Kathy Bieser is an award-winning educator who always dreamed of starting a school from the ground up. In 2016, she got her chance and led the design of the pre-K-12 Advanced Learning Academy, embedding design principles that she knew would give every student an opportunity to find their passion and drive. The vision for ALA continues to evolve but has maintained a unifying focus on creativity, project-based and student-led learning. Principal Bieser served previously as the principal of the International School of the Americas, a magnet school within Northeast ISD. Principal Bieser (and her ALA team) is excited to champion the network’s Raising Blended Learners effort as it offers an opportunity to further extend the school’s emphasis on student leadership and voice, as well as personalized learning. She has a Master of Education in school administration from Trinity University. As ALA Principal, she was named a 2019 finalist for the H-E-B Excellence in Education Awards for principal. “Our goal is for students to grow their critical thinking and problem-solving abilities,” Bieser said. “Designing this school from the ground up has allowed us to examine best practices and to decide which ones make sense for the type of school we want to create.”
Dr. Anthony Khosravi is the proud Principal at CAST MED High School, known for his transformative and authentic leadership. With a strong teaching foundation, he expanded his impact by developing GT, STEM, and IT programs, creating a thriving K-12 pipeline of enrichment and competitive activities. “Joining the CAST MED family has been such an amazing experience; now being selected as the Principal leader is humbling. I’m honored to be asked to lead such a loving and inspiring group of learners.” A family man devoted to his wife Laura and their two children, Dr. Khosravi values direct support for teachers and students. His administrative experience as an Academic Dean and Elementary School Principal further fuels his passion for education. Deeply humbled by the opportunity to lead the CAST MED family, Dr. Khosravi aims to unite and inspire learners on their educational journey. His commitment to fostering a loving environment ensures that every student can flourish and reach their full potential. With a wealth of experience and a genuine dedication to education, Dr. Anthony Khosravi is excited to continue CAST MED’s legacy of excellence and collaborate with staff, students, and families in creating a future of success. Together, they will nurture a community where dreams are encouraged, and all learners can thrive.
With decades of experience in the classroom and at the helm of high-performing schools, Dr. Melissa Alcala is helping to ignite the next generation of entrepreneurs and techies. Dr. Alcala has a background in math and computer science, and a demonstrated history of STEM integration and project-based learning. Prior to founding CAST Tech, the network’s flagship school, Dr. Alcala led STEM Academy, a grades 6-12 magnet school, in the North East Independent School District. She is passionate about student voice and works to infuse student participation into every aspect of CAST Tech. Students regularly participate in industry advisory groups, establish school clubs, and give feedback during annual focus groups. As Dr. Alcala works to create an engaging and dynamic learning environment connected to industry and higher education partners, she values the personalized learning approach with real-world projects that CAST Tech students can pursue. “It helps students stay engaged and ensures that learning is relevant.” Dr. Alcala earned her Doctorate of Education from the University of Texas at San Antonio, where she focused on educational leadership.
Ericka Olivarez is guided by a mission to serve as part of a diverse community of learners and leaders striving to ensure that all students have equitable access to educational experiences that will help them succeed. She has dedicated her career in education to growing and empowering others, serving as a teacher, instructional curriculum and assessment specialist, academic dean, district content coordinator and a district leadership specialist. Forever a teacher, she believes that the best way to create a community of leaders is to create a truly equitable environment where all stakeholders are empowered to explore, question, collaborate, and problem-solve in a supportive environment.
A first-generation college graduate, Ericka Olivarez earned a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Texas at Arlington, as well as a Master’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Notre Dame and a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and English Literature from St. Mary’s University of San Antonio. She leads and serves on various state, city and district committees dedicated to building culturally responsive schools where all students and staff are healthy, safe, supported, engaged and challenged.