Mission Statement

To empower and inspire high-potential learners to achieve world-class academic excellence by providing guidance and unique, challenging opportunities in a supportive learning community.

ECAE was founded by parents in the Twin Cities area to provide bright students the chance to go beyond their school curriculum.


Following her retirement in 2006 as gifted resource teacher for the Edina Public Schools, Patty Carney-Bradley collaborated with Edina parent Susan Lee on a plan to offer independently organized educational opportunities and academic advising programs to families of high potential and gifted students, regardless of school affiliation. Along with Karl Bunday, the three founding board members incorporated ECAE in November 2007.

ECAE’s client base grew steadily under this leadership, with increasing numbers of client referrals of new students. After new members joined the board of directors, Patty Carney-Bradley stepped down from the board in 2010 to focus on developing the Successful Females – Girls’ Academy curriculum and program. Susan Lee left the board in February 2011 to return to her career in architecture.

Since its founding, ECAE has served students from ten counties in Minnesota, who travel to the Edina class locations not just for challenging advanced instruction in mathematics and physics but also to join a community of learners who become lifelong friends. ECAE is not a test-preparation program, and is not directly a preparatory program for or a competing program with any other thoughtfully designed mathematics or physics program for gifted learners. But ECAE has been a stepping stone to success for many alumni who have gone on to participate in the University of Minnesota Talented Youth Mathematics Program (UMTYMP), regional Talent Search tests, a variety of mathematics competitions, and national Olympiad competitions in mathematics, physics, and biology. Alumni of ECAE have also been very successful in selective summer programs such as Epsilon Camp and MathPath. ECAE draws students from school-within-a-school programs for highly gifted learners in all the school districts in the greater Twin Cities metropolitan area and from as far away as Hutchinson and Rochester, Minnesota.

Nondiscrimination Policy

Edina Center for Academic Excellence admits students of any race, color, national origin, ethnic origin, and religion to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at Edina Center for Academic Excellence. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ethnic origin, religion, sex, disability, and other basis prohibited by law in administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, and other center-administered programs.