During Tuesday's extended session, hear from four key speakers:
Sam Drazin, a nationally recognized educator and changemaker, founder, and executive director, applies his personal and professional background to lead Changing Perspective's mission to strengthen school communities through social-emotional learning, disability awareness, empathy development, and inclusion. Drazin was born with Treacher Collins Syndrome, a rare congenital disorder resulting in both facial anomaly and hearing loss. His experiences, both as a student with a disability and as a teacher working in an inclusive classroom, helped him recognize the importance of supporting students in developing the essential life and relationship skills that underpin equity, inclusion, and social change. The students and educators Drazin works with around the nation are a constant inspiration for him.
Jo Hannah Ward serves as the director of the Office for Exceptional Children, Ohio Department of Education. Her background includes direct classroom experience, building level leadership, and mental health services in schools. Ward most recently served as the executive director for the Center for Continuous Improvement, and previously served as director of the Office for Improvement and Innovation, assistant director in the Office for Exceptional Children, and as the deputy superintendent at the Ohio Department of Youth Services and the Franklin County Court Juvenile Detention Facility. Ward received a M.Ed. from the University of Dayton and has a B.S. from The Ohio State University.
Joseph Petrarca is an associate director in the Office for Exceptional Children at the Ohio Department of Education. He is a seasoned school administrator with over 30 years experience in public education. Some of his responsibilities include program and staff supervision, compliance monitoring, monitoring and management of federal funds, grant writing, professional development, and program development. Petrarca received a master’s degree in speech-language pathology from Cleveland State University
Monica Drvota is an associate director in the Office for Exceptional Children at the Ohio Department of Education.