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Welcome, Friends!

Friends of Breakthrough Schools is a non-profit development and advocacy organization. Friends of Breakthrough is responsible for closing the gap in public funding needed to provide quality education to thousands of children in Cleveland each year, as well as working with community, business, and political leaders to build city-wide support for high-quality public school options for all children in Cleveland.


Summer Newsletter 2017

Read our latest newsletter! Highlights include:

--Interview with Breakthrough’s first college graduate
--BASH 2017 recap
--Volunteer spotlights and opportunities

On behalf of all our students, staff, volunteers, and entire community, thanks to everyone for your support!

Available here as a viewable PDF.

Did You Know? 

High-performing, non-profit public charter schools in Ohio only receive about 1/2 the funding of traditional district schools. 

Friends Board of Directors

William Koehler

Michael Cristal
Vice Chair

Charlie Lougheed
Vice Chair

Richard Pace
Vice Chair

Thomas Rudibaugh
Vice Chair

Brian Tucker
Vice Chair

Jeff Berlin

Jennifer Grossman

Suresh Bafna

Frank Bird

Julia Bolton

Don Bullock

Denise Carkhuff

Jim Carulas

Timothy Coughlin

Jeffrey Cristal

Karen Davies

Martin Gates

Robert Gillespie

Vipin Gupta

Jim Kavalec


Andrew Kline

Andrew Lee

John LeMay

David Lowman

Michael Merriman

Alfred Miller

Bridget Moreno

Jane Outcalt

Peter Rome

John Sinnenberg

William Vogelgesang

George von Zedlitz

Brent Zimmerman


Contact Us

Friends of Breakthrough Office

Phone: (216) 539-9349
3615 Superior Avenue, Suite 3103A
Cleveland OH 44114

Our Staff

John Zitzner, President
(216) 373-7801

Susan Ertle, Executive Director
(216) 373-7803

Karen Solomon, Director of Annual Fund
(216) 373-2795

Katie Emerson, Director of Engagement and Donor Relations
(216) 373-2685

Doniell Gill, Gifts and Grants Administrator
(216) 539-9349

Samantha Sopko, Director of Grants and Foundation Relations
(216) 373-2688

Sam Steinfeld, Director of Resource Development
(216) 373-2646

Kelly Berg, Director of Volunteer Relations
(216) 373-2818

Liz Hass-Hill, Director of Accounting
(216) 539-9349

Melodee McCrodden, Accounting Coordinator
(216) 539-9349

Michelle Camou, Grants Associate
(216) 539-9349