Primrose School of Gilbert at Santan

Our Staff

  • Sonal Patel, School Director

    Sonal Patel

    School Director

    My name is Sonal Patel and I am very excited to be taking on the role of School Director at Primrose of Gilbert at Santan! I have been working as the Admin, then Assistant Director since the school opened, and I am happy to step into this new role to better serve our families. I was born and raised in Southern California before moving to Arizona in 2004. I have a Bachelor's degree in Psychology with concentrations in Social and Clinical Psychology. While completing my degree at Arizona State and my Master's degree in Forensic Psychology I worked as a full-time nanny for four years. Both concentrations of my Bachelor's degree would have allowed me to move forward in working with children or adults, but working at Primrose just cemented my love for early education and care. With that passion for early education, also I bring ten years of experience in customer service to this position. I have two younger brothers and an enormous extended family! In my free time I love to read and dance. I am also an avid foodie, and I love trying new recipes and new restaurants! I am so happy to have the opportunity to watch your children learn and grow!

  • Toni Gifford, Education Coach

    Toni Gifford

    Education Coach

    Hi! I graduated from Utah State University with my Bachelor's Degree in Family, Consumer, and Human Development with an emphasis on Childhood Development.  I have enjoyed working professionally with children for several years and joing the Primrose team in 2013.In my spare time I enjoy game nights, reading, traveling, and spending time with friends and family. I am proud to be a part of Primrose and grateful for the opportunity to work with your child and our teachers. I enjoy being a part of such a warm and inviting environment and helping our teachers bring the curriculum to life. I look forward to getting to know each of our wonderful families! 

  • Samantha Stuart, Closing Admin Assistant

    Samantha Stuart

    Closing Admin Assistant

    Hi there! My name is Samantha and I am working on my degree in Educational Leadership. I studied all four year in the Early Childhood Education program in high school, while working here and working towards a CDA (Child Development Associates). I have an older brother who lives in Michigan, and two younger siblings that attend Chandler Schools. I love spending time with my family and friends, and traveling to see new things around me.

  • Ms. Sandy, Infant Teacher

    Ms. Sandy

    Infant Teacher

    My name is Sandy Wirth. I started working with children at 18 years old, straight out of high school. I have worked with all aged children but have worked in an infant room for over 6 years. I am the very proud mother of 3 grown children. They are the people I love to spend my free time with. I am also the twin sister of Ms. Darvin. The best part of working with children is watching how much they learn and grow as you spend time with them.

  • Ms. Tracy, Infant Teacher

    Ms. Tracy

    Infant Teacher

    My name is Tracy and I am originally from Southern California. I attended school in Ventura County and Colorado Springs. My life’s journey has led me to plant my roots in California, Oregon, Japan and Colorado before stopping in Arizona. I have worked with children for 25 plus years. I have taught children from all walks of life, ages 6 weeks to 5 years old and enjoy all of the joys and surprise that each age group has to offer. In between teaching children, I have raised two of my own and now enjoy being a grandma to 5 grandchildren. In my free time I enjoy my family, books, music, and the ocean.

  • Ms. Emma, Infant/Young Toddler Support Teacher

    Ms. Emma

    Infant/Young Toddler Support Teacher

    Hello, my name Emma. I am one of 8 kids and have 2 amazing parents. I grew up baking and put that to good use when I was a nanny for two families after graduating high school. I love early education and love helping children learn and grow, and hope to make the classroom a safe place to learn and play. 

  • Ms. Emilia, Young Toddler Teacher

    Ms. Emilia

    Young Toddler Teacher
    Apple of Our Eye

    Hello my name is Emilia. I'm so excited to come back to the Primrose family, and bring my daughter to attend here too. I finished my Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education in the Philippines, with 12 years of teaching experiences, I have a passion for teaching young children. I am hoping to finish my Master's degree in Early Childhood Education. I'm happy to be here to watch these infants and toddlers grow!

  • Ms. Mireya, Young Toddler Teacher

    Ms. Mireya

    Young Toddler Teacher

    Hi! My name is Mireya, I've been working with children for about 4 years. Straight out of high school, I got a job as a preschool teacher in my hometown. My mom and I decided to take a change and move to the valley.  We lived on the west side of Phoenix for a couple years, but I recently moved to Queen Creek and married my best friend! I'm excited to get back to teaching which is what I love to do and get to meet you all!

  • Ms. Melissa, Toddler 1 Teacher

    Ms. Melissa

    Toddler 1 Teacher

    Hi! My name is Ms. Melissa and I am from Douglas, AZ. I am a mom of two, Emma & Liam. We are super excited to be moving back to Arizona after living in Wisconsin for the past few years. My husband and I enjoy riding our Harley Davidsons in our free time. I LOVE working with children and being part of their development, and making them feel loved and safe while in my care. I hope to make a great impact in their lives as we learn and grow together. 

  • Ms. Ella, Toddler 1 Teacher

    Ms. Ella

    Toddler 1 Teacher

    Hi, I'm Ella! I grew up in a big family, and because of that, I've been around kids my whole life, which led to my career working with them. I love working with kids because it brings me joy to see the wonder in their eyes as they grown and learn about the world. In my free time, I unwind by playing volleyball, going dancing, and spending time with friends and family. I hope to work to continue working with children in the medical field in the future!

  • Ms. Lolita, Toddler 2 Teacher

    Ms. Lolita

    Toddler 2 Teacher

    Hi Primrose family! I moved from Wisconsin where I worked in child care for a few years. I have been married for 34 years and have two sons and a daughter. I currently live with my eldest son, daughter-in-law and my two grandchildren. I was an accountant but I always wanted to be a teacher. I love working with children and am happy to be able to do what I love most!

  • Ms. Jennifer, Toddler Support Teacher

    Ms. Jennifer

    Toddler Support Teacher

    My name is Jennifer! I am 23 years old and I am originally from Washington state. I have an AA in Social Work from Estrella Mountain Community College. I have a one year old son and I enjoy spending time with my family and trying new coffee shops. I am excited to be a part of this team and to have an opportunity to work with children!

  • Ms. Yannis, Support Teacher

    Ms. Yannis

    Support Teacher

    Hi! My name is Yannis! I graduated form Eastmark High School, but spent my first 3 years of high school at Gila Ridge High School. I spent two years in an early childhood program where I got to understand development of children and even gain experience in a preschool! For the time that I was there, I loved it. I am now in Esthetician school part time and go to the gym with my remaining time. I hope to gain more knowledge and experience working with children as well as have a lot of fun!

  • Ms. Kaitlyn, Support Teacher

    Ms. Kaitlyn

    Support Teacher

    Hi! My name is Kaitlyn. I am a student at Perry High School. I am a middle child with an older brother and a younger sister. I am a trampoline and tumbling gymnast and have been involved in gymnastics my entire life. I have worked with my high school's childcare center through the early childhood education program. I work in early education because I love the way children view the world and I hope to shape young children into the best versions of themselves!

  • Ms. Darienne, Support Teacher

    Ms. Darienne

    Support Teacher

    My name is Darienne and I am a senior in high school. I have been working with small children for several years now, most recently as a gymnastics coach. I have a wonderful family, and two loving dogs at home. When I am not working with children, I train wild horses. I love all animals, especially fluffy cows. I love children and hope to provide a loving and safe environment. I am beyond excited to work at Primrose and hope to meet everyone soon!

  • Mr. Peter, Early Preschool A Teacher

    Mr. Peter

    Early Preschool A Teacher

    Hello! My name is Peter. I am very thankful for the early childhood education classes I took in high school as I would not have known my passion for making a difference in youth lives. I love working with children and intend to pursue it further as I am studying for a Bachelor's degreen in Elementary Education. I like to work on creative projects with my cat by my side when I have free time. 

  • Ms. Nayeli, Early Preschool Support Teacher

    Ms. Nayeli

    Early Preschool Support Teacher

    Hi I am Ms. Nayeli! I love listening to music and spending time with my family and friends. I have worked with children since the age of 16. I love watching the children learn about the world around them. I hope I can learn and gain more experience working with the children here at Primrose! 

  • Ms. White, Early Preschool B Teacher

    Ms. White

    Early Preschool B Teacher

    Hello everyone! My name is Jailesia and I'm very excited to be joining the Primrose Team and helping to care and shape the young minds of children. I'm the oldest of three with a brother and sister, and I always took it upon myself to help take care of them and be a good older sister. I'd say this is what started my interest in working with children, and all through high school I was in the Early Childhood Education program until I was employed at the campus preschool my senior year. I spent nearly 3 years working there and it was some of the best times of my life! Working with children is truly my passion and I aim to give them the best learning experience I can!

  • Ms. Claire, Pathways A Teacher

    Ms. Claire

    Pathways A Teacher

    Hi! My name is Claire and I moved to Arizona from central Illinois with my husband. We are VERY excited to not be shoveling snow in the winters. I received my Associate's degree in Elementary Education from Illinois Central College and am working towards finishing my Bachelor's degree in English. My love for children and the enjoyment from helping them learn and grow is what has kept me so happy working with children 6 weeks to 12 years for the last 10+ years. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, going to sporting events and concerts, or just relaxing with a good book. I am very excited to continue to be a part of the Primrose Family and help your little ones learn and grow.

  • Ms. Merritt, Pathways Support Teacher

    Ms. Merritt

    Pathways Support Teacher

    My name is Merritt, and I am so excited to be working at Primrose. My first experience working with kids was when I started volunteering in kindergarten classrooms through a program at my high school. My first job was with VIK, an after school childcare program. I loved working in childcare and volunteering in the classroom. I am looking forward to working in childcare again. I'm excited to get to know the kids and see them progress throughout the school year. 

  • Ms. Megan, Support Teacher

    Ms. Megan

    Support Teacher

    Hi, I'm Megan! I'm in my last semester at Grand Canyon University where I am pursuing a degree in Education. For the past 7 years I have worked as a nanny, babysitter, swim instructor, and substitute teacher. Over that time I found that I'm really passionate about helping kids find confidence in themselves and their abilitites. I just celebrated one year of marriage with my husband. We enjoy hiking, swimming, and running. I can't wait to meet you and your family!

  • Ms. Liella, Support Teacher

    Ms. Liella

    Support Teacher

    Hello, I'm Liella! I have three sisters and I love to read. I have two years of Early Childhood Education and I hope to be a teacher one day. I am very excited to be here at Primrose and to help the children learn and grow!

  • Ms. Diyana, Preschool 1 Teacher

    Ms. Diyana

    Preschool 1 Teacher

    Hello, my name is Diyana and I'm really excited to become a part of the Primrose team! I have loved spending time with kids for as long as I can remember and I find it joyful helping children grow and develop. I was born in Lebanon but was raised here in Arizona. I graduated from Higley High school and went back to the Middle East to get my Bachelor's degree in Business management. I look forward to working with you children and getting to have some fun with them!

  • Ms. Barker, Preschool 1 Teacher

    Ms. Barker

    Preschool 1 Teacher

    Hi! I'm Ms. Stephanie Barker. I have been working with children for over 20 years, and have two of my own. I love getting out into nature and love doing that with my kids especially. I absolutely love children and I am excited to gain even more experience with young children, to help them learn and grow. I found Primrose through my daughter, Ms. Samantha and now I'm excited to get to know everyone here at the Primrose School of Gilbert at Santan.

  • Ms. Maria, Preschool 2 Teacher

    Ms. Maria

    Preschool 2 Teacher

    I was born and rasied in Mesa, Arizona. When I reached the age of six, I knew I wanted to be a teacher and work with children. So here I am today! I have over five years of childcare experience working in schools and teaching! I can't wait to learn more about you and your family. 

  • Mr. Matthew

    Preschool Teacher

    Hello, I'm Matthew! I'm a kind-hearted, gentle human. I like to help people and make sure everyone around me is as happy as can be. I come from a large blended family with lots of siblings. I enjoy watching sports and finding new music to listen to. I have worked in two previous childcare centers, one in New York and the other here in Arizona. I look forward to continuing my education to be the best teacher I can be. I think it is important to have a stable male role model at a young age, which is something that drives my passion to work with children and further my education. After all, these are the children that will eventually carry on our legacy. 

  • Ms. Ava, Preschool Support Teacher

    Ms. Ava

    Preschool Support Teacher

    I was born in Chicago, along with my three siblings. My family and I have been living in Arizona for ten years. I graduated from Basha High School where I was apart of the Early Childhood Education program from four years and earned my Child Development Associate (CDA). In my spare time, I love to spend time with friends. familu, and my precious puppy. My passion for working with children is what has driven me to where I am today. I look forward to being part of a team and further develop my passion of working with children. 

  • Ms. Stacie, Pre-Kindergarten Teacher

    Ms. Stacie

    Pre-Kindergarten Teacher

    Hi! I'm Ms. Stacie! I'm so happy to be back at the Primrose School of Gilbert at Santan! I've taught here for about 3 years and love this Primrose Family! I have over 20 years of experience teaching various ages from Kindergarten, to Pre-K to even a year of Preschool. My heart is set on guiding our young students and helping them explore the world around them and learn what they need to know for Kindergarten and beyond.

  • Ms. Stephanie, Pre-Kindergarten Teacher

    Ms. Stephanie

    Pre-Kindergarten Teacher

    Hello there! My name is Stephanie Carpenter. I have a son named Joel and a cat named Alice. I love spending time with my family and friends. Disney movies are my favorite and ever since I was a little girl, I knew I wanted a career with children. Children are our future, after all. I'm so excited to be at Primrose meeting the families and helping to mold the children into the best people they can be.

  • Ms. Adriana, Support Teacher

    Ms. Adriana

    Support Teacher

    Hello! My name is Adriana and I am a hard worker and I learn quickly. I can't wait to learn all about Primrose! I love working with kids and making a safe environment where they can feel loved and cared for. One of my biggest dreams is to become a teacher someday so I can be an example to future students. 

  • Ms. Petra, Support Teacher

    Ms. Petra

    Support Teacher

    My name is Petra and I was born in Chandler, AZ. I moved to San Francisco when I was a teenager and most of my family still lives in the Bay Area. I lcurrently ive in Chandler with my dog, Ivy. I enjoy reading, swimming, aquaponics, hydroponics, and going to the gym. I also speak Spanish fluently. 

  • Ms. Angela, Food Service Teacher

    Ms. Angela

    Food Service Teacher

    My name is Ms. Angela and I have been cooking for children for over ten years. Some of my hobbies include; reading, spending time with family and friends, camping, and bowling! 

  • Malini Bhakta & Neeta Bhakta, Franchise Owner

    Malini Bhakta & Neeta Bhakta

    Franchise Owners

    Hello! We are Malini Bhakta and Neeta Bhakta—friends and proud Franchise Owners of Primrose School of Gilbert at Santan. As working parents ourselves and longtime members of the community, we are excited to offer the Primrose experience that’s enriched our lives and our children’s lives to even more families in Gilbert.

    Initially, what sparked our interest in Primrose was its commitment to quality care and the school’s research-based Balanced Learning® curriculum. As parents who struggled to find quality care and early education for our children, we wanted to find the perfect solution for our family and all families in the Gilbert community. This need combined with our passion for children and early education, inspired us to open a school of our own.

    As parents, we understand the importance of pursuing a career while providing a nurturing environment for your children. Primrose parents at our school can rest easy, knowing their children are receiving the best care and premier early education that will help set the foundation for future success. In fact, our kids will be enrolled in our school and involved in the after-school program, a testament to how much we love Primrose and how confident we feel about the quality of care it provides. Our hope is that our school will feel like an extension of your family and will provide parents a peace of mind knowing their children are growing their Active Minds, Healthy Bodies and Happy Hearts®.

    Opened on April 25th, 2016, Primrose School of Gilbert at Santan features the exclusive Balanced Learning® curriculum.

    We can’t wait to meet you and welcome you to our Primrose family!

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