Ohio’s Original Interscholastic Creative Writing Program for Middle Schools
Power of the Pen was incorporated in March of 1989 as an educational non-profit (501)(c)(3) organization. It is helmed by a Board of Directors which draws its membership from the educational, corporate, and professional communities.
Members of the Board of Directors of Power of the Pen, serving as of April 2021, are:
» Barb Tschantz, Executive Director (non-voting). Barb has more than a decade of experience with Power of the Pen, having served as a coach, tab room supervisor, president of the State Committee, and regional director. She holds a B.S. in News, middle childhood teaching licensure, an M.Ed. in reading specialization, and an Ed.S. in curriculum and instruction from Kent State University. Barb is co-director of the National Writing Project at Kent State University, as well as a former middle school English Language Arts teacher and Kent State instructor of literacy. She has a professional background in corporate communications with organizations such as Walsh University and FedEx Custom Critical.
» Julie Lyberger, President, Regional Director. With more than 30 years in education, Julie is currently an administrator with Lake Elementary School in Hartville, Ohio. She formerly taught middle school English Language Arts. Julie holds a B.A. in Education and a master’s in Educational Leadership/Administration. She has served with Power of the Pen for more than 20 years in roles including coach, tab room supervisor, state tournament building monitor, and secretary of the State Committee.
» Robin Langlais, Secretary, Regional Director. Robin retired after 35 years as a media specialist in junior high and middle schools, most recently with Strongsville City Schools. She holds a B.A. in Library Science/Educational Media and an M.S. in Educational Technology. Robin has received numerous grants for educational purposes. In her 30 years with Power of the Pen, Robin has served as a coach, computer operator, and regional director.
» Tyler Chaplin. Tyler is a tax manager at Bober Markey Fedorovich, a regional accounting firm located in Akron. He is a CPA and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants. Tyler holds both a Bachelor of Science in Finance and a Master’s of Taxation from the University of Akron. He is passionate about education, learning and the local community. Tyler joined the board in 2020.
» Ann Durkin. Ann Durkin has more than 20 years of experience working in public service. She currently is a program administrator in the Child Support Division at Stark County Job and Family Services. Ann has a B.A. in English and a Masters in Business Administration from Kent State University. Ann joined the Power of the Pen board in 2021.
» Susan Cramer, Guest Author Liaison, Book Sale Manager. Susan is retired from Granville Village Schools. She has a B.S. in Design and is the recipient of a Community Scholar scholarship for creative writing and non-fiction. Past president of the board of trustees of the Granville Public Library, Susan is an author who served as a Power of the Pen writing coach for 14 years. She is a member of the State Committee.
» Mike Fejes, Coach. Mike holds a B.A. in Psychology and a Master of Arts in Teaching from Kent State University. He has taught at Hudson Middle School for 25 years, serving as Power of the Pen coach for 20 years. As a volunteer for Power of the Pen, Mike has contributed to special projects, served as state tournament manager, and hosted tournaments at Hudson Middle School. He holds National Board Certification in English Language Arts/Early Adolescence, as well as Ohio Master Teacher Certification.
» Dave Hill. With 15 years of experience in corporate communications, Dave is the communications manager for finance and IT at The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company in Akron, Ohio. He holds a B.S. in Public Relations from Kent State University. Dave joined the Power of the Pen board in 2019.
» Brittany Mackey. Brittany is part of the Talent Development team within Human Resources at The J.M. Smucker Co. where she focuses on employee and leadership development, engagement, empowerment, and resonant leadership. Brittany holds both a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and a Master’s of Business Administration from Ashland University. She also has Emotional Intelligence and Coaching Certifications from Case Western Reserve University, and is passionate about learning and empowering others to be the best version of themselves. She joined the Power of the Pen board in 2021.
» Gregory Parker. Greg, now retired, has 40 years' experience in leadership positions with White Castle Systems, Inc. He has volunteered at tournaments with Power of the Pen for more than a decade. Greg joined the Power of the Pen board in 2020.