Who We Are

What is LAPSEN?

In 2002, the USDoE created a Career Cluster called Law, Public Safety, Corrections, and Security (LPSCS). This cluster provides a framework for secondary and post-secondary schools to create curriculum and career pathways for students interested in the careers of law enforcement, fire services, security, and the like. LAPSEN is the leading national organization supporting these efforts with a focus on the secondary school level. It provides and shares LPSCS career education programs, curriculum, certifications, and models that help connect secondary students to work and colleges that are cost-effective and can be used by secondary school instructors, their partners, and participating states.

LAPSEN also works with others who are building a career pathway to LPS careers. Explorers and Public Safety Cadets, experiential learning programs, LPS agencies, professional groups like NSA and IADLEST, as well as many others partner with LAPSEN to prepare the heroes of tomorrow. 

In summary – we are a nonprofit, run by educators and industry experts, here to serve those guiding young people into law and public safety careers. 

The LAPSEN Booklet

This booklet gives a quick overview of what LAPSEN is, what we do, and how we can serve you.

Click Here to open.

More About LAPSEN

Recording of the session Law & Public Safety Education Network: Work Smarter

Recorded at ACTE Vision 2020

Our Mission

LAPSEN supports any entity that is supporting youth as they transition into law and public safety related careers. While educators are our biggest group, we also work with camps, Public Safety Cadets, Explorers, and many others.

Our Vision

LAPSEN will be recognized as the premier support organization for the LPS Career Cluster as it relates to secondary & postsecondary education and its connections to careers in the targeted professions.

Our immediate goal is to have a “turn-key” curriculum for all pathways as an effort to reduce attrition, improve instruction, and prepare the next generation of heroes serving our communities. 

Our Board

LAPSEN is directed by a board comprised of member state CTE leaders. AdvanceCTE and ACTE also have seats on the Board. This ensures LAPSEN stays true to its primary goal of improving LPS education. For regular guidance and support, LAPSEN has an Executive Committee. 

Executive Committee

Dr. David Barbour, Past Chair

Education Consultant for Trade & Industry at North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. Over two decades working in technical education.  

Learn more about Dr. Barbour: Click Here

Steven Watterson, Chair

Education Associate at South Carolina Department of Education. After a full career as a Naval Officer, service in CTAE for over 15 years!

Learn more about Mr. Watterson: Click Here

Candace Vinson, Secretary

Education Consultant at Michigan Department of Education, Office of Career & Technical Education, Career Readiness Unit. Over a decade working in technical education, she was a Family Consumer Science teacher before moving into administration. 

Learn more about Mrs. Vinson: Click Here

Dr. Thomas Washburn, Treasurer

A recent retiree as Program Specialist for LPSCS pathways for Fulton County Schools (Atlanta, Georgia) and classroom teacher at the Cambridge Law & Justice Program (Milton, Georgia). Tom is the Executive Director for LAPSEN 

Learn more about Dr. Washburn: Click Here

Cindy Beck, Executive Committee

Health Careers Education Programs Consultant for the California Department of Education. Vast expeirence in health care, mental health and work with HOSA. 

Learn more about Ms. Beck: Click Here

Dr. Dex Brookins, Executive Committee

State Director for JROTC, LPS, Law Enforcement, Fire Science, and PM for the Military Star Program for the Mississippi Department of Education. Army veteran with extensive experience. 

Learn more about Dr. Brookins: Click Here

Kevin Bronson, Executive Committee

Education Program Consultant for Career, Standards and Assessment Team at Kansas State Department of Education. Educator for 25 years in areas of construction, cabinetmaking and drafting design. 

Learn more about Mr. Bronson: Click Here

Board Members 

Patricia Beardeaux, State Representative   

After working in the private sector for over 15 years plus teaching middle school, Mrs. Beardeaux is the Career & Technical Education Resource Teacher for the Hawaii State Department of Education.

Learn more about Mrs. Beardeaux: Click Here

Dr. Joseph N. Coffee, Member Emeritus 

Over three decades working with career programs across the nation. 20 years of experience working with Law, Public Safety, Corrections, and Security programs. Formerly worked with the ATF. Joe is the past Executive Director for LAPSEN.

Learn more about Dr. Coffee: Click Here

Dr. Oscar Carter, State Representative 

Director of Skilled Technical Sciences at the Missouri Department of Elementary & Secondary Education. Over three decades working in technical education.  

Learn more about Dr. Carter: Click Here

Maren Hansen, State Representative

Education Specialist at Utah State Board of Education. She was a Health Science teacher for two decades before moving into CTE administration. 

Learn more about Mrs. Hansen: Click Here

Dr. Kevin Johnson, AdvanceCTE Representative

Senior Advisor at Advance CTE. He has extensive CTE administrative experience at the local, state, and national levels. Starting in the Army, his medical career led to the classroom as a health science teacher before jumping into administration. 

Learn more about Dr. Johnson: Click Here

Sandra Martin, State Representative

Georgia Department of Education Program Specialist. After several decades working in technical education, she was a former registered dental hygienist and then a Health Science teacher before moving into administration. 

Learn more about Mrs. Martin: Click Here

Krissy Miller, State Representative

Program Specialist at Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education. She spent many years in industry before before moving into administration. 

Learn more about Mrs. Miller: Click Here

Erica Settelen, State Representative

Academic Program Consultant for the Office of Career & Technical Education at the Kentucky Department of Education. Erica entered CTE as an Occupation-Based Educator in Culinary Arts at the secondary level and later served as a Student Achievement Coordinator and Building Assessment Coordinator overseeing logistics, improvements, and resources for state, district, and CTE assessments in pursuit of graduating all high school students post-secondary ready. In her current role as Academic Program Consultant for OCTE, she supports teachers in Media Arts, Law & Public Safety, and JROTC pathways and serves as an advocate to instill growth and positive changes that ensure KY CTE alignment to industry needs to prepare highly marketable students to enter the workforce and mitigate the pipeline deficits, a specific area of focus for LPS professions.

Lauren-Anne Sledzinski, Special State Representative

Instructional Specialist Trade & Industrial Education and Related Clusters at Virginia Department of Education. She spent several years as a trainer in criminal justice as well as a high school LPS teacher before moving into administration. 

Learn more about Mrs. Sledzinski: Click Here

Frank Tetrick, State Representative

Coordinator of Law and Public Safety at West Virginia Department of Education. Mr. Tetrick recently moved into LPS administration after serving in other coordinator positions. 

Learn more about Mr. Tetrick: Click Here

Kristina Valentine, State Representative

Human and Public Services Principal Consultant at Illinois State Board of Education. Over 14 years as a high school teacher before serving our LPS teachers in Illinois. 

Learn more about Mrs. Valentine: Click Here

Jordan Whittington, State Representative

Program Director for Health and Public Safety at the Colorado Community College System. Started as a Army Combat Medic, taught Health Science and now works for the CCCS. 

Learn more about Mr. Whittington: Click Here

Board Partners, Members, and Advisors List

LAPSEN has an extensive network of educators, industry, and experts that serve on our advisory council.


First Last Organization Membership
David Barbour NC DPI Past Chair – Term Ends 10/23
Steve Watterson SC DOE Chair – Term End 10/23
Open Vice-Chair
Candace Vinson MI DOE Secretary – Term ends 10/24
Thomas Washburn LAPSEN Treasurer – Term ends 10/22
Cindy Beck CA DOE State – Term ends 10/23
Dex Brookins MS DOE State – Term ends 10/24
Crystal Roberts KS DOE State – Term ends 10/22
Jordan Whittington CO CCS State Member
Sandra Martin GA DOE State Member
Patricia Beardeaux Hawaii State Member
Kristina  Valentine Illinois State Member
Erica  Settelen KY DOE State Member
Oscar Carter XL MO DESE State Member
Krissy Miller Oklahoma State Member
Maren Hansen UT SBE State Member
Lauren-Anne Sledzinski Virginia Special State Member
Frank Tetrick West Virginia State Member
Kevin  Johnson Advance CTE NPO Partner
LAPSEN Board Advisory Committee
Cale Hutchings IA DOE Advisory State
Rick Schmidt NM PED Advisory State
Randi Hunewill NV DOE Advisory State
Dale Fowler Texas TEA Advisory State
Kira Hassler-Newsom TPSA NPO Partner
Michael Connet ACTE NPO Partner
Rachael Mann ACTE NPO Partner
Ben Williams NAPE NPO Partner
Peyton Holland NTHS NPO Partner
Gibson Darren SkillsUSA NPO Partner
Patrick Joyce TEFGA NPO Partner
Mark Johnson iCEV Partner
Sandi Davies IFPO Partner
Lisa Cacao Microburst Learning Partner
Chris Wood NECI Partner
Chris Lieber 911simulators.com Partner
Tony Sanders SAVE Partner
Jody Smith Youscience Partner
Chip Depietro Charlotte Co, FL School District
Stacey Hervey Denver, CO School District
Carrie Hernandez Las Cruces, NM School District
Patricia Blades West Contra Costa USD, CA School District
Jerilyn Muccio Westerly, RI School District
Crystal Nowka Oakland MI School District
Prince Georges County
Christopher DeRosa CT State Representative
Julius Jackson DC State Representative
Chip DePietro FL State Representative
Kristen Tirado MA State Representative
Lori Gray AZ State Representative
Lori Gray AZ State Representative
Mandy Pugh GA State Representative
Arnold Laanui HI State Representative
Kelly Glenn VA State Representative
Savannah Hammond WV State Representative
Jennifer  Powell DE State Representative
Wayne Bailey Blue Ridge Mountain Drones Drone Pathway Specialist
Heather Joyner Franklin County Emergency Communications Dispatch Pathway Specialist
Sam Bishop Hunter Huss High School EMT Pathway Specialist
Bob DiPietro Central Arizona Valley Institute of Technology Fire & Public Safety Pathway Specialist
Jeff Branyon Marshal, City of Dahlonega Forensics Pathway Specialist
Tim Hart Cambridge High School Law Enforcement Pathway Specialist
Kevin Sparks Peach County Schools Security Pathway Specialist