“I believe the first five years of a child’s life are the most important. They are so eager to learn and we must use these precious years to share valuable knowledge. I love to teach Spanish and share my culture and my hispanic heritage.”
The director of the Piedmont KSS campus has spent over 25 years as an educator, child psychologist, and early childhood specialist. Juliana grew up in a bilingual home in Querétaro, Mexico, the daughter of an American mother and Mexican father. She studied psychology in education and speech therapy at the University of Querétaro, and founded her own child psychology practice and Kindergarten.
Juliana and her daughter made the move from Mexico to the United States in 2004 and she immediately put her background to good use, developing a bilingual after-school program that is still in place in many East Bay elementary schools.
Juliana joined KSS in 2008 as Director of the Oakland/Piedmont campus and the lead teacher of the 4’s class. Juliana also founded the Creative Spanish after-school program where older students are able to continue learning spanish at an intermediate to advanced level. Today, she leads what she calls a “super team of strong, supportive teachers.” Juliana and her team pride themselves on creating a loving, safe, and warm environment for the students and a rich curriculum where they learn by having fun.
In the classroom Juliana relies on her child psychology background to understand varying behaviors and identify early learning disabilities. She is passionate about continuing education for herself and her teachers. She’ll tell you that she never stops reading, researching, and taking time for teacher training and professional development – and it shows. “Kids who graduate from KSS come back to tell me that Kindergarten is easy. They’ve already learned much of what is being taught to them in elementary school,” says Juliana. She lives in Oakland with her daughter.
“We have great collaboration and respect among the teachers at KSS. We trust each other in a way that I haven’t experienced elsewhere.”
Rosalinda came to the United States in 2005 when she was 14 years old. A hard worker from a young age, she became involved in her church’s day care center and eventually became the youngest-ever Director of the program when she was just 18. She continued her love for teaching by working at a bilingual program for seven years. “It still amazes me to see children learn a second language so quickly and it feels good to know that I had a part in it,” says Rosalinda. “It drives you to improve yourself through studying, training, continued learning.” After earning her teaching credentials, Rosalinda joined KSS in 2013, where she loves to work with her “second family.”
Rosalinda lives with her parents and two brothers in Concord.
“I feel honored to plant this seed of knowledge in children and shower them with Spanish language and culture. I love to watch them grow.”
Solange has over 25 years of experience teaching elementary and preschool-aged children. She received her MA in psycho-linguistics in Caracas, Venezuela and worked at the prestigious Emil Friedman school as an elementary school teacher and later as a 3rd grade teacher at a large oil company in Valencia.
Solange brought her two children to the United States in 2005 and spent the next several years learning English and getting her teaching credentials. She first worked as a bilingual teacher at an East Bay public school. Solange began working at KSS Oakland in 2011, where she is proud to teach native English speakers her language and culture. She loves that KSS emphasizes a warm and loving environment for the children; it reminds her of the schools in South America.
Solange lives in Mountain View with her son and daughter.
2’s Class Co-Instructor
San Salvador, El Salvador
“It is so gratifying to create memorable moments with these children – I’m going to remember them forever.”
Martha’s family moved from El Salvador to Oakland in 2000 when she was just 7 years old. As a high school student, Martha attended Life Academy, a prestigious health and science-focused public school where she interned at Children’s Hospital. It was during her internship that she knew she wanted to work with children. Martha began taking child development classes at Merritt College, caring for children regularly, and working in a Spanish-immersion preschool before discovering KSS in 2013.
Martha is incredibly happy to be doing what she loves: working with children, speaking her native language, and sharing her culture. Martha lives in Oakland with her parents, a sister and brother.
“What I love about KSS is that it feels like a community; the parents and teachers really work together and the students learn so quickly. I love teaching them in the language that I know best.”
Flor and her family moved to the United States when she was 11 years old. She had always loved working with children and when she attended Merritt College, Flor focused on child development and education classes. After working at an English-language preschool for two years, Flor discovered KSS Oakland, where she’s worked since 2014.
Flor enjoys dancing salsa, reading, and singing. She lives in Oakland with her parents, three older brothers, and a little sister.
“I love incorporating my language and culture into the lessons; it has revived my interest in my own family’s traditions.”
Maritza’s parents are from Oaxaca, Mexico, but she grew up in Los Angeles, learning English in school and Spanish at home. She has been teaching preschool and Kindergarten in the Bay Area for ten years, and began working at KSS in 2009.
While working for other schools, Martiza felt like she wasn’t able to implement her own ideas and suggestions for teaching. “KSS has a collaborative way of operating,” says Martiza. “We learn from each other and share ideas; it has completely changed my perspective on how children can be taught.”
Maritza lives in Oakland with her husband and newborn daughter.
“It’s so important that we provide a safe and nurturing environment while teaching preschool. The children feel at home here.”
Claudia and her family moved to the United States in 2000, when she was five years old. Always fond of younger children, Claudia had been volunteering in preschools since she was in 6th grade. Upon graduating, she started working for Childcare Careers and one day was called as a substitute for KSS. The team knew she’d be a great addition to the KSS family and created a position for her immediately.
Claudia loves teaching the students Spanish because she believes that knowing two languages can open so many doors. “I like learning as much as possible,” she says. “I’ll never stop trying to be good at as many things as I can.”
What’s up next for Claudia? She wants to major in Chemistry in college and become a neurosurgeon.