Our staff is highly qualified as defined by the Ohio Department of Education. We have a 10:1 student-teacher ratio, and every teacher has either an advanced degree or has reached an advanced level in their subject matter.
They are talented, enthusiastic and caring.


Stephanie Eafford

Stephanie Eafford, Principal

Ms. Eafford brings a breadth of experience to The Steel Academy. She has served as principal for Hope Academies, Cleveland Schools and Warrensville for the past 18 years. "I have always had a passion to work with a unique population and am looking forward to working with our dedicated staff and families."



Larry Abercrombie

Larry Abercrombie, Intervention Specialist

Mr. Abercromie has a B.S. in elementary education from The University of Akron and an M. Ed. in Rehabilitation Counseling from Kent State University. He worked for 30 years for the Summit County Board of DD in various positions including instructor, vocational specialist, service support administrator and vocational evaluator. After working for three years as an assessment specialist in the Community Employment program at United Disability Services, he decided he missed working with the school age population and transferred to the school as an intervention specialist.


Dana Broadhurst, Foreign Language

Mrs. Broadhurst has a master's degree in Spanish pedagogy from Kent State University and has taught Spanish at North Canton Hoover High School and Field Local Schools.

Sarah Butler 

Sarah Butler, Music Teacher (Drama/Choir)

Ms. Butler has a bachelor's degree in Special Education and had previously worked with students with disabilities through AmeriCorp. "Students with disabilities hold a special spot in my heart. UDS is allowing me to combine my love of music and working with students with disabilities."


Kelly Cantrell, Intervention Specialist

Mrs. Cantrell is an Intervention Specialist at The Steel Academy. She has a bachelor's degree from Kent State University as an Intervention Specialist and is currently completing a master's degree within Early Childhood Education.


Lucas DuJardin, Social Studies

Mr. DuJardin has a bachelor's degree in history and a master's degree in social studies education from The University of Akron. He has been a substitute teacher for Cuyahoga Falls High School and Akron Public Schools, and has also been a track coach.


Rachel Eastwood, Art Teacher

Ms. Eastwood is our new art teacher at The Steel Academy. She has a B.F.A. in painting and drawing and also a M.S. in curriculum and instruction with P, K-12 certificate. Rachel came to The Steel Academy because of the mission statement, it really spoke to her. Welcome, Ms. Eastwood!

Brandon Evans

Brandon Evans, Math Teacher

Mr. Evans has a bachelor's degree in integrated mathematics from Kent State University. He has previously worked for Akron Public School where he provided IEP accommodation and instruction.


Trent Herrnstein, Language Arts Teacher

Mr. Herrnstein is our new language arts teacher at The Steel Academy. He graduated from the University of Akron in 2015 with an AYA integrated language arts license. He came to The Steel Academy because of the unique opportunities we offer, in hopes to add to our history with the community. Welcome, Mr. Herrstein!


Valerie Hughes, Title I Language Arts/Reading Teacher

Mrs. Hughes is our new Title I language arts/reading teacher at The Steel Academy. She graduated from Kent State University with a BS in education. Valerie came to The Steel Academy because “I love being in the classroom and getting the chance to work with kids. The Steel Academy offers an exciting chance to be a part of something new and growing.” Welcome, Mrs. Hughes! 


Brian Jacobsen, Science Teacher

Mr. Jacobsen is our new science teacher at The Steel Academy. He has a B.S. in biology from the University of Akron and five years of experience teaching high school science. Brian came to The Steel Academy to “grow in my experience as a teacher and help serve the unique group of scholars who attend here.” Welcome, Mr. Jacobsen! 


Sherrie Lann, Educational Aide

Ms. Lann is an educational aide for drama and special education.Her previous employment includes St. Paul School and Annunciation-St. John.

 Bev Meyers

Beverly Meyers, Food Services Coordinator 

Mrs. Meyers is the food service coordinator for The Steel Academy. She previously worked for Copley-Fairlawn Middle School and spent some time within the school district as an assistant in the classrooms with children who had disabilities. 


Christopher Murray, Intervention Specialist

Mr. Murray is an intervention specialist and has a bachelor's degree in history/philosophy from Ashland University. He also holds a master's degree in education from Cleveland State University.


Joe Nicholson, School Counselor

Mr. Nicholson has a bachelor's degree in education and a master's degree in school counseling both from Kent State University. For eight years, he worked at Stanton Middle School teaching math, social studies, and literature for multiple grades. "My family then moved to Texas where I was the school counselor at Hernandez Middle School and worked for Child Protective Services. After a year in Texas, my family moved back to Ohio, and eventually found this amazing school and started working at The Steel Academy as the math teacher," he said. "I am excited to work with your child this school year as their school counselor. I know it will be a great school year!" Please visit Mr. Nicholson's counseling website for more resources for families and students.

Chris Raybuck

Chris Raybuck, Physical Education Teacher

Mr. Raybuck holds a bachelor's degree in physical education from Kent State University and has three years of previous teaching experience. He also enjoys sporting events and coaching.