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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, Operations 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 many 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 for 18 years and continued her work here after her children transitioned out of the school. Blanca enjoys going to comedy and live music shows and spending time with her partners Phillip and Delain. Together they have 5 children: Sonny, Noah, Violet, Trinity, and Amara.  


Melanie Martinez, Education Administrator


Melanie is a native of Corpus Christi that has recently relocated to San Antonio and joined The Circle School. She has experience in elementary and middle school student / parent support, working with special needs students and  early childhood settings. She holds a Bachelors in Early Childhood Development from Texas A&M . 

She really shines when talking about working in education and is eager to plant her roots in our program.  


Yvonne Wood, Financial Administrator


Yvonne is happy to be going into her eleventh year as a member of The Circle School community. She started as a substitute teacher for coop hours and then moved into the bookkeeping role to fulfill hours as she had previous bookkeeping experience. She stayed on after her children left the school as part of our administrative team. She is grateful to be at a place in her life that allows her to do part time work at a school she loves, surrounded by people that make a positive change in our community and are welcoming to all. Her background includes a Bachelor's in Computer Science and Engineering from MIT. She has two amazing children (her husband would agree! ) that both went to Circle School. Her oldest is now going off to Columbia University in NY and the other is a junior at ISA.


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 also holds a Montessori certification. She 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.


Danielle Lopez, Sun Room (PK4)


Danielle has a wealth of experience in early childhood education, with a strong focus on social interaction and building community. Serving in education for over 17 years, she brings a child centered, collaborative approach to the classroom. Danielle holds a Bachelor's Degree from Texas State University and a Texas teaching certificate in Early Childhood - 4th grade. She is additionally ESL and SPED certified. In her spare time, Danielle is a nature enthusiast who enjoys being outdoors with her children and animal rescue.


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.


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.  


Cece Oberman, Peace Room (2nd)

Cece is thrilled to be joining The Circle School family. She has spent the past 14 years teaching students of all ages in Thailand, Turkey, and Panama. Cece has a Bachelor of Science in Bioenvironmental Science and a Master of Science in Public Health from Texas A&M. She is also certified in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL). Cece is passionate about the Earth, art, music, teaching, spending time in nature, and taking adventures with her partner Paul and daughter Mila. Cece enjoys following the lead of the students and empowering them through experiential learning.


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.


Joel Barela, Rainbow Room (4th)


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.


Rob Ralston, Dream Room (5th)


Rob is excited to be a new teacher at The Circle School and a member of its family. He believes deeply in the mission, principles, and beliefs associated with the co-op.

He has a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Truman State University, earned his teaching certification from Missouri
State, and taught for NISD for fifteen years as a 2nd, 3rd, and 5th grade classroom teacher and GT
Campus Specialist and Coordinator. He finds passion teaching through the child-centered hands-on learning approach used at The Circle School. Before teaching, Rob also spent many years as a lead camp counselor and nature teacher for Camp Hale in New Hampshire. He also once was a Radio DJ and promoter for various hip-hop record labels. Rob lives in San Antonio with his wife, who is also a teacher, and a wonderful 7-year-old son named Ollie. Rob also
loves camping, hiking, and spinning records in his spare time.


Sarah Swathi,

Middle School


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 serves as facilitator for our middle school program. 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.

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.

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