FTC Faculty

Photo of Penny Williams Assistant Director

Penny Williams - Director of FTC Adult Education

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 417-680-0004 Ext. 2061

Education: Labette Community College- AAS Business and Industrial Supervision

Pittsburg State University- BS in Vocational Technical Education

MSU/MSSU- MA in Teaching

Penny Williams began her career at Franklin Technology Center as an adjunct adult computer teacher in 1997, with an undergraduate degree from Pittsburg State University in Vocational Education.  In 1998 she was promoted to coordinator of FTC's Adult Business and Computer Technology Program.  During that time, she continued her professional education and obtained a Master's Degree from MSU/MSSU.  After her degree completion and several years in the classroom, in 2011 she moved into recruitment and coordination of FTC's Adult Trade and Technology programs.  After working in that capacity for seven years, in 2018 she accepted the position as FTC's Assistant Director of Post-Secondary Education. In Summer of 2023, she was promoted to Director of FTC Adult Education.

Photo of Lori Clouse the Financial Aid Coordinator

Lori Clouse - Financial Aid Coordinator

Experience: Lori has 8 years of experience as a Dental Assistant, 12 years of experience as an Ophthalmic Assistant, 13 years of experience as a Staff Accountant, and 7 years of experience as a Financial Aid Coordinator. 

Lori Clouse serves as the Franklin Technology Center's Financial Aid Coordinator.  She has served as FTC's Staff Accountant for 13 years and recently moved into the Financial Aid Coordinator's position.  Lori's mission is to assist students in pursuing their educational goals and employ ability by helping the student and their families seek, obtain, and make the best use of all financial resources available to them. 

In Lori's spare time she enjoys time with her family as well as crafting and reading.


photo of Nikki Medley

Nikki Medley - Effectiveness Coordinator

Experience: Nikki has over 18 years of administrative and management experience.

Nikki started with Franklin Technology Center in March 2020 as the Effectiveness Coordinator. Nikki is also the Administrative Assistant to the Director of FTC Adult Education. Nikki also serves as the schools Registrar. 

She has been married for 18 years and has 2 children.  In her spare time she enjoys volunteering, singing, traveling, and spending time with her family and fur babies.

Gwen Haase

Gwen Haase - Staff Accountant

Experience: Gwen is a former FTC student and Joplin Schools graduate. She has certificates in Marketing/Business. She has worked many years in customer service, sales and in the medical field.

Gwen started at FTC at the High School location as the Front Office Secretary in August of 2020. In September of 2022, Gwen started working as the FTC Adult Education Liaison for Trade and Tech while continuing her Secretary position at the High School location. In March of 2023, Gwen accepted the position of Staff Accountant at FTC Adult Education and continued to be the Trade and Tech Liaison for FTC Adult Education. Gwen also does proctoring and recruiting for FTC Adult Education.   

She is Mom to two very athletic boys. In her spare time, Gwen enjoys sports, live music and attending art classes.

Photo of Leisa Nivens

Leisa Harris - Medical Programs Coordinator

Education: Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) earned through American Medical Technologist (AMT)

National Certified Medical Office Assistant (NCMOA) earned through National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT)

Certified Professional Coder (CPC) earned through American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC)

Medical Assistant Teacher's Certificate earned through the State of Missouri

Leisa joined Franklin Technology Center in 2001 as an instructor and the Externship Coordinator for the Medical Assistant program.  She is currently the program coordinator for the Phlebotomy Technician, Certified Nursing Assistant, Certified Medication Technician, and Patient Care Technician programs. Leisa is also the Testing Center Administrator for the Pearson VUE testing center. 

One of Leisa's favorite duties as the program coordinator is meeting with prospective students and informing them about all of the great things FTC has to offer.  One of the most rewarding aspects of her job is hearing from past graduates and learning how Franklin Tech has changed their lives for the better.

photo of LeAnn

LeAnn Cummins - Phlebotomy Technician Instructor                                                                               

Education: LeAnn holds National Certifications in Phlebotomy Technician and Medical Assistant.

LeAnn teaches the evening and Summer Phlebotomy Technician program.  Her primary areas of teaching are Anatomy and Physiology, Clinical Procedures, Pharmacology, and Phlebotomy. 

LeAnn enjoys training the students to draw blood, take vitals, and give injections.  When students graduate from the program, she takes pride in knowing her students can perform the duties in the medical field.

In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her husband doing outdoor activities.  She has four children and two grandchildren.

photo of Diana Warden

Diana Warden - Dental Assistant Coordinator, Certified Allied Health Instructor, and Clinical Coordinator

Education: Diana attended Missouri Southern State University and Central Missouri State University in Warrensburg, MO.  She received her teaching certificate from DESE.  Diana became a Certified Dental Assistant from DANB in 2000.  She received her Expanded Functions in Prosthodontics and Direct Restorative from the American Dental Association in 2003.  Diana received her certification to Monitor Internal Conscious Sedation from UMKC School of Dentistry in 2005, and she received her certification to monitor Nitrous Oxide Sedation from Steven Skoch D.D.S. at the Maxillofacial Surgery Center in Fayetteville, AR in 2006.  She received her Registered Dental Assistant Certification from American Medical Technologists in 2007.  She received her certification to monitor Internal Conscious Sedation from DOCS Education in Minneapolis, MN in 2011.  She received her Expanded Functions in Orthodontics from the American Dental Association, and certification in Single Dose Sedation and Nitrous Oxide from DOCS Education in Dallas, TX in 2012.  Her continuing education keeps her current on all phases of new technology in Dentistry.

Diana is a Certified, Registered, and Expanded Functions Dental Assistant.  Her educational experience allows her to treat patients by performing certain procedures for the dentist, just as a physicians' assistant performs certain procedures for the physician.  Diana's education has been tested and approved by the American Dental Association and the Dental Assistants National Board.  She has assisted in general dentistry for over twenty-five years.  Her genuine care for the patient is one of her strong attributes.

Diana has been teaching the Dental Assistant Program at Franklin Technology Center at Missouri Southern State University since 2006, and she is also the Clinical Coordinator of the program.


photo of Katie Bozarth

Katie Bozarth - Practical Nursing Coordinator

Education: Northeastern State University- BSN

Katie Bozarth, RN, has been a nurse for 18 years.  After graduation, Katie served as an ICU nurse for a short amount of time before discovering her love for school nursing.  As a school nurse, she cared for students, families, and staff.  She was also an Instructor for the American Heart Association teaching BLS/first-aid.  She graduated from Northeastern Oklahoma A & M College with her associate degree in nursing and then later graduated with her BSN from Northeastern State University in  Tahlequah, OK.  Katie discovered that she had a passion for teaching while providing instruction to her students and staff.  She serves as the coordinator for the Practical Nursing program and provides instruction to Practical Nursing Students in the practical vocational concept course.  

In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, watching her boys participate in various activities, as well as singing, reading, and crafting.


photo of Amy Price

Amy Price - Practical Nursing Instructor/CMT Instructor

Education: Pittsburg State University- BSN

Amy Price, RN has been a nurse for 19 years.  Throughout those years she has worked in critical care, pediatric, home health, and school nursing.  Growing up she always knew she would either be a nurse or a teacher. She now has the best of both worlds.  She has always enjoyed learning and is excited to share her love of nursing with her students. She graduated with her BSN from Pittsburg State University and will be instructing pharmacology, maternity, and pediatrics.

Amy has been married for 18 years and has 2 children.  In her spare time she enjoys attending their activities, reading, and traveling.

photo of Jodi Stewart

Jodi Stewart - RN Diploma Program Administrator/Practical Nursing Adjunct Instructor/CNA Instructor

Education: Fort Scott Community College- ADN


Pittsburg State University- MSN

Jodi Stewart has been a Registered Nurse since 2009.  Her experience in nursing includes Medical/Surgical, Ortho/Neuro, wound care, post-partum, home health and hospice, and most recently being a school nurse.  She discovered her love for teaching early in her nursing career after being asked to precept for nurses in clinical rotations and train new nurses to the facilities she worked. Jodi graduated with her ADN from Fort Scott Community College in 2009, with her BSN from MSSU in 2017, and with her MSN with education emphasis from Pittsburg State University in 2019. 

Jodi and her husband have seven children between them and she loves spending time with their kids.  They enjoy traveling and exploring new places.  Their family moved to Joplin in 2015 from Southeast Kansas and continue to love it here.  Her hobbies include reading, dancing with the kids, and singing along to the radio.

Alyssa Taylor - Respiratory Care Program Coordinator

Education: FTC/MSSU-Associates Degree in Respiratory Care

MSSU-Bachelor Degree in Health Science

Alyssa Taylor is the Respiratory Care Program Coordinator for Franklin Technology Center. She is a Registered Respiratory Therapist who cares deeply about this profession and the importance of caring for others. Alyssa graduated from the FTC/MSSU Consortium for Respiratory Care Education in 2013, earning an Associate in Respiratory Care and a Bachelor’s of Health Science. Since that time, she has been working at Mercy-Joplin and Freeman West hospitals as a shift coordinator, as well as in the ICU, ER, NICU, and Pediatric areas.  In her spare time, Alyssa enjoys shopping, traveling, crafting, and spending time with her family.  

photo of Janice Dunaway

Janice Dunaway - Respiratory Care Clinical Coordinator

Education: California College for Respiratory Therapy-Certified Respiratory Therapist

California College for Health Sciences- Registered Respiratory Therapist

Independence University- Bachelors of Science

Independence University- Masters of Science with emphasis in Community Health

Janice Dunaway is the Clinical Care Coordinator for the Respiratory Care program at Franklin Technology Center at MSSU since 2011.  She has been a BLS CPR Instructor for 21 years.  Her primary responsibilities include classroom and lab instruction as well as managing the day to day operation of the clinical portion of the program.  It is her goal to make sure that all students receive a meaningful clinical experience while they are enrolled into the program.

Mrs. Dunaway has worked in a variety of areas in her field including, Adult Critical Care, Diagnostics, Pulmonary Rehabilitation, and Home Care.  She started teaching Respiratory Care at Franklin Technology Center in 1995. She received her Associate and Bachelor Degree from California College for Health Sciences and her Master’s degree from Independence University.  Recently she has co-authored a simulation text for Respiratory Therapists titled “Respiratory Simulation Toolkit” from Health Educator Publications.  Janice lives in Joplin on 50 acres with her husband and enjoys country living, cooking, gardening, and canning.

Sarah McReynolds

Sarah McReynolds - Respiratory Care Adjunct Instructor

Education: FTC/MSSU-Associates Degree in Respiratory Care

MSSU-Bachelor Degree in Science with emphasis in Respiratory Care

Sarah McReynolds attended FTC/MSSU Respiratory Care program, graduating with her Bachelors in Science with emphasis in Respiratory Care in 2018. Sarah began her career as a Respiratory Care Practitioner at Mercy Hospital in Rogers, AR for 3 years before answering the call for the critical need of Respiratory Therapists at Cox Health South in Springfield, MO during the Covid-19 pandemic as a traveling RT working in adult, neonatal and pediatric intensive care units during her time with Cox Health. From there, Sarah has worked at Cox Medical Center in Branson, MO as a traveling RT and in 2023 she accepted the position of Respiratory Care Adjunct Clinical Instructor for FTC/MSSU Respiratory Care Program. Sarah continues to work as a Respiratory Care Practitioner at Mercy Hospital in Carthage, MO. Sarah's mission is to help students build their knowledge and teach the hands-on skills in respiratory care to become great assets to the healthcare system.

In Sarah's free time she likes to spend time outdoors with her husband and their two husky's, Gwen Stacy and Peter Parker. For many years during the Halloween season, Sarah has helped with local Halloween Haunted Houses doing special effects makeup, set, prop, and costume design with her husband. Going to Comic conventions and making costumes has been a hobby Sarah has done with her husband for several years.

Meredith Moritz

Meredith Moritz - Respiratory Care Adjunct Instructor

Education: FTC/MSSU-Associates Degree in Respiratory Care

Meredith Moritz has been in the respiratory field for 10 years. After graduating from MSSU in 2013, Meredith started working at a long-term acute care hospital in Oklahoma and eventually ended up working at another  long-term acute care hospital in Joplin where she's been employed for over 8 years. She also spent over a year working at Mercy Hospital in ICU, Pediatrics, and Med Surg. However, she found a real love for the long-term acute care setting. She firmly believes that being knowledgeable in this field and having strong leaders as teachers can be the difference in a patient's life or death, thus making teaching respiratory therapy so important.

In her spare time, Meredith spends her time with her husband and two daughters and is likely to be at a swim meet watching both kids swim on an all-year-round swim team. She also loves music and traveling to new places or going to concerts with her husband.

Shawn Buffalo

Shawn Buffalo - Automotive Technology Instructor

Education: General Motors Diagnostic School-Bowling Green, KY

US Military-Mechanics

Shawn is the owner and GM of Buffalo Warrior Way Auto. His prior experience was gained as a soldier in the US Army for 22 years. His entire career in the military was spent doing repairs to vehicles while deployed. He was often the motivational force that pushed fellow soldiers to succeed at keeping equipment operational. 

Shawn is a master open water scuba instructor and in his spare time he likes to teach scuba diving as a hobby.

James Stewart

James Stewart - HVAC Instructor

Education: Metropolitan Community Colleges-Associate of Applied Sciences HVACR

MSSU-Bachelor of General Studies, Minors in Management and Entrepreneurship

Jim has over 30 years of experience in the Heating and Cooling industry. He is a general contractor in Jasper, Missouri where he lives with his wife Ruth and a border collie named Aurora. He likes to garden in his spare time and is an amateur musician. 

Kyle Daggett

Kyle Daggett - Welding Instructor

Education: Graduated from the FTC Welding program in 2007.

Kyle Daggett has traveled as a Millwright using his Welding background installing equipment and piping around the United States for well known companies such as Anheuser-Busch as well as expanding his Welding and Fabrication skills locally.

His hobbies include fishing and attending airsoft events across the country in his free time.

Lisa Whitaker

Lisa Whitaker - Child Development Associate Instructor   

Education: Bachelors in Elementary Education with a specialty in Early Childhood-MSSU--1993

Masters in Elementary Education-MSU--2005

Certification for Early Childhood Special Education-2008

Certification in Family and Consumer Science for Early Childhood Professions-MEGA--2022

Lisa Whitaker is an early childhood professional with over 30 years of classroom teaching experience. She believes in nurturing young minds by fostering a love of learning in her students. Throughout her career, Lisa has had the opportunity to impact the lives of countless students and their families in the Joplin community.

In 2007, Lisa left the private childcare sector to teach with Joplin Schools in their early childhood program. She dedicated herself to creating a supportive and engaging environment for preschoolers and their families. She also strived to guide, encourage, and support new teachers to the field of early childhood.

In 2022, Lisa joined the high school side of Franklin Technology Center as an Early Childhood Profession's Instructor, where she continues to guide and encourage students. Lisa teaches both academic and the practical application of working with young children to high school juniors and seniors who are interested in pursuing a career in education. Lisa feels the best way to improve early childhood education for children is to improve the training of the next generation of early childhood professional.

When not working with students Lisa enjoys spending time with family, reading a good mystery, and visiting National Parks with her husband.

Jenae Polok

Jenae Polok - Child Development Associate Instructor                                                                               

Education: Oh, The Educational Adventures the Early Childhood field has taken me on! Pittsburg State University's Family Consumer Sciences department captured my heart and awarded me a Bachelor's degree with an emphasis in Early Childhood and minor in Phycology. Through a partnership with Head Start and Oneida University, I achieved my Master's degree in Early Childhood Education. The learning continued with training through programs such as: Conscious Discipline and their Advanced Institute, The Program for Infant Toddler Caregivers, Infant/Toddler Environmental Rating Scales, and the CLASS Assessment Scoring System and numerous other training opportunities through the Head Start/Early Head Start Programs.  

I have been teaching the CDA (Child Development Associate) program for over 10 years. I have served as an Education Coordinator, Coach and Conscious Discipline Coordinator for the Head Start/Early Head Start programs since early 2000s. Now I teach the Early Childhood Professions class at Franklin Tech and am shaped daily by my interactions with some amazing high school students. My true education came from foster parenting, being married to a pastor, raising an energetic and inquisitive little boy plus growing up in a small-town beauty shop. Life is never boring! This is why I adopted the motto "Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape." Early Childhood has become a fun way of life and I love helping build stronger professionals that influence the lives of young children.

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