All Campus Staff



Cindy Acker : Founder & Principal

Cindy Acker

Founder & Principal

Cindy is the founder of The Child Unique and The Montessori Elementary Intermediate School of Alameda (MEISA), and has served as principal for over 30 years. She has several degrees in education, human development, spirituality, cultural studies and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from UC Berkeley. Cindy has also been involved in public policy, representing Montessori schools in California. She is a published author and a national keynote speaker. Apart from her passion for education, Cindy is a singer and choir director in Novato and a mother of three adult children. Cindy speaks Dutch and Spanish.

Sarah McArthur LeValley : Director of Social Justice

Sarah McArthur LeValley

Director of Social Justice

Sarah's journey to The Child Unique / Montessori Elementary Intermediate School has been a series of apparently disconnected themes that came together to create this wonderful opportunity. She spent over 20 years in the animation film industry and have had the privilege of working for Walt Disney Feature Animation, Pixar Animation Studios and Lucasfilm Animation.  Prior to her years in animation she had a wonderful career working in theatre as a production manager.  Sarah graduated from University of California Santa Barbara with a BA in Theatre. In recent years she went back to her theatre roots doing special projects for Berkeley Repertory Theatre including Anna Deveare Smith’s project Notes from the Field: Doing Time in Education on the school to prison pipeline.  This project activated her desire to do social justice work. As life would have it, a new tangent appeared, she became deeply involved in the creation of a new Montessori preschool. She worked very closely with Cindy Acker on the development of the school from it early inception through our first year of operation. The combining of her social justice work and preschool work led her right to TCU/MEISA in the new position of Director of Social Justice.  For her, it is a perfect combination. She looks forward to the work ahead.

Miesha Lampkins : School Events Coordinator

Miesha Lampkins

School Events Coordinator

Miesha Lampkins was born and raised in the Bay Area. She received Montessori training and has worked within the Montessori community for over a decade. She has always had an interest in event coordination and is excited to be apart of  The Child Unique and MESA community as the School's Events Coordinator. Her warm and bubbly spirit is perfect for hosting and coordinating events. Miesha has A Degree in Liberal Arts: Social and Behavior Science.  She seeks to complete a Bachelor’s degree program in Hospitality at California State University East Bay. She has one loving daughter that she hold high at heart. She loves taking her daughter on trips and spending loving time with her as well as with her family and friends.


Taylor Campus Staff



Nick Sunderland : Primary 4 Teacher

Nick Sunderland

Primary 4 Teacher

Nick is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio. He has enjoyed working in the world of education since he graduated from Ohio State University in 2019, with a Bachelor’s degree in Health Geography and Comparative Cultural Studies and a minor in French. Before moving to the Bay Area, Nick was a program coordinator for an international peace camp in Seoul, South Korea, and went on to become a teaching assistant in Nantes, France. Nick loves working with children, and is passionate about the intersection of public health and education. He enjoys playing soccer and listening to music, and is happy to be a part of The Child Unique Montessori School team!

Sumaira Olla : Toddler 2 Teacher

Sumaira Olla

Toddler 2 Teacher

Sumaira was born and raised in Pakistan. She received a Bachelors degree in Commerce and received her AMI Montesssori credential from the Association Montessori Internationale. She came to America in 2013 and joined The Child Unique the same year. She is a mother of two wonderful children (a girl and a boy). They attend The Child Unique also. Sumaira loves working with children and enjoys having conversations with them.

Raina Ford : Elementary& Middle School Teacher

Raina Ford

Elementary& Middle School Teacher

Raina Ford was born and raised in Oakland, California and she have always known she wanted to work with children. She began assisting in a classroom setting in high school as a tutor and spent some time as a summer camp counselor. Raina went on to pursue a Bachelor's of Science degree in Psychology and shortly after, she realized education was her career path. Currently, Raina is finishing up her Montessori credential. She is studying to become a certified Montessori elementary teacher. In her free time, Raina enjoys watching movies, reading and spending time with her family.

Porshia Lewis : Substitute Teacher

Porshia Lewis

Substitute Teacher

Porshia has been a teacher here at The Child Unique since 2006, working as both a Pre-primary and Toddler Teacher. She has studied psychology and holds a certificate as a Lactation Consultant (through Alta Bates Medical Center). She is happy to have been accepted into the National University bachelor’s program for Early Childhood Development Multiple Subject Credential. Her current goals are the completion of her Montessori Infant/Toddler Credential and ECERS assessor through the Montessori Teacher Education Center.

Johanny Marte : Primary 3 Teacher/Spanish Teacher

Johanny Marte

Primary 3 Teacher/Spanish Teacher

Johanny was born in Santo Domingo and worked in a Montessori classroom in the Dominican Republic for 14 years. She received her Montessori teacher certification from the American Montessori Society in 2005. She has a degree in Clinical Psychology, specializing in children with learning disorders and also has a degree in Elementary Education. She is also taking the training to become a Montessori toddlers teacher. She is the mother of two beautiful children who inspires and encourage her to be a better person. In her spare time, Johanny likes to read, watch documentaries about space and nature and spend time with her family.

Danilo Portugal : Upper Elementary Teacher

Danilo Portugal

Upper Elementary Teacher

Danilo is originally from Brazil and has been living in Oakland for the last ten years. He is proud to be the father of two beautiful and strong young girls, Lua and Alidia, 12 and 9 years old respectively. Danilo has enjoyed working with children for seventeen years and attended a Montessori school in Brazil. He became a Montessori teacher in the United States and teaches Capoeira, a dynamic Brazilian form of martial art and dance. He is both a musician and dancer and in his free time, he also likes to surf.

Nicole Baptista : Primary 4 Teacher

Nicole Baptista

Primary 4 Teacher

Nicole Baptista was a Montessori child! She was born and raised in the Bay Area and attended Seaview Montessori, a public Montessori school in San Pablo. She is thrilled to continue with The Child Unique Montessori School community this year. She feels passionate about Montessori education and is currently enrolled in Montessori training and Early Childhood Education courses at Contra Costa College. Nicole hopes to inspire everyone at The Child Unique with her love of crafting and gardening.


Encinal Campus Staff



Henock Leulseged Berhane : Encinal Assistant Teacher

Henock Leulseged Berhane

Encinal Assistant Teacher

Henock Leulseged Berhane was born and raised in Addis Ababa,Ethiopia. Henock speaks Amharic, Tigrinya, and English. He has a BA in Business Management from the University of St Marry’s. Henock worked as a Purchasing officer and business manager for the last 6 years until I moves to Alameda CA. He is a proud father of 1 sweet boy. Henock loves to be outdoors, he has a passion for photography. He enjoys music and spending time with his family. He also loves working with children and is very happy to be apart of The Child Unique Montessori School.

Marisela Mascorro : Remote Teacher

Marisela Mascorro

Remote Teacher

Mari is very excited to begin her 16th year with The Child Unique. She has a degree in Liberal Arts and Child Development and a Montessori Early Education Credential. Mari is the proud parent of three beautiful daughters. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and going on adventures with her daughters and husband. She loves the family-like aspect of The Child Unique and the peace education that is helping to make a better world.
Joseph Niles : Primary 2 Teacher

Joseph Niles

Primary 2 Teacher

Joseph Niles has taught in a preschool-age setting for over 10 years. His work is informed by his passion for early childhood development, his love for history, writing, and nature. He attended the Montessori Teacher Education Center where he attained his Montessori Teacher’s Certificate early in his career. Currently, he is enrolled in classes with the ambition to obtain degrees in Early Childhood Education and Human Development.

Dawn Ocampo : Teacher

Dawn Ocampo

Teacher

Ms. Dawn has been a Montessori teacher for over ten years. She has a bachelors degree in journalism and is a certified yoga instructor and incorporates yoga elements in the curriculum.. She has taught in schools on the east and west coasts but enjoys being back home in the Bay Area. Ms. Dawn also enjoys learning, the outdoors, reading, music, dancing and her family.

Katsuko Ono : Assistant Teacher/Japanese Teacher

Katsuko Ono

Assistant Teacher/Japanese Teacher

Katsuko was born and raised in Hiroshima where she got her BA degree in Education. After working in the fashion industry for 15 years, she made a career change, returning to the education field to become a teacher. Katsuko joined TCU in 2016 and obtained her Montessori primary credential in 2018. She is very happy working with children in a Montessori environment and loves to share Japanese and Japanese culture with children. In her spare time, Katsuko likes doing yoga, cooking, watching movies and performances, and playing the piano.   

Sonia Chen : Primary 1 Assistant Teacher/Mandarin Teacher

Sonia Chen

Primary 1 Assistant Teacher/Mandarin Teacher

Sonia was born in China and speaks Cantonese, Mandarin, and English. She worked as an elementary and middle school teacher for 11 years in China. Since 2011, she has been teaching in preschools in the United States. She likes to cook, listen to music, make friends, organize, and loves doing creative art projects.

Pacific Campus Staff



Bianca Christian : Toddler 1 Teacher

Bianca Christian

Toddler 1 Teacher

Bianca Christian was born and raised in Oakland, CA.  She had the pleasure of obtaining an AA in Social & Behavioral Science from Merritt Community College, and her Bachelor's degree in Sociology from  Cal State University, Dominguez Hills. She has enjoyed working with children in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, and Atlanta for the past eight years! In her spare time, she enjoys baking, shopping, and spending time with my friends and family.

Tiffani Battle : Pre-Primary Teacher

Tiffani Battle

Pre-Primary Teacher

Tiffani Battle has been a teacher for 12 years. She has a degree in Elementary Education, her Montessori Primary Certificate and an administrative certificate. She fell in love with Montessori after receiving her degree in education and has never been happier. She loves how Montessori fosters the whole child and teaches peace. She has been a site director, head teacher, toddler teacher and elementary teacher in her journey as an educator. She is the proud mother of 2 beautiful children (a boy and a girl) and she is excited to be a part of The Child Unique community.

Carolina Serrano : Pre-Primary Teacher

Carolina Serrano

Pre-Primary Teacher

Carolina was born in and raised in Colombia. She obtained a degree as a dental hygienist in 2005 and as a social worker in 2011. Carolina has led workshops for families and employment assistance for low-income, at-risk youth. Since relocating to the United States in 2012, Carolina has gained experience working with diverse populations, but holds a solid passion working with young children. In 2013, she received training in the foster care system of Alameda County through the CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children) to volunteer to help children navigate the court system. In 2018, she extended her knowledge in early education at Chabot college. In her spare time , enjoys riding her bike, traveling and photography.
Lindsay Correa : Assistant Teacher

Lindsay Correa

Assistant Teacher

Lindsay earned an Associates degree in Early Childhood Education from Merritt College. She has worked in the childcare field for 3 years and loves to read, dance and cook. Lindsay has traveled to many countries, including five wonderful trips to Vietnam. She dances with a vietnames dance company that performs traditional vietnamese, contemporary/modern, ballet and hip hop styles. Lindsay is looking forward to working with the children this year.

Kwang Sriprommasa : Toddler 1 Teacher

Kwang Sriprommasa

Toddler 1 Teacher

Kwang, (Thitiyaporn) Sriprommasa graduated from Bangkok University in Thailand with a bachelor's degree in English. She recently completed her Early Childhood Credential at The Montessori Institute of Advanced Studies. Kwang enjoyed working at the Encinal and Pacific campus in past years and is looking forward to joining the Taylor campus this year.