Ambleside's Board of Directors

Bill St. Cyr, Founder, Director of Training

The unifying concern of Bill St. Cyr’s academic and professional life has been the process by which men and women grow to a maturity which reflects the person of Jesus. He holds a BA in political philosophy from Louisiana State University, an MA in historical theology and spirituality from Catholic University of America, and an MS/PhD in pastoral counseling from Loyola University Maryland. Bill has served as a youth minister, led a discipleship ministry on Capitol Hill, assisted the chaplain of the United States Senate, and spent thousands of hours counseling committed believers whose lives have been something less than love, joy, peace, patience, and kindness. In 2000, Bill’s wife, Maryellen, founded Ambleside of Fredericksburg. Located in the Texas hill country, this school is dedicated to providing an education shaped by the principles of Jesus and the pedagogical insights of British educator, Charlotte Mason. Since 2001, Bill has partnered with Maryellen to foster a reformation in education.

Maryellen St. Cyr, Founder, Director of Curriculum

A professional educator for more than 30 years, Maryellen St. Cyr has spent thousands of hours in the classroom and hundreds of hours observing other teachers. Possessing a passion for a congruent, life- giving method of education, she has become one of the foremost experts on the “common sense” education philosophy of 19th-century British educator, Charlotte Mason. Maryellen is a primary author of When Children Love to Learn and shares insights into education here.

Rodney Nelson

Gregory H. Lorden

It’s about character.  As a business leader, coach, consultant, scout leader, men’s study group leader and co-founder of an Ambleside School of Colorado, Greg’s consistent passion has been character development. Greg spent 30 years in the technology business, most recently as Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Americas at Business Objects until the company was purchased.  He currently serves as Board Chair of Ambleside School of Colorado and heads Leadership Accountability, an executive coach firm assisting C level leaders in building a culture that balances respect and performance.  He graduated from Bridgewater College with a BS in Business Administration, and has enjoyed coaching his four children and others for 21 seasons.  Greg and his wife Kimberley are delighted to have had all of their children benefit from an Ambleside education for more than a decade. 

Ken Ausley

Ken and his wife, Shari, are co-founders of Ambleside School of Ocala.  He currently serves as the school's board chairman.  Ken is the co-owner of Ausley Construction Company and principal of ACA Construction Group and a founding board member and former chairman of First Avenue National Bank. Ken earned a BA in history from Florida State University. After graduation he served for 12 years with a faith-based non-profit and remains active in the non-profit community. He currently serves as president of the Marion County Children’s Advocacy Center; as a member of the Ocala Vision 2035 Leadership Group board, the Marion County Value Adjustment board, and the College of Central Florida CF Institute Advisory Committee.

Dorothy Dersch

Dorothy is passionate about creating an atmosphere where people embrace the unique person God has made them to be. After a 10 year career in cardiac critical care nursing and a move to Florida, she transitioned home to educate their growing family. She embraced homeschooling through their children’s elementary years as she herself studied and applied Charlotte Mason’s philosophy. During those 13 years, her primary goal was to give her children the opportunity to love the act of learning. Their four oldest children are adults intentionally engaged in their families, communities, churches and careers. The Dersch family joined Ambleside School of Ocala in 2011 when their youngest child was adopted internationally. Four of their eight children have attended Ambleside and she has been involved in almost every aspect of the school from nurturing gardens to organizing Shakespeare costumes to teaching in the classroom part-time. Dorothy and her family continue to be active in multiple faith-based non-profits where the goal of the ministry is to lead people to a genuine life of wholeness through healthy attachment.