Executive Director/AdministratorSarah Johnson earned a Master's Degree in Special Education from the University of Texas at Austin. She serves as The Executive Director of The Emerson Foundation, as well as the Administrator of record for Emerson Academy. Sarah has a wealth of experience with Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), conducting assessments, developing curriculum, as well as individualized, small group and large group instruction. Sarah also utilizes her skills when serving as liaison to teachers, school districts, therapists and comprehensive program providers. Sarah has more than 18 years of experience working closely with children with special needs, those with Autism spectrum disorders and typically developing children.
Jennifer Green, a native of Austin, graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in Kinesiology. She’s been employed with Emerson Academy since February 2008, gaining experience in every classroom, working as our Program Director, and now serves as our Co-Director. Jennifer's organizational skills and ability to multi-task, combined with her extreme dedication to the children of Emerson Academy make her an amazing leader. A mom of two herself, Jennifer relates to parents and family members on a personal level ensuring that parents always know that their children are getting the very best care and education while attending Emerson Academy.
Caterpillars - Infants
Becca Hunt is the lead teacher for the Caterpillar Class. Becca came to Emerson with many years of experience in pre-school settings. She has worked with children of different ages and abilities. Ms. Becca loves speding time with the babies outside on the playground, gardening with them, and taking them for strolls. As a mom of two, she has much experience nurturing and caring for her own children and shows that each day while working with the Caterpillars. Becca is patient, kind and it is clear that she always has the children's best interest in mind when teaching and serving as a role model to others.
Melva Zapata is our assistant teacher in the Caterpilliar class. She enjoys caring for our infants, loving them, signing with them, teaching them new signs, and doing sensory art. Melva recently moved to Texas from California. She has been working at Emerson Academy for over a year. She graduated from Howard College Southwest Collegiate Institute for the Deaf with the certification in Paraprofessional for the deaf and hard of hearing in Big Spring, Texas. Melva is currently earning her Child Developement Assioates (CDA). In the past Melva taught at Ballet Folklorico Group, for children ages three to twelve, as well as working at the Boys and Girls Club of America in Del Rio, Texas and caregiving for children of her friends and family. In her free time Melva likes to spend time with her friends, family, and her dog, Chloe. She loves shopping and making gifts for the babies in her classroom.
Ladybugs - 1-2 Year Olds
Mindy Torres is the lead teacher in the Ladybug class. She has been working with children for more than 20 years and loves every minute she spends with them. According to Mindy, "they brighten my day and make me smile". Mindy loves to read, attend her daughter's sporting events and search Pintrest for fun craft and decorating ideas. She is very family oriented, loves to spend time with her grandson Tucker and Gavin, with two more on the way and has the most wonderful sense of humor. Mindy is an incredible teacher and loves the children in her class as if they were her own.
(PHOTO COMING SOON)Tamara Johnson
(PHOTO COMING SOON)Kathy Dietman
Butterflies - 2-3 Year Olds
Beverly Franken is the co-teacher in the Butterfly class. Bev has 16 years of experience in child care along with an Associate of Arts degree and continuing education in Early Education. She is patient and kind when teaching and always gives unconditional love to her students. Along with high expectations and a very deliberate sense of right and wrong, Beverly has made long lasting impressions on all of the children who have had the opportunity to learn from her. Bev is one of Emerson's most
Bumblebees 3-4 Year Olds
(PHOTO COMING SOON) Cela Gonzales is a loving teacher, who is very happy to have the opportunity of co-teaching in the Butterfly classroom. She cares deeply for the children with whom she works and loves helping guide the children as they begin their education. She has earned her Child Development Associates (CDA) with Infants and Toddlers, she has been with Emerson for over a year. Ms. Cela was born in Honduras and moved to Austin 16 years ago, she speaks Spanish and enjoys teaching the children Spanish words in the classroom. She is married and has no children of her own, but loves being around them. She also enjoys traveling with her husband and spending time with her family and friends.
Dragonflies 3 1/2 - 5 Year Olds
(PHOTO COMING SOON) Laken Chappel is a co-teacher in the Bumblebee Class. She is currently pursuing an Associate’s degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis on Special Education. She has passion for teaching young children of all abilities. Laken’s experience includes: providing respite and habilitation services for children with special needs in their home, as well as working will all children of all ages from infants to school-aged children in a private preschool. Laken, her husband and their dogs Wrigley and Lyla live in right here in Round Rock. Her hobbies are performing, swimming, shopping, reading, and anything and everything interior design related.
(PHOTO COMING SOON) Marisa Sembrano loves working with children, and has been for 10 years. She has experience working with children of all abilities and ages in school and home settings. Her favorite age group is the toddlers and three year olds. Marisa has earned her associates in Journalism, her hobbies are relaxing at home and spending time outdoors. She will be getting her CDA soon.
Jennifer Preitto is a co-teacher in our Dragonfly class. She recently moved to Texas with her husband, son, and two daughters. She has 27 units of early childhood education and she is planning on finishing her degree soon. Jennifer has been a preschool teacher for over 10 years and is passionate about creating a safe and fun learning environment for young children. She loves using art, music and hands on activities to encourage children to learn. Thank you for giving her the opportunity to care for and teacher your children!
Manju Pabbu is a co-teacher in our Dragonfly class. She has more than ten years of experience working as a preschool teacher. She has earned her Child Development Associates (CDA) and has previous experience providing respite care for children who have special needs. She has over 50 hours of training in Conscious Discipline. Ms. Manju lived in California for 15 years and recently moved to Round Rock. She has been married for 16 years and has two lovely boys. Her hobbies include reading books, watching TV, and spending time with her family. Teaching your children brings her such joy!
Fireflies 4 - 5 Year Olds
Yesenia Carbajal is the co-teacher in our Firefly Class. Yesenia has several years of teaching experience in the pre-Kindergarten setting, and quite a few more years experience being a nanny. She has three children, one who attends Emerson Academy's Dragonfly Class and two school-aged kids. Ms. Yesenia is patient, caring and calm. She is very creative when it comes to keeping her classroom as an engaging environment, she creates art for the children to use as learning tools, and always points out great moments of learning opportunities to the children. Her demeanor lends itself perfectly to the busy pre-K class. Out of Emerson Academy, Ms. Yesenia loves spending time with her husband, kids, and close family.
(PHOTO COMING SOON) Simone Haney
(PHOTO COMING SOON) Bryan Campo
Grasshoppers 2 - 5 Year Olds Adaptive Preschool Program
Mikayla McMurtray is the teacher in our Grasshopper class. She graduated in 2013 from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She has experience with many ages and abilities, especially involving children with behavioral difficulties and has been caregiving and babysitting for over eight years. She loves kids and is always searching for new ways to connect and learn with them. Mikayla plans to attend school to earn a degree in Nursing, specializing in pediatrics.
Beetles After School Program
Christina Cranor is our after-school program leader and administrative assistant. Christina often works one on one with children who need extra behavioral support or support in daily living skills. Christina has been with Emerson Academy for two years, and prior had several years of experience working in early childhood education settings. Christina is a loving and caring teacher and has been raising her two nephews for the past two year and would do anything for a child in need. She has an adventurous spirit, encourages learning through sensory activities, singing, gardening and hands on play. She cares deeply for the children with whom she works, which shows in her interactions with the kids and their parents.
(PHOTO COMING SOON) Nicolette Gault is our after-school program teacher, she is a 2013 graduate of Prairie View Texas A&M University with a BS in Interdisciplinary Studies Early Childhood- 6th Grade. Working with children and being able to teach is her passion, and she couldn't see herself doing anything else. Ms. Nicolette has several years of experience in public schools observing and teachers and learning different teaching styles. She has student taught 5th grade math and science, and a 1st grade class. Ms. Nicolette strongly believes "a student doesn't care how much you know, until they know how much you care". In her free time, Ms. Nicolette enjoys spending time with her family, shopping, watching TV, and reading.
Emily Montez is THE domestic goddess of Emerson Academy! She works diligently and tirelessly to ensure the cleanliness and sanitation of classrooms and learning spaces.
Ms. Emily is invaluable to the health of Emerson students.
(PHOTO COMING SOON) Anne Ducat is a support teacher in all of our classrooms, she often works with preschoolers. Ms. Anne is currently attending ACC acquiring a degree in Psychology. She has many years of experience working with children in summer camps, churches, and in-home care, Ms. Anne also teaches Sunday school class at her church. In her spare time Ms. Anne enjoys being with her friends and family, and loves spending time with her furbabies: Abby and Misty.
(PHOTO COMING SOON) Leslie Jones
Duke is a 10 year old Golden Retreiver who was rescued from the Gold Ribbon Rescue (GRR) group in Austin. He has been at Emerson Academy for three years and works with all ages and classes. Duke is a patient, easy-going and loving dog who has never met a child he doesn't love. His relationships with the children, especially children with special needs, is remarkable. Duke is one of Emerson's most beloved icons and makes many a day of children and parents alike.
We are currently accepting applications for teaching assistants. If you are a high-energy, child-oriented person, please send us your resume; we will contact you to discuss available positions. Applicants should have experience with children and at least a high school diploma. Experience and/or knowledge of disabilities and some college is preferred.
- Please print and complete the employment application (below), and
- Send the application with your resume to:
Jennifer Green, Director
1 Valley View Drive
Round Rock, Texas 78664
What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson