Ohio ACTE Executive Board 2022-2023
Ohio ACTE's leaders are elected by the membership and serve as the governing board for Ohio ACTE. The foundation of Ohio ACTE is its leadership. If you are interested in serving in a leadership position, please contact Ohio ACTE for information.
Jon Graft - President, Butler Tech, Superintendent/CEO
Jon Graft is the Superintendent/CEO of Butler Tech, one of Ohio’s largest providers of career technical education. Jon has forged unique business and industry partnerships to create opportunity for students and spur economic development in the region. With the Fifth Day Experience and Student Showcases launching in the 2019-2020 school year, Butler Tech is at the forefront of the Education Revolution. Butler Tech serves more than 17,000 secondary students each day and more than 2,000 adult students annually.
Prior to joining Butler Tech, Jon was Superintendent of the Butler County Educational Service Center. During his tenure, the agency doubled educational programming and staffing for its partner school districts, while growing professional development, special education, and multi-faceted family services from prenatal through high school.
Jon’s roots are in education, having held leadership roles in the Middletown City School District and Madison Local Schools. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Bowling Green State University and a Master’s Degree in Administration from the University of Dayton.
Jon is a member of the National and State Association of Career Technical Education, Ohio Association of Career Technical Superintendents, Buckeye Association of School Administrators, the Greater Cincinnati Public School Advocacy Network, Middletown Chamber Executive Board, Southwest Ohio Computer Association Executive Committee, and the Miami University College Access Partnership.
Michael Parry - President-Elect (Office of President- Elect, for a one year term beginning Sept. 1, 2022 followed by a one year term as Ohio ACTE President and one year as Past President) U.S. Grant Career Center, Superintendent
Mike Parry is the Superintendent of U.S. Grant Career Center in Bethel. Mike has spent his career in Career Technical Education. Prior to serving as the Grant Career Center Superintendent, Mike served as the Superintendent of Ashland County-West Holmes Career Center. As a Superintendent, he has a proven track-record of being a visionary and innovative leader who builds strong relationships with stakeholders – both internal and external – as well as a strong, highly focused team.
Before moving into the Chief Executive role, Mike served as the Executive Director of Secondary Education for Butler Technology and Career Development Schools. Prior to taking on the executive role at Butler Tech, Mike worked with the development and administration of programs for at-risk youth, online learning, and transitions programs for individuals with special needs.
Before joining the Butler Tech team, Mike was a Social Studies and English Language Arts Instructor for at-risk youth with Miami Valley Career Technology Center. Before that he was a Theology teacher on the mid-Pacific Island, Saipan. Originally, Mike hales from Western Pennsylvania, growing up outside of Pittsburgh.
Mike’s education includes a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education and a Master of Science in Educational Leadership from the University of Dayton. He is a member of National and State Association of Career Technical Education, National Council of Local Administrators, Ohio Association of Career Technical Superintendents, Buckeye Association of School Administrators, and the Board of Advisors for the Clermont Chamber of Commerce.
Ryan McCoart - Past President, Upper Valley Career Center
Brian Bontempo - Treasurer, Auburn Career Center, Superintendent
As the Superintendent of Auburn Career Center, Brian has implemented many positive changes in his five years. He has led the District through staffing reorganization, addition or reorganization of Criminal Justice, Dental Assistant programs, Technology & Engineering and Design, Computer Networking Technology and Cyber Security, and Pro Web and Game Design, a marketing rebranding process, the start of the Auburn Education Foundation, a facilities renovation plan and the resurgence of enrollment to the highest it has been in years.
The growth includes the start-up of summer boot camp skills program for High School & Adults, as well as leading the major “growth” of the adult programming at Auburn Career Center thru creative customized models and modifying existing models. In addition, he has led workforce and skills training committees that have launched initiatives in Manufacturing, Healthcare and Technology. Most recently Auburn Career Center has expanded offerings in micro credentials to middle schools and a regional Certified Production Tech initiative thru Career Based Intervention.
Krista Gearhart - Secretary, South Stark Career Academy
Krista Gearhart is currently in her 10th year as the Director of Career Technical Education (CTE) for South Stark Career Academy, a compact in Stark county providing CTE to students from Canton Local, Osnaburg Local, Perry Local, and Sandy Valley Local school districts. In addition, she serves as the Director for Student Services (all-things Counseling-related) at the CTPD lead district, Canton Local.
Prior to her years in administration, Krista was a middle school Language Arts teacher in Perry Local Schools while completing a dual-license in School and Clinical Mental Health counseling. She was a School Counselor for eight years in Jackson Local and Canton Local School Districts.
Krista has held and continues to hold leadership positions in professional state and local CTE organizations. She is a Past-President of the Ohio Association of Comprehensive and Compact Schools (Ohio CCS) and has served as Legislative Chair on the Ohio CCS Executive Board since her official 3-year Presidential cycle expired in 2017. She is currently the President of OCTA region IV, thus also serving on the state OCTA board.
Krista has served on numerous ODE Workgroups and has a personal working relationship with many members of the ODE-CTE staff. Because of these leadership experiences, Krista has built positive collegial relationships with CTE colleagues from all delivery models and across the state.
Krista holds a Bachelor's degree in Education from Kent State University, a Masters degree in School and Mental Health Counseling from Walsh University, and a Masters degree in Educational Leadership from Concordia University.
Maggie has spent 30 years working with students, parents, and business and industry in the field of career-technical education. She spent 14 years as the superintendent for the Warren County Center Center in Lebanon, Ohio.
As the executive director for the Ohio Association of Career-Technical Superintendents (OACTS), Hess has the opportunity to continue to expand awareness and increase understanding of the value of career-technical education in Ohio, especially of the career centers that serve school districts around the state. Her educational background includes a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Cincinnati and a bachelor’s degree in education from Georgia State University in Atlanta, Ga. She has also completed post-graduate work at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, earning a graduate certificate in the superintendency.
Hess has connections with many educational and civic organizations at the local, state and national level, giving back to the community including The Rotary Club of Lebanon, United Way of Warren County and the Warren County Foundation.
Dee Smith - Ohio ACTE Executive Director as of 5/1/2023 (non-voting) Dee has represented clients’ interests in a variety of roles, around the capitol for 19+years. During her career, she has successfully represented corporations and trade associations in numerous substantive issue areas, although her areas of expertise are in environmental issues, health care, and education. Her well-respected reputation is based on honesty, hard work and a practical approach to the issue.
A tireless advocate of career-technical education, Smith represents the interests of Ohio’s career-tech schools and students throughout the state before the Ohio General Assembly and statewide offices. Her experience as both alumni and career-tech parent provides a unique expertise for policy makers as decisions are made on Capital Square.
To contact the executive board, email Ohio ACTE at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Ohio ACTE at (614)890-2283.