Director & Lead Teacher
Thirty years ago, led “back to school” by her three-year old daughter, Amy, Kristina began working with young children at the National Child Research Center in Washington, DC. Since that time, the education of young children has become her calling.
Kristina has broad educational experience encompassing play-based as well as Montessori programs. She formerly was Administrator and Kindergarten teacher at Willow Vale Christian School and Children’s Center (Pre-K-8 and Independent Studies) in Willow Glen, California.
Kristina holds a BA in English Literature from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. In 2000, at Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont, California she completed a 28-hour program in Montessori Early Childhood Education. As part of the Masters of Montessori Education program at Notre Dame, she conducted research in Japan on the country’s preschool programs.
Near Laurel Play Gardens Preschool, in the Rose Garden neighborhood of San Jose, Kristina now lives with her husband, Bill, their son, Arnold, and his two-year old daughter, Natalynn. This fall Natalynn will lead Kristina “back to school” as Kristina “follows the child” and returns to school as the Director of Laurel Play Gardens. Bill and Kristina are grandparents of eleven and parents of six adult children.
Faye has been guiding and enjoying children for 25 years as an Early Childhood Teacher. She comes by this naturally having grown up with 10 brothers and sisters on a large North Dakota farm. She learned her kind and gentle ways from her parents who shared their love of the prairie, animals and stars with their children. While raising her own family, Faye worked in early childhood centers and schools from Stanford to Seattle. Her joy for life and the world is contagious and an inspiration to her young charges. You will find Faye happily leading an expedition into the mud in search of worms or sitting quietly watching the butterflies dance around the garden. We are grateful to have Faye with us at Laurel Play Gardens
Yuki grew up in Niigata, Japan. She completed her early childhood education certification at Kamakura Women’s University Junior College and worked as a Kindergarten teacher in Japan.
After marriage, she moved to the United States and now resides Los Gatos with her two sons, Haruki,10, and Yuma, 14. Yuki formerly worked at Sora International School in Cupertino. Laurel Play Gardens’ children are happy to have her playing songs in English or Japanese on the keyboard or piano for us at circle time.
From her youth, Yuki has been a competitive swimmer, and she also now coaches swimming in Los Gatos. Her hobbies are skateboarding and hiking. She feels renewed in the outdoors and participates with her sons in mountain clean-up and recycling programs in our National Parks. We are so fortunate to have her energetic spark and talent in our team of teachers.
Miss Shwetha received her Bachelor of Engineering in 2008. She developed interest in Montessori Education as a mother after being inspired by her child become independent and self-directed. In 2018 she completed her montessori training. Miss Shwetha now strongly believes in their philosophy of allowing children the freedom to explore and learn independently at their own pace.