Staff & Administration
Keeping a two-campus school with 450+ students and 70+ faculty running smoothly is no simple task! The staff and administration that support our teachers and leaders are committed to ensuring that The Magellan International School is equipped and cared for and that our programs outside of the classroom are vibrant and enriching. Meet the team below!
After School Care & Summer Camp Coordinator
MacKenzie earned her BA from Kalamazoo College in Michigan. She’s been in Boston for the past five years working with City Year and Boston Public Schools, and is about to begin a Master’s program in education policy and leadership.
In Boston, MacKenzie began her journey as an AmeriCorps member, then led AmeriCorps members through their year of service, supporting teachers, students, and families by providing after school programs and in-class tutoring, social emotional, and attendance support. She values education and the relationships between families and schools, and feels that with strong collaboration, students are able to reach new heights and discover their potential, unleashing endless possibilities.
MacKenzie and her husband Keith are new to Texas and reside in Fort Hood, where Keith is stationed as a member of the US Army.
Campus Manager, Anderson Lane
Jacalyn Helms is a Texas-licensed attorney. She graduated from Washburn University School of Law in Topeka, Kansas, where she completed an internship as a Shawnee County Misdemeanor Prosecutor.
Prior to attending law school, Jacalyn sampled many careers including managing a heavy metal band, working at a fine jewelry store, working as a community activist and as an award-winning reporter and an editor at the daily newspaper, The Topeka Capital-Journal for many years. In Kansas, she owned a publishing and public relations company and published the area’s only minority-focused newspaper, The Topeka Sentinel before moving to Dallas after completing law school. In Dallas, she worked for SBC (now AT&T) as a compliance expert on state and federal telecommunications laws and regulations.
After a couple of years in private practice in Dallas, she moved to the Boston area then back to Topeka KS. This time in Topeka she became a Special Education paraprofessional in the public schools. While there she created and led afterschool boys and girls leadership academies, designed to teach third through fifth grade students leadership, civics, community involvement and other skills to complement those taught in the classrooms. She moved to Austin from Topeka, to be near family.
Campus Manager, Chimney Corners
Annette Ortiz-Wilson was born and raised in San Antonio,Texas and is a first-generation American from a Mexican background. She is a mother of three and a grandmother of two. Annette began her career in education in the late 90’s as a Teacher’s Assistant, and a few years later a Pre- Kinder teacher. In 2004, she moved on to be an Assistant Principal for School of Excellence in Education, a middle and high school in San Antonio, Texas. She is passionate about every aspect of education, from the administration framework and hierarchy to mentoring children.
Annette is also President/Founder of a nonprofit organization in San Antonio, “San Antonio Ladies Empowering Group.” Annette’s mission was to bring awareness to the needs of the community by assisting individuals on their personal journey of self-growth and personal empowerment. Her nonprofit also provided humanitarian support and enrichment opportunities to those most in need, with a focus on “Paying it Forward.” Her passion, hard work, and dedication have won her awards such as the Heart Angel Award, Teacher of the Year Award, and the Salvation Army’s “Red Kettle Award”.
When she is not out trying to save the world through community service, Annette relaxes by playing golf and spending time with her husband and two grandsons.
Emily Cake was born in Atlanta, GA and has lived in a couple of different cities, but considers Austin her hometown as it has been her main place of residence since she was 8yrs old. Prior to moving to Austin, Emily lived in Panama City, Panama for 3 years. Panama is where her parents were born and a majority of her family still lives there. In May of 2009, she graduated from The University of Tampa with a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing, moved back to Austin, and started practicing as a RN shortly after. Emily worked as a wellness nurse for a brief time and then at St. David’s South Austin Medical Center before pursuing her passion of working with the pediatric population. She joined the Dell Children’s team in 2011 and started working as a staff nurse taking care of patients on a general medical unit. During her time there, she became a Certified Pediatric Nurse, was cross trained to be able to fill in the emergency room when needed and later on became a supervisor on her floor. Her last 2.5 years with Dell Children’s however, were spent working specifically with the Children’s Blood & Cancer Center as a float nurse infusing chemo, antibiotics, and blood products as needed as well as drawing labs and treating allergic reactions and other emergent conditions.
Assistant Director, Advancement & Admissions
Paige Polishook was born in Dallas, raised outside of San Francisco and attended Vanderbilt University, graduating with a Bachelors of Science in English and Human and Organizational Development. She began her career in San Francisco in hospitality sales at a small boutique property and eventually sold for a large convention property before moving on to becoming a corporate meeting planner at a research institute. Later Paige joined a commercial development firm in Silicon Valley as a Project Manager.
Paige happily returned to her Texas roots in 2003 when she and her husband moved to Austin with their young daughter, Sydney. As their family grew with the addition of their son Jack, Paige stepped away from the corporate world to be a fulltime mom. Her children are now in middle and high school in Cedar Park and their family has grown to include three dogs, the newest and youngest addition being a French Bulldog named Lulu.
Paige is thrilled to be a part of the Admissions and Advancement team at Magellan International School.
Kim Johnson was raised in Cincinnati, Ohio and attended the University of Cincinnati before embarking on a move to Austin, Texas. It is here that she met and married her husband, Chris. They have one adult daughter who is now married and teaching in Austin.
Kim began her career in Austin working for a telecommunications company. She then moved to mortgage lending for commercial and residential properties. When their daughter was born, Kim decided to stay at home until her daughter began school. Kim re-entered the workforce as a travel agent for American Express handling the corporate travel account for the IBM Austin office. She then transferred to the financial division buying and selling foreign currency for corporate and personal travel. When the office closed down after 9/11 Kim continued working with smaller companies as office manager, administrative assistant and most recently as a production manager for Austin owned businesses.
In her spare time, Kim enjoys travelling, cooking, crafting, riding bikes, volunteering and spending time with family and friends.
In addition to driving vans and keeping our campuses in top shape, Roy is also a professional horseshoe pitcher! He placed 7th in the 2019 World Tournament.
Human Resources Specialist
A native of Topeka, Kansas (aka: “a good place to dig for potatoes”), Mara Mindell graduated from Knox College in Illinois with a Bachelor’s degree in Music. She lived in Buenos Aires, Los Angeles, and New York City before settling in sunny Austin. Among other things, she has had the honor of being an event coordinator, a singing bunny, and a writer.
As a former Teach for America 2nd Grade teacher, Mara understands many of the challenges teachers face daily. Likewise, her administrative background gives her a deep understanding of how organizations can be run effectively. The Magellan International School’s Human Resources department has been the perfect place to combine these aspects of her experience, and to help improve both school functions and employee lives.
Mara feels lucky to be at Magellan, where the community is friendly and supportive, and is the proud parent of a Magellan student.