Teresa Purses – President
Email Teresa

Liza Grossman – Director of Research and Evaluation
Email Liza

Adele Gelb – Director of Strategic Initiatives
Email Adele

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?"

Teresa Purses, Ed.D.

Teresa joined the organization in 2015 and serves as the President. Previously, she was the Director of State Support Team for Region 9 for the Ohio Department of Education leading a team of 16 consultants in providing school improvement services in the region. From 2002 until 2010, Teresa served as Superintendent of the Canton Local School District. Her adult life has been dedicated to teaching and the education of students.

Teresa has been involved with the Stark Education Partnership at many points during her career. At the very beginning of the Partnership in the early 1990's, she was on the design team of a number of very successful projects, including the landmark SEEDS grant from the National Science Foundation to promote local science education.

A graduate of Malone College, Teresa holds a masters and doctorate degree from Ashland University.


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 communications AND Finance

Kim joined our organization in 1994 and serves as the Partnership's Director of Communications and Finance. 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 is a graduate of Malone University with a B.A. in Organizational Management and Marketing.


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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