About Us

About Us

The Harbor School is an early childhood center formed in 2017 by nine people with a passion for educating and growing strong children, families and teachers.

Our goals for The Harbor School include:

• Breaking the cycle of poverty in the West Spring Branch area by providing opportunities for young at-risk children to succeed in school and for their families to pursue education and/or employment;
• Strengthening families within The Harbor School and the surrounding community; and
• Developing capable, loving teachers.

We are excited to have partnered with St. Thomas Presbyterian Church to launch our first center on the St. Thomas campus. At full capacity, that center will serve over 60 children from the surrounding West Spring Branch area, including infants, toddlers and preschoolers. Through this partnership, The Harbor School joins with the outreach resources of St. Thomas, FamilyPoint Resources (serving older children) and Cross Walk (serving adults) to bridge the gap with this new early childhood program.

St. Thomas Center Director

Lorie Janish, Director of The Harbor School’s St. Thomas Center

Lorie Janish is the Director of The Harbor School’s St. Thomas Center. Lorie holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from LeTourneau University. She comes to us from The YMCA, where she worked with youth for over 30 years in Teen, After School, Day Camp and Preschool programming. Twenty-five of those years were spent as a program administrator where she supervised multiple youth programs on a daily basis. Mrs. Janish enjoys working with youth to build character and to instill a love for lifelong learning in a caring community for the development of the whole child.

Our Board of Directors

The Harbor School’s Board of Directors and St. Thomas Center Director – January 2020

Justin Hayes is the current President and Chairman of The Harbor School Board. He received his MBA at Rice University, a Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering at Colorado School of Mines, and has been involved in nonprofit early education since 2015. Justin is currently the Director of Reservoir Engineering and Analytics at Bedrock Energy Partners, a private equity-backed E&P company.

Ben Melancon is the current Treasurer of The Harbor School. He is a Senior Manager of Global Production Business Planning at Hess Corporation. He received a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA), with a specialization in Internal Audit, from Louisiana State University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, with a Minor in Management, from Nicholls State University. Ben is a father of three young children.

Carrie Blume is the current Secretary of The Harbor School. She received a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters of Arts in Classical Studies from Duke University and a JD from Duke University School of Law. Carrie practiced law in Houston since 1999, but is currently retired to focus on family, non-profit work and raising her two children.

Barbara Allen is the Executive Director of Main Street Ministries in Houston. Previously, she worked in early childhood education in the Houston area for more than seventeen years, serving as a Director for 12 years and as the founding director for two different early childhood programs. Barbara received a Master’s in Education in Early Childhood from Stephen F. Austin University and a Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership from Rice University’s Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership.

Katherine Horton is a Process Engineer at Jacobs Engineering. She is involved in a variety of community service initiatives, including Houston Young Professionals Endeavor, Dress for Success Houston and the MD Anderson Cancer Center. Katherine received a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University.

Larry Maple has worked with both adult and youth ESL programs since 2001 and currently volunteers with two ESL classes at Spring Forest Middle School. He has been a mentor in Spring Branch ISD since 2007. He has volunteered with FamilyPoint Resources’ neighborhood programs since 2009 and currently serves on their Advisory Board. As a member of St. Thomas Presbyterian Church, he has coordinated the hosting of the Care Van immunization clinics since 2012. Larry enjoyed a 31-year career in the oil industry, starting with Phillips 66 and ending with ConocoPhillips.

Petie Meyer worked as a teacher for over 15 years, most recently teaching academically challenged children in the Special School at The Briarwood School. She is a longtime resident of the West Memorial area and member of St. Thomas Presbyterian Church. Through the years Petie has served several times as elder of the Children’s Ministry Committee and presently serves as elder of the Discipleship Committee. She has been involved in child-related volunteer work for 40 years. Petie received a Bachelor of Science from Drexel University and a Master’s in Education from Louisiana State University.

Ann Williams is retired from a career of managing domestic and international employee benefit programs for organizations in the offshore drilling and energy sector. She also taught at the secondary level for the Texas School for the Deaf and Humble ISD. As well as her work on the operations side of The Harbor School, she serves on her Homeowner’s Association board. Ann received a Bachelor of Science degree from The University of Texas at Austin.