Primrose School of Willow Glen

Our Staff

  • Ms. Monica Thompson, Executive Director

    Ms. Monica Thompson

    Executive Director

    Primrose School of Willow Glen team is super excited to welcome Ms. Monica Thompson as a Director of the School.

    Born and raised in the Bay Area town of Union City, Monica graduated Cumlaude from James Logan High School, then attended Ohlone College to study Sign Language and Early Childhood Education. She has been working in the Early Childhood Education field since 2004 when she moved to the central valley and became a Prekindergarten teacher for a 100-year-old preschool. Monica was quickly regarded as a dedicated and well-rounded instructor, so after a move back to her hometown of Union City years later, her next venture leads to becoming the Assistant Director at Kinder-care Learning Center in Fremont. After reaching recognizable milestones within the company and being offered several positions of her choosing, she decided to become the Director at Kindercare Milpitas. Over the last year, she has been highly recognized by the President of Kinder-care, Wei-Ling Chong, and received several accolades such as Highest Enrollment Award in Q3 and Highest Labor Retention in 2018. A monumental moment was her recent recognition at the 50th Anniversary of Kindercare Summit in Florida for receiving the Quality of Leadership Award during the intense, lengthy process of getting the Milpitas Kinder-care Accreditation with NAEYC. Her dedication to running a center that abides by NAEYC's rules and regulations prove that she can confidently take over the role of Primrose of Willow Glen Center Director.

    Monica's experiences have allowed her to collaborate with a diverse group of people to meet the common goal of developing the whole child and discovering each child's unique genius. Her philosophy is based on her uncompromising belief that all children can thrive, given a positive learning environment, strong and knowledgeable leadership, a committed and focused educational team, encouraging community, and a supportive family unit. All of which Primrose School possesses. That is why she is eager to join the Primrose family and is looking forward to working closely with the families and staff toward the common goal of raising strong, independent human beings.

    During her downtime, Monica enjoys spending time with her partner Tasha as well as her close-knit family by going to the beach, taking road trips, and visiting her son Niles who is a D2 Football coach at Northwestern University in Oklahoma.

    Her hobbies include reading mystery novels, watching documentaries, and attending local music festivals.

  • Mrs. Ayah Shanawany, Director of Operations

    Mrs. Ayah Shanawany

    Director of Operations

    Hello! My name is Ayah. I have been working with children for over 5 years now. I love the world of child development. I am blessed to have one of the most fun and rewarding jobs out there. I cannot wait to become a part of Primrose and create a thriving learning experience together with you and your family.

    I can’t wait to learn more about you and your family.

    Name: Ayah Shanaway

    Hometown: Kissimmee, FL

    Child care experience: 3 years working with 2 year old age group and potty training, 2 years working with infants

    Education Background: AA in Child Development & BA in Communication Studies

    Favorite food: Sushi

    Favorite weekend activity: Watching scary movies with my husband

    Favorite children’s book: The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

    Primrose character I most relate to: My favorite character is Oggy the Book Worm! He encourage children t read as much as they can. There is always a new adventure waiting in a book.

    What I’m most excited about this school year: I’m excited to watch all my students grow and develop throughout the school year.

  • Ms. Michelle Guerreiro, Marketing and Enrollment Coordinator

    Ms. Michelle Guerreiro

    Marketing and Enrollment Coordinator

    Hello, my name is Michelle and I am excited to be joining the Primrose team! I graduated from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in business communications and digital marketing. In my free time I enjoy rock climbing, photography, attending concerts, making art, and attending car shows. I was born and raised in San Jose, CA but I spent a couple of years living in Boulder, CO, which I miss dearly. I am an avid animal lover and have owned cats, dogs, lizards, and bunnies over the years. My favorite season is autumn and I love anything spooky!

    I am looking forward to working at Primrose School of Willow Glen and using my marketing skills to help grow our amazing learning family!

    Favorite food: Pizza & pasta

    Favorite weekend activity: Rock climbing, doing crafts, and going to car shows

    Favorite children’s book: Stellaluna

  • Mrs. Lilia Singh, Operations Coordinator

    Mrs. Lilia Singh

    Operations Coordinator

    Name: Lilia Singh

    Hometown: Santa Barbara CA.

    Child Care Experience: I worked as a Teacher Assistant for WeeCare Preschool. After a few years, I decided to try working with older students at an elementary school in Santa Barbara County named Hollister Elementary School. I also worked part time at a high school in Goleta called Dos Pueblos High School.

    Education Background: Went to High School at Dos Pueblos High school in Goleta CA. I graduated with a full college scholarship and attended Allen Hancock College in Santa Maria CA. I’m currently attending Evergreen Valley College majoring in Administration of Justice and Law Enforcement. My goal is to become a Correctional officer/ mentor / counselor and work with our youth.

    Favorite Food: My favorite food is Mexican food and Indian food.

    Favorite Weekend Activity: Right now my favorite weekend activities are exploring this new city (San Jose) I live in, gardening and going to the movies.

    Favorite Children’s Book: My Favorite children’s book is, How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss.

    Primrose Character I most relate to: The Primrose character I’m can relate to is Percy, the proud rooster- I like to provide and set good example of good character.

    What I’m Most Excited About This school Year: This school year I’m excited about everything in general. Excited to just see what the students and staff have to offer to make it a great year.
  • Ms. Andrea Medina, Curriculum Coordinator

    Ms. Andrea Medina

    Curriculum Coordinator

    Hi, I am Ms. Andrea! I am very excited to be joining the Primrose community! I have been working with children for almost 5 years now mainly in after-school and summer camp settings. I can not wait to bring some of the fun things I have learned to Primrose and our classrooms. I was born and raised here in San Jose and have always known I wanted to be a teacher. Being able to teach and enrich the lives of students in my hometown is a dream come true! I attended San Jose State University and completed my bachelor's degree in Child and Adolescent Development. In my spare time, I love spending time with my family, friends, and my dog, Meeko! I also enjoy trying new foods and exploring our city and its beautiful state. I am looking forward to meeting all of my students and families and can’t wait for all of the fun we'll have while learning and growing together at Primrose!

    Name: Andrea Medina

    Hometown: San Jose

    Child care experience: 5 years

    Education Background: B.A. in Child and Adolescent Development from San Jose State University

    Favorite Food: Burritos Favorite

    Weekend Activity: Taking my dog Meeko to the park and spending time with my family and friends.

    Favorite Children’s Book: Stellaluna by Janell Cannon & The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister

    Primrose character I most relate to Megy the Pig. Like Megy, I think taking care of and appreciating our beautiful planet is very important! What I’m most excited about this school year: I am most excited to meet my students and to watch them learn and grow.

  • Mr. Gerardo "Jerry" Baltierra, School Chef

    Mr. Gerardo "Jerry" Baltierra

    School Chef

    Hello, my name is Gerardo, but you can call me “Mr. Jerry”. I am the school chef and I am very happy to join the Primrose Team. Here is a little bit more information about myself

    Name: Gerardo “Jerry” Baltierra

    Hometown: Guanajato, Mexico

    Chef experience: I previously worked as a Sous chef for several popular Mexican restaurants in the Bay Area

    Education Background: Attended school in Mexico

    Favorite food: Mexican food!

    Favorite weekend activity: BBQing and spending time with my wife & kids

    Primrose character I most relate to: Percy the Rooster
  • Mrs. Kelly Crawford, Prekindergarten Teacher (Classroom 1)

    Mrs. Kelly Crawford

    Prekindergarten Teacher (Classroom 1)

    Hi, I am Ms. Kelly!

    I am so happy to begin a new chapter of my life here at Primrose! I have taught Preschool for 25+ years. It's important to me that your child feels that school is FUN and a place where they want to come. This is how we build the foundation for LOVE of learning.

    I have been a resident of Willow Glen for over 20 years. My husband and I have raised our 2 children here and have built a wonderful and supportive community for ourselves while doing so. I am so proud and honored to be able to be a part of many young families lives who are now raising their children here. This community is very special.

    You see, at Primrose Schools we’re more than a team of professional teachers and child care education specialists. We’re also a family, and we care for every child as though he or she was our own. And like your home, our school provides a secure, nurturing environment that fosters self-discovery and a love of learning.

    Name: Kelly Crawford

    Hometown: Santa Cruz

    Child care experience: 25 + Preschool Teaching Experience

    Education Background: Early Child Education

    Favorite food: Japanese and Thai

    Favorite weekend activity:Somebody Feed Phil” on Netflix.

    Favorite children’s book:The Day the Babies crawled Away

    Primrose character I most relate to:Erwin the Dog.

    What I’m most excited about this school year: looking forward to meeting all of the families here at Primrose and growing and learning together!

  • Ms. Raechel Jones, Pre-Kindergarten Teacher (Classroom 1)

    Ms. Raechel Jones

    Pre-Kindergarten Teacher (Classroom 1)
  • Ms. JoAnn Munoz Escobedo

    Pre-Kindergarten Teacher (Classroom 1)

    Hi my name is JoAnn MunozEscobedo, let me tell you about myself.

    I was born and raised in San Jose. Since I was little, I would play school and I would always be the teacher. I enjoy being around and helping the children prepare for the next level of their life.Teaching is a passion of mine, I love to challenge the children. In my Free time, I love to relax with popcorn and watch a movie. I enjoy cooking and baking for my family. I also enjoy taking walks in the park.

    Name: JoAnn or JoHometown: San Jose, CaliforniaChild

    Care Experience: I have 12 years experience in child care. I was a Center Director for 12 years. For the past 15 years I've been teaching in the Pre-K class.

    Education: I have my ECE requirements classes, I will continue to take classes to further my education.

    My Favorite Food: I have 3 favorite pizza, french fries and pastas.

    Favorite weekend Activity: Watching a good movie and enjoying my quiet time.

    Favorite Childrens Book: I love Pete the Cat stories.

    Primrose character I relate to most is Katie the Cat, I love to talk with my students and hear about anything they have to say.

    What I’m most excited about this school year is being a part of the Primrose team. I want to develop a bond with children and parents. To  be able to meet  and exceed the expectations from parents and coworkers.

     

  • Ms. Veronica Cervantes, Prekindergarten Teacher (Classroom-2)

    Ms. Veronica Cervantes

    Prekindergarten Teacher (Classroom-2)

    I’m Veronica. I wanted to tell you a little about myself.

    I have been working with young children and adolescents for 20 years now. What I enjoy the most about working with children is being able to see their growth and development throughout the years. My favorite activity to do with the children is enrichment art because children can explore and express themselves freely and create their ideas.

    I can’t wait to learn more about you and your family.

    Name: Veronica Cervantez

    Hometown:Santa Clara, Ca.

    Child care experience:17 years (ages 3-5 years)

    Education Background:Early Childhood Education

    Favorite food: Tacos

    Favorite weekend activity:Spending time with my daughter and my dog (Dutches)

    Favorite children’s book: The Giving Tree

    Primrose character I most relate to:Libby the Lamb

    What I’m most excited about this school year:Getting to know each child and family and having the experience to watch them learn and grow.
  • Mrs. Perlita Pery, Prekindergarten Teacher (Classroom-2)

    Mrs. Perlita Pery

    Prekindergarten Teacher (Classroom-2)

    I’m Pearl. I wanted to tell you a little about myself.

    Working with children for 22 years has made me learn how to cope with various situations children can encounter: from giving hugs for tiny owies to having a heart to heart about any concern.

    I have lived in the Philippines, Dubai, Texas, Sweden, & California (where I have a lot of family). I believe that traveling has given me a more open perspective about life. I do love to travel with my husband and daughter. I started to become a teacher for my daughter, and for 22 years now, I have learned to love the children under my care.

    I can’t wait to learn more about you and your family.

    Name: Pear Pery

    Hometown:Philippines

    Child care experience:22 years. from Preschool to high school children

    Education Background:BA Mass Communication, Child Development Associate Degree

    Favorite food: Sushi

    Favorite weekend activity Cooking up a storm to update my cooking website

    Favorite children’s book:The Very Hungry Caterpillar

    Primrose character I most relate to: Erwin

    What I’m most excited about this school year:Seeing the children’s faces alight with excitement over exciting activities

  • Ms. Maria Lopez, Preschool Teacher (Classroom-1)

    Ms. Maria Lopez

    Preschool Teacher (Classroom-1)

    I’m Ms. Maria Lopez and I wanted to tell you a little about myself.

    I have been working with young children for over 20 years. I enjoy working with children to see their growth and development throughout the years. I have three children and four grandchildren. I can’t wait to learn more about you and your family.

    Hometown: San Jose, Ca

    Childcare experience: 20 years (3-5 years)

    Education Background: Early Childhood Education

    Favorite food: Anything and Everything

    Favorite weekend activity: Visiting my grandchildren

    Favorite children’s book: Brown bear, Brown Bear

    Primrose character I most relate to: Erwin the dog.

    What I’m most excited about this school year: Getting to know each child and family and having the experience to watch them learn and grow.

  • Ms. Saniata Melchor

    Preschool Teacher (Classroom 1)

    I’m Saniata Melchor.  I wanted to tell you a little about myself:

    I am so delighted to begin a new chapter of my life here at Primrose! I have taught for almost 18 years as a Pre-K, Preschool and Toddler teacher. I am looking forward to learning from each of your children and at the same token each of them learning from me. I am also looking forward to building a relationship of trust, love and care with them. 

    I have lived in San Jose for over 35+ years. I am a single mother to a son named Elijah who is now 25 years old and graduated from Dominican University. I am engaged to James Mull who has been my greatest support.

    I can’t wait to learn more about you and your family.

    Name: Saniata Melchor

    Hometown: San Jose

    Child care experience: 18+ Teaching Experience

    Education Background: AS Degree in Early Childhood Education 

    Favorite food: pasta, filipino dishes, cheesecake and of course rice.

    Favorite weekend activity: I enjoy going to art & wine festivals, listening to live music, dancing, singing, cooking and going to church on Sundays.

    Favorite children’s book: Very Hungry Caterpillar, Love You Forever, Green Eggs & Ham, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, All Better

    Primrose character I most relate to: Erwin the Dog

    What I’m most excited about this school year: What I am most excited about this school year is getting to know each and every child, witnessing each child’s growth, having fun with them, and making a difference as well as a positive impact in each child’s lives and families. I look forward to creating lasting memories with everyone.

     

  • Ms. Brianna Schnaubelt, Preschool Teacher (Classroom-2)

    Ms. Brianna Schnaubelt

    Preschool Teacher (Classroom-2)

    Hello! My name is Ms. Brianna and I am truly so excited about meeting you all soon and getting to know your wonderfully curious little ones. I have been working with children for almost 10 years now since 2013 when I began my journey into the early education field, although my time caring for children and modeling teaching behaviors has extended far into my childhood. My parents would often come to pick me up at my own school center only to find me classrooms down helping the other teachers with the babies! Even at 6, I knew I was a natural-born caregiver, I mean it when I say I have a deep passion for working with children. During my time in the early education field, I have worked in many preschool classrooms, ran a home daycare center for mixed-ages, and have spent some time as a behavior technician implementing services to children with autism. Since joining the Primrose family as a teacher and as a parent I am bursting with new opportunities. My daughter is flourishing in their Pathways program and I am overjoyed to soon begin anew with a fresh class of young learners. As a teacher, I like to learn about my kids' individual temperaments and get to know what personally makes them sing. If I'm your child's teacher, expect us to get creative, get messy, and have fun! Preschool is hands down my favorite age because it is the discovery age, children do everything for the first time and in that, there is magic.

    Hometown: San Jacinto, CA (Southern Cali)

    Child care experience: Professional experience since 2013+

    Education Background: AA in Early Childhood & Education Sciences

    Favorite food: Mexican Food

    Favorite weekend activities: Taking walks & small adventures with my partner and our daughter, cracking open a good book, creating art, writing poetry, dancing it out in our living room to sweet beats.

    Favorite children's book: Favorite book forever all time, "The Little Prince" by Antoine De Saint-Exupéry

    Primrose character I most relate to: Og the Bookworm, not only is Og our resident book lover who encourages children to use their imagination but also symbolizes the importance of caring for one another.

    What I'm most excited about this school year: Creating meaningful experiences with children and laying the foundation for future building blocks. I want to help foster a love for learning and community in every child.

  • Ms. Sierra Smith, Preschool Teacher (Classroom-2)

    Ms. Sierra Smith

    Preschool Teacher (Classroom-2)

    Hi, I’m Sierra. I wanted to tell you a little about myself.

    Name: Sierra Smith

    Hometown: San Jose, CA

    Child care experience: 2 Years Experience Education

    Background: BA in Child Development & Minor in Sociology

    Favorite food: Any Breakfast Food!

    Favorite weekend activity: Love spending time with my family outdoors and eating yummy food!

    Favorite children’s book: Mixed A Colorful Story by Arree Chung

    Primrose character I most relate to: Erwin the dog

    What I’m most excited about this school year: I am most excited to meet everyone and create lasting memories.

  • Ms. Kenyana McDonald, Preschool Pathway Teacher

    Ms. Kenyana McDonald

    Preschool Pathway Teacher

    I’m Ms.Kenyana. I love being a wife and a mom. I’m a huge San Jose Sharks, Las Vegas Raiders and Golden State Warriors fan. When I’m not using my free time to do things with my family you can find me in my craft room, making custom apparel and trinkets!

    Name:Kenyana Mcdonald

    Hometown:San Jose, Ca

    Child care experience:I have 20 years of working with children from ages 2months to 12 years old.

    Education Background: Early Childhood Education

    Favorite food: I can’t pick just one! Bbq, pizza and Mexican food are my go to.

    Favorite weekend activity:My favorite weekend activity is spending time with my family.

    Favorite children’s book: The Napping House By Audrey Wood

    Primrose character I most relate to: I would have to stay the Primrose character I relate to the most would be Libby.

    What I’m most excited about this school year: I am most excited about this year is meeting, playing with and watching a new group of kids learn and grow.

  • Ms. Hatheway Rawlinson, Preschool Patheways Teacher

    Ms. Hatheway Rawlinson

    Preschool Patheways Teacher

    Let’s get to know each other.

    My name is Hatheway Rawlinson and I just moved here from Madison, WI! I take great pride in working with and alongside children and feel it is a great responsibility to play a role in a child’s early childhood development. I remember my preschool years and how impactful they were for me and I hope to create an enriching environment for children to feel celebrated. In my free time, I like to spend time with my husband, friends, family, or travel, bake, do artwork, practice yoga, or otherwise explore new places and go on adventures!

    I am also a big lover of the ocean. I welcome all recommendations of places to visit as I am a newcomer to all things in California, would love to hear from you!

    Name: Hatheway Rawlinson

    Hometown: Madison, Wisconsin

    Child care experience: +5 years

    Education Background: Beloit College, B.A. Education for Youth and Society

    Favorite food: Indian Food, I’ll bring some gulab jamuns and laddus for all of you! My husband is from India and belongs to the Sikh community. I am also learning Punjabi with private tutoring so that I can communicate with his family in India with more fluency, I love talking about this beautiful country!

    Favorite weekend activity: Exploring the outdoors, cooking, baking, art, guitar, quality time with friends or family.

    Favorite children’s book: “Sulwe” by Lupita Nyong’o, an absolutely beautiful and child-appropriate illustration that explores identity - we are all beautiful as we are! Primrose character I most relate to: Right now, Percy the Rooster who represents courage. It takes a lot of courage to road-trip across the country and start a new life on the west coast! I am really looking forward to all the adventures ahead. What I’m most excited about this school year: Getting to all the new children I will be spending time with!

  • Ms. Noemi Mendoza, Preschool Pathway Teacher

    Ms. Noemi Mendoza

    Preschool Pathway Teacher

    Hello everyone! My name is Noemi and I wanted to tell you a little about myself.

    I was born in San Jose, but grew up in Menlo Park for a little while. When I was about 9 years old my family and I moved to Newark and I’ve been here ever since. I love spending time with family and friends as much as I can. I love baking in my spare time. Whenever possible, I love to take out my polaroid camera and capture amazing moments in my life! You know what they say, “ a picture is worth a thousand words.”

    I can’t wait to learn more about you and your family.

    Name: Noemi Orozco

    Hometown: Menlo Park, CA

    Child care experience: 6 years. Children between the ages of 5-14

    Education Background:De Anza College

    Favorite food: Pasta! YUM!

    Favorite weekend activity: Spending time with family and friends

    Favorite children’s book: Flat Stanley by Jeff Brown

    Primrose character I most relate to: Erwin the dog!

    What I’m most excited about this school year: I’m excited to meet you and you’re children! Ready for an exciting year!

  • Ms. Nelly Alvarenga, Early Preschool Teacher (Classroom-1)

    Ms. Nelly Alvarenga

    Early Preschool Teacher (Classroom-1)

    Let’s get to know each other.

    I’m Nelly. I wanted to tell you a little about myself.I have two beautiful children a girl and a boy. My passion is to work with children because I love to be around them, teach them and learn from them. I like to support them in many ways such as their development, learning and well being.I have been working with children for 10 years from young infants to prekindergarten. I can’t wait to learn more about you and your family

    Name: Manuela, Alvarenga

    Hometown: El Salvador

    Childcare experience:10 years.

    Education Background: Teacher Permit from San Jose City College and Bachelors in Liberal Studies from National Hispanic University ( Continuation at San Jose State University)

    Favorite food: Pupusas.

    Favorite weekend activity : Go out with my children.

    Favorite children’s book: Cat In The Hat.

    Primrose character I most relate is Arturo the burro.

    What I’m most excited about this school year: Getting to know all children and work together and be part of their development and growth.

  • Mrs. Jennifer Magana, Early Preschool Teacher (Classroom-1)

    Mrs. Jennifer Magana

    Early Preschool Teacher (Classroom-1)

    Hello! My name is Jennifer. After working in the retail for 11 years, I happily changed my career path and began teaching. I live in San Jose with my 5 year old daughter Elena and my husband, Cesar. I look forward to working with you and creating a wonderful preschool experience for your child!

    I can’t wait to learn more about you and your family.

    Name: Jennifer Magana

    Hometown: San Jose

    Child care experience: I have one year as a Preschool Teacher and 4 years as an Infant-Toddler Teacher

    Education Background: I have 2 years of General Education & 2 years of Child Development

    Favorite food: Pizza, Donuts

    Favorite weekend activity: Sleeping in, going to the park with my two dogs, daughter and husband. I also like going to many family events, watching movies and reading books.

    Favorite children’s book: I Love You Forever by Roberto N. Munsch! For the reason that no matter how old you get or what you do, your mother will always be with you.

    Primrose character I most relate to: Erwin the dog because Erwin is very trustworthy as well as patient.

    What I’m most excited about this school year: I am most excited about getting to meet all my new little friends and Parents.

  • Ms.Yasmine Hernandez, Early Preschool Teacher (Classroom-1)

    Ms.Yasmine Hernandez

    Early Preschool Teacher (Classroom-1)
    Apple of Our Eye

    Hello! I’m Ms.Yasmine! I am so happy to be a part of Primrose and look forward to getting to know students and parents.

    I am born and raised in San Jose, CA. I enjoy going to the beach, hiking, traveling, watching sports, spending time with family/ friends, shopping, and attending concerts/music festivals. I used to play softball and played for 13 years. I come from a big family being the eldest girl and have had to help with taking care of my siblings. I’ve worked with Elementary-HighSchool students. I attended San Jose City Community College (SJCC) being a student-athlete graduating with an AA degree in Liberal Arts. The sport I played at SJCC was Softball. Then transferred to San Jose State University graduating with a BA degree in Social Work.

    Name: Yasmine Hernandez

    Hometown: San Jose

    Education Background: Early Child Development, Social Work

    Favorite Food: Mexican, Chinese, and Filipino food, Pasta, Sushi, Wings, and Soups

    Favorite Weekend Activity: Beach, Hiking, Traveling

    Favorite Children's Book: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

    Primrose Character I Relate To The Most: Molly the Cow

    What I'm Most Excited About This School Year: This is the first school I have worked at and I hope to create some best moments/ memories here

  • Ms. Andrea Alvarez, Early Preschool Teacher (Classroom-2)

    Ms. Andrea Alvarez

    Early Preschool Teacher (Classroom-2)

    Let’s get to know each other.

    I’m Andrea Alvarez. I wanted to tell you a little about myself.

    I am 27 years old and grew up living in the Bay Area and love it here! I have always wanted to be a teacher, whenever we had “what i want to be when I grow up” projects in school Teacher was always the first thing on the list. I have a dog named Enzo and 3 pet African Dwarf Frogs at home. I love to read on my free time and enjoy baking. I also enjoy being crafty and doing different art projects, I believe art should be messy and creative fun for the kids and can’t wait to share with everyone.

    You see, at Primrose Schools we’re more than a team of professional teachers and child care education specialists. We’re also a family, and we care for every child as though he or she was our own. And like your home, our school provides a secure, nurturing environment that fosters self-discovery and a love of learning.

    I can’t wait to learn more about you and your family.

    Name: Andrea Alvarez

    Hometown: San Jose

    Child care experience: 9 years. 4 years in different afterschool programs for K-5 and 5 years as a Preschool teacher at a private center.

    Education Background:DeAnza College

    Favorite food: My grandma’s enchiladas and rice

    Favorite weekend activity: Hanging out with my family

    Favorite children’s book: Puff the Magic Dragon

    Primrose character I most relate to: Og, I love to read!

    What I’m most excited about this school year: Getting to know all the Primrose Friends throughout the year

  • Ms. Christine Chin, Early Preschool Teacher (Classroom-2)

    Ms. Christine Chin

    Early Preschool Teacher (Classroom-2)

    Hi, I’m Ms. Christine. I want to tell you a little about myself.

    I was born and raised here in San Jose, CA for my entire life! I’ve always loved teaching and saw myself as a teacher while I was growing up even when I initially majored in a subject that was not related to education. After realizing how much I loved being around children and helping guide them through their development, I decided to pursue a career in early childhood education.

    I love spending my free time relaxing and unwinding with my pet cat Abbi and my partner. My favorite things to do during my free time are cooking, crocheting, and reading. Other than that, I love going out and trying new cafes and restaurants here in San Jose!

    Name: Christine Chin

    Hometown: San Jose, CA

    Child care experience: Other than babysitting, I have worked at SJSU’s Child Development Center as an assistant teacher for a year and volunteered at my local Head Start during my college years.

    Education background: I have an A.A. in Liberal Arts with a focus in elementary teaching from Evergreen Valley College and a B.A. in Child and Adolescent Development degree with a focus in early childhood education at San Jose State University.

    Favorite food: Sushi, tacos, and noodles.

    Favorite weekend activity: Going to the park and having a picnic.

    Favorite children’s book: The Night the Stars Went Out by Suz Hughes

    Primrose character I most relate to: Billy the Duck

    What I’m most excited about this school year: Furthering my professional development and creating beautiful bonds with the children, their families, and the rest of the Primrose family!

  • Ms. Natalia Rosas

    Early Preschool Teacher (Classroom-2)

    Natalia Rosas
    Early Preschool Teacher
    Classroom 2
    Greetings! I am Miss. Natalia and this is a little tidbit about me! I was born and raised in
    San Jose and have always been interested in the field of education. Working with
    children and seeing them grow into the confident learners that I know they will be,
    brings me joy! Watching the excitement and eagerness on their faces is the most
    fulfilling part of my day. In my freetime, I love to spend time with friends and family
    creating new memories. I enjoy reading and try to keep up with my one book a week
    goal! If I’m not home and you can’t find me at the local bookstore, then you can find me
    at the beach soaking in the sun.
    Hometown: San Jose, CA
    Childcare experience: I have worked 4 years ( and counting) grades Preschool-3rd!
    Education Background: AA in Early Childhood & Education Sciences
    Favorite Food: Anything Mexican or from my Mama's recipes.
    Favorite Weekend Activities: My favorite activities include going on hikes, listening to live
    music, and relaxing at the beach with a good book.
    Favorite Children’s book: My favorite is The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. Truly a
    classic!

    Primrose character I most relate to: Og the Bookworm
    What I'm most excited about this school year: I am most excited to create meaningful
    relationships and experiences that hopefully will have a long lasting impression! I can
    not wait to meet you all!

  • Mrs. Kathleen Baltierra, Early Preschool Support Teacher (Classroom-3)

    Mrs. Kathleen Baltierra

    Early Preschool Support Teacher (Classroom-3)

    Hello, my name is Kathleen. I enjoy everything about working with young children! It makes my day extremely enjoyable, and I like to watch them learn and develop across the ages. One of my favorite activities to do is to read and sing with the children and observe the expression on their faces.

    I can’t wait to learn more about you and your family.

    Name: Kathleen Baltierra

    Hometown: Los Banos, CA

    Child care experience: I have been working in Early Childhood Education for 15 years

    Education Background: I have a certificate in Early Childhood Education

    Favorite food: Chinese food & pasta

    Favorite weekend activity: I like to spend time with my family and traveling

    Favorite children’s book: Pete the Cat

    Primrose character I most relate to: Molly the cow

    What I’m most excited about this school year: I am mostly excited to see the children learn and grow from their new gained experiences.

  • Ms.Thao Phan, Early Preschool Teacher (Classroom -3)

    Ms.Thao Phan

    Early Preschool Teacher (Classroom -3)

    School is one of the crucial and important environments to influence on children. It does not only impact in early childhood of child, but also it still remains until later on. Therefore, the role of a teacher is very important to help children develop their necessary skills, mental, emotional and social, physical, and memory. I need to have a specific plan for children. How children feel that they enjoy in class by watching, listening, and doing so that they like to come to school. They have a chance to gain knowledge, make friends, and to be loved. How children feel to be confident, free, independent, and healthy. I should spend time to talk to children, so we can create a familiar relationship between us. Through it, I can understand more about children, family, value, belief, and thinking. The importance is that I try to reach my goals in teaching and helping children. I should create a loving atmosphere surrounding children because they are also very sensitive to discover what happens around them.

    Name: Thao Phan

    Hometown: Vietnam.

    Education: I have a BS from Pedagogy University.I have an Early Childhood Education Degree from San Jose City College in 2014 and Teacher Permit from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. I continued with Montessori training and graduated with AMS Infant Toddler credential and Primary Credential too from the Montessori Teacher Education Center in Sunnyvale, CA.

    Child Care Experience: I have five years of experience working as an Infant/Toddler Montessori Teacher in United States. Before that I taught elementary grades in Vietnam for 10 years.

    Favorite Food: Vietnamese Food.

    Favorite Children’s Book: “I love my hair.”

    I am very happy to be a part of Primrose School of Willow Glen this year.

  • Ms. Stacey Phan, Toddler Teacher

    Ms. Stacey Phan

    Toddler Teacher

    Hi, I am Ms. Stacey, and I wanted to tell you a little bit about myself. I am so excited to be apart of Primrose School of Willow Glen. I was born in San Jose, California. Since I was young, I always had a vision to become a teacher and that influenced me to pursue a bachelors degree in Child and Adolescent Development at San Jose State University where I graduated in Fall 2021. I didn’t know it at the time but when I first started working as a teacher assistant at a childcare center in 2019, I was going to become inspired and passionate about making a difference in young children's lives. This pushed me to seek for a teacher position once I graduated.

    On my spare time, I love spending time with my family and friends and going out, but I also love relaxing at home. Some hobbies that I enjoy are; watching funny tv shows, going on walks, exercising, and listening to podcasts.

    Name: Stacey Phan

    Hometown: San Jose, California

    Child care experience: 2 1/2 years at a childcare/preschool

    Education Background: Bachelors degree in Child and Adolescent Development with a Community Focus

    Favorite food: Sushi, Soup, Pasta, Noodles

    Favorite weekend activity: Hanging out with my family and friends

    Favorite children’s book: The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Junie B. Jones book series

    Primrose character I most relate to: Molly the Cow

    What I’m most excited about this school year: To meet all the children and get to know them along with their families

  • Ms. Maye Mendoza

    Toddler Teacher
  • Ms. Marissa Evans

    Toddler Teacher

    Hi- I’m Ms. Marissa!

    I am originally from New Jersey, but I moved to California 3 years ago to work as a research coordinator for the Vision and Neurodevelopment Research Laboratory at Stanford University’s Neuroscience Institute. While at Stanford, I conducted a study to investigate when infants are able to recognize and differentiate categories of objects such as faces or cars. I also worked on a project studying the development of depth perception in young children.

    I truly love spending time with children and have 10+ years of nannying/babysitting experience. I recently decided to combine my academic interests with my love of working with children and transitioned into child education!

    I am fascinated by the magnitude of growth and development that happens in our first few years of life. I hope to integrate my knowledge of neurodevelopment into teaching to best support your children as they learn new skills and navigate the world.

    I can’t wait to learn more about you and your family.

    Name: Marissa Evans

    Hometown: Rockaway, NJ

    Child care experience: 10 years in childcare, 1.5 year in neurodevelopment research

    Education Background: B.A. in Neuroscience from Dartmouth College

    Favorite food: Watermelon

    Favorite weekend activity: Hiking, reading, and crafts

    Favorite children’s book: Oh, the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss

    Primrose character I most relate to: Benjamin the Bear

    What I’m most excited about this school year: Making fun memories with the children and staff

     

  • Ms. Andrea Holt, Older Infant Teacher

    Ms. Andrea Holt

    Older Infant Teacher

    Hi!

    My name is Andrea Holt. I was born in Germany and moved to the United States at the age of 19. I began working with young Infants 15 years ago. I started out in Brooklyn, New York. I completed all my required training there. After four years, we moved to Ft. Hood, Texas where I began working with young Infants at Meadows Child Development Center and received my Child Development Associates in 2011. I worked at Meadows Child Development Center with young Infants for ten years. When an opportunity arose to move to California I decided to move here.

    Hometown: Germany

    Education : Child Development Associate. I also have a current pediatric first aid and infant/child CPR certification.

    Child care experience: 15 years working with Infants

    Favorite children’s book: “Love you forever” by Robert Munsch

    Primrose character I most relate to: Molly the Cow! I believe that you should always treat people with respect, show you care and always lend a helping hand.

    Favorite food: Pasta

    Favorite weekend activity: My favorite weekend activity is spending time with my fiancé, and my dog. I like going out and exploring the area which is new to me, since I just moved here a month ago.
  • Ms. Grace Worley

    Older Infant Teacher
  • Ms. Cherie Dotson, Young Infant Teacher

    Ms. Cherie Dotson

    Young Infant Teacher

    I’m Cherie Dotson. I wanted to tell you a little about myself.

    I have been in the childcare field for 36 years. I have worked with every age group and have been an Assistant Director as well as a Director. My most favorite age group is the young infants. It has always amazed me how much an infant learns from 0 to 12 months, from being born to walking, eating table food, and talking by 12 months.

    I can’t wait to learn more about you and your family.

    Name: Cherie Dotson

    Hometown: San Jose

    Child care experience:36 years

    Education Background: Early Childhood Education

    Favorite food: Italian

    Favorite weekend activity: I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I enjoy all water activities and visiting the coast often. I enjoy sewing and doing crafts.

    Favorite children’s book: Eric Carly books

    Primrose character I most relate to: Og is the Primrose character I most relate to, I love reading stories to the Infants, they get excited, and are eager to listen, see, touch and feel.

    What I’m most excited about this school year: Being able to share in the nurturing and education of the infants in my care.

  • Ms. Natalie Jones, Young Infant Teacher

    Ms. Natalie Jones

    Young Infant Teacher

    Hi! I’m Ms. Natalie!

    I am looking forward to meeting each and everyone one of you.

    I love caring for people and doing my dream job---taking care of infants

    and being around all the caring and loving people at Primrose.

    When I am not here ar Primrose, I love to spend time with my son and visit my parents in Vacaville.

    You see, at Primrose Schools we’re more than a team of professional teachers and child care education specialists. We’re also a family, and we care for every child as though he or she was our own. And like your home, our school provides a secure, nurturing environment that fosters self-discovery and a love of learning.

    I can’t wait to learn more about you and your family.

    Name: Natalie Jones

    Hometown: Milpitas, CA

    Child care experience: 28 years of ECE Teaching Experience

    Education Background: Early Child Education

    Favorite food: Anything with carbs

    Favorite weekend activity:watching movies with my family

    Favorite children’s book:I love you this much

    Primrose character I most relate to:Benjamin the Bear

    What I’m most excited about this school year: getting to know my infant room babies!

  • Ms. Karina Cabrera, Young Infant Teacher

    Ms. Karina Cabrera

    Young Infant Teacher

    Let’s get to know each other.

    I’m Karina Cabrera. I wanted to tell you a little about myself.

    I grew up in a small town called Castroville. I have always loved kids in fact when I was a small girl, I would spend most of my time playing with babies. I felt tremendous love and joy being around babies. Which is why, I decided to attend Monterey Peninsula College to become an Early childhood education teacher. I currently do not have children of my own yet, but I hope to build a family soon with my husband. I am very active, friendly, humble, and respectful. I look forward in meeting you all, and I am glad to be part of the Primrose family!

    You see, at Primrose Schools we’re more than a team of professional teachers and childcare education specialists. We are also a family, and we care for every child as though he or she was our own. And like your home, our school provides a secure, nurturing environment that fosters self-discovery and a love of learning.

    I cannot wait to learn more about you and your family.

    Name: Karina Cabrera

    Hometown: Castroville, California

    Childcare experience: 3 years (ages 3-5)

    Education Background: Early Childhood Education

    Favorite food: Sushi

    Favorite weekend activity: Biking and Hiking with my husband

    Favorite children’s book: The Rainbow Fish

    Primrose character I most relate to: Ally the bunny.

    What I am most excited about this school year: I will get witness the babies making new discoveries and growing in their relationship with each other, and the staff members.

  • Ms. Betsy Martinez

    Support Teacher
  • Ms. Teresa Arreola, Infant/Toddler Support Teacher

    Ms. Teresa Arreola

    Infant/Toddler Support Teacher
  • Ms. Jyoti Arora, Support Teacher

    Ms. Jyoti Arora

    Support Teacher
  • Ms. Adriana Lomeli, Support Teacher

    Ms. Adriana Lomeli

    Support Teacher

    I’m Adriana Lomeli. I wanted to tell you a little about myself.

    Hi, I am 26 years old. I am a mother of a 4-year-old. My son and I love doing arts and crafts together and exploring new places. He is the reason for my happiness. He's also a big reason why I want to work with children now.

    I can’t wait to learn more about you and your family.

    Name: Adriana Lomeli

    Hometown: Palo Alto

    Child care experience: Worked at Silicon Valley International School and volunteer at their child care campus.

    Education Background: Studied in UCSC business and administration. Now studying child development at Foothill College.

    Favorite food: Acai bowls

    Favorite weekend activity: go to the beach, hike, run, and swim with my kid.

    Favorite children’s book: The youngest marcher

    Primrose character I most relate to: I portray Benjamin the Bear characteristics the most.

    What I’m most excited about this school year: I’m excited to discover my potential when it comes to working with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers.

  • Ms. Brenda Salas, Support Teacher

    Ms. Brenda Salas

    Support Teacher

    Hi, I’m Brenda Salas. I wanted to tell you a little about myself.

    I am originally from Mexico and I will love to teach your kids a little bit more about my culture.
    Such as the holly days that we celebrate and about the different things that my country has around it. In the process of getting to know the children, I will also love to learn about the different things and celebrations that they might love to do at home.
    About me: I began my journey in the child care field about three years ago; in the previous school where I was at I did learn a lot about how to communicate with the kids and how to help them when they are feeling upset or they are having a hard day. Even though it was hard at times I did manage to make the kids comfortable and loved by me.
    I am a very simple person but like every single person, I do love to pamper myself every now and then I will reward myself by going shopping or just grabbing dinner at a restaurant.

    I can’t wait to learn more about you and your family.

    Name: Brenda J. Salas Islas
    Hometown: Mexico, city
    Child care experience: three years
    Education Background: ECE units.
    Favorite food: Italian food
    Favorite weekend activity: going to the beach
    Favorite children’s book: is in Spanish and it was a book from a Disney movie little mermaid
    Primrose character I most relate to is Erwin the dog
    What I’m most excited about this school year:to learn and interact with the kids and about their favorite things to do

  • Sima Shah, Franchise Owner

    Sima Shah

    Franchise Owner

    Meet Sima Shah, proud Owner of Primrose School of Willow Glen. As a longtime resident of California’s Silicon Valley, she is excited to help introduce San Francisco Bay Area parents to the premier child care and early education experience Primrose has provided to many other children around the country.

    Research-based and Innovative Education is Sima’s passion. She earned a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles after immigrating to the U.S. with her husband Amar Chokhawala. Sima worked as a computer engineer while also molding young minds as an adjunct professor of at several local colleges and universities in Computer Science Department. Amar was an early Google employee before he founded his own software company, Reflektion in 2013, where he will continue serving as Chief Executive Officer.

    When their first daughter, Amiya, was born in 2005, Sima struggled to find trusted and high-quality care, and eventually decided to keep her daughter at home with a full-time nanny. After the birth of her second daughter, Risa, in 2008, Sima decided to enroll Amiya into a Bay Area preschool. Not long after, Sima found the program lacked the holistic approach she’d hoped to find. It focused too much on structure and teacher guided activities, and did not provide enough opportunities for play and exploration. As a result, Sima tried to create her own “balanced program” by sending her daughter to a structured school three days a week, and child-initiated play based program for the other two days.

    It was during this time Sima and her husband first learned about Primrose Schools through an advertisement in the Wall Street Journal; however, there were not any Primrose schools in California at the time.

    “I knew that children needed both exploration and structure, and I kept thinking that someone had to already have a program that is more balanced. When I found Primrose, I was so pleased to see that they built their entire curriculum around this idea of balance,” said Sima. “Never having experienced it myself, I was skeptical until I flew out to Colorado to visit my first Primrose school. The moment I entered the school, I was wowed by the entire experience: people, culture, approach, environment and curriculum.

    At Primrose School of Willow Glen, Sima will strive to provide a nurturing atmosphere and environment that fosters all aspects of their students’ development. Her goal is to promote the social-emotional aspect of growth, which enhances learning for children. She wants parents to feel welcome and confident that Primrose is the best option for their children.

    “In today’s world, if both parents work, a child spends at least 40 hours a week at her education facility. We always think of making our homes inspiring and comfortable for our children. At Primrose School of Willow Glen, we want the same for our students. Our facility will be filled with the same quality of care, attention and comfort children experience at home,” said Sima.

    Primrose School of Willow Glen will feature the exclusive Balanced Learning® approach which blends purposeful play with nurturing guidance from teachers to encourage curiosity, creativity, confidence and compassion.

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