Lafayette Staff

Afternoon Teacher

Dan recently moved to the Bay Area from Brisbane, Australia to be with my wife who he met on a punk rock music cruise out of Miami in 2018. For the last 10 years he has worked with school aged children in after school care. Prior to that Dan worked at a Montessori school caring for kids between the ages of 15 months and 5 years old. Dan plays trumpet (and some very average guitar) and loves playing and going to gigs. Dan is looking forward to sharing his love of music with the children at Growing Light. In his free time he enjoys riding his bike, exploring California’s national parks with his wife and dog Floki, seeing the San Jose Sharks play, and traveling.

Assistant Teacher

Jackie was born and raised in the Bay Area. She is bilingual, speaking both English and Spanish.  Jackie became an educator because she is passionate about playing a major role in children’s learning. In her free time Jackie loves to spend time with her family and staying at home to bake!


GuoZhen (Jenny) Zhu is from China. She is trilingual, and can speak Mandarin, Cantonese and English. Jenny is interested in exploring children’s growth, education, and psychological development. Jenny is a mother of two children, and believes that children need positive and healthy guidance in order to reach their fullest potential.


Mari was born and raised in Chavinda Michoacan, Mexico. Her first language is Español.  While in the classroom Mari loves teaching the students Español, doing art projects and gardening. In her free time, Mari enjoys cooking, listening to music and going for walks.


Marisela Alferez was born and raised in the Bay Area, and speaks English and Spanish. She hold a BA in Liberal Studies with a minor in Human Development.  Marisela is passionate about teaching art in the classroom, and developing her students creativity. In her free time, Marisela enjoys being outdoors, eating new foods, and yoga.


Mireya was born in Mexico City and is  fluent in Spanish and English. She have over 16 yrs of teaching experience.  Mireya loves working with children of all ages , and is thrilled to be working in a leadership role passing at GLMS. . Mireya enjoys learning about different cultures and traveling to different continents. In her free time she enjoys hiking, being with her loved ones, and volunteering with Make a Wish Foundation.

Lead Montessori Teacher

Norma was born and raised in Walnut Creek, California and is bilingual, speaking both English and Spanish. She is an AMS Montessori Teacher and MACTE (Montessori Accreditation Council for Teacher Education) certified.

Norma has two decades of experience in enriching children’s development and a true passion for working with young learners! Helping each child progress in all areas of their development-  is a challenge that she is honored to accept daily. Norma strives to create and nurture a space for growth in a positive, fun environment.

In her free time Norma loves to be outdoors, swimming, relaxing at the beach, and spending time with her cute albino chihuahua named Pinky.

Montessori Head Teacher

Patricia was born and raised in Manila, Philippines and is fluent in Tagalog. Patricia’ earliest memory in a Montessori environment was working as a “teacher’s aide” for a day in her aunt’s classroom as a young girl. Clearly, it has left a lasting impression. Right after graduating college, Patricia immigrated to Fremont and took the AMI Montessori Teacher Training. She has been working in the classroom for almost two decades, it is an absolute joy to work with children. In her free time, Patricia enjoys gardening, cooking and hiking with her family. She has two children, aged 10 and 8 who love the beach life and their little pet bunny.


Rasika was born in Sri Lanka, and is fluent in  Sinhala, English and Hindi. She has 15 years of teaching experience and has been with Growing Light since 2017. Her favorite activities to do with her students are: Art, yoga, science projects, music and movement. In her free time Rasika enjoys dancing, cooking and spending time with her family.

Afternoon Teacher

Yesenia attended Berkeley City College and is continuing her education in early childhood development. She has 7+ years of experience working with children. She has worked for a local school district as a TK assistant and a Special Education Aid. During her free time, she enjoys working out and being active in nature by going on hikes with her dogs. She is also passionate about wellbeing through yoga and nutrition.