About Us


Alexandra Elliot, PhD, Director/Founder

Dr. Alexandra Elliot is a certified teacher, certified reading specialist, and certified special education teacher with over 25 years of teaching experience.  In addition to being a reading/dyslexia specialist, she has taught general education, special education, and gifted/talented education.  She has a Master of Science degree in Education (Reading Specialist), and a second Master of Science degree in Special Education .  In addition, she has a PhD in Clinical Psychology with a Concentration in Neuropsychology.  Her areas of expertise are dyslexia intervention (Orton Gillingham), dysgraphia intervention,  dyscalculia, gifted/talented (2e), and executive functioning.  She has presented her research on reading interventions and working memory at the International Literacy Association, National Academy of Neuropsychology, and other national conferences. While offering private dyslexia and special education services to children in Austin, she saw a need for a school that could better meet children's needs.  Bridges Academy Austin is designed to meet children's needs in a supportive environment in which students thrive at any level.

Mallory McKeever, M.Ed., Assistant Director - Reading  Specialist

Mrs. McKeever is a certified teacher, certified reading specialist, and administrator.  She holds two Master of Education (M.Ed.) degrees, including an M.Ed. in Reading from the University of Texas at Tyler and an M.Ed. in Educational Leadership from Stephen F. Austin State University.  Additionally, she received her Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in English with a concentration in Multicultural Literature and a minor in History from the University of Texas at Arlington.   Mrs. McKeever has been with Bridges Academy Austin since the school opened. She has experience teaching English language arts and social studies. In addition, Mrs. McKeever provides 1:1 dyslexia therapy.  Whether working with students above level or below level, Mrs. McKeever differentiates instruction to ensure all students’ needs are met.  She has also assisted in curriculum design and district professional development. Additionally, she has served as a Mentor Teacher and earned Teacher of the Month on several occasions. Mrs. McKeever believes the learning process should be fun and creates engaging and relevant lessons with each individual student in mind. She offers support and guidance as she helps her students become lifelong learners, readers, and critical thinkers.


Elena Killough, M.A. 

Mrs. Killough is a talented teacher with certifications in Elementary Education (Core Subjects) and English as a Second Language.  She has over 25 years of teaching experience as a reading teacher, ESL specialist, and art specialist.   She has also earned certifications in English Language Arts and Reading (8-12) and Secondary German (8-12).  She is proficient in English, Russian, German, and  Latin.  In addition, she is an ISLA Certified Trainer of Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol, a TEA Certified TOP Rater, and has been certified through the Center for Applied Linguistics Best Literacy Administrator.   Mrs. Killough has taught at Bridges Academy Austin since the first year the school was open. 

Mrs. Stothard

Mrs. Stothard is a certified teacher in core subjects for early childhood through eighth grade. She attended Kansas State University where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education accompanied by a minor in Special Education. Before coming to Texas, Mrs. Stothard spent the past 18 years of her career working in preschool through eighth grade classrooms in Kansas, Illinois, and California. Mrs. Stothard strongly upholds that all children and their prospective classroom communities are unique and important. She believes that her role as an educator is to provide a stable, uplifting, and welcoming space to aid in enabling each student’s academic and personal development. Mrs. Stothard and her husband of 25 years have a daughter in Dallas, a son at Baylor University, and two dogs at home. For fun, she loves spending time with her family and cheering on the San Francisco Giants.

Mrs. Ralian

Mrs. Ralian is a certified teacher with expertise in evidence-based reading instruction.  She also has a certification in English as a Second Language (ESL).  She received her Bachelor of Science in Communication Disorders from University of Texas at Austin and holds a Master of Science from Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Mrs. Ralian has experience teaching kindergarten through third grade and middle school.  Creating safe, enriching, and differentiated classrooms is essential to Mrs. Ralian in order for students to grow and become confident leaders, lifelong learners and critical thinkers. Before teaching, Mrs. Ralian worked with non-profit organizations providing services to homeless Veterans and children and adults with special needs. When she is not working, Mrs. Ralian stays busy with her husband, three teenage children, and pets.  She is an active volunteer for a robotics program and New Hope Animal Rescue.

Mrs. Gibson 

Mrs. Gibson is a certified teacher with over 20 years of experience in education. She earned her teaching certificate and Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Sam Houston State University.  Mrs. Gibson has experience teaching advanced placement English, special education inclusion, and reading intervention in Leander ISD and Willis ISD.  In addition, Mrs. Gibson has developed English language arts teaching materials for major educational publishers. She has a strength in differentiating instruction for a variety of learners.

Nicole Caldwell, PhD 

Dr. Caldwell has a PhD in special education and has worked with students from ages preschool through high school since 2005. She has been a teacher at Bridges Academy Austin since the school opened.  Her background and experiences include private schools, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) programs, Montessori elementary school, and tutoring. She holds certifications in elementary education, K-12th grade special education, lower elementary Montessori teaching, Montessori art teaching, and Pivotal Response Treatment (a naturalistic teaching approach for students with autism). Dr. Caldwell also teaches graduate courses for future special education teachers and has presented at various conferences, including the University of North Texas Adventures in Autism Intervention and Research Conference.  Dr. Caldwell loves making learning fun and meaningful through hands-on activities and project-based learning, where students can be creative and develop collaborative problem-solving skills. In her spare time, she enjoys photography, reading, hiking, and spending time with her family.

Ms. Stalker

Ms. Stalker is a certified teacher with 18 years of teaching experience at the elementary and middle school levels. She holds a Master of Education degree with a specialization in reading intervention. In addition, she is a certified teacher and principal. Her main areas of expertise include evidence-based reading intervention and ESL. She has also been an ELA curriculum coordinator and summer school coordinator.

Ms. Fabi

Ms. Fabi has a strength in connecting with students, so they are more engaged with learning. As an assistant teacher, she provides additional support to students, as directed by the lead teacher. She is skilled in providing targeted skill building that helps students move forward. In addition, students are very motivated when working with Ms. Fabi.

Mrs. Kjar 

Mrs. Kjar (AKA "Mrs. Care") earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin, and she earned her master’s degree from St. Edward’s University.  She has over 15 years of teaching experience in early childhood education and Spanish.  She is a kind and patient teacher who brings out the best in children.  She has been with Bridges Academy Austin since the school opened, and students love her. 

Additional teachers and staff include specialists, elective teachers, assistant teachers, teacher's assistants, and administrative staff.  The qualifications of our faculty and staff are exceptionally high.