All Campus Staff
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'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.
Taylor Campus Staff
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.
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.
Primary 4 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 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 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.
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.
Assistant Teacher/Japanese Teacher
Primary 1 Assistant Teacher/Mandarin Teacher
Pacific Campus Staff
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 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.
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.
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.