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Meet Our Staff

All Campus Staff

All Campus Staff

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Cindy Acker

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 30 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.

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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.


Executive Office Manager

Taylor Campus Staff

Taylor Campus Staff

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Sumaira Olla

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.


Jeanna Nagle

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.

Taylor Campus Staff

Helen Uzoka

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.


Raina Ford

Lower 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

Encinal Campus Staff

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Marisela Mascorro

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.

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Sonia Chen

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.

Pacific Campus Staff

Aayasha Biggs

Primary 2 Assistant Teacher

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

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Jessica Anyanwu

Toddler 1 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.

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Lindsay Osborne

Assistant Teacher

Lindsay earned an Associates degree in Early Childhood Education from Merritt College. She has worked in the childcare field for 3 years and loves to read, dance and cook. Lindsay has traveled to many countries, including five wonderful trips to Vietnam. She dances with a vietnames dance company that performs traditional vietnamese, contemporary/modern, ballet and hip hop styles. Lindsay is looking forward to working with the children this year.

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