Our Board of Directors consists of individuals who have exhibited outstanding leadership in the community and within their respective fields. They take sincere interest in the success of our scholars. All Board Members are unpaid volunteers who serve a 3-year term and oversee the direction of our school.

Mark Bacurin – Finance

Leveraging knowledge built from two decades of performing equity research across a range of industries coupled “hands on” experience as a CFO and board finance chairman, Mr. Bacurin serves as an independent strategic financial consultant bringing valuable insight to entrepreneurs and executives seeking to tackle financial challenges and implement strategies to grow their businesses.

“I have served on the Martha O’Bryan Center’s finance committee since 2008 and am proud to be a founding board member of East End Prep. I firmly believe that success is dependent on hard work meeting with opportunity. By providing a strong educational foundation, East End Prep is providing the opportunity and work ethic that will propel our scholars to succeed not only in high school and college but in life.”

Email: mbacurin@eastendprep.org

Ben Cundiff – Governance

Ben currently owns and operates Cundiff Farms in Cadiz, Kentucky. His extensive experience in practicing law, banking, business ownership, and serving on a large number of educational and non-profit boards and leadership teams contribute to his wealth of knowledge in understanding what it takes to educate the future leaders of tomorrow on a high level.

“I have been on the Executive Committee and the board of directors of the Martha O’Bryan Center since 2005 and was the founding chairman of the board of East End Prep in 2010. I joined the board of East End Prep because I have decided to get involved with organizations whose missions are focused on bettering the lives of children. I believe that the education received by the least-fortunate children in Nashville can be comparable to that in Nashville’s best public and private schools by employing the most creative leadership and teachers and that every student can excel in secondary school and in college, to become a productive, successful member of society.”

Email: bcundiff@eastendprep.org

Marsha A. Edwards – Governance

Marsha Edwards is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Martha O’Bryan Center. She joined Martha O’Bryan in July 2001 as the Vice-President of Development and Marketing. She brings her background as a litigation attorney and small business owner to the Martha O’Bryan Center, which provides an integrated group of services to the most vulnerable families in Nashville. She is known for her ability to simultaneously speak honestly about the challenges we face in our city; all the while, inspire others with her great belief that together we can solve problems and build a better future for all our young people. Marsha is also known for her passion for children, especially children without parents, she and her husband, Eric Vaughter, live vicariously through the adventures of their four beloved children, Zach, Devin, Hannah and Mackenzie.

Email: medwards@eastendprep.org

Melissa Halsell – Marketing & Outreach

Economic Development Program Manager, Tennessee Valley Authority

“Serving on the East End Prep board provides me with the opportunity to be directly engaged in the education of Nashville’s children – indeed Nashville’s future. Investing in high-quality education for our children is critical to the long-term economic growth and vibrancy of our community. I am honored to be on the East End Prep team which is focused on and committed to providing our EEP scholars with the knowledge and skills needed to be ready for success in life.”

Email: mhalsell@eastendprep.org

Ted Helm – Facilities & Long Term School Initiatives

Ted Helm is the owner of Modular Designs, A Contract Flooring Company that does business nationally and has been located in East Nashville for nearly twenty years. Ted first got involved in Nashville public education as a board member of the Nashville Chamber and as Chair of The East Area Business Council. He served on the Chamber’s Report Card Committee for seven years and as its Chair three years. He also has served as Chair of Oasis Center and President of Mid South Division of the American Cancer Society. He is proud to be one of the founding board members of the East End Preparatory Charter school. Both of his youngest children attended Metro Nashville Public Schools.

Email: thelm@eastendprep.org

Robert Laird – Governance

Rob is an experienced attorney in Nashville who specializes in corporate governance, issuances of securities, mergers and acquisitions, information technology and venture capital investments. He has substantial experience in advising boards of directors of private and public companies.

“I joined the board of East End Prep because I have decided to get involved with organizations whose missions are focused on bettering the lives of children, East End Prep is doing just that in East Nashville”

Email: rlaird@eastendprep.org

Shakila Gilbert – Parent Representative

Ms. Gilbert has two scholars at East End Prep and is an involved parent participant. 

Email: sgilbert@eastendprep.org

Veronica Franks – Human Resources

Email: vfranks@eastendprep.org 

Andy Faught – Board Chairman

Andy is the Managing Partner at Continuum Planning Partners, a comprehensive financial planning firm with offices in Brentwood, Chattanooga, Knoxville and Memphis.  He moved to Nashville in 1996 to attend Lipscomb University, where he graduated with majors in Finance, Economics and Accounting.   Given his background, Andy is involved in the financial oversight of East End Prep.

Email: afaught@eastendprep.org 

Jay Ferguson – Finance

Email: jferguson@eastendprep.org 

Kim Whitaker

“I have been involved with the Martha O’Bryan Center since 2011 on the finance committee.  I am happy to join East End Prep’s board to help continue the significant impact they are having on the lives of students.”

Kim Whitaker is a proud East End Prep parent.  Two of her three children attend EEP, with one still in preschool.  “I am a foreign language educator in a parochial school here in Nashville so prior to beginning the search for a school for my oldest child, I knew very little about the public schools in our city.  I toured every school in our area, but it was only when we visited East End Prep that my husband and I found the right fit for our family.  Walking the halls and observing the teaching and learning for the first time was an inspiring and joyful experience for me.  Through my years as an East End Prep parent, my pride and confidence in the school has only grown.  I have seen my children’s love of learning grow and they have developed strong bonds with their peers and teachers alike.  I love the school not only for what they have given to my children, but for the commitment they show to each and every child who enters their doorway.  It is an honor to serve on the board and to be able to help the school continue to fulfill its mission of educating the whole child in preparing them for college and beyond.”

Email: kwhitaker@eastendprep.org 

Mara Naylor – Marketing & Outreach

Email: mnaylor@eastendprep.org


All meetings are from 7:30 – 9 am and are held at 819 Woodland Street, Nashville, TN 37206.