Faculty and Staff

Administration

Amy Bryan, PhD

Director

Amy Bryan holds a bachelor’s degree in Applied Learning and Development (Early Childhood Education), a master’s degree in Clinical Social Work, and a doctorate in Human Development and Family Sciences. Since 1991, she has enjoyed successful careers in teaching, school counseling, and social work. In addition to working at the Lab School, Amy teaches undergraduate courses in Human Development and Family Sciences. She is also a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Registered Play Therapist in private practice. In both her research and her clinical work, Amy’s primary interests are understanding and strengthening parent-child relationships. Amy loves to spend time with her family, travel, cook, read books, and ride her bike.

    Randy Barrera, BS

    Health, Safety, and Nutrition Specialist

    Austin has been Randy’s home since 2010 and he has continued to fall in love with the city everyday. Randy has been part of the Lab School since 2013 and has yet to find a reason to leave this wonderful nurturing environment. He graduated from The University of Texas with a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Sciences with an emphasis in early childhood. He took several college courses which involved the Lab School which, in turn, sparked his interest in early childhood education and child development. Randy was also fortunate to be a practicum student at the lab school and was invited to be part of the lab school family shortly after graduation as the Health, Safety, and Nutrition Specialist. He hopes on furthering his education in the near future in a child related field.

      Amanda Davila, BS

      Senior Administrative Associate

      Amanda Davila earned her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Texas at Austin in Human Development and Family Sciences. She has experience teaching young children and found her passion for administration while successfully directing both for-profit and non-profit programs. Amanda serves as the initial contact for the lab school and assists the director, parents, teachers, students, and faculty.

        Master Teachers

        Meena Adhikary, MEd

        Dogwood and Magnolia Master Teacher

        Meena Adhikary is a Master  Teacher at Priscilla Pond Flawn Child and Family Laboratory.  She teaches two classes in which she  facilitates a positive learning environment for young children and supervises  undergraduate and graduate students participating in classroom activities for  practical knowledge.  Ms. Adhikary’s  experience includes thirty years of teaching young children (infant to five  years old) in different early childhood programs in Nepal, Yemen and the United  States of America.  Ms. Adhikary presents  at local and state conferences and provides workshops for parents and teachers  of young children.  Her interests include  social and emotional development of young children, parent-teacher  relationships, guidance in adult-child relationships, early literacy and play of  young children.

          Natalie Ammon, PhD

          Plum and Maple Master Teacher

          Natalie Ammon grew up in Southern California, but now takes pride in calling Texas her home. Her personal background and previous work with urban youths sparked an interest in cultural factors and parenting practices related to academic success. She earned dual bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and in German at the University of Michigan before she came to the University of Texas to obtain her doctoral degree in Human Development and Family Sciences. Natalie loves her current work as an educator at UT Austin, where she serves as both a Master Teacher at the Priscilla Pond Flawn Child and Family Laboratory and a lecturer in the department of Human Development and Family Sciences.

            Sarah Ozuna

            Little Walnut and Crape Myrtle Master Teacher

            Sarah was born and raised in the Austin area. She graduated from The University of Texas with a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Sciences with a concentration in early childhood. She took several undergraduate courses in which she had an involvement with the Lab School, completed her practicum here in 2013, and helped with the summer camp following graduation. She has completed a graduate certificate program in Play Therapy, and is finishing her Master of Science in Human Development and Family Sciences in Family and Community Services from Oklahoma State University. Sarah teaches two classes at the Lab School, Little Walnut and Crape Myrtle. Sarah is passionate about using developmentally appropriate practices to give children the skills to be independent and confident individuals. She is interested in creating a positive atmosphere and exciting environment for the children to grow developmentally across all domains. In her spare time Sarah loves outdoor activities, such as, hiking, kayaking, paddle boarding, and spending time at the beach. She also loves to travel and explore new places.

              Cate Robinson, MEd

              Pecan Master Teacher

              Cate Robinson has been working at the Lab School for since 2009 in different classrooms with various duties. She began leading our 5 year old, Pecan classroom in 2012. Ms. Robinson received her BS at The University of Texas at Austin in Human Development and Family Sciences, with a concentration in Early Childhood.  She received her MEd with a focus in ESL from Texas State University.  Cate’s interests include literature, children with Special Needs, and Bilingualism in Early Childhood.

                  Karen Kinsel Silcox, PhD

                  Karen is the Master Teacher for 4-5 year old children in the Live Oak Classroom.  Karen has a BS in Child Development and Elementary Education from Vanderbilt University.  She previously worked as a classroom teacher, Child Life Assistant, and a Preschool Teacher in an arts infused preschool in Tampa, FL and Charleston, SC.  She moved to Austin, TX in 2003 to pursue graduate school.  Karen was a research assistant and a teaching assistant for Child Development and Developmentally Appropriate Practices while completing her Masters and Phd in Human Development and Family Sciences from University of Texas at Austin.  She continued to teach courses in HDFS for several years before becoming a Master Teacher.  She is very interested in the role parents play in children’s school experiences, children’s social and emotional well-being, and best practices in both child development centers and in collegiate classrooms.  She lives in Dripping Springs with her husband, her 3 children, and her mom.

                    Hallie Speranza, MA

                    Redbud Master Teacher

                    Hallie has her Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies from Lake Forest College in Chicago Illinois and her Master of Arts Degree in Child Development and Family Relationships from the University of Texas at Austin. She has been a master teacher with the lab school since 1998. Hallie is a lecturer with the Department of Human Development and Family Sciences.