Management Team

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.


Jodie Desmond, Assistant Director 

Assistant Director Jodie Desmond has worked at MCA since July of 2016. She started in the Toddler 1 classroom and has worked her way to management. She grew up in Knoxville, but she and her husband Ryan moved to Maryville in 2010. They have 2 children. She loves all the exploring, learning, and fun at MCA!


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 MCA. 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 MCA.

Ashley Raby, Curriculum Director

Ashley Raby is originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota.  She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and has worked in education for eleven years.  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!

Maryville Children’s Academy - 1205 Middlesettlements Road, Maryville, TN 37801

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