LOUISVILLE, KY. – Goodwill Industries of Kentucky has announced that Dr. Marsha Berry is the interim director of The Excel Center®, Kentucky’s first tuition-free high school for adults. Berry will lead a team of teachers and career coaches to help adults who dropped out of high school earn a state-sanctioned diploma.
“Hiring Dr. Berry as the interim director of our very first Excel Center puts us in a great position to ensure the school gets off to an efficient and effective start,” said DeVone Holt, chief of external affairs. “Her years of experience as a trusted leader will certainly help Goodwill quickly build a respected reputation in the education industry.”
Berry will launch the Excel Center, set to open in the fall at 6201 Preston Highway in Louisville. As the first of its kind in Kentucky, the Excel Center will offer a unique environment that caters to the life demands adult students face. Students will have access to flexible 8-week class schedules, free on-site childcare, transportation assistance, industry-recognized certification options and career counselors who will help graduates transition into college or rewarding careers.
For more information or to enroll, prospective students are encouraged to log on to www.GoodwillKyExcelCenter.org.
The concept of The Excel Center was initiated by Goodwill Education Initiatives, Inc., a nonprofit organization formed by Goodwill of Central & Southern Indiana. Since the first school began operating in Indianapolis in 2010, 31 schools now operate in six states and Washington DC. Collectively, they have graduated more than 8,000 students, provided more than 6,700 industry-recognized certifications and 99% of all graduates earned college credits or industry-recognized certifications. Graduates see an estimated 280% increase in average wages one year after graduation.
Berry retired from Goodwill in July of 2021 but continued to work in a consultant role. When she formally announced her retirement, Goodwill honored Berry by dedicating the Louisville Resource Center at 909 East Broadway to her and her late mother.
After joining Goodwill as human services manager in 1986, Berry was later promoted to vice president of Goodwill’s Beargrass Division, which included 11 retail and donation centers. In 2018, Berry was promoted to vice president of career services for the entire commonwealth.
In 1998, Berry received the Edgar J. Helms Award, one of the highest honors from Goodwill Industries International. The award, named for the organization’s founder, recognizes Goodwill staff for “exemplifying the founder’s principles in the service of people with disabilities and other barriers to productivity.” Berry has also received recognition outside of Goodwill where she was named one of Louisville Business First’s “20 People to Know in Nonprofits.” She has also served as president of the Kentucky Rehabilitation Association and the Kentucky Rehabilitation Administrators Association.
Berry previously worked for Land of Lincoln Goodwill Industries in Springfield, Illinois, as a vocational evaluator and Lima (Ohio) Goodwill Industries as a vocational evaluation aide. Berry received her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown College, a master’s in clinical psychology from the University of Illinois at Springfield and her doctorate in clinical psychology at Spalding University in Louisville.
About Goodwill Industries of Kentucky
Goodwill Industries of Kentucky is a 99-year-old non-profit organization that operates in 103 of Kentucky’s 120 counties. The organization is committed to using resources from its 67 retail stores to help build pathways out of poverty for men, women and young adults who need a hand-up in life. In 2021, Goodwill helped place 2,636 Kentuckians into jobs with 871 of its employer partners and inside its own retail stores. Goodwill uses approximately 90 cents from every dollar generated in its retail stores to operate programs and services that help Kentucky’s hardest-to-serve jobseekers build the life they desire.