Elementary School Teachers

Our faculty and staff are here to serve children and their families. If you ever have a question for your child’s teacher, do not hesitate to contact him or her. If you call during the school day, we will take your message and have your child’s teacher call you back at his or her first opportunity. We know that open communication between home and school is one of the biggest factors of student success. We look forward to hearing from you.

Kindergarten

Kasturi BasuKasturi Basu
Kindergarten

I am Kasturi Basu, enjoying every minute of my days here at Kids Connection. I did my Masters with an English major, with a minor in Education. I started my teaching career back home in India. I loved the discipline, strictness, and values of education, which I still feel are the core for educating the young heart of a child to build up his foundation.

Eventually, I landed here in Silicon Valley, better known as the “Heart of Innovation.” I stopped for a while, volunteered at local schools, learned more about the education systems here, and watched my own kids grow. I thought to myself, why don’t I start my own way of teaching- blending cultures, traditions, and most importantly, the positive effects of education from both worlds. Kids Connection is the perfect platform to show your skills, where everybody supports you and encourages you in a positive way every single day. I end with a famous quote by Nelson Mandela, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”


Annette VeasAnnette Veas
Kindergarten

My name is Mrs. Veas, and I’m a California Credentialed Teacher, K-8. I have taught for over 13 years. For the last six years, I have been teaching at Kids Connection. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies from San Francisco State University and my California Multi-Subject Teaching Credential from Notre Dame de Namur University. I am currently working on completing my Reading Specialist Certification.

As a teacher, I love to search for ways in which to engage higher learning and to make learning fun and memorable. My love of drawing and incorporating thematic activities and thoughtful lesson planning for my class has blossomed into more than just a job to do. It has become all the playfulness, whimsy, and delight in learning all rolled up into the projects that I plan for my little eager pupils.

When I am not in the classroom or burning the midnight oil on a project or at the computer, you will always find me hanging out with my two vivacious and creative daughters, ages nine and 11 years old. These days, we love to play tennis, soccer, go camping, biking, read books, cook tantalizing food to eat and enjoy life with our family and friends.

I have the world’s best job, and I LOVE what I do to the nth degree! I LOVE teaching my new little cuties and all of their vast potential they hold.


Doreen JamesDoreen James
Kindergarten

I am Doreen James and was born in San Jose, graduated from Dominican College in San Rafael, did graduate work in Education at San Jose State and obtained a “Life Time” teaching Credential. Our family consists of 3 daughters and one son. After raising our children, I became a Reading Specialist for 5 years, taught 3rd, 4th and 5th grades, and came to Kids Connection where I have taught 3rd grade and Kindergarten for 19 years! I hope to be at Kids Connection for 18 more years. Remember, “It’s what’s inside that counts!!”


Sally RobinetteSally Robinette
Kindergarten

I received my Bachelor’s Degree from San Jose State University with additional course work completed at Notre Dame de Namur University. This is my sixth year teaching at Kids Connection.

I first discovered Kids Connection when I was looking for a school for my first child. I knew immediately when I took the tour that I had found the perfect place for my son. In addition to being academically challenging, Kids Connection also reinforced the same morals and ideals that we instilled at home. As it turns out, all three of my children attended Kids Connection, and just like my children did, I feel right at home here.


First Grade

Nancy BarbiNancy Barbi
First Grade Teacher and After School Co-Director

Mrs. Barbi graduated with honors from the University of San Francisco with a degree in psychology. She completed the Elementary Credential Program at San Francisco State University. She has taught in the private school sector for 33 years. She began her career at Kids Connection Schools in 1999 as a kindergarten teacher. After several years of teaching kindergarten, she happily accepted the job of lead kindergarten teacher. Overseeing the kindergarten team was rewarding as well as great preparation for the role of After School Director, which she has been doing since 2009. In this role, she plans camps, oversees summer school and summer camp, manages counselors, and creates a nurturing and safe environment for the students and families of Kids Connection. She is also currently teaching 1st grade. As a teacher, director, and most surely, an educator of the whole child, she is able to enthusiastically endorse Kids Connection Schools. It has been a most rewarding career for the last 15 years, and she looks forward to continuing her career at Kids Connection where education of the mind and heart is the mission.


Malini Prasad-TrejoMalini Prasad-Trejo
First Grade Teacher

My name is Malini Prasad-Trejo and I am a First Grade Teacher at Kids Connection. I have worked in numerous schools and am happy to be back on the Peninsula. My passion for educating children and deep interest in student success has attracted me to work at Kids Connection. I have worked with children both inside and outside the classroom. Through my experiences, I have discovered the importance of providing an education that is culturally appropriate for each child.

I earned my Bachelor of Arts in Liberal and Civic Studies with an emphasis in Education from Saint Mary’s College of California. I received my Multiple Subject Credential from Notre Dame de Namur University, where I am currently pursuing my Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction. This program is enhancing the way I develop curriculum for my students. The education I am receiving allows me to create meaningful lessons that allow my students to develop skills they need for the 21st century.

I am very passionate about my work, my students, and their families. I strive to provide the best for everyone each and every day.


Second Grade

Alyssa IkedaAlyssa Ikeda
Second Grade

My name is Allysa Ikeda and I am a 2nd grade teacher and Bay Area native, who grew up in San Mateo, California. Upon graduation, I was accepted into the University of Southern California’s Rossier school of Education and was awarded the generous merit scholarship due to my outstanding academic performance as an undergraduate student. I received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and minors in business administration and consumer behavior from USC. I also earned my Master of Arts in Teaching and Multiple Subject Credential from Rossier. This is my  year teaching at Kids Connection where I have taught 4th and 2nd grades. I love teaching at Kids Connection because of the school emphasis on academic excellence and student character development. I feel fortunate to teach at a school where students love to learn, her colleagues are mentors, and parents are supportive.


Lea LaRochelleLea LaRochelle
Second Grade

I am Lea LaRochelle and I earned my Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Language Arts from California State University, Long Beach and graduated with honors. I followed up in graduate school earning my Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. After completing school, I was hired as a substitute teacher for Downey Unified School District where I taught every grade level from kindergarten through high school. I was hired at Kids Connection Elementary in the summer of 2006, and have been working here ever since. I love to teach the students at Kids Connection because they have such a desire to learn. My job is especially rewarding when I get visits from our KC Alumni, and they share their successes with me. It makes me extremely proud to be part of the fundamental years of their schooling careers.


Third Grade

Leah HarperLeah Harper
Third Grade
Classroom Site

I have a B.S. in Education from Louisiana State University and a Master of Visual Arts from Georgia State University. I have taught at Kids Connection for 8 years. Four of those years were in the 4th grade and the last 4 have been in 3rd grade. For me, there is no better gift than when I see that “ah-ha” glimmer in a student’s eyes, and at Kids Connection, I see this assimilation often!


Tali Kreindler
Third Grade

I believe that every child has an internal drive to discover, experiment, and learn. My job as a teacher is to tap into each student’s unique character and find what excites and motivates him/her. Once motivational attributes are recognized and are thoughtfully incorporated into instruction, learning follows naturally. As a mother of three kids who graduated last year respectively from elementary, middle, and high school, I have much experience dealing with academic, social, and emotional issues at every age level. We travel a lot as a family with a focus on experiencing different places, cultures, languages, and of course cuisines! I am excited to be teaching 3rd grade this year at Kids Connection. I look forward to working with the kids and their parents and having a fun, enriching year!


Fourth Grade

Phil TheobaldPhil Theobald
Fourth Grade

Years ago, when I was growing up outside of Chicago, I recall taking one of those standardized tests that helps high school kids determine careers for which they might be best suited as they begin applying to colleges. Having realized that “late night talk show host” probably wasn’t a realistic prospect and being otherwise unsure of what I wanted to do with my life, I took the test very seriously. When my class’ results came back, my classmates and I shared our responses. My peers were mostly given traditional suggestions—doctor, lawyer, engineer, architect, etc. I glanced down at my array of data and saw three options: mortician, puppeteer, and stuntman.

Who knows? Maybe I would have been a fantastic stuntman. And playing with puppets is fun. I probably couldn’t stomach the mortician role, but regardless, none of those choices seemed any more realistic to me than a career in network television. Instead, I would eventually land a job writing about video games for a living. Not only was I able to satiate my passion for writing, but the career offered plenty of opportunity for travel (including an eventual move to San Francisco), the opportunity to meet and work with people whose work I admired, and well, getting paid to play video games. For a guy in his early 20s, it was about as dreamy as a dream job could get.

After spending upward of twenty years as a professional writer for a variety of magazines and websites, I began to develop career wanderlust and decided to quit my job, return to school, and pursue another passion that had been germinating inside my head for a while—teaching. Maybe it was from spending so much time around games, but I always enjoyed working with children. Then the idea of devoting one’s time to passing on knowledge and helping those children grow into the best possible people just seemed so darn noble. It felt right to me, and I received ample support from my wife (and I now gain additional support from our young son).

Now, one preliminary California teaching credential and a master’s degree in education, I’ve reached my goal of having my own classroom. At Kids Connection I bring my excitement for learning, and I hope to use my decades’ worth of writing experience to instill a passion for words in my students.


Vasudha Khanna
Fourth Grade

My name is Vasudha Khanna. I have my Masters in German from Delhi University. In addition to my Bachelors of Arts, I hold an additional Bachelors in Education, as well as a teaching credential. I have a post graduate diploma in Business Administration. I love all the age groups and have taught in various schools and colleges. I am fluent in English, Hindi, and German. To me, “Teaching is a wonderful profession, where you not only get the chance to teach and inspire the leaders of tomorrow, but also a great opportunity to live your childhood everyday”.


Fifth Grade

Caitlin DalyCaitlin Daly
Fifth Grade

I received my B.A. from UC Berkeley in Ancient Near Eastern Studies, graduating with academic distinction and membership in the Golden Key Honor Society, and was awarded a Master’s Degree with academic merit in Historical Archaeology from the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom. I held the positions of Curator at the Egyptian Museum in San Jose, Site Curator and Field Lab Manager at the Castroville Mammoth Excavation Project, and Anthropology Lab Director at Foothill College. I have also been working for many years with Kids Connection as well, creating and teaching the after-school art program, substituting, and later teaching archaeology classes. My goal as a teacher is to spark students’ curiosity and imagination, make them excited about learning, and inspire in them a thirst for knowledge that will continue long after the class has ended. I enjoy working at Kids Connection because of the brilliant students and the wonderful environment that allows me to exercise my scientific and historical backgrounds along with my creativity. I hope to share my love for science, history, and art with many generations of fourth and fifth graders!


Heather LeveroniHeather Leveroni
Fifth Grade

I received my teaching credential from Notre Dame de Namur University. I began my teaching career in 1995 in a first grade classroom. I then came to Kids Connection and taught Kindergarten, alongside the most wonderful Kindergarten teachers I have had the pleasure to know. I enjoyed teaching, but decided I wanted to take some time off and raise my family. I came back to teaching and started working in grades K through 6. I always knew I would return to Kids Connection and was delighted when there was a fifth grade position. I am excited about teaching at Kids Connection and working with the most dedicated teachers and enthusiastic students.


Computers

Cindy WoodCindy Wood
Computer Teacher

I have been a part of the Kids Connection family for over 20 years, as a parent and educator. My search for a warm family-like school with high academic standards and focus on character development brought me to Kids Connection many years ago. After my child graduated from Kids Connection I stayed on to bring my experience in technology and my love of teaching to the school.

My degree is in Computer Science and I graduated with honors from UC Berkeley. Since graduating, my experience in technology has spanned over twenty-five years in corporate and academic settings. I spent many years as an IT manager at a Fortune 100 company. I also held positions as a consultant, programmer, and trainer at a variety of high tech companies in the Bay Area. In all of my roles throughout my career, my love for teaching has put me in the classroom in some capacity, teaching people of all ages how to use computers.

It is exciting, and I consider it an honor to be able to teach your child how to be a responsible and thoughtful digital citizen. Technology is ever changing, and giving your child the solid foundation in how to use computers is a responsibility that I do not take lightly. I strive to bring exciting computer projects to the classroom so that your child will have the tools and thought processes to be successful in the digital world.


Spanish

TBA