Wendy Salome (President) has been an active and involved member of the AHB Community for six years and counting. With several other families, she and her husband, Nick, started BrewFest – now AHB’S signature gala fundraiser, Austin Home Brew Festival. They are also proud hosts of the AHB Skate Party every year. After helping in various capacities in her early years, Wendy took the plunge and joined the board in 2012, serving as Secretary and Treasurer. Her current board term ends in September of 2018.
Wendy’s eclectic background in Radio-Television-Film, Psychology, and Physical Therapy have taken her through a variety of occupations working with people of all ages.
When she’s not helping out at AHB, Wendy is a personal trainer and physical therapist. She enjoys helping people find motivation and attain success as they work to become healthier. She and her entire family are competitive speed skaters with the Texas Speed Club. You can find them at the rink 4-6 days a week training, playing, and having fun.
Dilum Ranatunga (Vice President), with his wife Kristi — joined the school in 2011 when his eldest son joined the Alpha class. With four years of community membership, three years of board service, and an excited third child entering this year, Dilum is fully invested in the mission of AHB Community School. His board term ends in September of 2017.
Dilum was looking for a school that was critically rethinking the goals and techniques of education, and found our school. Having studied under Sri Lankan, British and Australian education systems, he enthusiastically volunteers his time bringing his experiences and perspective to the school’s governance.
Dilum holds a BSE in Computer Science from Princeton University, and is currently a Principal Software Engineer at CognitiveScale.
Ashli Pate (Secretary) has been an AHB parent since her daughter Ella (now in the Gamma class) joined the Alpha class in the fall of 2012. Ashli and her husband Ed chose AHB because it was the perfect fit for their family – allowing them to be very involved in their child’s education and the school community, while having the comfort and confidence of knowing that Ella is being guided by teachers who are enthusiastic, creative, and nurturing of every child in their classroom. AHB has been a gift to their family.
Professionally, Ashli has 15 years of experience in women’s and public health, working in both non-profit and local government settings – developing and implementing programs and training tools, writing policy and procedure, managing staff, and serving as the IT liaison between the developers and end users. Ashli has been a member of the parent-run AHB volunteer IT team for the last 3 years, and joined the board in March of 2015, assuming an outgoing member’s term. Her current board term ends in September of 2018. Ashli feels passionately about AHB and enjoys serving on the board, to help AHB become its best self.
J.P. Lund is the father of fifth-year AHB student and Gamma Gabe, and to six-year AHB alumnus and current Four Points Middle Schooler Max. J.P. teaches math at St. Edward’s University, after positions at ACC, in Oakland, and in Berkeley, California. He is also currently a practicing attorney focused on litigation and governmental relations in education, employment, family, and the general practice of law. J.P. grew up in Brooklyn, New York and has lived in the Austin area for the last fifteen years, during which he earned his J.D. from U.T. Law School, after five years in Berkeley where he received his degrees in math. J.P. is serving his second three-year term on the AHB Board, which ends in September of 2017
Dan Gillotte is Jojo’s dad. Jojo, a third year Gamma, has spent her whole school career at AHB and our family has been so appreciative of the school.
Dan has experience on multiple boards including currently serving on food co-op organization boards of the National Co-op Grocers and the Co-op Grocers Network, a founding board member of the Austin Independent Business Alliance, and former board member of the Vegetarian Network of Austin.
Dan has a BFA in painting from Maine College of Art.
Dallas Dickinson (Treasurer) is the father of Fletcher (soon to be Beta) and one more future AHB-er. He is deeply committed to AHB’s unique brand of progressive education, and loves being part of a community that values emotional education as highly as it does academic achievement. He and his family value project-based learning, collaboration, flexibility and autonomy as core principles for students and adults alike to master.
Dallas holds an AB from Princeton University, where he studied English and Theater/Dance. In his free time, he is the founder and CEO of QC Games, a local independent video game developer. Dallas previously was the lead producer for Star Wars: The Old Republic and several other massively multiplayer online games.
Alexa Corbett (Secretary) found AHB when her oldest son, Liam, was starting Kindergarten. He is now in his second year in the Beta class and little brother, Colin, is a second year Alpha. Alexa homeschools three future-AHBers in preschool.
Alexa has a master’s degree in Education with an emphasis on teaching in urban areas. She spent five years teaching in Baltimore City, where she specialized in reading instruction. Teaching in the public school system inspired her to seek alternative methods of education for her children. Alexa feels like AHB, with its focus on community, creativity and project-based instruction, is the perfect fit for her family’s needs.
When she isn’t at home teaching and playing with her five kids, Alexa and her husband, Billy, enjoy renovating old homes. They are currently working on their fourth project, a 1909 four square.
Raj Tavadia lived in Queens, NY for nearly 40 years before deciding sunshine and tacos were more important to him than subways and bagels (though he really does miss bagels.) A nerd from long before it was cool, he is a freelance technical consultant, specializing in web development and graphic design.
He and his wife Cassandra had intended to homeschool their son, but on further reflection realized that he would be far better served, in both an educational and social sense, in a progressive school environment. During an exhaustive survey of Austin alternative schools, they were delighted to find AHB. Finally: an affordable, non-religious private school in Austin that was “alternative” not because of how many donkeys were kept in the yard, but by its approach to a modern, academically rigorous education. When touring the school, Raj and Cassandra were impressed by the staff’s warmth and wisdom, but were most stricken by the students’ self-confidence, self-direction, and mutual respect. Their son entered the Alpha class as its youngest student, and has flourished.
Kim Longacre (Teacher Representative) Kim received her B.A. in English from the University of Texas at Austin. She started teaching in 1983 at Athena Montessori School, one of the original pre-schools in Austin. She and Joe McDermott founded The Phoenix School in 1985, where Kim served as both the director and as a teacher. Kim has 5 sons who have kept her delighted, inspired and a true believer in life-long learning! Kim created summer camps through The Life Empowerment Center, where she designed curriculum and taught students how their brains work and how learning happens.
In 2007 she started teaching at AHBCS in the Alpha room teaching math, science, social studies, Monday Science Lab and all after school classes – ranging from portrait drawing to Greek history, from theatre to intro to music!
In the summer of 2010, Kim became the director of education for HealthStart Foundation, a non-profit whose mission is to create healthy communities starting with early childhood education. Her main accomplishment with HealthStart was writing 9 volumes of curriculum!
Kim returned to AHB in 2013 and is thrilled to be back in the classroom singing and creating with students, alongside inspiring, supportive teachers, administrators and parents.