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Our Administration

Carla Rayacich, MBA, Founder and Head of School

Carla Rayacich is an experienced, successful entrepreneur in Silicon Valley, and the mother of two delightfully dyslexic children--twins. She has an MBA from Stanford University and is pursuing an MA in Education Leadership. She has worked with children Preschool thru Elementary in music education, and mindfulness practices that improve learning. When her own children struggled to learn both in a traditional setting and in a school geared for dyslexics, she went in search of methods that would be more effective for her twins. She has brought together a group of experts who have integrated the best techniques to create the unique curriculum of Athena Academy. Carla uses her skills as an entrepreneur and manager to start up and lead the organization, and to find the best people to teach the children.

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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