John Richard – President
Email John

Adele Gelb – Director of Strategic Initiatives
Email Adele

Liza Grossman – Director of Research and Evaluation
Email Liza

Kimberly J. Santoro – Director of Operations
Email Kim



Krista Allison – Early Education Strategist
Email Krista

Jay Moody – Innovative Projects Strategist
Email Jay

Erika Stafford – College & Career Connector
Email Erika

Phone: (234) 200-8115
More Info: "Ready to Step Up?"

john richard, Ed.D.

John Richard became president of the Partnership in 2021. Prior to that, he served as Deputy State Superintendent at the Ohio Department of Education for five years, previously serving as a senior executive director and associate superintendent for the Department. He was the Associate Executive Director for OASSA overseeing professional development of principals across Ohio, and served as Superintendent of Perry Local Schools from 2005 until 2013. He also has been a part-time instructor at the University of Akron in the principal licensure program.

The long-time education leader is passionate about quality education leadership to best prepare students for their next step after high school, and is an experienced speaker and facilitator who effectively works with diverse groups. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Mount Union, a master’s degree from Cleveland State University, and earned his doctorate at the University of Akron.


Adele Gelb
Program Director

Adele joined our organization in 2002 and serves as Program Director for the Partnership. Her responsibilities include building and overseeing the communications and community engagement programs and managing events that arise from these programs.

Formerly Communications Director of the Canton Jewish Community Federation, Adele served as editor of a community newspaper, supervisor of visiting staff, director of a an overseas community partnership and staff of strategic planning. Adele is a graduate of Miami University with a B.S. in Elementary Education with teaching experience in the Garfield Heights and North Canton Schools.


Elizabeth R.B. Grossman, ph.D.
Director of Research and Evaluation

Liza joined the organization in 2016 and serves as the Director of Research and Evaluation. Previously, she worked as a consultant and adjunct professor to several colleges and universities including The University of Akron, Kent State University, Walsh University, Stark State College, and the College of Wooster. As a consultant, she led focus group discussions, conducted face-to-face interviews, and was the lead grant writer for a Department of Education grant. Liza transitioned to a heavier emphasis on research as a consultant and in her work at Stark State College as an Advancement Officer working on fundraising and grant proposals.

Liza earned her doctorate from the University of Akron in Sociology with a focus on social inequality and social capital. She is also a graduate of the University of South Carolina with a master’s in Sociology and a bachelor’s in Journalism and Mass Communications.


Kimberly J. SANTORO
director of operations

Kim joined our organization in 1994 and serves as the Partnership's Director of Operations. Kim is responsible for the artistic design of publications and reports - including our weekly e-newsletter; maintains the Partnership's web site; and provides operational support to the staff as well as technical computer assistance. Her financial duties include accounts management, grants reconciliation, budget administration, and the oversight of payroll.

Prior to working for the Partnership, Kim was an Assistant Warehouse Manager for Peoples Services and an Administrative Assistant for the Canton Invaders. She earned her B.A. in Organizational Management and Marketing from Malone University. She is also a graduate of Stark State College with an associate's in Small Business Computer Systems and a Bookkeeping certificate.


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Stark Education Partnership, Inc.
400 Market Avenue North, Suite B, Canton, OH 44702-1551
Phone (330) 452-0829 | Fax (330) 452-2009