MAEN Board of Directors

F GoodenPresident: Frances Gooden (Southwest Region)


Over the past 10 years, Frances Gooden, Ed.D. has been the director of Finley River School with the Ozark R-VI school district.  She and her staff worked hard to successfully change the school from a program where students are “sent” to a program where students request to attend. Over the past 10 years, nearly 200 students have graduated from the program The school has become well known in the community by working with other schools and agencies throughout Ozark. Other responsibilities within the district include working with at-risk program initiatives including PBIS and RtI. Prior to working in Ozark, Frances was a special education teacher in Bay Point, CA and Springfield, MO for a total of 9 years before spending 4 years in Springfield as the director of at-risk programs at Parkview High School.
Dr. Gooden is a member of the Missouri and National Associations of Secondary School Principals, Association for Supervision of Curriculum and Development, and National Alternative Education Association.  She received her Ed.D. in educational leadership from St. Louis University with a dissertation studying best practices in alternative education. She also received an Ed.S in Ed. Leadership, M.A. in Special Education, and B.S. in Psychology. Frances is an adjunct professor with Lindenwood University teaching Behavior Management at the Master’s level. This is her third year serving on the MAEN board.
Frances and her husband live on 20 acres outside Fordland, MO with their 3 dogs and numerous cats. Her spare time is spent either running or reading. She has 2 wonderful grown children and 3 brilliant grandsons.

Vice-President: Gaëlle Freer (Southeast Region)


Gaëlle Freer has been in public education for 36 years. She currently teaches at the Poplar Bluff Graduation Center. This program targets students that for various reasons are in danger of not graduating. Through a computer-based credit recovery program, it allows these students to make up credits necessary for graduation.
Her educational credentials include a Bachelor of Arts in English and a minor in Secondary Education from Hofstra University located in Long Island, New York in 1979. She completed her Master’s Degree in Reading also from Hofstra University in 1986.
The first five years of her career she taught English in New York. In 1986 she relocated to Key West, Florida where she continued teaching Honors English and Reading at Key West High school for 15 years. She also served as Department Chairperson for Language Arts and held the position of Language Arts District Coordinator for one year. While in Key West she met and married her husband, a Missouri native, and had a son.
In 2001 her husband, also an educator, retired and they decided to return to his hometown of Poplar Bluff.   After she moved to Poplar Bluff she received her Specialist Degree in K-12 Administration from Southeast Missouri State University.
She lives with her husband of 28 years on a 91-acre farm. In her spare time, she loves to read, travel and spend time with her son who resides in Los Angeles, California and her step-daughter, husband and three beautiful grandbabies who reside in Key West, Florida.

Sec/TrMr. Kellyeasurer: Mike Kelly (Northeast Region)


My name is Michael Kelly and I have been an employee of the Milan C2 School District for the past 12 years. I am the current Missouri Option Coordinator/Alternative Instructor and North East Missouri Alternative Education Network Director. My background in education started when I was 30 years old. I was a non-traditional student. I attended North Central Missouri College in Trenton, Missouri where I received (2) Associate of Applied Science Degrees. One degree was in Agricultural Business and the other in Computer Science. After NCMC I furthered my educational career by attending Northwest Missouri State University where I received (2) Bachelor degrees in Agriculture. One degree is in Agricultural Science and one in Agricultural Education, which I taught for years. After teaching a few years, I decided to expand my horizons and went back to school to receive my Master’s in Administration. I have received (2) Masters Degrees, one in Principal K-8 Administration and one in Principal 9-12 Administration. I was so interested and captivated by the educational administration field that I went ahead and acquired my Specialist Degree in Administration. About 6 years ago I started the process to receive my PHD in Administration, unfortunately, my home burnt down and I had to put that on hold. I am currently looking forward to beginning a new venture as I start working on my PHD, again. Yes, I am a GED to PHD student of education.

Familay Photo

Saint Louis Region 1: Dan DavenroyME


Dan Davinroy started his educational career at an alternative school serving students from Granite City, Madison, and Venice, Illinois. Dan has never left alternative education. He is now a teacher at The Collaborative School in Brentwood, Missouri. The Collaborative School is a joint creation of the Brentwood, Clayton, and Ladue School Districts in St. Louis.
Dan earned Sociology and History degrees at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Dan also holds master’s degrees in Teaching and Educational Administration from the University of Missouri St. Louis.
This is Dan’s second year representing St. Louis as a part of the MAEN organization. Dan hopes that he can serve the mission of MAEN by helping alternative school educators in St. Louis come together to exchange ideas that will better our profession and advocate for the legitimization of alternative education in the minds of the general public.

Saint Louis Region 2: Jeff Cook (

Kansas City Region 1: Joyce Stokes (

Kansas City Region 2: Julie WhiteJWhite Pic


Julia (Julie) White has been an employee of the Blue Springs School District for 13 years.  She has worked in the Missouri Option Program for the entire time.  She loves alternative education because it allows students who normally would not graduate to have a second chance.  Her favorite time of the school year is when she watches the students who thought they would never complete their education, walk across the stage in a cap and gown.
Julie has represented the MAEN Kansas City region since the fall of 2016.  She enjoys working closely with her regional cohorts and learning what makes their programs successful.  She believes, strongly, that when like minds have a common goal, epic things can happen.
Julie has a Bachelor’s degree from UMKC and a Master’s degree from UCM.  Julie’s career life actually started out in banking.  She worked her way up from a teller to a banking officer who sold securities, as well.  She retired from the banking industry in 1998 and started a non-profit Christian teen club with her husband.  In 2004, she substituted in an alternative high school class and was hooked from there.
Julie has been married for 33 years and has two children and 4 grandchildren.  These are the loves of her life and she spends as much time as she can with family.

Central Region: Kerry Hesse (

Past President: Anne Wall (Central Region)

Ex-Officio: Linda Washburn from Lee’s Summit

Executive Board Assistant: Monica Shane (


Board Meeting Minutes

january-23rd minutes