ansley thomas

Ansley Thomas

Primer (Pre-K4)

M.Ed – Curriculum & Instruction – The University of Texas at Austin

BA Elementary Education – Warrant Wilson College

Ansley joined Kirby Hall in 2016. Throughout the past decade, she has taught pre-k, kindergarten, first, and second grades. Ansley has a special interest in social-emotional learning and meaningful literacy instruction and looks forward to developing these skills in her students. In her free time, she enjoys sewing, cooking and hiking. Ansley tries to visit a new national park every school break!

Kirby Hall students are
intelligent, curious, kind.”

“What I value
about Kirby Hall is small class sizes and a
close supportive community.”

christine griffin

Christine Griffin

Language Arts | 4th, 5th, 7th grade, Literature | 4th & 5th grade

MA in English Education – Teachers’ College, Columbia University

BA in French – Georgetown University

Christine joined the Kirby Hall faculty in 2015, but as a parent has been a member of this community for more than a decade. She has more than ten years of experience within the field of education, most recently as a long-term substitute at Kirby Hall and as a fourth grade lead teacher of Reading and Writing at Trinity Episcopal School in Austin. Christine welcomed the opportunity to join Kirby Hall’s outstanding faculty, and she hopes to encourage a love for language and literature in the hearts and minds of her students.

Christine’s greatest joy is spending time with her husband, Will, and their three children, Chase (Kirby alum), Rose (Kirby alum), and Gage (current Kirby student). She also loves to read, cook, watch Merchant Ivory films, and spend time outside.

Our students are motivated, kind, intelligent.”

Kirby Hall is friendship, love, rigor.”

I value the freedom I have as a teacher to develop
challenging and engaging curriculum
that speaks directly to the needs of my students.

I value having a classroom full of students who are
academically motivated and intellectually curious.
I value the support I get from caring parents who want the best for their children.

David LaLonde

3rd grade

Masters of Architecture, Magna Cum Laude, Savannah College of Art and Design

BA in Art History, Magna Cum Laude, Savannah College of Art and Design

Bachelor of Architecture, Valedictorian, Magna Cum Laude, Savannah College of Art and Design

Teaching Certificate – The University of Texas at Austin

In 2016, David began his second tenure at Kirby Hall having previously taught third and fourth grades from 2008 to 2010. During his hiatus, David returned to the Middle East and Southeast Asia where he taught at both the elementary and middle school level, and managed and mentored 30 Malaysian English teachers in 15 primary schools. During his final year in Malaysia, David presented seminars to over 100 English language teachers, informing them in student-centered teaching approaches, with an emphasis on positive ways to engage students of all aptitudes and learning differences.

With almost 10 years of experience living and working overseas, David brings an awareness and sensitivity to non-Western cultures, traditions, and religions of the world, especially those of the Buddhist and Muslim faiths. Graduating from Kirby Hall in 1986, David understands the rigors of the academic standards from the perspective of both a student and a teacher. “Empathetic and understanding of the needs of my students, I guide and instruct them to become successful in all academic areas,” said David. “I take a vested interest in each and every one of my students as if they were my own children, wanting them to do their best work and live up to their full potential.”

Our students are intelligent, compassionate, wise.”

Kirby Hall is tranquil, energetic, joyous.”

I value the small class size and intelligent students.
The kids are precocious in a good way—
they want to learn and they want to be here.
It is a very relaxed, home environment.”

Gloria King

2nd grade

BS in Interdisciplinary Studies – Texas A&M University

TX Teaching Certification Grades 1-8

ESL Certified

Gloria has been a classroom teacher, grades 2-5, for six years, in both public and private schools. She spent many years as a stay-at-home mom to her two children who are now teenagers. During that time, she stayed active in education through substitute teaching in grades PK-8 and volunteering in the classroom.
Gloria strives to provide a rich, challenging, and well-rounded education to her students. She works hard to inspire, motivate, and engage her students every day. Gloria is honored and excited to join the faculty and community at Kirby Hall.
In addition to education, Gloria is passionate about community service. She has been an activity lead for the non-profit, Generation Serve, for several years. She will lead a service learning program this Fall on Saturday mornings called “Helping the Environment”. Gloria finds inspiration in helping families connect with our community through volunteering.
Gloria enjoys reading, traveling, spending time with her family, and spoiling her cat.

Jared Dailey

Jared Dailey

Math | 4th grade, Science | 4th grade, Technology | 4th – High School

BA in Math – The University of Texas at Austin

Jared joined Kirby Hall in 2006, starting as a second grade teacher. Through his tenure here, he also has taught third grade science, fourth grade math, science and history, fifth and sixth grade math, and middle school science. He currently teaches fourth and fifth grade math, as well as fourth grade science. He also coordinates the growing technology department, co-developing our new Maker Space and teaching coding, and web design. Additionally, he is half of the sports department (Go Penguins!!!!). He co-coaches the basketball, soccer, volleyball, track and field, and cross country teams.

Jared was born in Austin but grew up along the Texas coast in Winnie. He spent a year at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, before leaving the blues and barbecue behind for a return to the greatest city in Texas, Austin. Despite growing up an avid Razorback fan, he transferred to The University of Texas and graduated in 2003.

Jared spent two years after graduation serving as Educational Coordinator, zookeeper, and night watchman at Austin Zoo, living in a house on the grounds. If you ask him, he’ll gladly tell you not much can compare to having peacocks for alarm clocks and tigers in your backyard! He knew all along, though, that teaching was his profession.

Jared loves all things logical (though he sometimes likes to dabble in the illogical), sports, origami (and is single-handedly responsible for the student origami craze), and nearly any activity that involves friends and the outdoors. Of course, his favorite activity is spending as much time as possible with his daughter Greta, son Nolan, and wife Kirstin!

Our students are motivated, respectful, talented.”

Kirby Hall is togetherness, excitement, rigor.”

“I value the close connections
you can make with families and students.

I appreciate the amount of time I get to spend seeing the kids in vastly different settings—both inside and outside the classroom.

I prize the freedom I have to push beyond
the normal limits of what elementary education normally is.”

Joe Rumrich

Joe Rumrich

History | 4th – 10th grade

BS Restaurant Management – Purdue University

Teaching Certificate – The University of Texas

Joe joined Kirby Hall School in 1994, bringing a passion for many topics and eras in history. He moved to Austin in 1988 and received his teaching certificate for Grades 1-8, All Subjects, with a Specialty in History after managing in the hospitality industry.

When not doing school work, Joe enjoys watching his two nephews athletic endeavors during the school year. He spends his free time reading, cooking, exercising, and watching the NY Yankees. Joe likes to spend his summer kayaking, biking, and walking near his family home, 300 yards from the Niagara River.

Our students are eager, diligent, curious.”

Kirby Hall is fun, stable, structured.”

I value the ability to teach using high-level material
as opposed to teaching to a standardized test.

I value having the flexibility and small class sizes,
which allow me to bring history to life
through numerous field trips.

julia ortiz

Julia Ortiz

Physical Education, Coach | Primer – High School

Bachelor of Education in Exercise Sports and Science – Texas State University

Julia Ortiz joined the Kirby Hall School in 2016. Julia was born and raised in the Central Austin area. She attended Texas State University in San Marcos and earned her bachelor’s degree in Exercise Sports Science and a minor in Geography. She teaches Physical Education, Health Education and coaches all of Kirby Hall School’s sport teams. When she is not teaching, Julia continues to coach club sports, her favorite being volleyball. She has done this for four years and coaches various age groups from elementary to high school. She also loves to play different sports during her free time, travel and be outdoors. Julia is excited for the school year to begin and is looking forward to meeting everyone. “Come down to my office and say hi!”

Julio de la Llata

Julio de la Llata

Spanish, AP Spanish | 3rd grade – High School

MA Spanish Language & Literature – The University of Texas at Austin

BA in Spanish Language & Literature – Universidad de las Americas

Señor Julio de la Llata joined Kirby Hall in 1984. He teaches Spanish to third grade and above. He also served six years as Faculty Administrator. In addition to holding his BA and MA, he pursued further post-graduate studies at The University of Texas and Texas State University.Señor de la Llata also taught all levels of Spanish at Austin Community College, where he received the Excellence in Teaching Award in 1997. He has also taught Spanish for Business Professionals at The University of Texas’s Thompson Conference Center. He is married and the father of two sons and a daughter, and the very proud grandfather of Eli, Cora, and Solomon. In 2004, a special recognition celebration was held to honor Señor de la Llata’s twentieth year of service to the school and its students.

Our students are
industrious, happy to learn, appreciative.”

Kirby Hall is supportive, impressive, positive.”

I value small classes that enable the instructor
to know the academic progress and needs of each student.

It is a rewarding experience to teach the same student from elementary through upper school because I see the
complete acquisition and development
of the Spanish language.

Kathy Skaggs

Kindergarten

Masters of Education in Teaching – University of Texas at Arlington

Bachelor of Arts in Sociology – University of Texas at Arlington

Kathy Skaggs began teaching in 2000 after a career change from Social Work to Education. She taught first grade for 11 years in Arlington before moving to Austin in 2011 where she began teaching kindergarten. This will be her 7th year teaching kindergarten.

Kathy loves getting to know all of her students and their unique personalities, interests, and learning styles. She is always looking for fun and challenging ways to help them explore and learn.

Kathy enjoys spending time with her husband and their two dogs, Bella and Chloe. She loves to cuddle up with her pups while reading or watching a movie. Kathy has a grown daughter who lives in Houston and three step-children who will all be in college soon.

Our students are congenial, mature, hardworking.”

“I value the faculty’s dedication to creating a
progressive, supportive, and appropriately challenging learning environment for the students.

There is a sense of community between teachers and students alike, which allows for efficient instruction and enjoyable activities throughout the day.

Michelle Escuder

Michelle Escuder

Drama | Primer – High School, Music | Primer – 7th grade

BA Theater – Florida State University

Michelle joined Kirby Hall in 2007 and is thrilled to be returning to teach drama and music to primer and elementary students. At Florida State University, she was active in the university’s theater, music, and opera programs. As a first semester freshman, she was cast in her first collegiate-level operatic role. She was subsequently cast in an opera each year until her graduation. While at Florida State, in addition to performing on stage, Michelle held the Theatre Seat in the fifty-fourth Student Senate and performed technical duties in numerous theatrical productions. Michelle was the 1999 winner of the Florida Suncoast Opera Guild Competition and also performed in many additional plays and musicals, winning honors and scholarships for acting as well as for voice. Her students benefit from Michelle’s extensive and varied performance experience. Michelle enjoys cultivating her love for all things artistic and still enjoys performing as well as teaching.

Our students are
confident, determined, enthusiastic.”

Kirby Hall is joy, kindness, excellence.”

I value many things about teaching at Kirby Hall,
but above all else I value the sense of community
among the faculty, students and their families.

This is a place of learning for students who are
eager to be taught and who love the learning process,
but it is also a place of great love and support within an
amazing and close-knit community.

Sharon Hudson

Science | 5th-7th grade

Bachelor’s degree in Psychology – University of Houston

Master’s degree in Education – Texas State University

Sharon grew up in Houston, TX and has called Austin her home since the year 2000.  She has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Houston and a Master’s degree in Education from Texas State University.  She is certified in Science, 4-8 and taught 7th grade Science for 7 years in Round Rock ISD.  She is so excited to be part of the Kirby Hall family starting in 2018!
Sharon has a passion for helping her students make meaningful connections to Science concepts in the classroom through whole group discussion and hands on exploration.  She loves getting to know her students and learning about what passions and dreams they hold in their hearts.
Outside of teaching 5th and 7th Grade Science at Kirby Hall School, Sharon works as a Life Coach.  She is passionate about teaching children about the power of the mind, meditation, positive self-talk, and much more. During her free time she explores life with her 6-year-old daughter, Millie, hikes with her dog, reads enlightening books, meditates, travels, and laughs with her friends.

Our students are bright, unique, goal-oriented.”

Kirby Hall is quaint, unique, accepting.”

I value that Kirby Hall is a place where students can
be themselves and feel comfortable
with their abilities while challenging each other.”

Terry Parks

Terry Parks

1st grade

BA in Psychology – The University of Texas at Austin

Teaching Certification EC-6th Grade

Terry began teaching in 1994 and joined the Kirby Hall faculty in 2004 as a first grade teacher. She has taught pre-kindergarten at Hyde Park Baptist and St. Francis Schools here in Austin, and has also taught second grade at St. John’s Episcopal School in Abilene, Texas. While attending college at The University of Texas at Austin, Terry worked as a teaching assistant. During that time she developed a true love of working in the classroom and has been doing so ever since.

As an educator, she feels it is important to learn and implement new ideas and methods in her classroom in order to teach to all styles of learners. Terry believes that teaching to the whole child is of utmost importance, while maintaining the high academic standards of Kirby Hall School. She enjoys enriching her education through books and workshops, particularly in the areas of social and emotional development. One of her main goals each year is to guide her students in being supportive of one another and appreciative of the gifts that each individual brings to the group.

When she is not at Kirby Hall School, Terry can be found reading a book, trying out a new recipe, or exercising. She also enjoys the theater, museums, and interesting food and restaurants. Terry especially enjoys spending time with her two lovely daughters, Avery and Eliza, who both attend Kirby Hall School.

Kirby Hall students are inquisitive, kind, enthusiastic.”

We are challenging, unique, nurturing.”

I value the small class sizes, which allow me to
truly get to know each of my students as individuals.

I love being able to encourage a class to become a team and to
open their eyes to the value of what every student brings to the group.

vincent martinez

Vincent Paul Martinez, Jr.

Art | Primer – 8th grade

BFA in Studio Arts – Painting – Texas State University

Vincent Martinez is a local artist, art teacher, and central Texas native. After graduating from Texas State in San Marcos with a B.F.A. in studio art, he decided to move to Austin in hopes to continue collaborating with the vibrant creative community. While working as an Americorps mentor and tutor with Communities in Schools in 2010 at Martin Middle School in east Austin, he developed a new passion for sharing the creative process with youths and fellow community leaders. He would continue this new found passion by building art curriculum for the Austin Parks and Recreational Totally Cool Totally Art teen outreach program, the Mexican American Cultural Center, the Asian American Resource Center, and as an art teacher at Hernandez Middle School in Round Rock. In his free time he enjoys oil painting, reading, writing, and yoga. Vincent enjoys teaching at Kirby Hall and sharing the magic, rich history, varied mediums, and foundations of Art with the students of Kirby Hall.

Kirby Hall students are engaged, inquisitive, kind.”

We are venerable, welcoming, supportive.”

What I value and love the most is that
I get to guide bright, inquisitive young people
through early learning experiences, introducing them to part of the amazing tapestry of knowledge and understanding that the world has to offer.

I also get to
support them as they grow
into kind, honorable, socially-conscious citizens who will
impact the world in a positive way
long after they have left my class.

Plan A Visit

We would love to get to know you better and discuss the future of your child. Come visit Kirby Hall and see what makes our environment special for yourself!