Tia Banks, Intervention TA – email@example.com
Ms. Banks supports students at UTES as the Special Education Instructional Assistant for pre-K through fifth grade. Her expertise spans over twelve years of special education instruction with Leander ISD and other local charter schools, with a specialization in autism. She continues this passion in my “off time” by serving individuals with unique abilities in local communities as a Family Partner, developing independent life skills in individuals. Her personal interests include event planning, shopping, shooting pool, and roller skating with her son. Her goal is for each of my students to develop both their academic and life skills, including the very important skill of self-advocacy.
Sean Byrne, Pre-K – firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Byrne is originally from Portland, Oregon, and he has been in Texas for 12 years. He has been working in Early Childhood education for 22 years and has 2 sons, ages 12 and 15. He enjoys writing music and hunting fossils in his spare time.
Scarlett Calvin, STEAM – email@example.com
Ms. Calvin has been a teacher at UTES for 5 years. Her expertise lies in creating engaging, hands-on lessons that challenge students to develop essential 21st-century learning skills such as collaboration, communication, self-control, and tolerance. In her free time, she is a mother to her two children and loves to be outside. Class site: utsteam.wordpress.com
Courtney Castaneda, Orchestra – firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Castaneda is the orchestra teacher at UT Elementary and the assistant director of the UT String Project. She has a masters degree in cello performance and a masters degree in Music and Human learning from UT Austin. She began her musical career at her elementary school in Houston where she started on the violin in the 1st grade. During her free time, she enjoys yoga, cooking, and playing in her folk band, American Dreamer, and with singer-songwriter, Ray Prim. Class site: littlelonghornsorchestra.wordpress.com
Lily Dominguez, Counselor – email@example.com
Ms. Dominguez is entering her third year at UTES and as a school counselor. She has been working in the field of education going on her thirteenth year. Her passion is working with students to understand their emotions and social behaviors so that they have the tools to be able to self-manage and advocate for themselves. During her free time, she loves hanging out with her son, husband, and family.
Jan Evans, Librarian – firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Evans has been at UTES since 2004. She has 6 grandchildren and lives on a small farm. In 32 years of being in education, Jan has taught grades 2-6. She is currently the UTES librarian, ELA and Math Interventionist, and GT Testing Coordinator. Jan loves her job.
Maria Figueroa, Reading Interventionist/Dyslexia Specialist – email@example.com
This will be Ms. Figueroa’s 11th year at UT Elementary. Ms. Figueroa serves as the Reading Interventionist and has been in the education profession for 20 years. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, she obtained a bachelor’s degree in Science at The University of Puerto Rico and a master’s degree in Special Education at The University of Texas in Austin. Her passion is to help students with Reading difficulties acquire the skills necessary to be successful to achieve their academic and personal goals. In her spare time, she enjoys, expending time with her family, listening to Latin music, dancing, singing and traveling.
Melissa Garcia, Assistant Principal – firstname.lastname@example.org
This is Ms. Garcia’s 7th year at UTES. Ms. Garcia has over 20 years of experience in education. She is a National Board Certified teacher and holds a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in science education. This is Ms. Garcia’s third year as the assistant principal. Ms. Garcia is a proud mom of two sons who will be both seniors this year, one in high school and one in college. You will find her cheering for the Longhorns and the Irish.
Nick Hall, Fifth Grade – email@example.com
Mr. Hall is an exceptionally enthusiastic educator that was born and raised in the great state of Michigan. The super son of two wonderful teacher parents loves to play sports, share kindness with others, sing, rap, and dance with passion yet without purpose, and be the very best teacher and person he can be. He is always happy to meet new people so be sure to find him and say hello. Class site: utes.fifthgrade.com
Nicole Hershey, Fourth Grade Math/Science – firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Hershey is an Austin native and a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Science in Applied Learning and Development. Her goal is to foster problem-solving and critical thinking in lifelong learners while maintaining a fun and engaging classroom community.
Thelma Herrera, Kindergarten – email@example.com
Ms. Herrera has 24 years of experience working with children. This will be her second year at UT Elementary. She has worked in special education, pre-kindergarten and now, kindergarten. She has written science and language arts curriculum for Austin ISD. Ms. Herrera was also a teacher-researcher for the University of Texas studying what children understand and know about science. During the 5 year study, she presented her findings with colleagues at local, state, and national conferences. The natural curiosity of children brings her joy.
Molly Kelly, First Grade – firstname.lastname@example.org
This is Ms. Kelly’s ninth year teaching first grade at UTES. She has lived in Austin for over 40 years and has taught, mentored and trained all over the Central Texas area. Her hobbies are working out, cooking and reading. She has two cats, Hana and Oliver. She loves to bike, swim, lift weights, kickbox and just about anything else that is outdoors or at the gym.
Carly Kennedy, Third Grade – email@example.com
Ms. Kennedy was born and raised in Galveston, TX and graduated from UT Austin with dual degrees in Special Education and General Education, and a Masters in Multicultural Special Education. This is her 12th year teaching. She spent 3 years in special education, 5 years in Pre-K, and 3 years as an instructional specialist for 3rd-5th grades. She has a daughter in kindergartener named Sye and son in 2nd grade named Roux. She enjoys traveling, watching movies, discovering new foods, going to festivals and hanging out with her family.
Kameron Koeffler, Third Grade – firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Koeffler is the 4th-grade Language Arts and Social Studies teacher. He has a B.S. in Applied Learning and Development: All-Level Special Education with additional certifications in EC-6th grade and English as a Second Language (ESL). He serve as a board member of GLSEN Austin and Chairman of the Social Justice Committee at UTES. His purpose in education is to provide equitable opportunities while promoting diversity, inclusion, and foster critical-thinkers who will change the world. Class site: https://koeffler-s-korner.webnode.com/
Jessica Loredo, Office Staff – email@example.com
Ellen Mangelsdorf, Kindergarten – firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Mangelsdorf is beginning her 18th year of teaching and 11th year at UT Elementary. This year, Ms. Mangelsdorf is returning to the Kindergarten classroom. She is most looking forward to those excited faces and the fun songs and activities kindergartners get to do every day. Originally from Dallas, Ellen received her degree in Elementary Education at Spring Hill College in Mobile, Alabama followed by her Masters at The University of Texas in Curriculum Studies. Ms. Mangelsdorf is the mom of two boys, ages 3 and 8.
Victoria Manzanares, Fifth Grade ELAR and Social Studies – email@example.com
Ms. Manzanares will be joining UTES as a fifth grade ELAR and Social Studies teacher. As a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin, she is thrilled to be representing burnt orange once again. She has been working in the Field of Education for over two years and has a passion for learning and student expression. When she is not promoting literacy and kindness, Ms. Manzanares enjoys supporting Texas Longhorns football, exploring Austin, shopping, and reading an array of novels.
Lucy McCoy, Second Grade – firstname.lastname@example.org
This will be Ms. McCoy’s 6th year of teaching and 2nd year teaching at The University of Texas Elementary School. Her teaching career started with Bastrop ISD where she taught PPCD, Kindergarten (2 years), and First Grade (1 Year). Ms. McCoy graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a minor in social work from Texas State University.
Jennifer Montoya, Office Staff – email@example.com
Ms. Montoya’s smile has been welcoming UT Elementary School families and students to the school for the past four years. “Helping someone—whether parent or child—is the favorite part of my job,” she said.
Danna Oakes, Second Grade – firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Oakes was born and raised in Austin and attended UT Austin. This is her ninth year teaching and her fourth year with the UT Charter School System. She loves spending time outdoors with her son and husband, as well as trying out new recipes in the kitchen.
Mary Roark, Special Education – email@example.com
Ms. Roark, currently in her ninth year as a teacher and fourth year at UT Elementary, graduated from Texas A&M University. She spent the first five years of her teaching career educating elementary through high school aged students in a multi-grade classroom. Every child learns in their own way, at their own pace, in their own time, and Ms. Roark openly displays her gratitude and enthusiasm for the opportunity to partner with parents, teachers, and children to help great things happen for those with learning differences. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, board games, and birdwatching with her husband, Ian, and their cat, Queenie. She is also on the Leadership Team for Youth Programs and acts as Co-Director for Central Texas Writing Project’s Young Writer’s Camp in San Marcos.
Norma Robinson, Pre-K – firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Robinson has been with UTES since last year. She comes to us with ten plus years of teaching in the classroom, as well as, a PE teacher/coach, Art, Music and Drama teacher. Ms. Robinson’s passion for helping grow students through challenging age-appropriate activities is evident in her creative, engaging and fun classroom. Her positive attitude is infectious and she passionately imparts her love of the arts upon each of her students. Through the arts students gain self-awareness and an understanding of who they are which in turn helps them gain an appreciation for all people and cultures. Ms. Robinson is married and has a daughter at UTSA on a track scholarship and a foster daughter who they hope to adopt soon.
Tori Sheard, Physical Education Teacher – email@example.com
Coach T is the Physical Education Instructor at UTES. She graduated from Texas State University obtaining a major in Exercise and Sports Science and a minor in Communication Studies. Her hope is that all students learn to make healthy choices and feel successful when participating in a variety of activities which helps develop a positive attitude that continues throughout their lives.
Eunice Tanco, Discovering Languages & Culture Teacher – firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Tanco has been a part of UTES for 15 years. She is very happy to have the opportunity to share with all the students her native language, Spanish. One of the main goals is to increase the appreciation for Foreign Languages and learning of other cultures.
Juanita Vazquez, First Grade – email@example.com
This will be Ms. Vazquez’s seventh year at UTES. She has a four-year-old, Gracelyn and an 18-month-old, Adelyn. This is an exciting year for her family as Gracelyn will be in Pre-K at UTES. She and her husband enjoy spending time with family and love watching the Longhorns and Cowboys, but kindergarten is her passion.
Hannah Valiant, Third Grade – firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Valliant graduated from Baylor University with a degree in Elementary Education and Special Education. This will be her seventh year teaching in the Austin area, but her first year at UTES. Ms. Valliant was raised in Austin and enjoys live music during her free time.
Rebecca Vore, Wellness – email@example.com
Ms. Vore has been teaching gardening and science in Austin for 20 years. She is a certified Master Gardener, Junior Master Gardener Specialist, and Project Wild Specialist. Her biggest joy is her two grown daughters. She spends her time gardening, hiking, cooking and enjoying life in Central Texas. Class site: utschoolgrown.blogspot.com
Noura Wakim, Math Specialist – firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Wakim was born and raised in Austin, Texas to Lebanese immigrant parents. She attended UT Austin for undergrad and is currently finishing her masters at UT in Education Psychology. She taught 5th grade for two years and 3rd grade for four years and is moving into the Math Interventionist position at UTES. She has a niece and two nephews she adores. She speaks Arabic and loves to visit her family in Lebanon as often as she can. Her favorite hobbies include anything active, traveling, reading, learning, and shopping.
Dr. Nicole Whetstone, Deputy Superintendent – email@example.com
Ms. Whetstone, Ph.D. is in her fourth year with the UT Charter School System and her 18th year in education. She serves as the Principal of UT Elementary School and Deputy Superintendent/Special Education Director for the UT Charter School System. She earned a Ph.D. in Multicultural Special Education from The University of Texas at Austin. Prior to joining UT Charter School, Dr. Whetstone served as a special education teacher, campus administrator, and central office administrator. In her spare time, she enjoys creative writing, reading, and shopping.
Kimberly Wilson, Chef – firstname.lastname@example.org
This will be Chef Kimberly’s sixth school year here at UTES. Previously operated the cold food department in the Jester production center on the UT main campus for almost 3 years before joining this campus. She earned her Associates Degree of Culinary Arts from Le Cordon Bleu in Austin Texas, graduating in 2011. She has been in the restaurant and hospitality management industry for the past 15 years while maintaining a passion for cooking and teaching others culinary basics and skills.