CAF Executive Team

Last Updated: 10/30/2020 4:30 PM

 

Sam Joseph, Founder and Chairman
Before founding the Covenant Academies Foundation, Sam Joseph opened Muskegon Covenant Academy, the Covenant House Academies in Grand Rapids and Detroit, and served as the founding Executive Director for Covenant House Michigan from 1997-2013.  There he established two residential programs to house 75 young adults, a Street Outreach program, as well as job readiness and education opportunities. Prior to 97, Joseph served as the administrator of mental health services for the Catholic Medical Center of Brooklyn and Queens in Jamaica, New York. There he developed and managed psychiatric inpatient and outpatient services for four hospitals and three long-term facilities.  He developed programs that provided services to HIV infected infants, adolescents and pregnant women.  Joseph also established and administered a specialized 168-bed program for mentally ill homeless adults, which became a model for the State of New York.
 
This administrative experience dates back to 1973 and includes 16 years to emotionally troubled young people.  He has been an adjunct lecturer for post-graduate students in Mental Health Administration at the New School for Social Research and a visiting scholar at Columbia University, both in New York City.
 
Joseph received a BA in English Literature from Loyola College; an LPH in Rational Psychology and Natural Law from the College of the Jesuits; an MFA in Communications (Mass Media) from Columbia University in New York; and a post graduate certificate in mental health administration from the New School for Social Research in New York.

Sam Joseph

 

 

 

 

Gretchen LaHaie, Director of Operational Services
Gretchen LaHaie is a founding member of the Covenant Academies Foundation. She is responsible for ensuring the academies uphold the mission of CAF and providing budgetary/HR oversight, compliance with the charter school authorizer and Michigan Department of Education, marketing development, and serves as the board secretary.

Prior to working with Sam Joseph, LaHaie served disadvantaged youth as the Business Community Liaison for the Gerald R. Ford Job Corps Center for 5 years. There she oversaw community and business outreach, congressional advocacy, work-based learning and a center-wide student/staff mentoring program. She has also taught high school social studies and spent 7 years working in the Michigan Legislature as a legislative assistant for members of both the Michigan House and Senate.  
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LaHaie graduated with a bachelors degree in Public Policy with a secondary education certification from Michigan State University and earned a Masters in Educational Leadership from Grand Valley State University. She is also an active member of the Michigan School Business Officials (MSBO) organization. 

Gretchen LaHaie

 

 

Joe Tenbusch, Senior Director of Retention and Mission Values
As Senior Director, Joe’s responsibility is to ensure that all adults and students live their lives so that we are able to manifest our mission.   

Joe earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and master’s from Harvard University.  As part of KIPP’s Leadership Training program, Joe studied education and organizational management at Stanford University.  He taught World History at Noble Street Charter High School where he would later earn his first experience as an administrator. 

Joe founded Rowe-Clark Math & Science Academy in Chicago’s East Garfield Park in 2006 and Detroit’s Promise Schools in 2013.  Additionally, he has coached many sports through the years including volleyball, soccer, and rugby.  In 2003, he started the first girls’ high school rugby team in Illinois and later founded the Noble Rugby League for boys’ and girls’ teams all throughout Chicago.

 

 

 

 

Amanda Acker, Director of Academic Progress
Amanda Acker is responsible for compliance with the Michigan Department of Education (MDE), the authorizer, federal grants, technology, and special programs. She oversees academic progress for all three Covenant Academy schools. Amanda works to ensure academic programs are in place so students meet their goal of graduating high school.  

Prior to working for the Covenant Academies Foundation, Amanda was the Special Programs Manager at Insight School of Michigan in which she directed Special Education, Section 504 and the English Learner program. She also spent 17 years in the classroom teaching special education.

Amanda graduated from Central Michigan University with a bachelor's degree in Special Education, Earth Science, and Health Education. She has also earned her Masters in Educational Leadership from Grand Valley State University.  She is an active member of Michigan Associate of Administrators of Special Education (MAASE).