Ms. McWilliams, M.Ed, GACHeadmistress
Madison McWilliams knew that she wanted to be a teacher at four years old, and has devoted her life to the field of education. Her specialty is working with gifted children. A former gifted student herself, Ms. McWilliams graduated college at 20 and served as a teacher and gifted coordinator before founding Joule. She holds a dual M.Ed in Teaching and Gifted/Talented Educational Psychology, and is the regional Gifted Youth Coordinator for Mensa of Central Texas.
Ms. McWilliams' undergraduate degrees are in History, with one concentration in Civil War studies and the other in Early Modern Europe. Ms. McWilliams holds multiple teaching certifications and has taught kindergarten through high school in three states. She is trained in the Montessori Method and Advanced Placement (AP) programs. In addition, she has developed online courses for students across the country as a curriculum author with educational publishing houses. She has also served as a speech and debate coach, Destination Imagination state-certified coach, National Honor Society sponsor, and has also taught performing arts for eight years both in and outside of school settings.
Ms. Meredith Allen, B.A.
Meredith began working as an academic tutor in middle school, and followed her love of teaching into a career as an early childhood educator. Meredith Allen graduated cum laude with a BA in Women's Studies with a minor in Political Science, and then served as an ESL teacher for Karin-Burmese refugee students before joining The Joule School as a Kindergarten instructor. After completing her certification in Montessori Education at the Primary Level and working with her beloved Kinders for 3 years, Meredith transitioned into the lead teacher role for 1st-3rd grade here at Joule. Meredith is a warm and affectionate teacher who cares immensely about helping children form a positive emotional connection to school and learning.
Ms. Betty Vine, B.A.
Betty Vine graduated summa cum laude with the distinction of University Medalist from Louisiana State University. She holds a B.A. in English Literature and is pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in Writing with Savannah College of Art and Design. Her first formal experience working with students was as a volunteer tutor at Parker House, a VOA residence for abused and neglected children in Baton Rouge. During her tenure as an undergraduate, she worked with college students and other members of the community as a research assistant. Upon her graduation, Betty secured a position tutoring San Diego high school students, with a focus on essay writing and text analysis. Before joining The Joule School, she served as Assistant Editor to Brain World Magazine, a neuroscience quarterly associated with the International Brain Education Association (an arm of the United Nations Department of Public Information). The spectrum of Ms. Betty’s interests range from cerebral science to creative writing and literature. Most of all, she finds working with children infinitely rewarding, and she views teaching as a direct channel to foment social progress.
Dr. Jim James, Ph.D
Dr. Jim James is a pianist of unique breadth and depth, with a wide range of experience in solo, chamber, and collaborative playing. He holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance and a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Lawrence University in Wisconsin, as well as a Master of Music degree from the University of Missouri. Dr. James earned his Doctorate in Piano Performance at the University of Texas. He also spent a semester studying at the École Normale de Musique in Paris , France. In 2002, Jim took first prize in the Badger Piano Competition of the Wisconisin Music Teachers Association. He later played John Adams Grand Pianola Music as a soloist with the UT Wind Ensemble in a performance featured on NPR’s Performance Today. Dr. James teaches a large studio of private students and continues performing solo and collaborative music in the Austin area, including frequent performances with the Austin Chamber Music Society.
Jenny Bankston found her love of teaching through her love
of books. Throughout middle and high
school, she served as a volunteer with the children’s program of her local
library. She majored in Early Childhood
Studies in university, graduating at the age of 20. Jenny began teaching at the primary level at
Gan Shalom Preschool in Mobile, Alabama, where she had the opportunity to
design and run an Art, Literature and Jewish Studies program. She later taught preschool at Head Start before
rejoining her former teacher, Madison McWilliams, at The Joule School. (It’s very exciting to have a former student
join you in the teaching profession!) Jenny now serves the loving and playful guide for 3-6 year old students