Management & Staff
Our multilingual and multicultural staff consists of dedicated and highly qualified educators in the field of Early Childhood. All of our teachers hold California State Child Development Permits, while our teaching assistants have taken courses in Early Childhood Education working towards their Child Development Permits.
Our staff members have worked in the field for several years with our lead staff having worked with children for over 10 years.
All staff members are trained in CPR and First Aid.
Kiri Fluetsch – Executive Director
My name is Kiri Fluetsch and I am the Program Director here at Redwood City Child Development Program. I have worked as a preschool teacher for the past 10 years here in the bay area and 3 years before that in San Diego. I have a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy emphasizing on working with children and adults with developmental disabilities. I had the opportunity to teach preschool while in college and found my true passion. I have a Master’s Degree in early childhood education with an emphasis in curriculum development and instruction. I have developed curriculum and teacher training while working for Gymboree Play and Music prior to landing here at RCCDP. Teaching is my favorite way to spend my time, learning with the children, expanding their knowledge with new experiences and working closely with families to build long lasting trusting relationships. We are so happy to have you and your family here at the Redwood City Child Development Program!
Mary “Lisa” Penisini – Associate Director
Hi! My name is Mary “Lisa” Penisini. I am the Associate Director here at RCCDP. In 2002, I was given the opportunity to be a part of this community. That is where my interest grew in wanting to learn more about child development and social interactions among children. Being able to foster children’s imagination, creativity and independence is incredibly rewarding. When I think of RCCDP, the one word that comes to mind is FAMILY.
Gabriela “Gaby” Herrera – Teacher’s Assistant
My name is Gabriela H Bringas but many of you know me as “Gaby”. I was born in this country, but I grew up in El Salvador. I came back to the US when I was 12 years old. I am married and have two daughters, Ivanna who is 7 and Isabella who is 6 and both graduated from RCCDP. Previously I worked at Chuck E Cheese for 7 years until I was given the opportunity to work at RCCDP. I have worked at RCCDP as a teacher’s assistant for more than 3 years and have had the opportunity to work in the infant/toddler side and now I have the opportunity to work on the preschool side. I have had the opportunity to work with Brown Bears and now I’m enjoying working and learning with the Panda Bears.
I love to see how the children in the center grow and develop physically and cognitively. It feels so good when you make a good relationship with the children and families. It is my goal to take child development classes for my education and understanding in the development of children.
Esperanza Patiño – Teacher
My name is Esperanza Patiño. I have lived in the United States for over 40 years and became a citizen in 2007. I started working at the Redwood City Child Development Program in 1997; I started working in the kitchen serving the children’s meals. I consider this place my second home and I love working with children. I enjoy working with my peers, with parents and families, and seeing children strengthen every day.
I started taking early childhood education classes at Cañada College and in 2004 I received my first Associate Teacher’s permit. I continued taking courses and in 2010 I received my certificate in Early Childhood Education from Cañada College. I continued to take classes to learn more about the development of children and in 2016 I got my Teacher’s permit.
It brings me a lot of happiness to work with the children and see how they are developing and I am here to assist in their development. I think it is very important to always remember that children are learning everything for the first time and it is my responsibility to treat them with patience, affection, and understanding. I am always aware that the center is here for the benefit of the children and it is my responsibility to look for different ways to support their growth in their education and development.
Dora Ramos – Associate Teacher
My name is Dora Ramos. I have been working at the Redwood city Child Development Program for 19 years. I am fortunate to have my two daughters working in the same field of early childhood education. Working in this atmosphere makes me very happy and the work that I do makes it more valuable. Coming into this field has taught me so much, not only working with the children I serve but with my family as well. All the knowledge I have gained through the years has shown me that guiding children at an early age better prepares them for school and gives them the opportunity to socialize with their peers. I am very thankful to all the parents who give me the privilege to care for their children while they are working to provide for their family. I believe that creating a classroom that is well organized and inviting has a positive impact on learning.
Araceli Ontiveros – Site Supervisor
My name is Araceli Ontiveros, aka, Chely by family members and closest friends. I was born in Mexico on 11/23/1976. I am very proud of my origins and my age. I feel happy with my life and accomplishments so far. I was brought to the United States at the age of 12 by my parents. I was upset upon my arrival with my mother and father for bringing me here and leaving Mexico behind, but now I know how lucky I am. Now, I feel it was the best choice that my parents made for us.
This is a wonderful country that has given so many opportunities to my family. I will always be thankful to my mother who was so courageous in bringing us here. My whole family has since lived in the beautiful Bay Area. I love the bay area because it’s very unique. I love its diversity, food, entertainment, history, weather etc.
I enjoy spending my spare time with family, taking care of my 50+ indoor plants, cleaning, organizing, exercising, cooking and admiring nature. I am married, and I have a son.
I have been working with children since 1996. I enjoy working with children because it is like reliving my childhood one more time, seeing the children playing reminds me of my wonderful childhood in Mexico. I grew up in a small village surrounded by nature. I had no TV, electricity, radio etc., but I was a very happy child. I knew nothing about the outside world until I came to this wonderful country. Yes, I said it twice, but I firmly believe it. I have worked at different childcare centers in this area and the state of Texas, where I lived for a brief period.
I have a diploma in Dental Assisting and my Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education.
Maria Rocio Mendoza – Associate Teacher
Hi, my name is Maria Rocio Mendoza but I go by my middle name “Rocio”. I came to this country in 1989. I live in East Palo Alto with my two sons, Ritchell and Julio. I studied Early Childhood Education at Cañada College where I have 32 units and hold my Associate Teacher Permit as well as my certificate in Human Services. I am also a certified Music Teacher.
I have been working at Redwood City Child Development Program for 16 years. I have enjoyed every moment and feel proud to help families with their children and needs. I love to see how the children in the center grow and develop physically and cognitively. It feels so good when they come back to visit as an adolescent or adult. I hope to work in this center for many more years. I will be going back to college this fall to finish my Associates degree in Early Childhood Education.
Antonia Trejo – Associate Teacher
My name is Antonia Trejo, but everyone calls me “toña” and some of them call me grandma! I have lived in Redwood City for 27 years. I am married with 3 children, two daughters and one son. They have blessed me with 3 grandsons. All three of my children attended the Redwood City Child Development Program. I am filled with happiness because I have seen my children and grandchildren grow in this program. I have studied at Cañada College, obtaining 30 units of Early Childhood Education and began working here in 2001. I love working with children and my fellow teachers and I thank RCCDP for giving me this opportunity to work here since 2001.
Ana M. Barron – Associate Teacher
My name is Ana M. Barron. I came from Mexico in 1985 where my first job was in an assembly factory. After having my son, I decided to stay home and take care of him. When he was older, I went to Canada College to take classes in child development. I obtained my associate teacher permit and began working here at RCCDP in 2010. I’ve worked as a substitute, associate teacher, lead teacher and now work as a member of a great team in the Koala Joeys classroom.. To further expand my knowledge and understanding of the infant/toddler environment I trained in P.I.T.C to learn the core values. It is my goal to provide amazing care to our toddler program.
Mayra Maciel – Site Supervisor
Hello RCCDP Families,
My name is Mayra Maciel. I have been teaching here at the Redwood City Child Development Program for 12 years. I currently hold my Site Supervisor permit. I plan on furthering my education to obtain my Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education. I have had the opportunity to teach in both programs Infant and Toddlers to Preschool. In the many years I have been working with children, I have learned that patience is key. We learn from children and the children learn from us. I enjoy working with all the children and their families. I love challenging their young minds and helping them with their social development.
My main goal everyday as I walk into the classroom is to make a difference.
- My favorite color is Orange
- My favorite season is Fall
- I love Coffee 😊
Hola familias de RCCDP,
Mi nombre es Mayra Maciel. He estado enseñando aquí en el Redwood City Child Development Program por 12 años. Actualmente tengo mi permiso de supervisora de sitio. Planeo continuar mi educación para obtener mi título de asociada en educación infantil. He tenido la oportunidad de enseñar en ambos programas de Infant and Toddlers a Prescular. En los muchos años que he trabajado con niños, he aprendido que la paciencia es clave. Aprendemos de los niños y los niños aprenden de nosotros. Disfruto trabajando con todos los niños y sus familias. Me encanta desafiar sus mentes y ayudarlos con su desarrollo social.
Mi principal objetivo todos los días cuando entro a clase es marcar la diferencia.
- Mi color favorito es el naranja
- Mi temporada favorita es el otoño
- Amo el café 😊
Diana Alvarado – Site Supervisor
My name is Diana Alvarado and I am originally from the East Coast. I currently have my Site Supervisor Permit and my Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education.
I am currently working on my Bachelor’s Degree majoring in Child & Adolescent Behavior. I enjoy teaching preschool. I find this time of the young childhood development stage to be the most important and fascinating, as we all know they are the most important years for growing and expanding their minds. I look forward to the fun we’ll have learning and exploring.
Carolina Martinez – Associate Teacher
My name is Carolina Martinez. I have been working at the Redwood City Child Development Program since October 2007. I am one of the Associate Teachers of the program. Since the pandemic, I have been working with the Joey and Koala classroom helping them as much as I can. I am having a good time doing it. The other teachers in the classroom and I work as a team helping the children learn as they play everyday and enjoying the time that they spend with us.
Gloria Renazco – Master Teacher
My name is Gloria Renazco, I am from Nicaragua, I came to the United States in 1985, I dedicated myself to raising my children, but when they grew up I decided to find a job, and this job is about caring for children. I started studying in 2005, at CANADA College, acquiring an associate teacher’s permit, and a master’s teacher’s permit. I have worked in different centers and worked with the head star program for 7 years. My goals is to obtain my site supervisor permit. I have been working in this field since 2000, and for RCCDP for two years in 2015-2017, it is a pleasure to be with you again, today I am the lead teacher of the classroom, and I work with a good team of teachers where we support each other.
Jasmin Cardenas – Associate Teacher
Hello, my name is Jasmin Cardenas. I was born in Redwood City. I am currently working towards getting my Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education. Growing up I always knew I wanted to be a teacher for little kids. I am lucky to be working here with these amazing children. I love working with children. I enjoy seeing them grow up each day. I have an amazing role in helping them develop.