Adult Learning Instructors
A-C D-F G-I J-L M-O P-R S-Z
Russell J. Blanden (MS Office) Russ has been teaching Adult Learning courses since 1986. He has taught many computer software classes including AutoCAD, Programmable Logic Controllers, Word, Excel, Access, Windows XP, and Intro to Computers. He was recognized as the Adult Education Teacher of the Year in 2002. His qualifications include a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering and over 35 years of experience in industry. Best of all, Russ consistently receives above average ratings on evaluations from his students.
Al Constable (Advanced Manufacturing) Al has worked in manufacturing for over twenty years. He began his training in 1987 by attending the Machine Trades class at the former Lenawee Vo-Tech Center (now LISD TECH Center). After graduating from high school in 1988, Al became a registered tool and die apprentice through the United States Department of Labor and began serving on the Machine Trades advisory committee. He completed the required apprenticeship classes at Jackson Community College and became a certified tool and die maker in August of 1992 while continuing to serve on the Machine Trades advisory committee until 2001.
Al continued working as a tool and die maker until August of 2001, at which time he was offered the position of Machine Trades instructor at LISD TECH Center. In April of 2009, Al graduated Summa Cum Laude from Eastern Michigan University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Science, majoring in Manufacturing, Design Technology, and Cultural Perspectives.
Beginning in August of 2009, Al became the instructor of the new state of the art LISD TECH Center Advanced Manufacturing program. He, along with the advisory committee and LISD administration, is very excited to see the additional opportunities students will have in the new program.
Al has been married since 1990 and he and his wife Kristy have a son and daughter. His family offers a great amount of support for his teaching career at the LISD TECH Center.
Lynn “Kink” Courington (Motorcycle Safety) Kink has been a lead instructor with the Motorcycle Safety Program since 2000 and is certified through the Motorcycle Safety Foundation for Basic Rider Course (BRC), Returning Rider Basic Rider Course (RRBRC), and Advanced RiderCourse (ARC). He is retired from the Adrian Police Department with 33 years of service. As a police officer, he was the Motor Unit Commander and was Harley Davidson/Northwestern University certified for Police Motor Instructors.
Cal DeLine (Motorcycle Safety) Cal is a certified instructor through the Motorcycle Safety Foundation for Basic Rider Course (BRC), Returning Rider Basic Rider Course (RRBRC), and Advanced RiderCourse (ARC). He has been instructing Motorcycle Safety since 2007 and enjoys riding and teaching motorcycle safety.
Cal and his wife, Beth, have been married for 36 years and have four children and four grandchildren. Cal has been employed at a local lumber company for over 40 years.
Laura Desmet (eBay)
Laura Mead-Desmet is a lifelong resident of Lenawee County and a graduate from Siena Heights University. She is currently employed at Tecumseh Public Schools as an Elementary Library Assistant where she shares her love of books with children. Laura first learned about eBay while shopping, and then later by selling items to provide for her shopping habit. She has been an instructor since 2006, teaching useful eBay how-to’s for both shoppers and sellers alike. She believes in teaching in a relaxed, hands-on environment and encourages her students to have fun.
Deneen Evans (Sewing Basics, Intermediate Sewing & Quilting Steps) Deneen earned an Associate’s Degree in Interior Design with a Fashion Merchandise minor from Davis College, a 2-year Associates in Civil Engineering at Owens Community College, and a 2-year Associates in Solidworks at Baker College. She has sewn since she was a child and now owns Design Connections, a business offering custom sewing for upholstery, drapery, custom fashions, auto seats, and quilting. Her volunteer projects include working with the HOPE Center teaching members how to sew Kiwanis trauma bears and St. Mark’s Church “Sew Caring” project that sends quilts to our soldiers overseas through the American Legion. Deneen has a gift for sewing and enjoys sharing her skill with her students.
Doretta Fowler (American Sign Language) Doretta graduated from Lansing Community College’s Interpreter Training Program and is currently an adjunct faculty member in their Sign Language Program. She is the Director of SYNC, a musical performance in sign language at Dart Auditorium and has a State Certification EIPA which allows her to interpret in an educational setting. She as served D/HH students in Michigan since graduating from LCC ITP in 2005.
Doretta lives in the Lansing area and enjoys dabbling in photography, artistry, and spending time with her daughter.
Jake Graf (Basic Kitchen Skills, Fundamentals of Fine Dining and Comfort Foods) Jake earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Hotel & Restaurant Management from Eastern Michigan University and brings a vast amount of knowledge and expertise to the classroom. He has a passion for the industry and enjoys sharing his knowledge with this students.
Jake is married with one son. He shows as much dedication to his career as he does his family.
Bob A. Jones (Solar Panels for Your Home)
Bob earned an Associate’s Degree in Electrical Engineering Technology from the University of Toledo and a Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Electrical Engineering Technology (BSEET) from Siena Heights University. Bob has an active interest in engineering, science and technology, and has been at the LISD TECH Center for over 20 years. Prior to joining the LISD, he worked at the University of Toledo Physics Department and the Engineering Technology Department. A retired member of the Ohio Air National Guard, Bob brings a broad range of experience and expertise.
Bob initiated the development of the wind and solar energy curricula at the LISD TECH Center Campus and brings his inquisitive nature and joy of technology to the classroom.
Bob E. Jones (Intro to PCs) Bob has been working in the computer industry since 1971 concentrating in programming and networking. Bob started teaching computer related courses in 1998. He is a Computer Information Services teacher assistant and also teaches at a community college. Bob has certifications in A+, Net+, Security+, and Project+. His other pluses in life are his wife of 44 years, their two children, and sailing.
Tony Miller (Welding Technology)
Tony completed the Welding program at Washtenaw Community College and has been in the industry for over ten years. His work experience includes everything from one off prototype projects to trailers and Dredge Ships. He’s excited to have the opportunity to pass his knowledge on to students that are interested in learning more about the welding industry.
Justin Myers (Digital Imaging, Web Page Layout and Design, Windows 8) Justin is an adjunct professor at Jackson Community College in Graphic Arts teaching Photo Shop, Illustrator, In Design, and Dream Weaver. He also has been employed as a teacher assistant for the LISD TECH Center for the past three years.
Justin received a Bachelor’s Degree in Art (Illustration, Graphic Design, and Digital Imaging) and is married with his first child on the way.
Angela Pilbeam (Dental Assistant) Angela is a Dental Hygienist that has been in the dental field for over 18 years. She has been an office manager for a busy practice for over seven of those years and has taught at the LISD TECH Center for seven years.
Angela obtained her Dental Hygiene degree from Kellogg Community College and has recently received her Bachelor’s degree from Siena Heights University. What Angela brings to the class is a more personal side to the dental field. With her experience she is able to not only teach Dental Assisting, but use her experience working with patients to teach students how to relate to patients of all ages.
Denise Propes (Pharmacy Technician) Denise Propes is a Nationally Certified Pharmacy Technician (PTCB). She has over 20 years’ experience as a technician in the hospital setting and eight years’ experience in retail pharmacy. She has taught pharmacy technology in several different settings over the last four years, including hosting PTCB training sessions and mentoring new technicians on the job. She is currently a Pharmacy Technician Team Leader at University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor for the Investigational Drug Service.
She is married, has a teenage son and daughter, a dog, and a cat. She enjoys gardening, writing, and bicycling, and is a huge fan of Detroit Sports teams.
Lad Strayer (Digital Camera) Lad has been teaching digital photography at the LISD TECH Center for five years. He has been a regular contributor to the Daily Telegram since 1986 and the Toledo Free Press since 2006. Some of his past contributions have been to the Detroit News, Associated Press, and the Sporting News. Currently Lad is doing commercial photography with a partner under the wePhoto name. In 2009 the book “Daily Bread” A Portrait of Homeless Men and Women of Lenawee County was published by Botto Dog Press and features the photography of Lad Strayer. You may visit his website at www.we-photo.net.
Tamara Terry (Floral Design) Tamara, a Sand Creek native, has 30 years’ experience in the floral industry. She first worked in various flower shops in the Adrian area, before opening a successful floral business of her own which has been in business for the past 21 years. Tamara’s Floral specializes in Wedding Design. She has a passion and enthusiasm for floral design and is looking forward to sharing her experience, knowledge, and love for this industry to inspire her students to create beautiful designs.
Tamara has been married for 28 years and is a very proud mother of a 25 year old daughter and a 21 year old son.
Brenda Thompson (Crochet) Brenda has been crocheting for forty years and enjoys teaching this art to others. She finds making Afghans, scarves, and other items a relaxing hobby for her. Brenda is married and has two dogs.
Alicia Tobar (Spanish) Alicia was born and raised in Ecuador, South America and earned an Accounting degree there. She has enjoyed teaching Spanish at the LISD TECH Center for the past six years. Her love of world travel and curiosity of cultures enhances her teaching skills.
Valorie Veld (Chocolate & Canvas) Valorie earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development from Siena Heights University and is author and illustrator of the children’s book titled I am a Montessori Kid. She is director and teacher at Lenawee’s Heart & Soul- a music and art studio for young children in downtown Adrian. She has been an early childhood educator for 20 years and shares her love of creativity through water color painting, drawing, and other art experiences with her students.
Valorie enjoys spending time with her family, repurposing garage sale and flea market finds, painting and creating various art pieces, and learning art history.