Meet our Team!

Founder & Director of Education

Wafaa Elghoroury

After years of struggling with finding the right education for her children and the right career for herself, Wafaa finally realized that sometimes a good fit needs to be tailored.

Wafaa sought a special education degree in order to gather the information she needed for individualizing education. Her previous medical and psychology degrees coupled with the special education and Montessori training armed her with knowledge of child development and best practices in education.

Wafaa learned about curriculum development and integration, community building, and fostering integrity, independence, leadership, respect, and peace in the school environment. She works closely with Sphinx Academy staff to fulfill the school’s mission for creating a transformative educational model for our students.

Learning Coaches / Teacher-Authors

Nancy Werner

Nancy grew up in Canada where she began a career as an R.N. at the age of 19, later obtaining her BSN. She has lived in Germany and Australia. For a brief time, she was a nurse here in Lexington–before staying home to raise her children. She then earned a master’s degree in education, and she has since taught middle-school language arts and science, as well as a summer writing camp. She has written short stories and a novella. She believes that everyone has stories to tell and can write; that writing and creativity are skills that can be learned and developed.

Jennifer Lincoln

Jennifer’s education and experience are mainly with alternative education where she focused on academic differentiation as well as working with students to build organizational and study skills. In addition to her background in education, she is also trained in the Orton-Gillingham method used to help students with dyslexia.

Ben Saderholm

Ben thinks a lot about math and bugs. He’s happiest when he’s talking about four-dimensional shapes. Foreign languages and cultures fascinate him. When he’s not working, you’ll find him folding origami, folk dancing, reading, and hiking.
He grew up in small-town Kentucky and earned his BA in Mathematics and Russian from Grinnell College in Iowa. After graduating, he worked in math classrooms in a paraprofessional role for several years. He earned a master’s degree in Secondary Education from the University of Kentucky.
Ben finds beauty and joy in mathematics (though he recognizes this as a controversial view). In the classroom, he focuses on helping students repair their relationship with math, by strengthening foundational skills, by making connections between areas of math, and by sharing his excitement for topics which don’t appear in standard math curricula.

Admissions Officer

Marialyce Gradek

Marialyce was born and raised in Alexandria, VA, just outside of Washington, DC. She earned her B.A. degree in Journalism from Virginia Tech and her MS degree in Communications from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. She worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers out of the Atlanta and Louisville offices for four years before leaving the workforce to raise her triplets now age 14. In 2007 Marialyce rejoined the workforce as Business Manager for Providence Montessori School, where she worked until 2011 when she started her own business, Trio Bookkeeping Solutions, LLC. Through this business, Marialyce became bookkeeper for Sphinx Academy in its inaugural year, then joined us as a permanent staff member and Office Administrator in February 2017. In addition to handling all of our accounting needs, Marialyce also performs the duties of an Admissions Officer, Registrar and Website Administrator.

Board Members

Wafaa Elghoroury

Yolande Jones

Debbie Arbaugh

Brad Clark

Eric Patrick Marr

Andrea Fiero

Blayne Borden