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.

Administration Team

Barbara Garza - AESA Prep Academy CEO & Head of School

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

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.”

Diego Leal - Head of Middle School

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.

June Patty - Co-Associate Head of School

June Patty
Head of Elementary School, 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 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.

Rick Garza - Chief Financial Officer

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.

Support Administration Team

Carrie Cockyane - Administrative Staff Supervisor & Attendance

Carrie Cockyane

Supervisor, Administrative Staff

Bookkeeper, Substitute Teacher

A native Texan and graduate of Southwest Texas University, Carrie has been in the Dripping Springs area for over 25 years. With her degree in Home Economics, Carrie spent most of her career as a wife and wonderful mom, raising 3 (now grown) kids.
It’s her passion for children and education, coupled with her caring personality that make her a great fit for her Jill-of-all-trades role at AESA. From bookkeeping, to planning events and from substitute teaching to picking up breakfast tacos for staff meetings, Carrie ensures the AESA family is in good hands.

Asia McMullin - Lunch Coordinator

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!

Sarah Harbour - Head Fund Raiser & Head Student Store Operator

Sarah Harbour
Head Fund Raiser & Student Store Operator

Student Services Team

Dr. Verlinda Angell - Learning and Reading Specialist

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.

Audie Acorn - Founder of ATX Tutoring, AESA Tutor Supervisor, and Test-Prep Coach

Audie Acorn
Founder of ATX Tutoring & Academic Solutions, AESA Tutor Supervisor, Test-Prep Coach

AESA faculty alumnus Audie Alcorn is now a full-time tutor and test-prep coach, who works one-on-one with students, both during and outside of school hours, as schedules permit. Audie holds an international Montessori teaching diploma, and his ten years of classroom experience include work in both private and public schools, in elementary and middle-school classrooms, and as a full-time math teacher (through Algebra 1), math tutor, and general (all subjects) Montessori guide. Audie has also worked in the publishing industry and as a freelance copy editor, and has ten years of successful college experience (including three degrees and as a PhD student at Rice). Since founding ATX Tutoring & Academic Services in 2017, Audie has been working one-on-one with students, at home and at school, providing a variety of assistance, including: private tutoring, specifically in math or writing; helping students with organization, study skills, and the timely completion of homework; helping students catch up to ‘grade level,’ or helping them get ahead and move above grade level, into advanced classes; and coaching students through the preparation for tests such as the ACT and SAT. Audie can also help with the college search and application processes. For more information, find ATX Tutoring on the web at atxtutoring.com , or reach out to Audie at audie@atxtutoring.com or at (512) 817-4750.

Faculty

Dr. Verlinda Angell - Reading and Learning Specialist

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.

Bobbi Bone - Science, Math, and SAT Prep

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.

Clay Laughrey - Biology

Clay Laughrey 
Biology

Clay is a biologist dedicated to teaching students the broad mechanisms that function living organisms. In particular, he is interested in teaching the underlying importance of environmental conservation and the structure and function of various ecological communities.  In 2018 Clay graduated from Sam Houston State University with a bachelors in Biology. He worked as a research assistant for 3 years under Dr. Carmen Montana, an aquatic ecologist that specializes in freshwater fish ecology. During this time he worked on multiple projects that investigated species co-occurrence patterns in pond microhabitats and presented this research all across the state at various ecological symposiums. In spring 2017, Clay spent 10 days in the northern region of the Amazon rainforest (Guyana) where he assisted his professor on researching the effects of mercury contamination in freshwater fish assemblages of the Mazaruni River. Throughout his experiences, he has developed immense passion for understanding the aspects of animal life and the importance of protecting ecosystems.

Outside of his teachings, Clay enjoys spending time with his wife and all their animals. He has two Australian Cattle Dogs, a cat, and two large aquariums with tons of beautiful fish. He loves to hike, explore new places and investigate the various species that dwell there. Clay also enjoys spearfishing on the reefs of the Florida Keys.

Bill Carey - Precalculus, Calculus, Dual-Credit Calculus

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.  

Sarah Harbour - Social & Emotional Learning / Yoga & Meditation

Sarah Harbour
Social & Emotional Teacher and Yoga Instructor

Sarah is a mother of five, extremely passionate about children, and creator of Just Be Yoga. She aims to help children find inner peace and happiness. Sarah believes yoga, play, and mindful meditation is proven to have a positive impact on mental, social, and emotional health, especially our little ones! Learning to have a Breathe, Think and Then Do mentality, is a precursor for children to become better listeners, learners, and as a social and emotional companion. Sarah holds multiple children’s yoga and mindfulness certifications. She has over 10 years of experience in occupational therapy, which influences her yoga exercises. Sarah is currently finishing a formal degree in Pediatric OT. Come play yoga with Just Be Yoga and watch the world become a better place!

Cindy Herring - Elementary School Teacher

Cindy Herring Bio Pic

Cindy Herring
Elementary School Teacher

Cindy is thrilled to be part of the AESA faculty and brings with her over 25 years of teaching and working with children.  She attended Texas State University and has a degree in Elementary Education with a Reading Endorsement.  She also holds Texas Teaching Certificates in Elementary, Reading, ELAR, ESL and Physical Education.  Most recently serving as an Instructional Specialist for AISD, coaching young teachers and supporting campus curriculum, she is eager to return to her roots in the classroom.
She has spent time teaching elementary, middle and even preschool aged children in both public and private schools.  She has a wide breadth of knowledge of elementary curriculum and developmental learning best practices. During her time as a stay at home parent, she even started her own tutoring and educational consulting business.  This experience, fueled her passion for providing individualized, differentiated instruction and working with families who were seeking something unique and special for their child.
Cindy has been fortunate to teach, learn and live in several states.  Her husband spent 15 years in the collegiate and professional sports industry, where she was a dedicated “coach’s wife”  and mother. As native Texans, her family was thrilled to return to Austin permanently two years ago and live in the beautiful hill country, her favorite place on earth! She lives in Southwest Austin with her husband and 13 yr old daughter. She loves to read, travel and entertain family and friends!

Garcia Jose - History Teacher & Student Government Sponsor

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.”

Diego Leal - Global Languages Department Chair and Spanish Teacher

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.

Asia McMullin - Health Teacher

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!

Caro Palmatier - Mathematics

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.

Adam Santos - Mathematics

Adam Santos
Mathematics

Adam has been a middle school math teacher for 10 years, starting in Bryan/College Station after graduating from Sam Houston State in Huntsville, Texas. Adam has lived and taught in the Austin area in both Austin ISD and Eanes ISD since his move here in 2009. He knew he wanted to be a teacher after having joined the PALS (Peer Assistance Leadership Skills) in high school and having been hired by the school district to tutor elementary students. Adam feels that it is a privilege to teach and is grateful to have been able to follow a career sought out at 16 years old!

Adam’s educational philosophy is that all people are math people, and he wants all his students to believe this! His goal is for each student to become a lifelong learner. In the spirit of leading by example, Adam will be finishing his Master’s Degree from Texas State University in Educational Technology. When Adam is not studying, he often finds himself leading various local training sessions for teachers in state-wide teaching and learning conferences as he enjoys teaching other teachers just as much as students! 

Adam is a former collegiate track & field and cross country athlete who enjoys staying active by running and swimming with his wife. Other hobbies he enjoys include watching sports with friends and playing Nintendo Switch with his kids!

June Patty - Elementary Teacher

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!!

Scot Purkeypile - High School English

Scot Purkeypile
High School English Teacher

Scot Purkeypile was raised on the flat plains of Lubbock, Texas. After graduating Texas Tech University, Scot spent many years in the theatre business as an actor and director. He earned his M.A. In Communications from Oklahoma State University, then began his teaching career at Marshall Primary School in South Bend, Indiana. He has been a college professor at Notre Dame, Indiana University and Southwestern Michigan College. Scot then spent many years teaching high school English and Theatre at LaLumiere Prep School in Indiana.

Mr. Purkeypile is excited to be at AESA Prep, and looks forward to developing the Drama program into a lynchpin of our school’s artistic intentions.

Clint Walker - Engineering, Law, and Dual Credit Courses

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.

Maokang Wang - Chinese

Moakang Wang Bio Pic

Dr. Moakang Wang
Global Language Instructor: Chinese

Dr. Maokang Wang is originally from China. Before moving to Austin, Dr. Wang was a lecturer at the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology for three years. Dr. Wang earned her Doctorate degree from the Shanghai International Studies University in 2013. She then studied at the Department of Communication Studies of University of Texas at Austin as a Fulbright scholar. Dr. Wang’s research interest concerns issues of diversity: Chinese and English Education, Rhetoric and Rhetorical Criticism, English Linguistics and Applied Linguistics. She has published several academic papers on these topics.

Throughout her educational career, Dr. Wanghas enjoyed the privilege of teaching others. Over the years, Dr. Wang has taught a variety courses and in. variety of many different environments; classes big and small, graduate and undergraduate, international and domestic, adults and children. She seeks to engage students by examining ways they can actively participate in class-discussions, often using app technology and collaborative platforms. Dr. Wang favors individual conferences with students, ascertain their interests and assisting in the composition of their understandings and practices. She believes these experiences and skills, as well as her academic background from both China and the US, equip her with a broad perspective of English-Chinese culture, enhancing her teaching methodology and passion for future work!

Rene Santoro - Art

Rene Santoro
Art Teacher

“Creativity takes courage.” – Henri Matisse

I was born and raised in Kansas City and through the guidance of my parents gained a deep appreciation for diverse cultures and creativity in all its forms. I received my B.F.A. in Ceramics from the Kansas City Art Institute and earned my Texas Teachers Certification in Art through Texas State University. I have called Austin home for over thirty years and was blessed to marry a central Texas native. Tammy and I have two daughters, Isabella and Joy. 

I have over twenty years of experience teaching art in both the public and private sector. Throughout that time I have taught a plethora of classes including; printmaking, architecture, Art history, photography, ceramics, life drawing and sculpture. As an artist I have worked at and sold work through a local pottery and created work in hot glass. I also operate a business called Potter On Wheels, in which “I bring my potter’s wheel to you”. 

I look forward to nurturing a creative zeal in our students at AESA Prep Academy and cultivating an awareness of the omnipotent presence of art, in all its forms, in our daily lives.

“To be an artist is to believe in life.” – Henry Moore

Laura Whipple - Anatomy & Physiology Teacher

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.