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Sharon Bonney Named First Executive Director of the Commission on Adult Basic Education

Posted on 05/04/2015

Sharon Bonney
Sharon Bonney | COABE Photo

Earlier this month The Commission on Adult Basic Education (COABE External link opens in new window or tab) appointed Sharon Bonney its first Executive Director. Ms. Bonney, a 15-year veteran in the field, accepted the appointment from the COABE Board, as the organization rolled out a new strategic plan at its annual national conference in Denver. COABE is considered the nation's leading advocate for the adult basic education profession.

"Sharon's extensive knowledge of adult education issues and the people who serve adults on a daily basis make her uniquely qualified to serve in this new position," said COABE President-Elect Tom Nash, who takes over as president on July 1, 2015. "From the time she was first hired as a part-time administrator, and then as full-time manager, her commitment to COABE and the field of adult education has been unparalleled. I am honored to be able to continue our board's important work alongside such a dedicated, forward-thinking leader."

Nash pointed out that Bonney managed efforts to move the organization from a 1,300-member group, in 2009, to more than 13,000 in 2015. She has implemented new programs and services that have increased COABE's visibility nationwide, and diversified and increased revenue streams, while working with a volunteer board to increase their communications and technical outreach to the membership. She also provided direction for a new educators' tool, known as the Adult Educator's Repository External link opens in new window or tab, and has helped guide COABE into a new management model for the annual national conference.

"We have a vision to bring more attention to adult education issues in America, and to explain the powerful impact we can have on the nation's productivity, competitiveness, and humanity," Bonney said. "Our strategic plan is the starting point to be a stronger advocate, develop the profession, and provide leadership in the field."

Bonney credits COABE's membership and its strong board of dedicated adult education professionals who recognize the importance of starting a national conversation to improve the lives of adult learners. Its decisions to adopt a strategic plan and name an executive director are just two examples of the board's steadfast leadership, she said.

"The COABE Board clearly understands what's at stake for the millions of Americans that struggle with literacy and numeracy skills," she said. "Their leadership has set a new standard to make the organization a more effective voice in adult education issues. I'm honored to have their support and look forward to building even stronger relationships in the future."

Source: Commission on Adult Basic Education (COABE) Website - http://coabe.org/ External link opens in new window or tab.