Our Team

Our Team

At Little Elephant, we are extremely proud of our teaching team. All of our lead teachers have B.A. degrees and are Montessori trained, and collectively we have over 40 years of experience teaching and caring for children. Our passion for teaching children using the Montessori method is what drives us to work as hard as we do. But we also like to have fun and we really enjoy working together.


Paola Contreras, Lead Teacher, Caterpillar Class

Paola joined LEMS in 2020.

Alexis Pagal Sanya-Olu, Teacher

Alexis is the Caterpillar class support teacher

Jennifer Kottage Lund, Lead Teacher, Butterfly Class

Jennifer joined LEMS in 2017

Flor Zepeda, Teacher

Flor is the Butterfly class support teacher

Monica Lannon, Afternoon Lead teacher

Monica joined LEMs in 2021

Julia Arriola, Aide

Julia joined LEMS in 2020


Julie Larwood, Lead Teacher

Julie joined Little Elephant Too! when it first opened in January 2016 even though she had been teaching Montessori for many previous years.  She studied at San Francisco Montessori Training Center where she received her AMS certification. Julie also attended Contra Costa College, D.V.C and Merritt Colleges. Julie is a California native, who grew up in Orinda and now lives in Oakland near Lake Merritt with her husband. She enjoys volunteering for the Oakland Museum, the Food Bank & Earth Day.

Joseph Niles. Teacher

Joseph is our morning assistant teacher working with Ms Julie.


Jamilett Mendoza, Teacher

Jamilett has three years experience working in a Montessori classroom. She has her Early Childhood Development certificate and is continuing her education. Jamilett is obtaining her Montessori Assistant Teacher training through the Center for Guided Montessori Studies. She is very proud of receiving her EMS (Emergency Medical Service Certificate) as a Junior in high school. She loves coming to work work every day, to teach a child and have a child teach her.

Angelina Macias-Crouse, Support Teacher

Angelina grew up in the east bay, mainly in El Cerrito and attended school in Berkeley. She has always loved being around kids and babysat for a long time. Two and a half years ago she decided to pursue early childhood education, and started working as an assistant teacher at Little Elephant. She is currently in school taking early childhood education classes and concurrently working on her Montessori Assistant teacher training through Center for Guided Montessori Studies.

Natanya Moore pictureNatanya Moore, Director

Little Elephant is owned by Natanya Moore, who received her International Montessori teaching credential from the St. Nicholas Centre for the Montessori Method of Education in London in 1992. With 29 years experience teaching at the infant through kindergarten level, Natanya has trained Montessori instructors at the Santa Monica Montessori Teacher Training Institute, established new programs and served as a director in other schools. Natanya works daily to support Little Elephant’s core values of Kindness, Peace, Passion for Learning, Community Building and Creativity. She is also the mother of 17 year old, Duncan.