Our Exceptional Team

Windmill School and Laurel Education Center includes our teachers, Director and Teachers with more than 80 years of collective experience teaching at Windmill. Each of our teachers is an early childhood specialist experienced at working with young children and their parents. Each class has a group of teachers operating as a team, led by a head teacher.  

Jodi Cocconi, Director Of Education

Jodi was raised in a family of teachers and knew from a young age that her adult life would include teaching young children. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Child Development and a double minor in Psychology and Family Relations from California State University, Chico. Her credentials also include teaching Parent Education. Jodi has been in the field of early childhood education for over 25 years. Her prior professional experiences include being a Head Teacher for four years at a corporate child care center. She also taught children and parents at Redwood Parents Nursery School in Redwood City. Jodi came to Windmill in January 1997 as the Head Teacher in the Pre-K Program. In 2000 she added Assistant Directing to her role. In 2014 she became the Director. Jodi lives in Redwood City with her naughty Golden Retriever, Chloe!  She enjoys traveling, shopping, spending time with friends, and reading. 

TEACHER AMANDA, Director Of Operations/ HEAD TEACHER Pre-K Program

Amanda holds a Bachelor's Degree in Medical Technology from Northern Illinois University. Amanda moved to California in 1993 with her husband and family at which time she left her laboratory job at the VA Hospital to focus on being an at home parent. When her 3 children moved their way through preschool, Amanda realized the importance of early childhood education and went back to school to receive her teaching credentials at DeAnza College. Before coming to Windmill, Amanda was a teacher at Grace Lutheran Preschool, in Palo Alto, for 15 years. Amanda is passionate about play-based learning and continually strives to provide a diverse and caring classroom. Amanda hopes to inspire children to be creative thinkers, explore new surroundings and find trust in themselves and others. When Amanda is not in the classroom she loves to spend time with her family, she enjoys hiking, cooking, reading and gardening.

Terry, Office Manager

As a little girl, Terry spent hours playing “school” in her bedroom making seating charts and check off lists for her imaginary students.  She grew up knowing she wanted to become a teacher. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies at San Francisco State University and holds a multiple-subject teaching credential.  After 5 years of teaching first grade she made the move to the “little ones” teaching 3 and 4-year-old children. During her 20+ years in Early Childhood Education she has worked as a teacher, head teacher, director and she now works as the Office Manager here at Windmill School. While adjusting to her “empty nest” Terry enjoys walking with friends, reading novels, baking sweet treats and playing with their black lab, Ellie.

TEACHER ALEXA, HEAD TEACHER 2's/3's Program and 3's/4's Program

Alexa graduated from San Diego State University in 1997 with a B.S. in Child and Family Development.  Prior to coming to Windmill in 1999, she taught at Stanford Arboretum Children's Center. Alexa has worked with children of all ages since high school; including 6 summers of volunteer work. Alexa grew up in the Bay Area and currently lives in Campbell with her cat, Smokey. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, collecting children's books, doing arts and crafts, traveling, going to musicals, photography and reading.

TEACHER ANITA  Co-Head Teacher 3's/4's Program/2's/3's Teacher

Anita was born and raised in a little town in the state of Zacatecas, Mexico and came to California at sixteen to finish her high school education. She has a great love of family and children.  This may be due to the fact that she is the 2nd youngest in a family of 14 children!  Anita has formally been working with children for the past 7 years.  Two of those years she taught at Windmill.  In 2008 she moved back to Southern California to have her daughter and to complete her bachelors degrees in Child Development and Psychology.  Anita is excited to be back living in the Bay Area and especially to be teaching again at Windmill.  Outside of teaching, Anita loves to spend time with her daughter, and her interests include salsa dancing, hiking and cooking.


Lesley grew up in Bath, England, and moved to California in 1975. Lesley has her certificate in Early Childhood Education from Canada College. Before coming to Windmill in 1990, Lesley taught for many years at Trinity Preschool in Menlo Park.  Lesley has a love for science, which she brings into the classroom. She enjoys reading, especially about Native Americans.  Her other interest is dinosaurs. Lesley has been on digs to Wyoming and Montana. Lesley loves soccer.

TEACHER LISA pre-k program

Lisa was born and raised in the Bay Area.  She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Child Development from San Jose State University and a Multiple Subject teaching credential from Notre Dame de Namur.  Lisa's professional experience includes teaching elementary school at La Entrada School and with the Redwood City School District.  Outside of teaching, Lisa enjoys spending time with her children, running, trying different bubbly drinks and eating big, yummy salads. Lisa lives in Redwood City with her 3 children and their dog, Daisy.

TEACHER NICOLA, Co-Head teacher 3's/4's Program and Head teacher 2's/3's

Nicola received her diploma in Early Childhood Education from St. Lawrence College in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. She worked as both a nanny and a preschool teacher before moving to the Bay Area in 2001. While living in California, she continued her course work at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, receiving her B.A. in Psychology in 2005. Nicola spent thirteen years as a volunteer at the Alzheimer's Association in Lafayette, California. Prior to coming to Windmill, Nicola taught at TOPS (The Orinda Preschool) in Orinda, California for seven years. She held a head teacher position in the 3s/4s class for the last four years. Her and her husband, of nineteen years, recently relocated to Menlo Park from Walnut Creek. Nicola enjoys reading and visiting her local library. She also enjoys shopping at the farmer's markets and cooking and baking using fresh, seasonal ingredients. Nicola enjoys running and practicing Yoga. She and her husband enjoy going to Canada whenever possible to spend time with friends and family.

TEACHER PARSHATI 3's/4's Teacher and 2's/3's Teacher

Parshati was born and raised in India and moved to the U.S in 2004. She lives in Cupertino with her husband and daughter.  Parshati has a B.S degree in Mathematics and B.A degree in Education from India.  She is pursuing her certificate in Early Childhood Education from De Anza College, Cupertino. Her professional experience includes 8 years as a teacher in a High School in India and 2years as a Youth Program Coordinator in Colorado State University Apartment Life (2005-2007).  As a teacher and a youth programmer she enjoyed teaching science to youths and teens and planning educational, fun, social activities for children to enhance their development. In her spare time she loves watching movies, reading books and doing art projects with her daughter.

TEACHER Tessa 3's/4's Teacher and 2's/3's Teacher

Tessa is new to teaching, but has found a love for what she does by getting to know the children through this year. She is currently at Foothill College finishing her A.A. in Early Child Development, and is studying hard to become a future Windmill teacher. Tessa is finding joy teaching and inspiring the children. In her spare time, she enjoys being with family, eating good food, and laughing a lot.

TEACHER Haley 3's/4's Teacher and 2's/3's Teacher

Haley has a BA in Human Development with an emphasis in Social Change from Pacific Oaks College. She has been working professionally with children since 2010, and has previously worked in preschools at UC Berkeley, Stanford, and Google. In her spare time, she works as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for foster children and is passionate about making sure that every child has at least one consistent and loving adult in their otherwise unstable lives. Haley loves to talk about her bunnies, Hazel and Fiver, and her dog Nano. She also knits, makes jewelry, and enjoys spending time with her family, who mostly live locally. 

Teacher Jenny 2's/3's Teacher

Jenny has recently moved back to her home town of Palo Alto, after living in the Central Valley for 28 years. Jenny grew-up working in a preschool environment: her mother was the director of Runnymede Child Development in East Palo Alto and Jenny would spend her summers as a classroom aide. All three of Jenny's children attended a co-op preschool and where Jenny was a board member and held the position of Curriculum Coordinator throughout those years. After staying at home with her children for 10 years, Jenny took a job with Los Banos Unified School District, working in the Primary Intervention Program; A program focusing on non-directive play with children identified as being at-risk. She continues this work for 16 years until the program was cut from the budget. She then went on  to work in a kindergarten classroom while pursuing her AA in Child Development. Jenny then accepted a job as a teacher at the Volta Elementary Preschool and held that job for 4 years before moving back to the Bay Area with her husband of 34 years. Jenny also has a Black Belt in karate and has taught full-force, self-defense for the non-profit organization, Impact Bay Area, for 11 years. In her spare time, Jenny loves to read, hike and spend the day at the beach with her family and her Labrador Retriever, Mei. 

Teacher Cathy 2's/3's Teacher/resource teacher

Cathy graduated from Fairmont State University in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science in Family and Consumer Sciences.  Cathy has worked with children in the home and school setting for over 20 years. Her teaching experience includes Stanford Madera Grove where she worked in the infant classrooms.  She was also a substitute teacher for Ladera Community Preschool as well. She is a Portola Valley resident and alum of Windmill. Her daughter, Ellie, attended Windmill from 2009-2011.  In her spare time, she likes to hike and spend time with her family.


Windmill teachers substitute for each other whenever possible. The Director will have a pool of available substitute teachers and all substitutes must go through the required clearance procedures.



650.851.0771 | info@windmillschool.com | 900 Portola Road Portola Valley, California 94028 

©2018 by Windmill School, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit preschool.