Staff Bios

Meet our Staff

We carefully select teachers for their warm and caring nature, credentials and experience. Together, we bring a full range of educational and cultural backgrounds, providing bilingual Spanish-speaking teachers to every classroom; we also have teachers who speak Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Tagalog and Vietnamese. Many staff are committed to life-long learning and continue to pursue advanced credentials and degrees during their employment with us. All staff are re-certified annually for CPR and go through background checks, including: fingerprints, verification of coursework, credentials & references.


Alma Ortega, Director

Alma has been with us since 2000. She previously taught the PreK class for many years, and she was the assistant director for several years before her promotion to director in 2015.

During her tenure as a teacher, she held a Site Supervisor credential, with which she was allowed to mentor and supervise tens of  aspiring students from Canada College's Early Childhood program.

Some of her recent achievements include: designing and implementing a unique Parent Partnership Agreement to increase teacher-parent communications, bolstering the PreK curriculum to reflect Common Core school-readiness objectives, and Spanish Immersion Circle Time.

Alma holds an MA in Teaching and Dual Language Learning, a BA in Early Childhood Education, and a Director's Permit from the State of California.



Summer Lander, Assistant Director

Summer oversees enrollment of new families, new family orientation, staffing levels for the center, and curriculum development for the infant and toddler programs. Summer joined SCC in 2012, with prior experience including 8 years working with children and 6 years with administrative management  functions for child-based organizations.  Summer has been a full time teacher here, in our 2's classroom (Owls)  for 3 years, while finishing up her Master's Degree, and she was promoted to Assistant Director in 2015.  

Summer holds a BA in Liberal Arts with a Minor in Human Development,and a MA in Early Childhood Education.



 Kathy, Administrative Manager & Accountant
Kathy takes care of business matters in the administrative office along with Alma. She is a CPA and has a BS in Business Administration, as well as 20 units Early Childhood Development.  She assists with the business operations running the Center, such as resource planning, family billing, human resources, website, and marketing.  She has served in various management, administrative, and board membership functions throughout her career, and she has been with us since 2003.






Carol, Pre-K Teacher - Eagles

Teacher Carol  brings a rich teaching experience, having been a kindergarten teacher for the Redwood City School District. She enjoys multi-sensory modes of teaching, as with cooking projects, introducing the children to new foods, etc. She also takes pride in introducing children to life science through hands-on experiences, such as growing seeds and growing and harvesting vegetables and flowers in the garden.

Carol holds a BA degree in Liberal Studies and is working toward her Site Supervisor Credential from the State of California.





Becky, Pre-K Teacher - Eagles (ASL)

Teacher Becky  co-teaches the Eagles Class with Carol.  Her philosophy is to educate the whole child in fun, interactive, and multi-faceted methods in order to set the stage for life-longlearning. Her experience is mostly in special education, and she is fluent in American Sign Language.  In her personal life, she enjoys reading, as well as participating in and going to theatre shows.

 Becky has a BA from Sacramento State with a major in Child Development and a minor in Counseling. 




Nelida, Early Pre-K Teacher - Woodpeckers (Spanish)

Teacher Nelida brings to us a unique teaching background, from Lima, Peru.  She loves to teach children about the world around us, and how people in different countries live. She and Alma co-developed and instituted our Spanish Immersion Circle Time program for the preschool classrooms. She has helped to develop our "Early PreK" curriculum and classroom. Also she had been our accreditation coordinator, during our most recent accreditation process.

Nelida holds a BA Degree in Education and a Site Supervisor Credential the State of California. With her Site Supervisor credential, she has mentored and supervised several  aspiring students from nearby colleges, in need of classroom experience.  Nelida has been with us since 2004.


Valerie, Early Pre-K Teacher - Woodpeckers

Teacher Valerie co-teaches the early Pre-K with Nelida. Valerie has decades of rich experiences teaching very young children and her ongoing devotion to early childhood development led her to achieve an MA in Early Childhood Education during her career. She has a program director credential from the State of California. She has been with us since winter 2016.




Nancy C, Preschool Teacher - Redbirds (Spanish)

Teacher Nancy co-teaches the Redbirds class with Sandy, and is the primary instructor for Spanish Immersion Circle Time for this classroom. She has terrific results in creating a positive experiences for the "reluctant" potty trainers. Previously a nanny, she has transitioned into the classroom setting, bringing her enthusiasm for young children to the group setting.

Nancy has completed 24 units of Early Childhood Education from Canada College and is pursuing further college studies.




Sandy, Preschool Teacher - Redbirds (Korean)

Teacher Sandy co-teaches the Redbirds class with Nancy. Sandy brings to SCC a background working with very young children, having  been a preschool teacher for two years before joining us, and a Sunday school teacher part time, for 5 years. She  was part time with SCC during her final two semesters, while finishing up her BA degree (just graduated spring 2017) in Child and Adolescent Development, and she is now with us full time since January 2017. Sandy has a Teacher Permit from the State of California, and she is also fluent in Korean.





Sharanya, Preschool Teacher -Owls (Hindi, Tamil & Telugu)

Teacher Sharanya  is one of our newest teachers. Sharanya is an MBA graduate with a heart of a teacher. Sharanya started her teaching career after she gave birth to her son. Sharanya  has completed 17 units of Early Childhood Education from Canada College.





Holly, PreschoolTeacher - Owls

Teacher  Holly co-teaches the Owls class. Holly has a BA in Early Childhood Development and Applied Psychology, and she has been with us since winter 2016. 









Sandra, Toddler Teacher - Hummingbirds (Spanish)

Teacher Sandra co-teaches the Young Toddler class with Manuela. Sandra loves and accepts each child as the unique individuals they are, and takes great joy in watching each child grow in self confidence and self regulation under her loving guidance. Sandra brings lots of energy, enthusiasm, and a spirit of fun to the classroom activities every day.

Sandra has completed 24 units of ECE courses. She has been with us since August 2008.





Manuela, Toddler Teacher - Hummingbirds (Spanish)

Teacher Manuela offers intriguing puzzles, toys, and books and she takes great pride in teaching Baby Signs™. Manuela engages the children in Circle Time using puppets and singing songs. She enjoys doing art activities with the children and taking stroller walks around the block to explore the world outdoors.

Manuela has a a Certificate in Early Childhood Education, and a Child Development Teacher Permit from the State of California. Manuela has been with us since 2007.




Evelyn, Infants - Ladybugs (Spanish)

Teacher Evelyn brings to SCC a wealth of experience in early childhood education. She loves teaching the Lady Bugs (18-22 months) at SCC using LearningGames™ and Baby Signs™ in the daily activities. Evelyn is bilingual (English & Spanish). Her curriculum for the children includes one day for sign language and another day for Spanish. Evelyn works and plays with the children using age appropriate toys and books, with much love.

Evelyn has an Associate Teacher Permit with certificates in Early Childhood Development, Family Development, & Community Health. She is continuing her education to obtain her Teacher’s Permit. Evelyn has been with us since 2007.


Helen, Infants - Butterflies (Cantonese & Mandarin)

Teacher Helen She teaches the Butterflies (newly walking -18 months) with Evelyn. Her focus is to provide the children a variety of experiences and opportunities to allow them to develop curiosity, initiative, problem-solving skills, as well as to help them develop a sense of self and belonging. Helen speaks English, Cantonese & Mandarin.

Helen has an AA degree from San Francisco City College, and a Child Development Teacher's Permit from the State of California. She has been with us since 2013.




  Deana, Infants - Ladybugs (Cantonese)

   Teacher Deana is the primary caregiver in the Ladybugs area, for older infants who are at the stage of crawling to newly walking.  Deana is a recendt graduate of CalPoly in San Luis Obispo, with a BA degree in Child Development.  She is one of our newest teachers here, joining us in 2016.  Deana greatly enjoys infants at this stage, because of the immense learning which occurs at this stage.




Nancy Le, Infants - Ladybugs (Cantonese & Vietnamese)

Teacher Nancy Le is the primary caregiver and teacher for our youngest infants (5 months to crawling). Her focus is to provide the children a warm and personal setting with many nooks and toy areas for exploration. She talks to them throughout the day, reads books, plays music and plays Learning Games. Nancy speaks English, Vietnamese, and Cantonese. Previously, she had her own home-based Montessori day care for several years.

Nancy has 28 units in Early Childhood Education and has over two decades of experience as a mother, nanny/babysitter, and Montessori teacher. She has been with us since 2013.



Maria Luisa, Floating Teacher (Spanish)

Maria Luisa helps to fill in wherever needed to assist the other teachers with breaks, days off, and special projects. Maria Luisa has been with us for many years and has taught at all age levels. She's a graduate of Canada College's ECE Certificate program, and she continues her education by regularly attending workshops. Maria Luisa has been with us since 2007.





Maria Adriano, Floating Teacher (Spanish)

Teacher Maria enjoys playing and doing fun art projects with the children. Maria assists with the Spanish Circle Time in the PreK class, as well as helping out in all classrooms. She has 15 units of Early Childhood Education. She has been with us since 2011.







Vida, Floating Preschool Teacher (Tagalog)

Teacher Vida has been with us since spring 2012, with several years teaching experience. She finds much joy being with young children and can be found in any of the classrooms, as she works as a substitute wherever needed. Vida knows all the children at the Center, since she substitutes in all areas. Vida has 22 units in Early Childhood Education and a BS in Home Economics. She is also fluent in Tagalog.