Leslie Baldwin

EZine & Animation

Originally from Dallas, I am a longtime Austinite (with stops along the way in Paris and NYC). Loved living in New York where I worked for TIME and Rolling Stone before returning to Austin as photography editor at Texas Monthly for 15 years. This is my third-year teaching - my first at LASA. Excited to teach E-Zine and look forward to sharing my experiences with a new generation of creative kids who have something to say to this beautiful and complicated world of ours. Outside of work, I love a home-cooked meal (thanks to my husband!) and being introduced to new music by my teenage daughter. We live in central Austin with our adorable dog, Lucy, and her feline sidekick Scooter.

Kevin Garcia

EZine, Newspaper

Kevin Garcia has been writing professionally 20 years and teaching high school for 14 years, and boy are his arms tired. His work has appeared in the Associated Press and Marvel Comics, and when not teaching, he's often speaking at various comic conventions and events (back when events were a thing). In Ezine and newspaper class, students are welcome to ask him about his past work, even if it really tells them what not to do.

Kate McGuire


I’m Kate McGuire, this is my third year teaching at LASA. I love the fall, hold the best classroom Halloween parties, am a magazine hoarder, love EDM music, Harry Potter, my pets, doing projects like sanding down furniture, painting, knitting, and puzzles. Make sure to order a 2020/2021 yearbook and send us your pictures this school year! Since our yearbook photographers will not be roaming around campus, we need your help in gathering content. Email all pictures to myself at kate.mcguire@austinisd.org

Vanessa Mokry

AVP, Art of Cinema, Animation

Vanessa Mokry has been teaching Audio Video Production at LASA since 2007. Before teaching, she worked on film crews around Austin and various AV jobs including a wedding video business. Like most filmmakers, Ms. Mokry taught herself much of her skill, beginning in middle school with the family's first camcorder and rigging two VCRs together- a far cry from her later years splicing film on a six-plate Steenbeck as a student at the New York Film Academy, and further still from the non-linear editing software she offers to students in class today. Mokry believes her formal education at Texas State University where she earned a BFA in Theatre Directing gives her a unique foundation to balance art and technology in her teaching. She has a wealth of knowledge of movies and TV which she cites as her most valuable education, and therefore when pitching a new movie idea to her she is likely to assign you an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer to watch for reference. "When I began teaching at LASA, I wondered how I should focus the Audio Video Production program. Should I help the kids supplement their academic work by having them design instructional Science animations, historical re-enactments, literature adaptations, etc? While all of those are worthy projects (and could still end up on a screen one day if they choose), I realized that these kids are storytellers. And they have a specific brand of LASA story to tell. Chinese folklore love connections, prom-posals gone wrong, musical westerns, hyper-colored crime-fighting trios, LASA Bachelor realities, Jesus stealing Christmas presents: I get to talk story every day with these students, figure out the puzzle, and I love it.

Rainer Mueller

Computer Science

I am starting my 8th year at LASA and teaches Introduction to Computer Science, AP Computer Science (3rd year), and Digital Electronics. I also taught Web & Mobile Applications for 5 years. Prior to teaching at LASA, I was a Digital Design Engineer working on RISC & CISC microprocessor and networking integrated circuits. I have a B.S. in Electrical Engineering with a minor in Computer Science from the Missouri University of Science and Technology and a M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. My family is very engineering focused. My wife is an Environmental/Chemical Engineer, my daughter is an Aerospace Engineer working on SNC’s Dream Chaser spaceplane, and my son is working on a dual major in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. I enjoy reading, hiking, biking as well as watching soccer, Cardinals baseball, and UT college basketball.

James Shockey

Computer Science

I have been teaching Computer Science at LASA for four years. I teach AP Computer Science, Advanced Computer Programming, and Web & Mobile Applications. Prior to teaching at LASA, I was in the tech industry for 20+ years developing software with some time in marketing. I have a Bachelors in Computer Science and an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. And, I have an M.S. Computer Science from Texas State University. I keep my finger on the pulse of the industry with a step son currently pursuing a bachelors in Computer Science and a step daughter in UX/UI design. I enjoy programming, reading, history, and travel.