Staff

Learn more about the dedicated, caring, and talented group of teachers and administrators that help to make St. Mark's so special! Our faculty are committed to the highest possible standards in early childhood education.

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Becky Simpson, Head of School

Hello! I am Rebecca "Becky" Simpson, and I am so honored to serve as the Head of School for St. Mark's Episcopal Day School. I have had the great privilege to serve families and children, in the greater Austin area, for more than ten years. I am originally from Tennessee where I graduated with a Bachelor of Science, from Middle Tennessee State University. Preschool leadership has been my calling ever since. It is a wonderful delight to witness children’s play each day!

I am passionate about early childhood education and the great opportunity each day brings for new discovery and exploration. It is my goal to provide families with a wonderful daily experience, which will build lasting memories. I believe children to be steadfast seekers of knowledge and I love to see their eyes light up with curiosity. Spending my days with God’s littlest ones brings such joy to my heart and a smile to my face. I am also a mother of three young children and my youngest, gets to share in the joy of the St. Mark's preschool experience!

I very much look forward to knowing each one of you! One of my absolute favorite things is building relationships with families and their children. Please know my door is always open as we share in the magical journey of the preschool experience together.

Phone: (512) 444-9401

headofschool@stmarksdayschoolaustin.org

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Kelly Vande Streek, Finance Manager

Kelly joined St. Mark's as the finance manager shortly after her 2 daughters started at the school. After taking some time off from the finance world she was ready to get back to the numbers and help maintain the financial soundness of the school. Kelly has a family history with St. Mark's as her husband Jonathan attended the school as a child and her Mother-in-Law was a teacher for many years.

finance@stmarksdayschoolaustin.org

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Jessica Crawford, Office Assistant

Jessica was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, and has lived in Austin for over 12 years. She first became a part of the St. Mark's family as a parent. She started working as a substitute teacher, was an assistant in the 2's class, and is now so excited to be at St. Mark's as the Office Assistant.

She has a degree in graphic design from Auburn University and has a special interest in fostering creativity through play and art. She is also a certified children’s yoga instructor.

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The Ladybugs Class- 2's Lead Teacher: Mayra Alvarez

Ms. Mayra has taught at St. Mark's for many years as a Lead Teacher for one of our 2's classes. She completed her Child Development Associate certification in 2013. Ms. Mayra also teaches after school enrichment classes and provides childcare for St. Mark's Church.

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The Ladybugs Class- 2's Assistant Teacher: Joni Rosetta

Ms. Joni has been working with children for over 20 years. She most enjoys sharing her knowledge, fun, caring, and development appropriate teachings with the children. When she is not teaching she loves listening to music and spending time with her beautiful family.

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The Bears Class- 2's Lead Teacher: Kiki Grimes

Ms. Kiki joined St. Mark's in the summer of 2022. Her love for the school came from her family working there for years and both her siblings attending the school.

Ms. Kiki strongly believes in creating a safe and nourishing environment where children can grow not only through knowledge but emotionally also. Ms. Kiki is currently in school to receive her CDA. In her free time, she enjoys being outdoors, journaling, and spending time with her friends and family.

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The Bears Class- 2's Assistant Teacher: Kimbree Gordan

Ms. Kimbree is from Waco, Texas, and move to Austin in early 2020. Before working at St. Marks she was a nanny for 4 years. Her passion is to help children grow emotionally and socially. She joined the St. Mark's team in the summer of 2023 and fell in love with the school and community. She is looking forward to the school year. In her free time, she loves being outdoors and trying new restaurants.

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The Butterflies Class- 3's Lead Teacher: Veronica Wade

Ms. Veronica has been a part of the St. Mark’s community for 14 years. Her passion includes helping children reach developmental milestones, encouraging children to interact with others to develop social skills, and helping children be creative in a play-based environment. She received her CDA in 2013.

Ms. Veronica previously worked in the airline industry for customer service and human resources. She has lived in Austin for over 30 years with her husband and two sons.

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The Butterflies Class- 3's Assistant Teacher: Louise Mcloughlin

Ms. Louise moved to Texas from England back in 2008 for a 6 month work posting with her husband, they loved Texas so much that they decided to call this home. Ms. Louise has 2 elementary age boys at Barton Hills and in her spare time, she and her family love to travel and are keen campers.

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The Starfish Class- 3's Lead Teacher: Victoria Houtman

Ms. Victoria is a native of the UK. She has 2 elementary school age children and has lived in Austin, TX since 2015. Before moving to the US in 2002, she worked for a large corporate headquarters in London.

Once she had her children, she needed a career change, and began substitute teaching at her children’s preschool in Atlanta, Georgia. She realized her passion and became Lead Teacher in the 2’s class. Whilst teaching she obtained her CDA Certification in Early Childcare. Focusing on arts, fostering creativity and helping students learn through exploration and play is her teaching philosophy. Learning together with respect and a loving environment, is what she loves and enjoys most about the St Mark's Community.

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The Starfish Class- 3's Assistant Teacher: Lucia Islas

Ms. Lucia has been a part of the St. Mark’s community since 2021 when she came on board as a substitute teacher. Her previous experience as an interpreter and translator for school-based mental health clinics cemented in her the belief that all children deserve to be celebrated and loved in a safe, caring, and encouraging environment.

She grew up in a big family in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. She has been living in Austin since 2010 and gets to share life with her husband, their two daughters, Cloud the cat, Rosie the pug, and Lisa the fish. She loves music, theatre, pickleball, spending time outdoors, and laughing with family and friends

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The Otters Class- 3's Lead Teacher: Aileen Cox

Ms. Aileen has a degree in early childhood development from Texas Tech University. She has two sons in elementary school. She loves working with the amazing children utilizing her endless energy, spirit and wonderful organizational skills.

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The Otters Class- 3's Assistant Teacher: Fernanda Rodriguez

Ms. Fern is a proud Texan native as she grew up in the heart of the Rio Grande Valley in Brownsville, Texas. From an early age her mother instilled in her the importance and benefit of what a private school education can provide. In Brownsville she attended The Episcopal Day School K-6, then attended St. Joseph Academy 7-12. During her time at St. Joseph she spent many of her service hours volunteering at elementary schools tutoring and assessing students.

Ms. Fern is a creative at heart so she decided to continue her education studying at The University of Texas at Austin, graduating with a BA in Theatre and Dance with an Emphasis in Costume Design in May 2023. This is Ms. Ferns first year at St. Marks and she couldn’t be more excited! She loves the atmosphere and believes in cultivating a safe space for children to explore their education through social and emotional learning. She can’t wait to gain more classroom experience here and is looking forward to what’s to come!

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The Owls Class- Pre-K Lead Teacher: Valerie Hartle

Ms. Valerie is the lead teacher for one of our pre-k classes. She has a BA in Studio Art from The University of Texas. Originally from San Antonio, she has lived in Austin since 1989. Ms. Valerie loves the curiosity, creativity, and love of learning from her students. She believes that all children deserve patience and respect.

Some of Ms. Valerie’s favorite things other than the students at St. Mark's are spending time with her family (husband and three grown children), and hunting for vintage things. An example is she collects lunchboxes or Halloween decorations, and she enjoys watching live music.

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The Owls Class- Pre-K Assistant Teacher: Laura Kamp

Ms. Laura studied Communication Sciences and Disorders at Baylor University. She grew up in Houston and lived in Moscow, Russia during her teenage years. Her favorite things about St. Mark's are the warm community and the seeing the fun and humorous side the children bring.

Outside of school, Ms. Laura likes to spend time with her husband, their dog Molly, and their family. She is also a huge movie fanatic and is also an active member of the Austin Hill Country Alumnae chapter of Kappa Delta.

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The Foxes Class- Pre-K Lead Teacher: Melissa Browning

Ms. Melissa has lived in Barton Hills for many years. She first became part of the St. Mark's family as a parent and subsequently became a substitute teacher and is currently a lead teacher for one of our Pre-K classes.

Ms. Melissa enjoyed a career in Human Resources after graduating from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. She has been actively involved with children volunteering with Help One Student to Succeed (HOSTS), teaching Sunday school, and volunteering at BHE.

She has a special interest in helping children with pre-reading and writing skills, encouraging creativity and fostering independence and social emotional growth.

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The Foxes Class- Pre-K Assistant Teacher: Beth Hodgson

Ms. Beth a Canadian moved to Austin with her family from the UK in 2015. Her son is in 7th grade at the local middle school. She is a huge fan of the great outdoors and loves to travel and cook with her family.

She is super thrilled to be part of the St. Mark's community and working with all the wonderful children. She most enjoys helping the students explore their creative and curious side. She loves to see them all learning together as a group in a respectful and nurturing environment.

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Sybi Ward, Music Instructor

Ms. Sybi teaches music classes each day. Sybi was brought up in a musical family. Her father was the Minister of Music at a Baptist church in Houston, where Sybi began singing in choirs at the age of 3. Sybi continued making music in choirs, band, and orchestra through college. In addition to singing and playing the piano, Sybi is a harpist; and has played for civic groups, churches, and weddings. She currently directs a preschool choir at First Baptist Church, sings in the Sanctuary Choir, and plays in the handbell choir.