Bright Lights: Proven Strategies from Business Advisory Council Award Winners​

2:10 PM – 3:00 PM, Room 6

3:10 PM – 4:00 PM, Room 6

A discussion with BAC awardees about their best-in-class initiatives.

Workforce, and community connector. Providing guidance, structure, and programming, with a shake of innovation, depth of resources, listening, and connecting.

Dan, recently honored by Buckeye Association of School Administrators as the 2022 Ohio Superintendent of the Year is the Superintendent of Noble Local Schools, located in Sarahsville. During his time in this role (9 years), he has created an atmosphere of continuous improvement within the district while increasing opportunities for students to become “future ready” through career connected learning.


 Noble Local School District staff have worked tirelessly to create hope, access, and opportunities for ALL students in this rural district (289 sq miles without a stoplight).The district is now a branch campus for Zane State college, offering in excess of 125 semester hours of college credit on their Sarahsville campus, PreK offerings have been expanded serving 19 students in 2013 to now serving 128 plus, and ALL students have access, and are engaged in robust STEM activities preparing them for a career of their choice.  The Noble Local School District recently received the Ohio Department of Education’s STEM designation and is the only school in the state to have obtained this.


The Noble Local Business Advisory Council most recently earned a 4 Star designation with Excellence in 2021-22 after earning a 3 Star award in 2020-21.  This honor clearly signifies the district’s alignment to local and state employer needs and properly aligned student preparation.



During his nearly 33-year career in education, Dan has served as a teacher, coach, principal and superintendent, providing an experienced perspective on district operations. Dan is an active member of CORAS (Coalition of Rural and Appalachian Schools), Ohio Appalachian Collaborative, JASON Learning STEM consortium, SOAR collaborative, and has also served as board president on the Ohio High School Athletic Association Board of Control, and the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference.  Dan graduated from Marietta College with a BA in English (1988) and earned his MA in Educational Leadership from Ohio University in 2000.  Dan and his wife Debbie have been married for 32 yrs. and have two children, Darci (30), and Dylan (27)

As Workforce Development Senior Program Manager of Central Ohio Transit Authority, Tracy Spikes is passionate about growing people and serving others. Spikes has aligned these strengths to help organizations thrive. That vision aligns with her organizations mission to “MOVE EVERY LIFE FORWARD”. Tracy earned her Bachelor of Science in Business from Ohio Dominican University and (MHRM) Masters in Human Resource Management from DeVry University. Spikes also a holds a (CWDP) Certified Workforce Development Professional certification. 

Spikes currently leads COTA’s High School IT Internship and Vehicle Maintenance Pre-Apprentice Program, as well as COTAs State of Ohio Apprentice Program. These two successful programs grant industry recognized credentials to high school students and a nationally recognized certification to COTAs VM Technicians through work-based learning and ATP formal training programs. Spikes is currently an active member and former board member of the Conference of Minority Transportation Officials (COMTO) Columbus chapter. The mission of COMTO is to ensure a level playing field and maximum participation in the transportation industry for minority individuals, businesses, and people with disabilities through transportation advocacy, professional development, growth and retention, and diversity and inclusion. Spikes also serves as Lead for BELIEVE, COTAs African American ERG supporting Diversity, Equity and Inclusion among employees. Prior to her current position, Spikes served as Executive Assistant, supporting COTA’s CEO and Deputy CEO. 

Prior to joining COTA, Spikes served in a strategic role implementing the successful foundation of the Early College Academy, a dropout prevention charter school that helps young adults receive their high school diploma along with college credits to support continuing education. Spikes is a spiritual person who enjoys spending time with her partner Charles, two daughters, Monique and Deauntae and three granddaughters. Armani, Eiliyah and Semira. She loves shoes, shopping and traveling with friends and family.