Scott Donovan, Director of OPTIONS Transitions to Independence, began his tenure with the institution in 2005. He supports all functions of the post-secondary program and serves as a liaison to the Brehm Preparatory School Board of Trustees. With his long-standing service, he brings a unique ability to connect with the campus’ diverse student population, a warm sensitivity to their needs, and an application of such insight to the planning and implementation of services. These attributes are anchored to his ongoing dedication to supporting a holistic programming model.

Scott’s passion for moving students toward independence was fostered at a young age, with his advocacy for students with complex learning disabilities beginning long before his career at OPTIONS. Previously, he has served as a Life Skills Aide, Academic Coach, Recreation Aide, and Independent Living Coach, ultimately accepting a promotion to OPTIONS Director of Independent Living in 2007. This role allowed Scott to express (and further explore) his dedication to experiential education and diverse programming skills, including the creation of a Balancing Relationships Workshop that continues to teach students how to identify and create healthy boundaries with others. Other programs that Scott has developed include the Culinary Diversity Night events and the implementation of a diverse recreation program, each of which has allowed students to step out of their comfort zone and be introduced to a wide array of activities each week.

Former Head of School, Jeremy Robbins, with the support of the Board of Trustees, approved Scott’s promotion to Director of OPTIONS upon Char Reed’s retirement from the program after thirty-five years of dedication. Scott has been serving in the director role with dignity and a passion to lead since 2019—qualities instilled in him by his predecessor.

Scott has a Bachelor of Science with a focus on Recreation and Leisure Service Management from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He has also been certified as an Outdoor Educator by the Wilderness Educations Association after completing rigorous training (including a 30-day course in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness). He has also worked as a lead guide for the FISH TECH Program at Camp Lincoln in Nisswa, MN. This was a recreational initiative modeled after the famous InFisherman’s Camp Fish, at which Scott was a camper in the early 90s.

Scott believes that instilling a safe, engaged learning environment is key to the success of the program, and he dutifully ensures that the OPTIONS Team understands how each individual student learns differently. The team then creates an individual program plan to provide a student-focused approach to academic, vocational, speech and language, clinical and independent living services.

Scott Donovan, Director of OPTIONS, can be reached at (618) 549-4201 or via email at scott.donovan@experienceoptions.org.