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About Our Teachers
  We are proud to have the finest teachers dedicated to your child. You will find each Children’s House teacher both warm and supportive while allowing each child to become independent and make personal choices in learning. Our teachers help foster child interaction, individuality, independence, discovery, and exploration of ideas. Each teacher is fully qualified by the state. Your child will be assigned a primary teacher who will answer questions about your child’s progress as well as keep you informed of special events. Your child will also work with several specialist teachers in the program either during a small group presentation or during discovery and exploration times. It is important to attend Back to School night to meet your teaching team.
Ella Mayon - Founder and Director
Ella Mayon, the founder of Children’s House, opened the school in 1978, to provide an inclusive environment for children to build a foundation of quality experiences that would support their future social, emotional, physical and cognitive growth.  She is the director of both the upper and lower campus of Children’s House and led the school to become one of the first in the nation to become NAEYC accredited under the new rigorous criteria.  Ella serves as a California Mentor Director and presents our Encouraged Cognitive Education Curriculum and Desired Results assessment at national conferences. She received her Master’s Degree in Education, her specialization in Special Education and a Reading Specialist Credential and became an associate professor at San Jose State University in the Elementary Education Department.  While teaching classes in Mainstreaming exceptional children and educational theories, she opened Children’s House, for her first child’s education when he was two years old. Ella continually assimilates new research and accommodates theories and findings from the fields of child development, education and neuroscience to provide new opportunities for children’s growth.  Her unique assimilation of strands of theories and approaches have melded together to create an innovative environment and teaching style, full of genuine firsthand experiences that have inspired thousands of children over the school’s life. 

Narges Abbasi-Ortakand
Narges is currently working with our school age and kindergarten children.  She enjoys learning from them, sharing her diverse experiences, knowledge and love for them. She has worked with pre-school age  and school age children for many years and is completing her AA degree in child development from De Anza College. Narges speaks four languages (French, Turkish, Farsi & English) and has a French certificate from the Switzerland University.

Narges was born and grew up in a large family in Tehran, Iran. She moved to the United States and more recently to Mountain View 7 years ago. She married her husband Ali 10 years ago. Narges has a daughter named Ava, who attends Children‘s House.  She encourages her daughter to follow the Persian culture which has important values in their life.  Narges enjoys running, dancing,listening to multicultural music, shopping, traveling  and  camping in nature.  Yosemite is her favorite place to spend time.


Sarah Azzopardi
Sarah has been teaching at Children’s House for many years. She is the lead teacher of our THREES and afternoon Pre-Kindergarten classes.  She is also the practical life/social studies teacher and teaches your children fine motor and independence skills.  She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Chico State University.  Sarah was born and raised in the Bay Area and currently resides in Mountain View with her husband Marc.  They have been married for 37 years and have three grown, wonderful children: Katie, Adrianne, and Brian. Her daughter Katie Ouye is our upper campus lead teacher of three year olds and also teaches practical life and social studies! In her spare times, she loves to read, make jewelry, quilt, knit, sew, garden, and travel.

Madeleine Alonzo
Madeleine Alonzo was born in Guatemala City, Guatemala.  She moved to the Bay Area with her family when she was 8 years old.  She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Advertising, with a minor in Art, from San Jose State University.  While she has worked in both the Advertising and Marketing fields, she always knew that teaching was her passion.  Madeleine is currently living in Saratoga and is continuing her studies in Early Childhood Education.  She has a great family, and a dog named Pablo.   She has taught young children for several years and also teaches our Mommy and Me classes and Parent Participation Spanish classes.  Madeleine teaches Spanish at the upper campus each day to our three and four year old students.  She also teaches week long Spanish classes for children leaving for kindergarten each summer.




Beth Burton
Beth was born and raised in Mountain View, California where she lived until moving to Cupertino to attend De Anza College to finish her AA degree. When she is finished with her AA she will be transferring to San Jose State majoring in Criminal Justice in hopes of one day working with troubled youth. She has worked for five years as a site director for after school programs as well as a camp coordinator in the summers. We are delighted that Beth will be joining our team of school age teachers at Loyola after spending a year opening our school age program at Bullis!  She really enjoys working with school age children and finds that it is a great learning experience.  In her spare time Beth enjoys hanging out with her family, cooking, going on road trips, and listening to music.

Jeanine Cadden
Jeanine is very excited to be starting another year here at Children’s House.  She helped to open our new upper campus at Gardner Bullis and is our administrator.  She has had over 14 years of experience as a Lead Teacher and several years of experience as a Director.  Jeanine has her Early Childhood Education Certifications.  Each afternoon, Jeanine is the lead teacher for our PM Transitional Kindergarten.  When she is not at Children’s House, she enjoys spending time with her nephew and her dogs.  Jeanine’s hobbies include photography, arts and crafts, and cooking.

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Sophia Case

Julie Clark
(Music with Teacher Julie)

Julie Clark is so excited to launch our music program here during her 2nd school year at Children’s House.    She has been in the educational field for 10 years and cannot imagine her life without children and music.    Julie received her B.A. in Liberal Studies from CSUS in 2001 and her California Teaching Credential from SFSU in 2003.   She has also successfully completed the Music Together teacher training.  While not at work, Julie enjoys being with her family, knitting, hiking, camping in addition to cheering and attending games for her beloved Giants, 49ers and Cal Bears.

Kaitlin Cryan
Kaitlin grew up and still loves in Sunnyvale with her family.  She graduated from Sonoma State University with a BA in liberal studies and Human development.  Kaitlin teaches in all of our classrooms.  She loves working with children, enjoys dancing and spending time with her family. 
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Kirsi Farin
Kirsi is a mother of two little boys aged 4 and 6 years and lives in Sunnyvale since moving to California from Finland.  Kirsi was a teacher of young children in Finland after earning her BA in Human Development and her Master’s Degree in Education.  When not here at school, Kirsi is a busy mom taking her children to sports, plays the piano and loves to ski on the weekends with family.


Eligia Gall
Eligia was born in South Korea and immigrated to the US right after earning her BA degree in German Literature and attended University of Nebraska to receive her BS in Art Education. She taught in St. Augustine Indian Mission School in Winnebago, Nebraska and then moved to California where she taught art to 2nd and 3rd grade children at St. Escondido Elementary School and Green Oaks Academy through the Cultural Kaleidoscope Program in Palo Alto. She also was an art teacher with the Art in Action program in Campbell and Sunnyvale. Eligia enjoys creating and teaching art in various mediums and hopes to encourage and inspire them to use their individual talents. She lives with her husband, Tom, who works as a project manager at Kaiser Permanente in Emeryville. They like to hike, watch movies, and read books. She would like to share a quote from Henry David Thoreau, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.”
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Sarah McCanna
Sarah is thrilled to be a part of the Children’s House team teaching in the AM PLUS and Transitional Kindergarten classrooms.  She grew up in Los Altos and is a graduate of Children’s House herself!  Sarah earned her BA in Liberal Studies with a specialization in Literature from San Diego State University.  She holds a California Multiple Subject Teaching Credential as well as a Supplemental English Language Arts Credential, and looks forward to furthering her education in early childhood development.  She is passionate about integrating curriculum areas as well as teaching to all learning styles. Sarah loves young children and is so excited to be working with preschoolers again.  She lives in Mountain View with her fiancé, Phil, and is looking forward to getting married in the summer of 2010.  Sarah loves singing, dancing, reading, writing, country music, and board games!


Mary Kramer
Mary Kramer will be enjoying her morning's in the 2's classroom and her afternoons in the art studio. Mary has recently returned to California after living in Germany for 11 years where she taught English to children 3-14 years old and kindergarten in the international school. Mary has a BA in psychology from Oberlin College in Ohio and a California Teaching Credential from Santa Clara University. After earning her credential, she studied Waldorf education and worked at a Waldorf school until moving oversees with her German husband. Mary enjoys music, painting, soccer and sailing.

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Katherine Krumm

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Janette Heslie

Vida Moini
Vida has been a part of the Children’s House family for many years. Vida was born and raised in Iran.  She moved to France in 1983 to attend the University of Strasbourg where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology.  She moved to America with her husband, Davar in 1999.  Together, they have two sons, Keyhan, and Armand.  Vida teaches our science program to both our Threes and PM Pre-Kindergarten classes.  In her spare time, Vida enjoys shopping, cooking, knitting, reading, going to the beach, and spending time with her family. 


Debbie Montenegro
Debbie's passion and dedication to children shows in her interactions with our children. She teaches our mid twos practical life/Montessori.   She enjoys teaching children and observing their smiles of accomplishments. Debbie was born in Burlingame, CA and grew up in the Bay Area. She now resides in Sunnyvale with her husband Marcos and their daughter Allie. Debbie has a Human Resource Management certificate from UC Santa Cruz and is currently attending classes to earn a degree in Child Development.  In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter, and friends, going to the beach, exploring the outdoors and photography.

Teresa O'Connor
Teresa O'Connor is very excited to begin her first work with children as our AM PLUS art teacher at Children's House. She was born in Racine, Wisconsin and spent her entire childhood there. She moved out to California to attend art school, and graduated from San Francisco State University in 1997 with a B.A. in painting. Teresa has worn many hats during her career - art teacher, cultural events coordinator, decorative painter, and art gallery owner. Teresa is well versed in Reggio and the project approach to learning and hopes to encourage children to document and further their learning through the use of art. She is also very interested in gardening, cooking, and yoga. She has two children, Finnegan and Zazie. Teresa lives with her family in San Francisco.

Katie Ouye
Katie loves teaching young children and has been a part of the Children’s House team for many years.  She has worked with a variety of age groups and helped to open our upper campus at Gardner Bullis school as the lead Three’s teacher. Katie also teaches social studies in our PM PLUS class each afternoon.  She graduated from UC Davis with BS in Managerial Economics and a minor in Education.  She has traveled extensively and even lived in Japan for a year and a half, teaching English to children and adults. Katie currently resides in San Jose with her husband, Peter.  In her spare time, Katie enjoys traveling the world, skiing, hiking, running with her dog Marley, and spending time with her family.

Jamie Parsons
Jamie grew up in Buffalo, NY and moved to San Jose to join her fiance.  She studied at Hobart and William Smith colleges where she received a Bachelor's Degree in European History with a minor in Education. Jamie's helped open our Gardner Bullis campus at Children's House and she is very excited to continue teaching Science.  She has a lot of experience working with children, ranging from tutoring elementary school age children to being a nanny.  She has been a nanny for three different families in various places around the world.  In Jamie's free time, she enjoys the outdoors, traveling, reading and listening to music.

Nina Patel
Nina is our Redwood Grove teacher and also cares for our young extended care group here at The Children’s House of Los Altos. Nina Patel holds an Early Childhood Certificate from De Anza community college and is working towards her Associate Degree in Early Childhood.  She is a mother of two boys and enjoys working with children. In her spare time she likes to read, walk, bike, cook and spend time with her family and friends.
Nicole Payne
Nicole is our gross motor teacher and prepares children for our playnasium experiences.  She graduated from University of California Santa Cruz with a BA in Sociology and completed her child development classes to become a teacher of young children.  She holds a Master Teacher Permit from the state of California.  Nicole was born and raised in San Jose where she currently resides.  While not at work, she enjoys running, hiking and watching sports.


Shani Paster
Shani is the School Age lead teacher at Gardner Bullis school, and works with the Loyola Kindergarten children in the morning. She's a native Californian, having grown up in the Los Angeles area. She currently lives in Mountain View, and has been in the South Bay for about ten years.  She attended Humboldt State University, where she earned a BA in Child Development with a minor in Art History.  Shani has extensive experience working with children of all ages, in several different environments -- including camps, classrooms, and museums. In her spare time, she loves writing, reading, practicing yoga, supporting the arts, drinking coffee and visiting San Francisco


Sanket Patel
Sanket Patel is a practicing sculptor working in the art studio with our Three and Four year old children.  Born and raised in India, he received a Masters degree in Fine Arts and moved to the United States five years ago with his wife.  He has two little girls, Arya who attends elementary school and Mili who is in pre-school.  Sanket has a web site of his works at http://photos@yahoo.com/sanket043.  During his free time he likes to travel and spend time with his family.  Sanket team taught in the Loyola campus art studio, helped to open our new upper campus art studio and works with our kindergarten and school age children.  He has already introduced the children to three dimensional art through his ocean scenes that he made to develop our “beach” at our upper campus.



Sonia Rayet
Sonia Rayet is originally from London and has been working with young children aged 0-5 years for many years. In London, she worked in a variety of settings such as a Montessori nursery, a state school nursery and private day care nurseries.  She married her husband Sandeep and joined him in California.  Sandeep is an engineer, in Cupertino and Sonia and Sandeep reside in Mountain View.  When not at school with the little ones, Sonia enjoys shopping, reading, and enjoying California’s great sunny weather.


Olga Redko
Olga was born and raised in the Ukraine.  She enjoyed her childhood, traveling a lot with her parents and her little sister.  She received her BA in Geography and Biology at Pedagogical University in her home town and also completed her teaching credential as a part of the curriculum. Olga and her husband came to America and together, they have a son named Michael, who is in elementary school.  She is interested in Early Childhood Education philosophies and enjoys learning about new ages and appropriate methods to teach preschool children.  She really enjoys observing the process of how children discover the whole world around them.  She has received a California Site Supervisor Permit.  During her free time, Olga loves to cook, read, ski, hike with her family, and spend as much time with her son as possible.

Helena Roberts
Helena is our THREES and Pre-Kindergarten math teacher. She has been a part of our team for many years. She has her Master’s Degree in Structural Engineering, and has received her Site Supervisor Permit from the California commission on teacher credentialing. Helena was born and raised in the Czech Republic and lived in Spain for 2 years before settling in Sunnyvale, where she currently resides with her husband and two sons, Jacob and Alexander. Helena and her family enjoy going to the park with their dogs, Charlie and Joey, and they all enjoy traveling, hiking, biking, swimming, and other outdoor activities.


Susan Talmadge
Susan Talmadge is the lead teacher for our morning Mid Twos and Entry Threes classes and also teaches our Transitional Kindergarten class each afternoon.  She graduated from San Jose State with a B.A. in Liberal Studies with preparation for teaching.  She is married to her husband Brian who is a civil engineer.  They have made their home in Castro Valley.  Susan loves to go to the beach, go hiking, and spend time with her friends and family.





Amy Zhen
Amy joined Children's House in January of 2009 and works as our Kindergarten teacher, and afternoon extended care teacher. Amy graduated from Hua-Nan University in China where she was born,  with a B.A. degree in Chinese Literature and Education. Amy also has an Early Childhood Preschool teacher's credential obtained from Merritt Community College, an AA degree in Human Development, and a Site Supervisor Permit issued by the state of California.

Additionally, Amy actively participates regularly in Chinese language instruction workshops including the Professional Development Workshop Series coordinated by Stanford University, and, most recently, an extensive series of training lectures coordinated by the Association of Northern California Chinese Schools for teaching Chinese by applying computer technology. 

Prior to joining Children's House Amy worked for the Oakland school system's 4 C's program for young children for 4 years. She also worked as a girl scout leader for the San Francisco Bay Area. Amy currently teaches at the East Bay Chinese School on Saturdays where she teaches Chinese, Art, and Chinese Culture.  Amy currently lives in Sunnyvale where she enjoys cooking for her boyfriend and flower arrangement.

770 Berry Avenue, Los Altos, CA  94024 - 650-968-9052 - information@emeducation.com  - Founder/Director: Ella Mayon - ella@emeducation.com