Meet Our Staff
Sanika comes to Tulip After-School with three decades of experience in the field of education. She was a teacher in India for three years before coming to this country. Sanika also taught at the Johnson City School District in upstate New York for over a decade. She started a program for gifted children and coached competitions for Odyssey of the Mind, an international educational program that provides creative problem-solving opportunities for students from kindergarten through college.
After coming to the Bay Area, Sanika served for a year as an AmeriCorps member. She ran a reading and literacy program for Reading Partners. She trained community volunteers, assessed students for placements and worked closely with the teachers to enable students perform at grade level. Before joining Tulip, she was an Assistant Manager of Training at Raising A Reader, an early literacy non-profit. She was responsible for ongoing communications with affiliates and facilitated all training programs- including new coordinator trainings, webinars and institutes for coordinators.
Sanika earned a bachelor’s in economics and political science and a master’s degree in economics from University of Mumbai (Bombay), India. She also has a master’s in teaching from Binghamton University and holds teaching credentials from both New York state and California. Sanika has a chronic love for words. She dabbles in creative writing and does cross-linguistic poetry translations.
I love to teach and work with children.I come with 4 years of Curriculum design & development, teaching experience in the field of Education and Enrichment of Elementary School children. In my experience, I have used a blend of multiple approaches –> Classroom interactions, Worksheets, Tool-based, Project-based, Group Activities and Technology to effective teaching and maximize student learning. I have conducted programs on a plethora of subject/ areas, both on STEM and Enrichment front. To name a few are my programs on Leadership Development,Engineering, Reading, Cross-Cultures, Business Management, Public Speaking, Creative Thinking etc. I have spearheaded summer camp programs and have rich experience working in After School setting. I have volunteered as a “Project Cornerstone Reader’ to children in public school and an activity kit demonstrator at RAFT. I’m starting to undertake courses on ‘Instructional Design & Educational Technology”;
Curriculum Innovation and new/creative ways of teaching any subject matter to children is my passion. It gives me a great sense of satisfaction, to design work and teach children and as a result see the transformation happening in them.
My favorite quotes –
“If you keep judging people, there is no time to love them”
“Prepare the child for the Path. Not the Path for the child”
“Never give up”
After earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, Ms. Rae moved to London, England, where she worked for several years as a professional theatrical costume designer, “a dream come true for a farm girl from South Dakota”, however, the true highlight of her design career was the 4 years she spent as resident designer at the Childrens Theater Company in Minneapolis, MN. At CTC, two favorite projects were designing costumes for her most cherished childhood book, Pinocchio, and then working with Ted Geisel (Dr. Seuss) on his stage adaptation of The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins. Pieces of Ms. Rae’s art work (designs) from those years are exhibited in a permanent collection, “The Golden Years of CTC” in a Minneapolis museum.
Following the move to California, Ms. Rae decided to become a teacher. Teaching is a family legacy for Ms. Rae as both parents are teachers (retired), her mother’s twin was a teacher, and maternal ancestors for several generations were teachers. “Teaching and learning were like a glue that connected our lives together. Everything was centered around education. The idea of ‘lifelong learning’ was part of my family culture long before it became an education industry buzz word.”
Ms. Rae enjoyed several years of pre-credential teaching in a diverse variety of public and private school settings: French1 in a public high school, Charlotte Amalie, USVI; Speech&Drama at an American Indian boarding high school in South Dakota; 4th/5th gr. combo classroom at Torah Academy in Palo Alto; K-3 PE at Faria El. in Cupertino; & 4th-5th PE at Fairwood El. in Svle. Volunteer work included 3 months at Nimitz El. in Cupertino (4th gr.); 6 mos. at Toyon El. in San Jose (1st gr); creation of a “Noon Sports” program at Fairwood El. to coach 4th/5th gr. basketball teams; literature circles small group support at Fairwood El (4th & 5th); and one year of daily volunteer work at Bracher El. in Santa Clara (5th gr.). By that time, Ms. Rae was immensely in love with teaching & decided she’d done enough “research”; It was time to become “a real teacher” with a credential. At SJSU, Ms. Rae received an Americorps service scholarship and won another scholarship as the result of a creative writing competition.
Ms. Rae earned her multiple subject CA credential in 2008, during & after which she worked for 5 years as a full time substitute teacher in Sunnyvale and Santa Clara Unified districts before finding her “home” at Tulip. Before Tulip, she also spent two months at a school in San Benito County teaching music and acting, while directing their Christmas show, for which she also designed/ constructed the stage setting. Post credential, Ms. Rae continues to study the practice of teaching and has participated in 20 professional development workshops/ seminars/ classes, 17 of which have been science workshops. In 2011/2012, she completed a year-long fellowship at Stanford University in the Earth Sciences Education department.
In her spare time Ms. Rae enjoys reading primary resource materials about California history; collecting, interpreting, organizing samples for a geology research project; playing music, writing song parodies & inventing “weird musical instruments”; making art, including digital graphics & animations; and SCUBA diving.
It is a privilege to teach your child and to receive you, your child, and your family into my classroom and my life! I would also like to take this opportunity to share with you a bit about myself. My name is Mayra Jones and I am a native of San Sebastian, Puerto Rico. I have lived in California for the past 11 years.
I am a graduate of the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. My amazing husband, Phil is an employee at United Airlines. I am very blessed to have two sons Gil and Jesus, both in college. I like going to the movies, playing volleyball and swimming. I love teaching children and watching them grow. Be assured that I will do my best to make this school year an enjoyable time for your child, filled with lots of learning, both academically and socially. I will guide and encourage your child as he or she gains a love of learning, self-confidence, and the academic skills that form a foundation for continued success.
Ms. Elizabeth lives in Sunnyvale with her husband, her son, and her dog. She loves hiking, listening to music, cooking, and traveling around the United States.
Originally from a small town in upstate New York, she has spent most of her life in San Francisco. She studied Early Childhood Education @ San Francisco City College. Later she went to San Francisco State University to study for her elementary credential.
Elizabeth has worked in both private and public schools, primarily in first to third grades. She especially loves teaching language arts. “Children are my life; they fill my spirit with joy!”
Wanda has been teaching French and Spanish over twenty-five years. During those years, Wanda has been teaching Kindergarten, Adults and Older Adults in Santa Clara and Sunnyvale-Cupertino Districts. She has an undergraduate degree and a teaching credential in French and Spanish from California State University Hayward.
Wanda enjoys traveling, cooking, reading and outdoor activities. She is fluent in French, Spanish and Arabic. She also reads and writes Italian and Portuguese.
She believes that there is no job better than teaching. Each day is different, and children are a constant source of amazement. They are fun to work with, and watching them learn and grow is extremely rewarding. Every day is an adventure!
Hello my name is Griselda Hernandez and I am the Administrative Assistant Tulip Kids Academy. I enjoy working at Tulip because there’s is always something fun going on. I stay busy and I love interacting with families, staff and children. Working with the kids is amazing!