Elizabeth Newman, Executive Director
Elizabeth embodies the spirit of our Children’s Academies. Her unique experience as a student, teacher, manager, director and now parent of multiple children at the academies! Elizabeth’s face even served as the logo of the Academies for most of Maryville Children’s Academy’s formative years! Beginning in 1993 as a Pre-K I student, Elizabeth and her siblings spent countless hours making memories at Maryville Children’s Academy, both during and after work hours. Since graduating MCA, Elizabeth has earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management concentrating in Entrepreneurship at the University of Tennessee, and garnered experience in almost every role at Westland, Ebenezer, and Maryville Children’s Academy before ascending to the role of Executive Director in 2014. As the Executive Director, Elizabeth oversees all three centers while working together with our incredible teachers and Founder to provide the best childcare East Tennessee has to offer. Her mission is simple: enhance the lives of every student, parent, and teacher she encounters by creating an atmosphere of love, confidence, and capability.
Shaley Melton, Director
Shay realized her passion for early childhood education upon graduating from high school. An East Tennessee native, Ms. Shay began her childcare career at a small daycare in her hometown in 2012 while pursuing her Early Childhood Education Degree. Ms. Shay has completed her Child Development Associate courses as well as her TECTA certification.
Ms. Shay joined the WCA family in 2018 as a toddler teacher and has worked her way to Director by showing her passion for our students and families and dedication to our mission.
At home, Ms. Shay spends time with her husband Justin and their two boys who both currently attend WCA. She enjoys cheering for the Vols, and spending time on Knoxville’s beautiful lakes.
Alyssa Miller, Assistant Director
Alyssa Miller was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 2021, she moved from Pittsburgh to Oak Ridge with her husband, Brian, and two dogs. She began her journey in childcare as a private nanny and has over thirteen years of experience as a nanny and a preschool teacher. In 2022, she joined our sister center, Ebenezer Children’s Academy, as a Pre-K II teacher, after which she was quickly promoted to Assistant Director of ECA before becoming the Assistant Director here at Westland. Ms. Alyssa is Tennessee Early Childhood Training Alliance (“TECTA”) certified and is currently pursuing an Associate’s degree in Child Development. When Ms. Alyssa isn’t working or studying, she enjoys kayaking, cooking, and gardening.
Ashley Raby, Curriculum Director
Ms. Ashley is originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota. She moved to Tennessee her senior year of high school, where she met her husband Archie, whom she married in 2010. They have two beautiful girls, with their oldest in elementary school and youngest attending WCA. Ms. Ashley has a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Tennessee Tech University and has worked in education since 2009. Her experience has taught her that curriculum is essential for the growing of young minds and this inspires her to continue her early education work daily. When she is not working, she enjoys reading, taking hikes and spending time with her family.
Ashley has been with the Children’s Academy since 2016, where she started teaching in the Pre-K I classroom but quickly became the Director of Curriculum for all three of the centers. Curriculum is the backbone of early childhood education. We make continuous changes to our lessons, adapting to new ways of teaching and learning in our centers!
Christine Stacy, Executive Assistant
Christine is an Oak Ridge native. She has her CDA in early childhood and is currently pursuing a degree in Business Management. She has over 14 years of experience and has been with our company, in many different roles, since 2015. Christine is a “Jill-of-all-trades!” She is an expert in classroom organization, behavioral management and curriculum. She also spends time training new hires across our three centers.
Westland Children’s Academy
9728 Westland Drive, Knoxville, TN 37922