Sara Cline Acitelli – Lead Teacher, Toddlers 18 months – 2 years
Sara is originally from North Carolina where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Special Education from Appalachian State University. She is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Special Education with a concentration in mild to moderate disabilities through Western Carolina University. Sara has spent the last 8 years working with children of various backgrounds in a variety of settings and is happy to be a part of the Rise family.
Heather Riley – Teacher Assistant, Toddlers 18 months – 2 years
Heather is from Orland Park, Illinois. She moved to Austin in 2001 with her family. She graduated from Illinois State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. She has completed 21 hours of her graduate work in Elementary Education with a focus on Special Education. Heather has been with the Rise School since 2007
Samantha Broccolo – Teacher Assistant, Toddlers 18 months – 2 years
Samantha is from Austin, Texas. She graduated from Crockett High School in 2007. She gained experience working with young children at Bright Horizon’s and Stepping Stone Child Care Centers. She is actively involved in her church as a Middle School Youth Leader and she also sings in the Lead Worship Band every Sunday.
Dustin Meyers – Lead Teacher, 2 & 3 year-olds
Dustin is from Lubbock, Texas. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Communication Design at Texas State and his Masters in Special Education at the University of Phoenix in Phoenix, Arizona.
Anne Warren – Teacher Assistant, 2 & 3 year-olds
Anne has her master’s degree in math education and a bachelor’s degree in government/history. She has had six years of experience working in different capacities in the classroom.
Sindey Brown – Teacher Assistant, 2 & 3 year-olds
Sindey is from Hochstetten, West Germany. This will be her seventh year at the Rise School of Austin. She worked with children with special needs in the Austin Independent School District for 12 years and a Montessori school for 6 years.
Jennifer Scoggins – Lead Teacher, 3 & 4 year-olds
Jennifer is from Austin, Texas. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Education at Texas A & M University in College Station. Jennifer worked as a special educator in the public school setting for 5 years. She earned her Masters degree at the University of Texas at Austin in Special Education.
Kaley Medsger – Teacher Assistant, 3 & 4 year-olds
Kaley is from Houston and recently worked at The Care Group/Reach Therapy Center assisting speech, physical and occupational therapists.
Jessica Ivy – Teacher Assistant, 3 & 4 year-olds
Jessica from Jackson, Mississippi. She moved to Austin in 2006 to be near family. The Rise School of Austin marks Jessica’s first experience in the school setting. She enjoys babysitting for current and previous Rise students.
Megen Glass – Lead Teacher, Pre-Kindergarten
Megen was born in Austin, Texas but recently moved from Rochester, New York where she lived with her parents and two brothers for 8 years. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education with a minor in psychology and a concentration in human development at the State University of New York at Geneseo. She earned her Masters in Early Childhood Special Education at the University of Texas at Austin.
Elyse Ehlinger – Assistant Teacher, Pre-Kindergarten
Elyse is from Plano, Texas. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Sports Science at Texas State.
Elizabeth Stripe – Assistant Teacher, Pre-Kindergarten
Jon Richard – Assistant Teacher
Jon was born in Thousand Oaks, California. He has a Bachelors and a Masters in English Literature. He also has a Masters of Science in Education from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is currently working on his Masters of Counseling at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas.
Kara Swinney – Physical TherapistKara is a native Austinite, who attended Trinity University in San Antonio for her Undergraduate degree in Psychology, and then attended Texas Woman’s University in Houston for her Master’s in Physical Therapy. Since graduating in 2000, Kara has worked in pediatrics in hospital-based outpatient clinics, home health, specialty clinics and early childhood intervention (ECI). She is also certified in Neuro-developmental treatment (NDT), which is considered by many to be the “gold-standard” for pediatric physical therapy. Kara has experience in serial casting, kinestiotape, theratogs, orthotics and aquatic therapy.
Reagan Rives – Speech Language Pathologist
Reagan grew up in a small town in central Texas. She received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin and her Master’s degree from the University of Texas at Dallas Callier Center. She has spent the past 10 years working with children in a variety of settings, including schools, hospitals and private practice. Reagan holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence and is a member of ASHA (American Speech and Hearing Association). This is her third year at the Rise School of Austin.
Danielle Saunders – Music Therapist
Danielle received her Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy from Anna Maria College in Paxton, Massachusetts. Her professional background includes five years as a music therapist in inpatient, outpatient, and community settings. She has worked on interdisciplinary teams to plan and coordinate programs for individuals with development disabilities and mental health diagnoses.