Arkansas State Teachers Association
Dr. Michele Ballentine-Linch served in education as a science teacher for over twenty years and is now the executive director of ASTA - the Arkansas state chapter of AAE. After her career as a teacher, Dr. Linch pursued a doctorate at the University of Arkansas where she became the director of the Arkansas Leadership Academy’s Teacher Leader Institute - a post she held for over ten years.
Michele has performed faculty and administrative assignments at Arkansas Tech University, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and Arkansas Baptist College. Michele’s work with educators has taken her across the state of Arkansas, the U.S., and even to underserved schools in rural China. She served as a Governor’s appointee to the Arkansas Legislative Desegregation Litigation Oversight Subcommittee and Taskforce and serves on the board of the Arkansas Dressage Society.
Michele lives in Little Rock, AR with her husband, Perry, a lieutenant colonel in the Arkansas Army National Guard, their two children, and a menagerie of dogs, cats, chickens, and horses.
Dr. Allison Cecil Clark is a Regional Director of the Arkansas State Teachers Association (ASTA), a state chapter of AAE. Her professional career began as a teacher and program manager at one of the first Arkansas Better Chance (ABC) programs. Following her work with ABC, Dr. Clark served as Administrator of Child and Adolescent Services and Director of Education at Lakeside Behavioral Health System in Memphis, TN. She served as principal for two schools for children with emotional disturbances and conduct disorders, and, after managing numerous psychiatric and educational programs for children, Dr. Clark served as the Administrator of Outpatient Offices in Jonesboro, AR. Dr. Clark 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. She lives in North Little Rock with her two teenage sons.
Ronnie Flowers is a Regional Director of the Arkansas State Teachers Association (ASTA), a state chapter of AAE. Previously, Ronnie was an Algebra and Geometry in the Bentonville Public School District for 12 years after graduating with his Bachelor's degree in Mathematics and a Masters of Arts in Teaching from the University of Arkansas. As a teacher, Ronnie was voted by his peers as teacher of the year two different times for his building and for his small learning community. Ronnie became a member of ASTA in 2004 and soon helped start and was elected the president of the local ASTA group in Bentonville. Ronnie teaches Sunday School, a Ranger's group, and plays trumpet in the First Assembly of God Church in Bentonville where he is an active member. He has been married for 15 years to his wife Kim and has two sons.
Margaret Zakrzewski comes to Arkansas State Teachers Association after a varied career in the business sector and private sector. Ms. Zakrzewski attended State College of Arkansas (present day University of Central Arkansas). After working in the corporate headquarters for Dillard Department Stores, she and her husband owned and ran a small successful business, The Lamp House. Upon closing this business, she was hired as Director of Religious Education by Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church. She completed a three year theology program conducted by the Diocese of Little Rock and was in charge of all facets of the parish religious education programs. She later went on to serve as the Executive Administrative Assistant for the Vice President of Academic Affairs at Arkansas Baptist College. Margaret and her husband, Frank, have raised four sons. She is very active in her church and one of her loves is theater and acting.