WCHE COLLABORATIVE TEAM 2023-2024
Pictured above front row l – r: Dohee Shin, Emily McMurray, Tracy Currie-LaFountaine, and Alona Manore
Second row l - r: Cynthia Blackburn, Karynn Roye, Julie Gordon, and Christina Otwell
Third row l – r: Peyton Metry, Caroline Harris, Johann Salas, and Shereen Hayat
Fourth row l – r: Luis Ponce, Anna Smith, Yvett Galvan, Amanda Pelnarsh, Jennifer Schaye, Joann Molinyawe, Colea Podoloff, and Joey Grasso
Ashley Allison -- Hi I’m Ashley Allison, and this is my first year as LSSP! I’m excited to join the West Cypress family and look forward to a great school year.
Yvett Galvan -- I have been teaching for 17 years in Texas, 9 of these years here in the great LTISD. I graduated from St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas and I have 5 children. The two youngest are a senior at UT Austin and a Junior at the University of Chicago. My husband and I love to travel, visiting our family around the country and spending time on the lake with our 12-year-old Shih Tzu-Poodle, Jagger. Presently I am an ESL Teacher for the Daccliistrict and love my job helping both teachers and students acclimate to learning English as a Second Language.
Julie Gordon -- I’m happy to be back in the Lake Travis ISD this year as a third grade Resource/Inclusion teacher! Prior to my return, I was teaching for the Dripping Springs ISD where I, also, was a third grade Resource/Inclusion teacher after having become Special Education Certified. I taught first grade at WCHE from 2016-19. My husband, Luke, and I are both Aggies, class of ‘02, and are originally Houstonians. We are happy to have college football back and in full swing! We live in WCH and have 3 kids of our own who are also in LT schools–one at the high school, one at LTMS, and our youngest, Asher, is right here in Ms. Minyard’s class.
Caroline Harris – Hi! I am so excited to be back as one of WCHE's Speech Pathologists! I am originally from Chicago, Illinois, and moved to Texas to study at Baylor University where I also attended for my Master's! Sic' Em! My husband and I moved to Bee Cave two years ago and love it and the Austin area. I can't wait for another great year.
Emily McMurray – I moved to Austin in 2012 from Chicago, Illinois. I am married to my husband, Matt, and have two children who attend school in LTISD. I also have two very spoiled dogs, a goldendoodle named Hank and a cavapoo named Cash. Prior to becoming part of the Tiger Family, I taught preschool for 4 years. The 2023-2024 school year will be my 4th at WCHE, and I'm looking forward to another great year as a Tiger!
Peyton Metry – I am so excited to begin my teaching career with LTISD right here at West Cypress Hills Elementary as the G3 Program Teacher! I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and attended Illinois State University for my undergraduate studies in Special Education. I have provided educational services to students in multiple cities, states, and countries! I love to travel and go on adventures and can't wait to start doing so here in Austin!
Joanne Molinyawe – I am looking forward to another amazing year at West Cypress Hills! This will be my fifth year teaching, and I'm super excited! I earned both my Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Elementary Education from Texas State University. I went on to teach 1st and 3rd grade in San Antonio. Then, I spent several years substitute teaching for LTISD before going back full time to the classroom. In my spare time, I enjoy crafting and volunteering at Austin's city animal shelter. I am married to Matt, and together we have a Freshman, Alexis, who attends LTHS. We also have 3 rescue pups!
Amanda Pelnarsh -- I moved to Texas from Illinois. I went to Indiana State University for undergrad, and I continued to Lewis University for graduate school. I received a Master's Degree in Speech-Language Pathology. I love to be outdoors, and I am excited to be a part of the West Cypress Family.
Colea Podoloff – I am a born and raised Texan! I have lived in Austin for 24 years and am entering my 11th year teaching in the LTISD. My husband, Mike, and I have 2 children, Clara and Caleb, who attend LTISD schools, and we have 2 dogs, Marley and Nash. In my spare time, I enjoy running, gardening, and spending time with family.
Christina Otwell – This is my second year as a WCHE Tiger! I’m a wife, mom of an LT Senior, a Special Education Resource Teacher, and part-time Yoga Teacher. I’m really excited about working with our Tigers!
Karynn Roye -- My name is Karynn Roye, I have lived in the Lake Travis area since 2000. This is my first year as an Instructional Aide, and I couldn’t be more excited! I’ve been a part of the Lake Travis community for 23 years and love it here. I have two boys, and both attend WCHE this year!
Johann Salas – I am the proud mother of 3 grown children - Bryan, Jeremy and Monica - and 3 grandchildren, Leilani, Liliana and Julianna. My husband and I moved here 5 years ago from Arlington, Texas and we love it here! I have been a school based Occupational Therapist for 32 years and LOVE working with students, educators, staff and parents. I have many hobbies that include arts and crafts, walking, biking, hiking and socializing with friends and family. Looking forward to an awesome year!
Dohee Shin – This is my 2nd year of teaching and 1st year in LTISD. I have my bachelor’s in Child Development and Family Sciences from UT-Austin and my Masters in Education specifically Curriculum and Instruction from Concordia University,Texas. I love books, and we are going to read so much this year! When I’m not teaching, you’ll find me spending time with my best friend and family.
Anna Smith -- I am so excited to join the WCHE team! I have a Bachelors of Innovation in Inclusive Early Childhood Education and Master’s of Arts in Special Education! I am a former military brat, born and raised in Germany but spent most of my adolescent years through college in Colorado where my family still lives. Prior to transitioning to ARD Facilitator, I taught special education for 4 years from elementary to college, from resource to self-contained / behavior. When I am not working, I am spending most of my free time with my dog named Sir Mix a Lot, who is extremely spoiled!
Christine Urban – I hold a B.S in Exercise Science from Texas A&M, B.S and M.S from Texas Woman's University in Physical Therapy. I am married to my wonderful husband, Johnny. We were both widowed and now married to each other with 6 children and 1 grandson. I have been a PT for 33 years and a school-based PT for 23 years. I am now in my 10th year with Lake Travis ISD and love my job! I am always happy to be a resource to our team.