Head of the class

Northwest Ohio is very lucky to have a wide selection of incredible schools with leaders who are dedicated and motivated to help all students succeed. We are excited to shine a spotlight on a select few of these amazing educators.

Gary Boehm

Head of School
Maumee Valley Country Day School
1715 South Reynolds Rd. | 419-381-1313


Why did you choose a career in education? I always thought that education was an admirable profession. My mother and both her sisters were teachers, and several of my cousins became educators. When one is young and idealistic, they think in terms of changing the world. What better way to change the world than through education?

What motivates you everyday? This sounds simple and obvious, I know, but at Maumee Valley we are motivated to do what is in the best interest of students. A consultant once told me that if you don’t keep this basic truth at the forefront of all your decisions, your school will become adult-centered over time because, while students pass through, the adults stay year after year. Ever since, “students first” has become our mantra.

Malinda Siers

Director of the Junior Academy Program
St. Ursula Academy
4025 Indian Rd. | 419-531-1693


What is your main goal for St. Ursula Academy? To provide for each young woman a transformational Ursuline education focused on intellectual inquiry, personal growth, spiritual formation, and compassionate service. Our young women are empowered to continue learning, show kindness, and lead confidently.

What is something you hope to accomplish in 2018? To empower our young women to continually explore new ideas, take ownership of their learning, and truly value the impact they have on our community.

Why did you choose a career in education? My desire to help others was transformed into a vocation through experiences as a classroom teacher and administrator.

What motivates you every day? The relationships that I have with students, parents, faculty, and staff. My thirst for knowledge, along with my unending desire to creatively look for unique solutions, keeps me focused and passionate about education.

Justin Bryson

School Leader
HOPE Learning Academy of Toledo
4234 Monroe St. | 419-297-6313


What is the main goal for your school?
Providing an excellent and accommodating education for children with special needs. We strive to cultivate self-reliance, critical thinking, and problem solving skills while infusing social skills, sensory, and art enrichment into our curriculum. Hope Learning Academy would like to continue to stay true to our mission and philosophy and grow our program to support the social, emotional, and academic needs of our students.

What motivates you everyday? My motivation comes from the amazing community that makes up HOPE Learning Academy. I am inspired daily by the dedication and commitment to our students I see from the group of individuals I get the pleasure to work with. Their energy and willingness to do whatever it takes for our students is what makes HOPE great.

Lynn Fisher

Head of School
West Side Montessori
7115 W. Bancroft St.


What sets West Side Montessori apart from other schools in the community? We are the only accredited Montessori school in the Toledo area serving children from toddlers through middle school. The specialized curriculum and teaching methodology emphasize experiential learning within a dynamic, family-oriented community. West Side graduates are independent, self-directed, confident leaders who are passionate about learning and excel in high school and beyond.

Why did you choose a career in education? I did not choose a career in education. It chose me. As a new parent nearly 50 years ago I searched for a way to stimulate the development of my bright, curious baby. Luckily, I stumbled on an article about Montessori education and was able to observe a Montessori class in action. I was astonished at what I saw and my path quickly became clear.

Dr. Kevin Miller

Ottawa Hills School District
3600 Indian Rd., Ottawa Hills


What sets Ottawa Hills Schools apart from other schools in the community? We call it “large school offerings in a small school setting.” Ottawa Hills students can take advantage of a variety of course offerings along with several co-curricular and extracurricular activities. These opportunities range from 17 Advanced Placement courses at our high school to 18 varsity sports to an incredible array of clubs and organizations. Our Arts programming is second to none, including opportunities for students K through 12 in instrumental and vocal music, theatre arts, and dance. Because of our small size, students have the chance to actively pursue their interests both inside and outside the classroom.

What is something you hope to accomplish in 2018?
The Ottawa Hills Local School District takes great pride in the quality of education provided to its students. Our standing as the number one school system in the state is the result of the collaborative efforts of our stakeholders. In 2018, we will continue working together to focus on the five goals of our strategic plan—Academics, Engagement, Innovation, Partnerships, and Support.

Dr. Romules Durant

Toledo Public Schools
419-671-0001 | tps.org


Why did you become an educator? I’ve always been driven to helping others. To me, education is a powerful way to reach as many people and to make a true impact on their future.

What is your district’s biggest accomplishment in 2017? Toledo Public Schools continued to expand our career technology offerings for students, along with providing more advanced pathways that will lead students to a successful start in college. We also announced the new Aerospace & Natural Science Academy of Toledo— this new school will provide high school students who have an interest in a career in aviation or urban agriculture a unique learning environment. As we look toward 2018, we plan to continue enhancing our community partnerships and to share the ‘good news’ that happens each and every day across the district with our supporters.

Jessica Hoffman

Pre-K teacher & Administrator
Story Orchard Learning Academy
2041 W Airport Hwy., Swanton
419-826-9039 |See “Story Orchard Learning
Academy” on Facebook

What sets Story Orchard Learning Academy apart from other schools in the community? Not only do we provide quality care and education to all the infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and school aged children enrolled in our program, we individualize each experience based on the family’s needs an individual child’s developmental level and interests.

Why did you choose a career in education? Teaching has always come naturally to me. I showed patience with little ones at an early age while my mom cared for children in our home, and she has always said I was a natural teacher. In high school, I had other chances to try teaching when I was asked to be a tutor and a mentor. After trying different routes to help a student understand a concept, finally hx-earing the words “I get it now!” is the best feeling. My mission has always been to help learners find confidence and pride in their accomplishments.

Kevin Mullan

Vice President of Advancement
Cardinal Stritch Catholic High
School & Academy
3225 Pickle Rd., Oregon
419-693-0465 | 


What sets Cardinal Stritch H.S. apart from other schools in the community? We are the only Pre-K to 12 Catholic School in NW Ohio. This provides a tremendous amount of stability for both students and families. Putting students on a single, coordinated path for success is a real asset to our community. Due to the size of our school, we focus on individualized attention and it is impossible for students to slip through the cracks. Within days of joining the Cardinal Family, students will know classmates and teachers across various grades, and vice versa. We are laser focused on our goal— forming disciples of Jesus Christ. Along the way, we are confident our students will go to college, get a job and have a family, so we work to prepare them for those too, but the primary focus really is tied to our Catholic faith. Whether students are Catholic or not, it makes for an incredibly supportive, loving and nurturing community. We call ourselves the Cardinal Family, and it is 100% true.

What is your main goal for your school? In the simplest terms, my goal is to raise as much money as possible to support the mission of Cardinal Stritch Catholic High School & Academy. More strategically, my goal is to foster a culture of philanthropy that enables us to continuously meet our community’s growing needs.


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