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.
Tyler was born and raised in Walla Walla, Washington. After graduating from Walla Walla University he was ready for a change of scenery and was lucky enough to make Sonora his home. Tyler earned his Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Art History. Science and technology always have fascinated Tyler. He can be seen at work in most every subject that he teaches. Tyler loves technology and uses it often to support his teaching. Because he is handy, he can help children use saws and hammers to build things. When Tyler is not working, he enjoys hiking with his wife Lindsay and his dogs Gouda and Zola.
Allison Babcock is a substitute teacher at Safari Learning® Academy. She moved to the mountains of Sonora over a year ago. She grew up in Visalia and started working with children as a teenager. She babysat for many families and was a long term nanny for a young single mom with three kids. Allison attended College of the Sequoia and Concordia University where she took many early childhood development classes. She worked at Turtle Rock Pre-school and helped with the child care at many church functions.
Allison is continuing to work on her Liberal Studies degree and hopes one day to become a teacher. She took some time off to get her AS degree in Health Care Administration and has worked in that area for two hospitals. She truly enjoys spending time with her two nephews and niece, although they live in Washington state. She spends her spare time exploring the area of Sonora with her boyfriend, playing with her guinea pigs, watching her fish, and enjoying life in the mountains. Zola.
Erin was born and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas. By the time she was a teenager she knew that she enjoyed working with children. She attended Harding University in Arkansas to study Child Development. After receiving her Bachelor's in 2005 she spent a summer in the Sierra Nevadas as a backpacking trip leader for teenagers. Erin fell in love with the Sierras and dreamed of returning someday.
She has since worked with children in many different settings, as a year round camp counselor, a swim coach, a photographer, and a rock climbing instructor, to name a few.
In her spare time, Erin enjoys rock climbing with her husband, Jason. They married in 2010, and lived in St. Louis, Missouri for a few years. Looking to live somewhere closer to mountains, Jason transferred his business to California. In 2012 they moved across country with their two dogs and climbing gear and settled in Mi Wuk Village.
Erin is very excited to be a part of the Safari team!
Brittney was born on a US Air Force base and moved to Sonora when she was just two years old. She is a 2008 Sonora High School graduate.
Brittney attended Cerro Cosa College and earned her qualifications for teaching. She plans to continue her education in Child Development. She's always had a love for children and hopes to create many positive experiences with each child. In her spare time she enjoys watching sports, dancing and traveling; however, her favorite thing to do is be with friends and family.
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.
Linda recently moved here to Sonora, CA. She loves this beautiful area. She has five wonderful daughters (four of them adults and the 5th in college).
Linda has worked in early childcare education for seven years…or 25 years if you include raising her children! Linda loves working with kids and she is excited to be part of the Safari Learning® Academy team.
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.
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.
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.