Meet the Staff

Maritime Director

Captain Mitch Schacter

As the Director of the Maritime Program at San Jacinto College, Captain Schacter comes to San Jacinto College after a very diverse 25 year maritime career having started aboard the same type of towboats you see pushing barges up and down the Houston Ship Channel. He  eventually moved on to offshore oil field support  vessels servicing the oil rigs off the coasts of Louisiana and Texas and after a short stint on small oil tankers around the Bahamas, Captain Schacter came ashore after having spent the last 12 years at sea operating and managing very large private yachts.  After moving ashore and prior to joining San Jacinto College Mitch was an instructor at Maritime Professional Training in Fort Lauderdale Florida teaching both U.S. and British Captains and Mid-Atlantic Maritime Academy in Virginia Beach, Virginia.


Administrative Assistants

Ramona "Mona" K. Thibodeaux, Senior Administrative Assistant

Olivia "Libby" Edwards, Administrative Assistant




Captain John Kessler

Born in North Carolina, and raised in Louisville, KY.  He received his passion for boats by growing up on the Ohio River watching the tug boats, steamboat Belle of Louisville and the Delta Queen transit the river.

After serving in the U.S. Navy for 4 years, he decided to enter the maritime industry.  He started his career sailing small boats in Hawaii, and then moved to run a tuna long-liner as Master in the Pacific for 4 years.

John left sailing to open his own maritime school in Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands for seven years.  Moving to Seattle in 1988 he worked the small passenger ship companies as Master, sailing from Seattle to Alaska.

Captain Kessler has sailed in Japan to as far South as the Philippine Islands and various South Pacific Islands.

Leaving sailing in 2000, he joined Pacific Maritime Academy in Seattle as an instructor, then Chief Instructor, then becoming Academic Department Head.

Captain Kessler moved to the Houston, TX area in 2010 to accept a position as instructor here at San Jacinto Maritime.  John holds a Master of Oceans, 1600 Gross Tons and 100 Gross Tons Sail.


Captain Carol Curtiss

Captain Carol Curtiss is the first woman, and one of only three people in the world to have earned both of the highest licenses available (Captain and Chief Engineer) aboard Merchant Cargo ships.  This achievement has earned her the distinction of an acknowledgement in the U.S. Congressional Record in 2002. 

Carol is a graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, at Kings Point, NY graduating in the third year that women were admitted and then worked for 30 years sailing on various ships, including Tankers, Container ships and Car Carriers around the world. 

Carol can command any ship of any size on any ocean as either a Captain or a Chief Engineer.  The United States Coast Guard (USCG) has issued her licenses to operate as both a Master for vessels of unlimited tonnage, upon any ocean, and an unlimited Chief Engineer for propulsion plants of steam, diesel, or gas turbines rated at any horsepower. 

Here at San Jacinto College Maritime, Carol is USCG approved to teach nearly 50 courses and most often teaches Advanced Cargo, Advanced Stability, Advanced Fire Fighting, and is our primary engineering instructor, which includes classes such as Designated Duty Engineer and Qualified Member of the Engine Department. 


Bryan Elliott

Bryan holds an unlimited tonnage Mates license and a mid level Master's license.  He comes to San Jacinto College after a distinguished, 20 year career in the U.S. Navy having served as a specialty instructor in addition to sailing in many roles and aboard many ships.  Bryan was one of the first instructors Mid Atlantic Maritime Academy sent to join the San Jac team.  Bryan is a great asset to the maritime program.


Captain Russell "Keith" Bass

Captain Amy Arrowood

Captain Donald "Clay" Buckley

Chief Engineer David "Mike" Blevins

Alex Molnar

Captain John Sitka

Instructor, V.P. Mid-Atlantic Maritime Academy

Captain Sitka has over 30 years of sea service with the USN, offshore industry, inland tugs, and container ships, as well government vessels. He holds an Unlimited Master upon Oceans license, Master of Towing Oceans and Western Rivers.  He is a graduate with a BS from the University of the State of New York, Albany, and a MA from Liberty University, Lynchburg, Va.



Captain Ed Nanartowich

Instructor, President Mid-Atlantic Maritime Academy

Captain Nanartowich came to MAMA with a distinguished and decorated global career of over 34 years with the Navy’s Military Sealift Command. He sailed as a Master from 1981 to 2008 with 24 commands within the diversified MSC fleet (tankers, cargo ships, cable-layers, scientific support ships, hospital ships, ocean-going tugs and others). He also served for 30 years as a Naval Reserve Captain.  As a reservist he taught at Little Creek Shiphandling School and in Navy Simulators in Norfolk.  In addition, he has published numerous noted articles in professional maritime journals. Unlimited Master Ed Nanartowich has an MBA from LaSalle University and Bachelors from SUNY Maritime College.