementary school.

Jennifer graduated from Sylvan Hills High School and Arkansas State University with a Bachelors of Science degree in Psychology. She lives in North Little Rock with her husband of over 20 years and beautiful family. She has a daughter who is a pre-med student and a son who is in high school.

Jennifer loves spending time at the lake with her family and friends. Her favorite teacher was Ms. Karen Campbell, 4th grade teacher, at Harris Elementary-Pulaski County School District. She loved how she made her feel special and to overcome her shyness. Ms. Campbell helped foster confidence.


Chuck Zurcher

Regional Membership Director, Nebraska

Chuck Zurcher is a graduate of the University of Nebraska Lincoln in Business and Marketing with a Teaching Endorsement K through 12. He has more than thirty years of experience in marketing and sales. His wife taught for twenty-two years in the public school system. Two of their three children are educators as well as their daughter-in-law. Chuck served on the Papillion LaVista School board, which is the fourth largest school district in the state of Nebraska. He has always been an advocate of teachers and their students.

Chuck’s favorite educator was his sixth-grade teacher, Mr. Bailey. This wonderful teacher gave Chuck the additional confidence he needed to be successful. He encouraged hard work while at the same time to have fun in the effort.