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Ohio Association for Career and Technical Education

Our Leadership

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.


Brian came to the Auburn Career Center after nine years as Superintendent of the Lake County ESC. Prior to joining the ESC, he  served as Principal at Willoughby South High School, a suburban school of over 1,200 students. Prior to being the principal, he was an assistant principal at Willoughby South and received the Ohio Assistant Principal of the Year Award in 2002. Brian was also recognized as the John Carroll University Alumni of the Year in 2002. His background includes working as the Director of Technology, classroom teacher, and head wrestling coach. In addition, he has served on numerous levy, facility labor management and dispute committees, and has considerable experience in curriculum and program development.

Brian is Past President of the Ohio Educational Service Center Association (OESCA) and former Chairman of the Lake County Schools Health Care Consortium. He also serves on the Kent State Geauga Advisory Board, and the American Technical Education Association Board and has an extensive network of leaders across Ohio.
  He holds a B.S. in Business Education, a M.Ed. in Computer Education, a M.Ed. in School Administration, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership. He also holds Ohio licenses as superintendent, treasurer and K-12 principal.


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.


Margaret Hess - Ohio ACTE Interim Executive Director  (non-voting)

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.

Christine Gardner - Ohio ACTE Former Executive Director  (non-voting)

Christine  was the executive director of the Ohio Association for Career and Technical Education (Ohio ACTE), a non-profit organization with almost 6,000 members statewide.  Ohio ACTE represents the interests of teachers, administrators, support staff and school board members who work to provide career-tech opportunities for students through career-technical education programs for high school students and adults. Prior to joining Ohio ACTE in the Fall of 2006, she worked for statewide and national associations.


Christine was one of the “20 People to Know in Education” list compiled by Columbus Business First in 2013.  She was a part time adult instructor, both in-person and online, for more than 10 years, facilitating marketing, communication and other classes.  She also conducted resume writing, interview skills and job search strategy workshops.   Christine has presented locally, nationally, and internationally on how to teach essential job skills and promoting career-technical education opportunities.


Christine graduated from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and received her Master of Business Administration from Franklin University, in Columbus.


To contact the executive board, email Ohio ACTE at membership@ohioacte.org or call Ohio ACTE at (614)890-2283.


Click here to see a list of Ohio ACTE's past presidents.  

Ohio Association for Career and Technical Education

38 Commerce Park Dr. Suite D, Westerville, Ohio
(614) 890-ACTE (2283)
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