You are here


Erin "Ali" Ronder M.Ed.

Executive Director

My educational background is varied, to say the least. I have been home-schooled, Unschooled, Waldorf schooled, Montessori schooled, and public schooled. I have worked for (and my daughters have attended): parent run co-ops, Waldorf-oriented and Montessori pre-schools, Sudbury schools, public schools and public-charter schools. 

I am thrilled to have the opportunity to be the founding executive director of Integrity Academy at Casa de Luz, Center for Integral Studies. Recently, I spent four years as Executive Director of Austin Home Base Community School (AHB Community School).  During this time, I helped to found the Clearview Sudbury School of Austin.  Prior to that, I worked as Development Director for the Austin Discovery School assisting administration with various projects including fund raising, events, after school programs, parent education programs, volunteerism and service learning opportunities for the ADS community in the greater Austin community. My previous teaching experience focused on early childhood with: South Austin Children's Cooperative, Starbright Preschool, Montessori Escuela de Montopolis as well as bilingual Kindergarten at Maplewood elementary (AISD) and Kindergarten/first grade at Austin Discovery School.

My board of directors experience includes membership:

  • People's Community Clinic patient advisory board (1989-1992)
  • Teen Help Line board of directors (1990-1992)
  • March of Dimes (1991)
  • Clearview Sudbury School (2007-2008)
  • Austin Discovery School (2008-2009)
  • Education Transformation Alliance (2012 - 2015)
  • Conscious Garden (2014 - present)
  • Natural Learning Foundation (2015 - present)

I hold an EC-4 teaching certificate from the State of Texas as well as a B.A. from UT-Austin in History/Applied Learning & Development and a M.Ed. from Texas State University-San Marcos in bilingual/bicultural education. I am currently working on my PhD. in Educational Administration at Texas State University-San Marcos. Some of my related volunteer work includes teaching ESL in Mexico and Guatemala at: Colegio Cuernavaca, Casa Xelaju, Colegio Alonzo Morelio, and La Pedrera. Additionally I was the Community Wellness Program developer and manager of Ruta Maya Coffee House for over 12 years.

You can view my entire electronic portfolio at for more detailed information including my resume and video documentation. 

My newest endeavor is Enlight Ignite. It was founded by four individuals who live and breathe education and are deeply invested in shaping the future of learning. Our mission is to catalyze, synergize, and nourish diverse edu-ecosystems to enlight and ignite the evolution of education.

Also find me for private educational consulting at

Candace Hutchens

Business Administrator

Candace final photo_1.jpgI am thrilled to join Integrity Academy where I am part of a beautiful community of learners, ages 3 to 103. 

I was born and raised in Seguin, Texas on the banks of the Guadalupe River. I attended college at Texas A&M and met my husband, Jeff, my senior year. I graduated with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Marketing. Shortly after our wedding, Jeff and I moved to Utah to enjoy the mountains and ski the "Greatest Snow on Earth". The fun continued season after season; camping, hiking, mountain biking, fly fishing, canoeing, and more! During these years I was a graphic designer for various advertising and marketing agencies. Our first daughter was born in Salt Lake City, but before her first birthday, we moved to Ellicott City, Maryland where our travel and nature adventures continued. Jeff and I decided to return to Texas for our second daughter's birth. We bought a small house in central Austin where Zoe was born at home with the help of her dad, her 3 1/2 year old sister, and a midwife. 

I was a stay at home mom for 8 years while our two daughters were young. I was also a Bradly® Birth Instructor and doula in Austin for more than 10 years during that time. There is absolutely nothing more amazing than seeing the moment a newborn enters our world and takes his, or her, first breath. My experiences with pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding education have set me on a path to deeply care about nutrition, health, and the environment for myself and for others. 

The most rewarding and precious times in my life have come from these years raising our daughters, and growing as a family. Travel has not only been a pleasure, but a priority in our family. We've traveled near and far and have learned so much about each other, different people, and communities. My desire to travel also takes me on a journey within, to look inside myself. This exploration is never ending and brings me closer to nature, my instincts, passions, and spiritual growth. In 2008, I participated in a 200 hour hatha yoga teacher training program. The layers of benefits from my yoga and meditation practice are revealed ever so slowly, and sweetly, in my life. 

When our youngest daughter started school, I began working as Business Administrator at a small private school in central Austin. I worked with Ali Ronder during this time and in total, I worked 8 years in the school office. I had a variety of responsibilities; school nurse with injuries big and small, receptionist, registrar, bookkeeper, admissions, errands, banking, fundraising, and more. 

I love working in a community of caring parents, teachers and learners and I'm honored to be at Integrity Academy. I get to spend my day surrounded by little ones, their growth, excitement, energy, and yes, even the chaos that comes with that! I'm full of gratitude.