Joel Daniel Harris ’04

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Joel Daniel Harris ’04 was selected to receive the “Layperson of the Year Award” for 2014 by the Canton Professional Educators’ Association. Jason Pigott, a teacher at the Early College Academy at Souers Middle School, nominated Joel for the award based on his devotion to students in Canton City Schools, selfless service in the community of Canton, and professionalism.

Joel is the founder and Executive Dreamer at TomTod Ideas, a non-profit organization in Stark County that empowers middle school students to launch absurd ideas that enhance the common good.

In September 2013, Joel began working with 7th grade students at the Early College Academy. He led TED-Ed pilot clubs which walked students through the ideation process. In February 2014, TomTod Ideas launched “Grasp. Go. Grow.” at the Academy.  “Grasp.Go.Grow” is a new in-school pilot program that helps students to explore the process of ideation. “Grasp. Go. Grow.” gives students the tools needed to be innovators and creators.

To learn more about TomTod Ideas and related programs visit

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