Board Bios and Contact Information

Image of Derrick HallDr. Derrick Hall, Esq.

Board of Education President; Committee Member for All Committees; and Specialty Schools Liaison
[email protected]

Term to 12/31/23: Derrick Hall is serving his first term with the Akron Board of Education, elected in 2019, and is now serving as president. 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 Diana AutryDiana Autry, BSN, RN

Board of Education Vice-President; Finance & Capital Management Committee Chair; Equity Committee Member; and East Cluster and Ward 10 Liaison
d[email protected]

Term to 12/31/25: 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. She is now serving as vice-president. 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 Dr. N.J. AkbarN.J. Akbar, Ph.D.

Board of Education Member; Legal, Contracts & Board Policy Committee Chair; Finance & Capital Management Committee Vice-Chair; and Firestone and Ward 8 Liaison
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Term to 12/31/23: N.J. Akbar, Ph.D. is serving his first term with the Akron Board of Education, elected in 2019. 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). Dr. Akbar lives in west Akron with his husband, Alex Akbar, and their dog.

Image of Bruce AlexanderBruce Alexander

Board of Education Member; Instructional Policy & Student Achievement Committee Chair; Legal Contracts & Board Policy Committee Member; and Ellet Cluster and Ward 6 Liaison
[email protected]

Term to 12/31/25: 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 Carla JacksonCarla Jackson, M.Ed.

Board of Education Member; Legal, Contracts & Board Policy Vice-Chair; Instructional Policy & Student Achievement Committee Member; and Buchtel Cluster and Wards 3 and 4 Liaison

Term to 12/31/25: Carla Jackson is serving her first term with the Akron Board of Education. She was born in Akron March 11, 1980, and attended Akron Public Schools from kindergarten until graduating in 1998 from Garfield High School. She received her bachelor's degree in history from Cleveland State University in 2005 and her M.Ed. from The University of Akron in 2013. Carla has recently completed her Ph.D. coursework in organizational leadership at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Va., and is currently working toward the completion of her dissertation. Jackson holds a professional teaching and principal license issued by the Ohio Department of Education and has worked as a middle school history teacher for seven years. Currently, she is serving as the middle school principal and director of entrepreneurship at Emmanuel Christian Academy in Akron. Carla Jackson has worked with youth programming with a specific focus on financial literacy and entrepreneurship for more than 10 years. She has written and received grants for youth entrepreneurship and financial literacy totaling more than $350,000. These grants have led to the development of programming that has afforded students throughout the Akron area opportunities to understand the importance of self-sufficiency through financial literacy and the development of business opportunities. Students develop skills in business planning, budgeting, securing business financing, marketing and other areas necessary for business success. In addition, they are trained in financial literacy and acquire skills in personal finance management and daily life skills for positive and healthy living. Carla Jackson is a devoted Christian, an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated, a member of the League of Women Voters and a St. Jude Partner in Hope.

Image of Valerie McKitrickValerie McKitrick

Board of Education Member; Equity Committee Chair; Instructional Policy & Student Achievement Vice-Chair; and North Cluster and Wards 1, 2 and 5 Liaison
[email protected]

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.

Image of Job PerryJob Esau Perry, Esq.

Board of Education Member; Equity Committee Vice-Chair; Finance & Capital Management Committee Member; and Garfield Cluster and  Wards 7 and 9 Liaison

Term to 12/31/25: Job Esau Perry is serving his first term with the Akron Board of Education. He has been a criminal defense attorney since 2005. Born and raised in Georgia, he earned his undergraduate degree from Valdosta State University and his juris doctorate from The University of Akron School of Law. He and his wife Heidi live in west Akron with their two sons Landon and Josiah who proudly attend Akron Public Schools. He is an avid long-distance runner who has completed more than 10 marathons, including the Akron Marathon several times.
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