Ruwini Goonewardena, Director and Toddler Teacher
I have been the administrator of Steps to Learning Montessori Preschool since 2005 and the administrator/director since 2014.
I was born and raised in Sri Lanka and I moved to the US in 1993. I am the youngest of four girls. My parents and my sisters have been great role models to me. I've completed many ECE (Early Childhood Education) units and hold a Montessori diploma. I worked as a Montessori preschool teacher for over 5 years and went on to earn my engineering degree at UCSB before working as an administrator in 2005.
My passion for children came from my childhood and being a teacher. Being with children makes me happy and I feel blessed to be able to do what I do everyday. I strive to provide quality childcare and a nurturing environment for the children. I also try to make it a fun, supportive and exciting place for the teachers. Some of my favorite experiences from childhood are Practical Life (i.e. lacing, polishing shoes, cleaning, cooking etc.), dressing up and playing house. As a teacher I enjoyed using Montessori Material for enhancing academics, autonomy and creative learning.
Ms. Nanette Patterson has more than 20 years teaching experience in a preschool setting (Montessori and non Montessori). She has mostly worked with the 3-6 year age group, but she also has several years of experience working with toddlers. She has a diploma in Montessori Education and many ECE units. Ms. Patterson teaches our "Butterfly" group (older preschoolers, ages 3-6).
Rosa Zamora, Toddler Teacher - Dragonfly Group
I have a BA in psychology from UCSB. I have many ECE units and I am planning to broaden my knowledge and skills in ECE. I love working with children. I believe in providing a healthy and nurturing environment where they feel safe and are able to have fun. I find it rewarding when I am able to help children achieve their goals or help them learn new things that will help them in the long run. During my free time I enjoy walking my dog and spending time with my family. I also enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking and camping. I have been working at SLMP since 2014.
Irene Gonzalez, Preschool Teacher - Butterfly Group
I enjoy working with children. I enjoy doing activities and arts and crafts with them. Among the many hobbies I have some of them are sewing and painting. I have completed many ECE units to be a fully qualified teacher and have been a teacher since 2001. I have been working at SLMP since 2005.
Maria Gomez - Infant Teacher – Lady Bug Group
I have AA degrees in Social and Behavioral Sciences and Child Development, and many ECE and administration units. I have been a teacher for all of my adult life. I love working with babies. I strive to provide a nurturing and safe environment for them. My son is attending SLMP and it is a blessing to have him here. I love spending time with my son and my family. I have been working at SLMP since 2014.
Lourdes Villaseñor, Infant Teacher - Busy Bee Group
I have been working in the ECE field since 2009. I have three children. I enjoy spending time with my children, reading, playing, and going to the park. I am bilingual and know a few words in sign language. I am nearing the completion of my AA in ECE. I currently hold an Associate Teacher Permit. I have been working at SLMP since 2013.