About EducateNKY

EducateNKY was incubated and launched in 2023 by the OneNKY Alliance to address positive systemic change in education throughout Northern Kentucky, with an initial focus on communities with the highest socioeconomic needs. The organization works to identify and implement best practices to expand educational opportunities for youth and drive improved student outcomes. By doing so, the wider NKY community will win. 

Former Kenton County Schools Superintendent and entrepreneur Tim Hanner began his role as the President & CEO of the newly created EducateNKY on July 1, 2023. He is joined by Nancy Costello, Logistics and Communication Lead.

EducateNKY Governance Board

Greg Fischer
Fischer Homes and Chair of EDUCATE NKY

Catrena Bowman
Executive Director, NKY Community Action Commission

Garren Colvin
St. Elizabeth Healthcare

Normand Desmarais
Tier 1 Performance Solutions

Karen Finan
President & CEO, OneNKY Alliance

Tim Fogarty
WCM Holdings, Inc.

Bob Heil
KLH Engineers, Inc.

Jack Kenkel
Retired President, Victory Community Bank

Alaria Long
doctorate student representative, UC Irvine (a recent Covington Holmes graduate and non-voting board member.)

Brian Neal
Chief Executive Officer, Accelerate Great Schools

Lynn Schaber
The Strategy Store

Chuck Session
Executive in Residence, Northern Kentucky United Way

Matt Smith
Ziegler & Schneider, PSC

Jim Votruba
President Emeritus, NKU

Gene Wilhoit
Executive Director, National Center for Innovation in Education (special advisor to the board.)

EducateNKY Advisory Council

  • Jay Becker, Founder & President, BLDG
  • Jay Brewer, Superintendent, Dayton Independent Schools
  • Mike Borchers, Superintendent, Ludlow Independent Schools
  • Joseph Chillo, President, Thomas More University
  • Mike Clines, State Representative, District 68
  • Ginni Fair, Dean and Professor, College of Education, Northern Kentucky University
  • Fernando Figueroa, President, Gateway Community & Technical College
  • Sarah Giolando-Matlin, SVP/Chief Strategy Officer, St. Elizabeth Healthcare
  • Nancy Grayson, President & CEO, Horizon Community Funds of NKY
  • Tom Haggard, Executive Director, Kentucky Out-of-School Alliance
  • Jordan Huizenga, VP of Development, Beech Acres
  • Lauren Huizenga, Wendel Inc.
  • Dave Knox, Executive Director, Blue North
  • Trish Miller, President, Notre Dame Academy
  • Kendra McGuire, Superintendent of Schools, Diocese of Covington
  • Alvin Garrison, Superintendent, Covington Independent Schools
  • Rosanne Nields, VP, Planning & Government Relations, St. Elizabeth Healthcare
  • Mark Perkins, Principal Broker, Pivot Realty
  • Daniel Peters, President, Lovett & Ruth Peters Foundation
  • Kristi Phillips, Director of Education Initiatives, Cincinnati Regional Business Committee
  • Randy Poe, President & CEO, Northern Kentucky Education Council
  • Stacie Strotman, Director of Community and Family Engagement, Covington Public Schools
  • Jim Wulfeck, Partner, Center for Great Work Performance


Igniting with STEAM

GOAL: Produce a well-educated, highly skilled, qualified workforce

PARTNERS: Boone County School System, Duke Energy, OneNKY Alliance, St. Elizabeth Healthcare, Toyota

Since 2018, Business and education leaders throughout Northern KY have come together to create a 9th-12th grade high school that will prepare our students for 21st century careers in advanced manufacturing, IT, health sciences, logistics, and construction technology. This high school, known as IGNITE Institute, opened its doors in August of 2019 with an enrollment of 1000 students. Northern Kentucky’s new STEAM-based (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) regional high school will fuel the talent pipeline to fill the job gap in our region.

  • Ignite Institute is a national model for world-class education, transformative learning, focused on regional and state career sector needs
  • Students have on-the-job experiences with business, relevant industry challenges to work on, specialized career training, extensive dual credit opportunities, and instruction by highly trained teachers with industry experience

Through a partnership between business and education organizations who collaborated on workforce solutions, OneNKY Alliance answered the call for early support of this concept and its operational and strategic needs. Northern Kentucky now has a transformative new educational model that holds great value for future workforce need in the region.

Next Generation Learning

The Ignite Institute’s goal is to provide a blended learning experience for scholars that includes working collaboratively and independently using an online platform. The teacher becomes a facilitator and mentor to scholars, providing them the resources and support they need to achieve their goals. Project-based learning is part of the DNA at the Ignite Institute. Scholars and teachers collaborate with industry partners to solve real-world problems which provide scholars the skills necessary to succeed.

Collaborating for a Better Tomorrow

Ignite has numerous points of community and business partnerships that benefit both scholars and the region. Local colleges and other state institutions have played a crucial role in the planning and development of the school. At Ignite, industry partners collaborate with curriculum specialists and create mentorship opportunities for scholars that provide the skills needed to succeed in a competitive job market. Ignite prepares scholars to be leaders and entrepreneurs in their chosen field. At Ignite, scholars participate in authentic, personally challenging work that is meaningful beyond the school walls.