Francesca Hartop, Chair
Francesca Hartop is the CEO of YEI Corporation, owner of Garage Cafe and Port City Cafe and Pub, and the organizing founder of Portsmouth STEM Academy. She is committed to the economic revitalization of Portsmouth, for the benefit of current residents and future generations. “I have 9, 6, and 4-year old boys. I look forward to them having an educational alternative like those found in other communities, with hands-on, project-based learning. It creates highly effective classroom experiences.”
Krista Putnam, Vice Chair
Krista Putnam, of Portsmouth (via Dayton), Ohio, is an Environmental Engineering Technology student at Shawnee State University and a graduate of the University of Dayton, where she received a B.A. in English Literature. She is currently employed at YEI Healthcare as a Healthcare Data Specialist, and has also been a freelance makeup artist in the area since 2006. Krista has spent a great deal of time doing volunteer work in Portsmouth, both for the Portsmouth Little Theater and as a volunteer assistant coach at Shawnee State University, where her husband is the Head Cross-Country & Track Coach and Assistant Athletic Director. Her two boys, Charlie and Ian, both attend Portsmouth STEM Academy.
Mark Chepp, Treasurer
Mark Chepp is the Executive Director of the Southern Ohio Museum and Cultural Center. During his 40 year career in the museum world, he has demonstrated an ongoing commitment to the importance of the arts in our educational system. This commitment continues today with SOMACC’s participation in the Portsmouth STEM Academy’s visual and performing arts curricular programming.
Lisa Cheek, Secretary
Andrew Feight, PhD, Member
Dr. Andrew Feight teaches American history at Shawnee State University, where he serves as Director of the Digital History Lab and President of the University Faculty Senate. His nine year old son, Henry Ulysses Feight, enrolled as part of the Portsmouth STEM Academy's first class. "When I first heard of the plans for the Portsmouth STEM Academy I was immediately interested in getting involved in such a forward thinking, innovative alternative to the existing public and private schools in the Portsmouth area. The Academy fills a void and offers a bright path forward for area children and their parents. The fast pace of technological development of our day and age will now be matched by the Academy's dynamic curriculum of project-based learning."
Michael Barnhart, PhD
Michael Barnhart teaches music and technology courses at Shawnee State University and serves as vice president of the faculty senate. At the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music he created an award-winning rural multimedia studio with support from the Technology Literacy Challenge Fund. Barnhart sees his involvement with the Portsmouth STEM Academy as a continuing step in his 20-year commitment to project based learning.
George White, MD
George White is a semi-retired ENT head and neck surgeon, who practiced for 32 years in Portsmouth. "The new STEM school in our community is a welcome addition to academic opportunities for the highly motivated student and family. The United States sadly lags far behind most nations is math and science and STEM schools are excellent options for reversing that trend.”