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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. 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  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  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.