PATRICIA A. ACKERMAN, Executive Director of the Chalkdust Education Foundation, is a retired public school educator who served as a teacher, principal and K-12 curriculum administrator. She earned a B.A. in English at Ohio University, an M.ED from Cleveland State University and the Ph.D. from Kent State University. A non-profit organization, CEF was created to offer enrichment opportunities, training programs and related resources to students, parents and faith leaders in urban communities. Dr. Ackerman is also the president and CEO of CHALKDUST Inc., a consultant firm serving education professionals.

A champion of education for underachievers, and an expert on alternative programs for students at risk of failure and dropping out of school, Dr. Ackerman is well-versed in the economic, social and educational realities that impact adolescent learners and their families. She has designed several innovative programs to address their unique needs, including Taylor Academy, an alternative high school for 9th and 10th graders in the Cleveland Heights-University Heights [Ohio] City School district that operated for 15 years.

Her career has provided numerous opportunities to propose, develop, implement and assess the effectiveness of policies and programs targeted to maximizing life chances. An articulate public speaker and education advocate, her 35 years of experience included executive leadership of professional associations and policy boards at the local, state and national levels. She is a past president of the National Alliance of Black School Educators, the Ohio Alliance of Black School Educators and founder of the Heights Alliance of Black School Educators. As she has done throughout her career, Dr. Ackerman continues to serve as a mentor and inspiration to practicing and aspiring teachers and administrators.

Under her leadership, Chalkdust Education Foundation launched the Black Lemonade Project in Cleveland, OH in 2006. Also piloted in Canton, OH and Philadelphia, PA, the Black Lemonade Project is an asset-based approach to empowerment for African American parents of school age children.

A current member of the Ohio Board of Regents, she is an emerita member of the Ohio University Board of Trustees. In addition, she is a board member of the Ohio University Foundation, the Greater Cleveland Delta Foundation Life Development Center and an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., locally and at the national level. She serves as chair of the Education Braintrust of the International Women’s Air and Space Museum located at Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland. Dr. Ackerman was a co-author of the Legacy of Literacy (2001) reading program for grades K-6 published by Houghton Mifflin.