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 ( Second 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
Becky Stemper (First Grade Teacher 2013-2014)
Becky Stemper grew up in Richmond, Virginia. She majored in French/Russian at James Madison University. She lived a year in Paris, traveled to Fairbanks, Alaska for a degree in Geology, then finished with a M.Sc. in Geology from the University of Toronto in 1990.
She discovered Waldorf in New Orleans where she was an assistant kindergarten teacher for 2 years.
After moving to Houston she started Waldorf teacher training at Rudolf Steiner College. She homeschooled her youngest daughter in a class with other children from 5th to 8th grade using Waldorf curriculum. She completed Remedial Education at Rudolf Steiner College in 2011 and is now in her 2nd year of Spacial Dynamics. She also has been taking workshops on the Masgutova method which works on integrating the reflexes from birth to maturity.
She’s an avid gardener and nature observer. She has many interests: handwork, languages, music, traveling, hiking, birds, plants, insects, rocks and, of course, children.
Keri Tegtmeier (Parent-Child Lead Teacher and Community Outreach Coordinator)
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 (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 researched a philosophy of education called Waldorf. After visiting a local Waldorf school, Sara found this was exactly what she had been looking for 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 and her husband have two daughters who both attend Great Oak.
Kelsey likes to think she has two very green thumbs, she spends any available moment outside. Whether it be gardening, riding bikes, running, reading, or just lounging in the sun. Kelsey currently lives in The Woodlands, where she has grown up.
She first heard of Waldorf while working at a childrens museum, from that moment a curiosity formed. She did research on Waldorf and when a mother from the school told her there was an opening she built up the courage and applied.
Kelsey has always worked with and had a knack for being around children. She started babysitting at 14 and was a Nanny for a family at 16. At the musuem she found her true love, which is teaching young children. Starting with simple summer camps then moving on to teaching mommy and me courses in art. Now she is the kindergarten assistant for Ms. Helen and has never been happier.
Kelsey is currently enrolled at The West Coast Insitute for Studies in Anthroposophy, for early childhood educator training. She has also completed five years of course work in psychology, anthropology, and medical biology.
Courtney Myers (Kindergarten Assistant Teacher)
Courtney graduated in May 2012 from Texas Tech University where she studied Human Development and Family Studies. She has had a passion for children from a very young age. She started off babysitting and taught swimming lessons as well.
The outdoors is where she belongs, especially in the water. Whether it is a pool, lake, or river she is content. She also has a love for sports. She grew up playing volleyball and softball and still enjoys them very much.
During College is when Courtney first heard about Waldorf education. She did not know about Great Oak until Miss Kelsey told her about an assistant teaching position. This is when she left the customer service industry for good and discovered this amazing school. She couldn’t be more excited that she has found Great Oak and looks forward to learning more and more about Waldorf Education.
Great Oak School is proud and honored to be recognized by:
"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
“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
"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
"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."