In 2005, the concept of Ivybrook Academy was developed by first-grade teacher Jennifer McWilliams. After recognizing the absence of multidimensional learning opportunities for her students, she knew they deserved better. With her passion to shape and teach young minds as her driving force, she set out to create an optimal learning environment for students. Visualizing a school that recognizes the strengths and needs of each child, she worked to develop Ivybrook Academy.

At Ivybrook Academy, we believe children’s interests should be respected as they learn to ask questions, find answers and share their discoveries with others. We believe that this approach provides children with the flexibility to research, inquire about, and reflect on the world around them.

Come tour a school in action and have a day of discovery!

Meet the Ivybrook Academy Franchise Team

Drew McWilliams
Drew McWilliamsPresident

Each day I am motivated to make Ivybrook Academy an incredible place for our students, our educators, and for our school owners. My passion and drive is rooted in the knowledge that Ivybrook Academy is providing an environment where everyone involved is excited about the amazing opportunities that await them each and every day. It is a very rewarding feeling walking alongside each school owner in a partnership, as well as empowering them with the skills necessary to continue to create this same opportunity for children across our country.

Jennifer McWilliams
Jennifer McWilliams Founder/COO

Holding true to my belief in the importance of a multidimensional approach to early childhood education, I have made Ivybrook Academy my life’s work. As a mother of two Ivybrook graduates, I have had the privilege of witnessing the Ivybrook experience through the eyes of my children. It has deepened my conviction and belief in the quality education and supportive community that Ivybrook provides.

Amy Cowan
Amy CowanExecutive Director of Weddington and Director of Franchise Support

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Daniela Farenga
Daniela FarengaExecutive Director of Operations

Without even trying children come into our lives and teach us about creativity, kindness, humility, and compassion. I am lucky enough to see this every day at Ivybrook Academy, and this undoubtedly is what fuels my passion for early childhood education. I hold the role we play in young students’ lives with the highest regard and consider it my greatest privilege!

Katherine Bell
Katherine BellExecutive Director of Curriculum

I have always valued Ivybrook’s commitment to always putting our families first.  Since starting with the company, my husband and I have brought our two little boys into the world which has allowed me to see firsthand the necessity and importance of quality, early childhood education.  At work each day I am able to live out my passion, working alongside educators and administrators, while also having the ability to be there for my family.

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