OnTECH holds a public monthly board meeting. We meet at a variety of public locations. If your organization would like to host a public meeting, please contact us at info@ontechcharter.com. At the public meeting we conduct board business, provide an update on the school plans and engage public comments and questions.

The Board welcomes members of the community to get involved in the development of OnTECH. One way to be involved is to apply to be a board member. The Board is made up of individuals in our community that have expertise in areas such as education, business, non-profit, fundraising, the sustainable sciences and have an interest in the betterment of our community. A well-functioning board has individuals with diverse interests and expertise and who come from different constituent groups in our community.

The OnTECH Charter High School Board of Trustees


Ellen Eagen, President | Education Attorney Email Ellen

Ellen Eagen is a resident of the City of Syracuse. She is a graduate of a technical high school, Baltimore Polytechnic, Princeton University and Cornell Law School. Significantly, Baltimore Polytechnic Institute is a public high school founded in 1883. Ms. Eagen graduated from Princeton with honors, focused her thesis studies in children’s literature, and then worked in a children’s book publishing house supporting the renowned adolescent authors, Gary Paulson, Dav Pilkey and Avi. Within two years she earned a fellowship from Princeton to train as an ESL teacher in Thessaloniki, Greece at Anatolia College. Upon returning states side, she received training in Orton Gillingham and taught adolescents with severe dyslexia in a residential educational setting at The Kildonan School in Amenia, New York. Following she continued as a learning specialist in two single-sex education setting, The Brearley School, and the Hewitt School. At Hewitt, she was chosen to sit on the board as a faculty representative and was instrumental in changing the toxic leadership of the school. In 2000 she enrolled at Cornell Law School and studied law with an emphasis on public interest law. Upon graduating she started as a litigator at Morrison and Foerster in San Francisco, participating in the life of the landmark education case, Williams v. State of California regarding equal access to education. In 2008 she returned to New York and practiced at Hiscock and Barclay. In 2012 she started her own law firm, Eagen Law Firm, and she works with independent schools and community charter schools and teaches law at Stanford. She brings to the Board her experience with the SPED, ELL, and project-based learning as well as her knowledge around charter accountability, operations, and governance.

John Stegeman, Vice President | Educator, Administrator at MPH

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John Stegeman, Syracuse resident, Educator, currently Head of the Upper School of Manlius Pebble Hill School; secondary social studies teacher (taught ancient and modern world history, western civilization and European history), experience in college teaching, alternative high school settings and independent school administration; his graduate studies are in history and anthropology, his research field is indigenous political movements in twentieth-century Latin America; he is a graduate of Maxwell School at Syracuse University, SUNY College at Brockport and University of Colorado at Boulder. Mr. Stegeman brings to the Board expertise in school governance, progressive educational models and school culture.

Stephen Kimatian, Treasurer and Secretary | Attorney, Business Executive

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Stephen H. Kimatian is a Syracuse resident, a graduate of Brooklyn Technical High School (NY), Princeton University, and Cornell Law School. He is the former general counsel for Nexstar Broadcasting, NE Region VP for Clear Channel Television, has served as an adjunct professor at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, and is a past president of the Community College of Baltimore. Steve served as the President of the Board of Upstate Foundation during its capital campaign for the Golisano Children’s Hospital. Currently, Steve is a member of the OnPoint for College Foundation, writes a monthly column in the Post-Standard, and is an entrepreneur — developing community-minded technologies. Mr. Kimatian brings his expertise to the board in media relations, communications, law, fundraising, and his relationships with the business sector and local politicians. His keen business sense makes him an ideal board member to handle the fiscal and facility responsibilities and be the founding treasurer of the Board.

Robert Gardino, Trustee | Retired Educator, Librarian

Robert Gardino is a resident of the City of Syracuse and a graduate of Syracuse University, with a Masters in English. Mr. Gardino taught English in the Syracuse City Schools for 32 years and has visited charter schools in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania to evaluate their operational structure. He is the past President of Parents for Public Schools (Syracuse, NY) and currently works in the Onondaga Public Library’s Central Branch. As an educator in the classroom and library setting, Mr. Gardino brings a great perspective on education and the ways public spaces can serve urban youth. His experience and leadership make him an ideal board member — understanding the needs of parents as stakeholders and as an interface with our community.

Victoria Giarratano, Trustee | Executive Director Cornell Cooperative Extension – Broome County

Victoria Giarratano is the Executive Director of the Cornell Cooperative Extension, in Broome County, NY. In her role, she leads the organization’s overall efforts in Agriculture education, 4H, and urban youth development. Under her leadership, Ms. Giarratano has partnered with the State of New York to open a retail store (Taste NY) — supplying local food products to travelers through the region, and through various other partnerships, she is helping to bring agriculture and agribusiness to the forefront of the community throughout the Southern Tier and beyond. Ms. Giarratano brings to the Board expertise in agriculture education and agribusiness.

William Sanford, Trustee | Owner, Brown & Sanford Consultants

William E. Sanford is a resident of Onondaga County and Sr. Partner at Brown & Sanford Consulting, LLC. Mr. Sanford is a former member (1980-2002) and Chairman of the Onondaga County Legislature. He is a graduate of Syracuse University, retired Syracuse University Crew Coach, President of Leadership Greater Syracuse, and former member of the New York State Legislature. Mr. Sanford brings to the Board expertise with regard to political workings of the local community, relationship with the sustainable sciences business sector and fundraising.