Oakland Staff

Amy
Montessori Head Teacher

Amy was born in Colorado Springs, but grew up all over the world including a stent in Australia for five months where she attended fourth grade.  After graduating from college, Amy began her career as a  Montessori assistant and continued her education to become a fully trained Montessori teacher.

Amy is passionate about the Montessori Method of Education and sent her son to a Montessori school as a toddler through 2nd grade. Amy joined Growing Light in 2015, and has been an integral part of the team ever since.  Amy’s interests include listening to audio books, cooking, gardening, sewing and jewelry making. She is also the proud owner of three cats.

Ana
Afternoon Teacher

Ana is from Guatemala and is married with two wonderful children. She became a preschool teacher in 1999 and has loved it ever since.  She first started working as a teacher aid in South of Market Child care having her own child in that school. As she was gaining experience, she began to take CHDEV classes and completed her AA degree in 2012 . During that time of her career, she had the opportunity to take several trainings that helped expand her learning. She also had the opportunity to work in different schools.  She worked for 18 years in the last school center including 11 years as a transitional kindergarten as well as the after school program.

As a teacher, she loves to interact with each individual child to provide a safe and nurturing hands on learning
environment where they can explore and expand their learning.

One of her passions is singing. She actually sings in a choir every Sunday and loves to sing with the children!

Awa
Director

Awa was born and raised in Senegal, West Africa. She speaks Woolof, French, Bambara, English and Spanish. She enjoys teaching cultural studies and different languages to the children. When she is not at school, Awa loves to cook or work on her foundation to help poor children and try to make a difference in the world.

Connie
Teacher

Connie is originally from from China and speaks Mandarin, Cantonese and English. It is her pleasure to be a part of Growing light Montessori School and work with this wonderful team and children. Connie prides herself on being a  friendly, patient and caring teacher.  In her free time, she enjoys brewing tea and taking care of her tortoise.

Demitrius
Teacher
Demitrius ” Dee Dee ” Bright  was born and raised in the Bay Area, and is pleased and excited to be a part of Growing Light Montessori Team, working with a great team to help children enhance growth and development. Before joining the GLMS Team she worked in several other educational communities, all with different ways of teaching and techniques, but  with the same end goal in mind, the growth and healthy development of children.  In her free time Dee Dee enjoys being with her family, and friends,  good music, gardening , being near water, and stimulating the minds of children watching them learn and grow.
Faye
Montessori Head Teacher

Faye was born in Guangdong China, and can speak Cantonese, Mandarin, and English. She has been working with children for over ten years.  In her free time Faye enjoys music and reading books. She also likes to travel with her family.

Felisa
Teacher

Felisa “Feliz” Aguas was born in the Philippines and speaks Tagalog, English and Thai. She now lives in Oakland and loves its weather. Feliz enjoys being with her students as they make her feel younger and inspired. Feliz loves teaching  her students new songs especially interpretative or action oriented ones. She also enjoys teaching dance, and loves telling stories and letting children discover things through exposing them to nature.

Whenever she has time, Feliz travels alone by public vehicle and enjoying thousands of different views along the road. She also enjoys watching movies and comedy shows. Feliz feels blessed to be a part of Growing Light Montessori School.

Fernando
Teacher

Fernando was born and raised in the Bay Area, and has over 10 years of teaching experience. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal studies with an education concentration from San Francisco State University, and loves sharing his passion and curiosity for discovering new ideas and experiences with his students.

As a fluent Spanish speaker, Fernando appreciates cultural diversity within the community and is excited to share Spanish with the children in his classroom

In his free time Fernando enjoys cooking, hiking, gardening, art, practicing yoga, and martial arts. He is grateful to be part of such a wonderful school and community, and looks forward to growing with everyone while working with such caring educators!

Gladis
Teacher

Gladis has been part of the Growing Light Montessori team since 2009 . She is an Oakland native, and her parents are from Mexico. Spanish is her first language and she loves sharing it with the children. In the classroom Gladis enjoys participating in art projects, and outdoor play with her students. In her free time, Gladis enjoys spending time with her family, 

Hyejin
Director

Hyejin was born and raised in South Korea, and she has lived in Hawaii, Mongolia, Colorado Springs and California. She speaks Korean and English. She loves to do tea parties with the children and curriculum planning with the teachers. When she’s not at school, Hyejin loves to travel with her family, cook, and look for bakeries she’s never been to before.

Jennifer
Afternoon Teacher

Jennifer was born and raised in Oakland but moved to Hayward a few years ago! She speaks both English and Spanish! Her father is from Mexico, and she has 3 younger siblings!  She absolutely loves going to concerts, doing arts and crafts, watching movies, spending time with her family and friends as well as traveling to Mexico!  She volunteered at her youngest sibling’s elementary school and spent time with the kids in her class. She helped them with what they didn’t understand on their assignments as well as simply spent quality time with them outside during free time! She is super excited to be joining the GLMS team!

Kenia
Teacher

Kenia was born and raised in Los Angeles California and is fluent in English and Spanish. She has been part of the Growing light Team since 2019, and loves working with children. Kenia enjoys reading lots of books and doing arts and crafts. Family is very important to her & it’s who she spends most of her free time with.

Koey
Montessori Head Teacher

Teacher Koey was born in Guangzhou China. Fifteen years ago she and her family immigrated to the USA. She speaks Cantonese, Mandarin and English. She likes to teach children to respect and love each other, and help them learn about different cultures and continents. When she’s not at school, Koey likes to travel, watch movies, and listen to music.

Laurien
Afternoon Teacher

Laurien grew up in Oakland and now resides in Alameda. She loves the island life, especially going to the beach as it is very community oriented. Laurien has taught in elementary school for over 10 years in both Alameda and Oakland. 1st and 3rd are her favorite ages to teach. She believes there is so much visible growth at those ages, along with preschool so is very excited to be teaching here at GLMS. She loves to bake, volunteer at her various charities, knit and garden. She loves planting seeds and watching things grow.

Lupita
Teacher

Teacher Lupita was born in Tepic, Nayarit Mexico. She was raised in Mexico and the Bay Area. She speaks Spanish and English. Special interests she enjoys sharing with the children are face painting, music, dance, arts and crafts, story time and Spanish. In her free time Lupita loves being outdoors, fitness, reading inspirational books, and writing in her journal.

Rebecca
Montessori Head Teacher

Teacher Rebecca was born and raised in Southern California. She speaks English and studied French and Italian. She enjoys teaching the children cultural studies, math, science, arts and crafts and folk dancing. When she’s not at school she likes to spend time watching movies, reading, knitting and playing the cello.

Van
Teacher

Teacher Van was born and raised in Ho Chi Minh City in Viet Nam. She speaks Vietnamese, Cantonese, Mandarin and English. Van loves working with children and enjoys activities like arts and crafts projects, teaching Montessori Math and sharing interesting stories. When she’s not at school, Van absolutely loves going to the beach, traveling, shopping, watching movies, trying different foods, and spending time with her dear family.

Vivi
Teacher

Viviana “Vivi” has been a preschool teacher for over 5 years and has previous experience working with school age children, middle schoolers, toddlers, and of course pre-K. She loves spending her time with children as they are all so unique and fun – it keeps her days going. Vivi is originally from Antioch, CA but has recently moved to Hayward with her husband and pet bunny Caramel. In her free time Vivi enjoys painting, going on walks, and trying new food spots!! She is thrilled to be part of the GLMS team.