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.
Ashley Raby, Curriculm Director
Ashley Raby is originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and has worked in education since 2009. She started teaching in the Pre-K One classroom and is currently 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 currenlty 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.
Sarah Allen, Director
Director Sarah Allen, born and raised in Atlanta, GA, and holds a degree from LaGrange College in Spanish with a minor in Religion. Ms. Sarah has worked with children since she was a teen, beginning with church summer camps and caring for toddlers in church preschool before serving as a Nanny in college and eventually joining the Maryville Children’s Academy family in 2015 after relocating to Tennessee.
Ms. Sarah’s six years at MCA have been a blessing for our students, parents, and staff. Starting as a Kindergarten Readiness teacher, Ms. Sarah displayed unlimited energy, patience, and care, always knowing that her goal was to become Director. She has embraced our children, families, and staff from the second she stepped into the building and is the embodiment of the culture we strive to create at WCA. Her passion for children is unrivaled and her hands-on leadership brings the best out of everyone.
Away from school, Ms. Sarah loves spending time with her husband and her three dogs, and is an avid hiker of the Great Smoky Mountains. Her energetic, passionate, and adventurous nature are infectious and she is incredibly excited to bring those qualities to the Director role at WCA.
Shaley Melton, Assistant Director
Assistant 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 Assistant 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 son Banner, whom they welcomed to the world in 2020. She enjoys cheering for the Vols, and spending time on Knoxville’s beautiful lakes.
Westland Children’s Academy - 9728 Westland Drive, Knoxville, TN 37922