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Paragon Prep Faculty

Photo of  David McGrath M.Ed.
David McGrath M.Ed.
Founder/Headmaster

David McGrath came to Austin in 1986 to begin his college education at The University of Texas. There he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Masters in Educational Psychology while competing as a member of the Longhorn football team. Following graduation from UT, Mr. McGrath served as a counselor, teacher and school administrator in Austin schools before becoming Paragon’s Founder and Headmaster.

Mr. McGrath serves on the Board of Directors for the Texas Alliance of Accredited Private Schools.  He is also a member of several state and national associations and honor societies including: the Texas Counseling Association, the Association of College Admissions Counselors, EO Austin, Phi Kappa Phi, Psi Chi, and the Mensa Society.

Photo of  Jackie Acosta
Jackie Acosta
​Director of Elementary PE and Assistant Girls Athletic Director

Jacklyn Acosta was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. She moved to Austin where she became a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin and earned a Bachelor of Science in Applied Movement Science in 2015. The knowledge and experience that she gained from UT is reflected in her teaching and coaching to best benefit our students. She teaches Physical Education to Kinder through 6th graders here at Paragon. She brings valuable knowledge on how to make a Physical Education class beneficial to all students so they can learn to enjoy being active for a lifetime. Along with teaching Physical Education she coaches several of the team sports that are offered to the students including volleyball, basketball, and track & field.

Photo of  Paul Benton
Paul Benton
Director of the Middle School
Mr. Benton is the Director of the Middle School at The Schools of Paragon.  Before joining the Paragon team, he served as Assistant Principal at Murchison Middle School in AISD and taught in multiple roles as a Special Education teacher including the SCORES program (students with high functioning Autism/Asperger’s) at Anderson High School.  He also draws from experience from teaching at Flowing Wells Unified School District in Tucson, Arizona and Ridgeview Middle School in Round Rock ISD.  He has a strong and life-long passion for teaching and learning and holds a Masters degree in Educational Administration from Concordia University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Applied Learning and Development with a Minor in Special Education from the University of Texas at Austin.
Photo of  Emily Bolt
Emily Bolt
Art Teacher

Emily Bolt graduated from The University of Texas at Austin. She studied both Visual Arts and English focusing on painting, drawing, and creative writing. Emily has taught in various arenas in Austin and creates out of her in home studio. She started teaching as a visual and performing arts instructor at the Dougherty Arts Center. Next, she combined her interest in social work, psychology, and art, working as a therapeutic child care specialist at the Helping and Home for Children and facilitating murals with at-risk youth at several Austin middle schools through Communities in Schools. Emily experienced the transformative power that making art holds. She went on to teach art to students with disabilities at the Maverick school, and worked with Amala Foundation’s One Village Project facilitating art and fundraising shows with immigrant and war refugee children from around the world. Mr. McGrath found her teaching private lessons and directing an art camp The Art Pad Studio in the summer of 2009. She is honored and elated to now be teaching at Paragon. She hopes to help students contribute to the Paragon culture and enliven their campus with creativity. Emily is continually inspired by the students she teaches. She strongly believes that the process of making art helps improve creative critical thinking, visual intelligence, and self-awareness.

Photo of  Bob Cash
Bob Cash
5th Grade Teacher

Bob Cash earned a degree in Accounting from the University of Texas, at Austin in 1980 and spent the next seven years employed in the public accounting, and real estate appraisal fields. However, a yearning to teach young people resurfaced and he returned to school, Southwest Texas State University, to earn a teaching certificate and a Masters of Education.

Before coming to Paragon in August 2000, Bob spent the previous ten years working with some wonderful fifth graders and teachers at Oak Hill Elementary School in Austin.
At Oak Hill, Bob was selected Teacher of the Year in 1994, and nominated by a former student then recognized in Who’s Who Among American Teachers for 2000. He has a love of math, American history and sports.

“The energy, resiliency, and eagerness possessed by young people is motivating. Helping them acquire knowledge and understanding while strengthening values such as love, dedication, perseverance, responsibility, and respect is not only rewarding but a blessing.”

Photo of  Mark Hathaway
Mark Hathaway
Founder/Business Manager

Mr. Hathaway holds a Bachelor’s of Business Administration in finance from The University of Texas at Arlington. Mr. H started his professional career as an investment specialist in Shreveport, Louisiana. During this time, he sought refuge from the boiler room by volunteering with kids in different school and sports settings. The time he spent working with kids was much more rewarding than his job. In the spring of 1997, Mr. H quit his “day job” to come help start Paragon. It was a very scary but easy decision.

Over the years, he has worn many hats at Paragon: math teacher, athletic director, coach, bus driver, janitor, physical plant, birthday singer, Slurpee provider, trip leader, and many more.  Mr. Hathaway currently serves as Paragon’s business manager and he continues his reign as Paragon’s “Director of Fun!”

Photo of  Lindsay Hay
Lindsay Hay
Administrator

Lindsay Hay graduated from the University of Alabama with a Bachelor’s degree in Telecommunications and Film, with minors in Marketing and Psychology. After college, she spent 8 years in the Motion Picture Film Industry as a camera technician in Florida, Colorado, and Alabama. When motherhood called, Lindsay fine tuned her photography skills from home, while homeschooling her children. After preschool teaching, freelance photography, and working as a website administrator for a fashion boutique, Lindsay found her way to Paragon.

Working for Paragon, Lindsay takes pictures, creates student videos, develops advertising campaigns, drives the school bus, monitors 5th – 8th grade mornings and lunches, and most of all– has the opportunity to interact with students during a transformational time in their lives.

“I have found the perfect job that utilizes all of my skills. I love photography, graphic design, and marketing– especially for a school I believe in. I also love talking with the students and helping them with the Paragon journey. There is something educationally fantastic happening here and I feel so fortunate to be a part of it.”

Photo of  Haley Hobratschk
Haley Hobratschk
English & Humanities Teacher

Haley is a born and bred Austinite. Her educational experiences as a student in Austin include Lamar Middle School, Kealing Magnet Program and McCallum High School. She graduated from Texas State University with a Major in English, a Minor in Dance and teaching certificates for grades 4-12 and English as a Second Language. She returned to her alma mater, Kealing Junior High, for her first teaching job as a 7th grade English teacher in the Magnet program.

In 2011, Haley was accepted into the Master¹s Programme for Children’s Literature at the UK’s National Children’s Literature Centre at Roehapmton University in London. She moved to England and completed her Master’s degree in Children’s Literature, with a focus on Young Adult Literature, as well as fulfilling a lifelong dream of living and traveling abroad.

Haley returned to the States and found a position with Del Valle High School. While at Del Valle she taught 9th, 10th, and 11th grade English, Special Education Inclusion classes, English as a Second Language, as well as ran the Junior Varsity and Varsity Cheer Programs.

Haley is excited to find a position that combines her passions of literature, world cultures and teaching young people. She is honored to become part of the Paragon Family.

Photo of  Debi Hoskins
Debi Hoskins
Science and Health Teacher

Debi Hoskins teaches 7th and 8th grade science classes as well as High School Health at Paragon. Mrs. Hoskins has been teaching science for the past 16 years at both public and private schools. The last 6 years she has worked at Lago Vista High School teaching Freshman Biology and Senior Anatomy & Physiology. Prior to Lago Vista, she taught at Gabriel Richard High School in Riverview, Michigan. Over the years, she has taught Biology, Zoology, Chemistry, Physical Science, Anatomy & Physiology and Health.

Debi earned a Bachelors of Science in Biology and Health from Abilene Christian University and a Masters degree from Marygrove College. She enjoys many outdoor activities such as gardening and camping, but her passion is scuba diving. She enjoys traveling in the summer with her husband to a variety of countries in Central America. She is currently taking Spanish classes and hopes to become bilingual. She loves spending time with her family as well as all of their pets.

“I love teaching science because it explains the world in which we live. Science is interesting and practical. Science explains how a car works, why the dog follows you around the house, and why salt on the sidewalk makes ice melt. Science allows you to understand why the first hill on the roller coaster is always the largest. It also explains why barrier reefs provide some of the most amazing diversity of life in the world. I love sharing my curiosity of the world with my students.”

Photo of  David Katz
David Katz
Girl's Sports Athletic Director & PE Teacher

David Katz earned a BA in history from St. Edwards University. He started out his college career at Texas State (SWT) where he was a member of the men’s basketball team. From 1995 until 2008 David and his wife, Cece, and their two daughters, Annika (9) and Maddie (7), lived in Los Angeles where David worked as an actor. He was on the TV show, The West Wing from 1999-2006.

David has coached both the Houston and Austin Maccabi boys’ basketball teams and is currently an assistant coach under Bobby Schwartz on the AAU team Kryptonite.  David was also a member of the gold medal Mens Basketball Team USA in the 2011 Pan-Am Games.  He was awarded the bronze medal for the USA Men’s Basketball Team in the 2013 Macabbi Games in Israel.

“I am honored to be a part of Paragon. Having recently completed my teaching certification, I have observed many different schools throughout Austin and Paragon far and away surpasses all of them. It is great to be a part of team Paragon.”
Photo of  Diane LaGrone
Diane LaGrone
English Teacher

Diane has been teaching since the age of 13, if you count summer community pool swimming lessons. She has extensive teaching experience in both public and private schools, as well as at university level. An undergraduate degree in Art History enhanced her love of language. Graduate studies in rhetoric fueled her desire to teach pre-AP and AP English classes, which evolved into a Master of Science in Reading. Prior to her Paragon Experience, she taught at the University of Texas at Arlington, Carthage ISD, Calallen ISD, Bishop CISD, Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi, and the University of Texas at Austin. Diane and her husband enjoy hunting and fishing, often with some of the grandchildren, and travel to Washington and Alaska as often as a teacher’s schedule will allow.

“Middle-school students have such energy and passion, both of which shift dramatically and often. I love being in the middle of such active learning experiences. I believe that middle-schoolers need teachers who are willing to make appropriate adjustments to facilitate learning. While students need guidance in academic pursuits, they also need guidance as they are learning to become responsible members of society. I value Paragon’s mission and goals and look forward to helping them happen for my students.”

Photo of  Sarah Lydon
Sarah Lydon
Science Teacher

Sarah earned her Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science at Colorado College. She also met her husband Mitch there. They moved to Albuquerque together after college, where she pursued a teaching certificate in Secondary Science at the University of New Mexico. Sarah taught 6th grade Earth Science in Albuquerque for three years. She has lived in Austin for three years with her husband and they are now raising their daughter, Lillian here. Sarah has taught at Kealing Middle School for two years, teaching 6th grade science and Forensics as an elective. Her favorite part about teaching is the kids experiencing science hands-on through lab experiments and real world applications.

Sarah has always traveled and worked pursuing her passion as a teacher, from being a park guide and naturalist in Seattle teaching children about wild salmon to coaching team level gymnastics in Florida. She looks forward to working with new students and is excited to join the Paragon Family.

Photo of  Marilyn McArthur
Marilyn McArthur
Math Teacher

Marilyn Dougherty McArthur has had a varied teaching profession. After graduating from Louisiana State University she spent several years teaching elementary school.
She is the mother of 4 children – now grown, and a proud grandmother of five. Mrs. McArthur spent 16 years as a stay-at-home mother before re-entering the teaching profession. Upon returning to teaching she earned a masters degree in education from Louisiana State University at Shreveport, with an emphasis on teaching of gifted and mathematics. She has continued her graduate education, in mathematics and school administration. Mrs. McArthur has taught seven years in Shreveport, LA, five years in Page, AZ, and has completed eight years at Paragon Prep. These venues have given her varied experiences from gifted classes to multi-cultures.

Mrs. McArthur is a member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, the Association of Supervision and Development, and the Council of Presidential Awardees. She has been a speaker at state, regional and national mathematics meetings. In 1997, Mrs. McArthur was awarded the Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching of Mathematics, representing the state of Arizona.

“We live in a mathematical world. Mathematical competence opens doors to productive futures. Due to the advancement of technology the level of mathematical and critical thinking had dramatically increased. Mathematical students of today are entitled to a set of mathematical basics that will enable them to compute fluently and to solve problems creatively and resourcefully.”

Photo of  Will Reynolds
Will Reynolds
Social Studies Teacher

Will Reynolds graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Wake Forest University in 1983. After graduation he worked in banking and commercial real estate in Washington D.C.

In 1992, seeking challenge and reward, Will decided to change careers and entered a Masters program in Education at George Washington University during the evenings while substitute teaching during the day. He has taught Middle School Social Studies in Washington and Austin for fifteen years. He and his wife Heather have a thirteen year old son, Henry.

“While I certainly want my students to leave my class with a wealth of knowledge, I realize that I need to do more than fill their heads with a bunch of facts. To be successful, I must teach them how to be a student and make them want to be a student. The great part about Paragon is that the line between work and play is blurred: We work hard, but we know how to have fun doing it.”

Photo of  Bobby Schwartz
Bobby Schwartz
Athletic Director, PE Coach

Coach Bobby Schwartz is a graduate of the Master’s program at The University of Texas and holds a Double Major BA from USC. He is a Texas State certified teacher and has completed 30 hours of work towards his PHD. Coach Schwartz comes to Paragon from the college ranks after serving as an Assistant Coach to the Men’s Basketball team at St. Edwards University where in his first year they won the first Heartland conference championship in school history, first Heartland conference tournament title and earned a bid to the NCAA tournament. Before ST. Edward’s he was the assistant men’s Basketball Coach at Concordia University and served as Athletic Director and Head Basketball Coach at St. Mary’s where his varsity team went 65-0 over three seasons. Coach Schwartz is currently a member of the (NABC) National Association of Basketball Coaches and a former member of the American Coaches Federation. In 2007 Coach Schwartz was named the National Director of the American Jewish Coaches Association of College Basketball Coaches.

As a strong believer of continuing education in the field of coaching, Coach Schwartz has completed the NABC Coaches Professional Development series training for the last four years. Coach Schwartz is an ordained Rabbi and serves as Chaplain to the Critical Incident Response team of the Texas State Troopers under the Department of Public Safety for the past five years. Prior to that Coach Schwartz served as chaplain to the Austin Police Department.

Photo of  Jeffrey Shoup
Jeffrey Shoup
Latin Teacher
Jeffrey Shoup earned his Bachelors of Arts in History and English from the University of Texas at Austin in 2006 and his Masters in Education from Concordia University in Portland in 2017. After his undergraduate degree, he immediately stepped into a career of teaching at various Austin area private schools while working with a wide range of ages, from substituting in kindergarten classes to coaching research projects among high school seniors. Beyond Latin, he has taught various middle and high school courses in critical thinking (informal and symbolic logic, debate, rhetoric), history (ancient, Greco-Roman, Biblical, and US), literature (ancient and modern) and language (English grammar). He has also served as a conference presenter and panelist on the topics of ancient philosophy and critical thinking integration for students at the middle and high school level.
 
“At the start of our modern era, René Descartes wrote these words: Sed quid igitur sum? Res cogitans. Quid est hoc? Nempe dubitans, intelligens, affirmans, negans, volens, nolens, imaginans quoque, et sentiens. That is to say, ‘Yet what therefore am I? “A thinking thing.” What is this? Truly, one that is doubting, realizing, affirming, denying, desiring, refusing, imagining also, and perceiving.’ The mind experiences all these states, and expresses each through language. What Latin unlocks for students at Paragon is, hopefully, a greater perspective on their identity. By studying its vast influence on our own language, its grammatical structure alongside our own, and its accompanying culture which produced glorious triumphs and barbaric horrors, we can better understand our 21st century reality as citizens of our particular local, national, and global communities. Of course, to bring things down to Earth, the benefits of Latin also extend to SAT scores, critical thinking skills, and mastery of modern Romance languages. Excelsior!”
Photo of  Clara Trevino
Clara Trevino
Assistant Girl’s Athletic Director, PE Teacher, Head Girl’s Volleyball Coach

After multiple offers to continue to play sports in college, Coach Clara decided to instead pursue her undergraduate degree at The University of Texas at Austin. She received her B.A. in Cultural Geography/Pre-Law with a Minor in Spanish.

Before entering the law school realm, Clara went on a mission trip to Panama where she taught students from K-2nd grade.  It was then that she realized that her true passion was working with kids.  Upon returning from her missionary trip, she served as an after-school teacher and mentor for students in the Austin area ranging from Kinder through their college years.

Coach Clara was brought on board to coach volleyball for Paragon in 2013. During her first year of coaching, she led her team to their first District Title in years and helped the girls win first place in the AIPL Volleyball tournament. Coach Clara now serves as Paragon’s Head Volleyball Coach and Director and forms part of Paragon’s coaching staff.

Coach Clara says she is truly blessed to have the opportunity to help mold the minds of students both on and off the court, instilling good morals and values that they can use far beyond their Paragon years.

Clara is currently working on her Master’s Degree in Physical Education, Instruction and Curriculum at Texas State University.

Photo of  Jacob White
Jacob White
Associate Athletic Director, Middle School PE Director, Head Soccer Coach

After being born and raised in San Antonio, Jacob moved to Austin where he graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in 2013. He received a Bachelors of Science degree in Kinesiology and Health Education. Jacob spent his college years learning about the human body and gained valuable experience training through class work and internships. Along with coaching at Paragon, Jacob is a speed/strengthening coach for kids ages 8-17 and athletes of all sports and skill levels.

He is excited to continue using his skills to help Paragon students grow on and off the field, in all aspects of life.