Compass Academy Network Appoints New Executive Director Mary McDonald

JOPLIN, MO –  May 3, 2022 – Compass Academy Network (CAN) announces Mary McDonald as the new Executive Director of the enrichment program for rural middle school students. The program, now in its fourth year, continues to grow and expand its reach to additional Four State communities. McDonald brings with her a strong administrative background and a wealth of experience working as an educator.

McDonald succeeds Debra Humphreys, who founded Compass Academy Network in 2019 and remains as CEO.

Humphreys said, “We are thrilled that Mary has stepped into this role as CAN embarks on the next phase of its development.  She is an energetic and innovative leader and together with the extraordinary CAN team, will expand the program’s scope in the coming years to drive further positive impact for young people in rural communities throughout the Midwest.”

McDonald first joined CAN in 2021, when she began leading data analytics and curriculum development for the program and has successfully spearheaded many program initiatives.

“My passion is to bring more opportunity to children for growth and learning,” said McDonald. “I believe strongly in the impact of education, and I have seen education truly save lives in my career by illuminating paths previously unseen. At CAN, students experience belonging and challenge. I am proud of what CAN has accomplished so far and excited to work with the dedicated CAN team and local public school partners to continue building on our foundation to support students through the critical middle school years.”

Prior to joining Compass Academy Network, McDonald has worked in education for more than a decade as a math instructor, counselor, and most recently as the principal at Lawrence Gardner High School in Topeka, Kansas. She was drawn to CAN’s mission to help students spark a lifelong curiosity for learning and gain the confidence and skills they need to realize their potential and reach for their dreams. A graduate of Thomas Jefferson Independent Day School, McDonald holds a Bachelor of Arts in Math from Grinnell College, a Master’s in Applied Statistics from Penn State, and a Master’s in Educational Leadership from the University of Kansas.


Compass Academy Network (CAN) is an enrichment program for students in grades 6 through 8 from rural public school districts. The engaging and innovative program helps students spark a curiosity for lifelong learning and develop academic and social skills to help them grow into more competent and confident individuals, students, and citizens. Applications for CAN’s free summer program, which begins July 5th, are currently open online at


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