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Paragon Preschool 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  Emily Bolt
Emily Bolt
Art Teacher

Emily Bolt graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in 2009 with a Bachelors of Arts. That same year, she began teaching at Paragon. Emily teaches art to kinder-8th grade and created Paragon’s Social and Emotional Learning Curriculum that is based on Mindfulness and a Growth mindset philosophy.

Emily is also a practicing artist, musician, certified yoga Instructor, and mindfulness instructor. Emily believes that being an artist is a way of being in the world.  Art classes function under the philosophy that every person is an artist and all humans are innately creative beings. People are not “born artists”; rather, drawing, painting, sculpting, and creativity are learned by gaining a certain set of skills and practicing them, just like music, dance, sports, and academics. Practicing art making is vital to children’s growth on many levels. The creative process of making art promotes high level critical thinking skills, communication skills, emotional intelligence, observation skills, open-mindedness, creative problem solving, eye-hand coordination, self-awareness, self-expression, self-esteem, contemplative reflection, inventiveness, and flexibility just to name a few. Art is where the hand, the head, and the heart meet.

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 school videos and PNN (Paragon Network News), develops advertising campaigns, organizes school-wide events and field trips, drives the school bus 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  Crystal Young
Crystal Young
Preschool Teacher

Crystal Young holds an education degree from the University of North Texas and has enjoyed 23 years of teaching young children in the Dallas and Austin public school systems.  Most recently from Austin’s Sunset Valley Elementary School, she was their Teacher of the Year for the 2014-15 school year.  Ms. Young looks forward to putting her knowledge and experience to work in the shaping of her own Pre-School Program at Paragon, working with the school’s littlest of learners.

Crystal enjoys cooking/baking, catching up with friends over dinner, making jewelry and scouring the internet for new things to learn.