Site Directors and Teachers

Our teachers are caring and innovative educators. We provide extensive and ongoing professional development so teachers provide the three "C's" that children need to learn: caring, connected curriculum, and crafting the curriculum to the class needs. 

 

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

Crocker

 

Abigail Meade

Crocker Site Director

 

Abby grew up in Arizona and attended Northern Arizona University before moving to the Bay Area in 2014.  She is currently pursuing a degree in secondary mathematics education.  Abby has always had a passion for teaching.  She spent 3 years working in a Montessori preschool and kindergarten in Flagstaff, AZ and 3 years working in second and third grade classrooms in Belmont, CA.  Her long-term goal is to teach math in a middle school or high school setting.  She loves reading, skiing, camping, playing guitar, and riding her bike whenever she can.  

Farallone

 

Corina Outten

Farallone View Site Director

 

Corina grew up on the coastside and was previously a student herself at Farallone View School.   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.

 

 

Mary Falcone

Farallone View Teacher

 

Mary is originally from Utah and spent her high school years in Costa Rica. Recently Mary and her family moved from the East Bay to the Peninsula, landing in San Bruno.  Mary taught preschool for the City of San Mateo and currently works at the Senior Center in San Mateo running the lunch program.  She has a degree in Culinary Arts and is a certified Post Partum Doula.  She enjoys cooking, hiking, and spending time with her three children, husband and chocolate labrador. 

 

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.

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.

 

North Star Academy

 

Le'Marqunita Lowe

North Star Academy Site Director, Grade 3 Teacher

 

Le'Marqunita Lowe has been an educator for seven years.  Nita has been a preschool and kindergarten teacher in several environments that include nonprofit organizations, private schools, and public schools.  She also taught English language learners for online schools in China and Japan.  Nita enjoys holistic education where she can help kids to discover their talent by fusing the creative arts and academics.  She has been a strong advocate for hybrid education throughout her teaching career.  Nita graduated from the University of Southern California with a Master of Education.  During her spare time she enjoys writing, making cosmetics by hand, and volunteering.  

 

Cinthya Vieyra

North Star Academy Grade 3 Lead Teacher

 

Cinthya Vieyra graduated from Notre Dame de Namur University (NDNU) with a Bachelor's in Psychology and a minor in Leadership and Public Service.  She recently got accepted to a graduate program at Notre Dame de Namur University.  Cinthya will be working on her Masters in Education in Curriculum & Instruction.  Growing up in a low income and under-resourced neighborhood, Cinthya noticed the importance of education at an early age. As an active participant of college access organizations such as AVID and Peninsula College Fund, she received moral support, guidance, and encouragement from various mentors. Post-graduation she wanted to pay it forward, and landed a job as a College Coach at Beyond 12 helping low-income, first generation, and historically underrepresented students navigate the transition from high school to college. As a College Coach, she provided moral support to students, in the form of one-on-one personal and virtual coaching, developed and implemented academic curriculum, and facilitated workshops for young adults on the importance education and self-advocacy. Her personal experiences and drive towards increasing access to higher education are the reasons she is committed to helping students and families with similar backgrounds. As a Site Director at Northstar Academy, she hopes to inspire and encourage students to reach their highest potential.

 

 

Allegra Ceseña

North Star Academy Grades 4 -5 Lead Teacher

 

Allegra Ceseña recently earned her Bachelor's Degree in English Literature from the University of California, Channel Islands. Growing up in a large family composed primarily of younger children, Ms. Ceseña has served as a personal and educational mentor to many of the younger members in her family for the past several years. Her experiences paired with her passion for interdisciplinary studies and multicultural literature have led her to continue her education as she works toward earning a Teaching Credential in the coming year. Her long term goal is to teach English here in the Bay Area. Allegra will be serving as interim site director while Ally does an education program in Chile until November 15.

 

Kathy Valos

North Star Academy Grades 4-5 Teacher

 

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. 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.

 

Catherine Franco

North Star Academy Grades 6-8 Lead Teacher

 

As a native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Catherine Franco is working towards a Bachelor’s in Psychology with a minor in Sociology at Notre Dame de Namur University. Cathy is a proud first generation college student set to graduate in late 2018. She understands the lack of resources available for other first generation students in her community and strives to fill that gap. She began by tutoring ESL elementary students and worked her way up to the non-profit, Aim High. Once there, she started as an intern working with middle schoolers from her community. As an intern Cathy assisted in an “Issues and Choices” class, which focused on personal development for young adolescents. This past summer, Cathy had the opportunity to lead her own “Issues and Choices” class where she gave her students the tools to handle social issues such as, bullying, discrimination, and more. Cathy strives to understand the depths of her students every day because there is so much more than meets the eye.

 

Anahi De Santiago 

North Star Academy Grades 6-8 Teacher

 

Anahi was born in Mexico and raised in San Francisco. She attended Sanchez Elementary School, where she did her first year as an after school teacher for Mission Graduates. The role of after school teacher, allowed her to experience and learn the single management of 30+ students from 2nd - 5th grade with academic and behavior challenges. Understanding children has always been natural for her, learning while helping with her sisters who are currently in 5th and 3rd grade, babysitting, volunteering her time at school to work with special needs population, or at the main office assisting parent and students. When she graduated from Mission High School in 2016, she attended California State University, of Sacramento, where she took Child Development and fell in love with it.  After spending half a year traveling around the United States and Latin America, she decided to finally dedicate her time into acquiring more experience with K-12, learning about finance and marketing while growing her Networking Marketing business at the same time. With time she plans to open a day care for low income families, that will provide academic and emotional support for both the child and the family.

North Hillsborough

 

Roxana Fonseca

North Hillsborough Site Director

 

 

Roxana is a seasoned childcare provider/educator for 7 years and counting. She ran our morning West kindergarten program, has been our teacher at Northstar Academy, as well as substituted at the other sites to run each unique Workshop Site. She loves children and specializes in Pre-K. Ms. Roxana has a background in Real Estate and Culinary Arts. She is very creative and has been a professional cake decorator for many years.

 

 

Elizabeth Benitez

North Hillsborough Teacher

 

Elizabeth grew up in the peninsula and in León, Nicaragua.  She attended High School at Colegio “La Asunción” where she graduated in 2008. She received her AA in Spanish at College of San Mateo and transferred to San Francisco State University. Elizabeth recently obtained her BA in Spanish and plans on continuing into a graduate program. She has worked as an after school instructor for grades K-5th at Laurel Elementary School in San Mateo.  Elizabeth enjoys helping students discover their potential and she strives to create a fun learning experience that promotes growth. In her spare time she enjoys going on hikes, traveling, practicing guitar and attending concerts.

 

 

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.

 

 

Jessica Reynaga 

Roy Cloud Teacher

 

 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.

 

South Hillsborough

 

Katy Crooks

South Hillsborough Site Director

 

Katy grew up in rural Vermont, fostering a love of the outdoors. She studied English and Education at Northern Vermont University, graduating with her BA in 2014. Before moving to the Bay Area, she worked as a long-term substitute for 4th & 5th grade Humanities, gaining experience with curriculum and classroom management. Katy moved to the Bay Area in January of 2015 and began work at a private one-to-one school in San Mateo, gaining experience in differentiated instruction and tutoring. Now a part of the workshop team Katy is excited to be working with students on essential executive functioning and innovation skills. In her free time Katy enjoys reading, crafting, yoga, and hiking.  

 

 

Melissa Towner

South Hillsborough Teacher

 

Melissa is from New York and recently moved to the Bay Area. She has B.A in Sociology and earned her Masters in Child Life Studies from Bank Street College of Education. After becoming a Child Life Specialist, she worked with pediatric oncology patients helping them cope with chronic illness, extended hospitalizations and supported their developmental and social needs. She also lived in South Africa for two years and worked as a Learning Facilitator at a private school. She is looking forward to working with the South Hillsborough students and helping them achieve their goals. 

West Hillsborough

 

Archana Khanolkar

West Hillsborough Site Director and K/1 Lead Teacher

 

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.

 

 

Lark Leet

Grades K/1 Teacher

 

Lark was raised in Palos Verdes, California, and has been living in the Bay Area for the last 26 years. She is a mother of three boys, one via adoption. She has worked in the education field with students from kindergarten through 12th grade for 15 years. Having graduated from California State University, East Bay, she currently pursuing a master's degree in Special Education. While in college she volunteered with the AmeriCorps program for low income and at-risk children. There is where she realized her passion for working with children and wanting to make a difference in their lives. She loves helping students and being part of their continued success. Her goal is to assist in cultivating wonderful new educational discoveries. In her free time, she enjoys baking, playing the didgeridoo, cheering for the SF Giants and spending time with her family.

 

 

Joanna Bradley

Grades 2-5 Lead Teacher

 

 

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 education degree. She has nannied for two families for the last three years and has been teaching preschool this past year. Joanna is very excited to be part of the Workshop team and her goal is to become an elementary school teacher in the future. Joanna feels lucky everyday to be working with children.  Joanna enjoys cooking, reading, going to the beach, and arts and crafts. 

 

Woodside

 

Renee Ohlsen

Woodside Elementary Site Director

 

Renee Ohlsen has been working with children for over nine years in the classroom, and previous to that as a nanny. She holds her BA in Child Development. She has taught in a variety of  environments and age ranges. Some of these are as Behavior Interventionist for Easter Seals, Pre-K Teacher and After School Teacher. When she is not working she loves spending time with her family, friends and trying new recipes. 

 

 

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

 

Liz West

On Call Teacher

 

Liz West has worked with children for eight years. All those years have been very important for her working experience but more important for her cultural experience. She has worked and volunteered with kids in Mexico, Canada, Nepal and now in the United States of America giving her a whole view of how each kid is different and unique. After earning her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the Western Institute of Technology and Higher Education in Mexico, she decided to focus in educational psychology, which includes the emotional, social and cognitive learning processes of children. She has a passion to innovate education by identifying all areas in to help children find the point where their hearts, their mind and the success meet to be greater human beings for the world we all live in. Mrs. West was born in Guadalajara, México, making her bilingual, in Spanish and English.

 

 

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.

Consultants

 

Forest Flager

Director of Stanford Connection to Workshop Mentor Program

 

Forest enjoys working with young people to educate them on the important role that scientists and engineers play in addressing one of the world's most important challenges - the sustainability of our built environment. Forest has a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Stanford University and has taught courses in engineering design at Stanford and MIT. He has practiced as a structural engineer in San Francisco and London, UK, including a project creating the Bird's Nest stadium for the Beijing Olympics. Forest is currently working on a new technology venture that is focused on creating a collaborative software platform for sustainable building design.