Meet Our Educators
Christina Callaway, M.A.
Director and Co-Founder
Christina Callaway was born in Manila, Philippines, and moved to Texas as a junior high student. Her experience as a young student at international schools helped her develop an appreciation for other cultures and languages. This eventually led to an adventurous career teaching for a decade in international schools in South America and the Middle East.
Christina has been in education for over 15 years and has taught a variety of subjects and grade levels throughout her career. She has served as International Baccalaureate Coordinator, Assistant Principal, and Principal in the private school sector. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Smith College and a master’s degree in Educational Leadership and Administration from The George Washington University. Ms. Callaway is fluent in Spanish and speaks conversational Portuguese and Tagalog.
"The joy of teaching comes from witnessing my students make connections across various content areas. I enter my classroom each day with the mindset that all students can learn. My goal is to develop students to ask questions and think about mathematics in the world around them. I am thrilled to share my passion for STEM learning and innovation."
Stephen Michalik, M.Ed.
Curriculum Coordinator and Co-founder
3rd-7th Grade Math and Science
Stephen Michalik is a graduate of the University of Northern Colorado with a Master’s in Interdisciplinary Studies and Mathematics and will be entering his 14th year in education next school year.
Mr. Michalik recently participated in Texas A&M's Texas Regional Math Collaborative which focuses on project-based learning, algebraic thinking and problem-solving. He was also selected to participate in the Texas A&M Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers, a collaborative research project promoting STEM through the use of building automation applications, connected devices (commonly called the Internet of Things) and 3D printing. Stephen has presented at both district and state mathematics conferences on technology and its influence in the math classroom.
When he is not in the classroom, Stephen stays active in the community: training for triathlons, coaching swimming, and mentoring prison inmates at the Wallace Pack Unit in Navasota.
"Building a personal relationship with each of my students is integral to my holistic approach. My goal is to develop fluent readers and articulate writers with dazzling communication skills. Coupled with social-emotional development, this strong foundation is the platform to help students develop their personal voice and the confidence to use it in impactful ways."
Lilly Molinaris, B.A.
3rd-7th Grade English Language Arts
Lilly Molinaris is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a degree in English and is Texas certified to teach English, Language Arts, Reading and ESL (English as a Second Language). Lilly served as an Education Manager with the non-profit organization Junior Achievement for four years developing relationships between professionals from many industries and teachers eager to bring real-world expertise and insight into their classrooms. Lilly credits the rewarding Junior Achievement experience to her decision to become an educator, starting her career in Houston ISD in 2004. She has also worked in Alvin ISD and Conroe ISD.
Lilly was most recently a House Parent at the Milton Hershey School in Hershey, Pennsylvania, serving with her husband and sons (ages 13 and 9) to provide a loving home, day-to-day care and a sense of family to students in residence. MHS is a Judeo-Christian boarding school that aims to break the cycle of poverty through education and mentoring. The Molinaris family was inspired to contribute to the mission by sharing their gift of home and family.
Outside of work, Lilly loves to cook for family and friends and enjoys a lively book club gathering. She also keeps a gratitude journal as a daily reminder that “Every Good and Perfect Gift is from Above.”
"I believe deeply in the transformative power of mentoring relationships and individualized instruction. My goals in the classroom always include developing students' confidence and preparing them for real-life cultural and linguistic situations they will encounter. At ANCS, I work hard to meet each child's needs and interest in Spanish, and I challenge them to develop their fluency in speaking, literacy, and cultural awareness. I am passionate about expanding students' global worldview!"
Dr. Nicole Puig-Herz, Ph.D.
Language Program Coordinator
Dr. Nicole Puig received dual Honors Baccalaureate diplomas from Virginia Tech in Spanish and International Studies with minors in French and European Studies, and her Ph.D. in Romance Studies from Cornell University. She has nearly two decades of experience teaching language, literature, writing, cultural studies, and film; she has taught ages 4 to adult in a multitude of settings before teaching in private school. Nicole speaks eight languages with varying levels of fluency, of which she has taught four: Spanish, Catalan, French, and English.
As a Cuban-American, Dr. Puig relates viscerally to the opportunities and challenges for children who are raised in bilingual families in the U.S. She has a real passion for bilingual education, whether for her students or for her own children, who are also multilingual. She loves encouraging even the most hesitant students to embrace language learning and to overcome hurdles.
In her spare time, Nicole enjoys cooking, spending time with her family, training her rambunctious dog Bandit, and traveling. She is passionate about women's education and health, has volunteered with Refugee Services of Texas, and has traveled to Peru several times as interpreter for her church.
Dr. Puig believes everyone can and should be exposed to at least two languages and have opportunities to engage with other cultures. The earlier the better, but it is never too late.
"I am passionate about nurturing and developing each unique child that comes into my classroom. I believe this is done through supporting, loving, and challenging each child as they grow academically, physically, socially, and emotionally."
Erin Strom, M.S.
Erin Strom graduated from Wheaton College in Illinois with a B.A. in Christian Education. She went on to acquire her Master's degree in Elementary Education from National Louis University in Chicago. Ms. Strom's Illinois Professional Educator License certifies her to teach Kindergarten through 5th grade. She has a wealth of teaching experience that brings a unique perspective to education as a whole. In addition to her classroom experience, Erin has served as an after-school Program Coordinator for refugee students and reading interventionist for students acquiring English. Erin has also designed curriculum that fulfills state content standards through unit and lesson plans.
Ms. Strom is passionate about impacting the world and being globally-minded. She cultivated this desire while living in Uganda, Africa. During her time in Uganda, she volunteered at Noah’s Ark School—home to over 100 orphans—teaching in their primary and secondary classrooms. In her free time, Ms. Strom enjoys playing soccer, traveling, being creative, and spending time with family and friends.
"I believe each child has a unique perspective that is valuable to their community. Developing their artistic skills gives them the tools and methods they need to express that perspective, as well as grow in creativity, empathy, and their own identity."
Chelsea Swenson, B.A.
Chelsea Swenson was born in California and moved to Ecuador with her family, where she spent most of her formative years. She attended an international school in Quito, Ecuador for eight years and later graduated from North Park University in Chicago with a B.A. in both Education and Visual Arts. Chelsea has certification in Illinois and Texas as a K-8 bilingual teacher with an endorsement in Special Education. She worked as a bilingual kindergarten teacher (English/Spanish) in the Aldine school district in Humble, Texas for three years.
Chelsea has traveled to over 20 countries in her lifetime and is passionate about culture, unity in diversity, and community development. She spent some months in West Africa doing volunteer work, as well as time in Turkey and Greece. She is certified in the "First Aid Arts" curriculum which uses art therapy to bring healing to groups of people who have experienced trauma. For the last four years, she has been living and working in Madrid, Spain with a non-profit organization doing community development. Located in the most international neighborhood in Madrid, she taught art classes, assisted with English classes, and did summer camps for the neighborhood kids. She was also involved in many art events of Madrid as an artist, as well as curating an art show to raise funds for refugees. She truly believes in the power of art to bring unity, understanding, inspiration, and healing to individuals and communities.
Todd Wolfard, B.S.
"Coaching provides me the opportunity to develop youth. Social media, video games, and smart phones have broken down the ability for youth to interact socially. My goal is to meet children where they are and help them develop into well-balanced young men and women."
Todd Wolfard graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 2000 with a B.S. in Environmental Science. He spent 12 years as a HAZMAT/Health and Safety professional before entering the world of coaching and working with youth.
Coach Todd has a broad range of experience in youth development and as a sports and physical education coach. He has coached over 20 basketball teams and facilitated various basketball clinics throughout The Woodlands community. He also teaches the Homeschool PE program for the YMCA of Greater Houston.
Todd is actively involved in The Woodlands community, as well. He and his wife established a mentoring program through their local church, which provides independent living and life skills, coupled with faith-based teachings.
Coach Todd is committed to caring for and developing local youth. His approach is centered on encouraging students to make positive and thoughtful decisions guided by scripture.
Dr. Joyce A. Carroll, Ed.D., H.L.D.
In her sixty-year career in education, Dr. Joyce Armstrong Carroll has taught every grade level from primary through graduate school. In the past forty years, working in tandem with her husband Edward Wilson, she has trained thousands of teachers, who, in turn, have taught hundreds of thousands of students. A nationally known consultant, she has served as president of TCTE and on NCTE’s Commission on Composition and its Standing Committee Against Censorship.
Recipient of the Edmund J. Farrell Lifetime Achievement Award in Education and the Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters for her work in Education, Dr. Carroll has written numerous articles and over twenty books—most on teaching and writing, including Acts of Teaching: How to Teach Writing, now going into its third edition. She has also co-authored a national writing and grammar series, as well as AbydosPRO: An Integrated Writing and Grammar Curriculum. Dr. Carroll co-directs Abydos Literacy Learning.
Most recently, Dr. Carroll has authored the Writing Workshop Teacher’s Guide within the comprehensive English and Spanish Language Arts programs HMH Into Reading and HMH ¡Arriba la Lectura!