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Board of Directors

Joe Roberts
Board President
Athletics and Activities Director, Lexington High School
State Board of Directors, August 1, 2017 – July 31, 2019
(Class AAA Representative, Northwest District)

Joe is a 1993 graduate of Lexington High School and a 1998 graduate of the University of Cincinnati, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and was the head student manager of the men’s basketball team under Head Coach Bob Huggins. He then earned his master’s degree in education/sports administration at Xavier University in 2001 while continuing to work in the University of Cincinnati’s athletics department in development and promotions. His work at the interscholastic level began in 2002 as the athletic administrator at Kings Junior High School in Kings Mills. After a year there, Joe moved to Alexandria, Ky., and spent four years as the athletic administrator for the Campbell County School District before moving to Lebanon High School as the athletic administrator from 2007 to 2011. After a year off to work in business, Joe was hired at his alma mater, Lexington High School, in 2013 to serve as athletics and activities director. Elected to the OHSAA’s Northwest District Athletic Board in 2014, Joe is that board’s coordinator for girls soccer, swimming & diving and softball. He is also an executive officer as the Northwest District representative for the Ohio Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (OIAAA). This is his first term on the OHSAA Board of Directors. Joe became a certified athletic administrator (CAA) in 2005. Joe resides in Lexington with his wife Kendra, who teaches special education at Pioneer Career & Technology Center in Shelby. They have two children, daughter Sophia (11) and son Sammy (10).
 
 
John Knonour
Board Vice President
Superintendent, Northeastern Local Schools, Springfield
State Board of Directors, August 1, 2017 – July 31, 2019
(Class AA Representative, Southwest District)

John is a 1981 graduate of Brookville High School, where he also began his teaching, coaching and administrative career. He graduated from Wright State University in 1985 with a Bachelor of Science degree in secondary education and from the University of Dayton in 1993 with a master’s degree in educational administration. He obtained his doctoral degree in educational leadership also from the University
of Dayton in 2004. “Doc” began his educational career in Brookville, teaching seventh and eighth grade language arts and mathematics. He coached both football and basketball from junior high to varsity assistant positions in his seven years of teaching. John moved into administration at Brookville as the assistant high school principal and athletic director for a year-and-a-half before becoming the middle school principal at Brookville. He served in that role for two-and-a-half years before going to Oakwood Junior High School in suburban Dayton, where he served as principal for the next nine-and-a-half years. During his time at Oakwood, John was also a part-time kindergarten principal and director of technology of the district. He then moved on to the Tipp City Schools as superintendent for the next eight-and-a-half years before retiring in 2015. He returned immediately to a superintendent’s position after being hired Aug. 1, 2015, at Northeastern Local in Clark County. In addition to his career in education, John has also served as a registered OHSAA basketball official for the past 25 years. Elected to the Southwest District Athletic Board in 2008 as a Class AA representative, John is a past president of the SWDAB. This is his first term on the OHSAA Board of Directors. John and his wife, Karen, are newly married and have seven children in all, Bobby (23) Casey (20) Sam (20), Bailey (19), Cara (17), Kellen (14) and Camden (9). They live in the Northeastern school district, where the last three children are active in academics, athletics and the arts. The first four are all in college with varying interests.
 
 
Bob Britton
Superintendent, Ridgedale Local Schools, Morral
State Board of Directors, August 1, 2017 – July 31, 2018
(Class A Representative, Central District)

Bob is a 1982 graduate of Colonel Crawford High School in North Robinson, Ohio. He graduated from Ohio Northern University in 1986 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in health and physical education (K-12) and graduated from Ashland University with a master’s degree in education administration in 2000. Bob began his education career as a high school health and physical education teacher at St. Marys Memorial in 1987, and he also served as the boys junior varsity basketball coach and assistant varsity baseball coach. He moved to his alma mater, Colonel Crawford, in 1992 to become the varsity boys basketball coach and junior high physical education teacher. After spending the 1997-98 school year at Mansfield Madison Middle School, where he taught physical education and served as a freshmen football coach and assistant varsity basketball coach, the next year he became the high school physical education teacher, assistant athletic director and head boys varsity basketball coach at Marion Elgin High School. Bob began an eight-year stint as the Elgin High School principal in 2000 before moving to the Ridgedale Local Schools as superintendent, a position that he holds today. This is Bob’s second term on the Central District Athletic Board (CDAB) having served on the Board from 2004 to 2008 as the AA representative while at Elgin. In 2010, Bob was appointed to fulfill the unexpired term as the class A rep on the board and won re-election in the spring of 2015. In all, Bob has served on the CDAB for 11 years. This is Bob’s second term on the OHSAA Board of Directors, having served during the 2007-2008 school year. Bob and his wife Ingrid have been married for 21 years and are the parents of three children. Monroe is currently in college, and Madison and Mckinley both attend Ridgedale High School, where they are actively involved in all aspects of high school life.
 
 
Jeff Cassella
Athletic Administrator, Mentor High School
State Board of Directors, August 1, 2018 – July 31, 2020
(Class AAA Representative, Northeast District)
 
Jeff has been the athletic administrator at Mentor High School for 11 years. Prior to that he taught physical education and health in Mentor and was the certified athletic trainer at Mentor High. A graduate of Perry High School in Lake Country, Jeff graduated from Bowling Green State University with a bachelor’s degree in education and from Cleveland State University with a Master of Science degree in exercise science as well as an administration certificate. He has his National Board Certification as a teacher in physical education. He also received the Ohio Athletic Trainers Association Athletic Trainer of the Year award in 2006, the Northeast Ohio Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NEOIAAA) Tim Flannery Horizon Award in 2009 and the NEOIAAA Meritorious Service award in 2017. He was named NEOIAAA High School Athletic Director of the Year in 2018.
 
Currently the AAA representative to the Northeast District Athletic Board, Jeff has served as chair of that board’s tournament committee. He is an executive committee member of the NEOIAAA. At Mentor, he has hosted several tournaments for the Northeast District Athletic Board including district wrestling, track, softball and soccer. He has also hosted regional football games and home site sectional games in basketball, baseball, soccer, lacrosse and softball. This is his first term on the OHSAA Board of Directors.
 
Jeff is married to Lynelle, a speech and language therapist for the Riverside Local Schools in Painesville.  They have two daughters, Leah, a physical therapy student at Cleveland State University, and Amanda, a student at Ursuline College studying graphic design. 
Kevin Katafias
Principal, Genoa Middle School
State Board of Directors, August 1, 2017 – July 31, 2019
(7th-8th Grade Representative, Northwest District)

Kevin is a 1977 graduate of Toledo Central Catholic High School. He graduated from the University of Toledo in 1981 with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in marketing. He obtained a teaching license in 1989 from UT and a master’s degree in educational administration in 1995. Kevin began his teaching career at Central Catholic as a social studies teacher in 1989 and also served as a freshman baseball coach and equipment manager. In 1995 he moved to administration, becoming the assistant principal/athletic director at Genoa High School. Kevin became the principal at Genoa Middle School in 1999, and he still serves in that capacity. A registered contest official in Ohio for 40 years, Kevin has officiated football and 11 basketball and has earned several state tournament assignments in both sports. He was recently inducted into the Northwest District Basketball Officials Association Hall of Fame. Elected as the 7th-8th Grade Representative to the OHSAA’s Northwest District Athletic Board in 2007 and re-elected in 2015, Kevin has served as vice president of that board. This is his first term on the OHSAA Board of Directors. Kevin has been married to Donna for 13 years and they reside in Genoa. He has a daughter Katie and son-in-law Joel, and he is the grandfather to Vera (3) and Lydia (1).
 
 
Mark LaFon
Athletic Director and Head Boys Basketball Coach, Ironton High School
State Board of Directors, August 1, 2017 – July 31, 2019
(Ethnic Minority Representative, Southeast District)

Mark is a 1988 graduate of Chesapeake High School, where he was recently selected to the school’s athletic hall of fame. He continued his athletic career at the University of Rio Grande as a basketball and baseball recruit, and he completed his bachelor’s degree in education in 1992. Mark began his career in education at his alma mater, Chesapeake. He taught high school history and coached boys and girls basketball, cross country and golf. In 1998, he was named head boys basketball coach at South Point High School and later
was appointed assistant principal in the school district. After six years at South Point, Mark moved to Ironton High School to become head boys basketball coach and assistant principal. During this time, Mark completed his master’s degree in education at Ohio University. As the head coach, he has earned district and state coach-of-the-year honors as well as accolades for total career wins. Under his leadership, Ironton has won five district titles and made an OHSAA state tournament appearance in 2013. In 2009, Mark added the duties of director of athletics at Ironton High. He is also co-owner of Spare Time Recreation in Ironton and has a background in real estate. He was elected to serve on the Southeast District Athletic Board in 2011 and is in his first term on the OHSAA Board of Directors. Mark and his wife Angie, an elementary school principal for the Dawson-Bryant Local Schools, have two daughters, Samantha and Avery.
 
 
Dan Leffingwell
Superintendent, Noble Local Schools, Sarahsville
State Board of Directors, August 1, 2018 – July 31, 2020
(Class A Representative, East District)
 
Dan graduated from Marietta College in 1988 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and special education, and he earned his master’s degree in educational leadership from Ohio University in 2000. He is currently completing his fifth year as the superintendent of the Noble Local Schools in Sarahsville, which includes Shenandoah high school (grades 9 through 12) and elementary school (preschool through grade 8) and is located halfway between Cambridge and Marietta. Prior to that, Dan served 15 years as high school principal at Warren Local High school in Vincent, Ohio.
 
Dan began his career in education in 1988 and experienced a variety of teaching and coaching positions.  Among his coaching duties included two years as assistant men’s basketball coach and head men’s golf coach at Marietta College before being named head boys basketball coach at Warren Local High School in 1994. During his five years coaching basketball, his teams won multiple sectional titles and were district runners-up twice. He was twice named Southeast Ohio Athletic League Coach-of-the-Year and was District Coach-of-the-Year in 1998. Following the 1998 season, Dan then became the principal at Warren High, where he stayed until 2013. Early teaching stops included Warren and Fayetteville high schools, Caldwell Elementary School and Marietta Middle School.
 
Elected to the East District Athletic Board in 2013, Dan currently serves as board president. Prior to that appointment, he served on the Southeast District Athletic Board from 2006 through 2013. This is his first term on the OHSAA Board of Directors.
 
Dan and his wife Debbie have been married for 29 years and have two children, Darci (27) and Dylan (23).  They reside in Vincent, Ohio.
Leonard Steyer
Principal, Chillicothe Southeastern High School
State Board of Directors, August 1, 2018 – July 31, 2020
(Class AA Representative, Southeast District)
 
Leonard is a graduate of Kansas Lakota High School in Sandusky County. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in secondary education, with a concentration in comprehensive business education, from Bowling Green State University (BGSU) in 1974 and a master’s degree in educational administration from BGSU in 1976.
 
Leonard began his career in education as a high school vocational business teacher at Pioneer Joint Vocational School in Shelby, Ohio, in 1974. After six years of teaching, he then attended Capital University Law School (1980-81) for one year before teaching business education classes at Greenfield McClain High School the following year. Beginning with the 1982-83 school year, his next move was to Southeastern High School (Ross County) in Chillicothe, where he has spent the past 36 years as a classroom teacher, assistant basketball coach, assistant athletic director, athletic director and high school principal. He has held the latter position for the past 18 years.
 
Elected to the Southeast District Athletic Board in 2010 as a Class AA representative and re-elected in 2016, this is Leonard’s first term on the OHSAA Board of Directors.
 
Leonard resides in Chillicothe with his wife of 25 years, Trish. He has a stepson, Michael, who resides in Oklahoma City.
Jan Wilking
Athletic Administrator, Cincinnati Wyoming High School
State Board of Directors, August 1, 2018 – July 31, 2020
(Female Representative, Southwest District)
 
Jan is a 1989 graduate of Cincinnati Oak Hills High School, where she is a member of the school’s athletic hall of fame. She graduated from the University of Charleston in 1993 with a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting.  
 
After a career in public accounting, Jan began her path in education as a high school basketball coach at Oak Hills in 1997. She served as the Highlanders’ head girls basketball coach and served as the Cincinnati St. Ursula Academy junior varsity softball coach. During her coaching tenure, Jan earned Greater Miami Conference and District 16 coach-of-year honors. She was hired as the athletic administrator at Oak Hills in 2004, a position she held for nine years. In 2013, she was named the athletic administrator at Cincinnati Wyoming City Schools. She currently serves on the executive board of the Southwest Ohio Athletic Director. 
 
Jan was first elected to the Southwest District Athletic Board (SWDAB) in 2012 as the Female Representative and served until 2014. In 2017, she was appointed as an interim Female Representative on the SWDAB, and she was elected to retain that position in 2018. This is her first term on the OHSAA Board of Directors. 
 
Jan and her husband, Tim, have been married 20 years and have two children, Max (14) and Emma (13). They live in the Wyoming school district, where both children are active in academics, music and athletics.
Bruce Brown
Executive Director, Ohio Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association
State Board of Directors Since August 1, 2013
(Ex-Officio, Ohio Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association)

Bruce is a 1968 graduate of the former Pleasant View High School (now Galloway Westland) and received his Bachelor of Education degree from Bowling Green State University. He received his master’s degree in education along with his Ohio educational administration certification from Ashland University in 2002. Bruce began his career in education and coaching at Hubbard High School in 1972 and then became head boys basketball coach at Columbus Franklin Heights in 1973. He continued his coaching career over the next two decades including a stint as assistant men’s basketball coach at Bowling Green State University from 1981-84. His high school teams earned over 220 victories during his head coaching career. In 1998, he assumed the dual role of head basketball coach and athletic administrator at Uniontown Lake High School and then became exclusively the athletic 12 administrator and facilities coordinator in 1999 until retiring after the 2013-14 school year. Since starting at Lake, he has been involved with many aspects of the Ohio Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (OIAAA). In the spring of 2012, he was selected as the first executive director of the OIAAA and remains in that capacity today. At the national level, Bruce has been involved with the National Federation of State High School Associations’ Coach Education Program and has presented at several national conferences. He continues to work closely with the OHSAA in the development of the Ohio Coach Education Program along with leadership training and certification for athletic administrators. In 2007, he was named “Ohio Athletic Director of Year” by the OIAAA and was the recipient of the NFHS’ “Citation Award” in 2015. In 2011, he was chosen as the national “Coach Educator of the Year” by the NFHS. Bruce and his wife, Cindy, reside in Strasburg. They have four children (Blaire, Megan, Logan and Lauren) and two grandchildren (Kendra and Graham).
 
 
Jeremy Marks
Director, Office for Federal Programs, Ohio Department of Education
State Board of Directors Since February 1, 2014
(Ex-Officio, Ohio Department of Education Representative)

Jeremy became the director of the Office of Federal Programs at the Ohio Department of Education in January 2014 after being named interim director in August 2013. He has over 20 years of state and federal legislative and policy experience and has been a key staff member for the Ohio Department of Education since January 2001. Prior to being named director, Jeremy served 10 years as the federal legislative liaison at the Ohio Department of Education, developing and advocating the federal legislative recommendations to Congress and federal stakeholders. In addition to managing the agency’s federal education advocacy, he spearheaded the agency’s implementation of one-time federal funds; administered the agency’s Controlling Board requests; coordinated the development of federal applications and guidance, and ran the state’s participation in the U.S. Green Ribbon schools competition. Prior to service at the Ohio Department of Education, Jeremy served between 1998 and 2001 as a legislative liaison for the Ohio Commission on Hispanic/Latino Affairs, senior legislative aide to the chairman of the Transportation and Public Safety Committee at the Ohio House of Representatives and a Legislative Service Commission fellow. Jeremy earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science, with a concentration in business administration, in 1994 from Ohio University, where he minored in Spanish. He and his wife, Michelle, reside in Columbus.