Buck’s family joined Great Oak School in Spring 2015. He formally joined the board in December of 2018. Buck holds BA’s in Psychology and Sociology from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, has a CPMR designation from Arizona State University and studies Electrical Engineering through Penn Foster. For the past 18 years, he has owned and operated Holden Technologies Inc, a technical sales and design company primarily focused on the Oil and Gas and Military/Aerospace sectors. Buck was born in Texas and grew up in The Woodlands. In his free time he enjoys training and competing in triathlons and is an avid cyclist and swimmer. He and his wife, Beth, have three children at Great Oak School (Travis, Wyatt, and Silas).
Ricca Leatherman Vice President
Bio coming soon.
Jessica Tan Secretary
Jessica is a Waldorf graduate, who attended K-12 at Highland Hall in Northridge, California. During her 10th grade year, she also spent 7 months on a foreign exchange program in the Freie Waldorfschule Freiburg – St. Georgen. She graduated as valedictorian of her class and went on to University in Durham, UK where she earned her BA with Honours in Psychology. Jessica has worked in a variety of roles from Human Resources and Risk Management, and is currently the Risk Manager for Cast & Crew Entertainment Services where she manages a team focused on preserving shareholder value by analyzing, mitigating, and insuring risks to the organization’s operations. Her Waldorf experience inspired a commitment to lifelong learning, and Jessica has continued to learn throughout her career, both on the job and in classroom settings. Jessica is applying her experience and love of learning to share opportunities with future Risk Managers through a Spencer Educational Foundation sponsored internship and by giving guest lectures to Risk Management students.
Diana Araos Treasurer
Diana graduated from USC with a degree in Accounting and has worked in various industries from retail to telecom. She is an experienced finance leader with a background in Financial Planning and Analysis, Accounting and Franchise Finance. She has spent years developing her experience in director and managerial roles in companies such as California Pizza Kitchen, IHOP, and Coffee Bean. She currently works for Wetzel’s Pretzels as Director of Finance.
Luke Schnell Member at Large
Luke’s family joined Great Oak School in August of 2014. He attended Board Meetings in June 2016 and officially joined the board in September 2016. Luke studied Philosophy at Lon Morris College; Creative Writing at the University of Houston; and English Literature/History at Sam Houston State before joining the US Army Corps of Engineers in 1997. For the last 16 years he has worked in various Operational and BD roles in both the Chemical Transportation and Oil and Gas Service industries. His roles have included West Texas Operations Manager and North American Operations Manager for Weatherford Directional Drilling, Director of Business Development for Archer Well Company and President of Archer Directional Drilling. Today Luke is the Chief Operations Officer for QES Directional Drilling. Luke and his wife Lindsey have four children (Erik, Ethan, Sylvia and Margo).
Stephanie Morriss Member at Large
Bio coming soon.
Tomislav Gracanin Member at Large
Bio coming soon.
Darlene Zybala Member at Large
Bio coming soon.
Dawn Coe Faculty Representative
Dawn received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Texas and her Waldorf teacher certification and Master’s in Education from Rudolf Steiner College in California. For her Master’s Capstone project, Dawn created a math curriculum based on origami for grades one through eight. Dawn feels that her greatest accomplishment has been in the homeschool education of her five daughters that spanned two and a half decades. Having tested Waldorf methods in her own home laboratory, Dawn became convinced early on that it is the education of the future. The top two items on Dawn’s bucket list are living long enough to celebrate her 80th wedding anniversary and assisting the birth of an accredited Waldorf school in the Houston area. Dawn also created and currently teaches a series of adult education classes to help parents learn more about the philosophy behind Waldorf education. Dawn’s favorite artistic media are fiber arts, sandcastling, origami and photomontage; and she recharges by gardening, dancing with her husband, and hacking up stacks of magazines to feed her photomontage habit.
Vanessa Williams Faculty Representative
Vanessa joined the Great Oak Staff in the fall of 2018. She holds two degrees, a bachelors in piano performance, and a masters in music history. She has taught in the classroom for 15 years and has devoted her last 7 years to teaching music to families with young children and developing music and movement curriculum for several preschools. She holds music certifications including Kindermusik and Smithsonian World Music Pedagogy. She has also studied yoga through several organizations earning her RYT 200 in 2018, and enjoys teaching both children and adults. Currently she is working on her Waldorf certification through The West Coast Institute for Studies in Anthroposophy. Vanessa lives in the Woodlands with her husband and two sons. Her other hobbies include rock climbing, camping, hiking, and writing folk songs for children.
Didianne Gilman Admin Representative
Before joining Great Oak School in 2020, Didianne was a Waldorf grades teacher in Colorado.She taught one class 4th grade through 8th grade and a second class 1st grade through 8th grade.After graduating her second class, Didianne became a Faculty Administrator before her family relocated to Houston for her husband’s work in late 2019.She holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and Education and a Waldorf Education Teaching Certificate. Prior to her career in Waldorf Education, Didianne worked in human resources for corporate and start-up high-tech companies.She has lived on the east coast, west coast and in between.She has been married for 30 years and has three grown children who are still grateful for their Waldorf educations.Her joys include any and all family time, travel (she has been to all 48 contiguous US states and 5 foreign countries), water and mountains in major doses, reading, gardening and just taking in the world in all of its complexities and wonders..