About Our Staff

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 Ortega


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 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. She joined SCC in 2012, with prior experience including eight years working with young children and six years in administrative management roles for child-based organizations. She was a teacher in the Owls classroom (2 year-olds) for three years while concurrently finishing her Master's Degree. She has been in her current position since 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


Administrative Manager & Accountant

Kathy takes care of business matters in the administrative office along with Alma. She manages business operations running the Center, such as resource planning, family billing, human resources, website, and marketing. Kathy has served in various management, administrative, and board membership roles throughout her corporate and non-profit careers, and she has been with us since 2003. Kathy is a CPA, has a BS in Business Administration, and 20 units Early Childhood Development.

Carol : Pre-K Teacher - Eagles


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)


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-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 University with a major in Child Development and a minor in Counseling.

Valerie : Preschool Teacher - Woodpeckers


Preschool Teacher - Woodpeckers

Teacher Valerie co-teaches the young four-year-olds in the Woodpeckers class with Teacher Varsha. Valerie brings a wealth of  experience, having worked with infants, toddlers and preschoolers, and she enjoys teaching the children in multi-sensory ways with many hands-on projects. Valerie has a M.A. in Education and a B.S. in Business. She holds a site supervisor credential from the State of California which allows her to mentor student teachers. She has been with us since 2016.

Varsha : Preschool Teacher - Woodpeckers


Preschool Teacher - Woodpeckers

Teacher Varsha co- teaches Woodpeckers with Valerie. Her personal philosophy is that each child is an individual who should be respected for unique ideas and beliefs. In the classroom she utilizes the power of spontaneity, and children's willingness to learn, and the spirit of having fun.

Varsha has over a decade of experience working with children of all ages, infants to teenagers. She had the privilege of running her own home based daycare for more than 10 years. She possess a Bachelors in Education, majoring in Child Development and Geography with a minor in Language Arts. She is currently working towards ECE certification. She has been with us since 2018.



Nancy C : Preschool Teacher - Redbirds (Spanish)

Nancy C

Preschool Teacher - Redbirds (Spanish)

Teacher Nancy co-teaches the Redbirds class with Rachel. 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 SCC since 2013.  Nancy has completed 24 units of Early Childhood Education,  and is pursuing further college studies.

Rachel : Preschool Teacher - Redbirds (Spanish)


Preschool Teacher - Redbirds (Spanish)

Teacher Rachel co-teaches the Redbirds class with Nancy. Rachel's background working with children includes having been a preschool teacher and a swim teacher. She enjoys teaching young children, as well as learning from them! Rachel has a BA degree in Child Development from Sacramento State University. Rachel is also fluent in Spanish.

Nelida : Preschool Teacher - Owls (Spanish)


Preschool Teacher - Owls (Spanish)

Teacher Nelly teaches the two-year-olds in the Owls classroom.  She 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 have 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.

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


Preschool Teacher -Owls (Hindi, Tamil & Telugu)

Teacher Sharanya is one of our newest teachers. She recently started a teaching career after having became a mother. Sharanya has an MBA and 17 units of Early Childhood Education.

Sandra : Toddler Teacher - Hummingbirds (Spanish)


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)


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)


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)


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)


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)

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

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)

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)


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 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.

Graciela : Center Support


Center Support

Graciela is our center support. Graciela spends most of her time assisting the classroom teachers and helping with teacher breaks. Graciela has many years of experience supervising children K-8th grade. She has been with us since 2018.