Our Exceptional Team

Windmill School and Laurel Education Center include Directors 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 headteacher.  

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. 

Jane Garvey, Director Of Operations & Admissions

Jane earned a Bachelor's Degree in English with a minor in Business Administration and Commercial Art from St. John's University in New York. After working on Wall Street and in Advertising, Jane left New York for California with her husband, Bill. While in California, Jane did Sales & Technical Service at a Software Company in Redwood City and spent 10 happy years as a Kindergarten Aide at El Carmelo Elementary in Palo Alto. Most recently, Jane ran the Catering Department at the Palo Alto Elks. Jane loves traveling and spending time with her family and friends.  

TEACHER ALEXA, HEADTEACHER 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 Pre-K Program AND 5's PM Program

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 for 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 bachelor's 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.

TEACHER LISA Co-Head Teacher Pre-K Program and 5's PM 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, Head teacher 3's/4's Program and Headteacher 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 headteacher 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 a 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 at 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 Jenny 3's/4's Teacher and 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.

Teacher Kelsey Pre-K Teacher and 5's PM Teacher/Floater 

Kelsey comes from a family devoted to education. Many of her family members are teachers or school administrators. She holds a Bachelor's degree from Saint Mary’s College of California in Justice, Community, & Leadership and earned her early childhood education credits from Whittier College and Cañada College. Kelsey is excited to be back at Windmill as she is a proud graduate. Previously, she worked at Ladera Community Church Preschool and worked at Knox Playschools over the course of the last 3 years while working towards completing her degree. Now having graduated, she is thrilled to be back in the classroom doing what she loves most -- forming strong and meaningful relationships with the children and families. In Kelsey’s free time, she loves all things music, collecting vinyl records and listening to a wide range of artists and genres. In addition to music, she loves watching rugby and learning all about the countries that have a strong rugby tradition. 

Teacher Nicole Pre-K Teacher

Nicole moved to the Bay Area from Boston, Massachusetts. She has been working in the field for almost 10 years. She earned her Bachelor’s of Science from Wheelock College in Developmental Psychology and Early Childhood Education in 2014. After a couple of years of teaching, she went back to earn her Master’s of Teacher Leadership from Quinnipiac University in 2018. During this time she has found that one of the most important assets to children’s educational journeys is the relationships they create with teachers and classmates. Nicole is currently working on her Doctorate of Education in Curriculum, Teaching, Learning, and Leadership at Northeastern University. In her spare time, Nicole enjoys reading, practicing yoga, and going to the beach.

 

Teacher Savannah 3's/4's Teacher and 2's/3's Teacher

Savannah was raised in the Bay Area and attended Foothill College where she earned two Associate’s degrees in Social Science and Psychology. Shortly after, she transferred to California State University, Chico, where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Child Development and a minor in Special Education. During her time at Chico, she completed two internships with preschool-aged children and volunteered as a classroom aide to students of various ages and diverse needs. Savannah always knew she wanted to work with children and now that she has returned from Chico, she is thrilled to be back and pursue this passion. Growing up, she spent most of her time teaching at her dance studio and competing in dance competitions (tap is her favorite!!). Savannah enjoys spending her free time at the beach, plant shopping, or relaxing with her friends and family.  

Substitutes

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.

 

ALL STAFF MEETS STATE LICENSING REQUIREMENTS. WINDMILL SCHOOL IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER.

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

©2020 by Windmill School, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit preschool.