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Love Jesus, Love Others, Love Learning!

 Happy Hearts


Kinder Teacher, Director and Curriculum Creator
Trudy Palmer

Trudy has a love for her students and believes that anyone can be given the gift of reading and a love for learning. She is the founder and director of AACE, Inc. and it originally began in her home over 30 years ago. She is also the author of the Gift of Reading program, an intensive phonics program, which has recently been translated into Korean and is used to teach English- as-a-Second-Language in numerous foreign countries. Chuck Colson also requested permission to use the program in his prison ministry, and it has been successfully used to teach reading, spelling, and writing to autistic children.

She has 40+ years experience working with the language and learning disabled as she has worked with students labeled autistic, Asperger’s Syndrome, dyslexic, ADD, ADHD, hyperactive, language disabled and those with language/auditory/visual processing differences, hearing and speech impaired, and handicapped. Trudy homeschooled her four children over the course of 22 years and holds a BS degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Spanish and certifications in Bilingual Ed and ESL.

Her phonics program is currently used by many homeschoolers throughout this nation and Canada and was reviewed by Mary Pride and Cathy Duffy. In addition, numerous private and public educators (including speech therapists and special education teachers) have chosen to use her program. She was a public school educator in San Antonio for NISD and co-authored a writing curriculum for that same district. She currently has a private tutoring business in San Antonio and has clients from preschool to college age.
For 15 years, Trudy traveled and spoke at educational conferences around the country, and in 2005, her family decided to “get off the road” for a season. Teaching Home Magazine named her one of the “Top 100 Speakers in America”. 

Sarah Ras
First Grade Teacher & Fine Arts Instructor

Sarah started her teaching career in 2013 when God revealed to her that she should pursue a career as an art teacher. She has been following this nudge ever since! She has fostered a huge love for her students and hopes to instill a love of learning within them. Sarah wants all of her students, no matter their age or stage, to walk away with a sense of confidence that can be translated from class to life.


Sarah has a BFA from Texas Tech University (2012) and has taught at Alamo Area Christian Educators, Inc. as well as for Art Starz, an art program in the public school system.

She can’t wait to teach your little ones and make learning one of their love languages. 

Jennifer Cardona

    2nd grade Teacher

Jennifer received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication Disorders with a minor in Psychology in 2010 from Our Lady of the Lake University.


She has been working as a Speech Language Pathologist Assistant
for the past 12 years and is beyond blessed in working alongside her patients and their families to establish language and communication.


Jennifer and her husband are currently homeschooling their son and are thankful for Happy Hearts Schoolhouse. Jennifer is looking forward to assist in the education and future of all the Happy Hearts students.

Elizabeth Mathis

   3rd - 4th grades Teacher


Elizabeth was inspired to be a teacher at the early age of ten when she would go to work with her grandmother, who was a school librarian. She graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies and obtained her teacher certification for grades EC-8. Elizabeth taught 4th and 6th grade in public school for six years before she became a stay-at-home mom. During this time, she missed teaching and felt a calling from God to begin homeschooling her own children in grades ranging from Pre-K- 8th.


She lives in Fair Oaks Ranch, TX, and is happily married with three amazing children. Elizabeth spends her free time cheering her kiddos on as they live their best lives playing a variety of sports including football, baseball, softball, and volleyball.


She is passionate about helping children become confident in themselves and will do anything possible to help them believe that they can do anything they desire.


“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
John 1:5

Thomas Palmer

    Pre-Kinder Teacher

Thomas Palmer (aka: Tom-Tom) is our Pre-K teacher for Happy Hearts Schoolhouse! He has been with this organization for over 5 years. Overall, Tom has also been involved with his wife, Trudy, for 30+ years in a support status role at Alamo Area Christian Educators, Inc. (aka: Friday School) in

San Antonio, Texas.


In the early 1990’s, Tom helped Trudy develop her flagship book The Gift of Reading: What Every Parent and Teacher Should Know as well as her Gift of Reading Phonogram Flash Cards and Phonogram CD. He also helped in the publication of her book on auditory processing, In one ear and (hopefully not) out the other! Tom further assisted in creating subsequent educational materials and marketing items for all of Ms. Trudy’s G.O.R. programs.


Tom, while holding a degree in Advertising Art, applied his creative skills in the marketing and promotion of higher education throughout his entire career life. He worked as the District Illustrator and Art Director for The Alamo Community College District for 4 ½ years. He followed that position by working as the Art Director/Designer of Editorial Magazines and conducting outreach at The University of Texas at San Antonio for 33+ years before retiring in 2015.


Endearingly nicknamed Tom-Tom, he has the wonderful task of introducing these new Pre–K explorers to the exciting adventure of learning. Tom-Tom takes a fun and light-hearted approach to teaching and is looking forward to this new year with Miss Zoe again at his side! He diligently follows the prescribed academic curriculum designed by Ms. Trudy.

“Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from Him.”

Psalm 127:3

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"A happy heart makes the face cheerful..."                                                                       Proverbs 15:13

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