Kim Garcia-Meza holds a BA from Stanford University, a Bilingual Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from SFSU, a Masters in International and Multicultural Education, bilingual emphasis from USF, a year of field research on bilingual education in Argentina, a Preschool Site Supervisor Permit from the State of California, and ten years of experience as a lower primary Spanish bilingual teacher in San Franciscos Mission District. Before beginning Las Mañanitas, she taught weekly literacy activities to Spanish-speaking toddlers and their families in the Mission District with The Reading Tree - a San Francisco based non profit dedicated to promoting early literacy. She was an active parent volunteer at Flynn Elementary (where her three children attended the Spanish immersion program for their primary years) and currently volunteers at San Francisco Friends School where her youngest child is in 7th grade. Her two older children attend Sacred Heart Cathedral Prep. Kim recently served on the Citizens Advisory Committee for SF's Office of Early Care and Education, and stays active in advocacy for Early Education in San Francisco.
Kim and her husband Peter's three children have all been raised to be fully bilingual in Spanish and English. Kim and Peter's combined family heritage give their children the distinction of being tri-cultural (Japanese-Mexican-Bolivian). Kim's personal search for a quality preschool experience in Spanish for her own children led her to begin Las Mañanitas.
Patricia Flores is a native of El Salvador who comes from a family of professional educators and has herself many years of experience working with young children. She holds a California Early Childhood Teachers Permit and is working toward receiving her Early Child Site Supervisor Permit from SF City College. Prior to coming to Las Mañanitas, Patricia worked for SF Head Start Programs. As a founding Las Mañanitas teacher, this is her eleventh year as part of the Las Mañanitas teaching team.
Patricia and her husband Jaime have two college aged sons, both of whom have been raised to be fully bilingual in Spanish and English.
Ana Burgos is a native of El Salvador with many years of experience volunteering with preschool age children. Prior to coming to Las Mañanitas, Ana worked in a Montessori preschool program. She has completed her basic Early Childhood Education units from SF City College and is currently working toward receiving her Early Childhood Assistant Teacher Permit. This is her sixth year as part of the Las Mañanitas teaching team.
Continuous teacher education is a high priority for Las Mañanitas. This year all three teachers are taking classes at CCSF, working toward the next level of their Early Childhood California Permits.
All three teachers participated in a "Garden to Table" training focused on cooking and nutrition with preschoolers and in the year-long CLASS training through Children's Council. For the past 9 years the teaching team has attended the Rudolf Steiner Early Childhood Symposium. As a team they have also attended the Children Learning With Nature Institute and the Early Childhood STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) Conference.
In May 2009 Kim and Patricia graduated together from Lifeways, a six-month intensive training program in Spanish focused on the needs of the whole child in the early years.
In August 2018 Kim participated in the week long Teachers College Reading and Writing Project (Preschool Reading Readiness Focus) at Columbia University in NYC. She is looking forward to attending again next summer, this time focusing on Writing in the Preschool Years.