Meet our Staff


Cindy is the founder of The Child Unique and The Montessori Elementary School of Alameda (MESA), and has served as principal for over 30 years.  She has several degrees in education, human development, spirituality, cultural studies and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from UC Berkeley.  Cindy has also been involved in public policy, representing Montessori schools in California.  She is a published author and a national keynote speaker. Apart from her passion for education, Cindy is a singer and choir director in Novato and a mother of three adult children. Cindy speaks Dutch and Spanish. 

Elementary Art Teacher

Frantz Jean-Baptiste has a Bachelor's of Fine Arts in painting from the California College of the Arts in Oakland. He is a passionate painter and a mean cook. He is a devoted vegan who loves to laugh and learn about boundaries and compassion from others. Frantz loves sharing his wealth of artistic knowledge and being surrounded by different people who are doing what they love. This, in turn, helps to make him passionate about himself and his art.  

Events Coordinator

Miesha Lampkins was born and raised in the Bay Area. She received her Montessori training and has worked with Montessori children for more than 8 years as a lead teacher. However, she has always had an interest in coordination, and is excited to join The Child Unique/MESA, fulfilling her desire to be an event planner.  Her warm and bubbly spirit is perfect for hosting and coordinating events. She seeks to complete a bachelor’s degree program in Hospitality at California State University Eastbay.

Administrative Assistant

Emily Lavender studied English and Art as an undergraduate at Grinnell College in her home state of Iowa.  She moved to California and earned her Master’s in Counseling Psychology at JFK University.  She has been a volunteer at Cat Town for several years where she fosters and socializes shy cats and kittens.  She is the mom of two young sons and loves living in Alameda.  She is also a voracious reader of all types of books and always welcomes new recommendations.

Upper/Lower Elementary Teacher

Fatma lived in Cario, Egypt before coming to the Montessori Elementary School of Alameda. Fatma has been working with children for 18 years. She holds a degree in Education and her Montessori Primary teaching credential. She has been a Montessori Guide at private schools in Egypt since 2008. Fatma  is currently completing her  Elementary Montessori credential.  In her spare time, she loves reading, traveling and working out.

Assistant to Principal/Website Maintenance/Public Relations

Karen Mitchell has been seen around The Child Unique since 2008 as Cindy's executive assistant, and the website, enewsletter and public relations contact. Karen studied Voice Performance and Communication Studies at UCLA for her undergraduate degree and received her Teaching Credential from SFSU. She enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter and puppy, singing, reading, painting, traveling and writing stories.

Assitant/Spanish Teacher

Jazmin Silva has been working with children since she was 15 years old and began as a tutor for an after school program in Oakland. She has spent time as an Arts & Crafts lead mentor and, coming from a large family, she always enjoys being around a large community of children. In her spare time she likes to create art, read and pursue healthy activities. She has a strong interest in history (like her mom) and likes attending sports events. Jazmin is fluent in Spanish and will continue to teach it this year. 

Elementary Teacher Intern

Kwang, (Thitiyaporn) Sriprommasa graduated from Bangkok University in Thailand with a bachelor's degree in English. She recently completed her Early Childhood Credential at The Montessori Institute of Advanced Studies. Kwang enjoyed working at the Encinal and Pacific campus in past years and is looking forward to joining the Taylor campus this year.

Music Teacher

Steve Slater has been playing drums for nearly twenty-five years. Steve attended Santa Barbara City College and San Jose University. He is a percussion instructor at Allegro Music and has his own studio in Fremont called School of Drums. Steve leads the drum line at Mission San Jose High School for over ten years. He also plays drums in three San Francisco Bay Area rock bands and his own jazz ensemble, Park St. Trio, based out of Alameda. He is the primary songwriter and has released two albums of original music.

Office Manager

Uta studied Social Pedagogy in Germany. After several years of traveling, she settled down in Alameda, where she is raising her two sons. She first heard about Montessori during her studies and was delighted when she was able to send her two children to a Montessori preschool. She is excited to be part of the office team at The Child Unique and loves to see children grow and flourish in the Montessori environment. In her free time she enjoys gardening, exploring the outdoors with her husband and sons, and visiting family in three continents.