AESA Faculty and Staff

The faculty and administrators at AESA Prep Academy are creative thinkers who are passionate about their disciplines and dedicated to their students. The small size of our classes allows our teachers to spend as much individual time with each student as they need, and creates an environment where students actively engage in the learning process every day. At AESA Prep Academy, every student participates!

AESA teachers are committed to both academic excellence and social development. Children are enabled to discuss and explore ideas in a safe, nurturing environment that allows them to reach their full potential both as scholars and as young men and women.

Every AESA parent is welcome to communicate directly with the teachers at AESA, and can log into our secure system to track the progress of their child.

Barbara Garza
AESA Prep Academy CEO & Head of School

For 6 years prior to starting up AESA, Barbara was Dean of Students for the 9th and 10th grades at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School.  Barbara is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin.  She was Student Leadership & Wellness Department Chair overseeing Health, Physical Education, Student Leadership and the ROTC classes for McNeil High School.  Barbara was also a member of McNeil High School’s Leadership Team.

Barbara has over 30 years of educational experience, including extensive experience working with at risk students and has received the Governor of Texas Teaching Excellence Award.  She has been the Varsity Boys and Girls Tennis Coach at Katy Taylor High School, Rockwall High School and Pflugerville High School.Barbara has been an Honors Biology teacher, Health teacher, Supervisor of Student Teachers from the University of Texas, CATCH Curriculum Director for AISD, member of the AISD Superintendent’s Teacher Advisory Board, a Student Government sponsor, a dorm parent, and House Leader. She developed a Special Education program entitled “Partners in PE” that was recognized by the City of Round Rock for assisting students with special needs.

Barbara founded the McNeil Spirit Blazers, a community service program with over 350 students each year.In 2014, Barbara was featured  in the Austin Women’s Magazine as the Head of School for AESA Prep Academy and was featured in the April 2015 edition of Austin Family Magazine in an article comparing the homework policies and school philosophy’s of AESA, St. Andrews and St. Stephen’s.

Jose Garcia
Co-Associate Head of School
Head of  High School
History Teacher
HS Student Government Sponsor

Jose studied History at St. Edwards University in Austin,Texas and aims to expand history from what is the status quo in History Education.  Jose has nearly completed his Master’s Degree at St. Edwards University in Education. Jose’s historical and educational philosophies stem from a deep understanding of the need for differentiated instruction to meet the needs of individual students.

“History is much more than just a blow off course taught by the high school football coach in his off hours. It is what makes us who we are. It defines us as a community, a nation, and as world citizens. It should not be about memorizing dates to fill in a worksheet, it should instead be a living thing that students come to know and understand. History is about understanding the story of our people, and recognizing we are all more connected than we know.”

Rick Garza
CFO of AESA Prep Academy
Director of AESA Prep International Online

Rick earned his BBA from the University of Texas at Austin. He has 24 years of experience working in the accounting/finance field at UT where he has been responsible for annual budgets ranging from 5 to 30 million dollars. Rick served as Business Manager for the University of Texas Law School Library for 15 years and this past year left UT as the Senior Financial Analyst for PETEX in the Department of Continuing Education. Rick officially joined AESA Prep Academy in 2014, as the Director of AESA Prep International (API) and continues his duties as the CFO of AESA Prep Academy as he has done since 2009.

Rick is very happy to be working with his wife, Barbara.

June Patty
Co-Associate Head of School
5th Grade Teacher

June Patty is a long time revered faculty member of  AESA Prep Academy. At one time June has served as the Head of the Elementary School and the Head of the Middle School.  She has also served as the English Department Chair and has taught courses in the Middle and High School. Now that June has a grandchild, she has pared down her responsibilities and she is serving as the 5th grade teacher and is consulting with AESA as needed.

June has a long and illustrious career in education and truly is “the salt of the Earth”. After receiving a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Texas, June began her teaching career in first grade in Houston, Texas. Over the past 25 years her experience has been in both public and private schools around the world in grades K-8th. She also had the privilege of sharing her love of learning and teaching skills with children in South Korea and Africa.

June and her husband Alan have been married for 37 years and have 3 wonderful children. June and Alan are now proud grandparents as well!!

Kyle Overby
Director of International Programming

Kyle received a Masters in Global Policy Studies from the prestigious LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. Kyle originally joined the team at AESA Prep Academy to teach Spanish language and Latin American culture. At AESA he continues to host the Model UN, organize field trips, and promote cultural exchange. Kyle also serves on the Board of Directors at the Mother Maryam Foundation, where he works on projects that expand access to clean water, healthcare, and education in developing countries.

Kyle has extensive experience and expertise in Latin America, the Middle East, and North Africa. He is fluent in Spanish and has achieved elementary proficiency in Arabic. In his personal life, Kyle is driven by a thirst for international travel. He has been proudly shaped by his hometown, Austin, Texas. He loves to watch live music, eat well, and go on adventures in the great outdoors.

Clint Walker, Esq, PE
Introduction to Engineering, Introduction to Business, Mechanics UTDC
Introduction to Law
Calculus I & II

Clint Walker is a Texas Native with a diverse education and professional career. He holds a BS and MS degree in Civil Engineering from Texas Tech University, a MA in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix and a Juris Doctorate (Cum Laude and Bar Review) from Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, CA. He has held licenses as a Professional Engineer in Texas, Oklahoma, California, Arizona and Nevada, and an Attorney at Law in California. He is a Certified Legal Mediator, Board Certified Environmental Engineer and Certified Construction Documents Technologist.

Clint has practiced for over 30 years as a consulting engineer, specializing in water resource and led public and private projects throughout the southwest United States. As a Lawyer, he practiced as a mediator for the San Diego Superior Court and the San Diego Mediation Center.

A lifelong tennis player, Clint’s wife Sue, daughter Samantha and son Jeffrey are all avid players. Samantha is in Nursing School at Stephen F. Austin University. Jeff is a freshman in high school and a Super Champ in the 14 and under.

Bill Carey
Precalculus, Calculus 1 and 2, UC Berkley dual credit Calculus 1 and 2

Mr. Bill Carey, math teacher extraordinaire, was born in New England and raised in Florida, where he initially worked at what would become the Kennedy Space Center, to then spend 35 years teaching math at Melbourne High School. While at Melbourne, he coached football, tennis and track, and served as the Athletic and Activities Director.  In 1972, Mr. Carey received a NSF grant to attend Florida State University where he received his Master’s Degree in Math Education. Before ending up in Austin, Mr. Carey taught an additional 5 years in North Carolina at West Rowan High School.  Fortunately for AESA Prep Academy, Mr. Carey moved to Austin to be with 3 of his 10 grandchildren and has been with us for the past 2 years teaching calculus.  

Dr. Verlinda Angell
Reading and Learning Specialist
and Author

Dr. Verlinda Angell has spent her educational career investigating how to enhance learning for students of all ages. She has written multiple chapters and articles; and just recently published her co-authored book, Instructional Assessment: An Essential Path for Guiding Reading Instruction. Her career started with teaching in her hometown of Hatch, New Mexico, now known as the Chile Capital of the World. With a master’s degree from UNM, she moved to teach in the lush area of Lake Tahoe and Reno, Nevada. Always looking for more answers led her to earn an Education Doctorate (Ed.D.) in Curriculum and Instruction from UNR.

Verlinda ran her own private tutoring practice for several years but was enticed into teacher preparation for UNR, NMSU, and SUU where she retired with emeritus status. Thanks to her husband, who was raised in Austin, her married adult children, and new grandchildren who live here, Verlinda loves residing in Texas.  Her passion for teaching, learning, literacy, technology, and the brain is now an asset at AESA.  With her growing interest in and strategies for mindfulness, growth mindset, and academic grit, Verlinda adds even more ways to enhance literacy and learning in general for our scholars.

Caro Palmatier
Mathematics

Caro Palmatier is a fabulous all-level Math teacher who excels in teaching Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Geometry, Pre Calculus, Calculus, and Physics. Caro writes and constructs math problems for the Princeton Review, the SAT and the ACT. She is a resourceful and committed teacher, with excellent communication skills, relating well to all types of people. Caro has taught Math at the elementary, middle school and high school levels, and has created and introduced new curriculum for middle and high school math courses. Caro has been recognized as the teacher of the month/year many times.

Caro has been teaching for 35 years! Caro has planned and organized Math work shops and has extensive experience in PSAT, SAT, and ACT prep.  She has taught in the Lake Travis ISD, Edinburg ISD, has worked with Oakhill technology and Ignite Learning. Please check the Lakeway newspaper that recognizes Caro’s excellent teaching skills, under our News and Events tab.

Diego Leal
Head of the Middle School, Global Languages Department Chair, Spanish Teacher, MS Student Government Sponsor

Diego has been a very positive force at AESA Prep Academy.  For Diego,  “Teaching Spanish is much more than merely imparting on young minds the ability to read, write, and speak a foreign language.  I believes the importance of opening one’s mind to learning about and embracing other cultures, and the perspective and enrichment it brings to one’s life.

I bring a lifetime of multiculturalism that I will leverage to broaden students’ to learn a love for learning and an appreciation for other cultures, and grow up to be a successful, contributing members of society.  I was born and raised in the culturally diverse border-town of McAllen, Texas, where both Mexican and American cultures have blended together to make one very unique community. I had the privilege of experiencing both cultures first hand and was raised by parents of Mexican decent who only spoke Spanish in the household, and while assimilating into the American culture through the education system.”

Diego holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from the University of Texas – Pan American. Over the past ten years, he has had a wide array of professional experience, thriving in globally diverse industries by utilizing my bilingual proficiency and ability to recognize and bridge the gaps in different cultures. He looks forward to sharing his experiences and knowledge and as well as continuing to learn from my students.

Lizzy Overby
Campus Coordinator, Physical Education, Psychology and Criminal and Forensics Psychology Teacher

Lizzy is an integral part of making AESA Prep Academy great!!. She is a lifelong Austinite from Lake Travis. She went to Texas State where she earned a Bachelors of Science degree in Psychology with a minor in Forensic Psychology. During college, she coached a middle school girls select basketball team in Lake Travis. She is certified in Early Childhood-6 and Physical Education. After college, Lizzy worked as a therapeutic child specialist at a residential treatment center in Austin. She has worked as a one on one teaching assistant for a special needs child for the past three years.

Lizzy has been building the P.E., Health & Psychology Department as AESA as well as the athletic department at AESA.

Lizzy lives in Dripping Springs with her husband, Connor, and three sons, where she enjoys hiking, swimming and baking up a storm.

“It is fun to have fun but you have to know how” – Dr. Suess

Peggy Finnegan-Boyes
Head of the Elementary School
Fine Arts Chair

Hello!  I am so excited to be apart of the AESA family. I love interacting with our young students and inspiring them to have a passion for learning. I thoroughly enjoy teaching art, photography and digital media. I have been teaching visual art and technology for eight years in Illinois and just moved here to Austin in 2016.

I grew up in the Chicagoland area and earned an M.S. in Art Education from Illinois State University and a B.S. in Food Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  I earned my National Board Certification for Early and Middle Childhood Art in 2012.

I believe art and tech education is vital to lifelong learning skills and problem solving. I specialize in ceramics and drawing, and throughout my eight years of teaching I have also taught painting, sculpture, digital media, design thinking, technology, and middle school journalism.  In addition, I taught Illinois State University college undergraduates methods of teaching art education and methods of teaching technology to students.

I live in downtown Austin with my husband, Parker, and our two dogs, Lucky and Lola.  In my spare time, I am a professional cake decorator and I enjoy live music shows, reading and exploring the many different places in Austin.

Sue Walker
MS History Teacher
English Teacher

I grew up in New York but left the East Coast to pursue my education at the University of Arizona where I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Marketing.  After having worked in the financial field for many years, the opportunity to transition into teaching was made available.

I taught early education at a private school in Austin for 5 years and have regularly substituted at AESA over the last 4 years.  The best part about teaching is the interaction I get to have with your child. I look forward to getting to know them and watching them learn and grow throughout the year.

In my spare time, I enjoy tennis, yoga, reading and traveling. I live with my husband, our son, our daughter, and two pets.

Jennifer Bristol

MS & HS French Teacher

Jennifer grew up in Louisiana and earned her MA in French Literature at the University of Notre Dame and her MA in Education at Pepperdine University. Jennifer lived in Japan for two years teaching English and traveling throughout Asia. Jennifer is certified to teach French and ESL to all ages, preschool to adult.

In her 20 years as an educator, she has taught university, high school, middle school, elementary, and preschool students in the United States, Japan, and France and is eager to continue her work at AESA Prep.

She is married to her husband, Mark, and mother to two children, Evelyn and Walter, whom she views to be her biggest adventure thus far in life. She loves to travel, play with her children and dogs, and explore the great outdoors.

Nhu Nguyen
Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Math Test Prep

Nhu Nguyen is from Vietnam and she has been living in Austin, TX the last fifteen years. She attended Texas State University where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics and minor in Secondary Education. She loves interacting with her students, being able to share her knowledge, and inspire students to enjoy and appreciate the wonders of mathematics.

This will be her third year teaching at AESA Prep Academy and she enjoys the AESA community very much. Nhu primarily teaches Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2 and Math Test Prep classes. Nhu is an exceptional math teacher!

Rob Holmes
Science, Biology, Physics, Computer Science

Hi my name is Rob Holmes and I am originally from Norwich, England but have been an Austin resident for 4 years now. I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Tarleton State University and this will be my third year as a teacher.  I am very excited about joining AESA Prep Academy this year, and look forward to challenging all my students! This year I will be teaching 8th grade Science, 9th grade Biology, 11th grade Physics and a Computer Applications/Science class.

Football (soccer) is a major part of my life; it’s pretty much my religion! I will not have a weekday or weekend without watching or playing! This passion got me into coaching this wonderful sport and I have been doing so for 5 years now. I have several licenses but I recently got my USSF D license.

Outside of school I play a lot of sports recreationally such as soccer, softball, volleyball and more. I also enjoy listening to live music, eating different foods and traveling around the world.

Bobbi Bone 
Sciences, Math, and  SAT Prep

Bobbi grew up in Michigan and attended the University of Michigan, graduating with a bachelors degree in Chemical Engineering.  She then moved to Texas to work for Motorola (subsequently Freescale) in technical sales and marketing for almost 15 years.  This career took her around the world, training and working with customers and sales.  As her family grew, she gave up this career to raise her children.
Driven by a passion for working with children and teaching, Bobbi opened the Kumon Math and Reading Center in Dripping Springs.
Dripping Springs Elementary requested that Bobbi come and teach math and reading intervention, which she did for five years.  She also was a substitute teacher for all grade levels in DSISD.
Bobbi is currently teaching Biology, 6th grade math and science, SAT prep, math lab, and Cinematic Concepts.

Lily Benson

Mandarin Chinese, Attendance Coordinator

In 2006, China selected its first group of representatives to promote Chinese language and culture in the US.  Hanban, the International Chinese Language Council (also runs the Confucius Institute), assembled a teacher exchange program and selected five members to travel to the US.  Lily was one of these five members.  From 2006 through 2008, she taught Mandarin in Lee’s Summit School District, MO.  During this time, she received additional training in the Total Physical Response Storytelling (TPRS) method and taught in elementary, middle school and high school classrooms.  As a citizen ambassador for her country’s culture, she also have spoken to groups of all kinds in America.

In 2011, Lily received her Masters Degree in “Teaching Chinese as second Language” in Beijing Normal University.  Her graduate study focused on American standards of instruction.

She has two beautiful children. In her spare time, she enjoys travelling, jogging and playing piano.

Laura Whipple
Anatomy, Physiology
Administrative

Hi! My name is Dr. Laura. I am originally from Canada but have been a resident of Austin, TX for 16 years. I have a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Parker University in Dallas, TX and a Bachelor of Science in psychology and physiology from the University of Toronto. My husband Todd is also a chiropractor and we have two children Luke and Paige who are students at AESA.

In my non-teaching life I own a business called Neuroperformance Austin where we use neurofeeback technology to enhance the psychological performance of our patients. I am also very involved in the foster program at Austin Pets Alive and you will often find lots of extra dogs at our house! In my spare time, I love anything outdoors and am an avid triathlete, cyclist and trail runner.

Asia McMullin
Health Teacher

I am honored to join the AESA Prep School family. I have been providing lunches for AESA, going on my 3rd year now. It has been a wonderful and rewarding experience getting to know the students and teachers.  Now,  I am afforded the opportunity to teach where my passion lies,  health/nutrition.  I earned my degree in nutrition and dietetics from UT/Austin- Coordinated Undergraduate Program. With all I have learned and continue to learn about how nutrition affects every cell in our body, I continue to be excited about educating others on the  vital role nutrition plays in determining one’s quality of life, which in turn contributes to enjoying  life. I have been teaching these principles to clients for more than 20 years, now I am excited to have the opportunity  to place the seed in our younger generation about the importance of developing healthy eating choices as a way of life.

I have worked with actors (Harry Connick Jr. Sandra Bullock), musicians ( Los Lonely Boys), athletes ( UT football team) and the every day professional, all of which have been extremely rewarding and  have helped me develop a better understanding of human behavior on eating habits.  My objective with this class is for students to become aware of how and why nutrition is important as a part of their lifestyle.

I look forward to engaging with students and parents on all topics nutrition, health and exercise!