CAST Schools » Advanced Learning Academy » Advanced Learning Academy Leadership Team


Kathy Biesser

Kathy Bieser

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.”

CAST Schools share many of the same principles as ALA, working to inspire student learning by igniting curiosity and working through project-based learning.

Advisory Board

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CAST Schools are partnership schools, co-created by industry, civic leaders, and other external partners, who participate in decisions about curriculum, budget, and school governance. In addition to their critical role in the school design, our partners provide mentorship, real-world work experiences, internships, and job opportunities, shaping the career readiness of students and helping them seamlessly transition into college or the workforce while nurturing a homegrown and committed source of talent.

  • Nicole Amri, Say Sí
  • Yvette Benavides, Supporting Multiple Arts Together (SMART), CAST Board Member
  • Shahrzad “Sherry” Dowlatshahi, City of San Antonio
  • Adriana Flores, Alamo Music Center
  • Martha Henry, City of San Antonio
  • Mark Menjivar, Borderland Collective
  • Carrie Merson, San Antonio River Authority
  • Nick Mueschke, SwRI