Faculty & Staff
Dr. Marilyn Tolbert
Director; Jean W. Roach Chair of Laboratory Schools
Dr. Marilyn Tolbert is the director of two laboratory schools on the campus of Texas Christian University, Starpoint School and KinderFrogs School. Prior to KinderFrogs School, she was the Education Director for River Legacy Living Science Center and the Preschool Director for River Legacy Nature School. She was a principal and kindergarten/first grade teacher in public schools for six years. Prior to her educational experience, she worked in business for 20 years before embarking on her educational career.
Dr. Tolbert holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, a Master of Science in Administration, and a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership, all from TCU. She serves on the board of Kauffman Leadership Academy, the board of the Green Oaks School, is president of the Down Syndrome Partnership of Tarrant County and is on the board and holds the position of First Vice President of the National Down Syndrome Congress. When she is not advocating for and on behalf of children and their families, she loves to travel, read, and spend time with family and friends.
Assistant Director of Laboratory Schools; Primary School
Co-Instructor – Third Level
Kimberly Payne serves as the Assistant Director of Starpoint and as the co-instructor for the third level classroom in the Primary School. She joined the Starpoint faculty in 1996. She earned her Bachelor of Science and Master of Education from TCU in 1979 and 1981. Kim was the Starpoint Associate from 1979-1981. Her areas of emphasis are special education, kindergarten, diagnostics, supervision and elementary art. Before returning to Starpoint to teach First Level, her experience included teaching in the Fort Worth ISD, Fort Worth Country Day School, Hill School, as well as serving as an individual tutor. She lives in Fort Worth with her husband, Dustin.
LaJean Sturman has been the administrative assistant and admissions coordinator since 1997. Her background is in early childhood, holding an Associate of Arts in Early Childhood Education. She and her husband Daniel have one son, Brent, who attended Starpoint in his youth and graduated from TCU in 2009.
Intermediate School Instructor – Language Arts
Shelley Cochran teaches Language Arts in the Intermediate School. She first worked at Starpoint as a work-study student while an undergraduate at TCU and later was a full time teacher there from 1981 to 1985. She returned to Starpoint in 2002 after spending seventeen years as a stay-at-home mom. She graduated from TCU with a degree in Special Education in 1976 and earned her Master’s Degree in Education from Texas Woman’s University in 1979. She and her husband Curtis, TCU ’75, have three sons, Tyler, Thomas, and Kyle, who are all Horned Frogs as well.
Intermediate School Instructor – Science and Social Studies
Neely Douglas teaches Science and Social Studies for the Intermediate School. She first started working for Starpoint in 2005 as a teaching assistant. In 2009, Neely became the graduate associate where she co-taught the third level while getting her Masters of Education in Special Education from TCU. Upon
completion of her degree, Neely accepted the job as the Science and Social Studies teacher in 2011. She and husband, Colin, married in February 2013.
Intermediate School Instructor – Mathematics
Robin Neely Davis teaches Mathematics for the Intermediate School. She received her training in special education at Starpoint School and graduated from TCU in 1976 with a Bachelor of Science in Special Education. She received her Master of Education in Generic Special Education from the University of North Texas in 1979 and her Educational Diagnostician certification in 1980 from UNT as well. Robin taught in the Dallas ISD from 1976 to 1984 until returning “home” to Starpoint in 1984. Robin and her
husband Mark have one daughter who is also on the faculty at Starpoint School. All three are graduates of TCU and are avid Horned Frogs.
Instructor – Visual Arts
Julie Hulce has been teaching all levels of art at Starpoint since 2007. Julie earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art and an All Level Education Certification in 1991 from TCU. Her daughter, Nina, is a 2008 graduate of Starpoint School. Her husband of 22 years, Chris, is also a proud TCU alumnus and works in education. Chris and Julie have three daughters – Nina, Emma, and Sophie.
Primary School Instructor – First Level
Lisa May is the first level teacher for the Primary School. She first started teaching at Starpoint in 2002. She graduated from Texas Woman’s University with a Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood/Elementary Education in 1995 and from TCU in 2004 with a Masters of Education in Special Education. She and her husband Joe have two sons – Blake, and Jody.
Primary School Instructor – Second Level
Madge Thomas teaches the second level Primary School children. Madge graduated from TCU with a Bachelor of Education in Special Education in 1976. She earned her Master of Education in Special Education from Texas
Woman’s University in 1979. From 1976 to 1985, Madge taught Special Education for the Fort Worth Independent School District. Her career at Starpoint began in the fall of 1985.
Instructor – Adapted Physical Education
Amanda Young teaches Adapted Physical Education (APE) for both Starpoint and KinderFrogs. She first started working at the laboratory schools as a student teacher during her undergraduate studies at TCU. She graduated from TCU with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology in 2009 and started teaching full time in 2010. She graduated from Texas Woman’s University in 2012 with a Masters degree in APE and is currently working on her Ph.D. in the same field.
Starpoint Associate – 2nd Year
Katie Thornton was named the Starpoint Associate in the spring of 2014. Katie graduated from TCU in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education EC-4, emphasis special education and started teaching full time the following August. In addition to her teaching positions in the U. S. she has taught in both Kenya & Thailand. Katie will be working on her Masters of Science in Special Education during her time at Starpoint School.