Increasing Each Student's Academic Performance

  • Reading
  • Math
  • Algebra
  • Study Skills

Meet the Team

Whether they’re teaching comprehension, working out Algebra problems, or playing foosball, the A+ Team is dedicated to increasing each student’s academic performance.



Stephanie Talley, B.S.


Originally from Vacaville, California, Stephanie earned her degree from Brigham Young University in Elementary Education with a minor in music. After teaching in Utah for several years, Stephanie, and her husband, Mike, relocated to Mike's home state of Texas. She began her A+ career as an instructor in 2013. She later moved into the Assistant Director, then Director position, until July 2015 when she purchased the business from the Crenwelges. Stephanie and Mike have two sons, Stephen and Soren, as well as a cat, a dog, two snakes, and six frogs. Stephanie's favorite movie is "The Nightmare Before Christmas," and she is an avid Harry Potter fan. On Sundays when A+ is closed, Stephanie can be found at church playing the organ.

Melinda Crenwelge, Ph.D.


Previously a classroom teacher in Frisco ISD, Melinda holds a B.S. in Kinesiology from Texas Women's University, an M.S. in Biology from East Texas State University (now Texas A&M Commerce), and a Ph.D. in Reading/Science Education, also from TWU. She and her husband, Mark Crenwelge, M.A., founded Academics Plus in 1991. They are the parents of three children--Jay, Ben, and Brianna--and they have one delightful grandson, Matthew. Melinda believes strongly in being fit in spirit, mind and body and actively involved in service to her community. She is an active member the Waco Sunrise Rotary club and past president of the McKinney Rotary Club, following in her father's, Dean Pratt (Fredericksburg and McKinney Rotary Clubs), and grandfather's, Harold Metzger (Akron Ohio Rotary Club), footsteps. In addition to her position at A+, Melinda consults with small business owners to incorporate a more dynamic and successful culture. She enjoys spending time with her family, friends, church, horses, dogs, and peacocks.

Sarah Jackson, M.A.

Assistant Director

Sarah earned her M.A. in Teaching in 2012 & B.A. Psychology, minor Religious Studies in 2011, all from Austin College. She joined A+ as Instructor in July 2012. She returned as Assistant Director in June 2014 after a year of classroom teaching to pursue her passion of individualized, prescriptive instruction. Sarah enjoys singing, painting, collecting children's books, and watching movies. She once even sang a Sunday mass at Notre Dame Cathedral! Her favorite book is "Thank You, Mr. Falker," by Patricia Polacco, and her favorite movie is "Fried Green Tomatoes." When she isn't at work she is spending time with her husband Brandon and her fur babies, Sandy, Sugar and Pepper.

Elyse Peters

Office Assistant

Previously a drum major for the Melissa High School Band, Elyse finishes high school in January of 2017. She enjoys crafts, theater, napping, and she's a terrific gift-giver. Elyse's favorite book is "To Kill a Mockingbird" and her favorite movie is "While You Were Sleeping." In addition to her work and family involvement, Elyse is also the chorister at church while Stephanie plays the organ. Elyse is involved in many other church activities, which includes preparing to serve an 18-month mission next year!

Sonya Ponse, B.S.

Lead Instructor

Sonya earned her B.S. in Criminal Justice from TAMU-Commerce in 1993. She joined A+ as instructor here in McKinney during our Wilmer-Hutchins I.S.D. program from 1996-2000, again from 2004-2005 as Lead Instructor and from July-Nov 2011. Family duties called her away and she returned to A+ in Oct 2013 teaching, testing, meeting with classroom teachers, and adjusting instructional programs.

Carolyn Ward, B.S.


Carolyn is a retired McKinney ISD School teacher of over 30 years! When she's not at A+, you might find her substitute teaching at an elementary school.

Daniel Daughenbaugh, M.B.A.


Daniel joined Academics Plus in August of 2014, and he also works a substitute teacher. A self-proclaimed "lover of life," Daniel holds an M.B.A. from McNeese State University. Daniel's favorite musician is Willie Nelson, and his favorite book is "The Lonesome Dove." Outside of A+, Daniel loves spending time with his nieces and nephews, reading, exercising, and watching sports. Daniel has a great sense of humor and never takes himself or small matters too seriously.

Christian Smith, B.A.


Christian is a Baylor University graduate with a B.A. in Communication Specialist. At Baylor, she was an Orientation and Line Camp leader, where she greeted the incoming Freshman class and led campus tours. She was also a English, Spanish, Sociology, and Communications tutor while attending Baylor. She is currently a 2nd grade teacher for Lewisville ISD and previously worked for the Southern Methodist University Summer Youth Program. Christian enjoys going to the movies, shopping, running, hiking, and going to the lake. Her favorite book is "The Great Gatsby" and her favorite movie is "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." Christian studied abroad in Madrid, Spain for 6 months. While abroad she traveled to Valencia, London, Paris, Rome, Florence, and Barcelona. She even performed in a Spanish Dance showcase!