Our Board

The Hilltop Education Corporation board actively guides Hilltop Preschool and works to enrich and support our students’ and families’ first school experience. Leaders from all over Columbus have volunteered their time and expertise to ensure that Hilltop Preschool is Where Futures Soar.

Cathy Blackford, Former Exec. Dir., Builders Exchange of Central Ohio

As a long-time association executive, I am inspired by boards who have a true passion for the mission of the organization they serve. The Hilltop Preschool Board - together with its outstanding staff - are dedicated to providing top quality early childhood education to the neighborhood we serve. I'm very proud to be part of this team making a difference for children on the Hilltop!

Anna Curtin, Special Needs Preschool Teacher, Columbus City Schools/Hilltop

I have worked with children since college. Previously a preschool teacher, I have been a teaching assistant in special needs inclusion kindergarten classrooms for Columbus City Schools since 2003. I am currently working at Highland Elementary School, on the Hilltop. My belief is that all children have the capacity to learn and I am committed to having every child reach to the sky and fly!

Melissa Gordon, Retired Educational Administrator

After retiring from a 39 year career in education that included teaching special education students, working with students and parents as a school psychologist, supervising curriculum development, supervising gifted education and special education programs and a joyful tenure as an elementary school principal, I finally took time to breathe. However, once an educator, always an educator and my thoughts and concerns tended to coalesce around the role that education plays in breaking the cycle of poverty. Clearly, that has to begin as early as possible, but certainly no later than preschool. The opportunity to get involved at this level was more than I could pass up and I am delighted to join the Hilltop Preschool board.

Susan Hart, Retired COO, OSU DEpartment of MEDICINE; President, HEC Board

I was involved in healthcare administration for 30 years, managing all areas of HR, Finance, Strategic Planning, daily operations, finance, ambulatory operations, space and programmatic growth. After retiring, I became intrigued by iHilltop Preschool and the opportunity to work with a group who is committed to helping the future generation. The idea of preparing 4 year olds to be ready for kindergarten makes a lot of sense; early childhood education can have a long term impact on the kids and society. And it’s clear after visiting the school that Hilltop Preschool kids are happy, seem very engaged and want to learn. The staff also seem totally committed to the kids and their future.

Brendan King, Attorney-at-Law

As the father of three young children, I’ve watched them thrive in a well endowed school environment. They’ve grown, made friends, and taken the first step towards becoming life-long learners. Every child deserves the same opportunities, and Hilltop Preschool provides those opportunities for previously under-served children.

Elaine Long, Retired Educator, Columbus City Schools

Quality early childhood education helps to even the academic playing field for children living in poverty. One visit to Hilltop Preschool showed me that it is an amazing program, preparing children for elementary school and beyond. As a retired Columbus City Schools teacher, I am honored to serve on the board.

Kelly Mikhail, Prof. of Biology, Mt. Vernon Nazarene University and Science Instructor, Worthington Christian High School

I believe that the love of learning can have a life long effect, and that preschool years are the most important. I was brought up in southern Ohio in an economically depressed area, by a working, single, teen mom, long before those terms were acceptable.  I attended the first Head Start program in the summer of 1965 and I remember falling in love with learning. Fast forward a few years and few degrees, and I still love learning. I am honored to be part of the Hilltop Education Corporation board and hope to contribute in some small way to the lasting effects of curiosity, exploration and love of learning for the children of Hilltop Preschool, to ardently support the dedicated teachers and staff of Hilltop Preschool and to walk beside the families of Hilltop Preschool because they are our future.

Kent Miller, Masters Candidate and fellow, OSU Fisher College of business

I’m pleased to partner with an organization that is focused on education and improving the community.  My parents are both retired educators, so I’ve always had a passion for helping others through education. I look forward to lending my skills to Hilltop Preschool as it provides quality early childhood education to under served students, enabling them to reach the bright future they deserve.

Dan Pierce, CPA and Treasurer, Hilltop Preschool and HEC Board

Retiring after 36 years in medical group administration, I am now fortunate to help out at Hilltop Preschool by providing financial administration to the fine educational staff and volunteers who serve our preschool students and their families. In addition I'm a solo practitioner CPA in Worthington.

Elizabeth Riley, Retired Educator, Columbus City Schools; Vice President, HEC Board

As an elementary educator, I quickly realized the importance of a quality Preschool program for all children in our community. Hilltop Preschool is that preschool. Now that I’m retired, I am honored to serve on the Board of Hilltop Preschool to help ensure that all children have the opportunity to learn, grow and succeed.

Susan Turner, Retired Educator, Columbus City Schools

Over the 24 years I taught kindergarten in Columbus, one thing became very clear to me. Children from empowered families, who attended good quality preschools, had a step up towards success – in school and in life. Hilltop Preschool is committed to providing that advantage to its students. I hope to contribute my energy and experience to that endeavor!

Carol Williams, Communications Consultant; HEC Board Secretary

By providing the best in early childhood education, Hilltop Preschool delivers a solid foundation and life-long advantages to the children of our community. Hilltop Preschool brings hope for a brighter tomorrow to every child and family it touches, and I am humbled to be part of it.

We acknowledge with thanks the inspiration and guidance of Hilltop Preschool’s Founder:

Jane Leach, Executive Director, FutureReady Columbus

I am an educator with a passion for giving all children, especially those living in poverty, a chance for success! “The investment in youngsters today…breathes life into tomorrow." Every piece of data and anecdotal evidence validates this understanding. That’s why I established Hilltop Preschool.

And Hilltop Education Corporation’s advisor