Here are our Teachers for Summer Wonders!

Jol Walker

A native of Scotland and a US Air Force veteran, Mx. Walker leads our IT Department. While attending the University of Utah for a BA in psychology, Jol spent their spare time developing skills with computers and technology, eventually leading to a career in IT lasting over 30 years. Mx Walker has gone on to receive multiple IT certifications and accreditations including A+, NET+, MCSE, Linux+,CEH, CCSP, CISSP, CISA, CSX-P, and Security+ with nearly 30 years experience in Information Technology.

Tara Barron

Born and raised in the Bay Area of Northern California. After the birth of her first daughter, she enrolled in college with the intent to become an English teacher, however it was during her time in academia that she fell in love with women’s history and changed her academic path. After receiving her BA in History, along with a minor in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies at UC Davis, she went on to earn a Social Science Credential and Education MA at the UCD School of Ed. In the summer of 2020, Tara and her family moved to Cedar Park, Texas, and soon after they welcomed her youngest daughter to the world! Tara has worked with students of all ages from diverse backgrounds, and is proud to be a returning member of the ACE Academy community.

Aerielle Anderson-Rico

Moved to Texas in 2000 to go to the University of Texas. She fell in love with the city of Austin! She graduated from UT with a Mathematics degree in 2005 and from Texas State with a Masters in Elementary Education 2008. While finishing her masters, she began her career as a teacher. Aerielle has taught children ranging in age from preschool through 8th grade within the classroom. She has tutored Mathematics to children in 4th through 12th grade. Last year, she was hired as ACE Academy's Program Manager and has absolutely loved getting to know this amazing community. Her educational philosophy is that, with a Growth Mindset and a supportive environment, all people have the capacity to learn something new. Aerielle aims to provide a safe space where children, parents and staff feel respected and valued. In her spare time, Aerielle loves spending time with her husband, Alfonso “Al” Rico and their kitties, Buddy, Pharrah and Ember. Aerielle enjoys bike-riding, gardening, live music and camping. She and her husband hope to have a youngster of their own some day.

Jackie Hinson

She was born in San Antonio and raised in a little town in the Hill Country. After graduating from the University of Texas with a BA in English and a Latin minor, she became a Java programmer, as one does with an English degree. Since then she has taught high school English, theater, and computer science, become a foster parent, had several novels published, and freelanced as a line and copy editor (not all at the same time). During the pandemic, she joined ACE as the creative writing instructor and is thrilled to now teach upper school literacy, where she can share her enthusiasm for the power of language with ACE’s amazing students.

Tyson Rahmeier

Mr. Rahmeier hails from the glorious east coast and specifically from the First State itself - Delaware. He began his teaching career in ESL (English as a Second Language) in Nashville, TN shortly after completing his undergraduate degree in history from Vanderbilt University. Having been bitten by the teaching bug, he proceeded to Atlanta, GA where he taught high school history for many years and became involved with the educational programs run by Atlanta's Breman Jewish Heritage Museum (through which he was awarded his Lerner Fellowship). During his career in Atlanta, Dubai UAE, and Austin, Mr. Rahmeier has taught courses in history, geography, economics, and mythology, always keeping the emphasis and responsibility on the students. A former cross-country and track coach, Mr. Rahmeier is an avid runner and swimmer and can found in various places around the city either pounding out the miles or adding up the laps. He also serves as a regional and state judge for the annual National History Day competitions in Central Texas.

Annette Harris

She is from St. Louis, MO. She has a lifetime teaching certification in science and english language arts and a love for all areas in the science arena. In her last year of undergraduate studies, Annette worked on a team to create a biological pesticide for local farmers in Nashville, TN. She spent her first year out of college, working as a botanist for the Shawnee National forest in Carbondale, IL. From there she worked as a chemist in a chemical manufacturing lab and formulated strips cleaners for Boeing 737 planes. She explored more opportunities in forestry as she coordinated the efforts in the Quality Control Lab and Environmental departments at a sand mine in Pevely, MO. Although, Annette loved working in the corporate world her passion surfaced when came she obtained a MA in teaching and went back to her alumna mater to spread her love of science to middle school children. Annette then recieved an Advanced Science certificate from Washington University in St Louis that focused on science curriculum and instruction. She is excited to take on the role of STEM instructor this year at ACE. In her free time, you will find her singing, baking, reading, writing books, spending time with her teenage son, or working out in her yard planting flowers and gardening.

Tasca Shadix

She holds an MFA from the Michener Center for Writers. A former screenwriter with a passion for language and communication, she decided to pursue her teacher certification after realizing that all of her eclectic "extracurricular" work and life experiences – martial arts instructor, French language assistant, PTA president and stay-at-home "mum" for 10 years in Edinburgh, Scotland – added up a great love of teaching children. She is the mother of two gifted daughters who inspired her to pursue a career in gifted education at ACE, where she has learned so much, grown so much, and has even become (gasp!) a math person!

Lisa Goering

She is a professional costume technician who has worked both locally and out-of-state. She also works as a theatrical stage manager, dresser, and production manager. Lisa is looking forward to introducing a new generation to fabric manipulation and creativity!

Jennifer Špaček

She is an herbalist and artist in Austin. She has been immersed in alternative education the past 20 years and loves connecting children with the natural world through art and immersive, hands on experiences.

Erik Kuykendall

Native Texan with a BA in Human Resource Management from St. Mary’s University. An alternative healer and artist who owned Gallery Lucid, Austin’s first visionary art gallery.

Sara Ellis

Sarah Ellis received her BA in Agriculture and Business Management from Texas State University in 2007 and her EFT Advanced Practitioner’s Certificate from the Sonya Sophia school of Living arts in Spring 2021. She also has more than 15 years working with corporate and government leadership to provide training to their teams, giving her insight into life's stressors and their effects. Sarah now supports her clients through private EFT sessions, group EFT sessions for students of all ages, lectures for teachers and business professionals, and in-person mindfulness courses. She joyously shares her passion for EFT and stress management practices with individuals and communities for the goal of healing on a global scale.

Joy Lin

Joy matriculated at the University of Texas at Austin when she was 15 and earned a B.S. in Biochemistry, a B.S. in Chemistry, and a B.A. in Biology. Her two series of science books, Superpower Science 1–4 and Monster Science 1–4, were published in multiple languages on four continents. Joy won Innovator of the Year by the Texas Classroom Teachers Association, was named one of 18 Most Inspirational Educators in the U.S. by TED.com, and won the “Lessons Worth Sharing” National Contest by Kohl’s Cares. Joy’s TED-Ed videos have 14 million views. Joy is an internationally-recognized screenwriter, filmmaker, and a stand-up comic who has been invited to speak three times at the San Diego Comic Con, the largest comics convention in the U.S. Joy’s 2020 TED Talk “Using Hollywood to Get Kids Interested in Science” was uploaded onto the TED website. Most recently, Joy was selected for the Outstanding Young Persons Award in 2021 for her contributions to education by Junior Chamber International (JCI) in Taiwan.

Ches Foster

Ches was born and raised in Houston, Texas (Go Astros) until moving to Austin in the summer of 2014 to attend the University of Texas. He has had multiple years of experience as a TA and tutor in various summer camps and schools. When it comes to hobbies and interests, Ches enjoys video games, baseball, science fiction novels, animals (especially monkeys) and music. He plays multiple instruments (not super well) and is a participant in the wonderful music and arts scene Austin has to offer.

Edwin Hockaday

For the past 14 years, I have worked with young individuals on the Autism spectrum, and other related diagnoses, providing support via direct therapy, supervision of cases, behavior technician and parent training, in a multitude of settings, including homes, private clinics, schools, and the community at large. I am currently pursuing a master’s degree in applied behavior analysis, with an emphasis in ASD, and hope to use the knowledge and skills I’ve gained over the years, to support the students and faculty here at ACE, along with their families. Though my goal is to eventually become a board-certified behavior analyst, and better help young individuals achieve their best possible outcomes in life, it is still a dream of mine to one day record an album of my own material, and perhaps pursue other creative endeavors.

Syama Mehta

Syama Mehta is a 5th degree black belt in taekwondo. She has been teaching children and adults for almost 25 years. She is passionate about empowering her students with tools to build their self-esteem.