TODDLER & PRIMARY FACULTY

TODDLER FACULTY (ages 18-36 months)

EVA GARCIA
Bilingual Lead Teacher
Pufflings Toddler Class

Eva Garcia joined the Spring Hill faculty team in 2011.  As a bilingual teacher, she has worked with both Primary (ages 3–6) and Toddler (ages 18–36 months) students at Spring Hill. Eva has a Montessori teaching credential from the American Montessori Society. She earned an Associate Teacher Credential from Santa Rosa Junior College and is currently continuing her education in child development. Eva has a graceful and gentle teaching approach, encouraging her young students to feel secure and eager to learn, and she engages children in all areas. A native Spanish speaker and fluent in English, her conversational Spanish in the classroom and group lessons enable children to develop a crucial foundation for language learning. In addition to teaching in the classroom, Eva has led classes and performances at Spring Hill in Ballet Folklorico (folkloric dance) for preschool age children. Prior to joining Spring Hill, Eva was a program coordinator with the Boys and Girls Club, where she designed and directed programs, activities, and art projects for young children. Eva and her husband live in Petaluma.

REINA STARKE
Associate Teacher
Pufflings Toddler Class

Reina Starke joined the Spring Hill faculty in 1992.  She has been an important part of the Spring Hill community for many years as a member of the administrative team, an Elementary after-school program teacher, a classroom substitute teacher, and a teacher in Spring Hill’s Toddler program. Reina’s mother was Spring Hill’s office manager when she was growing up, and when Reina welcomed her first child, she began working alongside her mother as an after-school teacher. With her mother’s passing in 2014, she is committed to carrying on her legacy of creating a warm and fun educational environment for the children of our community. Reina lives in Petaluma with her husband and two of her three daughters, all Spring Hill alumni. When she’s not with her Spring Hill family or her young granddaughters (one of whom is a Spring Hill student), Reina enjoys long walks, reading, and spending time at the beach.

AMANDA MUSTERED
Lead Teacher
Cygnets Toddler Class

Bio coming

ANNABELL JOHNSON
Bilingual Associate Teacher
Cygnets Toddler Class

Bio coming

ROSA (ROSIE) RUIZ
Bilingual Lead Teacher
Ducklings Toddler Class
Primary Program Bilingual Aftercare Coordinator

Rosie, a native Spanish speaker who is also fluent in English, has worked in early childhood education for ten years. She has an Associate Teacher Certificate and CNA certification (Certified Nursing Assistant). She also has a TALLK project certificate (Teacher Acquiring Language Learner Knowledge), a program that provides preschool teachers with training and coaching in specific strategies for interacting with English learner children to best support language acquisition.

Rosie is passionate about promoting children’s desire to read and write, and she focuses on engaging her young students in acquiring age-appropriate language skills. She brings to her students and colleagues a perennial positive outlook and good humor in approaching teaching and life. She is devoted to her young students and offers them a loving environment each day. She values the trusted relationships she develops with parents. Rosie’s greatest joys are her sons Anthony and George and her husband Tony. She loves spending time with her family, cooking for them, and cheering for her sons and husband when they play their favorite sport—soccer. An animal lover, she enjoys walking her five dogs and caring for her farm animals.

MARIANNE RIDDLE
Music Teacher

Marianne Riddle is Spring Hill’s Toddler program music teacher. She has been bringing music to Spring Hill’s toddlers since 2017. Marianne is a Group Empowerment Drum Circle Facilitator and Early Childhood Music Educator. She is the founder of Adventures in Rhythm, a rhythm-based music program for all ages and abilities in Petaluma. With creativity, experience and a lifelong devotion to music, Marianne positively supports people of all ages and abilities along their journey of music making. Marianne is an authorized HealthRHYTHMS facilitator, trained by Dr. Barry Bittman, MD and Christine Stevens, MSW, MA, MT-BC. HealthRHYTHMS is a research-based group drumming protocol which has demonstrated biological and psycho-social benefits. The drum is used as a tool for communication and personal expression, and Health RHYTHMS reduces stress, improves mood and boosts the immune system.

PRIMARY FACULTY (ages 3-5 years)

KIM ZEUNERT-MATTISON
Lead Teacher
Hummingbirds Primary Class

Kim Zeunert-Mattison is the Lead Teacher of the Hummingbirds Primary Class. Kim has a BS in Psychology from the University of California at Santa Barbara and her Montessori Teaching credential from the American Montessori Society. Kim has been a Lead Montessori educator for the past 25 years, including 15 years as the founder, director, and Lead teacher for Redwood Montessori School from  in 2001–2015, and teaching at Montessori School of Sonoma. Kim is a true believer in teaching and guiding children to gain “love of learning” and setting foundations for our children in becoming confident, skillful, respectful, and kind adults. Her teaching includes an authentic Montessori curriculum, peace education, teaching American sign language, and incorporating movements, songs, stories into vibrant circle and group times, when children are enthusiastic to participate. Kim is an avid traveler and passionate about guiding her students to become caring and respectful stewards of Mother Earth. Kim has a great focus on geography, cultural studies, and including world music in her Primary program.

Kim lives in Petaluma with her husband Jeff, who is also an educator and a musician. In her spare time, Kim plays bass guitar, loves to run, read, further advance her knowledge for early childhood education, hike, cook, and volunteer at non-profit organizations that are meaningful to her. 

JEFF MATTISON
Associate Teacher
Hummingbirds Primary Class

Bio coming

CARA HICKS
Lead Teacher
Sparrows Primary Class

Cara Hicks joined Spring Hill in 2020. She has a Montessori Primary teaching credential from the American Montessori Society and is completing her B.A. in Early Childhood Education with a Montessori emphasis from the University of Massachusetts. Cara has been involved in Montessori her entire life, attending a Montessori school during her elementary years. She also has experience assisting in a Montessori Primary and Lower Elementary. She was drawn to the Headstart program where she served in a variety of roles; Center Director, teacher, and family service advocate. “As a Montessori student, I learned what it means to be a global citizen, respect the wisdom of other cultures, and to think outside myself. My mission, as an educator is to create an environment that encourages children to follow their passions and curiosities; one that fosters independence and empathy.”

Her travels have taken her to India, Nepal, and most currently she spent time in Thailand studying the technique of QiGong. Cara enjoys hiking, swimming, and spending time with her family.

ROSALVA REYES
Bilingual Associate Teacher
Sparrows Primary Class

Bio coming

DENISE GAGE-COLLINS
Lead Teacher
Snowy Egrets Primary Class

Bio coming

FABIOLA ESTRADA
Bilingual Associate Teacher
Snowy Egrets Primary Class

Fabiola is an experienced teacher and outdoor program educator who has been a member of the Spring Hill faculty since 2014. A native Spanish speaker, she offers an excellent bilingual program to her students, bringing Spanish to life in a natural “real world” manner. Fabiola integrates conversational Spanish with an engaging outdoor curriculum, offering students a rich learning experience. Fabiola’s positive energy always brightens the days of her students and everyone around her. She is a passionate early childhood educator and celebrates the joy her students find in their work. Fabiola has extensive outdoor education training and creates a welcoming and secure environment, giving children the confidence to explore, play, and learn. She enjoys spending time outside of school with her family.

LOGANN GAVEY
Floating Teacher
Montessori Curriculum Consultant

Bio coming

YADIRA MUNOZ
Floating Teacher

Bio coming

PABLO RODRIGUEZ
Music Specialist

Pablo Rodriguez is a well-known singer, guitarist, and teacher in the North Bay area. He has performed in a wide variety of styles including classical, Brazilian music, jazz, gospel, pop, and Eastern European music. He has collaborated for years with songwriters, poets, dancers, choirs, and multi-media artists in many venues. He is an experienced teacher both in classroom and private instruction.