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. 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 PreKindergarten class for many years, and she was the assistant director for two years before her promotion to director in 2015. 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, new family orientation, curriculum development for the infant and toddler programs. She has extensive experience as a toddler teacher at various different centers, and she taught children in our 2's class for three years while finishing up her Master's Degree. She has been with us since 2012.

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



 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 needs of running the Center, such as resource planning, family billing, human resources, website, and marketing.  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

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-long learning. 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

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. She holds a BA Degree in Education and a Site Supervisor Credential the State of California. She been with us since 2004.


Valerie, Early Pre-K Teacher - Woodpeckers

Teacher Valerie co-teaches the early Pre-K with Nelida. Valeria has a Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education and has a program director credential from the State of California, with over a decade of rich teaching experience. She has been with us since winter 2017.





Nancy C, Preschool Teacher - Redbirds

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

Teacher Sandy co-teaches the Redbirds class with Nancy. Sandy brings to SCC an extensive background working with very young children, having  been a preschool teacher and community-based teacher/leader for several years. Sandy has a BA degree in Child and Adolescent Development. She has a Teacher Permit from the State of California, and she is also fluent in Korean.





Marta, Preschool Teacher -Owls

Teacher Marta has been with us since spring 2014. She enjoys watching young children grow and takes great pride in being able to make a difference in children's lives. And, her calm soothing nature is just perfect for young children, especially for those who are adapting to a new setting. She has a certificate in Early Childhood Education from Canada College.





Holly, PreschoolTeacher - Owls

Teacher Holly is one of our newer teachers, and she is the Toddler teacher in the Owls classroom.  She has a BA in Early Childhood Development and Applied Psychology, and she has been with us since winter 2017. 







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. She 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. She 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.