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“Creating a Sustainable Pathway to Entrepreneurship: The Simple Vue Academy’s Vision for Empowering Students in Metro Atlanta”

By Nandi Edouard, founder and Chief Executive Officer, The Simple Vue Academy.

There is an urgent case to be made that we must intervene in young people’s lives and provide them with innovative educational experiences that prepare them for real-world challenges they may face after high school. As a native of Cobb County, I’ve seen families in our community embark on entrepreneurship, experiencing both success and struggles, even my own. Entrepreneurship requires creative thinking, critical thinking, effort, and discipline—skills and values that are often overlooked in traditional schools. If families had the understanding of entrepreneurship from a younger age, they can achieve incredible success. That’s why The Simple Vue Academy (TSVA) was born.

The Simple Vue Academy (TSVA) is a proposed 6-12 charter school, with a mission to provide students with a STREAM (Science, Technology, Reading/Writing, Arts, and Mathematics)-based education, emphasizing entrepreneurship and financial literacy. This innovative educational approach aims to create a sustainable pathway to entrepreneurship by equipping scholars with the skills, knowledge and support needed to thrive in their chosen communities. The Simple Vue Academy is committed not only to providing a STREAM-based education and emphasizing entrepreneurship and financial literacy, but also to increasing economic mobility for the Metro Atlanta community. Because we recognize the challenges economically disadvantaged students in the region face, our mission is to address these disparities and create a sustainable pathway to entrepreneurship, college, career and beyond.

To ensure that TSVA’s efforts align with the needs and aspirations of the community, our team has actively engaged in extensive community outreach over the past year. We have organized focus groups, community events and surveys involving over 400 stakeholders, to gain insights and feedback. This inclusive approach ensures that community voice is heard and considered in shaping the academy’s programs and initiatives. We’ve learned that the next generation needs the skills, knowledge, and confidence to thrive in an evolving region. TSVA recognizes entrepreneurship as a key driver of economic mobility, particularly for disadvantaged groups. We aim to bridge this gap by providing an entrepreneurial education that imparts real-world skills.

At the core of TSVA’s educational approach are three values: Voice, Ubuntu and Empowerment. By placing student voice and choice at the center of our classrooms, the academy empowers students to become self-directed learners, exploring their passions and contributing their ideas and opinions to the decision-making processes and curriculum development. Adopting a two-generational approach, TSVA focuses on the whole family to create a legacy of educational success and economic prosperity that transcends generations. We welcome all families to the school community, celebrating their diverse cultures, seeking their input on the curriculum and valuing their perspectives in collaboration with board members, school leaders and teachers. Empowerment is another fundamental value we uphold. Students are encouraged to develop a strong sense of self-confidence, allowing them to explore and choose their own paths while making informed decisions. By offering exploration and choice, the academy supports students in solving problems, meeting needs and creating meaningful impact through their ideas, products, and services.

With our innovative educational model, TSVA addresses the specific needs of the Metro Atlanta community. By actively seeking input and emphasizing collaboration, we tailor our design to students’ requirements. Through STREAM education, entrepreneurship, and real-world skills, we’re preparing students to create their own futures and make a positive difference. With support from the community and other stakeholders, we’re increasing economic mobility and creating a brighter future for all.

The Simple Vue Academy’s mission is to create a sustainable pathway to entrepreneurship by providing scholars grade 6-12 with a STREAM based education, guidance on business and financial management and a village of support!

Nandi Edouard

Lead School Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Nandi Edouard is the CEO and Lead School Founder, where she is working with her design team to reimagine the educational landscape in Georgia. Previously she served as the Director of School Culture, Managing Dean of Students and New Teacher Development Lead at Prospect Schools in Brooklyn, NY. Prior to this Nandi spent 3 years in Houston, Texas, teaching and leading 6-8th grade English and Language Arts at YES Prep Public Schools. Nandi received her Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from Spelman College and holds a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from Teachers College, Columbia University.

meet the founding team

Shane Orange
Dr. Bre Peeler
Leah Rosser
Reverend Roger

Cedric Thorbes

Erika Estrada Olufade

Shane Orange

Shane Orange is an experienced operations leader with a diverse background in legal practice and non-profit management. With a successful track record of streamlining and scaling startup processes, Shane has launched independent operations for a fiscally-sponsored organization with over $5M annual budget in under 12 months. As a business consultant, Shane provides strategic consulting for various client initiatives related to startup investments, operational efficiency, compliance, and business development.

In his previous role as Director of Operations at Black Ambition, Shane built the founding team and managed day-to-day operations in the organization’s first fully operational prize year. He ensured operational processes were implemented to support organizational activities, including regional pitch competitions, networking events, and the Black Ambition signature prize competitions and demo day, which provided mentoring, investments, and support to over 250 ventures. Prior to his role at Black Ambition, Shane worked as a corporate attorney at King and Spalding, LLP, where he directly managed a team of 120+ in-house and contract attorneys on multi-year legal discovery and review projects. He also advised on and drafted term sheets, letters of intent, purchase and sale agreements, operating agreements, and shareholder agreements, as well as corporate and partnership taxation issues and business succession matters for Fortune 500 companies with transactions totaling more than $2 billion.

Dr. Bre Peeler

Dr. Bre Peeler is an accomplished educator with a diverse background in educational leadership, curriculum development, and instructional coaching. Her educational journey has been marked by a commitment to fostering inclusive and effective learning environments. Dr. Peeler’s impressive credentials include a range of certificates, endorsements, and degrees that showcase her dedication to professional growth and expertise.

She holds a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in School Improvement from the University of West Georgia, earned in 2015. Dr. Peeler’s pursuit of excellence led her to a Master of Science in Urban Teacher Leadership from Georgia State University in 2003 and a Bachelor of Arts in Child Development with K-5 Georgia Certification from Spelman College in 2000.

Dr. Peeler’s leadership experience spans various roles, each highlighting her dedication to student success and teacher development. She has served as an MTSS Coordinator in the Cobb County School District, where she provided targeted reading and mathematics instruction to students and shared progress data with educators. Her role as an Adjunct

Leah Rosser

Leah Rosser, M.Ed., is an accomplished educator and leader with a passion for teaching and a knack for business operations. Her journey is marked by adaptability and unwavering commitment to excellence. Leah’s career began with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Winston-Salem State University. She furthered her education by earning a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Georgia Southern University, equipping her with pedagogical expertise. Leah made her mark at A.L. Burruss Elementary School within the Marietta City Schools system. She excelled in instructional strategies and leadership, chairing grade level meetings and driving initiatives like Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) and Positive Behavior Interventions Support (PBIS). In 2022, Leah transitioned to the role of Chief Operations Officer at SMJ Communications, demonstrating her business acumen in operations, HR, and strategy. Here, she applied her education expertise to the business world, directing operations and collaborating closely with C-suite executives. Her strategic vision and ability to manage resources effectively made her a driving force behind the company’s success. She is proficient in Spanish, adding a multicultural dimension to her expertise. Leah’s accomplishments include recognition as an Outstanding New Employee and roles as a Kiwanis Club Advisor. She holds certifications, including a Gifted Endorsement and Permanent Certification in Elementary Education.

Reverend Roger Vest is an experienced pastor devoted to serving historic congregations and connecting with local communities. Currently serving as pastor at Douglasville First United Methodist Church since July 2022, Rev. Vest has over 30 years of experience leading Methodist churches across Georgia. Throughout his pastoral career, Rev. Vest has initiated outreach programs like food pantries, lunch programs for children, and “Saturday Sacks” to provide weekend meals for over 1,400 underprivileged students. His commitment to community service is further demonstrated through leadership roles with organizations like United Way, Habitat for Humanity, local food banks and homeless coalitions. An active participant in the United Methodist Church, Rev. Vest represents persons living in poverty for the North Georgia Conference and serves on conference committees like the Strategic Growth Team. He is also an engaged leader outside the church, serving on boards and advisory councils for groups like Leadership Douglas, Ferst Readers, the Good Samaritan Center and more. With decades of hands-on ministry focused on connecting worship with community service, Rev. Roger Vest continues to live out his vocation to help those in need and make a positive impact as pastor of Douglasville First United Methodist Church. His bio highlights a long career of servant leadership within the Methodist church and local communities across Georgia.

Cedric Thorbes is an educator, public speaker, and award-winning author from Cleveland, OH. Cedric is a proud graduate of Morehouse College, where he graduated with honors and a degree in African American Studies. Cedric received a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Montclair State University while earning certifications in school leadership & teacher development. Cedric’s love and passion for working with young people have led him to do his life’s work in education, as he currently serves as the Academy Leader of a Charter Management organization in Atlanta, GA. Previously, Cedric served as Director of School Culture and Career Technical Education at Great Oaks Legacy Charter School in Newark, NJ. Here, Cedric launched an Advisory Board, secured partnerships with corporate sponsors, and spearheaded the development of a CTE program focused on entrepreneurship and career development. 

As an educator & author, Cedric has worked with numerous organizations to inspire people from all walks of life and provide tips for success. Cedric has traveled to multiple cities nationwide, encouraging inner-city youth to strive for excellence and develop a sense of self. He aims to promote the importance of obtaining a quality education and challenge young people to take control of their futures. His memoir “Outspoken” shares his story of resilience and transformation to inspire youth. His education policy op-ed called for broadening charter school missions to prepare students better for post-secondary success. He lives by the mantra, “To have what average people don’t have; I must do what average people won’t don’t do.” Cedric’s goal is to provide every young person in the country with a culturally responsive education containing the social-emotional components necessary to succeed in today’s volatile racial and political climate. With his passion for empowering diverse learners and track record of driving improvement, Cedric is well-positioned to continue making a positive impact in education leadership roles.