Sarah Shimkunas

Program Director

 

Sarah earned her M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education at Teachers College, Columbia University and BA in Child Development from SFSU. She also holds a Program Director credential from the State of California. Sarah has been in the field of Early Childhood Education since 2000. Prior to SF Tikes Academy, her school leadership positions include Director of a large Montessori toddler and preschool program in San Jose, and Director of an infant-toddler program co-located within a co-working space in San Francisco. Prior to being a Director, Sarah was a preschool teacher for 5 years and then wrote Montessori-inspired curriculum across seven subject areas for a small chain of Montessori schools in Silicon Valley.  

 
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Sara MacDonald

Teacher

Sara earned a B.A. in Elementary Education from The University of Michigan with double majors in Social Studies and Language Arts and earned a M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education from The University of Texas at Austin. Sara has taught 2nd grade and worked with 4 and 5 year olds at the UT Austin laboratory preschool. She also helped to write curriculum for the Washington D.C. Public Schools. 

 

Melissa Pinto

Teacher

Melissa has been working with young children for 5 years. She has a BA in Human Services from UNLV and studied Early Childhood Education at College of San Mateo and Canada College. She is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. Melissa is bilingual in Spanish and English.

 

Francesca Tringali

Teacher

Francesca is a Bay Area Native who has worked with preschool age children for the past 20 years, and is passionate about the field of early childhood education. Francesca is certified in Handwriting Without Tears, Everyday Mathematics and holds an ECE Certificate from Skyline College as well as a Teacher Permit from the State of California. 

 

Karla Valencia

Teacher

Karla grew up in San Francisco, and has been working with preschool aged children for 4 years. She has a BA in Child Development with a minor in Raza Studies from San Francisco State University, and is fluent in Spanish and English. Karla also has a MA degree in Organization & Leadership from the University of San Francisco. 

 

Irene Camarena

Teacher

Irene has been working with young children for 9 years. She has a BA in Art Education from SFSU, and is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. Irene is fluent in Spanish and English.

 

Iyana Spruell

Teacher

Iyana has 2 years of preschool teaching experience. She holds a Child Development Associate credential.

 

Nikki Bielecki

Teacher

Nikki has been teaching preschool for 5 years. She has a BA in Child Development from Sacramento State University with a minor in Counseling.

 

Samantha Owyang

Teacher

Samantha has been working with school age and preschool children for 3 years. She has a BA in Business Administration and studied Child Development at UCLA.

 

Deysi Perez

Teacher

Deysi has been teaching Spanish to children from preschool to 5th grade for 5 years. She has a BA in Spanish Language Literature with a minor in Latin American Studies from SFSU. Deysi also studied Child Development at City College of San Francisco. She is bilingual in Spanish and English.

 

Joanna Franco

Teacher

Joanna has 10 years of preschool teaching experience. She studied Child Development at City College of San Francisco. Joanna is bilingual in Spanish and English.

 

Maria Figueroa

Teacher

Maria has 4 years of preschool teaching experience. She has an AA in Child Development from Skyline College, and is currently pursuing her BA in Child Development at San Francisco State University.

 

Eunice Medina

Teacher

Eunice has over 3 years of teaching experience. She has an AA degree in Early Childhood Educaiton from Merritt College and is currently pursuing her BA in Child Development at SFSU. Eunice is bilingual in Spanish and English.

 

Jessica Escobar

Teacher Aide

Jessica is currently studying Child Development at City College. Prior to joining our team, Jessica was a substitute preschool teacher. Jessica is bilingual in Spanish and English.