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 ikeuch 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, 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
Head of High School
High School History
Student Government Sponsor
Spelling Bee 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 is currently working on 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 Online 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
Head of the Elementary & Middle School
Elementary School Teacher
AESA Writing Specialist

June Patty is very excited about joining the AESA Prep Academy teaching staff. 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. Sarah is a nursing student at Mary Hardin Baylor, Iryna works at a dude ranch in Colorado and Joe is a Junior at AESA.

Audie Alcorn
Co-Associate Head of School
Middle School Math
Wildlife Program Director

Audie Alcorn has been teaching at AESA since January 2015, and also serves as a Co-Associate Head of School and as Head of the Math Department. He has been teaching for 8 years, in a variety of settings – including at three different private Montessori schools and one inner-city public school, as well as at AESA – and has also tutored students in math and other subjects. He received his teaching diploma from the Montessori Training Center of Minnesota in 2009. Mr. Alcorn has earned two Bachelor’s degrees – one in Accounting from Southwestern University and one in Philosophy from the University of Arizona – and a Master’s degree in Philosophy from Texas Tech. He was also a graduate student in Philosophy at Rice University for one year.

Mr. Alcorn’s broad range of work experience outside of the classroom includes several years as an interpreter/educator at Zion National Park, as a buyer for Whole Foods Market, and as an editor for Great Potential Press. He loves teaching and working with young people – and when he’s taking time off from that he enjoys running, music, writing, quilting, reading, and spending time with his wife Colette and stepson Noah.

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.

Rachel Dory
Director – AESA Fine Arts Program
Director of Marketing

Rachel Dory, a National Merit Scholar, received her BFA summa cum laude from the University of Washington in 1997. Rachel has received multiple awards for her work, and was honored as the Washington State Artist Trust Grant recipient in 2009.

Rachel Dory is a fine artist and digital media professional with over twenty years of experience in photography, website design, graphic design, video production and digital illustration as well as fine art production. In her professional design career she worked as art director of interactive exhibit production for contracts at the Museum of History and Industry in Seattle, WA and the National Law Enforcement Museum in Washington, DC.

Rachel now lives in Austin, Texas with her husband Sean and their two daughters. In addition to teaching at AESA she is currently focusing on producing paintings for fine art exhibitions and is the owner of HS Creative, a digital interactive design and marketing agency in Austin Texas. In her free time Rachel is also an avid tennis player.

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.

Clint Walker, Esq, PE
Introduction to Engineering
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.

Diego Leal
Spanish

I am excited to come aboard AESA Prep Academy as a grade 1-4 Spanish educator.  For me,  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.

I hold a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from the University of Texas – Pan American. Over the past ten years, I 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. I look forward to sharing my experiences and knowledge and as well as continuing to learn from my students.  Please feel free to contact me if you should have any questions.

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 and for 100% of her students passing the end of the year Algebra 1 exam for six straight years.

Caro has planned and organized Math work shops. She is also fluent in Spanish, and has extensive experience in PSAT, SAT, and ACT prep. Caro has taught for 32 years and will also be teaching Junior English this year. 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. Caro has taught for 32 years and will be teaching Pre-Algebra and Pre-Calculus this school year.

Jennifer Bristol

MS & HS French Teacher
English 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.

Lizzy Overby
Physical Education

Lizzy is very excited to begin this new adventure teaching at AESA Prep Academy. 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.

She is thrilled to build up the P.E., health & athletic department at AESA.

Lizzy currently lives in Dripping Springs with her husband, Connor, and two 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

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.

Kaylee Pena
4th Grade & 6th Grade

My name is Kaylee Pena and I am a certified ESL and EC-8th grade teacher.  This school year I will be teaching 4th grade Math, Language Arts, Science, and History, as well as 6th grade Science at AESA Prep Academy.  I am a dedicated teacher with a passion for helping scholars reach their full academic potential . I am a firm believer in hands-on learning and try to activate students’ engagement using many of the multiple intelligences. I have taught all subject areas at the elementary level and look forward to expanding my impact to middle school.

Prior to joining the AESA family, I taught at the elementary level for Corpus Christi and Austin Independent School Districts. During my tenure at my previous school districts, I received extensive training in implementing higher level thinking skills through Dr. Sandra Kaplan’s Depth and  Complexity as well as training in an arts rich education called The Creative Learning Initiative. This is my first year at AESA, and I am extremely excited to have the privilege to teach your scholars.  Please feel free to contact me with any questions, I am always happy to help.

Lily Benson

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.

Nhu Nguyen
Algebra, Geometry, Test Prep

Nhu Nguyen is from Vietnam and she has been living in Austin, TX the last fourteen years. She went to Texas State University where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and minor in Secondary Education. She loves the interactions with students, being able to share her knowledge, and inspires students to explore more in math.

This will be her first year teaching at AESA Prep Academy and she is thrilled to join the AESA family. She will teach Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2 and Test Prep classes. She is looking forward to a wonderful and exciting year with her students.

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.