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Mr. Keith Preston, Director, is a retired US History and US Government teacher. He taught high-school Social Studies from 2002 to 2016. Prior to his teaching career, Keith was awarded the Jay P. Walker Award for History. As a young adult, and passionate about seeing young people excel, Keith coached a high school boys’ swim team to an undefeated dual meet season and a 2nd place finish at the state swimming meet.
Outside of the teaching arena, Keith was an Investment Broker in South Florida from 1982-1990, and served as the Trust Administrator for a mid-west independent school, managing their Charitable Trusts from 1990 to 1998.
Keith earned his BA in History from Principia College in 1976 and his Masters in Teaching Secondary Social Sciences from Webster University in 1998. Additionally, he has taught adult education offerings at alumni gatherings, summer educational classes, and has spoken at the invitation of dozens of educational clubs for over 20 years. He also enjoyed his work serving on the governing board of church. Keith lives with his wife, Gloria, and his two daughters in St. Louis.
China Gorman is a successful global business executive in the competitive Human Capital Management (HCM) sector. She is a sought-after advisor and speaker bringing the CEO perspective to the challenges of building cultures of humanity for top performance and innovation. Well known for her tenure as CEO of the Great Place to Work® Institute, COO and interim CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and President of Lee Hecht Harrison, China works with HCM organizations all over the world to enhance their brands and their go-to-market strategies. She sits on the corporate boards of Universum, and Motivis Learning, and chairs the Universum North America Advisory board. Additionally, she serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Jobs for America’s Graduates as well as the Advisory Board of the Workforce Institute at Kronos. China is the author of the popular blog Data Point Tuesday, and is published and frequently quoted in media properties like Fortune, TLNT, Huffington Post, Inc., Fast Company, U.S. News & World Report, HR Magazine and many others.
Upon graduating from the University of Oklahoma in 1994, Eric Maddox joined the U.S.
Army as an infantry paratrooper for the 82nd Airborne Division. After spending three years as an infantry paratrooper with a Ranger tab, Eric reenlisted as an interrogator and Chinese Mandarin linguist. Since 9/11, Eric has conducted over 2,700 interrogations while deploying eight times in support of the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) to include multiple tours in
Iraq, Afghanistan, South America, Southeast Asia, and Europe.
In 2003, while assigned to a special operations task force in Tikrit, Eric conducted over 300 interrogations and collected the intelligence which directly led to the capture of Saddam Hussein. As a result, he was awarded the Legion of Merit, the Defense Intelligence Agency’s Director’s Award and the National Intelligence Medal of Achievement. After being hired as a civilian with the Department of Defense, Eric continued to help fight the Global War on Terror (GWOT) until 2014. In May 2015, he earned his MBA from Washington University in St. Louis and is now a private consultant and negotiator and lives in his hometown of
Eric is also the author of Mission: Black List No. 1 (Harper Collins, 2008), which he wrote with the permission of the Department of Defense.
For more information go to ericmaddox.com
James V. Shuls is an assistant professor and the graduate program director of educational leadership and policy studies at the University of Missouri – St. Louis. He earned his Ph.D. in education policy from the University of Arkansas. Previously, he taught first grade and fifth grade in the Republic, MO R-III School District. He also holds a bachelor’s degree from Missouri Southern State University and a master’s degree from Missouri State University, both in elementary education. Prior to joining UMSL, he served as the director of education policy for the Show-Me Institute, where he is currently a distinguished fellow of education policy. Additionally, he is a research fellow at the Hammond Institute for Free Enterprise at Lindenwood University and for EdChoice.
James’ research focuses primarily on teacher labor markets, school finance, and school choice. His work has been published in numerous scholarly journals, such as: Social Science Quarterly, The Rural Educator, Educational Policy, the Journal of Education Finance, and the Journal of School Choice: International Research and Reform. Additionally, he has been featured in numerous popular print publications and has made numerous appearances on talk radio programs and television news. Including appearances on: The Charlie Brennan Show (KMOX—St. Louis), The Mark Reardon Show (KMOX—St. Louis), The McGraw Milhaven Show (KTRS—St. Louis), The Morning Magazine (KRMS—Lake of the Ozarks), The Morning Show with Greg Knapp (KCMO—Kansas City), KMBZ Live with Darla Jaye (KMBZ – Kansas City), The Gary Nolan Show (KSSZ—Columbia, MO), Morning Newswatch (KZRG—Joplin), Morningline (KWTO—Springfield, MO), Mornings with Nick Reed (KSGF—Springfield, MO), Stay Tuned (KETC – St. Louis), and The Jaco Report (KTVI- St. Louis).
His most important job is being a husband to Crissy and a father to four children, Tryston, Taryn, Truman, and Teigen. As a parent, he is incredibly concerned about the quality of education in our community and our state. Upon this recognition, Shuls was appointed by Tom Dempsey, President pro tem of the Missouri Senate, to serve on the committee which wrote Missouri’s K-5 math standards. Currently, Shuls is also serving at the request of Ron Richard, President pro tem of the Missouri Senate, on the committee tasked with revising the personal finance standards.
Marilyn Wallace is a lifelong educator, specializing in instruction for gifted and talented students. After graduating from Principia College with degrees in Elementary/Secondary Education and Music, she taught students at all grade levels for 15 years, earned a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from National-Louis University in Evanston, Illinois, and entered school administration. In addition to her work in curriculum development, she was head of a K-8 independent school in the Chicago suburbs for 13 years and head of the Principia School here in St. Louis from 2006-2014. She has led 18 evaluation teams for the Independent Schools Association of the Central States. Now retired from her work in that field, she devotes her time to church activities. She lives in the area with her husband, and has two married sons who live nearby.
Rebecca “Becky” Neale, Director, is an experienced leader, manager, planner and organizer across business, educational and church organizations. In addition to raising four boys, she has led her Sunday School and served on the Board of Trustees of her church, led the parent organization at her children’s school, managed the office for a national non-profit organization and managed summer camp food service and school concession operations. Becky holds a B.A. in Ethnomathematics from Principia College. She and her husband Stuart, live in Town and Country, MO. Her children will attend CAL in the fall.
Dale Henn, Chairman, is a retired Vice President at Gannett, a Fortune 500 company, with 30+ years business leadership and experience including finance, accounting, real estate, facilities, M&A, insurance, treasury and IT. He serves on the St. Louis County Library Foundation Development Committee. Dale holds an M.B.A. from the University of Rochester and a B.A. in Math and Business Administration from Principia College. Dale is an avid reader of history and biographies and a bike rider. He lives in St. Louis with his wife, Susie.
Katy McKinney, CEO and Director, founded the Classical Academy de Lafayette (CAL) in 2016 to offer an exceptional classical education to grade school and high school students in the O’Fallon area. Katy is passionate about all things “education” and has found herself in some form of teaching over the last 20 years. She is an experienced leader, educator and businesswoman with a degree in elementary education from Chapman University and in business administration from Principia College. She had founded and directed pre-schools, developed curriculum for elementary schools, home schooled her own children and was the principal in a successful real estate investment and management start-up. Katy lives in Foristell, Missouri with her husband Justin and three children. In their free time, Katy and her family enjoy swimming and fishing in their lake and reading with her kids. Katy and her three children will attend CAL this fall.