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Pathways About Us

Blaine Henningsen | Program Manager | Pathways to Prosperity Network Missouri

Dr. Blaine Henningsen assumed his new role at the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education as the Program Manager for the Pathways to Prosperity Network on June 30, 2015.   Dr. Henningsen most recently served as the Superintendent of Schools in the Carthage R-9 School District in Carthage, MO.  

Dr. Henningsen holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education with a major in Social Studies from the University of Missouri-Columbia.  Other degrees include a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from Southern Illinois University–Edwardsville, a Specialist’s Degree in Educational Administration and Supervision from Southern Illinois University–Edwardsville, and a Doctorate Degree in Educational Administration from the University of Missouri-Columbia.  He also completed the National Institute for School Leadership Executive Development Program/MoLEAD.

While Superintendent in Carthage, Dr. Henningsen served on the State Board of Directors for the Missouri Securities Investment Program (MOSIP), a program which provides school districts, municipalities, counties, and other political subdivisions with effective tools for meeting their cash flow and investment needs.  He was also a member and past-Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Carthage Chamber of Commerce, served on the Board of the Carthage Economic Development Corporation and the Enhanced Enterprise Zone Board.  Dr. Henningsen was recently identified by the Joplin Regional Business Journal as one of its Regional Men of Distinction.  Prior to serving in Carthage, Dr. Henningsen worked in the Hazelwood, St. Clair, and Mexico, Missouri School Districts as a teacher, coach and administrator. 

The Pathways to Prosperity Network plays an integral part in Missouri’s Top 10 by 20 initiative.  As head of the Pathways to Prosperity Network, Dr. Henningsen will work to engage educators and employers in a more collaborative approach to the education and training of the next generation of workers.  The program’s goal is to ensure that high school graduates acquire the competencies and credentials needed to ensure employability or college entry, and to ensure current and future workforce needs.


Gail Stewart

Gail Stewart | St. Louis Pathways to Prosperity Regional Director 

Gail Stewart serves as the St. Louis Pathways to Prosperity Regional Director.  She joined the Pathways team in July 2013, after a long career in career education.  She led the Career & Technical Education programs at Hazelwood School District prior to taking the Pathways to Prosperity position.   Under her leadership, the district developed a Career Path Handbook to guide students in developing a six-year personal plan of study that emphasized the district’s CTE programs in Health Occupations, Family & Consumer Science, Business, Marketing,  Project Lead The Way – Pathway to Engineering, and Project Lead The Way - Biomedical Sciences.   As Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) became the focus of the district, she organized a STEM Extravaganza to showcase STEM to parents/students and the community.  She worked with the architectural teams in designing STEM studios and STEM classrooms that were built and renovated for the CTE programs at each of the high schools.   In addition, Gail has had several years’ experience of organizing and facilitating Career Academies and helped implement the first Project Lead The Way Pre-Engineering program in Missouri in 2001. 

These experiences and opportunities have provided Gail the foundation to guide the implementation of Pathways to Prosperity in the St. Louis Region.  In addition to working with the original Pathways districts, she is providing guidance for several additional districts as they implement Pathways.   She is partnering with Education Plus and St. Louis School and Business Partnership as well as other community organizations and foundations to develop a centralized database platform that can be used to strengthen business partnerships with education and provide meaningful work-based learning experiences for students and educators.



Roberta Carson | Mid-Missouri Pathways to Prosperity Regional Director 

Roberta Carson serves as the Mid-Missouri Pathways to Prosperity Regional Director.  She joined the Pathways team in May of 2015.  Roberta earned a B.A. in English, a M.ED. in Educational and Counseling Psychology and has worked in both the Boonville and Columbia school districts.  During her thirty plus year career as an English and Humanities teacher, high school counselor and technical center counselor, Roberta has assumed many roles;  from Student Council advisor to a founding member of a faculty Executive Council.  She has implemented the model career guidance program and student personal plans of study, worked on steering and advisory committees, partnered with area community colleges, and collaborated with area school administrators and industry.  Recently she worked with her technical center administrator and regional economic developer to introduce a new program that will not only help students in the area graduate with an employable skill and credential, but also has the potential to bring industry to the community.  As a counselor working directly with high school students, Roberta has sought to expand college and career opportunities for students by promoting the A+ program and dual credit options, offering college planning workshops, sponsoring FAFSA Frenzy, and organizing college fairs.  Her participation in the School to Work Initiative convinced Roberta of the need for work based learning experiences for both teacher and students; as a result she has organized hands on learning experiences for teachers and students in the STEM career areas.  Roberta’s central Missouri roots span several generations, and Mid-Missouri is ‘home” in all meanings of the word.  Having worked in both large and small school settings, Roberta strongly believes that the economic health of a community depends on the cooperation of all of its stakeholders in preparing students for careers. 


Starlin Horner

Ann Starlin-Horner | Kansas City Pathways to Prosperity Regional Director 

Ann Starlin-Horner serves as the Kansas City Pathways to Prosperity Regional Director.  She joined the Pathways team in July 2014.  Ann grew up near the coast of Oregon and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education and a Masters of Arts degree in Special Education from the University of Oregon.   She completed a Ph.D. in Educational Administration from the University of Kansas.

Ann has been a teacher, middle and high school principal, or central office administrator in the states of Oregon, Minnesota, Kansas, Colorado, and most recently, Missouri,  where she served as the Assistant Superintendent of Instruction and Leadership in the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District.  During her tenure in Lee’s Summit R-7, she led several initiatives that focused on college and career readiness.   One example was an initiative branded “connecting all students to their futures.”  It began with strong collaboration between the business community and the district.   This collaboration led to the development of district programs implemented at each high school that prepare students to make career choices and decisions regarding their post high-school education or training programs.