Dr. Mike Golden Named Education Vice President for Great Circle

Experienced educator oversees 8 behavioral health-focused schools in Missouri

(St. Louis – August 25, 2020) – Great Circle has recently named Mike Golden, EdD, as vice president of education. In his role, he oversees the agency’s educational programming and curriculum standards delivered through eight specialized Great Circle Academy (GCA) schools located throughout Missouri. Dr. Golden succeeds Peppy Howard-Willms, who recently retired after 40 years with Great Circle.

One of the Midwest’s most comprehensive behavioral health nonprofits, Great Circle brings a trauma-informed care approach to more than 40,000 children and families each year from its multiple campuses and community offices located across Missouri and in eastern Kansas.

In his role, Dr. Golden leads a statewide team of professionals responsible for delivering a fully accredited school experience that combines a strong academic curriculum with therapeutic services for students in grades K-12. Collectively, GCA schools educate about 500 children with emotional/behavioral issues, cognitive delays or an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis. GCAs are located in Bonne Terre, Columbia, Farmington, Independence, Lebanon, Marshall, St. James and Webster Groves, Missouri.

“We are excited to welcome Dr. Golden, who bring more than 20 years of special education and educational leadership skills, and a passion for ensuring all students receive the high-quality learning experience they deserve,” said Dr. Paula Fleming, Great Circle’s president and CEO.

“At GCA, we believe in meeting children and families where they are,” said Dr. Golden. “Students come to us because they need additional support not available in a traditional classroom setting. Fortunately, we have the additional resources and caring staff to help them begin to find success in school and to build the skills they will need for lifelong success.”

Golden began his career as a teaching assistant and then special education teacher for 8 years. He has served in district level administrative roles with Dunklin R-5 School District in Herculaneum, MO, Pasco County Schools in Florida, and most recently with Special School District of St. Louis County.

He has a doctorate in educational leadership from Maryville University, his master’s and specialist degrees in educational administration from William Woods University. He resides with his family in Jefferson County.

Great Circle’s mission is to reshape vulnerable lives through a community of partners, teachers and leaders that strengthen families and give children the confidence to create brighter futures. Its behavioral health services include 24-hour care and crisis services, education and day treatment services for children with emotional/behavioral disorders or who are on the autism spectrum, and community-based services, including parental support programs, foster/adoptive care, assessments, crisis management and family stabilization. To learn more about Great Circle, visit www.greatcircle.org.