Steve Gratz, Ph.D.Executive Director
Steve Gratz, Ph.D., is most recently the senior executive director of the Ohio Department of Education’s Center for Student Support and Education Options. Since 2014, he has overseen Ohio’s school options for students including career-technical education. He and his staff also administer school meal programs and College Credit Plus.
While attending the Apollo Career Center, an administrator told him he would make an outstanding teacher. After graduating from Apollo, Gratz took a gap year and worked in Switzerland then as an agricultural mechanic before attending college and beginning his career as a teacher of agriculture. Gratz received his bachelor’s in agricultural education and agricultural economics, and his master’s and doctoral degrees in agricultural teacher education all from The Ohio State University. As a teacher, he found that combining school with real-life work situations allows students to become much more engaged in school and reach higher levels of performance. Now, he advocates for project-based learning for all of Ohio’s students. Gratz was recognized as one of the top National AgriScience Teachers of the Year prior to coming to work at the Ohio Department of Education where he helps architect new programs and pathways that represent emerging fields in the future of work.
Gratz and his wife, Andrea, a school counselor, live in Powell, Ohio. For fun, Gratz drives for Uber and Lyft. As a driver, he can meet new people and get their perspectives on education in Ohio.