Terra comes from a long line of teachers. Before moving to Austin in 2010, she taught in the New York City public schools system, teaching Humanities, Spanish, and Music Appreciation at the high school level. She received her Master’s in Social Studies Education from New York University, where she spent a decade as a professional development consultant at the NYU Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and the Transformation of Schools. She is an affiliate of the School Reform Initiative.
In Austin, Terra has done strategic planning and facilitation workshops for non-profit organizations, public schools, and independent schools. She became trained in Dyslexia Therapy at the Rawson Saunders Institute to better understand and support her own children's learning. She served as the Learning Specialist at our River Campus for five years, collaborating with our middle and high school guides to meet the needs of our students, while also teaching Middle School Spanish.
Terra is the author of the book Protocols in the Classroom: Tools to Help Students Read, Write, Think, and Collaborate.
Senior Director for Program Development & Innovation
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 am delighted to be a part of the Headwaters Family as a Social Studies Guide! After earning a B.A. in History and Sociology from St. Mary's University, I started my teaching career in Jacksonville, Florida. After spending two years there, I returned to San Antonio, Texas and continued my career as a middle school social studies teacher. I left the classroom for a few years to work as an Assessment Developer for ETS after I finished my graduate degree in Instructional Design. I am passionate about history and working with kids to help them see the connections between the past and the present.
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.
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!
I am grateful to be a part of a school committed to peacemaking, advocacy, creativity, and thinking critically. My reason for wanting to work with this lovely community is mainly due to the tenets it holds dear and the loving, intelligent mentors and guides that work here. After being here a short time, I have also come to have a great appreciation for the eclectic creativity and wisdom the students possess. So, thank you for having me.
I have been teaching in one form or another for over twenty years. After obtaining my BA in English from UT Austin, I substitute taught while running a theatre company. Then, I moved to Chicago, where I taught ESL to students from all over the world at Kaplan Education Center, and I ran a free, underground ESL school for undocumented kitchen workers. I also studied sketch comedy and taught sketch writing through Second City at this time. After Chicago, I completed an MFA in Theatre from Sarah Lawrence College with focus on directing and playwriting. After obtaining my MFA, I acted in NY and taught Theatre to youth in the Bronx and Yonkers.
I moved back to Austin to produce music and other events at The Historical Victory Grill. I also taught poetry and spoken word there. After a few years, I started another theatre company with friends from NY called Present Company. A couple of years later, I got married, moved to Copenhagen, and had my son, Henry, who is in 5th grade now. While in Copenhagen, I taught part time at a Montessori school and ran a cooking/supper club called "The Italian Underground."
Henry and I returned to Austin in 2012. I continued making art and tutoring students in writing. After a couple of years, I took a job at Whole Life Learning Center, first as an assistant, then as a Reading and Writing specialist. After three years, I accepted a job at The Girls’ School of Austin, teaching sixth grade Humanities and 7th grade Social Justice. I also launched En Route Productions that continues to produce innovative art in unusual spaces around Austin. Now, I am here, and grateful to have landed in such a cool, conscientious, and unique environment.
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.
As a kid, I spent nine summers at Nature Camp in Baltimore while attending Gilman School. Since 2008, I have been teaching Environmental Science and Outdoor Leadership at Headwaters. I wanted to be a professor for many years, and published research on climate change and did field work in Antarctica and Bangladesh. My research was presented at Cambridge, UK and was written-up in the journals Science and Discover, among others. But I found my true calling in teaching and being with the youth. I have a BA from Colgate, a MS from William and Mary, and a PhD from Rice. After college, I attended NOLS, Outward Bound, and I've led backpacking trips in California under my own LLC. Finally, I was Assistant Guide for 1st-3rd graders here in Austin at Parkside Montessori, led a cabin at Global Youth Peace Summit, and taught at Lee College in Baytown, TX. Perhaps my most proud achievement, I founded Blackwood Nature Camp in Hempstead, Texas, which received a national award and is still going today. But best of all, in 2003 I met a beautiful architect at a swing dance class. We got married, have two girls named Cleo and Marion, and our dog's name is Hero.
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 feel very fortunate and excited to become a part of the Headwaters community and make a difference in the lives of our students as a Spanish guide.
I was born in San Jose, Costa Rica. I had a unique experience in which I was able to move back and forth between the United States and Costa Rica and received a well-rounded education in both English and Spanish. The value of gaining an insight to different cultures and languages is something that should be cherished and valued as it can create many meaningful connections across individuals and communities.
I decided to relocate permanently to Texas and pursue a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from Texas State University in San Marcos. Once I graduated I didn't think twice of becoming an educator since the profession has been a tradition in my family dating back to the 1870s in Central Texas. I’ve been privileged enough to teach public and in private IB schools in Texas.
Headwaters’ atmosphere, community and IB programme are the qualities that make a school strong, safe and effective. I was drawn by the open mindedness of administrators, guides and students and cannot wait to begin the wonderful journey ahead.
I was born in Texas but grew up living in France, Czechoslovakia, and Canada. Living and studying in foreign countries provided me with a unique sense of understanding the value of diversity and equality, and it opened my awareness to global environmental issues. I moved to Austin for university. After graduating with a BS Marine Biology degree, I supervised one of the largest freshwater underwater habitat restoration projects. For four years, I worked at the Meadows Center for Water and The Environment. I was a teacher of hydrology, biology, and geology, focusing on the preservation and conservation of environmentally sensitive ecosystems. The impact of science in action inspired me to return to school for a Master’s in Aquatic Biology/ Water Resource Management. I conducted several years of research funded by the River System Institute to study groundwater discharge in the San Marcos Springs. During this time, I was also faculty at Texas State University and taught SCUBA and undergraduate science labs. After completing my research, I welcomed my second son into the world. I then worked for two years at a Waldorf-inspired preschool before discovering my passion for teaching science to the youth. I created and taught the science curriculum for the 5th-8th grade at Whole Life Learning Center, a private school here in Austin, for six years and created and ran a summer program at the Austin Waldorf school for seven years.
I am beyond excited to be sharing my love of science and teaching with the Headwaters community. Both of my sons are at Headwaters, so I already love this community, and I am looking forward to opening my heart in new and amazing ways. I am aligned with the high standards of academic excellence, the intention and care that permeates through the thoughtful curriculum, and the loving and respectful platform for students to learn and grow.
I am looking forward to supporting the youth in discovering their unique gifts by fostering confidence in who they are and what they are capable of, and I am committed to cultivating curiosity, leadership, innovative thinking, problem-solving, responsibility, respect, love, and compassion for self, others, and this beautiful and diverse world that we live in.
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.
I started elementary school in Austin, but after the 3rd grade, my formative years were split between small-town Louisiana and big-city Paris, France. I have been a student of the arts for as far back as I can remember, recognizing that visual arts can express complexities beyond what I can share with language. I earned the French Baccalauréat in Arts and Letters as a high school graduate, a Bachelors of Fine Arts from UT Austin and I studied ceramics, calligraphy and indigo dyeing while teaching English as a Second Language in Japan for 5 years. I have found that I love teaching just as much as creating, going back to school while working with teens in transition from foster care for a Masters in Education, with a focus on secondary arts, from Texas State. For the past 7 years, I have taught Art, Graphic Design, AP Art History and IBDP Visual Arts at the middle and high school levels. I prefer the IB way, because it is centered around individual student interests and helps forge connections to others, and I cannot wait to meet each and every one of you! My formal training includes film photography, printing, metalsmithing, fiber arts, ceramics....I have discovered that having learned a bit of everything enables me to have plenty of know-how to help all kinds of projects see the light of day. As an artist I have shown locally, and in New Orleans, New York, Tokyo and Osaka, although the past 7 years I have been more focused on being my son Orion's early childhood side-kick. Additionally, I have worked as an intern and an assistant to a green design and architectural non-profit, a ceramist and a jeweler, and working in the design and art production-line world with masters of their craft has helped me develop a fascination with beautiful forms that are also useful, well-made and give a sense of rhythm to their creator during fabrication. Photography and Digital Art/ Design have no need to stay on the page or screen, we can and we will also make worlds come alive in 3-dimensions, maybe even 4. When I am not thinking about the arts, you can find me exploring nature with friends and family or reading novels.
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 was born and raised in Minnesota. My husband and I also raised two kids there. When I was in college, I applied for a student job in the mathematics resource center where I tutored other students in various math topics. I really enjoyed it so after finishing college, I moved on to another state college, where I coordinated the Math Center there. In 2017, my husband's job moved to St Thomas, VI and shortly after we moved there, I began teaching math at a local IB middle/high school. I taught grades 8, 10, 11 and 12 and fell in love not only with teaching but also with the IB mission. When my husband's job was moved to Austin this past spring, I knew I wanted to move into teaching again at an IB school, which is what brought me to Headwaters. From my first conversations with the staff at Headwaters, it felt like a supportive and authentic environment. The drive to represent, welcome and protect students, staff, teachers and community is strong at Headwaters. I have been enjoying building relationships with my students and getting to know them a little more each day.
I recently relocated to Cedar Park, Texas, but was born and raised in the county of Kent in the United Kingdom. I have been surrounded by scientists my entire life; my father and brother are both chemical engineers, my husband is a physicist and my sons are both mechanical engineers!
I studied at the University of Portsmouth in Hampshire where I earned a Bachelor of Science honors degree in Applied Chemistry followed by a PhD.
I have a wealth of experience in the education sector (both at university and school level) and a thirst to constantly evolve and hone my teaching skills and methodology to best suit the needs of my audience.
I am a life-long learner who is constantly seeking to extend and expand my knowledge and am always intrigued and fascinated to learn something new!
I have worked with a highly diverse group of individuals from a wide range of science and engineering disciplines and have been personally involved in research projects ranging from the analysis of Martian dust to the exploration of novel cytotoxic molecules as potential chemotherapy treatments. The applied nature of my degree has allowed me to see and revel in the applications of science, including the exploration of existing and future fuels, engine design and development, use of analytical methods to monitor pollution and methods for large scale corrosion protection to name but a few.
Although initially employed as a post-doctoral researcher and tutor, I made the move into the English secondary school sector (ages 11 – 18) in 1999 and never looked back! I am passionate about sharing my love for Science with the youth of today, making my subject relevant and accessible to all and revealing how it has such a significant and profound impact on our everyday lives.
I am excited to be joining the team and community at Headwaters and am looking forward to working closely with colleagues, students and their families to inspire the next generation of scientists!
Lauren has an extensive background in education, domestically and internationally, working with students of all ages from culturally and demographically diverse backgrounds. She began her career in Seoul, South Korea, where she taught English to elementary and middle school aged children. She has taken on various teaching roles in language schools, for non-profit literacy programs, and in colleges and universities. She has primarily been an English language and composition educator. Prior to working at Headwaters, Lauren was the learning specialist for the University of Miami’s Athletic Academic Services Department, where she worked with student athletes with learning disabilities and challenges.
Lauren is a native of New York, New York, and has lived in many cities around the U.S. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies from Florida International University, a master’s degree in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of other Languages) from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, took some courses in a master’s of science leadership program at the University of Miami, and earned a certificate from the University of Central Florida in Teaching Students with Learning Disabilities. Lauren believes education is a lifetime journey and there is never enough learning a person can do in their life. She is passionate about aiding students, and their families, on the educational voyage.
Outside of education, Lauren is a freelance writer and editor. She enjoys cooking, movement of all sorts – yoga, kayaking, hiking, biking, etc., the arts, language learning, and traveling. Lauren resides in Austin with her young son.
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.
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.
Born and raised in Karachi, Pakistan, Shuja Uddin is a screenwriter, filmmaker and stand up comedian who graduated from Boston University with an MFA in Screenwriting. Shuja has previously worked for the Austin Film Society and Indie Meme Film Festival, and his writings have been published in the Times of India, The Wire and The Express Tribune.
Shuja’s short film “Article 370” received an Honorable Mention in Prague International Indie Film Quarterly Festival 2021 edition for Best Screenwriter, and he was also the first ever lead writer and showrunner for PUBG Mobile Pakistan Gully Squads series, a popular video game owned by Chinese tech giant Tencent Games.
What brings Shuja to Headwaters School is the school’s commitment to authentic student learning through collaboration and communication particularly when it comes to the International Baccalaureate (IB) program for juniors and seniors. The school cultivates students' global perspective and effective community building and Shuja aims to shape young minds with his international experiences, both professional and personal.
Jason’s passion for fitness only rivals his passion to teach and serve youth. After over fifteen years of fitness experience overseeing operations for Gold’s Gyms all over the nation, Jason returned to Austin to focus his efforts on family and wellness. Inspired by his three rambunctious kids, The Fitness School was created in 2015 to provide kids with more structured physical activity. Jason wanted to create a curriculum that would convert time after school into something that addressed, promoted, and enhanced their current physical education. His aim is to partner with schools and organizations to help promote a culture of wellness, teamwork, and setting/achieving goals.