NTLA Staff


Jennifer Pasteur, Executive Director

Jennifer Pasteur earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Texas State University. She went on to teach in Texas public schools for seven years and earned a Master of Education with a major in Educational Administration, also from Texas State University. Her desire to influence and motivate students to become active participants in their communities led her to found Education in Action, a non-profit organization that provides hands-on learning, travel experiences for Texas students through summer camps and field trips. She has served as Education in Action’s Executive Director since the organization was founded in 2001. In 2011, she expanded on the unique learning experiences offered during Education in Action’s programs by creating yet another educational opportunity, the North Texas Leadership Academy private school. In August 2012, the North Texas Leadership Academy opened its doors to provide bright and gifted students with a Project Based Learning education where learning is applied and relevant. The school’s educational model, which incorporates leadership and service-learning, fulfills Jennifer’s passion, to encourage students to excel and become lifelong learners and leaders.


Kimberly Best, Gifted & Talented Specialist

Kimberly Best serves as North Texas Leadership Academy’s Gifted and Talented Specialist. Kimberly graduated Summa Cum Laude from Midwestern State University and won the President’s Medal of Honor for having the highest average in the Business in Interdisciplinary Studies program. Kimberly has a master’s degree in Reading and was GT Teacher of the Year for Region XIV in 2011. Kimberly believes education should go beyond the classroom, extend technology applications, develop engineering skills, and nurture creativity. She is excited to ignite the passion of learning in her students as a GT specialist for North Texas Leadership Academy.


Katie Buckel, Art Educator

Katie Buckel holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Abilene Christian University. She is an art enthusiast and graphic designer and has experience working in many different art mediums including drawing, painting, photography, print making, and illustration. Katie has taught art to children through private lessons and at the Hope Christian Academy in Ghana, West Africa. She believes the benefits of developing creativity include an enhanced ability to problem solve by thinking outside of the box and an increase in emotional intelligence. Katie enjoys helping NTLA students become well-rounded, thoughtful leaders of the next generation.

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Azucena Bryan, Spanish Language Educator

Ms. Bryan earned her Bachelor of Science in Leadership from CBS in Houston. She taught and trained leaders at the Blossom Institute for several years and went on to teach Spanish within Carroll, Northwest, and Colleyville ISDs. She is currently working on a Masters degree in Teaching English as a Foreign Language. Ms. Bryan loves learning and inspires her students with her passion for education and the course material. She strives to empower her students to take ownership of their own learning and to advance and succeed on their own road to becoming great people who impact their world.


Erica Clark, Lower School Educator, Math and Social Studies

Erica Clark graduated from Texas A & M Commerce with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. She has seven years of experience in teaching kindergarten through third grade. Erica loves to see her students learn through hands on activities and wants to make learning fun. In her spare time she likes to read, bike, spend time with her son, and swim.

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Kay Etheridge, Middle School Educator, Math and Science

Kay earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from Mahidol University in Bangkok, Thailand. After graduation, she worked in the mechanical engineering field and as a private math and science tutor for students in 2nd-12th grades before moving to the United States in 2005. After moving to Texas, she tutored again, teaching elementary-high school math and GED students. Kay is passionate about learning and education. As a mother of three, she knows first-hand that all kids learn best when instructed at their own level and pace. Kay enjoys learning and reading and is dedicated to instilling a love of learning within her students.


Lori Hudgins, Early Childhood Educator, Art and Music

Lori Hudgins, has a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Parsons School of Design and is a member of Interior Design Professionals. Lori, the mother of both a son and a daughter, has been involved in the education of children for the past 11 years at both at her children's schools and at her church. She has served as a preschool teacher with Sonshine Academy at First Baptist Church Colleyville for five years and has worked with Education in Action since 2008. What Lori enjoys most about working with children is watching them learn and grow intellectually.


Diane Kelt, Early Childhood Educator

Diane Kelt holds a Bachelor of Social Work from Radford University and a Master of Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has twelve years of full time teaching experience. Diane enjoys using her creativity, as well as the joy she finds in teaching, to make learning come alive for her students. She is committed to encouraging her students on the path of becoming lifelong learners. Diane's greatest treasures are her three sons, Jacob, Joshua, and Jonah. She enjoys scrapbooking, World War II history, and has added swing dance lessons to her bucket list.

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Linda Gooding, Middle School Educator, English/Language Arts/Reading and Social Studies

Linda Gooding holds a BA from the University of Illinois-Springfield Campus and a Masters in Education from Rockford College. She loves history and English. One of her favorite teaching methods is to make history come alive for her students. She enjoys watching her students develop through the Project Based Learning process. Linda is from Illinois but moved to Texas seven years ago with her husband and daughter. In her spare time she enjoys reading, going to movies, and hanging out with her family and friends.


Rhonda Richardson, Fine Arts Educator

Fine Arts Teacher, Rhonda Richardson, is responsible for North Texas Leadership Academy’s Theatre Arts and Leadership Development Programs. Rhonda graduated from Tarleton State University in 1990 with a BA in Language Arts and Speech Communication/Theatre. Her teaching fields include speech communication, language arts, and theatre. Rhonda has taught 6th through 12th grade including the subjects Language Arts, Speech, Theatre, Yearbook, and Media. Out of her 17 years of teaching, she spent nine and a half years at Coppell Middle School North and has worked with Education in Action for eight years. She is excited to join the NTLA staff so she can help enrich students' lives through innovative and creative teaching.

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Ashley Scott, Early Childhood Educator

Ashley Scott graduated from the University of Texas at Arlington with a Bachelor of Science degree. She has a passion for learning and enjoys helping young children develop in an active learning environment. Before coming to NTLA, Ashley facilitated leadership groups of students taking part in Lone Star Leadership Academy summer camps. In her spare time, Ashley enjoys listening to audiobooks and swimming.


Sara Schroeder, Administrative Dean and Music, Theater Arts and Debate Educator

Sara Schroeder graduated with her Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Texas Lutheran University. She also holds a Master of Liberal Arts from Southern Methodist University and a Master of Music Education from the University of Texas at Arlington. Prior to joining NLTA, Sara taught in public schools for eight years and was a private instructor for seven years. During the summer, she facilitates student leadership groups during Education in Action’s Lone Star Leadership Academy camps. Sara has taught students of all ages and enjoys watching them learn and develop skills they need in life. Sara hopes to instill a love of learning in her students and believes they learn best through real life experiences. In her spare time, Sara enjoys time with her dog Lola, cultural and fine arts events, and cooking.


Diane Woodruff, Lower School Educator, Reading/ Language Arts and Science

Diane Woodruff has 20 years of classroom experience in public schools and has a love of both teaching and learning. She has taught every elementary grade level from 1st grade to 6th, and particularly loves to teach reading and writing. Watching the awe of students as they engage in the scientific processes also gives her great satisfaction.

She received a Bachelor’s Degree from Oklahoma Baptist University, Elementary Education certification from the University of Texas at Tyler, and has also done graduate work in Information Science, as well as being ESL endorsed. She is interested in curriculum and instruction and loves finding strategies that excite and challenge her students. She is an avid reader, enjoys cooking, gardening, and spending time with her husband, Jeff, and her 3-year-old granddaughter, Kodi.

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