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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 am a Kansas native and oldest of eight. I moved to Dallas to work as a nanny for a family of six. When the parent's young son was diagnosed with Autism, I was introduced to Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). I have worked in the field of Autism and behavioral disorders for 25-years. I began as an in-line Behavioral Therapist to now owning my own ABA company. I currently employ a team of highly trained professionals who possess the same passion for helping children achieve the highest of success. 

I was introduced to Accommodated Learning Academy through a family, with whom I was working.  ALA truly works to individualize each child’s academic development and see the child for who they are and not what a diagnosis defines them to be. It is my responsibility to ensure that students continue to grow and develop emotionally, socially and developmentally. As the owner of Unique Pathways, I oversee the shadowing and developmental-behavioral program within ALA using a holistic approach.

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