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Teacher Raquel was born and raised in Santa Cruz with an older sister and younger brother. In her free time, she enjoys going to the beach and playing with her dog. Her favorite activities to do with the children are art and crafts, dancing and creating fun curriculum. Raquel even went to preschool in this same building when she was little!
Vivian was born and raised in Geneva, Switzerland. She has a twin sister and a brother. Her family moved to California in 1997 and she has lived in Santa Cruz ever since. She studied Early Childhood Education at Cabrillo College, as well as English and Spanish. She enjoys outdoor activities like walking, going to the beach, bike riding and shopping. At home she also enjoys cooking and knitting. Vivian has worked as a teacher’s aide with mostly with infants, toddlers and two-year-old children for the last 22 years. She loves exploring with children doing art, painting, gardening and sensory projects. She really enjoys taking care of others and has a great chemistry with kids.
Nakisa was born and raised in a small town in the northern part of Iran. She likes hiking, running, shopping and spending time with her family, including her daughter. She has been working with children for 5 years and has a B.S. in Psychology. Nakisa also enjoys the special bonding time she feels as a teacher while feeding infants.
Before becoming a preschool teacher, Melissa worked as a swim instructor for 4 years. She loves swimming when she can and doing crafts and games with children and other adults. Melissa is a mom to two children, a son and a daughter. She also has an older sister and loves spending time with her niece and nephew as well.
Gilma enjoys working as a teacher’s aide with infants. She loves holding them, playing with them and putting them sleep. She has a 13-year-old son of her own and nieces and nephews that she also loves to take care of.
Before becoming a teacher, Hannah started working with children as a babysitter at 12 years old. She has also worked as a nanny, a cabin leader and a lifeguard. She is the oldest of 3 siblings. Hannah loves doing anything outdoors, including going to the beach, hiking and watching the sunset.
Georgia’s favorite activity to do as a teacher’s aide is arts and crafts with the kids. She loves to see their creative side! Georgia is from Los Angeles, but is living here in Santa Cruz for school, studying Education and Sociology. She grew up with a younger sister and two younger stepbrothers. She has worked as a summer camp counselor for 5 years and loves swimming, reading, cooking, going to the beach and practicing yoga.
Jordyn recently moved to Santa Cruz from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. As a teenager she helped raised her siblings while her parents worked full time. She currently holds a Therapeutic Massage Practitioner certificate and works as a Certified Massage Therapist on the weekends. Jordyn’s favorite activity to do with the children as a teacher’s aide is reading. She loves seeing how excited the children get when she reads with them.
Nicole has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. As a teacher’s aide, Nicole loves doing arts as crafts with the children, such as painting, drawing and creating different projects. She enjoys seeing what the children imagine and create own their own.
Ch’aska grew up on a farm in Soquel with all sorts of different animals. She loves raising, playing with and learning about all kinds of creatures. She has a Bachelor’s of Art and Science in Sociology/Anthropology and Race and Ethnic Studies. As a teacher’s aide, Ch’aska loves playing music with the children and encourages them to explore different instruments and create music themselves. In her free time, she loves to read, go to the beach and spend time singing and playing guitar or piano.
Jasmin began as a teacher’s aide here at Happy Days and enjoyed working with the kids so much that she began studying Early Childhood Education and became a teacher. She loves seeing the children use their imaginations and really engage with stories. One of her favorite activities to do with the children is reading because she likes helping to develop their early literacy skills.
Grace loves to cook and travel. She has a degree in Art History from UCSC and has worked with children for the past few years before becoming a teacher’s aide at Happy Days. She also enjoys her two beautiful nephews!
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