• Board of Education Members

    Board Members
    Anne Bingham

    Anne E. Bingham, Chair

    Appointed to the Board 2014; reappointed 2017; appointed Board Chair 2017; current term expires June 30, 2021

    Anne Bingham works as a vice president in private banking for First Federal of Lakewood. She has more than 25 years of experience in banking and finance. She previously served on the board of Friends of Breakthrough Charter Schools. She holds a BA in French from DePauw University, and an MBA in finance from Indiana University. She lives in the West Park neighborhood of Cleveland.
    Robert Heard

    Robert M. Heard, Sr., Vice Chair

    Appointed to the Board 2004; reappointed 2005; reappointed 2009; reappointed 2013; reappointed 2017; appointed Board Vice Chair 2017; served as Board Chair 2007-09; current term expires June 30, 2021

    Robert Heard is retired from State Farm Insurance and the Cleveland Clinic. Heard previously taught English in CMSD’s Adult Education Program. He is a member of the Neighborhood Connections grants committee, a member of 100 Black Men of Greater Cleveland and vice president of the Cleveland Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. A John Adams High School alumnus, Heard holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Cleveland State University. He earned the title of fellow from Broad Institute and completed the Executive Leadership Program for Educators at Harvard University. He serves on the Board of Trustees of the Ohio School Boards Association. He lives in Cleveland’s Glenville neighborhood with his wife and two daughters.
    Louise Dempsey

    Louise P. Dempsey, Esq.

    Appointed 1998; reappointed 2003; reappointed 2007; reappointed 2011; reappointed 2015; served as Board Vice Chair 2009-17; current term expires June 30, 2019

    Louise Dempsey is the Senior Fellow for Education Policy and a retired assistant dean of Cleveland State University’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. An attorney, Dempsey serves on the Board of Trustees of John Hay’s School of Science & Medicine and School of Architecture & Design, and the Board of Directors of the CMSD Transformation Alliance. She is also an emerita trustee of Laurel School, her alma mater. Dempsey is a member of the American Bar Association's Council for Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Educational Pipeline. She earned a bachelor’s degree from McGill University and her juris doctorate from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. Dempsey also holds a Certificate of Advanced Studies in Bioethics from CSU. She lives in Bratenahl and is the proud mother of a Collinwood High School graduate.
    Sara Elaqad

    Sara Elaqad

    Appointed 2019; current term expires June 30, 2019

    Sara Elaqad is Executive Director of Minds Matter Cleveland, a nonprofit working to close the higher education opportunity gap faced by low-income high school students through mentoring, test prep, and summer college programs. Ms. Elaqad lives in the Gordon Square neighborhood and has served in the Cleveland education nonprofit space since 2013. She serves on the board of the Circle, the Cleveland Orchestra Young Professionals group, and chairs the Associate Board of the Refugee Response. Ms. Elaqad is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University School of Law and received bachelor’s degrees in International Relations and French from The Ohio State University.
    Jasmine Fryer

    Jasmine Fryer

    Appointed 2017; current term expires June 30, 2019

    Jasmine Fryer is Director of Programs at Chiefs for Change where she develops and facilitates programming for its members. Prior to joining Chiefs for Change, Ms. Fryer served at the New York State Department of Education during the John King administration, working for the Assistant Commissioner in the Office of Teacher and Leader Effectiveness. Ms. Fryer also served as a Policy Analyst at the Nellie Mae Education Foundation. She was a Fulbright Scholar and has worked, lived, and volunteered in Thailand, China, Morocco, Jordan, and Israel. Ms. Fryer began her career as a middle school teacher and Teach For America corps member in New York City. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Urban Practice and Policy from the University of Richmond, a Master of Arts degree in Secondary Social Studies Education from CUNY: Lehman College, and a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of Chicago. Ms. Fryer lives in the Buckeye neighborhood of Cleveland.
    Denise Link

    Denise W. Link

    Appointed 2007; reappointed 2011; reappointed 2015; served as Board Chair 2009-17; current term expires June 30, 2019

    Denise Link has worked at PNC Bank for over 30 years and serves as vice president in Network Planning & Delivery. Link holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and psychology from the University of Michigan and an M.B.A. from Case Western Reserve University’s Weatherhead School of Management. Before joining the Board of Education, she served on the District’s Bond Accountability Commission and the Circle of the Arts. She also served as a board member from 1998 to 2003 on Children First of Cleveland. In addition to her service as a CMSD board member, she volunteers at District preschools as part of PNC’s Grow Up Great program, designed to help prepare underserved preschool children for success in school and life. Because of Link’s commitment to urban education, she won the 2013 Richard R. Greene Award. Each year at its fall conference, the Council of the Great City Schools bestows the Green Award upon a superintendent or board of education member in recognition of exceptional contributions to urban schools and students. Link lives in Ohio City with her husband and children.
    Willetta Milam

    Willetta A. Milam

    Appointed 2003; reappointed 2005; reappointed 2009; reappointed 2013; reappointed 2017; current term expires June 30, 2021

    Willetta Milam is the president and founder of Help Resources, a community-based organization that assists in educating people about their legal rights. A graduate of John Hay High School, she holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh, Bradford Campus and a juris doctorate from Antioch School of Law in Washington, D.C. She lives in the Buckeye-Shaker neighborhood of Cleveland and is the proud mother of a CMSD student.
    Shaletha Mitchell

    Shaletha Mitchell

    Appointed 2011; reappointed 2015; current term expires June 30, 2019

    Shaletha Mitchell is pursuing her doctorate at Kent State University in health education. She earned a master’s degree from Cleveland State University in exercise physiology and sports management and a bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University in psychology. Most recently, she was the manager of the Health & Wellness Center at Cuyahoga Community College. Mitchell is certified as a state nurse’s assistant, group fitness instructor and a personal trainer. She enjoys sports and running with her dog, Knightro. She is an East Side resident and, for more than 20 years, has worked as an advocate for youth.
    Lisa Thomas

    Lisa Thomas, Ph.D.

    Appointed 2011; reappointed 2013; reappointed 2017; current term expires June 30, 2021

    Lisa Thomas is the Director of the Center For Experiential Learning at Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University. Dr. Thomas teaches courses in public administration and non-profit management. Thomas has served on the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board of Cuyahoga County and has significant senior-level management experience with municipal government, including the cities of Cleveland, Lakewood and North Olmsted. She holds a bachelor’s degree in history and political science from Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, an M.B.A. from Baldwin-Wallace College and a Ph.D. in urban policy and public affairs from Cleveland State University. She lives in the Euclid Park neighborhood of Cleveland.

    In addition to the nine Board of Education members appointed by the Mayor, Ohio House Bill 269 provides that the presidents of Cuyahoga Community College and Cleveland State University serve as nonvoting ex officio members of the Board.

    Harlan M. Sands

    Harlan M. Sands, JD., MBA

    ex officio member

    President of Cleveland State University. He holds a J.D. from George Mason University.
    Dr. Alex Johnson

    Dr. Alex Johnson

    ex officio member

    President of Cuyahoga Community College. He holds a Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University.
    Board of Education 
    Administration Building 
    1111 Superior Ave E, Suite 1800
    Cleveland, Ohio 44114 
    Phone: (216) 838-0030 Fax: (216) 436-5078