The Young Learners leadership team is made up of professionals each bringing specific expertise in business administration and development, education and curriculum development, and early childhood facilities management.

One of the things that makes our leadership team so special is their presence - they are on-site and active with our little learners DAILY! From leading small reading groups, to dressing up as 'Zero the Hero' and even Cat in the Hat, their commitment to our students and families is unmatched.


As a locally owned and operated business, each member of the leadership team is truly invested. They are seen at each of the centers, on a daily basis, and are active in the day-to-day operations. The children and families know them well and appreciate the open communication policy. Having direct access to the owners makes The Young Learners unique. You’ll often find them reading with a small group, dressing-up and entertaining classes, out in the community volunteering as well as assisting staff members during school events. It’s The Young Learners hands-on approach our families expect and appreciate!

Upon my tour today I found the school to be joyful, clean and bright. The teachers were very attentive and the admin staff was very helpful. They answered all of our concerns. We would also have access to cameras which is a big plus for me! I will be enrolling my son with no hesitation.
— Parent | Linder Young Learners Academy

Dan Altom  [Director of Finance]

Dan Altom
[Director of Finance]

Dan grew up in the wild wild west of Abilene, Texas but arrived in The Woodlands area soon after graduating from Texas A&M, Class of ’96, with a degree in Finance.  Dan’s career aspirations had been to work at a large corporation…after working at a couple of small businesses performing business valuation and financial assessment for other small businesses, his serial entrepreneurship caught up to him again when he and his business partner, Debbie Kaschik, founded The Woodlands Young Learners Academy in 2007.  By growth, expansion and acquisition, The Young Learners now has 4 fantastic preschool academies and clinic services for children with autism.

The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce was one of the first organizations Dan and Debbie joined and remains a big part of their community involvement.   Dan is also active in the Houston Northwest Chamber of Commerce, Montgomery County Youth Services,  and various and sundry activities only a dad can love.

Dan and his wife Leah live in Magnolia with their tweenage daughter and feisty old dog.

Deborah Kaschik   [Director of Curriculum]

Deborah Kaschik
[Director of Curriculum]

Deborah has spent 33 years as a professional educator in the Education and Financial Industries in both Arkansas and Texas. Deborah has earned a Masters of Education in Gifted and Talented Education, a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from the University of Arkansas; in addition, during her career in the Financial Services Sector, Deborah achieved her Series 7, Series 24, and Series 63 licenses through the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc.  Deborah also holds certifications specializing in Early Childhood Education, Language, and Learning Disabilities, as well as professional training in developing reading skills.  She serves her community in many ways.

She is an active member of The Woodlands Area Chamber of Commerce, where she previously served as Vice President of Business Development as well as team leader on many various committees.  She is also an active member of the Houston Northwest Chamber of Commerce.  Deborah is a graduate of the 2013 Class of Leadership Montgomery County.  She serves on the Education for Tomorrow Alliance (EfTA) Board of Directors.  She is very active in Conroe ISD, serving on the District-Level Planning and Decision-Making Committee.  She is also active in Spring ISD supporting various parent programs for the district.

Deborah, a Woodlands resident since 1990, currently resides in Alden Bridge with her husband, their son and their 85lb chocolate lab.

Ed Ziegler  [Director of Facilities]

Ed Ziegler
[Director of Facilities]

Ed graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Business from Texas A&M University. Prior to joining the team, Ed worked with Trinity Episcopal Church (Midtown), University of Houston and Human Resource Connection.

Ed serves his church leadership team, is on the Standing Committee for the Diocese of Texas, Camp Allen Summer Camp Session Director, Houston Northwest Chamber of Commerce Volunteer Ambassador, Houston Northwest Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament Chair, The Woodlands BBQ Festival committee, and has recently served on the Executive Board for the Diocese of Texas.

Mr. Ziegler resides in Spring with his wife Katy and three children. They enjoy camping and traveling in their travel trailer.  The kids are involved in sports and dance and that keeps the family busy.  Ed enjoys outdoor activities like biking, running, and fitness challenges.