Helen was Born in The Netherlands in Voorburg near Den Haag. She has also lived in Switzerland in the French speaking city of Neuchatel; after marrying she moved to the United States. Helen speaks four languages! Dutch, French, German, English
She has an Early Childhood degree and Elementary degree from St. Maarten College and her Masters degree in Waldorf Early Childhood Education from Sunbridge College in New York. Helen says, “I believe that the early childhood is the most important foundation for a happy life, so I take my work very seriously. I’m trying to surround the children with many positive influences in a calm warm homelike atmosphere, so that they can step into the world with confidence and trust.” She realizes after her many years teaching children of all abilities and many nationalities, that all children are the same. They all need warmth and love.
Helen is a talented handwork artist and has an ongoing interest in art, music, theater, and cooking. Her next project is learning to play the piano! Her greatest hope is that her own children Dave (24), Daniel (21), and Martin (17) have happy and fulfilling lives.
Dana Fleming ( First Grade Teacher 2012-2013)
Dana completed her three-year Waldorf Class Teacher Training at Sunbridge College while earning her Foundation Studies Certificate in Austin. She took a group of wonderful children from first through fifth grade at a start-up school in the area, and fondly remembers every moment with the children as she tried to balance their time inside and outside the active classroom.
A German teacher since 1987, she pours a great deal of energy into every type of lesson. Dana thrives on the versatility and flexibility teachers must demonstrate at a young school. She needed to learn to carve wood and play three kinds of flutes, invent new cooperative games, new ideas for math and German in motion, new knitting projects, and of course the storytelling that forms the core of elementary instruction–to name only a few subjects!
Dana enjoys teaching adults as well as children, offering workshops to help people bring ideas from Waldorf education into a variety of different teaching situations.
She is married to a theoretical physicist who cooks like a chef and invents astonishing things. Conversations at home are never dull. Their only child, a recent graduate of the Austin Waldorf School, just began her college adventure. The family was delighted to discover that admissions officers are now actively courting Waldorf students.
Gap year in Hamburg and West Berlin
B.A. with high departmental honors, UC San Diego (and Junior Year in Munich)
M.A., M. Phil., and ABD, German Literature, Yale University
Waldorf Class Teacher Certificate, Sunbridge College
Foundation Studies Program Certificate, Austin Waldorf School
Keri Tegtmeier (Co-Director)
Keri grew up in North Texas and has a B.A. in Theatre and a minor in Photography from Stephen F. Austin State University. She has worked as a photographer, a medical assistant, and now has fallen in love with the role of teacher and Co-Director of Great Oak.
Keri is the mother to two little boys – Owen and Elliot who challenge her everyday to grow as a mother and person. Her role at Great Oak School brings so much affirmation and fulfillment – she loves working with families to mentor their journey through parenting. Keri feels that one of the unique gifts of Waldorf education is not only the nourishing environment for the children, but the nourishing and supportive environment for the parents as well. The community created in a Waldorf school is one like no other.
Keri values whole foods cooking, and spends her spare time enjoying handcrafts such as quilting, sewing, felting and knitting. She also enjoys any time she can get outside with her family to explore nature and enjoy the sunshine. She has a special interest in continuing her knowledge of homeopathy and educating herself further in order to support and mentor mothers of young children.
Keri, her hardworking, woodworker extraordinaire husband, Dave and their two beautiful, energetic boys live together in a sweet little house filled with the love of handmade goods.
Sara Moon (Co-Director)
Sara graduated with a B.S. in Elementary Education from the University of Texas at Austin. She became a public school teacher to 3rd and 4th grade students for six years in both Houston and San Antonio.
While searching to incorporate simplicity and reverence into her growing family’s lives, Sara stumbled upon an interesting and completely new (to her) philosophy of education called Waldorf. After visiting a live and in person Waldorf school, Sara was smitten and can think of no better way to educate her children. Her passion is to bring the beauty, reverence, and education she herself dreamed of to the children of Houston with an accessible Pre-K through Grade 12 Waldorf school.
Sara loves rainy days, music, art journaling, photography, reading magazines of all kinds, being in nature and animals. She is focused on living more simply and finding good health and well being in the process. Born in Buffalo, NY, Sara has been in Houston for 30 years now. She has also lived in Spain, San Antonio, Portland, Oregon and Austin.
Sara and her husband have two little girls who have both attended Great Oak for several years.
Sara would love for you to join the Great Oak community and become part of a movement to enrich our children’s lives, our city and our world.
Kelsey Richardson (Kindergarten Assistant)
Mary Potee (Parent-Child Teacher)
For more than eight years, Mary’s life was devoted to advancing her career in the restaurant industry, and while she achieved success, the past four years of her life have been the most rewarding. Mary is a mother to two wonderfully curious girls and a wife to an astounding father. She is also a Babywearing Educator and is very active in the babywearing community on a local and national level. Mary has been teaching the age-old art of babywearing to caregivers and babies/toddlers for several years.
Since the first day Mary stepped onto Great Oak’s campus, she fell in love with the school; everything felt right. From that point on, she had a hunger to learn anything and everything she could about Waldorf Education. Mary is truly thankful that she has the opportunity to be a part of something as beautiful as Waldorf education.
Mary is an avid knitter, and thoroughly enjoys handwork. She loves keeping her hands busy and her mind open. She is often found outside with her girls and dogs, roaming their acreage on a hunt for bugs and/or dinosaur bones!
Ashley Kim (Parent-Child Teacher)
Ashley was introduced to the Waldorf philosophy as a graduate student in Environmental Education at Prescott College. It was not for another five years however, when she entered Great Oak School for the first time, that she saw Waldorf education in effect. She was drawn to the simplicity and peacefulness of the classroom, the use of natural materials, and the calm, engaging presence of Great Oak’s teachers.
Ashley is a Georgia native who transplanted from Montana two years ago. She is married to a wildland firefighter and is the mother of Maisie (3) and Elias (1). She enjoys traveling, reading, gardening, hiking, camping, and canoeing.
For eight years prior to becoming a mother, Ashley worked as an outdoor and environmental educator. Along with an M.A., she has a B.S. in Biology from the University of Georgia and is pursuing Labor and Postpartum Doula certifications.
Great Oak School is proud and honored to be recognized by:
"Education is not a race where the prize goes to the one who finishes first. To help young children develop a lifelong love of learning we need to respect and strengthen their individual abilities."
The Alliance for Childhood
“What every parent would wish as the best for his or her children, Waldorf education provides. The fullest development of intelligent, imaginative, self-confident and caring persons is the aim of Waldorf education. This aim is solidly grounded in a comprehensive view of human development, in an intellectually rich curriculum, and in the presence of knowledgeable, caring human beings at every stage of the child’s education.”
Dr. Douglas Sloane, Professor of Education
"Flexible, agile fingers in childhood lead to mobile, creative thinking in adult life."
Alstan L. Hegg
"Waldorf graduates are taught to question, not to accept ideas and conventions based solely on authority, but to think for themselves."
From Learning to Learn, Interviews with Waldorf graduates
"The importance of storytelling, of the natural rhythms of daily life, of the evolutionary changes in the child, of art as the necessary underpinning of learning, and of the aesthetic environment as a whole--all basic to Waldorf education for the past 70 years--are being 'discovered' and verified by researchers unconnected to the Waldorf movement."