Teachers & Staff
Our educators are the heart of our school and play an important role in making the school a community. They bring a wide range of experiences and backgrounds to the community and help make the experience for each child truly unique.
Blanca Lee Luna, Administrator
Blanca became the school's administrator in May 2000 thanks to the school’s unique barter program. Prior to her current role, she served on the school's Board of Directors and organized various school events. She has worked in various administrative positions in corporations, at university, child care centers and small businesses. Blanca was a Circle School parent from 1998 to 2014. Her three children attended the Circle School for preschool, elementary and middle school. Sonny is a graduate of Trinity University and currently in graduate school at UTSA. Noah is a graduate of the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University. Violet is a culinary student at Johnson & Wales University. Blanca enjoys spending time with her partners Phillip and Delain, working for the school, and going to comedy and live music shows.
Jason Gossard, Star Room (Kinder)
Jason currently teaches the children in our kindergarten program and has worked at the school teaching preschool or kinder since 2004. He graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and then moved to Texas where he completed a teaching certification program through Region 20. Jason spent eleven years teaching preschool at Head Start. Jason is also a writer, poet and organizer for the San Antonio Puro Slam.
Angela Beck, Song Room (3rd)
Angela graduated in December of 2015, completing her Bachelor's Degree at The University of Texas at San Antonio in Early Childhood - 6 Education with a certification to teach English as a Second Language. Becoming an elementary school teacher was a dream of hers since she was a child at Scobee Elementary, right here in San Antonio, Texas. She spent fifteen years of her young adulthood in the city of Atlanta, Georgia. This is where her passion for multicultural education and linguistics grew. The Circle School is her opportunity to teach, grow, learn and collaborate with students of all ages; keeping child, family, culture and community in mind. Angela is so proud and excited to be a part of this amazing school. She also enjoys cycling, rock collecting, hiking, reading, playing board games, and listening to all types of music.
Ashly Womack, Moon Room (PK3)
Ashly has deep experience working with children, both in social services, as an Early Intervention Specialist with Brighton Center, and most recently, as a certified Special Education teacher in NEISD. Ashly completed her Montessori certification during her first year at The Circle School. She also knows our community and culture well: prior to becoming part of the teaching staff, Ashly and her husband Ryan joined the Circle School community in 2018 when their son Daniel started in the Moon Room. She is passionate about developing student strengths and social-emotional resilience through connection and support.
Heather Jackson, Sky Room (1st)
Heather has a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies from Texas A&M-San Antonio, an EC-6 Generalist Certificate, and ESL Certification. She has taught science for five years at NEISD. She enjoys teaching all subjects, but her love of science is paramount with a particular love for geology specifically and the Earth generally. She believes that children learn best when they are guided by their interests and have hands-on experiences. When she is not teaching, Heather is spending time with her husband Fallie and her children Quentin, Livi, and Weston. She loves music of all kinds, playing the ukulele, and being on the water. Heather is thrilled to join The Circle School Community this year!
Terry Ramirez, Rainbow & Dream (4th-8th)
Terry co-teaches the Rainbow and Dream Rooms with Ms. Sarah. These classes consist of students in 4th through 8th grades. She teaches all her favorite subjects which include literature, composition, world civilizations, American history, geography, beginning Latin, and theater. Inspired by the work of John Holt and Rudolf Steiner, Terry unschooled/ home-schooled her children for six years. Both of her children are Circle School alumni and are now grown and attending university. The educational family tree, the story cycle, and the family co-operative drew her to the Circle School and it has been her home ever since. She enjoys the creative and intellectual freedom that are encouraged at the Circle School and strongly believes in the school's ethos. Terry attended University of the Incarnate Word and earned her BA in Philosophy. She suffers from wanderlust, and in her free time can be found adventuring and road tripping or at least, daydreaming of her next adventure.
Our staff is augmented by many part time staff and co-op members who teach specials, provide afterschool care, and lend classroom and office support.
Maria Carrillo, Sun Room (PK4)
Ria has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from The University of the Incarnate Word, an EC-4 Generalist certification, a Master of Arts Degree from The University of Texas at San Antonio, and is a HighScope Certified Teacher. She is also Montessori certified through the North American Montessori Center and is a Master Gardener. She taught at HeadStart for four years, Pre-K in SAISD for four years, Pre-K for SA South Education Center as a Master Teacher for two years, and has also been a tutor. She is an avid storyteller with a keen understanding of the nature of our co-op and our school’s emphasis on the whole child.
Joel Barela, Peace Room (2nd)
Joel has been a member of The Circle School staff since 2012 and continues to be amazed and inspired by the entire co-op. Joel studied at the University of Texas at San Antonio and has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science. Working at The Circle School has provided Joel the opportunity to examine information and interests in an environment that prizes collective creativity and problem-solving. In his free time, he can usually be found reading, listening to music, building something and hanging out with his awesome wife, Willow, amazing daughters, Aubrie and Ava, and son, West.
Rainbow and Dream Rooms (4th-8th)
Sarah began teaching math to Circle School students in 2013 and science to the 4th and 5th graders in the 2014-2015 school year. Currently, she co-teaches 4th through 8th graders with Ms. Terry as well as serving as Lead Teacher. An Austin native, Sarah has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Math, as well as a Bachelor of Science Degree in Statistics, from The University of Texas at San Antonio. She is the lead teacher for The Circle School’s Math Counts and Future City competition teams. In her free time, Sarah watches movies, runs, and inspires audiences with her performance poetry. Her main goal as a teacher is to encourage curiosity.
Rachel Morris, Education Coordinator
Rachel joined The Circle School community in the fall of 2011 when her daughter started in the Moon Room’s preschool program. Over the next six years she served as an after school teacher, classroom and specials substitute, and on the Board of Directors as the New Family/Enrollment Director and Education Director. Rachel joined the staff in the fall of 2017 in the role of Education Coordinator. Her experience as a parent and family educator, curriculum designer, and lifelong learner of human growth & development provides the foundation for her leadership of the teaching staff of The Circle School. She brings a genuine love for our co-op community and mission of teaching peace through culture to her role supporting staff, teachers and students. Rachel is an avid amateur mycologist and enjoys camping and cooking adventures with her family.