Partners for Education Leadership Team

Photograph of Annie E. Casey Fellow Dreama Gentry on 4/5/16 at the Annie E. Casey Foundation during the April 2016 convening.

Dreama Gentry provides leadership and vision as the executive director of Partners for Education at Berea College. Gentry is committed to shamelessly advocating for rural students living in poverty and tirelessly works to ensure that the national dialogue around educational success includes the voices of rural students. A first-generation college graduate from rural Appalachia, Gentry holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Berea College and a juris doctor from the University of Kentucky College of Law.


Penny Jordan serves as the chief strategy and finance officer for Partners for Education. Jordan has more than 12 years of experience working in leadership positions in grant development, finance, operations, compliance, auditing and strategic planning for non-profit organizations. Prior to her work in the non-profit sector, Jordan spent 10 years working in the banking industry in rural Appalachian Kentucky counties. Jordan holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s degree in management from Indiana Wesleyan University and a doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies from Eastern Kentucky University. 


Mike Hogg serves as the chief operating officer for Partners for Education. Hogg has more than 20 years of experience working in public school leadership positions in Appalachian school districts including superintendent, assistant superintendent and principal. Prior to serving in leadership roles, Hogg was a middle school science and social studies teacher. Hogg holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in middle grades education from Eastern Kentucky University and school leadership certification Eastern Kentucky University. Hogg is a first-generation college graduate who feels a deep responsibility to pay forward that which has been paid forward to him.

Katie Basham

Katie Basham serves as the director of rural impact for Partners for Education.  Basham has nearly 15 years of experience in higher education, where her various roles have focused on interfaith cooperation, civic engagement, diversity and inclusion, and program development.  She holds a bachelor’s degree from Berea College and a master’s degree from the Lexington Theological Seminary.

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A native eastern Kentuckian and first-generation college graduate, Amon Couch serves as director of programs.  During his career, he has been a teacher, school level administrator, superintendent and state-level consultant assisting low performing schools.  Couch’s 27-year public school career has been in service to rural, eastern Kentucky students.  He earned a doctoral degree in 2012 from the University of the Cumberlands in educational administration.


Heather Dufour Photo

Heather Dufour has been with Partners for Education since 2010, currently serving as the organizational grants officer. Before joining Partners, she directed Union College’s special programs and served as an adjunct professor of business and finance. Dufour holds bachelor’s degrees in business and mathematics, a master’s degree in business and a doctorate in management with an emphasis in finance.

Rochelle Garrett portrait

As director of programs for integrated solutions at Partners for Education, L. Rochelle Garrett, MSW,  provides strategic leadership, vision and oversight to a portfolio of programs in the Arts and Humanities, Early Childhood, Family Engagement, and Student Leadership. Garrett has 30 years of experience in social work and education. A first-generation college graduate, she holds a bachelor’s degree in social work from Eastern Kentucky University and a master’s degree in social work from the University of Kentucky.

Kevin Hall portrait

As Director of Programs, Kevin Hall leads Partners for Education’s focus on enterprise risk management, compliance and operations as well as providing leadership and oversight to multiple federal grants. Hall has over 20 years of experience in higher education and federal grant management. A first-generation college graduate, he holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in business administration from Morehead State University.

J. Morgan Portrait

J. Morgan brings 20+ years of experience in higher education to the role of director of communications at Partners for Education. For most of his career, Morgan taught composition and literature at colleges and universities in Kentucky and West Virginia. More recently, he served as the director of publications and media relations at Berea College.

Sherry Scott portrait

Sherry Scott serves as the organizational results and data officer for Partners for Education. Scott has more than twenty-five years leadership experience working in the non-profit and education sectors. She has extensive experience directing federal grant programs, developing partnerships and key coalitions, designing data-driven continuous improvement systems and leading cradle-to-career, place-based initiatives in Appalachia Kentucky. A first-generation graduate, Scott earned both her bachelor’s degree of business administration in marketing and her master’s degree in corrections and juvenile services from Eastern Kentucky University.


As a director of programs, Sara White provides leadership and oversight to four federally funded college access programs serving students in 33 school districts. She has worked with college access programs at Berea for 20 years. A first-generation college graduate, White holds a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree in student personnel services for higher education from Eastern Kentucky University.


Shane R. Williamson serves as the director of finance with Partners for Education at Berea College. Williamson carries eight years of experience in both non-profit and private sectors of finance, compliance, grant management, budgeting, auditing and forecasting. A first-generation college graduate from Pike County, Williamson is dedicated to contributing to Partners for Education’s mission. Williamson holds a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Kentucky University and a Master of Business Administration from the University of Pikeville.