Libby Landry brought the first self-directed and inclusive learning community to Midland, Texas in 2015 when she founded West Texas Homeschool Co-op which later became Open Skies Learning Community LLC. She served as Director for both organizations until her retirement in late 2020.
Libby’s career includes business management with such companies as Carnival Cruise Lines, InterContinental Hotels, Hilton, and Holiday Inn. After the birth of her daughter, she became a key staff member at Village Home Education Resource Center, which is prominently featured in the 2015 documentary “Class Dismissed,” before relocating and founding the Midland community.
Libby continues to promote the benefits of self-directed education in a professional capacity by serving as a Board Member with Triumph Collegiate Academy and membership with the Alliance for Self-Directed Education and the Alternative Education Resource Organization. She resides on a ranch North of Midland where she is the Foreman, and enjoys watching movies, cooking, and spending time outside with her animals.
DeeDee Putzel is a Co-Director. She oversees communication, on site experience, and lots of other stuff. She and her husband have three children and she has been actively homeschooling them for 6 years. Homeschooling is more than just education for her family, it is a life philosophy that influences many parts of their lives. She has a strong belief in child-led education and delight directed learning. When her family moved to West Texas she spent some time seeking out a group that had a like-minded philosophy and was amazed to find Open Skies, as it fit in with exactly what she wanted for an enrichment program for her children. Open Skies has been a blessing for her family and she is fully committed to the success of the Community and eager to serve to continue that success. When not working on educational opportunities, she can be found reading, crocheting, browsing Pinterest, and drinking all the coffee. DeeDee can be reached at
Janeen Guynn is a Co-director and oversees classes, technology, and "other jobs as assigned". She taught in public schools for a decade before becoming a stay-at-home mom, and then an unschooling mom. She lives with her husband, two young daughters, and a family friend. She has been with Open Skies since the Fall of 2016 and really enjoys the focus on self-directed learning and social interactions. Her biggest interests are outdoors, education, kids, and reading. When not reading about education, you can probably find her playing outdoors with kids. She can be contacted at Janeen.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Heather Friesenhahn is the Volunteer Coordinator with Open Skies. Heather found Open Skies when her oldest was in his first year of homeschooling. She loves the inclusivity of Open Skies, the sense of community, and all the opportunities for learners. When not at Open Skies, she can be found park hopping with her kids, checking out way too many library books, and pulling her youngest off high surfaces.
Hi! I am Kristy, a life long Midlander and a homeschool mom of three. We've been on this journey for 6 wonderful years. I love reading, art, and animals. I also manage my parents small business (a roller skating rink) which feeds my passion for roller skating. I love our co-op and am excited to be a part of this amazing learning community.
Community Partners Liaison
Hello my name is Shannon Lawrence. This is my second year to be involved with Open Skies and my son, Connor, and I are thrilled to be a part of such a wonderful community. It adds the perfect amount of enrichment and socialization to our home school experience. I love facilitating and helping kids explore their world. I have 15 years of experience teaching in public and private schools in Texas and New York. My husband, Jim, and I have Connor who is nine and Ashley who is nineteen and a sophomore at UT in Austin. I live in 2 different worlds juggling children who are 10 years apart but love every second of it.