Program Directors and Program Chairs

Our faculty members do more than teach their specialties, they work in their specialties. We select instructors whose day-to-day duties ensure they are knowledgeable and up-to-date on the most current theories, practices and technologies of their field – and who also possess a gift to teach that information to students.

Don Jones, President and CEO

Don Jones is a proven leader with a happy outlook on business and life who consistently raises the bar for ATA, the faculty, staff and students, all while wearing his signature smile. Since taking the reins in 2006, Jones has led ATA into new territory by updating their identity, expanding the college campus and adding new programs, accreditations and financial aid, not to mention nearly doubling the student body in his first year. Quality medical education, retention, career services and compliance are at the top of his priority list.

Professional Experience and Certification:

  • BS in Industrial Technology, Western Kentucky University
  • 20+ years of experience in manufacturing management with Fortune 500 companies

Sam Yeboah MSN RN, MA FNP-BC

Program Director for Nursing

MSN RN FNP-BC, Chamberlain University 

Professional Certification:

  • American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) 
  • 13 years of Nursing experience  

Sarah Norris

Program Director for Dental Assisting

Bachelor of Science, Organizational Leadership & Learning, University of Louisville

Dental Assisting Diploma, ATA College

Professional Certification:

  • CDA, EDDA, Dental Radiography, OSHA, BLS Experience 
  • 12 years of Dental Assisting Experience 

Ronnie Turnmire, BBA (HCM), CPC

Program Director for Medical Coding and Medical Administrative Assistant

Masters of Science, Educational and Instructional Technology, National University

Bachelor’s Degree, Business Administration with Specialization in Healthcare Management, Minor in Human Resources- Florida Institute of Technology

Professional Certifications:

  • AAPC  (American Association of Professional Coders)
  • CPC (Certified Professional Coder)
  • ICD 10 Proficient/ Certified
  • 15 years of Medical Coding/ Billing Experience

Stephanie Thiel RT (R) ARRT

Program Director for Limited Medical Radiography with Medical Assisting

Associates Degree in Applied Sciences/ Certified Radiologic Technologist, Jefferson Community College

Professional Certifications:

  • Kentucky State Certified and ARRT Certified
  • 15 years of experience as an RT(R) 
  • KY Radiography General Operators License

Traci Buford, CMA (AAMA), LMR

Program Director for  Medical Assisting

Associates Degree, Jefferson Community College 

Professional Certifications:

  • AAMA American Association of Medical Assistants Certified Medical Assistant 
  • CNA Certified Nursing Aide
  • BLS CPR Certification 
  • BLS CPR Instructor Certification
  • 21 Years of experience as a Medical Assistant 

Ellie Mikel 

Program Director for Distance Learning

Bachelors of Science in Biology from Western Kentucky University 

11 years of teaching experience  


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