We Are Education Associates.

About Us.

We’re the leading provider of career education, employability and practical life skills for ALL learners including those with special needs and at-risk. As a pioneer in the development and implementation of transformational job and life skills curricula, we’ve been supporting teachers, administrators, school districts – and most importantly – learners of all abilities, for almost forty years.

We believe that all learners can realize and fulfill their true potential, no matter their ability level. With our comprehensive and proven curricula, learners including those with the most severe challenges are empowered with real world job and life skills giving them the ability to live successful, independent lives.

Credibility, research, validation and compliance are all key factors in selecting the right educational programs. Our proven results show that more learners of all ability levels graduate and successfully transition to college or a career and are able to live independently. Our programs are hands-on and customizable and include academics and assessments.

We’re extremely proud that Education Associates has been acknowledged for excellence by the U.S. Department of Education (Approved and Validated); the National Dropout Prevention Network (Model Program); the U.S. Depts. of Education and Labor (National School-to-Work Technical Assistance Providers); the American School Counselor Association (Model Program) and as an Award Finalist by EdTech Digest for career planning tools.

Since 1980 our mission has been to make a difference in the lives of ALL learners, to lend a helping hand, and to empower them with life-changing skills. We provide real solutions for real life, helping all learners see their possibilities and realize their potential, and to achieve a rich and satisfying future. Working together, our promise to you, and to them, is to make this a reality.


Image of an older white male. He is wearing a white shirt.

Tim Hagan

President & CEO

Since 1983, Tim has dedicated his career to helping students of all abilities to realize their potential. Since his work in college with the Special Olympics, Tim has had a passion for helping students with special needs and students at risk to succeed beyond their expectations.  After graduating from the University of Kentucky with dual degrees, Tim has led Education Associates in their efforts to provide quality career education and life skills curricula with the mission to improve the lives of all learners.  Tim’s mandate for Education Associates has been to help educators empower students to realize their career interests and gain meaningful job and life skills.  Tim is also focused on assuring positive student outcomes thru data and performance-based assessments. Tim is recognized as a National Technical Assistance Provider for the U.S. Depts. of Education and Labor and regularly conducts trainings and workshops at the local, state, federal and international levels.

Shelley Mauer

Executive Vice President & Chief Academic Officer

Shelley has devoted her entire career to the world of education and the needs of students.  After receiving her teaching degree from Murray State University, she worked with the University of Kentucky and the Kentucky Council on Higher Education prior to co-founding Education Associates in 1980.  Shelley is responsible for the strategic planning, leadership and supervision for the company’s research and development efforts as well as its training division.  She strives to deliver proven and effective hands-on career education, employability and life skills programs for every type of learner as evidenced by the many accolades these programs have received such as CASE endorsement and EdTech Digest.  She is a National Technical Assistance Provider for the U.S. Depts. of Education and Labor and regularly works with states to develop programs to meet federal mandates and guides the correlations of the company’s programs to national standards.

Ben Lovell

Vice President

he son of two lifelong educators, Ben grew up surrounded by an emphasis on education. After graduating from the University of Virginia with a BA in English literature and psychology, he spent a decade in hospitality management, traveling the country and honing his leadership abilities. An avid reader and writer, he champions the ability of communication to enrich our lives and empower our youth. After discovering Education Associates in 2018, Ben has enjoyed utilizing his writing and leadership skills to help develop curriculum and enable his colleagues to serve the educational needs of all students.

Michelle Magrum

Sales & Marketing Manager

Michelle has a BA in psychology from Transylvania University and a Master’s in digital media from Bellarmine University.  She began her career as a Community Living Support, helping individuals with special needs learn to live independently. Currently, Michelle uses her marketing experience and passion for education to grow Education Associates in keeping with its core values and mission.  She loves focusing her skills and interests on resources that increase personal and professional success for all learners.  In her spare time, Michelle continues to volunteer with adults with special needs. She also enjoys reading, art, and being a mother.

Development & Training Team

Amy Shuiteboer

School Improvement Specialist

Amy is the School Improvement Specialist at Salem High School in Virginia and is responsible for all state testing in her school as well as remediation programs to assist students in meeting graduation requirements.  She is the former Transition Specialist and Employment Transition Representative for the Virginia Beach City Public Schools in Virginia and her responsibilities have included training all secondary special education teachers on writing transition plans, managing the data collection process for Indicators 13 & 14, developing procedures to ensure appropriate implementation of federal, state and local guidelines for transition services and creating the RISE guide, a resource book for exiting students.  Amy holds certifications in Emotional Disturbance NK-12, Early Childhood Special Education, Early Education PK-3 and Elementary Education 3-6.  She holds a Certificate in School Administration from George Washington University, a Master’s of Science in Administration-Leadership and a Bachelor’s of Science in Education-Emotional Disturbance from Central Michigan University.

Betsy Gentry

Special Education Supervisor

Betsy supervises special education student teachers at Lee University in Cleveland, TN. She is a retired Work-based Learning Coordinator for Ooltewah High School in Ooltewah, Tennessee and a past Transition Coordinator for the Bradley County Schools in Cleveland, TN, and a Vocational Rehabilitation Case Manager.  She has worked with the Project Discovery curriculum both in implementing it with students with special needs at the local level and in training schools and districts nationwide on its use for over 15 years.  Mrs. Gentry holds a Master of Arts in Teaching-Special Education from Lee University and is a past Council for Exceptional Children Special Educator of the Year.  She is an expert on transition issues and a frequent state and national speaker.



Holly Myers

Special Education Teacher

Holly has over 24 years’ experience working with teachers of students with special needs to assist with curriculum and instruction.  She is currently a Special Education Teacher at Dutch Fork High School in Irmo, SC.  Holly is actively involved in all areas of education including curriculum development, teacher mentoring, transition services and community work.  Previously, Holly, a Teacher of the Year Award Recipient, trained and mentored Applied Behavior Therapists and held the position of Autism Itinerant. She has used Project Discovery in her classroom for over 10 years.  Holly holds a Master of Education from Lesley College in Cambridge, Massachusetts and a B.S. in Special Education from Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC.



Lori Dyer

Academic Director

Lori is the Founder and Academic Director of the Believer’s Academy in West Palm Beach, Florida, a charter school dedicated to ESE students ages 14-21 who are at risk of dropping out of their schools.  The main goal of this school is to reduce reading and math deficits while building vocational skills.  Lori is responsible for administering the educational curriculum and special education programs, as well as supervising the instructional methods, staff and program activities of the school.  Prior to her founding of this Academy, Lori was the ESE teacher at a middle school and a Special Education Teacher at a high school.  Lori has a Special Education degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, with emphasis on Emotional Behavior Disorders.  Lori has used the Project Discovery curriculum in her school for many years and is a dynamic instructor on the ways to implement the curriculum, meet academic standards, and motivate students to achieve at high levels and transition successfully to further education or the workplace.

Karen Taylor Squires

Director of Student Learning

Karen is the Director of Student Learning for the Red River Parish Schools in Coushatta, LA, and is responsible for supervising the core education courses, providing professional development and overseeing teacher evaluations.  As a previous Director of Special Education, she has supervised the day-to-day operations of the Special Education Department and supervised transition for the district and 504.  She also served on the Northwest Jumpstart Committee for the State of Louisiana to determine the vocational and transition programming needs of general and special education students.   Ms. Squires holds a Master’s of Education degree from Northwestern State University, an Educational Leader Level 3 Superintendent, and has been a teacher at both the elementary and high school levels.  In addition, she has served as a Principal and IEP Facilitator.  Ms. Squires’ has a vast amount of experience in helping teachers develop and implement IEPS and transition plans, in providing effective career development programs and in implementing the Project Discovery curricula.

Dr. Phyllis Mayfield

Retired Educator

Dr. Phyllis Mayfield is a retired educator with over 30 years experience in teaching and coordinating special education services.  Dr. Mayfield holds a B.S. in Education from Jacksonville State University, an M.A. in Learning Disabilities from the University of Alabama, an Ed.S. in Mental Retardation from Jacksonville State University, and a Ph.D. in Early Childhood Special Education from Auburn University.  Dr. Mayfield has a vast range of experiences including teaching at the middle school level, holding Assistant Professorships at the University of Alabama and Jacksonville State University, a Regional Director for the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind, an Education Specialist for the Alabama State Department of Education, and a Special Education Coordinator for the Sylacauga City Schools.  She brings a wealth of expertise in instructing students with special needs and helping them reach their potential.


Nicky Loch

Student Support Services Supervisor and Transition Program Administrator

Nicole Loch (Nicky) is the Student Support Services Supervisor and Transition Program Administrator at South Washington Schools, MN.  A past Special Education Transition Coordinator with the Mahtomedia School District in MN, she has been a work-based learning Teacher/Accommodations Specialist and the 2015 Woodbury, MN Chamber of Commerce Educator of the year. She has worked with students ages 14 to 21 in the area of transition, particularly focused on employment and career development. During that time she has helped to establish pathways for students that start in the classroom through hands-on learning and extend into the community through partnerships and collaborations with employers.  Ms. Loch holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Master’s of Science in Education, Special Education from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh along with a License in LD and EBD K-12 and a Work Experience- Handicapped/ Accommodations Specialist .

Dr. Amy Spriggs

Associate Professor

Dr. Amy Spriggs, an internationally recognized autism expert, is an Associate Professor with the Department of Early Childhood, Special Education and Rehabilitation Counseling, at the University of Kentucky. She is a leading authority in the field of evidence-based instruction and methodologies to advance the academic, behavioral and social learning environment for students with special needs (with a focus on students with autism and other developmental disabilities). Dr. Spriggs holds a Ph.D. in Special Education, Autism Spectrum Disorders and Technology from the University of Georgia, and a Master’s of Education in Special Education Intellectual Disabilities, Pre-school endorsement, and a Bachelor of Science in Special Education Intellectual Disabilities, from the University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia. An author of many publications, Dr. Spriggs is also a frequent speaker at international and national conferences.

Stephanie Corbey

Special Education Consultant

Stephanie is a Special Education Consultant providing technical assistance and support on program development, teacher supervision and high-needs students.  A retired administrator, Stephanie’s past work experience includes being an Education Specialist for the Minnesota Department of Education where she directed the Office on Transition Services, the Executive Director of Individualized Student Services for the Burnsville School District, a Special Education Supervisor and Transition Coordinator for the Osseo Area Schools, an Assistant Special Education Director for the Minneapolis Public Schools, and an Adjunct Faculty member at St. Mary’s University of Minnesota and the University of St. Thomas.  She holds over 10 licensures in such areas as: District Director of Special Education, K-12 Principal, Moderate to Severe Mental Impairments, and Specific Learning Disabilities.  Stephanie holds a Master’s of Education-Administration/Special Education from the University of Minnesota, and an Education Administration License from St. Mary’s University.

Theresa Cortney

Case Manager/ Counselor

Theresa is the Case Manager/Counselor for Special Education for the Klein Independent School District in Klein, Texas.  An experienced administrator with over 20 years’ experience as a teacher, Vocational Coordinator, Transition Specialist and Case Manager for students with disabilities, Ms. Cortney is an expert on implementing and  monitoring special education programs including bringing the district from 12% to 100% compliance for federal performance Indicator 13 within two years. She has served on a Regional Advisory Board to improve transition services and adherence to federal mandates and has developed supported job training programs for students with disabilities. She holds Certifications in such areas as Principal, Educational Leadership, Special Education K-12, Dyslexia, and VAC.  Theresa holds a Master’s in Educational Leadership from Sam Houston State University and a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Texas, Dallas and is currently finishing a doctoral degree in educational leadership from Concordia University-Portland.