Board of Directors

The AHB Board of Directors governs the school in alignment with its mission and within the constraints of its bylaws. The Board articulates goals for the organization, develops a strategic plan, authorizes capital expenditures and budgets, arbitrates conflicts, and oversees the Head of School and the Executive Director. The Board is composed mostly of AHB parents as well as faculty representatives and advisory members.

Scroll down to read about the current members of the Board, or click here for more details regarding the Board’s structure.

To contact the Board, please email board@ahbcs.org.

Parents

Jaclyn RayJaclyn Ray (Place 1)

Jaclyn is mom to a rising Beta, an incoming Alpha and a spicy 2-year old. She loves how AHB’s family centered approach allows her family to learn together in a supported environment. Before becoming a full-time mom, Jaclyn worked as the volunteer coordinator for USO-Dubai and as an asset protection and planning paralegal.

Jaclyn graduated from Rice University with a BA in English and earned a Master’s Certification from Texas A&M in International Affairs with emphasis on Military Strategy. She is also a children’s yoga teacher and enjoys teaching at her younger children’s preschool.

In her spare time, you’ll find her sneaking in a run, practicing the banjo, or learning new jump rope tricks.


Dilum RanatungaDilum Ranatunga (Place 3)

The Ranatungas have been with AHB for over 9 years, and have had all of their four kids enrolled in the school. They currently have a 12 year old Delta (who does soccer goal keeping at a select level), a 10 year old 2nd year Gamma (team member in competitive synchronized swimming) and a 9 year old incoming Gamma (budding kid-pitch baseball player).

Dilum joined the board to bring additional international perspective after being a student in Sri Lankan, Australian and British academic systems. He is also passionate about applying his professional skills (as a Product Strategist at Austin’s WP Engine) in the school’s collaborative planning and governance.


Alexa CorbettAlexa Corbett (Place 4)

Alexa discovered AHB five years ago when her oldest son, Liam, was starting Kindergarten. The Corbetts now have three kids at AHB and two more being homeschooled 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 foursquare.


Evelyn GalanteEvelyn Galante (Place 5)

Evelyn has two young sons: a pensive Alpha and a spirited two-year-old. She began her career in Washington D.C. doing best practice research for global communications teams, but gave up her pantsuits for cowboy boots when she moved to Austin in 2010. Evelyn is now a communications consultant who works primarily with nonprofit clients and specializes in branding, editorial strategy and content development. She believes in serial commas (but writes in AP style) and is passionate about the people and causes creating positive change on our world.

Evelyn and her family like to eat (especially whatever her husband is baking), go to farmers markets, and run around Ramsey Park. Evelyn has a Bachelors of Science in Systems Science & Mathematics from Washington University in St. Louis.


Cara HoushmandCara Houshmand (Place 6)

Cara is the mom of two daughters, the elder a Beta and younger who is 3, but already thinks AHB is her school–and she isn’t wrong. She is a native Texan who traveled/lived around the world and found her way back home. Her husband came across AHB while they were researching schools and trying to find a place that would nurture the creative spirit, encourage a real love of learning, while also being academically rigorous. They found all of that and a real sense of community at AHB.

Cara holds a BA in International Studies and French from Texas A&M and a Master’s in Public Administration with an emphasis in Nonprofit Management from the University of Nebraska. She has founded and served on several boards of non profits, and really enjoys helping organizations grow. In a former life she was a recruiter who liked to help people too much, so she became a career coach.


Anne RowesAnne Rowes (Place 7)

Anne is a native Texan who grew up on a ranch that’s been in her family for over 100 years. She’s happy to be home after traveling and living around the world. She has an undergraduate degree from Texas Woman’s University in Government and Dance and a masters degree from UMass Boston in Dispute Resolution.

Anne is excited to partner with AHB in her children’s education where kindness is celebrated and the family/school balance is taken seriously. Anne and her husband Jeff have two sons, one is an Alpha and one is a Beta. In her free time Anne loves to sit on her front porch with a cool drink and watch her children and garden grow.


At-Large Director

Jenny Black


Advisory Members

J.P. Lund 

J.P. is the father of two six-year AHB alumni, Max and Gabe. Gabe is a current Four Points Middle Schooler, while Max is a freshman at Vandegrift High School. J.P. is 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 nineteen years, during which time he earned his J.D. from U.T. Law School, after five years in Berkeley where he received undergraduate and graduate degrees in mathematics. J.P. is serving his ninth year on the AHB Board, his third  as an appointed, non-voting advisory member after completing six years as an elected, voting member.


Lindsey PearlsteinLindsey Pearlstein

Lindsey found AHB when she was looking for a place to teach that allowed teacher autonomy and whose values aligned with her own. As a teacher, she taught the Gamma class through a social-justice lens and promoted critical thinking, creativity, and authentic learning experiences for her students. She deeply appreciates the opportunity to serve the amazing AHB community through board membership.

Lindsey holds a B.S. in Applied Learning & Development from The University of Texas at Austin. Currently, Lindsey is a REALTOR® with Austin Portfolio Real Estate, continuing to help others through buying and selling homes. When she isn’t working in real estate, she can be found at Alamo Drafthouse or loving on her 90-pound German Shepherd, Watson.


Faculty

Kim LongacreKim 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.


Ex Officio

Shari VarsShari Vars
(Head of School)

Shari first came to AHB as a parent in 2014. Shortly after enrolling her two children, she found herself called back to the classroom (after years as a stay-at-home parent) and spent nearly 3 years teaching Humanities in Delta and Gamma. She loved teaching (and learning!) at AHB, where the nurturing environment supported creativity and curiosity alongside academic rigor. She later left to start a small business, and though much was learned in this detour, she ultimately she found herself missing the spark that comes from working with young people. When the opportunity arose to rejoin the AHB team, Shari jumped at the chance to help serve and lead the community for which she already held such deep appreciation and respect.

Originally from Minnesota, Shari earned her BA in English and Secondary Education from Vanderbilt’s Peabody School of Education in Nashville, Tennessee. She met her husband there and spent the next several years teaching high school English and special education while following his work path around the country. After settling in Austin in 2001, Shari worked as a writer and editor for an educational publishing company and took on the role of Assistant Director when the company started its own elementary micro-school, KAMICO Academy. There, Shari enjoyed the “big-picture” problem-solving involved as she worked to coordinate and best serve the needs of students, parents, and teachers. She looks forward to similar challenges as part of AHB’s administrative team!

When not at school, Shari aims to find pleasure in keeping family life afloat: walking the dog, gardening, playing family games, and sneaking the occasional date night (or Netflix binge) amongst chauffeuring busy kids.


Gretchen FlatauGretchen Flatau
(Interim Executive Director)

Gretchen is a veteran of the not-for-profit world; her career started in Boston as a community organizer in public housing. Since then she has served the Austin community in a variety of positions including Executive Director for Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic (now Learning Ally), the Women’s Advocacy Project, the Mothers’ Milk Bank and College for All Texans Foundation as well as Director of Development & Marketing for the Austin Children’s Museum (the Thinkery). She spent the last 10 years as a nonprofit management consultant and an Interim Executive Director for various local nonprofits.

Gretchen received her bachelors in sociology from Newcomb College at Tulane University and her MPA from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.

Gretchen has two children who grew up in Austin; her son now works as a software developer for the State of Wisconsin and her daughter is in law school at Washington University. When she isn’t working, Gretchen enjoys cooking, hiking and gardening and traveling with her husband, Art.