Teresa Zinda

Honors and AP History | Upper School

B.S. in History with a minor in English-The University of Texas at Tyler

Education Masters courses for Texas State Teaching Certification at Stephen F. Austin Univ., Nacogdoches

Born and raised in Texas, Teresa has a deep desire to help mold tomorrow’s next leaders in government, business and society.  She believes each child has great potential that should be nurtured.

After starting a family and business with her husband John, she embraced education, teaching regular, Honors, and AP social studies courses 9 ½ years at Longview High School in East Texas and 5 ½ years at Ellison High School in Killeen.   Teresa found opportunities with a plethora of different students and discovered a knack for lesson specification as well as classroom management.

Spurred by an adventurous spirit, Teresa taught Social Studies and English in Costa Rica and Beijing at International schools, then after four years abroad she returned to the U.S. to be near her family in the   Austin area, teaching at Bastrop High Scholl for three years.

The mother of three, Teresa knows the importance of a stellar education in the lives of today’s children.  When the COVID hit her community, she stayed in touch with her students and taught them online.  She appreciated getting to know some of her 163 students better, and although after 22 years she retired from the State of Texas Education Agency, leaving her beloved vocation was out of the question.

Teresa comes to Kirby Hall School with great enthusiasm, determination, and experience. She has attended several AP seminars, consistently embraced new teaching tools and idea, and served on a state-wide committee on testing. She believes that each new day is an opportunity to discover and learn for her students as well as herself.  Education has provided her joy and professional fulfillment and she continues the tradition her grandmother, a teacher herself, began of trying to make a small contribution to the future of tomorrow’s youth.

Teresa can’t wait to meet the scholars at Kirby Hall School.

bradley king

Bradley King

Literature | 7th grade, Literary Studies | 8th Grade, Intro to Latin American Lit. Studies | 9th & 10th grade, AP Language and Composition | 11th grade

Ph.D. in English Literature – The University of Texas at Austin

M.A. in English Literature – University of South Carolina

B.A. in English & History – Oklahoma Baptist University

Bradley King comes to Kirby Hall School after finishing a Ph.D in English at the University of Texas and teaching American literature and writing classes there for almost a decade. The reading, writing, and discussions in his classes are always aimed at helping students grow in confidence and awareness–particularly about issues such as self-care, empathy, love, gender, and social justice. Born in Altus, OK and raised there on a small farm, Mr. King went to college at Oklahoma Baptist University, where he initially studied to become a minister, but switched to English and Philosophy after his Freshman year. His quickly developed an interest in how literature can help us cultivate deeper, more reflective relationships with ourselves and the people and spaces around us. This interest lead him to graduate school to study the profoundly spiritual and religious literature of the American Renaissance, which includes writers such as Emily Dickinson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Herman Melville, and Frederick Douglass. Mr. King also loves more recent and contemporary American poetry, and he is a grateful participant in the poetry and art community here in Austin. He is very happy to be teaching at a school that makes personal growth a priority as Kirby Hall does, and he looks forward to helping students develop their creative and intellectual capacities.

Our students are
sweet, dedicated to doing well, confident.”

Kirby Hall is caring, fun, supportive.”

“I value working so closely with such willing, kind students!
I feel like I have a good understanding of each of my students:
their individual habits, strength, and weaknesses.

And of course, they know mine too!
Knowing each other so well in this intimate space lets us
challenge each other and learn together.”

Joseph Parsons

Joseph Parsons

Physical Education | Primer – High School

BA Criminal Justice – Texas State University

Teaching Certificate in EC – 12th grade Physical Education

Born and raised in the suburbs of Austin, Joseph graduated from Leander High School in 2003. During his time there he played football, basketball, track and weightlifting and was awarded with being the number one running back in the state of Texas. He also played football at West Texas A&M and Abilene Christian University. He went on to finish his BA in Criminal Justice at Texas State University in San Marcos.

Joseph has been teaching for 10 years in Physical Education, Athletics, Health, Strength & Conditioning, Leadership, College Prep, AVID, and MAPS courses. He has taught at Four Points Middle School, Cedar Park Middle school, and NYOS Charter School. In 2012, he helped Cedar Park High School win a State Championship in football!

Joseph is married to Jenna and they have 3 dogs, a cat, and a miniature potbelly pig. He also has an identical twin brother! During his free time, he plays all types of sports/activities and hangs out with friends and family.

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.

Martha Peters

Spanish, AP Spanish | 3rd grade – Upper School

M.A. Romance Languages and Spanish Literature – University of Missouri, Kansas City

B.A. Spanish – University of Missouri, Kansas City

 

Martha Peters is a native Spanish speaker, originally from Mexico, with over twenty years of language instruction. She comes to Kirby Hall School from Headwaters School (formerly The Khabele School) where she was an Instructor and Director of the Foreign Languages Department.  During her tenure at Headwaters School, she taught Spanish to students of Kindergarten-High School.  In addition to teaching introductory levels through Spanish V, she taught Spanish B, Standard Level and Higher Level, of the International Baccalaureate program.

Señora Peters’ experience in language instruction encompasses a diversity of ages and settings, which also includes teaching adults in continuing education programs offered by community colleges, as well as private instruction to business executives. Moreover, Ms. Peters’ experience is not limited to classroom instruction but includes several examples of curriculum development for Spanish programs newly- begun or requiring complete overhauls.

Señora Peters and her husband, Michael Webber, are celebrating thirty-one years of union this summer!  They have a daughter, son and two grand cats.  She is excited to join the KHS community, and share the rich cultures of Latin America and Spain through cooking, art, music, literature, and dance!

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.

kevin gately

Kevin Gately

Math, AP Math Courses | 5th grade – High School

MA in Mathematics – New York University

BS in Mathematics – The University of Texas at Austin

Kevin joined Kirby Hall in 2016. As a native of San Antonio, he has an unhealthy obsession with the San Antonio Spurs, and he doesn’t care what you think about that! Despite this time-consuming fandom, he managed to attend college and earn a mathematics degree. After a stint as an algebra teacher and general instruction tutor, Kevin moved to New York to pursue his master’s degree, also in mathematics. His time in New York was such that he taught and tutored students from middle school all the way to young professionals studying for the GMAT. Kevin enjoys working with students from all walks of life and all mathematical abilities, because he finds their unique perspectives often teach him new ideas. When Kevin is not pondering the mathematical universe, he can be found hitting tennis balls, shooting basketballs, filling-in crossword puzzles, or beating the drums in his Rock and Roll band.

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 & Music | Primer – High School

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.

Paul Schumann

Science | 5th grade – High School

BS in Geology – University of Texas at Austin

MS in Geology – University of Tennessee at Knoxville

Teacher Certification – LeTourneau University

Paul was born and raised in Mid-Hudson Valley of New York. He graduated from the University of Texas in 1984 and the University of Tennessee in 1988. Following graduation, Paul worked in the Environmental Consulting field for 15 years for several firms across the country. For the last 12 years, he has taught high-school science at Connally High School. During his time there he taught On-Level Chemistry, PreAP Chemistry, IPC and Astronomy.

Paul lived in Austin from 1979 to 1986 and moved back in 1992. He lives with his wife of 30 years and three children. He enjoys all kinds of music and regularly attends the Austin Symphony Orchestra. He also writes reviews of high-end audio equipment for well-established web site.

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.

Our students are
intellectually flexible, fun-loving, compassionate.”

“I value the community at Kirby Hall.
I really love how everyone knows everyone’s name and genuinely cares about the well-being of one another.

For the first time,
I feel like I can use my classroom not only as an instructional space,
but as a laboratory of ideas.”

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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!