I am excited to begin the next chapter of my teaching career at Headwaters School in 2020. After spending the first few years of my professional journey teaching PE to elementary and middle school students in New Orleans, I earned a master's degree in English Education from the University of Georgia's Mary Frances Early College of Education in the spring of 2017 (Go Dawgs!). I also spent two additional years in Athens teaching English and Language Arts at Clarke Central High School. I am now eager to embrace new challenges as part of the Headwaters family, and look forward to learning from the Austin community!
Roberto has a B.A. in English Literature from Merrimack College where he grew a love for education. After graduating in 2003, he served as the Home & School Coordinator supporting underserved students in the community in Lawrence, Massachusetts. He continued his own education with a Master’s Degree in Education Leadership and Administration from Boston College while also serving as the Director of Multicultural Affairs and Community Development at St. John’s Preparatory School in Danvers, Massachusetts. In 2013, Roberto then served as Assistant Principal at Guilmette Middle School (Lawrence, MA). In 2014, he and his family moved to Austin. Over the past four years, Roberto has shared his expertise as Director of Students Affairs and Services at nearby Magnolia Montessori for All.
I am excited to be joining the Headwaters' community as the River Campus Manager. I have a bachelor of science degree in Architecture Studies from the University of Texas. I had a home remodeling and design business for many years, which comes in handy managing the old buildings on the River Campus. I also have managed several popular restaurants in Austin.
I live close to downtown with my husband, two teenage children, and my mom. I grew up in the Northwest Florida panhandle on a small farm. I have brought the small farm mentality to the city. I have chickens, cats, dogs, and grow a lot of my vegetables. I enjoy reading, cooking, and running; in fact, I am running my first half marathon in January 2020.
What has drawn me to Headwaters is the community. I began substituting across the campuses and was impressed by the commitment of staff and administrators to help the students think and speak up for themselves. I believe those are valuable lessons to teach our kids today, and I am proud to be part of a community that cultivates values.
I earned my B.S. at the University of Kansas in Middle/Secondary Social Studies education. After several years as a High School History teacher and soccer coach in Evanston, Illinois I decided to take the advice I'd been giving my students to pursue their dreams with gusto and headed on down to the University of Texas at Austin to pursue an MFA in screenwriting and enjoy a far more favorable climate. After years of working as a director of educational videos, a teacher and tutor across a wide range of subjects and ages, and a free-lance writer, I found my way back to classroom teaching as a direct result of discovering the Headwaters learning environment. The focus on authentic self expression and deep engagement with educational content creates an atmosphere in alignment with my preferred styles of teaching and learning. In addition, as a Middle School guide, I am fortunate to work with my target audience of young people. In general, this age group has the incredible ability to engage with complex ideas, an openness to and capacity for deepening emotional intelligence and immense curiosity about the world and how they fit into it. Exploring topics with them from history, to screenwriting, to conscious movement practices and beyond is a delight for me.
After receiving an MFA in Film Production from the University of Texas at Austin, I found a home at Headwaters in 2010. I’ve written, directed, produced and edited films that have played at South by Southwest, Austin Film Festival, Texas Black Film Festival, Austin Comedy Film Festival, and a few others. In 2013, I founded the Austin Youth Film Festival with another local film instructor, which allows all middle and high schoolers in Texas to showcase their work at the Alamo Drafthouse, compete for prizes up to $1,000, and meet inspiring filmmakers (including Richard Linklater!). Our film department focuses on learning about film through theory, history, and culture. We also make movies that have gone on to play nationwide at Alamo theaters, festivals, and on our Youtube channel “Headwaters Student Films.” You should definitely subscribe to the channel and check out some of our music videos, documentaries, dramas, horrors, comedies, and experimental fare.
I am a teacher, mother, photographic enthusiast and mentor. I graduated from college with a degree in Business, however most of my free time in college was spent working with young people through the Dallas-Fort Worth metro area. It was through this work that I found my purpose and developed a passion for teaching- a career that I had not previously considered. Social sciences spoke to me through my ancestral roots and my adventures traveling the world, where I have been able to cultivate a love of learning about new cultures, languages and anthropology. This is my 15th year teaching History and geography and my 10th year as a part of our amazing community. I feel fortunate to work with my students to help make the stories of our past come alive in the classroom.
I love sports, reading, writing, gardening, cooking, and photography. Most of my extra time is spent with my husband and three children (Rubye, Solo and Zeke), looking for adventure. Although I do not have as much time to play soccer and sand volleyball with friends anymore, I still enjoy having amazing dinner parties and potlucks where I can show off my culinary acumen.
I am excited to be a part of the Headwaters School teaching faculty where they value creativity and dynamic learning environments.
International Studies Coordinator
Lisa Dubuque Wood
Director of College Counseling & Senior Class Sponsor
It is my pleasure to join the Headwaters Community as a Spanish guide, and I am looking forward to welcoming all my students for the upcoming year.
I was born and raised in Lima, Peru where I received a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Universidad San Martin de Porres. Upon moving to the United States, I obtained a Master’s Degree in International Affairs from Ohio University and a Master’s Degree in Economics from George Washington University in Washington, DC. While working in the fields of Economics and International Affairs, I had the opportunity to interact with people from diverse backgrounds, giving me a deep appreciation of different cultures, perspectives, and languages. Moreover, it taught me the importance of humility and open-mindedness.
I am fascinated by the incredible aptitude of young minds. For the past fifteen years, I have worked in private, public, and international schools from the elementary to high school level. I am an IB trained teacher with state certifications in Foreign Languages and Bilingual Education. I am excited to have the opportunity to share my native language with others, so they may find the same love and appreciation of foreign languages and cultures I have.
I was attracted to Headwaters’ strong sense of community and academic program that culminates with the IB Diploma.
I graduated in 2010 from Texas State University with a degree in Sound Recording Technology; not the most typical route to get into teaching but glad I found my way. I started my teaching career at an International Baccalaureate school called Iduma Elementary in Killeen, Texas and was granted the Teacher of the Year award my third year there. I’m in my fourth year at Headwaters and had the honor of being the middle-school student choice Teacher of the Year my first year here. I love my job and it’s a gift to enjoy coming to work each day.
My wife Sara is a pediatrician and recently finished her pediatric residency at Dell Children’s Hospital! Outside of school, I like to make videos, run, swim, lift weights, do freelance voice-over work, and learn new cooking ideas. I also enjoy reading up on the topics of faith, education, sociology, and some fiction every now and then.
My love for teaching became apparent while working as a teaching assistant in college. I graduated with my BS in Photographic Sciences from the Rochester Institute of Technology where I focused on the technical qualities of image making and utilizing photography for scientific research. My personal work combines my love of science with fine art practices, using photography as a tool for creating visual narratives. Prior to moving to Austin, I taught Digital Art, Filmmaking, and Photography at a magnet arts high school in South Florida. I am very excited to be focusing on teaching photography at Headwaters School and helping students develop (pun intended) their photographic eye. Outside of the classroom, I love competing with my team in Trivia Night and playing with my dog, Taffy. "
Learning and teaching are at the core of our family culture. My mother was a teacher and high school counselor, my brother is a teacher, and my wife is a teacher and university academic counselor. I have been an educator for sixteen years–thirteen as a teacher and basketball coach, and the last two teaching special education mathematics. I am passionate about the Houston Astros, solar energy, and spending time with my family. I am excited to guide my students to build the skills they need to become their best, authentic selves.
I received my undergraduate degree in Music Education from Northwestern University, and was a full-time music teacher for eight years at a small progressive private school in the San Francisco Bay Area. After that time, I felt an inner calling to interact with students as a counselor in addition to as a teacher. That calling ultimately led me to the Educational Psychology department at the University of Texas at Austin, where I received a Masters of Education in Counselor Education in 2008. I am a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in the state of Texas, and I have been serving as Headwaters School counselor (and vocal music guide) since 2009. In addition, I am certified as a Registered Yoga Teacher at the 500-hour level, with specialized training in Kundalini yoga. Outside of my work at Headwaters, I also perform music regularly around town with various bands, and teach private music lessons.
Learning Specialist/Middle &High School Spanish Guide
I come from a long line of teachers, but it wasn’t until I moved to New York City that I became one myself. I taught Humanities, Spanish, and Music Appreciation at high school in Manhattan. I got my Master’s in Social Studies Education from New York University, and became an affiliate of the School Reform Initiative. Since moving to Austin several years ago I have been an instructional coach, a tutor, and a volunteer. I return to NYU each summer to teach a Facilitative Leadership Seminar for school administrators and teacher leaders.
My brain changed when I became an educator, and now I can’t stop thinking (and talking) about teaching and learning! My experiences living in Brazil, Spain, and Egypt attuned me to the challenges of language learners.
My years in project management help me think about lesson planning, data, and outcomes. I am constantly looking for creative ways to make teaching more effective and efficient, and to make learning engaging and equitable for all kinds of students. As the parent of dyslexic children, I am especially attuned to the needs of those who may not succeed in a traditional classroom–I even became trained in Dyslexia Therapy at the Rawson Saunders Institute to better understand and support their learning. As a graduate of an International Baccalaureate program myself, I felt a connection to the Headwaters School. I am so happy to be the Learning Specialist at the River Campus, collaborating with thoughtful teachers in ways to meet the needs of our diverse students.
When I’m not talking about education, you can find me reading, cooking, leading a robotics team, or on the greenbelt with my husband, our two children, and our energetic dogs. Please stop and say hi!
I am an artist and art educator originally from Ireland who has been living and working in Austin for the last 20 years. I have been teaching art for 25 years and this is my 11th year at Headwaters where I teach studio art in the IB program, the high school and middle school.
Teaching art in collaboration with young people at Headwaters School has been my most rewarding and inspiring experience in education.I graduated from the College of Art, Design and Print in Dublin, Ireland with a Fine Art degree, and I also have a degree in art and design education from the Crawford College of Art in Cork, Ireland. As an artist my work has been shown in Ireland, the UK, Germany, and the U.S. I was featured in the 2009 Texas Biennial and was nominated for best artist in the 2009 Austin Visual Arts Association awards. I was a founding member and editor of Cantanker, an art magazine and non-profit art organization and am a regular participant on the East Austin Studio Tour.
I live in east Austin with my wife, Monique, and our two sons, Henry and Cormac, who are students at the Creek Campus.
I come from a family of teachers, so maybe my love for teaching runs in my genes? Who knows? I absolutely love the energy involved in working with kids and I’m a scientist at heart, constantly asking questions and observing the world around me…so teaching science just made sense! Best decision I’ve ever made…behind choosing the right husband, of course.
Long before falling in love with Headwaters and this holistic approach to education, I graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a degree in Biological Sciences. Why Rhode Island? Well, I was offered a full-ride athletic scholarship for volleyball. After university, I found myself back in my home state of California, but in Northern California this time, where I taught 7th Grade Life & Health Science as well as 9th Grade Biology at a top-ranked high school in the heart of Silicon Valley. After a few years of teaching in public schools, my husband and I made the decision to soul-search a bit and travel the world. I traveled through Southeast Asia and Europe for 2 years with my husband, immersing myself in different cultures, eating a plethora of different foods, and getting certified to teach yoga in Bali.
I love mindfulness, yoga, sports (obviously volleyball), cooking, farmer’s markets, and flea markets, and I’m passionate about health & nutrition.
I strive for my classroom to be a safe space where students can learn through exploration and curious inquiry without judgment. I want to show my students that the world is their classroom… Sigh, as I’m writing this, I can’t wait for them to walk through these doors!
I’m so grateful to be a part of this Headwaters family and look forward to teaching and coexisting with this community in a way that is so closely aligned with my personal beliefs.
I love the Spanish language and have been teaching it for over 20 years. I have been a foreign language instructor in different settings: universities, private, charter and public schools in Mexico, Ecuador, and the United States. Through these years the driving force has been to see my students experience the language and succeed at being proficient in Spanish. I was born in Monterrey, Mexico, and my undergraduate work is in Spanish Literature from Tecnológico de Monterrey. I received a Master’s Degree also in Spanish Literature from Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León and a Master of Arts in Hispanic Linguistics from the Ohio State University. For this academic year, I am thrilled to join Headwaters because the commitment to foster the personal growth of individuals in a global community resonates with my personal beliefs.
After earning my BS in Sport Management from Georgia Southern University, I decided to pursue a masters degree in education on the advice of my dad. Unbeknownst to me, I would quickly fall in love with teaching and influencing the lives and minds of younger generations. Since then, I have earned a MA in Teaching Middle Grades Education from Armstrong Atlantic State University and another MA in Teaching Mathematics Education from Western Governors University.
For the last decade, I have taught various middle and high school level math classes and coached numerous sports at schools in Georgia, Florida, and Texas. I am very excited to be joining Headwaters and guiding students as they build their mathematical understanding. In my free time, I enjoy traveling, running, biking, and any other outdoor activities as well as taking advantage of the amazing restaurants around Austin!
I am from Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, and while I spent most of my childhood there, I also spent time in Monrovia, Liberia. My years growing up overseas taught me to appreciate and value a broad cultural experience, which I seek to impart upon my students by teaching social studies. I received my BA from St. Edward's University in 2008. Although I knew from an early age that I had to become a teacher, I got sidetracked for the better part of a decade in aviation. I am a commercially-rated pilot, and before pursuing a career in education, I got to fly people around and teach other aspiring pilots how to fly planes. Although teaching is my second career, it was always my first choice.
My family has been part of the Headwaters community for a very long time. My husband, Joe Sokolik, has taught history at Headwaters for twelve years, and our daughter is in her fourth year at the school. I started working at Headwaters nearly four years ago as the high school volleyball coach, and am very excited to have taken on this new role teaching middle school social studies.
As a 9-year-old, I watched a 6th grader named Dave Coniglio play “Wipeout” on the drums in the school concert, and I was hooked. Dave later became my first teacher, college roommate and best friend. After realizing as a middle schooler that playing shortstop for the New York Mets probably wasn’t in the cards, I focused on music. Growing up an hour north of NYC, I was lucky enough to get to witness and perform a lot of music there. After high school, I decided to further my passion at Berklee College of Music in Boston, where I earned a BA in Music Education in 2005. While in Boston I shoveled a lot of snow, played a lot of music, and met the woman whom I would marry. In Boston, I found my passion for bringing the same excitement and inspiration Dave and other teachers brought to me, by teaching music to students of my own. I was able to work as an outreach teacher for Community Music Center of Boston, co-teach percussion at a Puerto Rican cultural center with one of my professors, work with kids at a Boys and Girls Club, as well as lots of private instruction. I also got the the opportunity to join a great band and tour the country for the better part of two years. After pretending to be a rock star for a bit, my wife and I decided to completely uproot our lives and move to Austin in 2011. The snow literally followed us as far south as Memphis but we finally made it. I had the great honor of joining the amazingly talented staff at Armstrong Community Music School in 2011, and for the last 6 years have taught there, been involved with some of their many outreach programs, and joined the Austin music scene. In October 2015 my wife and I had our first child, Elliot. I will very likely show you pictures of him whether you ask or not.
I am extremely grateful and excited for the opportunity to be a part of the Headwaters community, and can’t wait to share my passion for all things musical with students and teachers alike.
When our family moved to Austin in 2013, we were thrilled with the energy and environment of the city, but not so thrilled with some of the school options for our son. I’m so grateful we discovered Headwaters and we’ve never looked back. With such a nurturing, creative, and strong educational foundation, we all feel it’s the best fit for our family. When I saw this job opening highlighting skills in data management, I jumped at the chance. After attending college at the University of Colorado for music, I returned to Texas and found myself on a career path that included spreadsheets and data, go figure. But I actually enjoy it! And now I get to use my skills for this wonderful school I truly believe in, which is all I could ask for in a job. When I’m not working, I enjoy hiking and rowing on Town Lake with the Austin Rowing Club.