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Our Administration

Carla Rayacich, MBA, Founder and Head of School

Carla Rayacich is the Founder of Athena Academy. She is an experienced, successful entrepreneur in Silicon Valley who has used her extensive skills to create and grow this school. She has an MBA from Stanford University, and is studying the neuroscience of dyslexia with the top researchers at MIT, Stanford, and UCSF. She has a background in medical science and research, as a founder of multiple companies in the medical device and service industry. She has had a long involvement with children and education, volunteering …. Preschool thru Elementary schools in music education, and mindfulness practices that improve learning.


Anne Boswell, Director of Admissions and Outreach

Having spent her teen years working with elementary school children in various recreation programs, Anne always knew she wanted to enter the field of education. Upon the completion of her BS at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, she moved to the Bay Area to pursue Masters degrees in both Education Administration and Counseling from Santa Clara University. Anne spent 14 years at Stanford University working in a variety of administrative capacities where she honed her organizational skills and educational acumen. Most recently she served as Assistant Dean of Students. A mother of two young boys, Anne brings to Athena her passion for positively transforming the lives of children and their families.


Shama Hinard, Director of Education

Shama has 14 years’ experience in teaching and school administration.  She comes to us after four years at The Nueva School in Hillsborough for gifted students and three years at the Assets School in Honolulu for dyslexic students. She earned her B.S. in Education from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff.  Shama feels a special joy in teaching math and science that is captivating.  She has started Science Fairs at multiple schools.  She also has a passion for teaching special children, including gifted, learning challenged, or both.  Shama chose to join Athena Academy because she wanted to serve our gifted Dyslexic population, which she finds is underserved in traditional text-based programs.  She writes, “Gifted Dyslexic students are some of the most creative people I have ever met. Having a place like Athena that will foster their creative side, while bolstering their foundational skills is a special thing.  I feel privileged to be a part of this program and school.”

Jo Mutch, Director of Operations

Jo was part of the founding team of Athena Academy.  She and Carla have worked together since 2008.  When she first heard of Carla's idea to start a school for dyslexic learners using a more Visual-Spatial teaching method than was available elsewhere, she knew this school had to become reality.  She worked with Carla to set up all the finance and management systems to help make Athena Academy a reality.  She is also mother to a young, bright daughter and cares deeply about bringing high quality educational opportunities to all learners.



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