Board of Directors
Dr. Steven Kirby is a career educator and strong advocate for disenfranchised youth. He holds five degrees in the field of education including a Doctorate in Education from Peabody College at Vanderbilt University, an Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and an M.S.Ed. from the University of Miami. His history as an educator has taken him from the villages of Fiji and Ghana to the inner city of Miami. Dr. Kirby first learned about Haiti and its true needs as a mentor to Haitian youth in the Miami neighborhood of Little Haiti. As a result of his interactions with immigrant Haitian families he felt the need to visit Haiti personally to better understand the country and people. After moving to Haiti permanently in 2009 and experiencing first-hand the tragic 7.0 earthquake of 2010, Dr. Kirby realized the importance and need for a system that would help the orphans and street children of Haiti become educated and productive citizens of society.
Michele Deardorff holds a degree in Elementary Education and is completing a Master’s in Reading from Northwest Nazarene University. She spent three years teaching 3rd grade in Nampa, Idaho serving ESL students from low-income neighborhoods. Michele moved to Haiti in August 2009 to teach 3rd grade at an international school in Port-au-Prince. What began as a two-year traveling opportunity soon became an eye-opening lesson in true poverty. Although Michele had been teaching impoverished students in the US, that was nothing compared to the conditions she observed in Haiti. Six years later, she continues to work at Union School as the Literacy Coordinator, allowing her to stay in country and support H.E.R.O.’s mission in Haiti.
Dr. Steven Kirby
Hello, my name is Judith Crawford, but I go by “Judy.” I currently live in Reno, Nevada, with my loving husband, Jason, and my 2 wonderful children, Keman (12) and Rhoan (9). Originally, I hail from Granada Hills, California, outside of Los Angeles, but I grew up in Fremont, California, on the east side of the San Francisco Bay. My connection to H.E.R.O. began after meeting Steve Kirby while he was visiting his family in Reno. His gripping stories about the devastation of Haiti following the 2010 earthquake, and the utter tragedy of the Haitian people that followed, left me with a longing to offer my service and heart to our desperate island neighbors. My friend, Jamie, and I made a commitment to volunteer at H.E.R.O. house and visited in 2012 for 2 weeks. I was impressed and humbled with Michelle and Steve’s
outreach, caring, and dedication to the orphans at H.E.R.O. Having experienced, first hand, the conditions in which life is led in Haiti, as well as the joy and love in the H.E.R.O. children’s eyes, I was gratefully and forever dedicated to their service and growth. In addition to annual fundraising events and gift donations to H.E.R.O., I volunteer weekly at the St. Vincent’s Dining room to provide meals to the homeless of Reno as well as charitable fundraising and coordination of events with the Northern Nevada Children’s Cancer Foundation. I have been a direct sponsor of the H.E.R.O. since my visit in 2012. I am honored to be a member of the H.E.R.O. Board of Directors and to provide continued direction for H.E.R.O. in its transition from orphanage to Academic/Sports Academy and the children’s journey to a bright future and adulthood.
Dr. Ted Murcray
Dr. Ted Murcray is the Lead Principal at Creswell Middle School in Nashville, Tennessee and has dedicated his life to serving children from underprivileged backgrounds across the country. Dr. Murcray is also a lead instructor with Quantum Learning and has served as an Adjunct Professor at California Baptist University. Dr. Murcray brings his extensive knowledge of educational leadership and administration to the H.E.R.O. Board of Directors and his personal connection to H.E.R.O. as a long-time donor and child sponsor. Dr. Mucray's current research focuses on the elementary school to college pipeline and the educational milestones that must be met to ensure academic success.
Esperandieu was born in Petite Riviere de Artibonite, a small town in several hours north of the capital. His life changed after high school when he found a baby abandoned in the garbage. After working with the local government to rescue the child, Espernadieu knew that if he ever finished college he would open an orphanage in his home town and dedicate his life to abandoned children. After attending Siena College in the United States, Espernadieu did just that, starting the St. Xavier Orphanage in Petite Riviere. St. Xavier Orphanage and H.E.R.O. have since partnered on a variety of projects to help children across Haiti. Esperandieu currently splits his time between Haiti and the United States, raising funds for the more than 25 children that he cares for at the St. Xavier Orphanage.
Dan is the owner of Hildebrand Dome Construction, an innovative method of building that uses EcoShell technology to create earthquake, hurricane, and fire-proof homes for third-world countries. Dan's first visit to Haiti was with H.E.R.O. and resulted in the construction of one of the first EcoShell building projects in Haiti. Dan was the lead contractor on a large project in Indonesia that resulted in more than 80 EcoShell homes for underprivileged families. Dan personally raised funds for the contruction of the EcoShell project in Haiti and made several trips to lead and oversee the construction process. Dan continues to bring his knowledge of third-world construction to the H.E.R.O. Board of Directors and is currently working on additional projects in Haiti and South Africa.