Our Faculty & Staff
"Before buildings, before books, even before students, a school is a gathering, often of just a few friends, learning together, who love the same things and love to reflect and remark about them in conversation."
- James S. Taylor, Poetic Knowledge
Lara Neri: Founder/Directress/web designer
Dr. Marc Neri: cofounder/CFO
Our Board of Directors:
Lara Neri, President
Dr. Marc Neri, Treasurer & Secretary
John Wilcox, legal counsel
Dr. Andrew Moran, academic advisor
Our Advisory & Admissions Board:
Founder, Head Mistress; Humanities & Trivium Program Director & Guide
Mrs. Neri has taught Literature, Grammar, Writing, & Art since 1997. She did her undergraduate work in Art History & Medieval & Renaissance Studies at the University of Dallas and returned to UD for her Masters of Literature. She is certified for teaching English in Western Europe and has taught in China, Russia, and the UK. Mrs. Neri has completed the AMI Adolescent Montessori Introductory training and continues to attend Montessori workshops and training conferences. She has also trained at the Byzantine School of Iconography and the Prince's School of Traditional Arts.
Mrs. Neri has four children, ages 8 to 16. She has done training in Positive Discipline, Trust Based Relational Intervention (TBRI), sensory issues, and trauma informed parenting. She has traveled extensively and loves exploring other cultures and customs. She finds joy in attending the Byzantine Liturgy, reading good books, discussing educational philosophies, talking with friends, hosting parties, playing board games, doing puzzles, sitting at sunny cafes, and riding horses.
Her favorite book is The Brothers Karamozov and her favorite cities are Jerusalem, St. Petersburg, Istanbul, and Rome.
Dr. Marc Neri, PhD:
co-founder, CFO, & Business Tutor
Dr. Neri has a BS in Physics from Durham University, a Masters in Humanities from the University of Dallas, and a PhD in Business Administration from the University of North Texas. He also obtained his Accounting Qualification (CIMA) while in London and his Cambridge Certificate of English Language Teaching.
He has taught English in China & Russia, Biology at Cistercian Preparatory School, & currently teaches Accounting at Texas Christian University.
Marc is an Anglo-Italian, born in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne in the north of England & growing up spending summers in Tuscany with his father's family. He loves expounding on philosophical truths to his four children, traveling, reading history & philosophy, studying languages, and continually pursuing more graduate degrees.
Mrs. Brianna Harrison:
Humanities & Trivium Guide, Practical Arts Assistant Guide
Mrs. Harrison graduated from Wyoming Catholic College with a BA in Liberal Arts & also holds a Certificate of Pastoral Theology from the Emmanuel School of Mission, where she worked in International Missions. She has worked as a Director of Youth Ministry and a co-director on the 21-day Expedition required of Wyoming Catholic freshmen, and she is certified as a Wilderness First Responder. She also has experience as an au pair in France, in greenhouse management & landscaping, & with the homeless in Denver, Colorado.
Mrs. Harrison enjoys gardening, exploring small town squares, occasionally canyoneering in Utah, as well as taking walks, discussing film, and arguing about phenomenology with her husband. Her current favorite reads include That Hideous Strength, James Joyce's "The Dead," and Gaston Bachelard's The Poetics of Space. She is excited to "enter into the green wood" this year alongside St. Anthony Academy students, pursuing wonder, hope, & courage in the realm of Christendom.
Mrs. Libby Upham:
Quadrivium & Economia Guide
Libby Upham graduated from the University of Dallas with a BA in Biology and has worked in business and education for the past 25 years. She has taught math and science in various educational settings, including co-ops and charter schools. In addition, Libby is trained in Catechesis of the Good Shepherd for Levels 1 and 2, with Level 3 training to be completed this summer. As a tutor, teacher, and Catechist, Libby enjoys working with children, planting seeds in their souls to help them grow into the person that God created them to be!
Mrs. Upham has been married to her husband Dave, a professor at the University of Dallas, for almost 20 years. They have 5 children, ranging in age from 18 down to 10 years old. In her free time, Libby enjoys games and good movies, an occasional swing dance, and time spent at Church or with friends and family.
Mrs. Nece Zipper:
Practical Arts Assistant Guide
Mrs. Nece Zipper graduated from Baylor University with a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies and Anthropology. She is also trained in all three levels of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd and has built and served in various atria since 2009. Currently, she serves as the Level Two guide for St. Mary the Virgin Catholic Church and Level Three guide for St. Francis Montessori. She enjoys working with the older children as they complete the CGS formation and also loves the material making process and preparation of the environment.
Mrs.Zipper has been an avid crafter since her first job at MJ Designs, craft store, in high school. She is currently a member of the Dallas Makerspace and enjoys learning new skills. Over the years, she has learned a variety of practical arts that she looks forward to sharing: jewelry, sewing, ceramics, woodworking, painting, bookbinding, and calligraphy.
Mrs. Zipper and her husband live in Irving with their four children.
Mrs. Kirsten Huber:
Practical Arts Assistant Guide
Mrs. Huber is the owner of Good Tilth Farm and Nursery and Lorica Tea. She is a certified permaculture designer from the Australia Institute of Permaculture. In 2009 she hosted Fort Worth's first PDC course. Since then she has and been working in the urban agriculture industry, teaching at schools and as a designer and a market gardener. She also works at Elizabeth Anna Urban Farm & Garden doing greenhouse management, design, and in education and outreach.
Mrs. Huber will be instructing students in various aspects of permaculture, soil science, seed saving, aquaponics, botany, and more. She will oversee the Gardening/Botany Badge for those students who choose to pursue this study further.
She enjoys gardening...obviously.
Mrs. Jessica Kane:
Martial Arts Guide
Jess Kane was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa. She came to Texas in 2008 to study at the University of Dallas and never left! She lives in Irving with her husband and four children.
Mrs. Kane began her Tae Kwon Do training in 2017, and is working towards first dan. She has benefitted from the rigorous physical and mental training that the sport provides. The tenets of Tae Kwon Do are Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self Control, and Indomitable Spirit.