top of page

Best of the Week 2018-2019: Teaching to the Future


On Tuesday, St. Edward High School hosted its first "Ideas Taking Flight" Day of Innovation. The day was entirely dedicated to nine successful innovators, eight of whom are St. Edward alums, who spoke to the entire student body, faculty and staff members about their passions, challenges and drive to affect change through their professions. All speakers emphasized the importance of leadership, innovation, creativity and communication and preached about how our students of today are the future and how they have the power to change the world. Check out a recap video of the "Ideas Taking Flight" Day of Innovation, created by Director of Innovation Mr. Nicholas Kuhar, by clicking here!

St. Edward's "Ideas Taking Flight" speakers included (from left to right) Mr. Kevin Krueger '90, Principal and Creative Director for Multiple, Inc., a strategic design firm that works to create brand and corporate communications; Mr. Bill Leimkuehler '01, co-founder of Biolectrics, which is developing a medical device called OraFlow to treat advanced forms of gum disease, known as periodontal disease; Mr. Jim Riley '84, President of Full Cycle Organics, an environmentally responsible business specializing in food waste composting and compost sales; Mr. Michael Carroll '09, Senior Program Manager on Growth for Convoy, a startup company that designed and implemented an app to scale full truckload brokering between shippers and carriers; Mr. Kurt Rote '01, co-founder of Western Oncolytics Ltd., a biotech startup developing oncolytic virus immunotherapy for cancer; Mr. Jonathan Lacoste '11, co-founder and President of Jebbit, a 55-person enterprise software company in the digital marketing and consumer data space; Mr. Tim Needles '78, President and CEO of Onix Networking Corp., a leading cloud solutions provider based in Lakewood, Ohio; Mr. Keven Lenahan '11, Electrical and Avionics Engineer for Virgin Galactic; and (not photographed) Dr. William H. Morris, Senior Medical Director for Cleveland Clinic Innovations.

"Over the course of the day, as I moved from presentation to presentation, recording with a small crew of IB Film seniors, I found that a common theme emerged. In addition to discussing their journeys to success, all of the speakers talked candidly about their deepest fears and failures as entrepreneurs, and that candor helped our students grasp the winding, uncertain, scary realities of entrepreneurship and innovation," says Mr. Kuhar, Director of Innovation. "Innovation can seem like such a glittering lure to young makers and dreamers, and it was so important for our Eagles to hear, first-hand, how these now-successful, full-speed-ahead innovators encounter limitations on a daily basis and continue to have their mettle tested in dramatic ways, and yet, find inspiration and energy to keep taking that next critical step moving forward. Several of our keynote speakers also tied their presentations back to a key pillar of our school: Servant Leadership. Having found their footing in their fields, they explained how they've made conscious, concrete and sustained efforts to use their resources, influence or skills to help underserved or underrepresented communities in Northeast Ohio and beyond."

"I was impressed by the passion the alumni have, not only for what they do, but for the St. Ed's community and how open they were about the challenges they have faced to reach the success they have found in life. Mr. Lacoste and Mr. Lenahan specifically touched upon the fears they faced and continue to face and how the courage instilled by the relationships they have built and the foundation of character sparked by their time at St. Eds helped them find the courage to act and to grow as men," says Mr. Matthew Stepnowsky, Director of International Baccalaureate Programs.

"The Day of Innovation was inspirational. Through the presentations, the students were encouraged to consider the limitless possibilities of innovation and to utilize the opportunities that they have at St. Edward High School. The fact that eight successful alumni from various parts of the country sacrificed an entire workday to share their perspectives with St. Edward students is a testament to the strength of the St. Edward community, the character of these alumni, and the opportunities that they see in a St. Edward education," says Mr. Joseph Kasl '99, Associate Director of Admissions and Associate IB Coordinator. "For me, the presentations served as a great reminder of the value of an innovative mindset. Whether it is considering a different perspective, executing on a new plan, or finding creative ways to help others, innovation builds hope for a better future."

"We have so many alums who are not only successful, but are succeeding on the cutting edge of innovation. The eight presenters plus Dr. Will Morris had so much to share with our community. Our alums were so enthusiastic about sharing their ideas with their fellow Edsmen," says President Jim Kubacki. "With all the good feedback coming in from this event, I think we can build on this first experience and make this an annual Day of Innovation in the future."

Follow St. Edward
  • Grey Facebook Icon
  • Grey Twitter Icon
bottom of page