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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 in 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 30+ 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, playing golf and spending time with her family and friends.  

Teacher Nicole, EdD Extended Day Coordinator and Administrative Associate

Nicole moved to the Bay Area from Boston, Massachusetts in 2020. She has been working in the field for over 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 finished her Doctorate of Education in Curriculum, Teaching, Learning, and Leadership at Northeastern University in 2021 where she studied the impact of early childhood educator's professional development. In her spare time, Nicole enjoys reading, practicing yoga, and going to the beach.

Toddler Programs- Karen Tate Community Hall

Teacher Kelsey Toddler Teacher 

Kelsey is a Bay Area native who grew up in Menlo Park and Woodside. She has a Bachelor's degree in English Literature from Skidmore College and earned her child development permit from Skyline College.  Prior to joining the teaching staff at Windmill School, Kelsey taught Kindergarten at Phillips Brooks School. She has always loved kids and is very excited about teaching preschool-age children in this wonderful play-based program! Kelsey lives in Menlo Park with her husband, 8-year-old daughter, and their three adorable cats. Kelsey enjoys hiking, reading, arts and crafts projects, and having dance parties with her family. 

2's/3's Program, and 3's/4's Programs
Willow Room

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. 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 Cathy, Teacher 2's/3's and 3's/4's 

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 Samantha  Teacher 2's/3's and 3's/4's
Teacher Sam was born and raised in Palo Alto. She went to school at Chico State in Chico, California where she majored in Liberal Studies and minored in Spanish. She graduated in May of 2022 and chose to continue her education at Chico where she got her Bilingual Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. She just moved to San Francisco where she works part time at Equinox. She has previously worked with a wide variety of age groups as a camp counselor and after school program leader. She found her passion of working with a younger age group when student teaching in a TK classroom. Sam is very excited for her first year at Windmill and is eager to get to know all of her students and their families. 
Teacher Tyler Teacher 2's/3's
Tyler is not a stranger to Windmill having had her own children here not that long ago!  Tyler holds a teaching credential in elementary education and received her undergraduate degree in Human Development and Elementary Education.  She and her husband, Chris, along with their two children, recently returned to Portola Valley after living abroad for 5.5 years.  They have visited 25 countries and counting.....!  In addition to traveling, Tyler enjoys baking and spending time with her family and their dog, Mochi. 
Maple Room

TEACHER NICOLA, Head teacher 2's/3's & 3's/4'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. She 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 Teacher 2's/3's and 3's/4's

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 Devon Teacher 2's/3's and 3's/4's

Devon was born and raised in the Bay Area. She earned a BA in Anthropology as well as an MA in Education and California teaching credential from UC Santa Cruz. Devon taught high school and middle school for 10 years. During this time, she also completed an MS in School Counseling. Devon took a break from the classroom and worked providing counseling and behavioral support for children, adults, and families. She started teaching Forest preschool in 2018 and fell in love with Early Childhood Education. In order to pursue her new passion, she completed an Early Childhood Education Associate Teacher Certificated from UCLA Extension. Devon is also a Windmill parent, her son attended from 2019-2022. Devon lives in Portola Valley and loves spending time with her wife and two kids going to the beach and meandering around Filoli.

Teacher Trisha Teacher 2's/3's

Trisha earned her B.S. degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Central Florida in 1999. She taught first grade for a few years before meeting her husband, (breaking her number one dating rule of never dating anyone in the military), but she happily followed him around the world where they lived in former Soviet Union countries and in Europe. No matter what country they lived in, Trisha was always involved in community work, especially with children. Whether it was in a refugee camp, orphanages, working as a nanny, or volunteering in a kindergarten classroom, she always stayed true to her passion and love for children by giving her time to make a difference. Trisha is also trained in multiple literacy development programs and early intervention strategies for dyslexic learners. Trisha was a Reading Resource Teacher for K-3 at a private school in Northern VA prior to moving to CA in 2018. Now free of the military lifestyle, Trisha, her husband and their 17-year-old daughter are enjoying putting down roots in this beautiful area. In her spare time, Trisha enjoys exploring anywhere on the west coast with her family, spoiling her dog Pippa, and “walk and talks” with her friends. 

Redwood Room - PreK

TEACHER ANITA, Co-Head Teacher PreK

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 Robin, Co-Head Teacher PreK
Teacher Robin was born and raised in Minnesota, but spent many winter breaks and summer visits at her grandparents' on Stanford campus. She moved permanently to California for her undergrad at Santa Clara where she majored in Spanish and Psychology, worked for a few years with children in various capacities including with AmeriCorps in a preschool in East Palo Alto, and then returned to school at Mills College where she got her Master's Degree in ECE with a specialization in Child Life. She worked for Google Children's Centers for ~8 years, mostly with infants and toddlers, then pivoted to older children when she welcomed her first child. She's the proud parent of two young boys and one energetic dog. Robin fully lives the difference between what works at school and has to look different at home. She lives locally in Portola Valley and is excited to join such a warm community of educators and families.

Teacher Lupe Teacher PreK

Lupe grew up in East Palo Alto and Fremont, California. She received her associate degree in Early Childhood Studies and Early Childhood Education from Ohlone Community College in 2018. She continued her education at San Jose State University, where she received her Bachelor's Degree in Child & Adolescent Development with a community focus in 2021. Prior to joining Windmill School, Lupe was a preschool teacher in Palo Alto, CA and prior to that, she worked with the City of Fremont Recreation Services for 7 years where she worked many roles throughout the years such as a camp counselor, camp coordinator, and tot sports coordinator. In her spare time, Lupe enjoys spending time with her family, going to the beach, and traveling.

Teacher Allysa Floating Teacher

Teacher Allysa is Bay Area born and raised. She has worked with children in roles including teaching preschool and being a nanny.  Allysa holds her associates degrees in both child and adolescent development as well as psychology, and is currently working on her bachelors degree in psychology with a minor in counseling. Being a floating teacher, Allysa enjoys getting to spend time in all of the classrooms at Windmill. In her spare time, Allysa loves to relax.


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.



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