Prior to her time at Imagine, Christina served as the Director of Partners in Autism Treatment, a non-profit agency serving young children on the autism spectrum. As Director, she focused on integrating children with autism into regular preschool settings. Christina has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Neuroscience from Duke University and a Master of Science in Child Development from University of California Davis. Christina is a Spanish bilingual educator, a certified CLASS observer, a trained member of San Francisco’s NERT program and she serves on the Board of Trustees for Presidio Hill School. Christina also holds a Child Development Program Director Permit from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.
Before working at Mission Kids, she worked for a year at Imagine Preschool in San Francisco. She also worked for 4 years as an elementary reading specialist with the Georgia State University Department of Psychology. Prior to this, Heather taught elementary special education in a public school district in the Atlanta area. In 2001, she received the Atlanta Journal & Constitution’s annual award for teaching excellence in the state of Georgia. She holds a Masters in Special Education from Georgia State University and a Bachelor of Science in Educational Psychology from the University of Georgia. Heather holds a Child Development Program Director Permit from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.
Gigi spent most of her adult life in the business management world. One day she decided that it would be fantastic to end her days covered in finger paint, while emptying sand out of her shoes. Since she was little, her mother had always told Gigi that she would be best working with children. She made the career change by taking Early Childhood Development classes at City College of San Francisco (CCSF). Gigi obtained her associates degree at CCSF in Child Development and is continuing her education for a Bachelor’s degree. She holds a Site Supervisor Child Development Permit from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Gigi is enthusiastic about the philosophy of Mission Kids, and she is happy to be part of the community.
Prior to Mission Kids, Celsa worked in San Francisco as an Infant Teacher at Bright Horizons and as an Infant/Toddler Lead Teacher at the Epiphany Child Care Center providing early intervention, therapeutic childcare, and developmental assessments. Celsa has a Bachelor Degree in Early Childhood Development and Family Concentration from San Francisco State University. Celsa also studied Early Childhood Education at the Catholic University in Asuncion, Paraguay and worked in The Gambia, West Africa at the New Covenant Elementary School, where she developed teaching aids. She holds a Site Supervisor Child Development Permit from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Celsa has a son who is an alumni of Mission Kids.
Olga Carlos moved to San Francisco in 2008 from Monterrey, Mexico. She has over 14 years of experience in a variety of educational settings including Potrero Kids, Mission Kids Co-Op, Binda Magic, Golden Gate Children’s Art and Outdoor Exploration, and Music Together. Olga holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Public Administration from the University Autonomous of Nuevo Leon and a Certificate from the Preschool Teacher Preparation Center in Monterrey, Mexico. Olga graduated with honors from City College of San Francisco with an Associates Degree in Child Development and Family Studies. She holds Teacher Permit from the California Commission on Teaching Credentialing and is currently working towards her site supervisor credential at CCSF.
She is enthusiastic about the philosophy of music as part of a child’s life, and thrilled to be part of the Spanish community of San Francisco through the Canta y Baila program. She hopes to create nurturing experiences and build positive relationships with staff and families in the Mission Kids community to make a difference in their lives.
Lucy Trigueros was born and raised in the Mission District of San Francisco and has been with Mission Kids since 2009. She works as a lead teacher and support staff and is Mission Kids Supply Coordinator for inventorying school materials, documenting incoming purchases and maintaining classroom organization.
Lucy is bilingual and regularly speaks Spanish with the children. She believes in providing hugs, a lap to sit in and time to listen. Lucy holds a Teacher Child Development Permit from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.
Kellen Krieg joined Mission Kids in November 2017 as an associate teacher. Kellen holds a BA in performance art from Evergreen State College. While attending college, she worked as a high school theatre teacher at the School of the Arts in the Seattle area. She has several years of experience working with various children’s musical theater companies in the Pacific Northwest. She’s worked as a director, choreographer, costume designer, and family liaison. Kellen has over ten years of experience working in childcare here in the Bay Area, both with private families and in group settings. She strongly believes in the success of play-based learning and teaching through a social justice lens.
Ernesto Rodriguez Carreno joined Mission Kids in August of 2018. He has over a decade of experience working in San Francisco’s food industry as a chef and kitchen manager. Born and raised in Oaxaca, Mexico, Ernesto earned his BS in Mechanical Engineering before immigrating to the USA. He has a passion for cars derived from his dad who owns an auto mechanic shop in Mexico. He’s been part of the Mission Kids family since 2016 and is fluent in English, Spanish, and a bit of Italian. He’s currently working towards his associates teacher permit and is thrilled to be part of Mission Kids!
Ami (Atsuko) Kojima joined Mission Kids in March, 2019 and is a teacher in the toddler classroom. She has a bachelor’s degree in Dramatic Arts from Kyoritsu Women’s University in Japan and a master’s degree in Applied Linguistics from University of Essex in England. She also holds a Child Development Site Supervisor Permit from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Ami grew up in Japan and speaks Japanese and English. She has traveled to many countries and lived in a few but settled down in San Francisco with her husband and dog Juno. She has worked as a language teacher, textbook writer, and translator, utilizing her language skills. It was when she moved to San Francisco in 2009 that she discovered her true calling for early childhood education. She has been enjoying working with young children ever since.
Andrew Mainen joined the Mission Kids staff in 2019. His experience working at Mission Kids as the parent of a recent graduate inspired him to pursue a career in early childhood education. Andrew is from the East Coast, growing up in Maine and earning degrees from Brown (B.A.) and Columbia (J.D.). After abandoning corporate law, Andrew travelled extensively before finding a home in San Francisco. He is currently taking Early Childhood Development classes at City College of San Francisco.
Cecille Santos is the Art Specialist at Mission Kids. She does long-term ongoing art projects/ installations with the children, who love adding their ideas to all the projects they do with her. Cecille has been working in early childhood care for the past 32 years in private homes and in preschools. She is a professional artist and has her artwork featured in a gallery in Sausalito. She also provides private art lessons. She previously worked as the art curriculum coordinator for Imagine Preschool.
She was born in South Africa and previously lived in Jerusalem, where she attended art school. She also lived in Switzerland and London before moving to San Francisco in 1981. Cecille holds an Associate Teacher Child Development Permit from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.