Ariel Dochstader Miller grew up in an entrepreneurial family. She was fortunate at a young age to travel with her father on many of his business trips. Insatiably curious, and with a deep love of business, Ariel used to sneak down to the bars to question his CEO peers as to how they obtained their business success.
To fulfill her lifelong dream of working for the Walt Disney Company, she flew to Orlando during spring break of her freshman year and knocked on the doors of the Walt Disney World education department, where they were creating an innovative school to serve the needs of the Celebration community (modeled after Walt Disney’s original vision of an Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow or EPCOT). When they granted her a meeting, the executives informed her their funding was being cut and suggested she apply for the college internship program “Management, Disney Style.”
Ariel worked in Disney management for 3 years before starting Biorhythms Publishing with her husband Lucas Miller, developing education programs and several award winning products. Lucas has performed for approximately 2,000,000 children and has been named an American Masterpiece Artist (he is also part of the Skybridge Academy staff).
When her son became school aged, Ariel joined the board of the innovative private school he was attending, served as their Communications and Development Director, increased admissions 69%, and created a mission based fundraising program. The fundraising budget went from $2000 per year to over $125,000 in pledges.
After homeschooling for 3 years so her family could be together while she cared for her terminally ill mother, Ariel’s family decided they were ready for a new beginning. Ariel and her children imagined the most vital learning environment they could dream of and Skybridge was born.
Ariel has joyously been leading and tweaking the Skybridge program for the past four years. She is Skybridge’s most avid student.
Amanda Green is an IAYT-certified Yoga Therapist working in Austin, TX. She works individually with students to adapt the tools of yoga to meet their personal goals and needs and bringing balance at the level of the body, breath, mind, behaviors and emotions.
Amanda received her bachelor’s degree from Southwestern University in Spanish and Studio Art in 1999. Her teaching career began at the Ceramics studio in the Seattle City Park Department in 2000 and she had a ten-year tenure working as a studio artist and teacher. In 2011, she moved to Austin, TX where she received her certification and began to teach yoga. After meeting her teacher and mentor, Chase Bossart, her yoga studies and advanced training continued with the YATNA yoga therapy training program. She now specializes in individual yoga therapy in the lineage of Sri Krishnamacharya and Mr. TKV Desikachar, supporting students with the tools of yoga in personal practice, healing, and growth. Amanda is married to a wonderful man and is the proud mother of two school-aged children. She looks forward to supporting the educational endeavors of Sankalpa Academy as a member of its advisory board.
Erin "Ali" Ronder was the Development Director who helped us launch Sankalpa Academy. She holds a B.A. from UT-Austin in History and Applied Learning & Development and an M.Ed. from the Texas State University in San Marcos in bilingual/bicultural education. She is currently working on her Ph.D. in Educational Administration with the Texas State University.
Ali’s educational background is varied, to say the least. She has been home-schooled, Unschooled, Waldorf schooled, Montessori schooled, and public schooled. She has worked for (and her daughters have attended): parent run co-ops, Waldorf-oriented and Montessori pre-schools, Sudbury schools, public schools and public-charter schools.
Ali’s teaching experience focused on early childhood with South Austin Children's Cooperative, Starbright Preschool, Montessori Escuela de Montopolis as well as bilingual Kindergarten at Maplewood elementary (AISD) and Kindergarten/first grade at Austin Discovery School. Some of her volunteer work also includes teaching ESL in Mexico and Guatemala at Colegio Cuernavaca, Casa Xelaju, Colegio Alonzo Morelio, and La Pedrera.
For the last five years, she served as the Executive Director and Founder of Integrity Academy at Casa de Luz, Center for Integral Studies. she was the Executive Director of Austin Home Base (AHB) Community School for four years prior to that. During this time, she had also helped found the Clearview Sudbury School of Austin. Before she accepted the leadership role at AHB, she worked as the Development Director for the Austin Discovery School assisting administration with various projects including fund raising, events, after school programs, parent education programs, volunteerism and service learning opportunities.
Srinivas Jallepalli is the founder of Sankalpa Academy. Srinivas received the B.Tech. degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (now Chennai) in 1991 and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Texas at Austin in 1993 and 1996 respectively, all in Electrical Engineering.
After two summers with the AT&T Bell Laboratories, he joined the Silicon Technology Laboratory, Motorola in 1996 and began his career researching advanced device architectures for low power and high performance applications. He shifted his focus to process technology modeling in 1997 and has contributed to the creation, evolution, validation and support of silicon-based SPICE models for over five generations of bulk and SOI CMOS technologies at Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. In 2006, he assumed responsibility for managing the characterization and modeling group and began research and development also into validation systems for process technology targets, product power models and statistical modeling of analog and memory circuits. He also had the honor of serving on the modeling and simulation sub-committee of the International Electron Devices Meeting in 2006 and 2007 and finally as its chair in 2008. He is currently a Technical Director at NXP Semiconductors and holds four U.S. patents and has contributed to over fifty papers in IEEE conferences and refereed journals.
Srinivas has an abiding passion for understanding the latest research findings in child development and the challenges that are preventing us from bringing this research to our schools. This passion has led him to conduct an extensive meta-analysis of current research and to also author a broad ranging survey of parents and teachers. Srinivas has been happily married for over fifteen years and is the proud father of two beautiful school going children.