Dream Big, Scale Fast! Learn How From Graham Local Schools

WORKSHOP PRESENTERS: Adam Mowery, with Chad Lensman, Chad Miller and Emily Smith

ORGANIZATION: Graham Local Schools

AUDIENCE: New Administrators (less than 2 years), Seasoned Administrators (more than 2 years), New Staff (less than 2 years), Seasoned Staff (more than 2 years), Volunteers and Support Staff



SESSION 3 : 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM


WORKSHOP DESCRIPTION: Graham Local Schools did it… you can too! Graham Local was recognized by the state of Ohio during the 2017-2018 school year through STEM designations at their Elementary and Middle Schools. Graham was also selected to receive two 21st Century grants for their Middle and High Schools to support STEM, credentialing and certification, and academics during their after school programming. Come and find out just how Graham Local Schools is achieving more for their students and how you, too, can dream big and scale fast!


Adam Mowery started his teaching career in North Carolina teaching 1st grade, 3rd grade and 4th grade students. He was the recipient of the Cape Fear Teacher of the Year award and was asked to take part in the Sandhills Leadership Academy, a rigorous Principal licensure program offered in North Carolina. After receiving his Principal licensure, Adam served as the Assistant Principal at Angier Elementary in Angier, North Carolina for 2 years. Adam and his wife, Sarah, decided to move back to Ohio after the birth of their first daughter, Ella. Upon moving back to Ohio, Adam became the Principal at Taft Elementary in Marion, Ohio. While at Taft Elementary, the school was recognized by the state for its work in implementing Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) and saw significant growth in student achievement. Forging community relationships was a priority and Taft also saw a significant increase in parent and community involvement.  For the past 2 years, in his current role as the Secondary Education Coordinator for Graham Local Schools, Adam has worked to personalize professional development for staff, continued to build community/business relations, and ensure that students have multiple pathways for demonstrating mastery learning and achievement to meet the Ohio graduation requirements. He and his wife, Sarah, have two daughters (Ella and Nora) and reside in Delaware, Ohio.

Chad Lensman is currently the Principal at Graham Middle School in Saint Paris, Ohio.  Mr. Lensman is in his 10th year in education and 5th as an administrator. He has spent time in at the elementary and middle levels.   Mr. Lensman earned his B.A. in Marketing from Kent State University (06) Masters in Education from Antioch Midwest (09) and Masters in Leadership from Concordia (13).  Mr. Lensman brings a passion for education including the areas of technology, leadership, curriculum, and personalized learning. Mr. Lensman is also serving as a board member and region 5 representative of the Ohio Small Rural Collaborative.  Mr. Lensman has presented at both the state and national levels to educators across the nation. Mr. Lensman currently resides in Saint Paris, Ohio with his wife, Shannon and two children, Cade and Ayla.

Hello! My name is Emily Smith, Director of Student Services for Graham Local Schools. I am in my sixth year at Graham, and I am so proud to be a Falcon! Prior to becoming an administrator, I was a first grade Intervention Specialist for Urbana City Schools. I taught at Urbana North Elementary for five years after leaving my first year of teaching within the Springfield City School District.

My time at Graham has been filled with so many experiences, opportunities, and accomplishments. I can honestly say that coming to work is exciting, and the challenges that are faced in education keep me motivated to make a difference. I have a staff that commits endless amounts of time to ensure our students are Future Ready, and I am a part of a leadership team that constantly seeks new and innovative ways to enhance learning.

I have been married to my amazingly wonderful husband, Kent, for almost ten years. We have two children, Nolan and Lyla. Nolan is in Kindergarten and Lyla is two. I am a very proud daughter, granddaughter, sister, mother, and aunt. I absolutely love spending time with my family and I spend every minute I can with them. At a very young age, my parents, Ron and Judy Saylor, instilled a very strong work ethic and a core value system that has guided me through each adventure in my life. I am blessed to have such a supportive family and I am grateful each and every day for the impact they make on my life.

I am excited to be a part of an organization that is committed to creating opportunities for all students to be successful. It is always a pleasure to present to audiences about What’s Good at Graham!

Chad Miller is in his 21st year in education with 10 years in the classroom before becoming an elementary principal. He is completing his 8th year as principal at Graham Elementary, a STEM designated elementary that serves approximately 850 students. He completed his master’s work at the University of Dayton, is a SAIL graduate, and currently finishing his doctorate in educational leadership at Concordia University. His is passionate about disrupting the the educational setting with innovation through problem-based learning that has our traditional curriculum embedded into a non-traditional setting.