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About Our Staff
Meet Our Staff

We carefully select teachers for their warm and caring nature, credentials in child development and experience. Together, we bring a full range of educational and cultural backgrounds, providing bilingual Spanish-speaking teachers to every classroom; as well as teachers who speak Cantonese 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 biannually for CPR and go through background checks: fingerprints, coursework, credentials & references.

Alma Ortega


Alma oversees the program here at Sequoia Children's Center.  She previously taught the Eagles Pre Kindergarten class, and was assistant director for several years before becoming director in 2015. Some of her recent achievements include: designing and implementing center-wide COVID protocols allowing the center to remain open during the pandemic, co-developing our parent partnership program to enhance teacher-parent communications, re-vamping the PreK curriculum to reflect California school-readiness objectives for transition to Kindergarten, and co-creating our Spanish Immersion Circle Time. While she was a  teacher, she held a site supervisor credential, which provided her a leadership opportunity to mentor and supervise students of the early child development program at Canada College. Alma also serves California Teacher Credentialing as a professional growth advisor to local teachers seeking to obtain or renew their California teacher permits. 

Alma holds an MS in Early Childhood Studies-Teaching and Dual Language Learning, a BA in Early Childhood Education, and a Director's Permit from the State of California. Alma has been with us since 2000.


Assistant Director

Becky oversees the program with Alma and has taken on the role of enrollment coordinator, and helping families transition to next level classrooms along the way. Becky previously taught the Eagles Pre Kindergarten class for seven years.  Her earlier experience was mostly in special education, and she is fluent in American Sign Language. 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. In her personal life, she enjoys reading, as well as participating in and going to theater shows.

Becky has a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Studies, as well as a BA with a major in Child Development and a minor in Counseling. She has been with us since 2016.  


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.

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Pre-K Teacher - Eagles

Teacher Carol co-teaches with Ann.  She brings a rich teaching experience, having previously 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. She has been with us since 2010.


Pre-K Teacher - Eagles

Teacher Ann co-teaches in the Eagles classroom with Carol. Ann believes that social and emotional development is a key component in preschool and pre-k education. She uses her love for arts and crafts to create a fun and explorative environment in her classroom. She was previously a lead preschool teacher at a school in the East Bay Area, where she grew up. She has a background assisting in special education.


Ann has a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a minor in Psychology with additional coursework in Early Childhood Development. She has been with us since Summer 2023.


Preschool Teacher - Woodpeckers

Teacher Valerie co-teaches the young four-year-olds in the Woodpeckers class with Varsha. She enjoys teaching and working with children. Valerie has a wealth of knowledge in child development and experience, having been in the field for about two decades.


She has a Masters Degree in Education. She has been with us since 2017.


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 has had the privilege of running her own home-based daycare for more than a decade.

Varsha holds a Bachelors in Education, majoring in Child Development and Geography with a minor in Language Arts, as well as a Certificate in Early Childhood Education Administration. She has been with us since winter 2018.

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Preschool Teacher - Redbirds

Teacher Nancy co-teaches the young three-year-olds in the Redbirds class with Nina, along with co-teaching Spanish Immersion Circle Time for this classroom. She has terrific results in creating a positive experience for the "reluctant" potty trainers. She and Nina plan and provide a very rich curriculum that meets the children individual needs and interest.


Nancy has completed 24 units of Early Childhood Education from Canada. Nancy holds a Teaching Certificate from Mexico City. Teacher Nancy has been with SCC since 2013.


Preschool Teacher - Redbirds

Elizabeth, co-teacher at the Redbirds class. She has worked with children since she was 16 years old. Started as a babysitter, then worked at a summer camp with preschoolers. After that she had the opportunity to work with children in elementary as an aide. She strives to provide a good educational environment while respecting the code of conduct and the standards of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Her goal as a teacher is to guide and teach through positive modeling and reinforcement. She is happy to join the Redbirds class again.


Elizabeth has an ECE certificate from Canada College and is pursuing her Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education. She initially joined our teaching in the Spring 2021.


Preschool Teacher - Owls

Teacher Nelly teaches the two-year-olds in the Owls classroom with Ruth. Utilizing her international perspective from Lima, Peru, she loves to teach children about the world around us, and about people in different countries.

Her commitment to quality early education shines through in all the little things she does. She co-created the philosophy for our "Spanish Immersion Circle Time" program in 2013, and she also co-developed our pilot "Early PreK" Woodpeckers program in 2014. She has also mentored and supervised aspiring students from a nearby college for their classroom experience.


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


Preschool Teacher - Owls

Teacher Ruth teaches in the Owls class. Some core values she emphasizes with her students are respect for yourself and others and a love for learning. She teaches these through fun structured activities, and also by role modeling. She loves to sing, dance and make learning fun! She has worked with young children from different backgrounds, special needs and English language learners. Ruth has worked in early childhood education for approximately 5 years.


Ruth holds a BA in Sociology with a minor in Child Development. She has been working with us since August 2021.


Toddler Teacher - Hummingbirds

Teacher Kim co-teaches the Hummingbirds class with Gabby. Kim has a passion for encouraging personal growth and community engagement within dynamically diverse settings, and strives to positively influence the lives of others, both personally, and as a community. She eagerly utilizes her skills and knowledge in the classroom to encourage young children to grow and meet their potential. She has ten years of previous experience working with young children and adolescents in various settings including summer school, after school, and nanny positions. She was previously a toddler teacher here, from 2018 -2020, and returned to us in Spring 2022.

Kimberly has a B.A in Psychology with a minor in Sociology, and additional coursework in Early Childhood Education and Counseling. 

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Toddler Teacher - Hummingbirds

Teacher Gabby co-teaches the Hummingbirds class with Kim.  She enjoys planning fun art activities, games, singing and dancing with the children. She helps the toddlers learn self-help skill. Gabby has sixteen years of previous experience, and has a certificate in Early Childhood Education. 


Gabby is currently working towards her AA degree in Early Childhood Education, and has over 30 ECE units. Gabby has been with us since 2019.


Infants/Young Toddlers - Butterflies

Teacher Jisela works alongside Teacher Fabiana with the Butterflies. She especially loves supporting toddlers in reading books and singing songs. 

Jisela has seven years of previous experience working with toddlers and preschoolers. She has 12 ECE units and is currently pursuing additional education in the ECE field.  She has been with us since late 2023.

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Infants/Young Toddlers - Butterflies

Teacher Fabiana brings to SCC a wealth of knowledge in early childhood education. She loves teaching the Butterflies (18-22 months) at SCC using LearningGames™ and Baby Signs™, Spanish and Mexican culture in the daily activities. Fabiana works and plays with the children using age appropriate toys and books, with much love.

She recently graduated from Sonoma State University with a BA in Psychology and is continuing her education toward a Master’s Degree in Child Psychology and she also has 21 ECE units. Fabiana is also bilingual (English/Spanish). Fabiana has been with us since January 2021.


Infants/Young Crawlers - Ladybugs 

Bryana is the primary caregiver for the young crawlers and toddlers, beginning at 10 months of age. Previously a preschool camp director for several years, Bryana enjoys working with infants and providing an engaging and nurturing environment
Bryana is pursuing her BA degree in Child Development and has been with us since summer of 2023.
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Nancy Le

Infants  - Ladybugs

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 to support exploration and development. She talks to them throughout the day, reads books, plays music and plays Learning Games. Nancy takes great pride in building relationships with the children through responsive and warm interactions and creating smooth and positive transitions from home to school for both children and families. Nancy speaks English, Vietnamese, and Cantonese. She previously worked at a Montessori school and has over 10 years of training in Montessori.

Nancy has 28 units in Early Childhood Education, 32 units in Montessori training and has over two decades of experience as a mother, and Montessori teacher. She has been with us since 2013.

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Floating Teacher

Doreatha supports the preschool teachers and helps to fill in wherever needed to assist with breaks, days off, and special projects. Drawing on decades of experience working with young children, Doreatha enjoys providing an engaging and nurturing environment for young children. She enjoys hands-on activities (getting dirty hands is ok), and she loves dancing to music from the 80's. Doreatha's favorite hobby is to cook everything from sweet potato pies to mud pies.

Doreatha holds an AA degree, with 36 units in Early Childhood Education coursework. She has been with us since 2019.
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Floating Teacher

Teacher Maria enjoys playing and doing fun art projects with the children. Maria Adriano assists with the Spanish Circle Time in the PreK class, as well as helping out in all classrooms.

Maria Adriano has 15 units of Early Childhood Education. She has been with us since 2011.


Floating Teacher

Aaliyah supports the preschool teachers and assists with the Spanish Circle Time in the Hummingbirds class. She enjoys creating special play time moments with all the children. She helps with teacher breaks, lunches and curriculum planning time. She has 6 years of experience working with young children and school age children.


Aaliyah holds an Early Childhood Education certificate from Canada College and her Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education. She has been with us since Summer 2021.

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Floating Teacher

Miriam primarily supports the infant room, sometimes other areas, with teacher’s vacations, lunches, breaks, parent drop-offs and special activities or playtime for the children. One of our newest staff members, Miriam has  two decades experience as a teacher and a mother, including 8 years with preschool age children. 
Miriam has a teacher's degree in Secondary Education from South America, as well as 12 units of Early Childhood Education. She has been with us since Spring 2023.

Floating Teacher

Yazmin helps to fill in wherever needed to assist the other teachers with breaks, days off, and special projects. Originally from Yucatan, Mexico, she noted the lack of early education for youth in her native area, and felt the need to become an educator.  Yazmin loves working with children for the opportunity to help children in their educational development and to gently guide them, in her small way, by modeling good citizenship. She is a mother of three children. She has two dogs, and enjoys gardening, dancing, and doing crafts. Her favorite phrase is : "why do I want feet if I have wings to fly?"   (Frida Kahlo)
Yazmin is a graduate of The Superior School of Yucatan, with a degree in artistic education, and holds a certificate in ECE from the College of Marin. She has 5 previous experience working with preschool children . She has been with us since Spring 2023.
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