Governing Authority

The current members of the H.O.C.A. Governing Authority are:

Michele Coldiron was born and raised in western Canada. She traveled to New York in 1976 for a PhD in Systematics and Evolution—leaving the next year for California with an en route Masters in Science from the City Univ. of New York. She earned a Masters in education from Stanford U, and taught in public and private schools at the junior and senior high school level. She later co-founded the non-profit Creative Catholic Works. Mother of four with two grandchildren, in 2020 Michele and her husband moved to Ohio to be closer to their youngest daughter.

Dr. Jim Cowardin is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy (BS) and The Ohio State University with a Doctorate in Special Education. He has served as a classroom teacher, a school administrator and teacher trainer, and he has been the main developer of three Community Schools in the Central Ohio area. Dr. Cowardin’s academic area of concentration is Applied Behavior Analysis and automated learning systems.

Dr. David Gallit is a graduate of Kent State University, where he was a University Fellow, with Doctorate in Physical Education. He has worked with a number of Special needs children in a clinical setting. Dr. Gallit’s academic areas of concentration are History and Philosophy. He has had extensive experience in project management and community service, having served as Treasurer of the Ohio District of Kiwanis.

Jim Hull is a graduate of Harding University and a Dublin City Schools teacher since 1991. Most of his classes focused on the History of Western Civilization. Mr. Hull established several new extracurriculars like Student Council, Jerome High School’s state-championship golf program, an Investment Club, student life initiatives, and new custom classical archaeological tours for students and parents. Apart from school, Mr. Hull managed rental properties for 29 years and served on the neighborhood board of directors.

Terry Lanham is originally from Northern Kentucky, where he was born and raised. He is a graduate of Northern Kentucky University with a degree in Marketing and Business Administration. For the last 23 years, he has lived in the Powell and Dublin areas with his wife, who is a graduate of The Ohio State University. Terry spent the majority of his career with the Kroger Company and Newell Rubbermaid Office Products, serving in key positions as Global Sourcing Manager, Marketing Manager, Retail Sales Manager over five manufacturing facilities, and National Sales Manager for Food and Drug Stores. He most recently served as Partner and President of My911, an emergency response application provider, and Genesis eCommerce LLC, an online B to C retailer.

Greg Lawson is a research fellow at an independent research and educational nonprofit institution in Columbus, where he is an expert in Ohio’s state budget, state and local taxes, and education policy and funding, among other areas. He previously served on two Columbus-based community (charter) school boards, is the author of numerous white papers and reports, and has been published in Ohio’s major newspapers and in national publications, including Forbes. Greg lives in Westerville with his wife and their three, school-age children.

Beth Lear is an education policy expert with 15 years of experience advocating for school choice, a return to an academic focus in education, increased parental oversight and access to curriculum and protection of students’ rights. She is a veteran of the Ohio Air National Guard, a graduate of The Ohio State University and a central Ohio native.

Shawn Parker is a lifelong resident of Columbus and is the founder of his own real estate and asset management firm. He is a graduate of The Ohio State University, where he has also completed graduate coursework at the Fisher College of Business. Shawn previously served as an Assistant Scoutmaster with Troop 117 of the Boy Scouts of America and is a current member of the Knights of Columbus and a volunteer Director of Ohio State’s Delta Chi House Corporation.

In late 2020, a number of people interested in promoting classical education opportunities for central Ohio youth began meeting and discussing methods and plans for accomplishing their vision. In the summer of 2021, the Founder’s Group, as they came to be known, submitted an application for approval to Hillsdale College barney Charter School Initiative, and in September of the same year the application was approved. The Founder’s group for this initiative were:

Michele Coldiron
Dr. Jim Cowardin
Dr. David Gallit
Daniel Gibson, J.D.
Greg Lawson
Shawn Parker