MEET OUR STAFF
Dr. Brenda Bradshaw, Executive Director & President of the Board of Directors
Dr. Brenda Bradshaw is the co-founder and director of Infinity Academy. A former elementary and middle school teacher, special reading teacher, assistant professor of elementary education, author and publisher, "Dr. B" has a passion for kids, literacy and making learning engaging. She is also certified in gifted education and has had extensive training in helping children with underlying cognitive barriers to learning. She is on the board of STARS for Autism, an organization whose members lend support, training, advocacy, respect and service to the autism community. Her award-winning book, The Alien Logs of Super Jewels, is a zany first-person account of a young girl with Asperger's Syndrome. Dr. Bradshaw remains focused on the mission and goals of the the Academy, works with community outreach and support, and enjoys assisting students and teachers in any way possible in the daily activities of the school.
Matt Carra CDE CNE, Director of Development
Matt was first introduced to the non-profit world as a volunteer for the Red Cross back in 2005, helping with local fire/disaster response. He served as shelter manager for several emergency shelters during the 2007 ice storm and during several large local tornados. While working and training volunteers for deployment he learned about development, which eventually led him to helping with grant writing, facilitating partnerships, and consulting. Matt loves working with kids of all ages helping them to learn and grow in many ways but especially in the arts. As staff and as a volunteer he has served organizations helping kids. Matt has worked as a mentor/counselor for high risk foster kids, served as the Technical Director in the theatre at Kickapoo High school for 6 years, helped develop the youth volunteer program at the local Red Cross office, and held fundraising positions with several non-profit organizations in the Ozarks. Through all of his positions he has learned about the challenges and joys of non-profit leadership from many different points of view. Matt is a Certified Development Executive (CDE), Certified Nonprofit Executive (CNE), and Certified Nonprofit Consultant (CNC) through NANOE, National Association of Nonprofit Organizations & Executives. Matt is focused on the mission and goals of the academy and will strive to develop community awareness and outreach through corporate sponsors, private donors, and community partnerships.
Kaitlin Rivera, Teacher & Aleodan House Leader
Kaitlin received her bachelor of science degree in Elementary Education and Special Education in 2016 from Oklahoma Baptist University. She has rich experiences working with special needs students at Camp Barnabas, providing care for individuals in their homes, and working with a bell choir at her church. When she is not living out her passion for students with special needs she is enjoying time outdoors, reading, cooking, volunteering, and spending time with those she loves.
Ethan Carwile, M.S., Teacher & Aspyrian House Leader
Ethan Carwile earned a bachelor's degree in history and masters in education from Truman State University. He worked with special needs students for 3 years in a public school and worked the last two years at the Springfield-Greene County Library doing outreach and programming for special needs adults. Ethan spends his personal time reading, studying philosophy and religion, obsessing over random Wikipedia topics and being bad at chess.
Erin Cook, Teacher & Flicorian House Leader
Erin Cook received her Bachelor of Science degree from Central Michigan University with a focus on Music and Anthropology. She then went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Music Performance at the University of Missouri – Kansas City. Erin has always had a passion for learning, helping others, and sharing her love of music and the arts. She is excited to use her skills at the Infinity Academy to assist teachers and students with a variety of projects and activities. Erin can often be found performing her French horn with a variety of musical ensembles in the greater Springfield, MO area. When her busy schedule allows, she loves exploring the great outdoors with her husband and their dog.
Nelligos of Everest, Official School Mascot
Nelligos is an original name submitted by Andrew, one of our students. "Nell" means "light," so our dragon is
a guardian of the light, or all that is good. GOS stands for "Gaming Operating System." (Mt.) Everest is a symbol of conquering seemingly insurmountable challenges. "Everest" was submitted by community member, Anna Cooper. We are pleased to have a combination of names from our students and the community. Our dragon's description is:
Guardian of Everest, our school, the place where we meet our challenges with courage and determination
Defender of Nell, the light, all that is good
Coco, School Doggie Mascot
Coco has a sweet "doginality." He loves to play, but mostly just wants to snuggle on someone's lap. He is a family pet to the Bradshaws and will be happy to come to the school most days to be a comfort friend to students and teachers.