Ashley Hayes

Director of School Development

Ashley plays an important role in the overall success and development of our academy. She supports families and educators as they join our community, making sure everything is in place for a smooth transition. Ashley leads the day-to-day operations at Aspire Academy with passion and determination!

1. Tell us about the journey that led you to Aspire Academy.

Like Kim, I see Aspire Academy becoming a group of educators and families, working together to build a strong and supportive community. I also see a lot of collaboration in Aspire's future; collaboration with families as well as other educators, community programs and services. With everyone working together, we will be able to build programs that truly meet our students' and families' needs. 

3. What strengths are you bringing to the team?
4. What's the best piece of career advice you've received?
5. How do you see the future of Aspire Academy?
2. What does a typical day look like for you at Aspire?

I began my career as an ABA Therapist. Through this experience, I gained a great appreciation for the field and also the amazing kids and parents that we get to work with. From there, I went on to lead the development of a preschool program at a local private school. This opened my eyes to the unique dynamic and benefits of low ratio classroom settings. It also taught my that every child has the potential to thrive when they are placed in the right classroom environment with the right support. 

My day is spent supporting the overall development of our academy. This involves communicating with current and prospective families to ensure their questions are answered and their needs are met, specifically with regards to system navigation and funding/financial matters. It also involves working closely with our leadership team, and looking for innovative collaboration opportunities with community partners.

I am very goal-oriented. I enjoy identifying short-term and long-term goals within an organization, then working thoughtfully and diligently towards these goals. I'm not intimidated by big ideas and goals - I'm always up for the challenge. When I am working on something I am passionate about, like Aspire Academy, I am ambitious, driven and focused.

I also love to connect with other people; to hear their story, listen to what they're looking for and work with them to develop an action plan. 

I think the best piece of career advice I've received is "always do what you love!".  I'm fortunate that my role at Aspire involves all of my favourite parts of working in this field. I feel very grateful to spend my time supporting fellow parents and their children.  It may sound cliche, but I love doing what I can to support our families so it doesn't really feel like "work". I want to do my part in making it as easy as possible for families to access the services and funding that they need!

My most recent experience was with a local Wellness Group that provides a broad spectrum of programs and supports for families. While in this role, I developed a love of advocating for families by helping them navigate the system and access funding. My role at Aspire really reflects the journey that I've been on and I'm excited to bring the knowledge that I've gained through my previous experience with me into this role.

We asked Ashley 5 questions so that you could get to know her better: