MEET THE TEAM
Temp Keller, Founder
At the helm of WonderLab stands Temp Keller, with his passion for building quality, affordable K-12 education models for 21st century learners. His vision for WonderLab’s transformative educational model was largely solidified by his work in 2012 as an Entrepreneur in Residence at the Acton Academy, a private elementary and middle school in Austin, TX that aims to move learners (teachers and students) from receivers of knowledge to self-seekers of knowledge.
Previously, Temp served as the Managing Director of Innovations for Learning, a Chicago-based nonprofit organization formed in 1993 to develop innovative technology to improve early elementary education. At IFL, Temp was responsible for initiating and managing strategic partnerships, as well as managing product development, sourcing, logistics and distribution.Temp is the Founder, former President and Chairman of Resources for Indispensable Schools and Educators, a national nonprofit organization working to connect second-stage teachers with schools in low-income communities where they will be more likely to succeed and remain in teaching. Established in 2000 with one pilot school site, RISE grew to serve more than 140 Network Schools in six metropolitan areas, and worked to improve student learning for more than 50,000 students.
Temp was awarded the Ashoka Fellowship in 2004, becoming one of 125 social entrepreneurs in the United States selected to join a community of over 2,000 Fellows worldwide “recognized for innovative, entrepreneurial solutions to some of the world's most pressing social problems.” In addition, Temp received the Manhattan Institute’s Social Entrepreneurship Award in 2005.
Prior to RISE, he taught fifth grade at the East Palo Alto Charter School in East Palo Alto, CA.
Temp serves on several for-profit and non-profit boards, including Kids Science Labs, a for-profit providing hands-on science classes and camps to kids ages 2-12. He is a Trustee of the Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, CT, Austin Achieve Public Schools, and also serves on the U.S.-based Foundation Board of the African Leadership Academy, a pan-African secondary institution that aims to educate and develop outstanding students into principled, ethical leaders for the African continent.
He received his B.A. in Politics from Princeton University and his Masters in Business Administration from The University of Chicago. Temp, his wife Kerry, and their two children live in Austin.
Ali Sidoran, Lab Manager and Apprentice Guide
As a person who wears two hats at WonderLab, both as manager and an apprentice guide, Ali is known to take on a challenge. She is an enthusiastic and overall inviting person. She loves to really get involved and see kids' passions come to life.
She grew up in Houston before moving to Austin to eventually graduate from the University of Texas with a degree in International Relations and Global Studies. She's hoping to use the degree and her experience working with WonderLab and its amazing staff to eventually work in the international education sector, bringing education and hope to even the smallest and poorest communities.
Currently, she lives with her black cat, working as a manager, apprentice guide, nanny, and model. In her free time, she likes to catch up on all the sleep she lost in college and workout.
Anna Smith, Lead Guide
Anna is passionate about experiential, student-driven learning. She is a firm believer that the best learning happens when you are working on something that is personally meaningful and that you never know what will work and what won't until you take action and give something a try.
Anna grew up in Malaysia, the Ivory Coast, Chile, and Northern Virginia before heading to Hamilton College in upstate New York. She moved to Austin and received her Master’s in Education from UT after a couple years in outdoor/experiential education, leading trips and facilitating ropes courses for elementary, middle, and high school learners. Anna was also a founding guide and spent five years developing and implementing projects at Austin’s innovative Acton Academy.
Anna loves taking advantage of Austin’s amazing live music and enjoys spending as much time as possible playing outdoors with her husband, son, and dog.
Abigail King, Guide
Since becoming a parent, I’ve loved the journey of learning alongside my two sons, Laszlo and Paxton. Acting as a Socratic Guide at Acton Academy for 3+ years has deepened my appreciation for how much a supportive, collaborative community of learners can nurture curiosity and unleash the best in experimentation and exploration. I’m excited to use those foundations as a grounding point while guiding Wonderlab learners to navigate the path where their passions intersect with their drive to manifest something real. Let’s see what happens when creativity meets constraints in a space of encouragement and meaningful questions!
Scott James, Guide
Scott James is a lifelong educator who works as a poet, author coach, and writing guide. He was an Eagle Rock Literature & Literacy Fellow and served as the Program Director for the Boojum Institute of Experiential Education and has taught in public, charter, and private school settings. In 2015 he completed a quest to write and give away 1000 poems in a year on his vintage typewriter. He loves being part of project-based quests, and when not working you can often find him hiking or biking.