Board Members

C.O.A.T. Board Members

Lynn Perkins

Founder – Cat Osterman Academy of Technology
Founder, CEO – NKIRU Corporation of Austin

Ms Perkins has been working with troubled children and children in trouble for over thirty years mostly in the capacity of Residential Counselor, Social Worker, Child Advocate, and School Counselor. Her volunteer work includes work on the Suicide Hotline, Big Brother’s and Big Sister’s, and Severely Battered Women’s Shelter. Lynn’s ability to identify and work with challenging children is secondary to her passion she has for blending education with providing healing to that child’s community. Lynn received her Bachelor’s of Science from Texas A & M in Commerce, Texas and her Master’s in School Counseling from California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California.

Charlene Henderson

Executive Board Member – President – Cat Osterman Academy of Technology
Founding Board Member – Cat Osterman Academy of Technology

Ms Henderson, as a former Soldier in the United States Air Force, was a Dental Technician, who served her Country before retiring and moving into the Private Sector in Austin. She joined the ranks of the Texas Attorney General’s Office originally as an Investigator where she investigated insurance fraud. Currently, Charlene serves as a Reimbursement Officer in the Crime Victim’s Compensation Division of the Attorney General’s Office where she has been aiding crime victim’s for over twenty three years.

Jerry Martinez

Executive Board Member – Treasurer – Cat Osterman Academy of Technology
Founding Board Member – Cat Osterman Academy of Technology

Mr. Martinez has dedicated most of his life to working with young people who are battling with their disabilities. Among his many duties, he conducts therapeutic groups, dispenses much needed medications, and provides a listening ear to those who need him most. Jerry is very involved with his church, the University of Texas Athletics, and he is very active in his community.

Gloria Clark

Founding Board Member – Cat Osterman Academy of Technology

Gloria Clark began working in the victim advocacy field in 1996 as an on call Victim Assisstance Volunteer for the Travis County Sheriff’s Office.  In 2001, she acquired her current employment with the Office of the Attotrney General’s Crime Victim Services Division as an Eligibility Reviewer for the Crime Victim Compensation Program.  In addition to her duties as an Eligibility Reviewer since 2003, she has participated in the Crime Victim’s outreach program, delivering Crime Victim Compensation training and ourtreach to victim advocates across the state of Texas.  Ms. Clark holds a B.A. degree in Criminal Justice from St. Edward’s University in  Austin, Texas.

Sissy Bowers

Founding Board Member – Cat Osterman Academy of Technology

Ms. Bowers, a devoted mother of one, was once known as a leader on daughter Kindra’s PTA and any fundraiser associated with her success. Recently, as Sissy deals with her, “empty nest,” she divides her time between her church and other charitable ventures. While working with some of Austin’s top officials in the Texas Court System, Sissy continues to prove that she has the mental toughness it will take to make difficult decisions it will take to run this Academy.

Rose Durbin

Founding Board Member – Cat Osterman Academy of Technology

Rosemary Durbin is no stranger to the concept of business and what it takes to start up a new one. Rose was once part owner in town successful businesses in the Austin area. Ms. Durbin is known for her philanthropic ventures in Austin. She is active participant in many charities via her church and community. Her fundraising supremacy will be a great asset to this board.


Kieke Butzer

Founding Board Member – Cat Osterman Academy of Technology

Birgit (a.k.a. Kieke) Butzer earned a Bachelors in Psychology at The University of Texas in 1991, followed by a Bachelors in Exercise and Sport Sciences, summa cum laude, with teacher certification at Texas State University in 1997. In 1998, she began teaching P.E., followed by math and science, as well as, coaching girls volleyball, basketball, and track at J.E. Pearce Middle School in northeast Austin. During the nine years at Pearce, Ms. Butzer also initiated and led the Pearce Families Holiday Food, Toy, and Clothing Drive which, over eight years, provided an entire holiday dinner, with extra food for the pantry, clothes, presents, books, and cards for over fifty Pearce families in need, including more than 120 children and their parents. Since 2007, Ms. Butzer has taught both middle and high school math, science, and Character Education, working with Austin ISD’s most at risk youth at The Alternative Learning Center. She has also taught at the Travis County Juvenile Detention Center for AISD. She currently holds Texas teaching certifications in P.E., Health, Math 4-8 and 9-12, Life and Earth Science, Composite Science, and ESL Supplemental and plans to earn a Special Education certification in the coming year. In January 2012, Ms. Butzer was accepted into the Concordia University accelerated Masters in Education Administration with Principal Certification Program. She expects to successfully complete the program in December 2013, while continuing to work with students at AISD’s Disciplinary Alternative Education Program campuses (ALC and TCJDC).

Jim Schmidt

Founding Board Member – Cat Osterman Academy of Technology

Mr. Schmidt brings to the board over 25 years of retail experience with an emphasis on Project Management. In this capacity, Jim assisted in opening and closing stores while supervising teams of fifty to sixty people. He was largely responsible for engineering operations of Michael’s Department Store. With over 25 years of extensive Customer Service, Jim traveled all over the country implementing new ideas, testing marketing theories, and reviewing progress of several stores. Mr. Schmidt is very involved in his community and has already begun work in our target community.

Valarian Schiller

Founding Board Member – Cat Osterman Academy of Technology

Mr. Schiller acquired an Associates Degree in Business Management in 1991 at Temple College. He as worked in various Management positions in the restaurant business, as well as assignments in parts and delivery and the challenging world of retail. In 2009, Mr. Schiller decided to make a career change where he worked he worked in the Medical Home Health field as an Intake Coordinator and Scheduler for Nursing and Physical Therapy. Valerian currently works as Human Resource Coordinator for a Home Health/Hospice in Austin, Texas.

Dr. Barbara Martin

Founding Board Member – Cat Osterman Academy of Technology


Tasha Carlton

Founding Board Member – Cat Osterman Academy of Technology


Etta Perkins

Founding Board Member – Cat Osterman Academy of Technology
Board of Director Member – NKIRU Corporation of Austin

Etta Perkins, the senior of the Founding Board, comes with over fifty years of experience working with finance and business. Ms. Perkins, in her capacity as a Bank Officer, learned how to maintain the delicate balance between business and community needed for any entity to be successful and productive. Before retiring at the tender age of 78, Etta worked in Retail where she left her mark as a respected member of the community. Etta’s strong fundraising talents will surely be helpful in the early stages of this venture.


Venona Thomas

Founding Board Member – Cat Osterman Academy of Technology
Board of Directors Member – NKIRU Corporation of Austin

Ms. Thomas arrived in Austin, Texas with having Community, Service, & Political credentials. As past President of the Alaska Federation of the Blind, Venona was instrumental in getting the Alaskan Legislature to pass bills to aid visually impaired people in receiving enhancements for their everyday living needs. She also taught computer education and everyday living skills in Anchorage, Alaska. A graduate if the Alaska Center for the Blind, Venona continues to demonstrate that a disability does not define ones worth.