Our Team

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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

Lynda Yotter | Mathematics Teacher

Lynda Yotter comes to EYC Academy with 15 years of experience teaching in public schools, having earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville and is certified to teach history, mathematics, and general science. She has also taught 5 years in the Missouri prison system helping adult learners receive their high school diploma equivalency. She is excited to join the team of highly qualified teachers at EYC Academy and is looking forward to working with students on a more one-to-one basis.

Carly Bussen | Language Arts Teacher

Carly Bussen joins the team of highly qualified teachers and tutors at EYC Academy with a vast array of teaching experiences. Carly is originally from San Diego, CA where she earned a bachelor’s degree English and secondary education credentials in ELA from Cal Poly SLO in San Luis Obispo, CA. She taught Language Arts, British Literature and Creative Writing at an American school in Costa Rica for two years, as well as English 9 at a STEM school in San Diego before moving to Missouri where I worked as a teacher and tutor at a virtual school for five years before coming to EYC Academy. Carly is trained in Project-based Learning and cross-curricular education and enjoys implementing real-world projects in the classroom. She is excited about joining EYC Academy because she believes the student-centered approach to education is extremely successful. “At EYC, students can explore the curriculum in a way that works best for them; I’m excited to meet students where they are academically while capitalizing on ‘teachable moments’.”

Robert VonNordheim | English Teacher

Robert comes to EYC Academy as a trained educator and lifelong student. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Illinois-Springfield. Robert moved from his hometown of Belleville, IL to St. Louis and taught high school English for 3 years. He also worked as an English tutor and logistical coordinator for a tutoring company and educational tech startup. Robert’s long-term goal is to become a licensed school psychologist, specializing in autism and LGBTQ+ issues. He feels that working with the team at EYC Academy is the perfect fit for his passion in teaching.

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.


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.


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.


Empowering students to define their own success.


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