Ms. Heather Gardner
Heather Gardner is the founder and owner of EAS Schools, a full service charter school management company. Heather has an extensive background in high performing organizations including manufacturing, real estate, and schools including more than 20 years of developing and leading teams in executive leadership positions. Her skills include implementation of culture programs, operations, leadership development, strategic planning, organizational design and taking organizations to the next level with the implementation of processes and procedures. As a result, her work is focused on optimizing an organization’s performance and potential through strategic planning, leadership and management development and coaching, purpose-driven organizational structures and effective operating practices.
Achieving this level of success enabled Heather to further her ideals concerning the progress of the community. She has been actively involved in numerous non-profit organizations in Southeast Michigan and is currently President of the board at Trillium Academy, President of the PTA at Harlan Elementary and contributes her time to the Cornerstone Partner Program. She has a personal passion for children and a strong desire to see education repositioned to provide children with the skills to be globally competitive.
Heather received her B.A. in Materials Logistics Management from Michigan State University.
Christian has more than 8 years of experience supporting schools in the areas of student information and organizational compliance. He holds a Masters degree from Grand Valley State University in Educational Leadership and Administration and a Masters degree from Oakland University in Education: Reading Language Arts.
The EAS Schools team has years of experience in the areas of organizational design and operational efficiency to optimize a school’s performance and potential through the implementation of processes and procedures, execution of a high performing team through human resources, management of the finances for current and future growth of the school as well as utilizing all grant funds available, innovative marketing and high quality compliance.
Regan has more than 26 years of experience developing, implementing, and managing complex projects. She has provided facility management and support to over a million square feet of educational and commercial space at any given time. She negotiates, procures and maintains facility vendor contracts supported by the Academy’s budget including not limited to security, janitorial, building repairs, building supplies and capital improvements. Regan is an expert negotiator with the ability to reduce costs, improve efficiency and increase customer satisfaction within time and budget constraints
Kelley has been serving charter schools and school districts in many capacities for the past 11 years. She began her career at Plante Moran, PLLC where she spent nearly 80 percent of her time providing financial statement audits and consulting services to charter school and school district clients. Her focus is aligning schools with the state requirements as well as ensuring fidelity with grant management. Kelley obtained her degree in Accounting from Oakland University.
Melissa has more than 9 years of charter school experience, which includes 8 years of public accounting experience providing financial statement audits, federal programs audits, and internal control consulting services to school districts and charter schools at Plante Moran, PLLC. Melissa served as a technical standards reviewer for client financial statements within the school practice, as well as conducted external financial statement trainings for school business officials for MSBO. Melissa obtained her degree in Accounting from Oakland University.
Jill’s most recent experience has focused on supporting schools to design programs which enhance the three dimensions of student achievement: mastery of knowledge and skills, character, and high quality work. She utilizes a variety of strategies to coach and mentor school leaders to support them in leading their schools to the specific goals they set each year. Additionally, she provides professional development to staff which is aligned to the school goals to ensure knowledge and skill is built by the teaching staff throughout the year.
Jill has spent time in the classroom as a fifth-grade reading teacher, middle school English teacher, grade level chair, and Miles Family Fellow. She worked for Teach for America (TFA) as a program director coaching first and second year teachers, at TFA's summer training institutes in Georgia, New York, Arizona, and Pennsylvania, coaching teachers and staff members. She holds graduate degrees from Harvard Graduate School of Education in School Leadership and Arizona State University in Curriculum and Instruction and a Bachelor's degree from Michigan State University in English. She believes the secret to success in schools is building strong relationships with students, staff, and families to ensure everyone is supported in achieving their goals and feel fulfilled in the work they are doing.