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Meet the Team

Dedicated Educators


Maia Gallo

Head of School

Maia held a teaching position at The Lake School for four years before taking the leadership role in 2020. She has worked with children of all ages in various teaching and caregiving positions for over 25 years. Her years in the field, Master's in Early Childhood Education, yoga teacher training, and Connection Practice certification all influence her guidance of the children and staff. She is passionate about the rights of childhood, play-based education, social-emotional learning and equity issues. She very much enjoys caring for The Lake School community of children, teachers, parents and pets. 

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Teacher Steph

Robin Co-Teacher

Teacher Resource Specialist

Teacher Steph joined The Lake School in 2017 and immediately became loved by students, faculty and parents alike. She is passionate about animals, nature and all outdoor activities and enjoys sharing these experiences with her students. Teacher Steph has been also been declared our "Play Expert" as it is always hard to tell who is having more fun, her or the children. 


Teacher Maritza

Robin Co-Teacher

Spanish Enrichment

Maritza has been a preschool teacher for 13 years.  After college she worked for 5 years at a Reggio Emilia inspired preschool and then moved on to a Spanish Immersion preschool for eight years. Looking for a change and a place to grow she joined The Lake School in 2017. She enjoys being able to introduce new concepts and skills to young children through music and playful activities as well as sharing the Spanish language and Latinx culture through her Enrichment class. 

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Teacher Natalie

Robin Teacher Aide

Natalie studied Early Childhood Education at Mills College. She is on her second year as the Aide in the Robin class. The children love her playful spirit and gentle nature. She enjoys caring for the children as well as our outdoor pets, the bunnies and chickens.  At home, she has four parrots and a dog to care for as well! 

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Teacher Marisol

Finch & Hummingbird Co-Teacher

Science Enrichment

Marisol began her teaching career in a variety of preschool settings, working with children from 3 months to 5 years old.  She joined The Lake School in 2020, leading classes with her kind and patient presence. Marisol has a boy and girl of her own and a genuine love for all children. Her teaching is guided by the belief that every child is unique! 


Teacher Naima

Finch & Hummingbird Co-Teacher

Teacher Naima is from Algeria and lives here with her husband and three-year-old daughter, Massilva. She has a Master's Degree in English Literature from her home country and has studied Early Childhood Education here in America. She speaks four languages, loves to cook, bake and work with young children. She is delighted to support the Lake School children though exploration and play.  


Teacher Zoe

Finch & Hummingbird Co-Teacher

Yoga Enrichment

Teacher Zoe is in her first year teaching with The Lake School, though she was a substitute for us last year and is also a parent of a current Robin student. Though she is a fully qualified teacher, she is currently continuing her study of Early Childhood Development at Chabot College. She is empathetic and caring and enjoys sharing her love of nature and creepy crawlies with the children. 

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Teacher Chianai

Mallard TK Teacher

Music & Movement Enrichment 

Chianai has been teaching children of all ages for over 15 years; before coming to The Lake School in 2020, she had the pleasure of teaching TK at Thornhill Elementary for 7 years. She has a passion for teaching and receives joy from participating in the growth and development of young children. Her fun-loving, creative spirit ensures her students will always have a blast while learning.

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Teacher Mari

Mallard TK Teacher

Cooking with Math Enrichment 

Mari has taught in early childhood for over ten years, working with ages ranging from 2 - 8 years old.  She believes children to be capable, deserving of trust and respect. She sees the classroom as the place to offer the time and the tools for each child to express themselves, to explore their curiosities, to create their own problems and to then build solutions for those problems.  She seeks to continually send the message, “I think you can do this, let's figure out how,” and in this way, to enrich their sense of autonomy and active role within the community.

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Teacher Eva

Mallard TK Aide

Phonics Enrichment

Eva is a Bay Area native who is passionate about education and community.  Eva believes children deserve a space built on mutual respect and trust where they can fully be themselves. In her free time, she enjoys spending time in the sun, listening to music, and trying new foods. Though she is an Aide in the TK class, Eva is a fully qualified ECE teacher and leas our Phonics Enrichment classes this year.

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Teacher Keyla

Spanish & Phonics Enrichment


Keyla has found her happy place in teaching preschool for the past 3 years; she enjoys being the children's role model, supporting their growth and helping them to feel comfortable and safe.  In teaching, Keyla looks to discover each child's interests and unique learning style in order to help them develop their own potential.  She loves to bake and walk in the park with her dog China, her partner, and her young child Mia.

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