Stephanie was born and raised in San Jose, California. In 2002 she and her family moved to Groveland, California to be a live-in caretaker for her grandmother.
While attending Tioga High School she realized her passion for working with kids after volunteering at a local elementary school. When Stephanie graduated from high school in 2005 she aspired to work with children via social work. But, after taking Child Development courses at Columbia College, she realized that she'd rather teach children. In 2008 she successfully completed her AA degree in Liberal Studies and an AS degree in Child Development. She is currently enrolled in college courses and has even thought about pursuing a career in pediatrics nursing because of her love of caring for young children.
When Stephanie is not working with children and attending classes, she is usually spending time with close friends and family. She enjoys taking photographs and scrapbooking, listening to music, watching movies, shopping, visiting new places and trying new things. In the near future, she hopes to have the resources and available time to travel the world.
Beth grew up in the California East Bay after moving from her birth place of Chicago Heights, Illinois.
She graduated from Tennyson High School then received her first AA degree in Commercial Art and a second AA degree in Early Childhood Development from Chabot College. She continued to take photography and fine art classes, figure drawing and oil painting for fun, and took American Sign Language.
At first Beth thought she would follow in her dad’s footsteps in Advertising but hated it! So she proceeded with Early Childhood Development. Thirty some years later she is still at it!
As a child her family camped and spent many happy times locally in the Sierra foothills and mountains. She fell in love with this area and always felt more at home here. She felt “homesick” whenever she had to return to the Bay Area.
At the time she was doing In Home Care for hospice patients and the elderly. She really loved that work and met many wonderful people. Three years ago she moved back to Hayward to assist her own elderly mother. After her mom’s death last year Beth returned to her sweet little home here in the Mother Lode.
Currently she is active at Calvary Chapel and enjoys camping, taking nature hikes, fishing and painting in watercolors, acrylics and oils. She is very grateful to be living her dream here in Sonora!
Christine was born and raised in San Francisco, California and moved to Tuolumne County in the 1980's with her husband Allen and resides in the Twain Harte area.
Christine has a certificate in Early Childhood Development from Columbia College. She has worked with children for twenty years and hopes to instill good values, and a desire to learn and be well educated.
Christine loves people, church, art, music, and history. She is currently teaching Social Studies/ Social Communication, and Health and Grooming at Safari Learning® Academy.
Marie was born and raised in the Los Angeles, California area. She began her education in Early Childhood Development in Cerritos, California and later received her Associates degree while living in Ft. Collins, Colorado. In 2010, Marie married her high school sweetheart Josh and a year later they moved to Sonora, California with their two dogs, Anni and Lou.
Shortly after arriving in Sonora, Marie joined the team at Safari Learning® Academy as a Preschool Teacher for Music, Movement and Art. Marie is excited to be with Safari and plans to continue her education at California State University Stanislaus where she will receive a Bachelor’s degree in Child Development. Marie and her husband are expecting their first child in September of 2012. When Marie isn’t living her passion with teaching she enjoys traveling, camping, hiking, and snowshoeing with Josh and the dogs.
Sylvia grew up in the Bay Area and went to Chabot College Hayward and UC Davis Extension. She has 28.5 units in Early Childhood Education and 12 specialized units in Special Needs, Infant and Preschool Development. She has been advocating for children for over a decade. Sylvia believes the future of our country depends on the growth and development of every child. She loves art and music. Sylvia also teaches our toddlers Spanish and plays the “air” guitar.
We have two new K-1 Teachers: Alishia Branion and Teri Radovich. We will post their bios soon!
Denise was born in Sonora, CA but my family moved to Tulare, CA when she was only a few years old. She spent most of her childhood there and remembers learning Zoo-phonics® at Garden Elementary School with Mrs. Lawson. When Denise started high school her family moved back to the Mother Lode area and they have been here ever since.
Denise is currently attending Columbia College and working toward her AS in Child Development. After taking her first child development class she knew that she had found her niche. Denise is the oldest of four siblings and one foster sibling. She has always loved children; she loved playing with her younger siblings and cousins. Denise engaged to John Lagomarsino. They met at Columbia College. In her spare time she likes to sing, take pictures, read, play games, grow plants, and spend time with her family. She believes that children are a gift from God.
Susan was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee. She has lived in Alabama, Mississippi, Montana, Arizona, Maryland and California. She lived in Felton, California for 17 years until she moved to Sonora in 2006.
Susan graduated from high school in Antioch, California. She attended Woodbury University in Los Angeles for one year, then Academy of Art in San Francisco. She is currently attending Columbia College.
Susan has been married to Steve Nelson for 29 years. She has three children, Ben, Tamara, and Shannon, daughter-in-law Laura and grandson Caedyn. She loves painting, scrapbooking and Children’s Ministry.
We also have two new Toddler Teachers: Jessica Katz and Kaitlin Hansen. We will post their bios soon!
Stevi was born and raised in Sonora, CA. She spent much of her life at the Sonora Sports and Fitness Center in diapers (at the Day Care Center!) as her parents worked out a lot. She feels very at home in our Safari environment because of this!
Stevi enjoys children and is currently enrolled at Columbia College to earn her teaching certification and Associate of Arts Degree. Her interests involve spending time with her family and friends and going on hikes with her boyfriend, Mario, and puppy Maddi. Stevi says, “I am thrilled to be a part of Safari Learning®. I look forward to furthering my experience and education with children.”
Kara was born in Sacramento, California. In 1988 her family moved to Sonora to care for her grandmother who was ill. She attended and graduated from Mother Lode Christian School. She then went to Simpson University on a basketball scholarship.
In 2001, Kara married her wonderful husband. Now they live in Jamestown with their two amazing children, Haley(5) and Tj(3), who attend Safari Learning® Academy. While at Safari she’s watched her kids blossom and grow academically, socially and emotionally. She loves the Safari environment and feels so honored to be a part of it. And, as she looks after each daycare child here, she feels truly blessed.
The kids call Teresa “Mimi.” Mimi is the parent of two adult children and the proud grandparent of five grandchildren. She recently relocated to this area so that she’d have the opportunity to be involved in her grandchildren’s lives.
Mimi has past experience in childcare at Club Sport San Ramon and Gracie’s Place San Ramon. But she feels her most important experience has been that of actually raising, developing and directing her own children, who make her very proud. Raising her own children gave her the wisdom to honor and respect each little person as an individual…always remembering to listen not just hear.
Mimi looks forward to meeting you and sharing time with your children.
Rachel is 18 years young. She graduated from Summerville High School in 2012. It was her senior project that made her fall in love with kids and motivated her currently to pursue her bachelors degree in Pediatric Nursing.
Rachel’s hobbies include hiking, camping, working-out, cooking, going on road trips to the beach, shopping and babysitting. She has been working with kids since she was 12 and plans on working with them forever.
Rachel lives at home with her parents and three of her four brothers. She grew up in a Christian home learning a love for people and life. She still attends church on Sundays. She feels blessed to have joined the Safari Learning family filled with hard working child enthusiasts! Rachel looks forward to meeting all of you lovely parents and getting to know you and your kiddos. Feel free to ask her questions, She isn’t shy and wishes all a Blessed day.
Kurt was born and raised in Groveland, California where he currently lives with his wife, Katie, and his new baby boy Marcus. He graduated from Tioga High School to become a firefighter on the Groveland Hotshot crew.
Kurt is now finishing his Child Development units at Columbia College. His interests are playing with his wife and son, snowboarding, traveling, eating and hanging out with friends and family.