TAMMY NOEL | Executive Director and Founding Member
Tammy Noel is an experienced Chief Executive Officer with a demonstrated history of working in the education management industry—including growing a multi-level operation in three states of a top ranked supplemental education franchise, as well as serving as a partner of a global educational, computer-based testing network for over 25 years.
Prior to becoming a franchise owner, she served as a center director for seven years, and prior to that as a high school math teacher, holding a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education–Mathematics and Psychology.
Tammy’s drive to help families find the right solution for their children’s educational needs comes from years of helping struggling students find the best path to help them achieve academic and life success.
JACQUELINE WARD -EdD | Professional Advisory Board Chair and Founding Member
Jacqueline Ward, EdD serves as Board Chair on the professional advisory board and founding member of EYC Academy. A graduate of Webster University in Webster Groves, MO, she earned her undergraduate degree in Education which supported her initial certifications in K-12 Special Education and Elementary Education in 1994.
After several years working in rural and urban public and private agencies, she went on to earn her master’s degree in School Leadership and Administration (2006) leading the way to her certificates as a Special Education Administrator and Principal (K-12).
After serving some years as a district-level Special Education Director, she resumed her studies, completing her Doctorate in Educational Leadership & School Improvement in 2011.
Dr. Ward’s passion stems from her belief that every student can find a way to become a productive citizen within their communities when given the individual attention and motivation to achieve personal success.
LOU REUSS -MAT | Head of School and Founding Member
Lou Reuss is a founding member of EYC Academy and was named Head of School in 2018. Prior to coming to EYC Academy he served as a Spanish teacher, Director of Education and was Associate Head of School at an alternative High School.
Lou holds a bachelor’s degree in Literature and Language from Webster University, Lifetime Spanish certification, a master’s degree in Education from Webster University and has completed his PhD coursework (ABD).
Lou’s motivation for helping create outside of the box learning opportunities is personal. Providing a truly individualized education—one he wished was an option when he was parenting a middle/high schooler—is his mission.
JOAN HOLLAND | Director of Admissions and Recruitment
Joan served as an administrator and admissions director at a local private alternative school for 28 years. Prior to that she served as a guidance counselor and mental health teacher where she supervised the adult and adolescent education program, leading social skills groups for children and adolescents, and provided direct instruction.
Joan earned a bachelor’s degree in Education and a master’s degree in Counseling and Personnel Services from the University of Missouri -Columbia.
Joan is excited to be part of the EYC Academy team because she passionately believes in the power of teaching students in a personalized environment because it allows them to feel safe and successful. She also likes that the school offers all the needed resources for families under one roof—school, tutoring, counseling, therapy, school advocacy, cognitive and academic assessments, test preparation and more.
NANCY SOKOLIK | Director of Programs
Nancy comes to EYC Academy with many years of experience in education and nonprofit management. In addition to her love of teaching, Nancy has experience with admissions, college guidance, summer programs, school administration, and nonprofit program development and implementation. Her true passion is helping children and youth understand the importance of character, integrity, and kindness.
She is excited to be part of the EYC Academy team, where students have so many opportunities to find success.
Nancy holds a bachelor’s degree in Special Education from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a teaching certificate for K-12.
KATHY MICHALEK -MAT | Lead Language Arts Teacher
Kathy taught for 31 years in the Rockwood School District. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and a master’s degree in Education from Maryville University. She also earned another master’s certification in composition from UMSL and is Nationally Board Certified. Her favorite subjects to teach are American Literature/composition and American History. She describes her position at EYC Academy as her “dream job” because it allows her to see students achieve success.
WILLIAM WILSON | Lead Mathematics Teacher
Will is a graduate from Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, MO with a bachelor’s degrees in Actuarial Science and Applied Mathematics. Will loves to help students of all ages feel more confident in learning all levels of math and helping students prepare for college entrance exams and other vocational and professional tests. At EYC Academy, he finds that the one-to-one setting is more impactful towards students’ success than learning in the traditional classroom. Will’s #1 goal in teaching new students is to build strong relationships, so as to strengthen their confidence and passion about their futures.
JENNIFER BOLLA – PhD | LEAD SCIENCE TEACHER
Dr. Bolla has 28 years of experience teaching all levels of science. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology and master’s degree in Secondary School Administration, both from University of Missouri – St. Louis. She earned a Ph.D. from St. Louis University in Educational Leadership. Dr. Bolla has been involved in writing curriculum in science subjects. She coached swimming for over 10 years and was a referee for eight years both at the high school level. She loves teaching science and is extremely excited to join the EYC Academy team to continue working with students on an individual basis.
TERRIE BRUECKMANN -MAT | Special Education Teacher
Terrie Beckmann is a 40-year veteran teacher with the Special School District of St. Louis, MO. She has spent most of her career in the Rockwood School district at Rockwood Summit High School. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri in Columbia, MO and her master’s degree in Special Education from the University of Missouri in St Louis, MO. Her strength is building relationships with students and working one-on-one to help students achieve success.
KAREN WARD – MAT | Special Education Teacher
A career educator with over 21 years of experience prior to coming to EYC Academy, Karen served as special education team leader and special education coordinator for the St. Louis Metropolitan Psychiatric Center. Karen believes it is important to offer students a variety of ways of customizing the display of information, alternative instruction for auditory and visual information.
Karen holds a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education from Harris-Stowe State University, a master’s degree in Educational Technology, Special Education and the Severely Developmentally Disabled from Webster University, Certification in Tackling The Tough Skills Program For Trainers from the University of Missouri-St Louis and has PRO-ACT training and CPR/First Aid training from the St. Louis Metropolitan Psychiatric Center.
JIMMY MIXCO -PhD | Mathematics Tutor
Dr. Mixco joins the EYC Academy team having taught various mathematical courses such as Introduction to Statistics, Elementary Statistics with Computers, Precalculus and Calculus 1 at the college level as a graduate student. Dr. Mixco has also tutored and taught math and statistics at all levels in academic labs at the universities he attended, as well as tutoring students of all ages in test prep for ACT, SAT, GRE, AP Courses, and GMAT and taught STEM programs. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Mathematics in 2015 from University of Central Missouri and then a master’s degree in Mathematics in 2018 and a PhD in 2019, both from St. Louis University.
Dr. Mixco enjoys working with students on an individualized basis to help them achieve their academic and life goals. He is published in his areas of expertise and is highly active in the mathematics, statistics, and data science areas.
SARAH PECK -MS | Art Therapist/Instructor & Counselor
Sarah is an Expressive Arts Therapist and art educator. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Columbia College, and a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Expressive Arts Therapy from Prescott College. Prior to joining the team at EYC Academy Sarah worked for the Francis Howell School District teaching character education and life-skills. She also worked with several area non-proﬁts as an adolescent counselor, specializing in trauma and abuse.
Sarah is passionate about providing a safe, non-judgmental environment in which students can explore their creative spirit. She encourages students to embrace the art-making process as an opportunity for curiosity and self-inquiry.
Collin Miller | Clinical Director
Collin holds a master’s degree in counseling from Webster University. She has many years of experience as Clinical Director at an alternative high school and currently as Director of Counseling for a private high school. Being a therapist in an academic setting has allowed her to become familiar with many other aspects of education such as supporting those with special needs, IEP’s and developing relationships in the community to provide additional resources. She has helped with transition and college planning and making sure that adolescents feel supported, capable and empowered as they enter the next chapter of their lives. Being a part of this critical time in a child’s development is an important role and she enjoys helping them become the best and most confident version of themselves.
Empowering Youth and Communities, Inc. dba EYC Academy, does not and shall not discriminate in its educational programs or activities on the basis of race, color, religion (creed), gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status. These activities include, but are not limited to, hiring and releasing of staff, selection of volunteers and vendors, and provision of services. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all.
Empowering Youth and Communities dba EYC Academy is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. We will not discriminate and will take affirmative action measures to ensure against discrimination in employment, recruitment, advertisements for employment, compensation, termination, upgrading, promotions, and other conditions of employment against any employee or job applicant on the bases of race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, creed, disability, veteran’s status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. We will comply with state and federal laws such as M.G.L. c. 151B, Title IX, Title VI and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment and Rights Act, Executive Order 11246 and other similar laws that prohibit discrimination, all as amended.