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. The board has more 200 combined years of experience with Power of the Pen!
Members of the Board of Directors of Power of the Pen, serving as of February 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.
» Mary Anderson, Regional Director. Retired from St. Vincent-St. Mary High School, where she currently serves as a tutor, Mary holds a B.S. in Education, an M.Ed in Curriculum, and an Ed.S. degree. Mary has received numerous Teacher of the Year awards from multiple schools. Her 33-year commitment to Power of the Pen includes stints as coach, tab room supervisor, and state committee president, as well as her present roles.
» Ellen Arena, State Tournament Housing Coordinator. Ellen, who has a B.A. in Education, taught English Language arts for 37 years, retiring from Field Local Schools. She has served as a volunteer fund raiser and statistician for the boys’ and girls’ school basketball teams. Ellen has more than 30 years of experience with Power of the Pen.
» 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
» Darlene Corfman, Coach. Recently retired as a 30-plus-year English Language Arts instructor at Canfield Village Middle School, Darlene has a B.S. in Education and an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction. She is an alumni of the National Writing Project, as well as a freelance writer and editor. Darlene has more than 20 years’ experience with Power of the Pen.
» 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.
» Deborah Frost, Coach. Debbie holds a B.A. in Education and two master’s degrees. She is currently a gifted intervention specialist with Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District, where she has taught for more than 20 years. She has served as a Power of the Pen writing coach for 22 years.
» 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.
» 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.