Our Mission

Our mission is to engage and inspire learners. We’re a team of educators, workforce development experts and business professionals dedicated to changing the trajectory of students who have fallen behind and getting them back on track to a great future.


About Us

Star Academy is the product of New Orleans-based NOLA Education. The program’s history goes back to 2004, when a team of education experts and researchers in South Carolina designed a program to advance students held back at least one year, re-engage them in their learning, expose them to career options and improve attendance, discipline and social skills.

The program was so successful that it has spread to 14 states, with over 70 Star Academy locations having served over 20,000 students.

Built by educators, for educators

The NOLA Education executive team and staff is heavily weighted towards professionals who have spent many years as educators and curriculum experts, with a deep understanding of the challenges posed in keeping disengaged students from falling through the cracks. Only time spent in the classroom, particularly in schools serving the underserved, can impart this kind of experience. It shows every day in the deep knowledge and dedication of the people you see below.


Core Values

The following core values are posted prominently on the wall of our offices in New Orleans. We really mean them, and our people live by them.

Have Fun. We love what we do, live to improve the lives of students and educators, and we get great joy from seeing the results.

Operate with the Speed of Trust. Our staff build true relationships with client schools based on mutual trust, the foundation of effectiveness.

Be Gritty.  We work hard and relentlessly on behalf of the kids and teachers we serve. When the going gets tough, we get going. We get it done.

Think “Jack Crazy.” Our people are empowered to think outside the box. Sometimes an idea that seems a little crazy at first is exactly what’s needed.

Build relationships. Our staff build real, personal relationships with the educators we serve. We’re behind you every day, all year long.

Execute with Urgency. The first thing you’ll notice about our people is their energy and drive. We work hard to stick to our schedules and meet commitments.

Exhibit Integrity. At NOLA Education, we “hire the people, not the jobs.” We seek out people who show integrity, straightforwardness and accountability.


Meet our Team


  • John-Alvendia-2
    Chief Executive Officer

    John Alvendia

  • virginia robinson
    Chief Education Officer

    Virginia Robinson

  • Jay-Wehrer-cropped
    Chief Operating Officer

    Jay Wehrer

Educational Team

  • Courtney-Fangue-crop
    Curriculum Specialist

    Courtney Fangue

  • Heidi-Broussard-crop
    Education Support and Data Specialist

    Heidi Broussard

  • charone
    Education Support Specialist

    Charone Babineaux

  • Leigh-Lenoir-1-150x150
    Education Support Specialist

    Leigh Lenoir, Ed. D.

  • Sarah-Gros-3
    Education Support Specialist

    Sarah Gros

  • Shannon-Charles-2
    Education Support Specialist

    Shannon Charles

  • Terrance-Square-150x150
    Education Support Specialist

    Terrance Wills

  • Susan-Moore-150x150
    Education Support Specialist

    Dr. Susan Moore Ed.D.

  • Jason-Owens-150x150
    Education Support Specialist

    Jason Owens

  • Dawn-150x150
    Education Support Specialist

    Dawn Weimer

  • Victoria-Badeaux-150x150
    Training Coordinator

    Victoria Badeaux

Operations Team

  • Carter Kopel
    Operations Associate

    Carter Kopel

  • Ken Goode
    Operations & Support Liaison

    Ken Goode

  • Male-Silhouette-150x150
    Project Manager

    Kenny Cohen

  • Justin-Buchanan-square-150x150
    Warehouse Manager

    Justin Buchanan

  • Manna-150x150
    Vice President of Technology

    Manna Justin

  • Kyle Clark
    Project Manager

    Kyle Clark

Product Development

  • Ethan
    Product Director

    Ethan Anderson

  • Paul-Alvendia-1
    Product Manager

    Paul Alvendia

  • Male-Silhouette-150x150
    Project Manager

    Kenny Cohen

  • Male-Silhouette-150x150
    Project Manager

    Brad Ayers

Business Development

  • Stephen-Uhlich-cropped
    Director of Sales

    Stephen Uhlich

  • Guy-2-Square-Crop-150x150
    Communication Manager

    Guy Lyman

  • Keiths-Preferred-Pic-1-150x150
    Account Executive

    Keith Brown

  • Sage-Theriot-1-150x150
    Sales Support Representative

    Sage Theriot

  • bret
    Sales Support & Subject-Matter Expert

    Brett McSherry

  • Cassandra-George-3
    Public Relations Coordinator

    Cassandra George

Group 38

What Students and Educators are Saying About Star Academy

“Attendance has improved, disciplinary referrals have dropped, scores are improving. Star Academy is bringing noticeable changes.”

Lockwood Bonin, Assistant Principal, Franklin Junior High School, Franklin, LA

“It is hands-on and you get help when you want it. There are no distractions, the classes are smaller, and everyone is working on their own thing.”

Caleb, Explore Academy, Pine Bluff, AR

“Star Academy addresses the whole student, and equipped me with the tools I need to reach them where they’re at – both academically and behaviorally.”

Melissa Harris, Science Teacher, Mobile County Schools

“My experience with Star Academy is fantastic. I love doing experiments every day that show you how it is in the real world.”

Student, Franklin Junior High School, Franklin, LA

“You should see the joy on the faces of students when they are completing the science experiments.”

Administrator, Explore Academy, Pine Bluff, AR

“Star Academy is a life changer and I’m glad I did it. I encourage any student who needs to get back on track to be part of it.”

Dylan Lawrence, Former Student, George County Schools

“One of the main things parents say is that it gave them hope, and continues to give them hope, for their child’s future.”

Robert Goler, Principal, Mobile County Schools

Let's Connect

We’re passionate about building brighter futures for America’s youth. Let’s connect and discuss your program’s needs and how Star Academy could help create a positive impact in the lives of your students!