Christian leadership with a strong foundation of experience in the field and a passion for education
Melissa McGowan, Principal & CEO
I graduated from the University of Arkansas with a degree in Business Administration and a minor in Mathematics. After working in the business field, I realized my true calling in life and enrolled in the Education Service Center Region XI teaching certification program for special education to become state certified in special education and began to use my "gift" God bestowed upon me.
Being married to a teacher and watching him enjoy coaching and teaching, I couldn't wait to explore this new field. I joined GCISD in 1996, then was given the opportunity to help start Faith Christian School in Grapevine in 1999. I was then fortunate to have several families who encouraged me to open a school of my own, and ALA was born in 2001. I am blessed to have a staff who shares this same philosophy today, where together we can accomplish HIS plans for each of our students.
We anticipate this year to be enveloped in God’s blessings for your children, your family and our families as well!
Jennifer Helten, Director of Staff & Student Development
I became a Developmental Behaviorist through my experience as a nanny earlier in my life, as the family I worked for had a child who was diagnosed with severe autism. I started an intensive in-home therapy program for him and from there, I began my journey working with children with special needs. I was trained as an in-line Applied Behavior Analyst Therapist and as I developed my specialty, I became a lead therapist and finally, a consultant. Additionally, I have shadowed for nineteen years all over the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.
I was introduced to Accommodated Learning Academy through a family, with whom I was working. I love how ALA truly individualizes each child’s academic development which matched my philosophy within my private practice, Unique Pathways. It is my responsibility to insure that students continue to grow and develop emotionally, socially and developmentally. As owner of Unique Pathways, I oversee the shadowing and developmental behavioral program within ALA using a Holistic approach.