Our Story

The Golden Key Center is a unique school comparable to no other.

Golden Key School Our StoryThe Golden Key was co-founded by Terry Frank M Ed, Autism Intervention, Educational Specialist and Katherine Catazaro-Perry, registered nurse and mother of a special needs child. With help from The Arc of Stark County and collaboration with Stark MRDD, The Golden Key opened its doors by offering a summer camp specifically for children with special needs. The community needs for these services proved to be essential, and our school became open for year-round services on November 8, 2008. We became an Autism Scholarship Provider that year and a Provider under the Jon Peterson Scholarship two years later.

We have since evolved into a fully encompassed school that services students from over 18 local school districts. We continue to provide the affordable before and after school services that started our journey twelve years ago.

Terry Frank has continued to serve as our executive director since the founding.

Co-Founder of The Golden Key Education Facility Retiring
Terry Frank, Co-Founder and Executive Director of The Golden Key Center for Exceptional Children, Inc., has announced her retirement.

Terry Frank announces retirement.

In 2007, Frank Co-Founded the non-profit organization as a childcare center serving medically fragile, autistic and neuro-typical developing children. Over the past 16 years, Frank has transformed The Golden Key into the area’s number one, fully accredited, education facility for students on the autism spectrum and other cognitive disorders from the age of three through 8th grade.

The Golden Key Center Endowment Fund In Honor of Terry Frank

This fund has been created to continue to support the operations of The Golden Key and capture our founder Terry Frank’s dedication to the continued growth and education of families on the autism journey.

“Over the years I have often been asked if I ever imagined The Golden Key would be where it is today, and I can honestly say no,”  Frank said. “Originally the goal was set to help families of children with special needs have choices in childcare and we tried hard to listen to the needs of the students and families. It simply continued from there.”

Frank recalls that the exponential growth went from a parent simply asking for their child to attend school at the Center to the recent $2.4 million Capital Campaign Project that expanded the facility to include a state-of-the-art life skill center and full-size gym that will allow for the students served at school to have the same type of facilities as a public school. With all that she has lived by the motto to never say never.

In what she refers to as a “God driven project”, Frank’s retirement goal is to have more time with family and increase a life filled with healthy habits and relaxation. Ho

wever, the board elected Executive Director, Gina Bannevich has shared plans for Frank to continue with the organization in a manner that will continue to grow the organization as well as further support families on the autism spectrum.

Bannevich, along with the organization’s Board of Directors has announced The Golden Key Center’s Endowment Fund in honor of Terry Frank. This is a fund that will continue to capture Frank’s dedication to see continued growth and education to families on the autism journey.

“One of Terry’s passions is to support families on the autism journey,” said Bannevich. “As a certified Relationship Development Intervention specialist her desire is to support  families in creating a guiding relationship with their child.”

Frank will exit from the Executive Director position on June 30, 2024.

Google Classroom

Google Classroom

The Golden Key utilizes the Google Classroom as its technology platform.

This HIPPA compliant and secure program allows for our students to have access to the appropriate education if a remote school is put in place. Each classroom is designated its own link to allow for teachers, therapist and intervention specialist to connect with families.

Please see your student’s teacher to receive the appropriate Google Classroom Link and your student’s Golden Key Email.

Note: A Golden Key Email address is required for each student at The Golden Key.

Private Tuition Payments

The Golden Key Center for Exceptional Children Inc., provides various programs that are not covered by the Ohio Choice Scholarships. Payments for these services are made via Tuition Express®. Please follow the link to set up your personal Tuition Express payment account.