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Administration

Kerri Welch Ph.D 

Director

I approach democratic, distributed leadership like I do teaching, through servant leadership and co-creativity. Often, that means doing my best to stay out of the way, so that our mentors can put their experience and and our learners’ curiosity to work facilitating the natural emergence of learning. I see human intelligence as an extension of the intelligence of the earth and universe and believe that the more fully we can immerse ourselves in these more-than-human intelligences the more quickly we will find more mutually enhancing relationships with them. I also take seriously my responsibility to maintain the emotional and fiscal structures that facilitate our continual engagement and learning. I hope to help maintain a school where our learners find themselves more ready to listen and lead, to seek out knowledge and carefully discern it’s sources, to care and co-create the world we know is possible.

I have taught Business Management Doctoral students since 2010, in addition to math, physics, natural history, philosophy, world religions, and writing to elementary through graduate students, from unschoolers to doctoral students. I’m experienced in using and teaching Socratic questioning, encouraging self-direction, crossing disciplinary boundaries, and empowering people to do what they already know they need to do, but may be afraid to.  

I earned my PhD in Philosophy and Religion, concentrating in Philosophy, Cosmology and Consciousness with specific attention to the philosophy of time, mind, and physics. I studied in San Francisco at California Institute of Integral Studies, (Casa de Luz Center for Integral Studies’ namesake) and am thrilled to be building like-minded community around the values of curiosity, self-knowledge, embodiment, and permaculture here in Austin, my heart-home. I grew up in Austin and have a generations deep connection to the land here. I love to hike, paddle, play soccer and look forward to learning and growing with this community.

You can read more about:
my experience and teaching philosophy here.
my popular writings here, or
my academic writings here.

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.