About Us

Ms. Julia | Director

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Ms. Julia has been working with young children since she realized her passion for teaching in 2008. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish and Latin American Studies from the American University and received her Montessori credential through the California State University, East Bay and Fountainhead Montessori Adult Education Program. She previously studied Child Development at Merritt College and is taking an infant/toddler development class through Diablo Valley College (Fall 2019.)

“My interest in Early Childhood Education stems from the desire I have to see children grow and learn. These first few years are the most critical for children to develop skills in socialization, cognitive ability, and desire for learning. During this time, children are just beginning to explore and learn about the world around them. It is a joy to watch them play and interact with one another.”

Ms. Laura | Lead Teacher

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Hola! My name is Laura Loza, I was born in Michoacán, Mexico. I came to the United States when I was 15 years old. I attended Hayward High school and graduated from San Lorenzo Adult school in 2002. I attended Chabot College to take Child Development classes.

After working at Luna’s Montessori Bilingual school for 8 years (2007-2015) I was fascinated with the Montessori approach and decided to take training through American Montessori Society. Early Childhood Credential (June, 2012) Infant and Toddler Credential (June, 2014)

I worked 2 years at Mountain Boulevard Montessori school (2016-2018). And finally I got a wonderful opportunity to work at A Step Ahead Montessori school and I’m so happy to be part of this community.

Ms. Carmen | Assistant Teacher

A Step Ahead_0236009Hola! My name is Carmen Zepeda, and I am a bilingual Oakland Native! I grew up in a home daycare, ran by my mother. From a young age, my passion for teaching children began and grew.

I enjoyed watching my mom helping her community by opening up her home to offer affordable childcare and warm homemade meals. I knew I wanted to do the same one day. I’ve proudly been a child care provider for 6 years until now, having received the great opportunity to work and grow in this fulfilling career as an Assistant Teacher at A Step Ahead Montessori.

I’ve been to college twice, but the second time around I studied what I loved, Child Development, and I am eager to learn more, as one never stops! Wow, what a pleasure to learn from the children as well!