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LOUISE POLKINGHORN, macm, shrm-scp
cONSULTING DIRECTOR

Louise is licensed by the state of Texas as a director of a childcare center. She developed, founded and operated two childcare centers in the Houston area that continue to educate and develop young children today. Louise also spent several years as Executive Director of a Houston area church and as Director of Administration of a large Austin church. She has an undergraduate degree in Psychology, a Masters of Christian Ministry, and is a senior Society of Human Resource Management certified professional.

Louise believes passionately in nurturing the God-given inherent value and worth of every child– their Imago Deo. She also loves helping children come to understand, work with, and even capitalize on their challenges. She is very excited to be a part of Let It Shine Enrichment Academy.

Louise and her husband, Tom, are the parents of three adult children and the grandparents of three extraordinary grandchildren.

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Teresa danner, otr, CPST
assistant Director, occupATIONAL THERAPIST

Teresa is a licensed occupational therapist who has been practicing in pediatrics for over 9 years. She received her Bachelor's in Occupational Science and her Master's in Occupational Therapy from Saint Louis University in 2006 and 2008 respectively. Teresa has worked in a variety of settings including hospitals, schools, and outpatient clinics. Teresa has a special interest in leading small groups, facilitating social skill development, helping children learn to self-regulate, and expanding children's feeding repertoires. She also loves educating and empowering families!

Teresa has 3 young children who are full of life! She loves spending time with family and friends as well as practicing hot yoga and painting.   

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cHRISTY IBARRA, Slp
CONSULTANT, speech therapist

Christy is a Speech-Language Pathologist with 23 years experience. She received her Master’s in Communication Disorders from Texas State University in 1993. Christy has clinical expertise in communication disorders. She has practiced in a variety of settings including schools, home health, hospitals, and private practices.

Christy is passionate about partnering with children and their families to build on each child’s innate strength to foster confidence, self expression and communication to be successful in all stages of life!

Along with her experience as a SLP & working on a multidisciplinary team for many years, Christy has taken her passion for conscious living and developed an exciting, fun, developmentally appropriate curriculum for Let It Shine Enrichment Academy. Christy will provide teacher and parent training to support the implementation of the Let It Shine methodology in the classroom, home and community.

 
 
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Rebecca Beavers
lead teacher

Rebecca enjoys working with families from diverse backgrounds in a variety of settings. Her earliest job history includes working as a Child Life Assistant and Volunteer Coordinator at The Children’s Hospital of Austin. She has worked as a Preschool Director for a nationally accredited franchise where she developed a Spanish curriculum which is still being implemented today.  Most recently, she worked directly with families and students as a lead Pre-K teacher.

She has been an advocate and volunteer in the community for the past 14 years. Rebecca feels that it is important to be a strong role model for her children and teach them the importance of community outreach and volunteerism. She is passionate about empowering families by giving them resources to actively participate in their child's education.

Rebecca lives with her husband and two children. She enjoys traveling, eating at new restaurants, and cheering on her kiddos during various sporting events.

 
 
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Ashley Garza, SLPA
Lead Teacher

Ashley is a licensed Speech-Language Pathology Assistant. She graduated from The University of Texas in 2015 with her degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Ashley also earned a certificate in Children and Health. She has experience with physical development and fine motor awareness skills in children who present with sensory processing disorders and specifically auditory processing disorders. She has volunteered as an academic language tutor at the elementary level. Ashley enjoys working with children because every day is different! She has learned to admire and love their endless energy and honesty.

Ashley is an aspiring Speech-Language Pathologist who loves to run, cook, and go on adventures with her dog, Layla. 

 
 
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Robin Davis
Teacher's Assistant

Robin is a retired Austin ISD Teacher with 30 years teaching experience. She holds a B.S. and M.Ed. degree in Special Education and Elementary Education with a specific endorsement in the area of Early Childhood Development from Texas Tech University. Robin has taught students from ages 3 to 21 in a hospital placement, as well as students in grades 1-6 in a school setting. Robin is dedicated to guiding young children to utilize their strengths to build self-confidence and independence.

Robin has two children, ages 25 and 14, and 2 dogs who fill her home with love and never-ending adventures.

 
 

A'LESA BLUEFORD
TEACHER'S ASSISTANT

Ja'lesa graduated from The University of Texas with a degree in Psychology. She has an interest in and has studied early child development and behaviors. Ja'lesa has interned with a clinical psychologist that specializes in child development and behavior. She volunteers as a teacher at Austin Christian Church for children between the ages of 1-5 years old on Sunday mornings. Ja'lesa also works in an after-school program with elementary age children. She loves children and believes it is rewarding to work with them and to be a part of their lives. Kids are unique, loving, and fun; being around them provides such a warm energy.

Ja'lesa aspires to be a clinical psychologist that specializes in anxiety disorders. She love music, dancing, and new experiences.

 
 

Alyssa Ybarra
Teacher's Assistant

Alyssa is a third year student at the University of Texas at Austin studying to get her bachelor’s degree in Social Work. Alyssa enjoys working with families and children from all backgrounds of life. She has volunteered with many non-profit organizations and after school tutoring programs. Alyssa loves learning new things every day and taking on challenges. Outside of work Alyssa is currently volunteering at Posada Esperanza. She loves children and helping those in need. It is truly rewarding to see those smiles at the end of the day and remember why I do this. Alyssa hopes to start her own non-profit someday, and enjoys lifting weights, playing with her dachshund, and reading.

 
 
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Sally McWithey
volunteer

Sally grew up in Mississippi, Virginia, and North Carolina. She graduated from Appalachian State University. Sally was the founder and director of Buda Children's Theatre and is a retired teacher. Sally worships at Bethany Lutheran Church and sings in the chancel choir. She volunteers as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for Foster Children in Hays County.

Sally enjoys clogging with Clickety Cloggers, crafting, and ancestry research.

 

HOURS OF OPERATION:

Let it Shine typically follows AISD's school calendar except we are open during the summer.

Monday-Friday:
Before Care: 7:00 am-8:30 am
School Day: 8:30 am-3:30 pm
Aftercare: 3:30 pm-5:30 pm