Directors, Teachers & Staff of Mission Kids
Janet Mota has been a lead teacher at Mission Kids since 2021. She is a natvie Spanish speaker and was born and raised in the Bay Area. She has earned a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies teacher prep and is currently working toward a master’s degree in elementary school education at San Jose State University.
Prior to joining Mission Kids, Janet worked as a substitute preschool teacher. She currently volunteers in a program called Reading Partners to help students get on grade level in reading. In her spare time, Janet enjoys reading, hiking and dancing Mexican Ballet Folklorico. On special occasions, Janet delights the children and adults at Mission Kids as she performs Mexican Ballet Folklorico in traditional dress
Christina Maluenda is one of the founding Co-Director/Teachers of Mission Kids and has been working in early childhood education for over 20 years. She was the Founder and Director of Imagine Preschool, which merged with Mission Kids to become a licensed child care facility in 2009.
Prior to her time at Imagine, Christina served as the Director of Partners in Autism Treatment, a non-profit agency serving young children on the autism spectrum. As Director, she focused on integrating children with autism into regular preschool settings. Christina has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Neuroscience from Duke University and a Master of Science in Child Development from University of California Davis. Christina is a Spanish bilingual educator, a certified CLASS observer and a trained member of San Francisco’s NERT program. Christina also holds a Child Development Program Director Permit from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.
Heather Lubeck has worked at Mission Kids as a founding Co-Director/Teacher since the school was licensed in 2009. She has over 20 years of teaching, research, and administrative experience in a variety of educational settings and with students from a wide diversity of backgrounds.
Before working at Mission Kids, she worked for a year at Imagine Preschool in San Francisco. She also worked for 4 years as an elementary reading specialist with the Georgia State University Department of Psychology. Prior to this, Heather taught elementary special education in a public school district in the Atlanta area. In 2001, she received the Atlanta Journal & Constitution’s annual award for teaching excellence in the state of Georgia. She holds a Masters in Special Education from Georgia State University and a Bachelor of Science in Educational Psychology from the University of Georgia. Heather holds a Child Development Program Director Permit from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.
Maria Celsa Reid
Maria Celsa Reid is a Lead Teacher in the Toddler Room at Mission Kids. Celsa was born in Paraguay and speaks Spanish, Guarani, and English. Celsa joined the Co-op in August 2017 and has been training and working in early childhood education in San Francisco and Paraguay and volunteered in The Gambia since 2011.
Prior to Mission Kids, Celsa worked in San Francisco as an Infant Teacher at Bright Horizons and as an Infant/Toddler Lead Teacher at the Epiphany Child Care Center providing early intervention, therapeutic childcare, and developmental assessments. Celsa has a Bachelor Degree in Early Childhood Development and Family Concentration from San Francisco State University. Celsa also studied Early Childhood Education at the Catholic University in Asuncion, Paraguay and worked in The Gambia, West Africa at the New Covenant Elementary School, where she developed teaching aids. She holds a Director Permit from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Celsa has a son who is an alumni of Mission Kids.
Olga Carlos moved to San Francisco in 2008 from Monterrey, Mexico. She has over 15 years of experience in a variety of educational settings including Potrero Kids, Mission Kids Co-Op, Binda Magic, Golden Gate Children’s Art and Outdoor Exploration, and Music Together. Olga holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Public Administration from the University Autonomous of Nuevo Leon and a Certificate from the Preschool Teacher Preparation Center in Monterrey, Mexico. Olga graduated with honors from City College of San Francisco with an Associates Degree in Child Development and Family Studies. She holds a Site Supervisor Permit from the California Commission on Teaching Credentialing.
She is enthusiastic about the philosophy of music as part of a child’s life, and thrilled to be part of the Spanish community of San Francisco through the Canta y Baila program. She hopes to create nurturing experiences and build positive relationships with staff and families in the Mission Kids community to make a difference in their lives.
Ernesto Rodriguez Carreno
Ernesto Rodriguez Carreno joined Mission Kids in August of 2018. He has over a decade of experience working in San Francisco’s food industry as a chef and kitchen manager. Born and raised in Oaxaca, Mexico, Ernesto earned his BS in Mechanical Engineering before immigrating to the USA. He has a passion for cars derived from his dad who owns an auto mechanic shop in Mexico. He’s been part of the Mission Kids family since 2016 and is fluent in English, Spanish, and a bit of Italian. He holds a Child Development Site Supervisor permit and is thrilled to be part of Mission Kids!
Kellen Krieg joined Mission Kids in November 2017. Kellen holds a BA in performance art from Evergreen State College and is currently completing the requirements to qualify as a Site Supervisor through classes at City College of San Francisco. While attending college, she worked as a high school theatre teacher at the School of the Arts in the Seattle area. She has several years of experience working with various children’s musical theater companies in the Pacific Northwest. She’s worked as a director, choreographer, costume designer, and family liaison. Kellen has over ten years of experience working in childcare here in the Bay Area, both with private families and in group settings. She strongly believes in the success of play-based learning and teaching through a social justice lens.
Lucy Trigueros was born and raised in the Mission District of San Francisco and has been with Mission Kids since 2009. She works as a lead teacher and support staff and is Mission Kids Supply Coordinator for inventorying school materials, documenting incoming purchases and maintaining classroom organization.
Lucy is bilingual and regularly speaks Spanish with the children. She believes in providing hugs, a lap to sit in and time to listen. Lucy holds a Teacher Child Development Permit from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.
Andrew Mainen joined the Mission Kids staff in 2019. His experience working at Mission Kids as the parent of a recent graduate inspired him to pursue a career in early childhood education. Andrew is from the East Coast, growing up in Maine and earning degrees from Brown (B.A.) and Columbia (J.D.). After abandoning corporate law, Andrew travelled extensively before finding a home in San Francisco. Has completed the requirements to qualify as a Master Teacher/Site Supervisor through classes at City College of San Francisco.
Ami (Atsuko) Kojima
Ami (Atsuko) Kojima joined Mission Kids in March, 2019. She has a bachelor’s degree in Dramatic Arts from Kyoritsu Women’s University in Japan and a master’s degree in Applied Linguistics from University of Essex in England. She also holds a Child Development Site Supervisor Permit from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Ami grew up in Japan and speaks Japanese and English. She has traveled to many countries and lived in a few but settled down in San Francisco with her husband and dog Juno. She has worked as a language teacher, textbook writer, and translator, utilizing her language skills. It was when she moved to San Francisco in 2009 that she discovered her true calling for early childhood education. She has been enjoying working with young children ever since.
Joanna Baena joined Mission Kids in July 2020. She previously worked for Centro Las Olas as an emergency child care provider serving the children of first responders during the pandemic and at Jumpstart. She is currently attending San Francisco State University majoring in Child & Adolescent Development and minoring in Education. Born and raised in Oakland, Joanna is a bilingual, native Spanish speaker. She loves trying a new restaurant every month and spending time with my family and friends.
Matthew Estrada is a Teacher in the Mariquitas classroom. Before joining Mission Kids in December 2020, Matt was an lead teacher at a Sacramento preschool and worked as student teacher, after-school program volunteer and classroom volunteer for elementary school children.
Matt earned a Bachelor’s Degree in child and adolescent development, with a focus on school-age children, from San Francisco State University in 2015. Born and raised in Daly City, Matt speaks English and is learning Spanish.
When Matt is not in the classroom, he likes to write, bike, try new foods and build computers. He lives in San Francisco with his girlfriend, Julie, and current Mission Kid, Kiera.
Jennie Cabrera has been a Teacher in the Mariquitas classroom since February 2021. Born in San Francisco to Filipino immigrants, Jennie speaks English and Tagalog. She strongly values working with children and communities that celebrate diversity, which she says makes Mission Kids a perfect fit.
Jennie has more than 10 years of experience working with infants and toddlers, having been previously employed at Bright Horizons, where she was honored with a Regional Award of Excellence for Family Partnership in 2019. She also worked for seven years at a K-5 before- and after-school care program with Growth and Learning Opportunities (GLO), formerly known as West Portal CARE.
Jennie has a Bachelor’s Degree in sociology and has completed units in the child development program at City College of San Francisco.
Garrett Brewer is a Teacher in the Gatitos classroom. He grew up in the San Bernardino/Inland Empire before moving to Sacramento, where he graduated from Sacramento State University in 2018 with a Bachelor’s Degree in economics. He was inspired by his younger cousin/best friend, niece and nephews to enter the field of early childhood education and continues to brainstorm fun ideas for his students with them.
Garrett was a substitute teacher for two years before receiving an assignment at Mission Kids. After seeing our vision and culture, Garrett decided Mission Kids was a place he could call home.
In his free time, Garrett loves to play baseball and watch cartoons. He says he loves his job because the kids always make him laugh, and his mom and grandpa are proud knowing he’s having a blast doing what he loves.
Louis Lam joined the MK staff in 2020. He was born and raised in Hong Kong, but earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer science and electrical engineering from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
Now in his third career, Louis has nearly 20 years of experience working at preschools. He holds a site supervisor child development permit, has passed the CBEST, and has completed more than 32 early childhood education credits.
Self-realization is a life-long passion for Louis, who considers every new experience as another invitation or opportunity to further develop as a person.
Cecille Santos is the Art Specialist at Mission Kids. She specializes in long-term ongoing art projects/ installations with the children. She incorporates the Emilia Reggio style of teaching, which encourages children to add their ideas to all the projects they do with her. Cecille has been working in early childhood care for the past 32 years in private homes and in preschools. She previously worked as the art curriculum coordinator for Imagine Preschool.
She was born in South Africa and previously lived in Jerusalem, Israel, where she studied Fine Art at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design. She also studied Illustration at the Academy of Art university in San Francisco.She also lived in Switzerland and London before moving to San Francisco in 1981.
Cecille is a professional artist and has her artwork featured in a gallery in Sausalito. She also provides private art classes. She holds an Associate Teacher Child Development Permit from the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing.
Admissions and Enrollment Support
Esperanza Trejo joined Mission Kids in August of 2020. Born and raised in the Mission District of San Francisco, Esperanza earned her BA in Psychology from San Francisco State. She graduated Magna Cum Laude, Psi Chi with an emphasis in Child Development. She is bilingual, fluent in English and Spanish. She has been a part of the MK community since 2016, when her son joined MK. It was then, while her son embraced the values and concepts taught at the school that she fell in love with its mission and vision.
She is an exceptional listener and communicator who effectively conveys information verbally and in writing. Strengths include cultural sensitivity and an ability to build rapport with a diverse workforce in multicultural settings. She has a track record and a passion for providing organizational structure in educational and counseling settings. She has worked with Transitional Age Youth and College Students to develop a positive self-image as well as a sense of hope and purpose for their future.