2016 Keynote Speaker

Dan C. Wertz is Superintendent Emeritus of the Okemos Public School District where he served for 23 years. Before coming to Okemos, Dan was a middle school science teacher, Director of Instruction at the International School in Bangkok, Thailand, and Assistant Superintendent in an excellent Indiana school district serving 8,000 students.

Dr. Wertz received a doctorate from Indiana University. He served as a number of Indiana and Michigan Department of Education advisory committees and as adjunct faculty at Indiana University and Michigan State University. He is the recipient of the Michigan State University School of Education Crystal Apple Award for Excellence in Education.

Throughout his career, Dan conducted research and has published a number of articles in national and international juried educational magazines. He became concerned about the dwindling number of candidates interested in becoming superintendents and the literature that only described the hardships of the superintendency. He completed research focused on 18 resilient superintendents. The lessons learned resulted in the publication of a book titled, "Resilient Superintendents". Since retirement, Dr. Wertz has served as an interim superintendent in another school district and presented seminars throughout Michigan, in California, Alaska, and Mexico.

Dan's wife Linda is a retired Williamston elementary teacher. Dan and Linda have four children. On behalf of a Plymouth, Michigan credit union, daughter Natalie coordinates financial seminars for students and adults. As Manager of Community Relations for the credit union, she interacts with other foundations to, among other things, award teacher grants and student scholarships. Natalie and her husband have two adult children. Scott Wertz serves as a Colonel in the Marine Corp Reserves and is a pilot with American Airlines. Scott and his wife live in San Diego, California and have three children. Todd is President of K-Swiss International where, throughout Asia, he coordinates the production of products for shoe companies. Todd and his wife live in Taiwan and have two children. Nathan, a K-12 Okemos graduate, is a Physical Therapist and has opened his own Orthopedic Physical Therapy business in the Lansing area. His wife Leslie, also an Okemos graduate, is a Montessori teacher at Kinawa. Nathan and Leslie have three children attending Okemos schools.

The Okemos Education Foundation was created as a result of Superintendent Wertz's recommendation to the Board of Education in 1984. He has seen the immeasurable impact the OEF has had on staff members' ability to explore and implement new ideas and techniques that enhance student learning. He has also witnessed the OEF bring honor to a number of well-deserving teachers, employees and community members.