Arkansas State Teachers Association Welcomes New Executive Director
posted by: Alix | August 09, 2012, 04:27 PM   

Little Rock, AR – The Arkansas State Teachers Association (ASTA), the state's premier non-union, professional educator association, is pleased to welcome Dr. Michele Ballentine-Linch as its new executive director. Serving in education for over twenty years, Dr. Linch brings a wealth of experience as a veteran educator, teacher leadership director, professor, and charter school board president. In her new role, Dr. Linch will focus on promoting the non-union education association option in Arkansas by spearheading recruitment efforts, overseeing member services and professional development, and developing strategic partnerships with like-minded organizations.

"I am delighted to welcome Dr. Linch to the ASTA team," said Gary Beckner, ASTA board chairman and executive director of ASTA's national partner, the Association of American Educators. "She is a remarkable leader who has played an outstanding role in Arkansas education for years. I am thrilled that she will be focusing her time, energy, and talents here as the executive director of ASTA, building upon the growth and momentum we have worked so hard to create."

Dr. Linch began her career as a science teacher in a high performing inner-city Dallas, TX, middle school. While there, she developed a passion for quality education and supporting students and teachers in the classroom. This vision led her to pursue a doctorate at the University of Arkansas, where she served as the director of the Arkansas Leadership Academy's Teacher Leadership Institute for over ten years.

Experienced in all levels of education, Dr. Linch has held faculty and administrative assignments at Arkansas Tech University, University of Arkansas at Little Rock and Arkansas Baptist College. Her work with educators has taken her throughout Arkansas, the United States, and even to underserved schools in rural China. She also serves as a Governor's appointee to the Arkansas Legislative Desegregation Litigation Oversight Committee and Taskforce and President of the e-Stem Charter Middle School Board.

"I am truly honored to assume the role of executive director and thank the board and staff for their incredible support and confidence," said Dr. Linch. "The ASTA staff and I are excited to begin the process of building this organization and promoting educator professionalism, collaboration and excellence. We look forward to supporting and empowering educators here in Arkansas for years to come."

Dr. Michele Linch holds an undergraduate degree in education from Arkansas Tech University; a Masters in Counseling and Student Services from the University of North Texas; and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, where her dissertation on professional development and teacher change won the Phi Delta Kappa International Outstanding Dissertation Award. She lives in Little Rock with her husband, a Lieutenant Colonel, and their two children.

The Arkansas State Teachers Association is the state's premier, non-union, professional educators' association, offering a modern approach to teacher representation and educational advocacy. ASTA members are forward-thinking professionals committed to student-centered education reform efforts and preparing students for the 21st Century. ASTA has members across Arkansas and welcomes professionals from all education entities. Membership is $15 per month which includes $2 million professional liability insurance, employment rights coverage, scholarships, grants, professional development resources as well as a host of other benefits.

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