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Have You Met ATPE’s Regional Membership Specialists?

Association of Texas Professional Educators
Association of Texas Professional Educators

Date Posted: 4/16/2018

Did you know ATPE has eight dedicated regional membership specialists who work to support our members and volunteers in their local communities across the state of Texas? They live and work in various locations across the state and are ready to help you meet your region’s membership goals. 



Regions 1 and 2

Roger Gutierrez, ATPE’s South Texas representative, was an educator in Weslaco for 18 years before coming to work for ATPE. He has a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Texas–Pan American. Roger joined ATPE in 1996 and has served in various volunteer roles at the local, region, and state level. During Roger’s spare time, you will likely find him barbecuing and spending time with his family, enjoying Avengers cartoons with his son, or taking in some Sunday football.

Read Roger Gutierrez’s blog post. Contact Roger at rgutierrez@atpe.org.


Regions 3 and 4

Cynthia Villalovos is ATPE’s representative for the Houston area. Cynthia started her ATPE career in 1995 as one of the founding officers of McMurry University ATPE and her education career in Wylie ISD in Abilene in 1996. She received her master’s degree in school administration from Sul Ross State University in 2003; soon after, she moved to Houston and held a position at Chavez High School. In 2005, Cynthia became the principal at the Health Academy at Lee High School, and in 2006, she became the principal of the Health Academy at Waltrip High School. Throughout that time, Cynthia held various offices within ATPE, including serving as the Houston ATPE president from 2012–2014 and the ATPE Region 4 secretary in 2013. Cynthia is also the proud mom of one daughter, who may very well be a future volunteer leader within ATPE.

Read Cynthia Villalovos’s blog post. Contact Cynthia at cvillalovos@atpe.org.



Regions 5–7

Ginger Franks is from East Texas. Before becoming an ATPE regional membership specialist, Ginger was a special education teacher for 34 years in Martinsville and Woden. She was an ATPE member for 32 years and even served as the 2013-14 ATPE state president. Ginger and her husband Carl are proud grandparents of three grandbabies and spend as much time with their families as they can. Carl Franks has been in education for 27 years and Ginger’s two sisters both worked in education for many years. Ginger has truly dedicated herself to public education through the years and continues to do so now with ATPE.

Read Ginger Franks’s blog post. Contact Ginger at gfranks@atpe.org.



Regions 8 and 10

Kaki Spronz became the Dallas area representative early in 2016. Before becoming an ATPE regional membership specialist, Kaki taught high school Spanish, regular and pre-AP, for four years. She was also the Denton local unit university liaison. While teaching, Kaki earned a professional development grant to study advanced grammar and participate in workshops at Academia Buenos Aires. In her spare time, Kaki coaches CrossFit. Kaki completed undergraduate studies at Hardin–Simmons University and earned a master’s in foreign language education from the University of Texas at Austin.

Read Kaki Spronz’s blog post. Contact Kaki at kspronz@atpe.org.



Regions 9 and 11

Diane Pokluda, ATPE’s representative for the North Texas/Fort Worth area, was a classroom teacher for 34 years before moving into her current position. During her career in education, Diane served in several ATPE leadership positions from the local to the regional level; she considers her time as ATPE’s Region 11 director to be one of the most rewarding experiences of her career. During her spare time, Diane enjoys traveling with her husband, Steve, who is also a dedicated ATPE member. They are also devoted Texas Rangers fans.

Read Diane Pokluda’s blog post. Contact Diane at dpokluda@atpe.org.



Regions 12, 14, and 15

Mary Jane Waits serves Regions 12, 14, and 15. She came to ATPE with 23 years in education, both in the classroom and as an administrator. She holds a master’s in educational administration and a bachelor’s of business administration. Mary Jane has worked in Lampasas and Comanche. Most recently, she served as education principal at Bartlett State Jail. Mary Jane also raised two daughters while teaching, coaching cheerleaders, and taking her students to national Business Professionals of America contests, where she had multiple winners. Mary Jane and enjoys traveling across Texas and meeting new ATPE members.



Regions 13 and 20

Heather Tuley is ATPE’s representative for Central Texas (the Austin and San Antonio area). Heather has a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Texas A&M University and a master’s degree in education leadership with principal’s certification from Texas State University. Heather taught elementary school for 12 years and also served as an ATPE ambassador in Lake Travis ISD. When she’s not working, Heather can be found boating or enjoying other outdoor activities in the Texas hill country. Heather and her husband have one energetic little boy, Ryder, born in February 2015.

Read Heather Tuley’s blog post. Contact Heather at htuley@atpe.org.



Regions 16-19

Jeff Vega serves ATPE members in West Texas. Before joining ATPE as a membership specialist, Jeff was an educator and a coach in Wyoming and then in the Midland/Odessa school districts. Jeff has also worked in real estate. He very much enjoys travel and is enjoying making his way through Regions 16–19 and meeting all our wonderful educators! Feel free to strike up a conversation in either English or Spanish. . Jeff and his wife reside in Midland and have a daughter attending Midland ISD.

Read Jeff Vega’s blog post. Contact Jeff at jvega@atpe.org.

To find your region, enter your ISD name into the search bar beneath the Texas map on ATPE’s home page.

Not a member of ATPE? Join today to become part of Texas’s largest educators’ association.