All Campus Staff
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.
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.
Taylor Campus Director & Enrollment Specialist (based at Taylor Campus)
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.
School Events Coordinator (based at Encinal Campus)
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 Event 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
Primary 3 Teacher
Yria fell in love with the Montessori Philosophy over 20 years ago, and worked as a Primary Montessori teacher for 13 years in Sacramento, before moving to the East Bay in 2013. She took a break from teaching to spend more time with her daughter, as well as earn her certification in Massage Therapy, but soon realized teaching young children was her calling. Yria is completing her Primary Montessori Certification. In her spare time, she enjoys going on adventures with her daughter, cycling, cooking, reading, and dancing.
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.
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.
Toddler 2 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.
Primary 4 Teacher/French Teacher
Emma was born and raised in Paris, France where she obtained a Master’s degree in marketing. She moved to the U.S. in 2007, where she earned an MBA from the University of Maryland and worked for several years for Rosetta Stone managing a team of over 100 language teachers. Following the birth of her first child, she decided to become a teacher at a multilingual Montessori school. She now has three daughters and a son and finished her Montessori certification in 2019. During her free time, Emma enjoys photography and writing.
Elementary & Middle School Teacher/Arabic Teacher
Fatma lived in Cario, Egypt before coming to the Montessori Elementary School of Alameda. Fatma has been working with children for 18 years. She holds a degree in Education, Montessori Primary teaching credential, and has her her primary and elementary credentials. She has been a Montessori Guide at private schools in Egypt since 2008. In her spare time, she loves reading, traveling and working out.
Primary 4 Assistant 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.
Primary 3 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.
Jeanna Nagle loves working with children and is very happy with her position at The Child Unique. She has studied child development at Merritt College, where she earned a Child Development Assistant Certificate, and has experience volunteering at several childcare centers. She likes to swim and play soccer and basketball and attend Giants, A's, and Cal games.
Toddler 2 Assistant Teacher
Meiyi enjoys working with children. Before moving to the United States, Meiyi was a middle school teacher for 5 years in China where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in education.She moved to the United States in 2008. Here she earned her Associate degree in Early Childhood Education from Chabot College. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, especially with her children, she also enjoys nature.
Encinal Campus Staff
James was born in El Cerrito and is a proud father of two. He spent 11 years in Southern California studying Computer Science and working for a marketing research company. He moved back to the bay area in 2000, this time to Alameda, and worked for 12 years in the apparel industry mostly in supply chain planning. In 2008, after his son was born, he decided to become a stay-at-home parent, and this is where his admiration of children truly began. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family and listening to music.
Encinal Campus Director/Primary 1 Teacher
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.
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.
Assistant Teacher/Japanese Teacher
Primary 1 Assistant Teacher/Mandarin Teacher
Pacific Campus Staff
Reyna Stefani has been an Alameda resident her entire life. She began working with children when she was 13 years old, and really enjoyed preschoolers. Reyna was a cheerleading coach at Alameda High School for 7 years. She is currently taking classes at Merritt College to transfer to a CSU to get a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Development. She looks forward to working at the Pacific Campus this year and working as a substitute at the other campuses!
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.
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.
Cherefah is 23 years old and currently a senior at California State University, East Bay. She has two A.A. degrees, one in Liberal Arts and in one Humanities and Social and Behavioral Sciences. Since middle school, she has always known that she wanted to work with children as she enjoys watching and assisting children to grow and learn. She is looking forward to seeing each of them progress throughout the school year.
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.