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

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

Clay Thompson – Governance

Email: cthompson@eastendprep.org

Clay Thompson is responsible for leading the Aftermarket Financial Solutions Division at Caterpillar Financial Services. Clay joined the Caterpillar Legal Department in 1997, and held positions of increasing responsibility, including General Counsel to the Asia Pacific Division (Singapore) and to the Financial Products Division (Nashville). After leaving the Legal Department in 2005, Clay held a variety of leadership positions elsewhere in Caterpillar, including Beijing, where he managed Emerging Markets Strategy; Tokyo, where he led Cat Japan’s Product Management Group; and Washington D.C. where he managed Caterpillar’s Corporate Government Affairs Department.
Clay graduated from Central College in Pella, Iowa, with a bachelor’s degree in English. He holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Iowa and an MBA with concentrations in International Business and Economics from the University of Chicago.

“I am the son of two public school educators, and have always been interested in education policy. I think that future economic prosperity at the national and individual level depends on creating an environment where everyone has access to an outstanding education regardless of his or her address or economic circumstances.”

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

Shakila is currently a Patient Access Representative III of 12 years at Accredo Health Group, a Specialty Pharmacy with facilities all over the U.S., located at the Nashville  office. Shakila provides quality care in research and verification of insurance to ensure that individuals receive medication. Shakila is also an independent travel agent and currently pursuing real estate. Shakila is a native of Nashville, TN and graduated from Tennessee State University with a Bachelor of Science in Health Information Management. Shakila is a loving wife and mother of two boys who are 10 and 6. Both scholars have attended East End Prep since kindergarten. Shakila participated in advocating for charter schools and EEP expansion to the 8th grade. Shakila has also been present for MNPS Board of Education meetings, emailed letters to the Board in support of charter school funding, is active in EEP PTO, and volunteered in building EEPs playgrounds.

“I made the leap to join the EEP Board of Directors in August 2017 in hopes of understanding more of her children’s education and structure behind it. I believe all children should have access to quality of education, a great team of educators and a community to support the growth and intellect of every child regardless of race, ethnicity or financial status. As teachers assist with the foundation to educate our children, it is also important to support their success and provide resources needed to educate.”

Email: sgilbert@eastendprep.org

Veronica Franks – Human Resources

As Chief Operating Officer, Veronica Franks oversees the delivery of Avintus’ human resources and retirement plan administration services. Since starting her career in 1996, Veronica has used her experience as a human resources generalist, employment law specialist and HR consultant to design innovative solutions that balance administrative accountability with business reality.

After earning a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Management from East Texas Baptist University (Magna Cum Laude), Veronica landed an entry level HR role at Longview Regional Medical Center in Longview, TX. In just a few months, after a promotion to Employment Coordinator, Veronica was coordinating the employment process and advising nurse managers on every aspect of hiring. After two years at Longview, Veronica broadened her generalist experience as Human Resources Manager at BFI in Shreveport where she served as the key HR advisor in northwest Louisiana. While at BFI, Veronica earned a Master of Arts in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Louisiana Tech University.

When she’s not busy working with clients, Veronica enjoys shopping, watching movies, and spending time with her family. She lives in the Nashville area with her husband, Jeff, their son Wyatt and their mini Golden Doodle Mia.

“The reason I joined EEP Board of Directors is that I was drawn to the specific work of the school in providing an amazing education with college in mind from the very beginning.”

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.

“I have worked with the Martha O’Bryan Center since 2010 on the finance committee and joined the East End Prep board in 2015. I am a believer that education is the key to lifelong success. And it is even more important for those who grow up in poverty. East End Prep is empowering scholars to build a strong base of education that will carry them throughout their lives.”

Email: afaught@eastendprep.org 

Jay Ferguson – Finance

Email: jferguson@eastendprep.org 

Mara Naylor – Marketing & Outreach

Mara is a public relations professional who specializes in strategic marketing and communications. She is passionate about fostering young creative minds to achieve their dreams. She has worked in corporate and non-profit arenas and is involved in a variety of local professional organizations.

“As an advocate for education, I joined the East End Prep board because of its mission and the commitment of each team member to impact the lives of families and future generations.”

Email: mnaylor@eastendprep.org

Richard Frank – Human Capital and Development

Richard has dedicated his career to developing teachers and school administrators to impact educational outcomes for students. During his 20 year career with Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools and his work with The Center for Transformative Teacher Training, CT3, he has supported instructional leaders in 100+ schools to develop, deliver, and sustain professional learning opportunities for teachers implementing transformational classroom practices. Richard has a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy and Master’s Degree in Elementary Education, both from Vanderbilt University.

Email: rfrank@eastendprep.org

BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETINGS 2017-2018

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