Keynote Speaker: Daniel Juday

Daniel Juday
speaker | listener | convener
Daniel Juday LLC

Daniel loves traveling, meeting new people, and working to build bridges of understanding and empathy across challenging “divides.” He deeply believe that all people matter, and he’s spent much of his life working in roles that have allowed him to develop thinking around the nature of education and learning, relationship-building, and professional growth. As the former Director for the Ohio and Indiana Diversity Councils, Daniel took a fledgling organization and grew its corporate membership ranks by almost 2,000% in 2 years. He now owns and runs his own speaking and consulting business, and works with conference planners, learning and development leaders, nonprofit boards, and corporate entities – all in a pursuit to help them grow their leadership impact and make the spaces they influence more inclusive.

Kickoff Performance: Magical Theatre Company

To bring Ohio Heroes or another program to your school, visit

Session Speakers

Dr. Matthew Deevers
Educational Consultant and Senior Research Associate at Summit Education Initiative
Dr. Deevers began his career as a teacher, a school leader and a district administrator.  He is currently the Senior Research Associate at Summit Education Initiative, a nonprofit research and community action organization in Akron, Ohio.  Matt specializes in understanding the relationships between motivation, cognitive development and achievement across the lifespan. His work centers on creating the optimal conditions for sustained learning, growth and achievement in every setting.

Julie Graef
French Teacher, Manchester High School
Julie is currently in her seventeenth year of teaching at Manchester High School.  She teaches Exploratory 8th Grade French, French I, II, III and IV and is also the French Club advisor.   She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Marietta College, and her Masters of Education from the University of Akron.  She lives in Massillon, Ohio with her husband, Mike and has a son, Matt. She enjoys cooking, gardening, crafting, being active outdoors and watching sports with her family.

Rob Lane
Computer Technology, Robotics and Physical Computing Teacher, Springfield High School and Junior High/Springfield Local Schools

This school year marks Robert’s 24th year of teaching. Prior to teaching at the junior high and high school level, he taught 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th grades. Most of these years he had a self-contained classroom where he taught all of the subjects. In the fall of 2008, Robert switched to math only. In 2007-2008, he also spent two semesters teaching technology at the University of Akron. In addition to teaching full-time, Robert runs a non-profit called One Byte at a Time which works to provide STEM opportunities for students through summer camps and workshops. Robert also speaks and leads professional development in Springfield Local Schools as well as around Northeast Ohio. He has presented at International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), Ohio Educational Technology Conference (OETC), NEOTech Conference, the SPARCC Technology Conference and the ASP3T Technology Conference.

Eric Ling
Curriculum Coordinator, Director of the School of Business & Entrepreneurship, AP Economics Teacher, Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy

Eric Ling is a high school educator with 12 years of experience teaching History, Economics, and Business courses at various levels.  He also serves as a Curriculum Coordinator and the Director of the School of Business and Entrepreneurship at his current position at Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy where he seeks to implement innovative educational methods to increase experiential learning opportunities in order to increase the depth and significance of learning.  Driving everything he does is his commitment to helping students reach their full potential academically, professionally, and spiritually.  

Jeanette Nativio
Instructional Specialist
Akron Public Schools 

Jeanette currently works at Litchfield Middle School where she provides hands-on assistance to teachers and develops practical strategies to increase student engagement.  Jeanette is quite enthusiastic about each students’ success and is optimistic about their academic futures. In fact, she had a career in corporate finance before realizing that her true passion was being an educator. She taught elementary school students  prior to being an instructional specialist. Jeanette fully understands that a teacher’s impact goes far beyond the classroom, and is fortunate to have the opportunity to collaborate with many talented, caring educators. She truly believes that thoughtful collaboration is just one of the essential ingredients necessary to positively affect students’  learning. 

Doreen Osmun
Assistant Superintendent, Hudson City Schools 

Doreen  is in her 31st year in education and 24th year as a school administrator. She started her career as a teacher and elementary principal for 14 years.  In Hudson, Doreen first served as the McDowell Elementary principal and then became principal of Ellsworth Hill when it was constructed. Doreen was then hired as Hudson’s Director of Curriculum and Instruction. In 2013, Doreen was named the Assistant Superintendent with curriculum and instruction responsibilities along with, major district initiatives.  

Charissa Soful
Biology Teacher
Manchester High School

Carrie began her educational career as a naturalist in the parks, before taking her first classroom teaching position at the YMCA’s Phoenix program in Akron.  After receiving her Master’s Degree in Outdoor Education, she started her job as a Science Teacher at Manchester High School. Over the past 18 years, she and her students have added an organic garden, a materials recycling program, and a composting program to the school.  Last year, with the help of an EIG grant from the GAR Foundation, she was able to challenge her Accelerated Biology students to help start the design a proposal for a trial composting program with the local Acme Freshmarket that is still going on today.

Kristi Upole
School Psychologist, PSI/Seton Catholic School

Kristi is a school psychologist through PSI, serving Seton Catholic School.  Upole has served as a School Psychologist in both public and parochial schools, both full and part time, throughout the past 22 years. She completed her BA in Psychology at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio in 1994 and her MA, CAS in School Psychology at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina in 1997.   Her greatest career highlight, as a mom, is raising five children (ages 19, 17, 11, 10, and 5 years of age) together with her husband of 24 years.

Dr. Sandra Wilder
Mathematics Educator & District Instructional Specialist
Akron Public Schools

Sandra is a mathematics educator and instructional specialist for Akron Public Schools. Prior to joining Akron Public Schools, Sandra taught at Bio-Med Science Academy and the University of Akron. She has also been a mathematics coach for Battelle Education and a curriculum writer for All-American Soap Box Derby. Dr. Wilder believes that non-traditional approaches to instruction lead to high engagement and motivation among students. Creating opportunities for students to experience content through authentic, relevant, and engaging learning activities is a key to academic achievement and excellence. Her research interests include integrated teaching and learning, and development of integrated curricula for K-12 classrooms. Sandra’s ideas for many lessons she has created as a classroom teacher and instructional strategies for supporting other mathematics teachers have come from her most valuable role of a mom of two boys who love reading, playing games, and hiking.

Christina Wooley
Curriculum Coordinator
Hudson City Schools

Christina started her career as a high school Chemistry teacher and has served Hudson City Schools as the curriculum coordinator for the last 6 years. She supports Hudson’s teachers in implementation of standards, curriculum adoptions and supporting teachers in district initiatives. She is a National Board Certified Teacher and the PTO Teacher of the Year in 2012. Christina earned her undergraduate degree in Chemistry from Hanover College and her masters in teaching from Kent State University.