Kensington Staff



Laura was born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee. She has been a California resident for 40 years. Laura has a BA in Human Development and an AMS teaching credential. She has been a preschool teacher for 21 years and a children’s dance and movement teacher since 1989.

Laura enjoys teaching all subjects, but especially loves sharing nature with children. She believes art education is essential in early education and encourages children to Be thinkers and creators.
Laura enjoys ballet and ice skating among other hobbies. She also loves spending time with her husband, Carlos Arellano.



My name is Maria, but I’m best known as Teacher Maria. I was born in Autlan, Jalisco, Mexico. My family and I came to the United States when I was 4 years old. I was raised in Oakland California and currently reside in San Pablo. I’m fluent in Spanish and English. I’ve been teaching for the past 15 years, 11 of which have been at Growing Light.

When I’m not at school I enjoy traveling (near or far) with my family, going to baseball games, arts and crafts with my two daughters, watching movies, and spending time with the ones I love.

When I’m in the classroom I love to teach arts and crafts, continents, botany, and zoology.



Teacher Rachel K was born in South Bend, Indiana and grew up in Phoenix, Arizona. She has been a teacher in the great states of Arizona, Connecticut, Maryland, and California. Before teaching, Rachel worked as a mental health counselor for children and as a social worker for adults with schizophrenia. Happy to have found her place in the Montessori classroom, Rachel loves singing with her students, teaching them about nature and geography, and Montessori language lessons.

Outside of the classroom, Rachel creates art and greeting cards, and has a love for all animals!


My name is Denisha. I was born and raised in Oakland, CA. I love to listen to music and writing poetry. I love to see the academic progress as well as physical growth of children over the year. In both the classroom and out door environment, I enjoy sharing movement and arts and crafts with the children.



Julie was born in Burma, now known as Union of Myanmar. She speaks Burmese and English fluently and a little bit of Cantonese. She was formerly a nationally ranked #1 tennis player in Burma for thee consecutive years and a Division 1 tennis player in Florida in the early 1990s.She loves teaching any age of children, especially 3-6, and seeing the moment of “ah-huh”. This primary age group is when the children discover the love of learning, and I enjoy being a part of it.

When she is not teaching, she is in the garden or on the pickleball courts, and sheI loves volunteering at her church and taking road trips with her grown kids.


Hello! My name is Ana. I was born in Brazil  and I came to the United States  in 2001.  I speak Portuguese, Spanish  and English. In the classroom  I like to teach Spanish to the children.  When I am not at work, I like to sing and dance.