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


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. 



Julia Cai


Julia graduated from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo with a BS in Child Development and a minor in Psychology. She has worked with children of all ages, ranging from infancy to adolescence. Julia is passionate about the arts and hope to cultivate children’s creativity by building upon their likes and interests.


Donna Gonzalez



Donna is a current student at City College of San Francisco, studying Early Childhood Education and Art. She has over 6 years of experience working with toddlers and preschoolers. She has a passion for the arts and has previous experience as a children's art teacher. 






Johanna Martinez


Johanna is a San Francisco native and current student at Contra Costa College, studying Early Childhood Education. Johanna has been teaching preschool for 4 years, and is bilingual in Spanish and English. She has a particular interest in ensuring children get the necessary exposure to STEAM topics. 


Francesca Tringali


Francesca is a Bay Area Native who has worked with preschool age children for the past 18 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


Karla grew up in San Francisco, and has been working with preschool aged children for 3 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. 


Marria Evbuoma



Marria has 4 years of teaching experience with preschool-aged children. She has a BA in English Literature and also studied Early Childhood Education at City College of San Francisco. Marria also has training in Occupational Therapy, and is a licensed Yoga instructor.