SAN ANTONIO – Dr. Kathy Dodge-Clay, a veteran educator and author of the book Synergistics, has been named head of school for The Academy at Morgan’s Wonderland, a non-profit school for students with special needs next to world-renowned Morgan’s Wonderland theme park.

The Academy is a state-approved, nationally-accredited school for students ages 12 to 24 with mild to moderate learning challenges.  In preparation for life and work, all students receive a blend of academic and life skills, while older students in The Bridge program undergo vocational instruction to help each one reach his or her maximum individual potential.

“We are delighted that a professional of Dr. Dodge-Clay’s experience and expertise has joined us to take The Academy to higher levels of excellence,” said Gordon Hartman, who co-founded The Academy with his wife, Maggie, in 2011.  “We’re confident Dr. Dodge-Clay will provide tremendous leadership as The Academy expands in the future to help even more students with special needs.”

Dr. Dodge-Clay’s first experience in education was as a weekend house parent for the Nebraska School for the Visually Impaired.  She earned a bachelor’s degree in bilingual elementary education as well as a Master of Education degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.  She graduated with a doctorate in educational administration from Texas A&M University.

Prior to being named head of school at The Academy, Dr. Dodge-Clay spent much of her career in San Antonio’s Northside Independent School District (NISD), serving as principal of Leon Springs Elementary School from 1998 until retirement in June 2017.  Her many honors include being named Principal of the Year by the NISD Council of PTAs; Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association Region 20 TEPSAN of the Year; and state finalist for the H-E-B Excellence in Education Award.  She has taught graduate classes at the University of Texas at San Antonio, and over the years, Dr. Dodge-Clay has coached, mentored and inspired hundreds of educators.

The 2018-19 school year at The Academy will begin Monday, Aug. 27.  For more information about the school or enrollment, contact The Academy at Morgan’s Wonderland at (210) 479-3311, or visit