Welcome to dese.mo.gov. We hope you enjoy the site, and we welcome your feedback.

About Us

Steve Bryant Portrait

Steve Bryant | Program Manager | Missouri Career Pathways Network

Steve Bryant assumed his new role at the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education as the Career Pathways Manager on April 03, 2017.   Steve is a veteran educator of the classroom, held career and technical edu​cation program leadership, the assistant superintendency, superintendency roles, and most recently working in higher education.  Prior to his career in public education, Steve helped establish and managed a livestock marketing and transportation company.   He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agricultural Education from Missouri State University-Springfield, a Masters in Education from the University of Missouri-Columbia, a Specialist in Education in Educational Leadership from Missouri State University-Springfield, and anticipates completing his Educational Doctorate in Education Leadership in the fall of 2017 from William Wood University in Fulton, MO.

The Missouri Career Pathways program plays an integral part in Missouri’s Show-Me Success initiative.  As the Career Pathways Manager, Steve and the Missouri Career Pathways team of Directors, Consultants, and Advisors utilize regional and state level labor markets needs as they work to engage high school educators, post-secondary institutions, and employers in a more collaborative approach to develop a comprehensive network of pathways to serve the youth in high school and beyond.  The goal of the Missouri Career Pathways program  is to ensure that all high school graduates acquire the competencies, credentials, and opportunities needed to be ready for employment or college entry and to ensure students are being prepared to meet Missouri’s current and future workforce needs.  Ultimately, Missouri students through a proper network of pathways will be “Success Ready”.


Image of Shonda Gray Dawn Richards​ | St. Louis Pathways Regional Director 

Dawn Richards serves as the St. Louis Career Pathways Regional Director. She has over 20 years of experience in the field of education. In her former role as a high school business education teacher, she also held several leadership positions within her school such as the instructional leadership team chair, the building leadership team chair, the building improvement committee chair, and she had the responsibility of planning the school’s advisory program. Dawn has a passion for helping young people recognize their options after high school and feels it is important to know what career opportunities are available to them.

Dawn received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Fisk University in Nashville, TN, a Masters in Education Administration from Lindenwood University, and a Doctorate from Maryville University in Educational Leadership.


Roberta Carson | Mid-Missouri Pathways Regional Director 

Roberta Carson serves as the Mid-Missouri Pathways 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 Regional Director 

Ann Starlin-Horner serves as the Kansas City Pathways 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.