St. David's Episcopal Day School
Jennifer Wheatley, Director of St. David’s Day School
Mrs. Jennifer has of being part of the St. David’s Episcopal Day School since 1998 when her oldest son attended the Toddler 1 class. Six years later, she joined the St. David’s Day School staff and was a lead teacher for more than 10 years. In 2015, she became the Director of the Day School and continued the legacy of providing a safe play-based school. She earned her B.A. in Biology, with a minor in Chemistry from the University of Austin and uses this in my weekly science lessons taught to students 3 and older. Over the years, Mrs. Jennifer earned her CDA and continued her Early Childhood Education earning 100s of hours in various topics. Mrs. Jennifer is married and has two sons, Christopher and Aaron. Christopher is an Eagle Scout and attends college in Montreal at McGill University teaching fencing to college athletes. Aaron, also an Eagle Scout, is a student at the Liberal Arts and Sciences Academy. He is a competitive fencer and is continuing to compete at the national level. Mrs. Jennifer's husband, Travis, keeps many of the arcane arts alive, striving to bring beauty and functionality together on a low-tech basis. He is a senior software engineer. Mrs. Jennifer is a lover of books, movies, baking and Middle Eastern dance. She looks forward to serving you and your children as Director. My door is open, and I welcome your comments and conversation.
Tara Gidden, Ones Lead teacher
Tara has been married 20 years; she has 2 children, a daughter who attends St. Edwards University and a son, Byron Philip, who is in the ninth grade. Tara and her family live on a ranch near Elgin. There they run a Wildlife Rescue Sanctuary with all sorts of wild animals. Tara has 16 years’ experience working in Child Development. She loves to volunteer at her son’s school and her church. Teaching and working with children is one of the biggest joys in her life. Tara really enjoys being a part of this very important stage in your child’s life.
Lauren Waters, Younger twos, Lead teacher
Lauren began teaching at St. David’s Episcopal Day School in August 1997. She was the Lead teacher in our Toddler 1’s class for three years where she was loved by both children and their parents. She left the Day school when her daughter Frances was born but continued to work in the St. David’s Childcare program. After a few years, Lauren returned to St. David’s Day School too much excitement. Lauren has been a nanny for more than 17 years and earned her CDA 4 years ago. This will be Lauren’s 12th year teaching in a two’s classroom. Her daughter Frances, is now a sophomore at Highland Park college prep high school and plays the French horn.
Monique Medina – Older Twos Lead Teacher
Monique has been at St. David’s for the past four years. She is 34 years old, married for 13 years and has four children ranging from 10 to 19 years old. She has been working with children in childcare for about 10 years and have an Associate’s Degree in Human Services Management. In addition, Ms. Monique is working towards a Bachelor’s degree in childhood development. She enjoys working with toddlers to preschool because she believes it is a crucial time in their learning experience.
Karen Quinonez- Lead Teacher Older threes/ Young fours
Karen has been married 28 years. She is the mother of six children, two step children, and 4 grandchildren! Karen has over 20 years of experience working in Child Development with ages 6 weeks to 12 years old. She has her CDA (Child Development Associate) credential and is working on her degree in Child Development. Karen was a Girl Scout leader for 11 years, a Fellowship Leader at her church and teaches Sunday school. Karen really enjoys working with children and watching them grow. She especially likes the look they get when they have mastered a new task. In her spare time, she likes to bake from scratch.
Kathie Clark – Pre K fours Lead teacher
Ms. Kathie has been teaching at St. David’s Episcopal Day School for 3 years. She began her career her as an assistant in the Older 3’s class and has been the Pre K4’s lead teacher for the last 2 years. Ms. Kathie has been a teacher for 7 years has taught students ranging from one-year-olds to 1st grade. Kathie earned bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Mississippi College in Jackson, MS where she was born and raised. She has lived in Austin for 10 years and loves being a teacher and feels honored to be part of a child’s early education.
Holt Haley-Walker- Substitute
In 2014, Mrs. Holt was part of the St. David's Episcopal Day School as an assistant in the Three's class. She loved being part of the warm St. David's Day School community so much that she leapt at the chance to come back and work as Ms. Tasha's assistant. Mrs. Holt is a native Texan by way of Chicago. Before her kids attended St. David's Day School, she worked in graphic design for ten years including time at Holt McDougal textbook publishing. When Mrs. Holt is not teaching she continues to freelance. She and her husband met in Rome and have been married 16 years. They have two daughters, Alice and Robin, both of whom have been students of Ms. Tasha and have loved her class. When time permits, Mrs. Holt enjoys volunteering, traveling, and spending time outdoors with her family.
Ariana Burandt- Flex personnel
Ms. Ariana has been part of St. David’s Episcopal Day School for 2 years as a parent and teaching assistant. She was raised in Austin and graduated from James Bowie High School. She has 3 children, 2 boys, and one girl, Brody, Maksim, and Roux. Ms. Ariana has been in the early education field for 10 years and has loved every minute of it. She is attending school to become an Occupational Therapist’s Assistant with her focus in pediatric OT and early intervention. She just finished school for Massage Therapy and will be receiving her license in 2017. In her spare time, she loves being with her children, studying mindfulness, and supporting the local music scene. Ms. Ariana is so excited to be teaching at St. David’s Episcopal Day School and feels grateful to be part of your child’s education.
Julie Johnson-Carson- Lead Montessori Teacher
Julie Johnson-Carson was born in Austin when her father was a student at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary and her mother taught third grade. The eldest of 5 children born 7 years apart, she lived in Overton, Odessa, and Pasadena, Texas, when growing up. Having a stay-at-home mother and so many siblings to play with she had a great childhood and spent a lot of time playing outdoors. Julie received her B.A. from Austin College in Sherman, Texas, in 1974. After receiving her certificate in Contemporary Montessori Education in 1987 from The Albanesi Educational Center in Dallas, Texas, she worked at schools in Dallas and Coppell before moving to Austin to enroll her 3 children in The Waldorf School. She worked at White Bird Montessori and The Children's School. In 1993 she married Keith Carson and gained another son. Rebekah was born in 1994 and she stopped teaching for a while. She began teaching in the new Montessori Mother's Day Out program at St. David's Episcopal Church in 1997 and has been here ever since. Julie received training from Sherry Mock in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd at St. David's.
Mrs. Julie always wanted to be a mother and God blessed her with Jessie, Micah, Isaac, Jules, and Rebekah. She and Keith now have a son-in-law and 3 daughters-in-law and have been blessed with 3 lovely granddaughters. Each child is a precious gift from God to be cherished, guided, and loved by us. Mrs. Julie feels blessed each day through the children and their parents. She believes it is a privilege to be with you at St. David's Episcopal Day School.
Ms. Rima-Kinder- Montessori
Rima is from Surinam and has been living in Austin for the past 20 years. She has a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and Sociology and a masters degree in Reading Education, ESL, and Linguistics. Rima spends her free time as a volunteer teacher trainer for the Bali Children’s Program. She spends many summers in Bali helping start kindergarten classes in rural areas. In her spare time, Rima loves to garden, likes fashion design and classical Indian dance. She also likes to cook and read, collect wind chimes and South Asian art. Rima has been working at St. David's Episcopal Day School for 13 years and enjoys the children, parents and the Church atmosphere.