Our Staff

Kelley.jpg
Kelley Cohen

Administrative Director

It is an honor and a privilege to work with the children, parents and teachers at Tree of Life Learning Center every day! I began my career over 20 years ago, teaching elementary education. I love being a teacher. I love the look on a child’s face when they are asking a question and the satisfaction they have when their curiosity has paid off and they have found the answer! I love being a director. I love watching the teachers develop and grow into your children’s heroes. I opened this school in August 2011 and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. It has given me an opportunity to bring the kind of culture and values to the early education of the children in our community. I love working in the community in which I live with my husband and our three children. I hope to instill a love of learning into my own children and all the children at Tree of Life Learning Center!

Kerri.jpg
Kerri White

Hi! My name is Ms. Kerri. I was born and raised in Fremont and moved to the Danville area in 1993. I have been with Tree of Life Learning Center since August of 2014. When not working I enjoy taking my daughter to sports games, cheering on my nephews in their games, and spending time with family and friends. I have 20+ years of experience working with children.  My main goal in the classroom is not only to provide a loving environment for the children but to also enrich their lives with learning while having fun. I became a teacher because I love kids! I like to get messy and explore!

Zvia.jpg
Zvia Bitansky

Hi! My name is Ms. Zvia. I was born in Israel and grew up there. I attended a vocational high school learning drafting and other architectural office skills. After serving in the Israeli Army, I worked for an architect in Tel Aviv. In 1981, my family moved to San Francisco. Soon after settling in the East Bay, I began to study preschool education and worked in the preschools at Contra Costa Jewish Community Center, Temple Isaiah, and B’nai Shalom. During this time, I completed the curriculum in Early Childhood Education at Diablo Valley College and earned numerous certificates. I bring the richness of Judaism to my classroom and with every small dose of Judaica, enrich the learning environment. I love introducing the children to the world, to language, music, and art. I have for many years watched children gain knowledge through experience as I encourage their curiosity. I am the one honored to guide their curiosity.

Jessica-Tree-Of-Life-225x300.jpg
Jessica Mikkelson

Hi! I’m Ms. Jessica. I am a bay area native and have lived most of my life in the Concord/Clayton area.  After high school I went on to study nursing at the University of San Francisco. However, while working part-time as a daycare assistant I realized that working with children was my true passion and more aligned with my personality and purpose. I have since worked as a daycare assistant, nanny, and various other early educational roles for over seven years while concurrently obtaining my degree in early childhood education. I am a lover of learning and am always looking to improve myself or my skills. As a teacher I hope to instill that same enjoyment for learning into the children. In my spare time, I enjoy hiking, cooking, watching movies, and being crafty!

Ann Mata

 

Hi, I’m Ms. Ann! I was born and raised in the Bay Area and attended schools in San Ramon from kindergarten through high school. I graduated with my BA in Sociology from San Jose State University and volunteered most of my time in schools where I fell in love with teaching. Since then I have been a nanny, kindergarten assistant and recently worked in a special education preschool. My favorite thing about teaching is being introduced to so many new families, cultures, and personalities. I love the unlimited possibilities of how to help kids grow and get them excited about learning. I’m happy to be a part of the Tree of Life Learning Center team!

Lupe Griffen

Hello, my name is Ms. Lupe.  I have worked with preschool aged children for over 15 years and love it! I have been married for 30 years and have four adult children. I also have 3 dogs. I am excited to be at Tree of Life! I am always ready to take on new experiences and of course have fun with all of the children here.

Kelsie Natsch

 

Hi! I’m Miss Kelsie, I have been a preschool teacher for 4+ years! I attended Las Positas and Diablo Valley College and studied Early Childhood Development. I have always had a passion for working with children and ever since I was young, I knew I wanted to become a teacher. I am so excited to work with your children and help them develop a love of learning here at Tree of Life!

Lilly Fehrmann

Hi! my name is Lilly. I grew up in Pleasanton and currently still live there with my family. I grew up with a daycare in my parents’ home and have always been surrounded by children. When I am not at work, I enjoy baking, watching movies, and doing different art projects.  I’m glad to be a part of the Tree of Life community!   

Logan Thompson

 

Hello, I am Ms. Logan! I was born and raised in the Bay Area (Pleasant Hill) and attended Arizona State University to receive my Bachelors in Educational Studies. During my Bachelors program I took Early Childhood Education courses and volunteered, and found my true passion of teaching little one's. I quickly realized how amazing it is to be such an important part of each of my students' lives. I love watching them grow and explore in new ways that make learning truly an experience! I hope to be able to instill a love of learning in all my students and provide them with all the skills and tools needed for a lifetime of learning!

Ava Pederson

 

Hi I'm Miss Ava! I am a California native and I have grown up here in the Bay Area. I am so excited to be a part of the Tree of Life community. I was very young when I realized that I loved working with kids, so almost all my jobs have been related to early childhood care and education. I have been a swim instructor, a nanny and an assistant religious school teacher and I have loved it all. When I am not working, I love to paint, draw, go outside, swim, bake and spend time with my family.