Executive Leadership Team

Executive Leadership Team from L-R: Stacie Gardana, Kacy Edwards, Julie Scott, and Crystal Burch

Executive Leadership Team from L-R: Stacie Gardana, Kacy Edwards, Julie Scott, and Crystal Burch

Kacy Edwards - Co-Founder, Co-Executive Director

In 2006, Kacy Edwards was a 10-year veteran educator in a Baton Rouge high school. She and Julie Scott, her best friend, saw an unmet need. They took a leap of faith and started a little company called Career Compass of Louisiana. That two-woman business has grown to reach more than half of the parishes in the state. These days, Kacy is focused on organizational development, personnel development, and strengthening Career Compass' unique culture. Looking to the future, Kacy aims to continue helping others grow professionally, especially women who are looking to re-enter the workforce and balance work and family.

Kacy earned a bachelor’s degree in History from Louisiana State University (LSU) with alternate certification in Secondary Education Social Studies in 1997.  She completed her master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from LSU in 2005. In 2011, she was recognized by The Baton Rouge Business Report’s “Top 40 Under 40” list. 


Julie Scott - Co-Founder, Co-Executive Director

Julie Scott's classroom days are long behind her, but she'll always be an educator at heart. And now, she's a leader and woman business owner, too. When she and Kacy Edwards started Career Compass 2006 as its only employees, she dreamed of blanketing the state with college & career coaches. Her dream is becoming a reality, as she is the architect of Career Compass' expansion strategy and manager of its growing budget. She is constantly crusading to help communities realize that post-secondary access will improve a litany of modern society's challenges.

Julie earned a bachelor’s degree in Social Studies Education from Southeastern Louisiana University in 1999. She has eight years of experience teaching secondary social studies at Tara High School in East Baton Rouge Parish School System. In 2009, Julie was recognized as the St. George Catholic School Alumnus of the Year. In 2011, she was recognized by The Baton Rouge Business Report’s “Top 40 Under 40” list. 


Stacie Gardana - Director of Administration

Stacie Gardana joined Career Compass in 2009 as a college and career coach. As Career Compass expanded to new areas of the state, she was integral to helping replicate the organization’s successful college & career access model, focusing on implementing the model with fidelity, while taking into account schools’ unique needs.  Stacie now oversees all of the college & career coaches across the state of Louisiana. A major part of her work still involves ensuring consistency in all Career Compass programs.

Stacie graduated from Louisiana State University (LSU) with both a Bachelor’s of Arts in General Studies and a Master of Social Work. As a lifelong resident of Louisiana, she values her work as a means to develop the state’s future workforce. More importantly, she aspires to help children find meaningful careers in Louisiana so that they can live and work here.


Crystal Burch - Director of Strategic Partnerships

Crystal Burch joined the Career Compass team in 2012 as the Central Louisiana Director.  Prior to working with Career Compass she worked as a high school and junior high school counselor. She was also employed by Central Louisiana Technical Community College as one of the first college & career coaches in Central Louisiana. She credits these experiences with helping her to see the significant needs that students have in transitioning through their educational careers. 

Crystal holds a master’s degree in School Counseling and bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Northwestern State University. Born and raised in central Louisiana, Crystal is passionate about helping improve the community and state where she and her family live. She was recognized in 2016 as one of Central Louisiana's "Top 20 Under 40," by The Town Talk (Alexandria, LA).


Statewide Coordinator Team

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Synomen Hebert - Technology Specialist, College & Career Coach

Career Compass Starting Year: 2007 

College Alma Mater(s): Louisiana State University 

Major(s)B.A. Studio ArtM.Ed. Education 

High School Alma MaterBrusly High SchoolBrusly, LA 

Contact: shebert(a)careercompassla.org 

Being a Career Compass coach is the best job ever because I get to have real conversations with students about things that they struggle with, worry about, don’t understand or need help with. I get to be the person that calms their fears, explains how it all works and convinces them that they can handle it with confidence. These students are the future of our state, and I get to help them make some of the first steps toward making it a better place! Who wouldn’t want to spend their day doing that?


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Carrie Peña - Development Director

Career Compass Starting Year: 2012

College Alma Mater(s): The University of Texas at Austin; The University of Texas at Brownsville

Major(s)B.A. Psychology, M.B.A with focus on Marketing

High School Alma Mater: Lanier High School, Austin, TX 

Contact: cpena(a)careercompassla.org 

To me, a job is more than a way to make money. The way I choose to spend the majority of my days has to reflect my beliefs about the world. Working for Career Compass is by far one of the most rewarding experiences of my life and career. Although I don't work directly with students as a college & career coach, my work with Career Compass is important because I communicate to others how our coaches and our students change the world. I develop new funding streams to support our work, do special research projects, and oversee our social media efforts.


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Dawn Smith - FAFSA Coordinator & Boo Grigsby Foundation Scholarship Award Coordinator

Career Compass Starting Year: 2017

College Alma Mater(s): Louisiana State University

Major(s)B.S. Psychology

High School Alma Mater: St. Michael High School Baton Rouge

Contact: dsmith(a)careercompassla.org 

I believe that all high school students deserve the chance to attend a post-secondary educational program after graduation. It is such an honor to work with an organization that believes in empowering students to find their passion and pursue their dreams. Helping students achieve their goals is definitely THE BEST JOB EVER! 


 

Hannah Moreau - Jump Start Supervisor, College & Career Coach

Career Compass Starting Year: 2015 

College Alma Mater(s): Louisiana Tech University 

Major(s): B.A. Psychology; M.A. Clinical Mental Health Counseling  

High School Alma Mater: Avoyelles Public Charter School, Mansura, LA 

Contact: hmoreau(a)careercompassla.org 

Ever since I was little, my goals in life were simple: to make my family proud and to make a difference in the world. Career Compass gives me this opportunity every day by allowing me to help students as they move along in their high school careers. This difference may seem small to some, but it has a huge impact on each of my students.


 

Robin Tullier - Seminar Supervisor, College & Career Coach

Career Compass Starting Year: 2009 

College Alma Mater(s): Louisiana State University 

Major(s): B.S. Marketing 

High School Alma Mater: Central Private School, Baton Rouge, LA 

Contact: rtullier(a)careercompassla.org 

I feel I’m making a difference because I get to work with some of the best people ever. Together, we go into schools and attempt to motivate and inspire students to do their very best. If one student is affected by something we say in a seminar, then we know we’ve done our jobs.