Meet Our Staff
All Campus Staff
Founder & Principal
Cindy is the founder of The Child Unique and The Montessori Elementary Intermediate School of Alameda (MEISA), and has served as principal for over 40 years. She has several degrees in education, human development, spirituality, cultural studies and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from UC Berkeley. Cindy has also been involved in public policy, representing Montessori schools in California. She is a published author and a national keynote speaker. Apart from her passion for education, Cindy is a singer and choir director in Novato and a mother of three adult children. Cindy speaks Dutch and Spanish.
Miesha Lampkins was born and raised in Oakland, California. Lampkins, a Communications and Events Director/Coordinator, has a degree in Social and Behavioral Sciences and Hospitality, Tourism, Lodging, Resort, and Club Management. Lampkins loves it when she's challenged with an idea and could help with solutions. She loves communicating and connecting the dots. Coordination has always been a calling for her. Lampkins is excited to work alongside Dr.Acker at The Child Unique School/Montessori Elementary Intermediate School.
Sarah McArthur LeValley
Director of Social Justice
Sarah's journey to The Child Unique / Montessori Elementary Intermediate School has been a series of apparently disconnected themes that came together to create this wonderful opportunity. She spent over 20 years in the animation film industry and have had the privilege of working for Walt Disney Feature Animation, Pixar Animation Studios and Lucasfilm Animation. Prior to her years in animation she had a wonderful career working in theatre as a production manager. Sarah graduated from University of California Santa Barbara with a BA in Theatre.
Henock was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. His childhood was full of memorable experiences. He graduated with a degree in Business Management. As a father of two adorable boys, he enjoys spending time with children and helping them achieve their potential, which he believes will serve them well in the future. Working at TCU and helping children is one of the most fulfilling accomplishments of his career. In his leisure time, he enjoys going for long walks, assisting his family members, cleaning, and listening to music.
Erin has been working at The Child Unique Montessori for 2 years with the office team. She was born and raised in Alameda, California. Erin graduated from Redwood Christian High School in 2009 and then went into the education field working with kids. Her favorite thing about working in the office is getting to know all the parents and the children. She also is a mom of one of the wonderful students in Elementary. Some of her hobbies are shopping, reading, playing sports, and enjoying family time as much as possible. One secret about her is that she loves to cook new things and learn about food. Erin is looking to enjoy her position in the office for years to come.
Jonathan was born in San Francisco and lives in Alameda. He attended The Child Unique as a child and has worked at the school for several years. He has a degree in Psychology and a degree in Spirituality both from Holy Names University. He has two daughters and enjoys watching the Warriors, bowling, and making people laugh.
Taylor Campus Staff
Toddler 2 Teacher
Sumaira was born and raised in Pakistan. She received a Bachelors degree in Commerce and received her AMI Montesssori credential from the Association Montessori Internationale. She came to America in 2013 and joined The Child Unique the same year. She is a mother of two wonderful children (a girl and a boy). They attend The Child Unique also. Sumaira loves working with children and enjoys having conversations with them.
Toddler 2 Assistant Teacher
Jeanna Nagle was born in Oakland and lives in Alameda. She attended the Early Childhood Education Program at Merritt College. She loves watching Giants and A's baseball and Cal football and basketball. She enjoys swimming, playing soccer and basketball, and playing with her nephew. She also enjoys listening to music and going for short hikes with her family. She looks forward to returning to the Taylor campus this Fall.
Primary 4 Teacher
I am excited to join The Child Unique Montessori Family. My lifelong journey to become a Montessori guide began back in Nigeria in 2014 where I left a lucrative banking job to become a teacher. My passion and love for seeing children blossom and bloom are met with great organizational skills, a kind heart and a deep desire to see the world become a better place.
Being a mother of two young girls myself, nurturing and guiding are two things I take very seriously. I am grateful and elated to have been entrusted with your children. I look forward to partnering with you to see the children blossom into all that they can be.
Primary 4 Assistant Teacher
Primary 3 Teacher
Carolina was born and raised in Colombia. She obtained a degree as a dental hygienist in 2005 and as a social worker in 2011. Carolina has led workshops for families and employment assistance for low-income, at-risk youth. Since relocating to the United States in 2012, Carolina has gained experience working with diverse populations but is passionate about working with young children. In 2003, she received training in the foster care system of Alameda County through the CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children) to volunteer to help children navigate the court system. In 2008, she extended her knowledge in early education at Chabot College. She enjoys bike riding, traveling, and photography in her spare time.
Primary 3 Teacher
Vivien has been engaged in Montessori education from 2012 to 2023. She has been in Montessori education in China for over 5 years, first as a teacher, then as a director. She was willing to travel across the ocean from China and come to the United States to fulfill her dreams. She has been exploring the field of Montessori and developed her own curriculum: a complete education program based on Art using the concepts of artist, Reggio Emilia. She was invited by AMS to host her workshop at The Montessori Event 2022.
She has a gentle personality and a strong will. She loves children very much, and the children in the classroom reciprocate that love. As a teacher in China, every morning she received countless hugs. She hopes to bring Oriental culture to children. Viven says, “It is an honor to be a teacher of our children."
Elementary Teacher(On Leave)
Raina Ford was born and raised in Oakland, California, and she has always known she wanted to work with children. She began assisting in a classroom setting in high school as a tutor and spent some time as a summer camp counselor as well as an after school program leader. Raina went on to pursue a Bachelor's of Science degree in Psychology and shortly after, she realized education was her career path. Not long after joining TCU, Raina began and completed her Lower Elementary training. She became a certified a Montessori teacher with us! Raina loves sunflowers, watching movies, cartoons, reading, and being silly with her students! Her passions include teaching the cosmic studies, history, and language
Encinal Campus Staff
Primary 1 Teacher
Mari is very excited to begin her 16th year with The Child Unique. She has a degree in Liberal Arts and Child Development and a Montessori Early Education Credential. Mari is the proud parent of three beautiful daughters. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and going on adventures with her daughters and husband. She loves the family-like aspect of The Child Unique and the peace education that is helping to make a better world.
Primary 1 Assistant Teacher/ Mandarin Teacher
Sonia was born in China and speaks Cantonese, Mandarin, and English. She worked as an elementary and middle school teacher for 11 years in China. Since 2011, she has been teaching in preschools in the United States. She likes to cook, listen to music, make friends, organize, and loves doing creative art projects.
Primary 2 Teacher
Charity is excited to be part of The Child Unique Montessori School. She is an Early Years Educator with over ten years of experience in teaching. She has a bachelor's degree in Government Education and a Montessori Diploma in Early Childhood (MACTE) certified.
She is a passionate and resolute teacher who is enthusiastic about contributing to the intellectual, social, emotional, and physical development of children. She enjoys reading, listening to music, traveling and meeting new people.
Aayasha was born in Nepal, home of Mount Everest, and has been living in Alameda for the last 12 years. She was a former The Child Unique parent! Both of her children attended The Child Unique and she is thrilled to continue to be a part of the TCU family in her new role as an Assistant Teacher. She has recently completed her degree in Liberal Arts. Aayasha loves to dance and do fashion designing, a career she was successful at in a previous life. She hopes to share these interests with TCU students again. In her free time, Aayasha loves to spend time with her family by going on hikes throughout the Bay Area and long bike rides around the beautiful island of Alameda.
Pacific Campus Staff
Pre Primary Teacher
Jessica has a Bachelor's degree in Education Management from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria and an Infant-Toddler and a Primary (3ys - 6 yrs) MACTE accredited Montessori teaching credential. She has more than six years of teaching experience, and has led Lego, swimming, and music clubs for children.
Toddler 1 Teacher
Lindsay earned an Associates degree in Early Childhood Education from Merritt College. She has worked in childcare for over 9 years and loves to read, dance and cook. Lindsay has traveled to many countries, including five wonderful trips to Vietnam. She dances with a Vietnamese dance company that performs traditional Vietnamese, contemporary/modern, ballet, and hip-hop styles. Lindsay is looking forward to working with the children this year.
Tanya spent over 18 years as a paralegal before finally pursuing working with children. She always knew she wanted to work with children and took early childhood education courses when her son was a baby, but she did not decide to change career paths until 2022. Tanya was a volunteer storyteller to preschoolers through Books for Wider Horizons in Oakland and previously worked at her son’s preschool as an office manager. She returned to them many years later as one of their preschool teachers. Tanya is very excited to be part of The Child Unique Montessori’s team. She is a mom to a young adult son and three indoor cats. She feels lucky to work with young children, and during her free time, she enjoys gardening, baking, reading, hiking, and learning Spanish.