Our Board

EYC Board Members 2021-2023

BETH SHARPE-VERDUGO | Board Chair

Beth serves as a Wealth Manager for Creative Planning, one of the leading fiduciary wealth advisory & family office firms in the country.  Beth has been in the financial services industry for nearly 24 years. Prior to joining Creative Planning, she led the professional training and practice management divisions for Buckingham Strategic Wealth in St. Louis.

Beth grew up in Elm Grove, Wisconsin and graduated from Indiana University – Bloomington with her Bachelor of Science degree.
She enjoys skiing, sailing and traveling with her husband, four teenagers, Ashley, Andrew, Lauren (an EYC Academy graduate) and Bella, and lab Bentley.

AARON DREW LACEY | Partner & Chair – Higher Education Practice at Thompson Coburn LLP

Aaron is the leader of Thompson Coburn’s Higher Education practice, host of the firm’s popular Higher Education Webinar Series, and editorial director of REGucation, the firm’s higher education law and policy blog. An experienced attorney with time served both as outside and in-house counsel, Aaron’s practice is dedicated entirely to assisting postsecondary institutions to navigate complex legal and regulatory matters. He has specialized, substantive expertise in the array of federal, state, and accrediting agency laws and standards that govern postsecondary institutions, and is a frequent writer and speaker on topics relating to higher education policy and regulation.

SARA VAUGHN

Sara is a strategic thinker with the ability to translate vague or unorganized ideas into actionable programs with measurable results. As a 15-year veteran in the technology sector, she has applied a data-driven and pragmatic approach in organizations ranging from start-ups to global enterprises. Sara is also the parent of an EYC graduate, 2019 – 2021.

 

MAGGIE MARCRANDER | MD

Maggie has been a Practicing physician for 20 years and is currently the Clinical Vice President of Women’s Services for Mercy East and Mercy Ministry focusing on strategy and development.

She was previously a founding member of private practice based in San Diego, California 2001-2008.

Empowering Youth and Communities Inc. is a 501c3 organization (dba EYC Academy of St Louis) and was founded in 2018 by a group of educators with 75+ years of combined experience in education as previous administrators in special education, local alternative schools, and supplemental educational business.

EYC Academy is a non-public school, approved by Missouri DESE and is globally accredited through Cognia Global Commission (formerly AdvancEd). Serving the St. Louis, MO metro area, EYC Academy offers a one-to- one blended, in center and digital learning environment to day school students 6th-12th grade. Because our nationally approved curriculum is digital and our teachers can teach virtually, this allows us to deliver services anytime, anywhere across the globe. Enrollment is on-going and can be full-time or part-time. Other services offered include therapeutic services that can be scheduled during the school day, as well as cognitive and academic assessments, school advocacy, one-to-one tutoring for all ages and subjects either in-center, virtually or combined, college planning and application assistance, test-prep and proctoring, and national diploma and career certificate programs.

PURPOSE

At EYC Academy, we realize that every student’s journey is different, and learning isn’t one-size-fits all.

We meet our students where they are and take them where they want to be by using a holistic approach and personalizing a solution that best fits their needs. Our students come to us for many reasons — from students with learning challenges, illness, academic and emotional trauma, mental health issues, to students simply needing a flexible schedule and a self-paced school option — and no matter what the reason, there are many ways we can help students find their unique paths success.

We work in partnership with families and schools, navigating an array of learning environments together. But it goes beyond academics. Our wraparound services support the full student. We help align additional resources, such as counseling or therapy, should a student need it.

Every student — no matter their age, background, or circumstance — has a place at EYC Academy. and creating a safe space for them to learn is our main priority. Taking a different path to learning shouldn’t carry any stigma, for students or for parents, and we’re working to change that. Every student’s path to success is different but that doesn’t mean they should have to walk it alone.

MISSION

EYC Academy provides a highly personalized learning environment which fosters critical thinking, cultivates individual potential, inspires confidence, and prepares students to be productive members of their communities.

VISION

Empowering students to define their own success.

CORE BELIEFS

Trust among all stakeholders is vital. Expectations influence accomplishments. A school- community partnership is essential. Change creates opportunity. High-performing leadership makes visions reality.