Board Bios and Contact Information

Image of Dr. N.J. AkbarN.J. Akbar, Ph.D.

Board of Education President; Committee Member for all Committees; and Specialty Schools and All Wards Liaison

Term to 12/31/23: N.J. Akbar, Ph.D. is serving his first term with the Akron Board of Education, elected in 2019. He is serving as president of the board this year. Dr. Akbar moved to the Akron area in 2009 from Detroit, Mich., and has been engaged with Akron Public Schools since that time. Dr. Akbar struggled in school early on and was in special education classes; but, by the time he reached high school, he was placed in honors classes. Dr. Akbar is employed at Kent State University as Associate Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Dr. Akbar received his Ph.D. in Cultural Foundations of Education from Kent State University. His research and focus areas include parent engagement, educational policy, educational sociology and Black male student success. Dr. Akbar has received many awards for his passion and commitment to education. Some of those awards include: Significant African American Male in Akron (2017), Harold K. Stubbs Humanitarian in Education Award (2016) and Greater Akron Chamber's 30 for the Future Award (2015).

Image of Derrick HallDerrick Hall

Board of Education Vice-President; Equity Committee Chair; Finance & Capital Management Committee Member; and Buchtel Cluster and Wards 3 and 4 Liaison

Term to 12/31/23: Derrick Hall is serving his first term with the Akron Board of Education, elected in 2019. He is an attorney who also has a degree in chemistry from The University of Akron. He also earned degrees in pharmacy and business from The Ohio State University. He currently serves at Summa Health Systems specializing in clinical integration and population health.

Image of Bruce AlexanderBruce Alexander

Board of Education Member; Legal Contracts & Board Policy Committee Chair; Equity Committee Co-Chair; and Ellet Cluster and Ward 6 Liaison

Term to 12/31/21: Bruce Alexander is serving his third term with the Akron Board of Education. He completed his year-long term as president at the end of 2016. Bruce is an Akron Public Schools graduate and attended Youngstown State University where he majored in health education with a minor in marketing. Mr. Alexander has been employed at Summit County Juvenile Court for 30 years and has held various positions in the detention facility as detention superintendent, supervisor and detention officer. Also, he has worked as an intake officer and currently is a community probation officer. Mr. Alexander serves as the chair of the Peace, Justice and Equality Education Committee. Bruce Alexander was elected in 2011 to serve on the National School Board Association Council of Urban Boards of Education Steering Committee where he is serving his second term. He was appointed to the Ohio School Board Association Legislative Committee and Urban Networking Committee and is a member of the Ohio Black Caucus. He has worked on various boards and committees throughout the city of Akron and is an advocate for student engagement and academic success. Bruce is also a proud graduate of the Summit County Child and Family Leadership Exchange class of 2004.

Image of Diana AutryDiana Autry

Board of Education Member; Finance & Capital Management Committee Co-Chair; Instructional Policy & Student Achievement Committee Member; and North Cluster and Wards 1, 2 and 5 Liaison

Term to 12/31/21: Diana Autry was appointed to the Board in 2019 to fill the unexpired term of former board member Ginger Baylor, who was elected to Akron City Council. Autry is a long-time advocate for the students of Akron City Schools. She received her RN designation from St. Thomas School of Nursing in 1997 and earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Cincinnati in 2016. She has had two children go through APS and is a PTA leader. She is employed at Akron Children's Hospital in the Children's After Hours Department (she has been employed at the hospital as a registered nurse since 2002).

Image of Patrick BravoPatrick Bravo

Board of Education Member; Finance and Capital Management Committee Chair; Equity Committee Member; and Kenmore-Garfield and Ward 7 and 9 Liaison

Term to 12/31/21: Patrick Bravo was sworn in on January 9, 2017, as board president and continued as board president in 2018 and again in 2020. He has served the board since 2012. Mr. Bravo is also executive director of the Summit County Land Bank.

Image of Lisa MansfieldLisa Mansfield

Board of Education Member; Instructional Policy and Student Achievement Chair; Legal, Contracts and Board Policy Committee Member; and Firestone Cluster and Ward 8 Liaison

Term to 12/31/21: Lisa Mansfield was elected to the Board in 2009 and 2012. She successfully ran for board re-election in 2017. Lisa has served two terms as Vice President and two terms as President on the Akron Board of Education. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in secondary education with a concentration in English and history from The University of Akron. She is Community Outreach Specialist for Summit County Probate Court for Judge Elinore Marsh Stormer. Her previous position was the Managing Director of Weathervane Playhouse where she had worked for 11 years, working her way through the box office and education department. At Weathervane, she particularly loved her work as a teacher of introduction to acting classes, instilling the love of art into young people. The Akron Beacon Journal named Lisa a "Woman of Excellence" in 2005 for her service to military families during her husband’s deployment in Operation Iraqi Freedom. She lives in West Akron with her high school sweetheart, and former local TV anchor, Eric Mansfield. They have three sons, Joshua, Jacob, and Teddy. All three are Akron Public Schools graduates. Lisa is a graduate of Leadership Akron Class 33 and loves living and working in Akron. 

Image of Valerie McKitrickValerie McKitrick

Board of Education Member; Legal, Contracts and Board Policy Committee Chair; Instructional Policy and Student Achievement Co-Chair; and East and Wards 10 Liaison

Term to 12/31/23: Valerie McKitrick is serving her first term with the Akron Board of Education. Valerie is an Akron Public Schools graduate and attended The University of Akron where she received three degrees: B.A. in French, B.S. in English Education and M.A. in Secondary Education with a concentration in reading. She has more than 21 years' teaching experience. Valerie lives with Brad, her husband of 38 years, in the Ellet neighborhood of Akron.
Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2021 Intrado Corporation. All rights reserved.