top of page

Our  Team

thumbnail_IMG_9870.jpg

KATIE SAIZ - Founder, Director
Grade School Classroom Facilitator

Ms. Katie is the Founder and Director of Green Gate Children's School. She has been a teacher and program director for the last 25 years. She has a BA degree in Child Development and Human Services from Fort Hays State University and has earned a graduate level certification in Literacy Intervention. Katie is a founding board member of WISE (Wichita Innovative Schools and Educators). She has been married to her husband, Stan, for 25 years, has two daughters (18 & 16), two adorable pups, a cat, and three birds. She has a love for reading, nature, and simple living. She is passionate about creating alternative educational environments which inspire kids to explore their interests and direct their own learning.

Untitled

STAN SAIZ - Math and Middle School Homeroom Teacher (12-14 years)
Co-founder and Math/Science Specialist

Mr. Stan is the quintessential life-long learner. He has followed his interests throughout his life, which have taken him all over the country and across the globe. Stan honorably served 13 years in the United States Military. Shortly after, he earned a BS degree in Biochemistry from Wichita State University and attended KU Medical school for two years. Stan has worked with kids in preschool through college-age in the community, schools, online, and in workshops for the last 24 years. He brings energy and genuine enthusiasm to his teaching and his smile is contagious.​ Some of his interests include knitting/cross-stitching, skateboarding, acting, fitness/exercise, playing guitar, swimming, chemistry, and travel.

Danielle.jpg

DANIELLE LUNA- Woodland Homeroom Teacher (3-5 years)

Ms. Danielle is a Wichita native and grew up on a small horse ranch. As a child she loved to ride horses and even participated in barrel racing. She pursued her nursing degree at Newman University. While at Newman, Danielle played on the women's soccer team. Ms. Danielle is married to her hard-working husband, Donald, and is the mother to five children. She is an active softball mama and spends lots of time at the ball fields. She has a way with animals and has two dogs named Cooper and Duke. In her free time, she enjoys using her creative talents by designing decorative wooden signs, tee-shirts, and other home decor items. She loves staying active and spending time outdoors. 

lisa_edited.jpg

LISA WEBER-JONES- Ocean Homeroom Teacher (5-7 years)

Ms. Lisa grew up in Garden Plain, KS and attended Wichita State University as an education major. She and her husband, Cody, have two boys named Greyson and Benny. She also has an 11-yr-old dog named Charlie, along with the newest member of their family, a Golden Retriever named Nataliya. She loves being a 'boymom' to her adventurous young sons! She and her family travel often during the summer months enjoying time at the beach and camping with family in the mountains.  Her favorite times of the year are Christmas and Summer! Ms. Lisa is very creative and has a small handmade jewelry business (LisaAnne). She loves building relationships with her students and working with them one-on-one and in small groups. 

kristy.jpg

KRISTY HENRY- Desert Homeroom Teacher (7-9 yrs)
Literacy Intervention Specialist

Ms. Kristy has a B.A degree in Family studies and is a certified Literacy Intervention Specialist. She is trained in Alphabetic Phonics and works with students who have dyslexia and other reading difficulties both at Green Gate and as a private tutor. She enjoys reading, hanging out with her dogs (Henlee and Magpie), gardening, and just about anything outside. Kristy is also quite adventurous and has gone zip lining, scuba diving, sky diving, and hiked the Grand Canyon rim to rim! She keeps us on our toes with her great sense of humor and kind-hearted spirit.

IMG_2976.heic

BRANDI BRANSON- Mountain Homeroom Teacher (9-12 yrs)

Ms. Brandi is a lifelong Kansas resident, growing up in rural Reno County and attending Buhler schools.  She earned a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Wichita State University.  She taught in the public schools for ten years prior to finding Green Gate as a preschool for her daughter, Hayzlee. The day she toured Green Gate, she knew the Green Gate philosophy resonated with her and it was where she wanted to teach. A year later, she joined our staff. In her spare time, Brandi loves to travel, work in her yard, and watch Hayzlee in all her pursuits.  They have a beloved black lab, Nala, who is well into her twilight years. She enjoys meeting new people, building relationships with students and getting to know Green Gate families.  

amelia.jpg

Amelia Saiz- Preschool Teacher

Ms. Amelia grew up working with kids while helping her mom (Ms. Katie) with the Green Gate preschoolers. She enjoys reading, knitting, crocheting, painting, playing various instruments, and singing. She is an avid concert goer and loves all types of music- from Opera to Classic Rock. In addition to teaching in the preschool classroom, she also directs and choreographs our Christmas and End of Year music programs. Amelia also leads our After School program.

IMG_7523.JPG

DEB WANER (a.k.a Grandma Debbie)-Chef, Creative Designer

Grandma Debbie is our Green Gate meal planner, chef, and artist/creative designer. She lovingly plans and prepares all our homemade meals and snacks, cares for our chickens, designs and creates our holiday sets and displays, and spends lots of time reading to our preschoolers. She went to Friends University to earn a degree in Music. She was in the Singing Quakers and spent many years as a member of an acapello singing group called Spirit. She was even invited to Washington D.C. and sung at the White House! She has spent her life dedicated to all sorts of creative pursuits and continues to share her talents and expertise in art and music with our students.

tony.jpg

Tony Robles- Children's Pastor

Pastor Tony has many years of experience guiding children along their walks with Christ. He currently serves as the full-time Children's Pastor at Reliance Community Church. He is married and has seven beautiful children ranging from preschool to high school. We are blessed to have Tony teach our weekly devotional time. His engaging and humorous personality sparks a joy in all of the children as they develop their relationship with God. 

A Collaborative, Nature & Play-Based School for Children in Preschool-8th Grade

bottom of page