:: About us - Teachers and Staff

Rekha Suryanarayana

Founder, Managing Director


After working for 6 years in the semi-conductor industry, Rekha stayed home to focus on her son with autism. The quest to provide appropriate physical and social activity for her own son made her aware of the need for a gym such as 'It's a Sensory World!'. She is passionate about making such a facility available and welcomes children of all abilities.

Educational Qualifications: Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Dallas.

Angela Stephens

Founder, Program Director


With over 9 years of experience working with special needs and learning different children of all ability levels, Angela is a preschool teacher at a private school for learning different children and has conducted several social pragmatic groups. 'It's a Sensory World!' is a place where Angela plans to bring together her background as a teacher, her skill as an athlete, and her passion for working with children.

Educational Qualifications: Bachelor's degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Baylor University.

Played four years of Division I women's collegiate soccer.

Priya Patel

Program Director


Priya has over 12 years of experience in the world of Special Education holding many different positions including: Behavior Therapist, Inclusion Program Supervisor, Speech Language Pathology Assistant, and Special Education Teacher. She has a passion for teaching children and loves being able to individualize learning for each and every child.

Educational Qualifications: Bachelors Degree in Psychology and Social Behavior from the University of California Irvine and a Masters Degree in Special Education from Cal State University of Northridge.

Other staff members

Tiffany Meier

Consultant, Occupational Therapist (OTR- SIPT)

Tiffany has been a licensed OT for 21 years, working in pediatrics for 17 years. She is SIPT (Sensory Integration and Praxis Test) certified and has worked in various private schools in the DFW area providing both individual and group therapy. She has also worked in clinic and home settings.

Virginia Scott


Virginia has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology (Behavioral and Brain Sciences) from the University of Texas at Dallas. She has 12 years of experience working with special populations through her mission trips to an orphanage for special needs children in Guatemala, caring for a little boy with Autism and 6 of her adopted siblings have special needs.

Presley Colby

Lead Teacher, ISW Academy

Presley has a Bachelor's Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Baylor University. She worked at a Speech language Pathology Assistant before she joined ISW as a lead teacher in 2015. She is proficient in American Sign Language.

Yvonne Grande

Lead Teacher, ISW Academy

Yvonne has a Bachelor's Degree in Child Development from Texas Woman's University. She has 6 years of experience working with young children in a school setting. She joined the team at ISW in 2016.

Samantha Hertel

Lead Teacher, ISW Academy

Samantha has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Early Childhood Special Education from the University of Central Missouri. She is also a K-12 certified special education teacher in Texas. She has 6 years of experience in special education classrooms that included students with autism.

Matt Giles

Lead Teacher, ISW Academy

Matt has a Bachelor of Science in Human Development from University of North Texas. He has taught gymnastics and recreational sports for 6 years including students with special needs.

Jasmine Ortega

Assistant Teacher, ISW Academy

Jasmine has a Bachelor's degree in Speech Language Pathology and Audiology with a minor in Lifespan and American Sign Language. She has also volunteered in other schools and Best Buddies.

Gabrielle Castillo

Assistant Teacher, ISW Academy

Gabrielle graduated from St. Edward's University with a Bachelor's degree in Kinesiology. Her ultimate goal is to be an Occupational Therapist.

Josh McBride

Assistant Teacher, ISW Academy

Josh has 9 years of experience in the special needs community; coaching sports, working as a personal trainer, and as a life skills coach and mentor. He teaches P. E. and Sensory Motor activities, as well as daily living and vocational skills.

Sarah Bhai

Assistant Teacher, ISW Academy

Sarah graduated from the University of North Texas with a Bachelor's degree in Integrated Studies with concentration in Psychology, Sociology, and Development and Family Studies.