Cindy Boynton was raised in Houston and attended SMU, where she earned a degree in Elementary Education. She continued her education and received a Masters in Special Education from the University of Houston.

Cindy married Bryan and they moved to San Antonio, where she taught special education for four years. She has three children and Drew, the youngest, has Down Syndrome and Autism.

She has participated on state and local committees dealing with special education and has advocated for individuals with intellectual & developmental disabilities. Cindy started what now is called the Down Syndrome Association of South Texas in 1994.

Samantha Pety: Lead instructor

Samantha Pety was born and raised in San Antonio, TX attending high school at Alamo Heights. She then attended college at Texas Tech University, where Samantha earned a bachelor’s degree in Multidisciplinary Studies with a specialty in Special Education. She was a member of Delta Delta Delta sorority, and various organizations that worked with young adults with special needs. 

After graduating college, Samantha returned to San Antonio to begin her teaching career. She taught special education for 2 years as a PPCD (Pre-School Program for Children with Disabilities) teacher in NEISD. Throughout the summers Samantha spends her time caregiving for a young adult diagnosed with Autism. He has given her the desire to continue to teach and advocate for young children and adults with special needs. 

Susan mcdonald: instructor

Susan McDonald has been employed with Alamo Heights Independent School District for the past 28 years, first at the High School teaching life skills and employment training in the L.I.F.E. class, and then at the Junior School assisting students academically and with their transition to High School. Susan spends her summers working with students of all ages in the ESY summer program, helping them to continue on their progress for the next school year.

Retiring from AHISD this year, Susan is excited to start a new chapter in her life by joining the team at SA Life Academy. Her instruction will focus on current events, recreation, social behaviors, volunteering and giving back to the community, wellness, and money management, among others topics. Susan has been married to Richard McDonald for 37 years and is the proud mother of 3 children, and a precious granddaughter, Milla.


Elaine Still Eickenroht: Art instructor

After teaching art to General Ed and Special Ed students in the North East and Comal Independent School Districts for 36 years, Elaine Still Eickenroht is excited to begin inspiring artists at S.A. Life Academy.  Since retiring from public school teaching, Elaine has continued her passion for helping students succeed creatively.  

Mom to a special needs daughter and friend to many special athletes, Elaine is active in supporting Special Olympics at their practice sessions and competitions.  She represents these athletes as a member of the San Antonio Tennis Association’s Disability & Inclusion committee.

Elaine believes that everyone has their own special talent and strives to help every artist be the best that they can be through process oriented projects which will promote fine motor skills, nurture creativity and insure pride in accomplishments.