Driver Education Advisory Committee The North Carolina Driver Education Advisory Committee (DEAC) advises and recommends to the State Board of Education how to implement the North Carolina Driver Education Strategic Plan and other issues related to driver education and traffic safety: Advises and confers on matters pertaining to the establishment of rules necessary to carry out the duties of the Driver Education Program and the implementation of the North Carolina Driver Education Strategic Plan. Reviews and updates guidelines for the operation of the Driver Education Program. Promotes the positive effects of the Graduated Driver Licensing Program. Fosters partnerships with the NC Division of Motor Vehicles including testing, instructor training, driving school regulations and related protocol. Provides a communication channel between driver education and stakeholders. Stimulates public awareness of driver education needs and contributions. Serves as an advocate of driver education. Influences driver education support through appropriate channels. Lends credibility to driver education programs. DEAC Meetings These meetings are held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the dates below. Aug. 17, 2021 (Virtual Meeting) Nov. 16, 2021 (Virtual Meeting) Feb. 15, 2022 (Virtual Meeting) May 17, 2022 (Virtual Meeting) Join Us To access the Drive Education Advisory Meetings online, use this link to WebEx Meeting. Watch previous meeting recordings on the Driver Education Advisory Committee Channel. Contact: Cindy Taylor Phone Number: (984) 236-2937 Driver Education Advisory Committee Members DEAC Portal Login DEAC Members Department of Public Instruction Committee Biography Dave Machado, Director Office of Charter Schools North Carolina Department of Public Instruction Dave is currently serving, since 2016, as Director of the Office of Charter Schools at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. Prior to coming to the Office of Charter Schools, he served as Site and Chief Administrator for Lincoln Charter from 2003 to 2016, and a small business owner for 13 years. He also is a 1977 alum of Western Carolina University. Carol Ann Hudgens, Section Chief Policy, Monitoring, and Audit Section Exceptional Children Division North Carolina Department of Public Instruction Carol Ann serves as the Section Chief of the Policy, Monitoring, and Audit Section with the Exceptional Children Division at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. She has eleven years in administration experience: two at the school level, four at the district level, five at the state level and has over twenty years in the field of public education. Her experience also includes school improvement activities at the school and system level. She is a fellow in the Education Policy Fellowship Program and is also a member of the Results Based Accountability Cross-State Collaborative sponsored by the National Center of Systemic Improvement. Carol Ann earned an Ed.S. in Administration and Supervision, a M.Ed. in Special Education: Mild/Moderate Disabilities, and a B.S. in Elementary Education. She holds license in the following: School Administrator: Superintendent, School Administrator: Principal, Exceptional Children: General Curriculum (K-12), and Elementary Education (K-6). Kevin Harrison, Section Chief Transportation Services Section District Operations Division North Carolina Department of Public Instruction Kevin serves as the Section Chief for the Transportation Services Section at the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and has been part of the Department for 16 years. He provides extensive knowledge in school bus transportation, vehicle safety, transportation policy, funding, and school bus and student safety. Department of Transportation Committee Member Biography Paul Dlouhy, Manager School Bus & Traffic Safety Unit North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles Paul currently serves as a manager for the School Bus & Traffic Safety Unit. He primarily manages the training and certification of school bus drivers for North Carolina public schools. The School Bus & Traffic Safety Unit also provides certification and oversight for the nearly 100 commercial driving schools in the State of North Carolina, and partners with the Department of Public Instruction and local schools to provide technical support, issuance of restricted instruction permits to students in the driver education program, and safety programs. Mark Ezzell, Director Governor’s Highway Safety Program North Carolina Department of Transportation Mark serves as the Director of the North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program, which works to reduce traffic deaths and injuries through the planning and execution of innovative traffic safety initiatives. He has a twenty-nine-year history directing statewide public safety and health campaigns. He has also directed tobacco-free schools and college efforts for the North Carolina Health & Wellness Trust Fund, a statewide public health foundation. He has worked with the North Carolina Governor’s Crime Commission, the Burroughs Welcome Fund, and as a chair of the North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities. He received his undergraduate degree from Campbell University, where he was awarded a Distinguished Alumni Award in 2011, and has done additional graduate work at North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He is also a graduate of the Education Policy Fellowship Program and the Institute for Political Leadership. Stephen Lowry, Engineer Highway Safety Improvement Program North Carolina Department of Transportation Stephen currently serves as an engineer for the Highway Safety Improvement Program. He has served in the Traffic Safety Unit since 1999 and currently heads the HSIP group. This group identifies roadway locations that have may have potential safety deficiencies so the location can be investigated, and projects developed to reduce crashes and injuries. Michael Newsome, Chief Examiner Driver License Unit North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles Michael currently serves as the Chief Examiner for the Driver License Unit. He provides administrative management and oversight to the Department of Motor Vehicles Driver Services personnel and driver license offices across the Eastern Region of North Carolina. Department of Insurance Committee Member Biography Hygan Kapikian, Director Regional Affairs North Carolina Department of Insurance Hygan currently serves as Director of Regional Affairs for the North Carolina Department of Insurance and Office of State Fire Marshal. In her role, she oversees a team of Regional Directors who support all 100 counties. The Regional Director team provides constituent services, community outreach, and schedules events on behalf of Commissioner Mike Causey and the agency. Hygan has 18 years of experience in the Financial Services industry with emphasis on client management, operations, and staff development. Division of Non-Public Education Committee Member Biography Dr. Chena Flood, Director North Carolina Division of Non-Public Education Dr. Flood has served in her current position of Director of the North Carolina Division of Non-Public Education from 2010-2013; and from 2018-present. She collaborates with the Department of Public Instruction to provide support in providing traffic safety education to all public and home school students. The Division of Non-Public Education issues driver eligibility certificates to all eligible Non-Public schools in the state. Law Enforcement Committee Member Biography Captain Ronald Elkins, Assistant Director of Field Operations North Carolina State Highway Patrol Law Enforcement Captain Elkins currently serves at the Assistant Director of Field Operations for the North Carolina State Highway Patrol. He has 26 years of experience with the State Highway Patrol and was recently promoted to Captain in February 2021. He currently serves as the State Highway Patrol liaison with the Governor’s Highway Safety Program, NCDOT, and the Institute for Transportation Research and Education using evidence-based data analysis, along with education and enforcement initiatives to reduce traffic fatalities across North Carolina. He has worked with the National Governor’s Association Rural Route Safety Initiative and the North Carolina Traffic Safety Conference Committee to promote various traffic safety initiatives. He received his Bachelor of Science: Criminal Justice Public Administration from Liberty University. North Carolina Driver & Traffic Safety Education Association Committee Biography Devin Tanner, President (Chair) Wake County Driver Education Coordinator North Carolina Driver & Traffic Safety Association (NCDTSEA) Devin currently serves as the NCDTSEA President, a professional traffic safety association which provides leadership and support to North Carolina teachers and education of traffic safety professionals. He was a high school educator for twelve years teaching Driver Education, Physical Education/Health, and Earth Science. Currently, he is the Driver Education Coordinator for Wake County Schools which serves nearly 15,000 students annually. Public School Unit Coordinators/Teachers Committee Biography Mark Sheppard, Driver Education Coordinator Haywood County Schools In-House Programs Mark currently serves as the Driver Education Coordinator for Haywood County Schools. He is a twenty-eight-year teacher and administrator in the Haywood County School district and is a committed member of the teen traffic safety education industry. Martin Rickman, Driver Education Administrator Cumberland County Schools In-House Programs Martin serves in an administrative role at the Cumberland County Driver Education office and is a current Driver Education teacher. Commercial Driving Schools Committee Members Biography Marvin Smith, Owner (Vice Chair) Marvin Smith Driving School Commercial Schools Marvin owns and operates his own driving school in Albemarle, North Carolina. Marvin Smith Driving School serves Montgomery County Schools as the contracted provider for the driver education program. Craig Uzzell, Owner A+ Driving School Commercial Schools Craig currently serves as the Operations Coordinator with Wayne County Public Schools where he has served twenty-seven years as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, and currently leads the Operations Department. Considering the decreasing public-school driver education teaching staffs, he saw the need to open A+ Driving School. The company was formed in 2011, and since that time has contracted with the Wayne County Public School System. A+ Driving School’s goal is to continue the high standards of traffic safety education for the district’s teens using only local teaching professionals. He received his Bachelor of Physical Education, as well as, Safety and Driver Education, and a Master’s Degree in School Administration from East Carolina University. UNC Highway Safety Research Center Committee Member Biography Natalie O'Brien, Senior Research Associate UNC Highway Safety Research Center Natalie currently serves at the Senior Research Associate at the UNC Highway Safety Research Center. Her research focuses on factors that contribute to the high crash rates among teen drivers and identifying effective policies and programs to reduce travel-related deaths and injuries. She has worked on numerous projects related to graduated driver licensing, such as the role of parental involvement in supervising teen driving, the effectiveness of various graduated driver licensing provisions, and how states can increase their capacity to implement stronger graduated licensing program policies. Recently, Natalie was the principal investigator for a project funded by the North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program to examine the effectiveness of an advanced driver training program. This is the first project of its kind to employ a randomized controlled trial to evaluate such a program for young drivers in the United States. Natalie is a member of the Transportation Research Board Committee on Operator Education and Regulation. Natalie received her Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of South Alabama. University/Community College Committee Member Biography Doug Eller, Driver Education Teacher Trainer Wilkes County Schools Community Colleges Doug currently serves as a Driver Education Teacher Trainer in Wilkes County. He is a thirty-year retiree of North Carolina public school education. He is the 2nd Vice President of the North Carolina Driver & Traffic Safety Association. He received his Driver Education teaching credentials from East Carolina University over twenty-years ago. North Carolina Parent Teacher Association Committee Member Biography Sarah Martin, Representative North Carolina Parent Teacher Association PTA Representative Sarah is a parent of two student graduates of Wake County Schools and has been a representative of the North Carolina Parent Teacher Association since 2018. She has served in various roles ranging from officer to committee chair with local, state, and national associations. As a parent of two students who both received their K-12 education through Wake County Public Schools, she has been an active PTA parent since her children entered Kindergarten. As part of her work with these organizations, Sarah has become an advocate for family engagement in education. Student Representative Committee Member Biography Wyatt Tucker Smith, Junior High School Student Gray Stone Day Charter School Student Representative Wyatt attends Gray Stone Day Charter School who received his limited provisional license in the spring of 2020. He is interested in local, state, and national politics.