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Our Staff

What sets The Children's Place apart is our exceptional team of educators. We maintain a low child-to-teacher ratio and our staff is composed of passionate and nurturing professionals who are carefully chosen based on their expertise in Early Childhood Education, teaching experience, and their ability to empathize with the needs of young children and their families. Our staff creates a secure and loving environment where children can explore and learn through play, fostering a lifelong love of learning.
Photo of preschool aged children sitting with teachers at a blue table drawing.
Kati Baksa

Preschool Director


Kati, the Preschool Director at The Children's Place, has a diverse educational background. She obtained a BS in Biology and a PhD in Biochemistry from Hungary, and later pursued studies in early childhood development and administration at Foothill College and UCLA. She holds Site Supervisor and California Child Development Program Director Permits, showcasing her expertise in the field.

Kati is thrilled to lead the lively and child-centered preschool program at The Children's Place, building upon the solid foundation of play-based learning established by Lisa Rinaldi.


As a strong advocate for play-based learning as the natural way for young children to learn, Kati is actively working to enrich the program by developing a play-based science and discovery curriculum that incorporates the interests of TCP children, her own expertise, and the latest developments in child development and neuroscience to foster and enhance children's innate creativity.

Email Kati at

Heather Baumrucker

Assistant Director &

Two Year Old Teacher


Meet Teacher Heather, the Assistant Director and Two Year Old Teacher at The Children's Place! Since joining our staff in June 2016, she has become an invaluable member of our team. Heather has completed all her Early Childhood Education courses at Foothill College and is currently working towards her Bachelor's Degree in Child Development. With her wealth of knowledge and experience, she is passionate about creating a nurturing and stimulating learning environment that fosters the growth and development of young children. Heather brings a wide range of ideas and projects to the table, always looking for new and innovative ways to engage her students and help them reach their full potential.

Email Heather at

Teacher Elizabeth

Three Year Old Teacher

Teacher Elizabeth is a dedicated teacher who has been with The Children's Place since 2013. She holds an Early Childhood Education degree from Cañada College and is currently pursuing her Associate Degree in Early Childhood Development, which she expects to complete by next year. Elizabeth hails from Mexico and is fluent in both Spanish and English. She has created a unique Spanish language and culture program that she teaches to her students.

Elizabeth is currently residing in Menlo Park with her husband, baby, and dog, Tazz. When not teaching, Elizabeth enjoys reading, painting, and creating crafts, all while thinking of engaging lesson plans for her students. Her favorite subject to teach is Spanish, which she believes is a vital skill for children to learn. Elizabeth cherishes spending her free time with her family and relishes being a loving mother to her son, Bennie.

Teacher Gloria

Pre-K Teacher

Teacher Gloria brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to The Children's Place. Born in El Salvador, she received her elementary and post-elementary education there before moving to Los Angeles where she worked as a kindergarten aide for the Los Angeles School District for six years.


In 1999, Gloria made her way to the Bay Area and joined our staff at The Children's Place. Since then, she has completed her studies in Early Childhood Education at both Canada and Skyline Colleges. One of her greatest strengths is her ability to communicate in both English and Spanish fluently, and she has developed a Spanish class that introduces our children to the language. With her warm and nurturing personality, Gloria creates a safe and welcoming environment for all children under her care.

Teacher Kelcey

Three Year Old Teacher

Teacher Maria

Two Year Old Teacher

Meet Teacher Maria, or as her students fondly call her, "Teacher Mia" or "Teacher Rea". Originally from Colombia, she holds a preschool teacher title from The American College of Early Childhood Education. She joined The Children's Place in 2007 and has been making a positive impact on her students ever since. She believes that TCP is a second home for the children, and she strives to make them feel welcomed and loved through hugs, songs, and dances.


Music has always been a part of Maria's life; she was even part of a choir back in high school. Therefore, she uses songs as a way of teaching. Your child will soon be singing the vowels, days of the week, and even "head and shoulders, knees and toes" in Spanish, as these are just some of the songs she uses to teach.


Maria enjoys sharing her language and culture, but most of all, she loves being part of the transition from home to their first school experience. She understands the challenges that come with potty training, homesickness, adjusting to a new environment, and experiencing new things.

Teacher Imelda

Class Aide

Meet Teacher Imelda, one of our dedicated educators at The Children's Place! Imelda joined our team in December of 2012 and has since been providing a safe and nurturing environment for our little ones. She has completed 13 units in Early Childhood Education and is continuously pursuing further education to enhance her teaching skills. With her passion for teaching and love for children, Imelda is a valuable asset to our team and is committed to creating a positive learning experience for each child at TCP.

Teacher Chris

Three Year Old Teacher

Teacher Chris is a beloved member of The Children's Place teaching team. She received her Early Childhood Development Certificate from Canada College in 1986 and began her teaching career shortly thereafter. Chris initially joined The Children's Place as an assistant teacher and has remained an integral part of the program since. After a brief retirement, Chris returned as a floating teacher before joining the three-year-old teaching team in the Fall of 2022.

Chris is a resident of San Mateo and a proud mother of four grown daughters. Her extensive teaching experience and dedication to early childhood education make her a valuable asset to our team. We are grateful to have her as a part of our community at The Children's Place.

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