Site Directors and Teachers

Our teachers are caring and innovative educators. We provide extensive and ongoing professional development so teachers provide the best learning experiences. 

 

You can find your child's teachers below by finding the school first. Schools are listed in alphabetical order. 

Farallone

 

Corina Outten

Farallone View Site Director/Program Manager

 

Corina grew up on the coastside and was previously a student herself at Farallone View School.  She has been a teacher and site director with Workshop since 2016.  She holds a California real estate license and decided to pursue to her passion to be a childhood educator.  Corina comes from vast experience of working with children prior to her real estate career – she was a swim instructor at La Petite Baleen Swim School, a private nanny for 3 children in Menlo Park and also volunteered her time to Coastside Child Development Center.  It’s important to Corina to provide a safe and creative learning environment that recognizes the diverse learning styles of students.  She’s motivated to use her skills and experiences towards childhood development to encourage growth, both socially and academically.  Corina feels fortunate to live the coastside lifestyle, spending her free time appreciating and enjoying the outdoors.  She also loves to cook, garden, create and learn.

 

 

Julie Mathiasen

Farallone View Teacher

 

Julie was raised in a small farming valley in the Sierras in Northern California. She has lived in El Granada for the past 33 years.  She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Ornamental Horticulture from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Julie worked in the greenhouse industry in Half Moon Bay for 12 years growing baby plants before starting her own daycare when her two daughters were in elementary school at Farallone View Elementary School.  Currently Julie works part time in the mornings at The HEAL Project and leads tours to school-age children educating them as to where their food comes from and why it matters. In addition, Julie is a Garden Coordinator for an elementary school in South San Francisco where she teaches healthy eating and gardening practices to T-K through 5th grade. We cook, we sample, we dig, we weed, and we learn.  In the summer, Julie manages her own Summer Day Care business where she leads kids to explore in nature on our beautiful coastside. Julie is also a Part-Time Children's Ministry Director at Western Hills Church in San Mateo. She has worked as an Assistant and Co-Director for the past nine years at Kings Mountain Elementary School.  Julie loves photography, hiking to waterfalls, gardening and jewelry making.

 

Gikui Kuria

Farallone View Teacher

 

Gikui was born in Kenya, Africa and then raised in Dallas, Texas. She graduated from Texas Tech University with a BS in Elementary Education and is a certified teacher. After graduating from Texas Tech, Gikui got an opportunity to be a full time nanny in Half Moon Bay for two families. She moved to Half Moon Bay in January 2018.  Gikui ended up loving living on the coast. She decided to stay and continue pursuing her passion of teaching children and joined Workshop Education. Gikui is very excited to learn and grow with Workshop.

Hatch Elementary

 

Martha Schwartz

Hatch Site Director

 

Martha is very excited to work with children at Hatch Elementary School because she has been a parent at the school for five years now. This is where she discovered her passion to work with kids when she volunteered in her son’s kindergarten class. For over the past year and a half, Martha has been working as an educator at all the Workshop Education sites in Hillsborough, Redwood City, and Montara. Martha was born in Nicaragua and before coming to the United States she studied several years at UNIVAL (Universidad Internacional de la Integración de America) with an emphasis in law. Before starting her career with Workshop Education, she worked at the Bank of America in Half Moon Bay for nine years. Martha is bilingual in Spanish and English. She is also currently studying at the College of San Mateo.  

 

 

Colm Grey

Hatch Teacher

 

Colm was raised in Pacifica, California.  He attended a Montessori elementary school and entered the public school system for the sixth grade. After graduation from Terra Nova High School in Pacifica he attended Skyline Junior College, completed his AA degree in History and transferred to the University of California at Santa Cruz. Colm graduated UCSC in June 2017 with a Bachelors degree in History. Colm has always had a love of working with and teaching kids. He was part of Pacifica's LITE program during the summer of 2008.  He helped other LITE leaders at Cabrillo Elementary, watching, playing with and leading kids on field trips. In the summer of 2014 Colm joined the Camp Okizu family and spent a week working with kids who had cancer and worked with their siblings too.  He returned for another weekend at the camp helping whole families obtain relief from medical anxiety and enjoy the camp and its mountain setting. Colm has loved working with and helping children and now gets to do so on a regular basis with Workshop Enrichment helping with homework, study habits, and time management skills so they become better students.

 

 

Dana Gehring

Hatch Teacher

 

Dana grew up in Half Moon Bay. She went to Sonoma State University where she graduated with a BA in Sociology. While in college she volunteered at child care programs for low income and homeless families. That is where she realized her passion for working with children and wanting to make a difference in their lives. She decided to continue her education and went on to earn her teaching certifications in Early Childhood Education. She has been working with children since 2005. She was a preschool teacher for over 5 years. She also spent many years teaching K-5th graders at after school and summer camp programs on the coast. She is very excited to join the Workshop Education team! 

 

North Star Academy

 

Yesica Mendieta

North Star Site Director, Grade 3 Teacher

 

Yesica was born in Mexico and raised in the peninsula. Her trajectory working with children began in 2010 as a Sunday school teacher with school aged children. Yesica also has worked at the YMCA where she helped students meet their academic goals.  In 2014 she expanded her experience and began working with special needs students as a paraprofessional. When working with this population Yesica found a deeper satisfaction and discovered that she wanted to pursue higher education in the special needs field. She enjoys working with children both as a group and individually.  Yesica is looking forward to having fun and helping the North Star students as much as she can!

 

Jessica Reynaga 

North Star Grade 4 Classroom Lead

 

 Jessica Reynaga formerly worked at Think Together in Redwood City as the program leader for twenty-five middle school kids teaching enrichment lessons to build equity in education. She also served as a volunteer at the Boys & Girls Club, and tutored children. She has studied child development at Foothill college, where she is completing her degree. Jessica trained at Northstar, North, South and West, before joining the Roy Cloud team. She is very excited to work with the children there. She loves coming up with ideas for students to learn and have fun at the same time. She believes her big family helped her grow a passion for helping and working with children. Jessica is bilingual, fluent in both English and Spanish.

 

 

Valeria Hernandez

North Star Grade 4 Teacher

 

Valeria Hernandez was born in El Salvador and raised in Redwood City since the age of 5. As she was adapting to her new home she struggled a lot with the language barrier and was always signed up for after school programs, which helped her a lot when she was learning to speak English. As Valeria got older she realized that she really enjoyed working with children and knew that she wanted to help and make an impact on children's lives just how her teachers had made in her life.  Valeria is now majoring in Early Childhood Development, a year away from receiving her AA and then transferring to obtain her BA.  Valeria has been working with children for 5 years from swimming to after school programs including the privilege to work with children that are on the autism spectrum. Valeria is very excited to be a part of this team!  

 

Jessamy Collier-Kent

North Star Grade 5 Classroom Lead

 

 Jessamy grew up in Redwood City and attended Orion elementary and Aurora High School. She attended Cañada College and San Francisco State University where she graduated with a BA in Drama in 2010. She has been working with children since college. She has worked with Hillbarn Theatre’s youth conservatory program. She is currently also a teacher at a family childcare, teaching toddlers the ins and outs of socialization and creativity. She is very excited to join the Workshop team. 

 

Lorrie Del Rio

North Star Grade 5 Teacher

 

Lorrie Del Rio was born and raised in Redwood City. She is a mother of 6 children and has 6 grandchildren. Lorrie has worked with children of various ages for the past 25 years.  She ran a licensed home day care in Redwood Shores and currently is the Children's Director at a local church in Redwood City. Lorrie also worked as an assistant education specialist with a family caring for their son with special needs. She loves working with children, helping them find their potential, and encouraging them in their learning and personal growth. She enjoys creating an environment that is loving and caring, bringing out the best in every child. Lorrie is looking forward to working with the children at Northstar, getting to know them and their families. 

 

Damaris Ramos

North Star Grades 6-8 Classroom Lead

 

Damaris was born in Puerto Rico to parents who were both educators and instilled a passion for learning at a very young age.  She graduated Olney High at 16 years old and started college soon after. Damaris’s educational background is in psychology from the Universidad Interamericana of Puerto Rico. Damaris is currently employed with the Sequoia Union High School District working with young adults who have special needs.  She helps them gain the life skills needed to succeed as productive members of our society. Damaris has also held prior positions with the Redwood City School District in the Special Needs Department as a Paraprofessional.  She was an advocate for education with the PTA, Elac, Site Council and Art in Action.  Damaris truly believes every child has the capacity to learn and feels teaching them to have a growth mindset and confidence in their abilities is the key to their success. 

 

Aliza Peters

North Star Grades 6-8 Teacher

 

Aliza has lived in Redwood City, California her whole life.  She attended Kennedy Middle school, Everest Public High School and then continued her education at Cañada College. She is now attending San Francisco State University and obtaining her degree in English Literature and will be continuing on to an Accelerated Nursing Program in the future.  Aliza always had a passion for helping children learn and understand what is going on around them.  She feels like everybody deserves a support system.  Aliza began working with children as a volunteer for her brother's Hard of Hearing summer classes as a young teen and then continued to volunteer at Sequoia Hospital in the Labor and Delivery section where she would sometimes watch little toddlers. From there Aliza joined Aim High, as an college intern in 2019. This program is special to her since she attended the program in 2010. Aliza started off by being an intern for a Science class in her first year and by her second year she was co leading a Humanities class, where English grammar and writing with personal development were connected. Aliza's goal is to help students learn and show them that she believes in them and wants to support them because she truly cares.

North Hillsborough

 

Katy Katzenberger 

North Hillsborough/Interim Crocker Site Director

 

Katy is excited to be a part of Workshop Education. She grew up in Southern Illinois, a daughter of a college professor and a regional assistant superintendent. After an especially chilly Midwestern winter, she and her husband moved to the Bay Area in 1993.  Katy was Co-Director of Kings Mountain Children's Center for four years, working after school with kindergarten through fifth grade students. Prior to that, she spent five years with the San Mateo County Historical Association, leading field trips as a Program Interpreter in their Education Department.  Katy has been a longtime docent at the Woodside Store and volunteers at various special events to help preserve county history.  Katy has a Bachelor of Science degree in Speech Communication from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. While spending twenty years working as a PR specialist, she had her own children and realized she enjoyed helping in their classrooms and wanted to work in education. Katy loves to instill creative confidence in children by helping them be good readers, writers, and public speakers. She believes it’s important to have a good sense of humor and she loves watching children use their imaginations.  In her spare time, Katy enjoys relaxing with her family and friends, hiking near the beach or redwoods, listening to all types of music, and cooking.

 

Ruci Karangutkar

North Teacher

 

Ruci grew up in Cupertino and in Mountain View. She graduated from Stanford University with a degree in English, after spending time at Foothill Community College and UC Santa Cruz. She has worked as a nanny, a tutor, and a retail consultant and finds that working with children is consistently surprising and funny. Ruci cares about making children feel heard, confident, and creative. Outside of work, she is interested in art, architecture, criticism, and literature. Ruci is thrilled to join the Workshop team and to spend time with the children and families at Crocker!

 

Evelyn Gutierrez

North Teacher

 

Evelyn was born and raised in the Bay Area specifically in South San Francisco. She has lived there her whole life. When Evelyn graduated high school in 2017 she decided to work in an after school program which was when she found her passion in working with children. She has worked for after school programs and summer camps and been a nanny for children of all ages.  Evelyn is currently attending Skyline College to attain an Associates Degree in Allied Health and then hoping to get into a nursing program and become a Registered Nurse. She love children and her job!

 

Kira Costello 

North Teacher

 

Kira was adopted from China and grew up in America. She has lived in several states, including New York, Hawaii, California, Illinois, and Washington. She attended high school in the Bay Area at Notre Dame Belmont and went to Gonzaga University for college. She graduated in 2019 with a Major in Communications and Minor in Leadership and loved school so much that she is currently pursuing her Masters in Organizational Leadership. Since graduating, Kira flew overseas for three months and solo backpacking in Eastern Europe. Some of her favorite sights include Prague, Montenegro, and Scotland. The summer after, Kira was an Americorp Summer Vista and ran a literature day camp for children at a local library. Also, she has volunteered with Via West, a Bay Area company that provides special needs children and adults with year-round camping programs. She is excited about this opportunity to work with Workshop at North Elementary.

Roy Cloud

 

Jennifer von Bleichert 

Roy Cloud Site Director

 

 

Jennifer was born and raised in San Carlos, CA. After many years of working in the video game industry and living in Redwood Shores, her family moved to Roseville, CA. There she followed her passion and pursued her desire to become a teacher. She started teaching in 2012 at Childtime Learning Center where she taught age groups as young as preschool to elementary. Jennifer feels very fortunate to be able to move back home on the Peninsula, near the ocean and San Francisco.  She is beyond excited to be teaching at Workshop Education and yard duty at Roy Cloud.  Jennifer loves teaching crafts and creative arts with the children. She enjoys mentoring and guiding each child so they can recognize their own individual strengths to reach their full potential with confidence.  In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter, traveling and making custom jewelry.

 

 

Michele Gonzalez

Roy Cloud Teacher

 

Michele grew up in East Palo Alto. She has always had a passion for working with children since she was a child herself. Michele grew up going to after school programs in elementary and middle school, which made her realize she wanted to make an impact on children's lives as well.  She worked at The Boys and Girls Club as a First Grade Instructor teaching enrichment classes, running study skill stations and clubs. Michele attended Foothill College where she studied Early Child Development. She hopes to finish her degree soon. Michele is very excited to join the Roy Cloud team and be able to share her ideas and be a good mentor to the Roy Cloud students.   

 

South Hillsborough

 

Joanna Bradley

South Site Director 

 

 

Joanna comes from the Bay Area and has been living here for the last 16 years. Joanna graduated from Burlingame High School and is currently pursuing her Masters degree in education from Stanford.  Joanna worked as the Grade 2-5 Classroom Lead at West Hillsborough, before being promoted to be Site Director at South Hillsborough. Her goal is to become an elementary teacher. Joanna feels lucky everyday to be working with children.  Joanna enjoys cooking, reading, going to the beach, and arts and crafts. 

 

 

Selena Quintana

South Teacher

 

Selena was born and raised in San Bruno, California and is currently pursuing her Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education at Skyline College.  Her goal is to receive her bachelor's degree.  Prior to Workshop she was a Recreation Leader for the San Bruno Recreation Center for two years.  Selena also has experience babysitting for families of multiple ages. She is very excited for her journey with Workshop Education and the opportunities it may bring.  During her free time she loves spending time with family and friends, going for walks with her dog, and traveling!

 

West Hillsborough

 

Archana Khanolkar

West Hillsborough Site Director and K/1 Classroom Lead

 

Archana grew up In India and has a bachelor’s degree in electronics. Before starting her career as a teacher, she was working as a production engineer for an electronics company in India. She has been working as a teacher since 2012. She was a Montessori preschool teacher in Texas and also an after school teacher in New Jersey as well as in Campbell, California. Archana is currently pursuing her teacher certification in early childhood education.  She loves working with children and being part of their wonderful educational journey.  Archana also loves reading, cooking, crocheting and spending time with her family.  She is very excited and proud to be a part of such a great team and her goal is to make sure that each child receives the best learning and love that they all deserve.

 

 

Amoriya Perez

Grades 2-5 Classroom Lead

 

Amoriya Perez grew up in the Bay Area and has been working with children for 4+ years in a variety of settings. She worked as a lifeguard, camp counselor, and then as an administrative assistant at a private elementary school. She enjoys helping children reach their full potential as they grow and thrive in a school setting. Outside of work, she does volunteer work and enjoys painting and playing cello.  She is excited for the opportunity to work with the Workshop students at West Elementary. 

 

 

Princess Parangan

Grades 2-5 Teacher

 

Princess Parangan was born in San Francisco and is currently enrolled in Skyline College. She is on track to get her Sociology and Political Science Associate's degree, and transfer to San Francisco State University in the fall. Hoping to one day teach sociology, she wishes to gain experience teaching all grade levels and learn different teaching techniques. She has been tutoring since she was 15 and then switched to teaching at a private elementary school in 2018. She is excited to work at West Hillsborough elementary school to help students understand the joy of learning and to learn new things herself!

 

Woodside

 

Kathy Valos

Woodside Site Director

 

Kathy is originally from New York, born and raised. Her family background has been in real estate and the beauty industry. From a very early age, she gravitated away from her family’s business towards her desire to explore child development. She pursued double BA majors from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Forensic Psychology and Cross-Cultural Literature from Hunter College CUNY. Kathy also studied Marriage and Family Therapy with a specialty in Art Therapy in the Masters Program at Notre Dame de Namur University. She has taught religious education for over 7 years. Kathy also has her Certificate of Clearance by the State of CA.  She is authorized to be a substitute teacher and is currently subbing at Roy Cloud.  She has a special interest for working with children with disabilities and in the medical arts. Kathy’s belief that teaching with clarity, passion, empathy, and sincere enthusiasm, effectively impacts the learners at Workshop, ultimately connecting them to their ‘passion’ and lifelong learning. Additionally, Kathy is bilingual in English and Greek. In her free time she enjoys reading, traveling, museums, and spending time with her husband and children.

 

Eliana Sanchez

Woodside Elementary Teacher

 

Eliana recently graduated with an Associate Degree from Canada College and is currently working on her BA. While in college she was a nanny and enjoyed working with kids.  She also has tutoring experience and served in different summer camps.  Eliana shadowed and volunteered at the Boys and Girls club. Having a big family has created her passion for children. She loves working with children and being able to interact with them.  Eliana is bilingual in English and Spanish.  In her free time she likes to play soccer and practice yoga. 

On Call Teachers

 

Mary Dournaee

On Call Teacher

 

For over ten years, Mary has enjoyed helping students of all ages learn to exercise their creativity and also think critically. Mary has degrees in engineering, computer science, and education with experience as a program manager and director of education for various tutoring and after school programs. As a credentialed teacher, she's taught and tutored math and science across the San Francisco Bay Area. Mary hopes to encourage students to build creativity and innovation skills with some fun STEM activities during Workshop innovation time.