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Be a part of Family Connections

Faculty & Staff

Our Teachers

Angela Jaime, Bilingual Teacher – Belle Haven Classroom
Angela Jaime has been one of our bi-lingual teachers since 1993. She is responsible for teaching preschool students and parent education. She helps develop the curriculum according to standards set by the Sequoia Adult School, and she completes related administrative tasks. Before coming to Family Connections, Angela spent five years teaching primary school in El Salvador. Angela has her California State Parent Education Teaching Credential, and she continues her education in early childhood education.

Lorena Cadenas, Bilingual Teacher – Redwood City Classroom
Lorena Cadenas was hired in December 2001 to teach parent participation preschool and parent education at our East Palo Alto and Clara Mateo locations.   She moved to our Redwood City site when it opened in December 2008.  She has completed her Early Childhood Education degree, and has a Parent Education Credential through the State of California. Lorena continues to take early childhood classes to further her education.  She also has taken on the role of classroom and program assistant, doing the purchasing and keeping family files up to date.

Margarita Ventura, Bilingual Teacher – East Palo Alto Classroom
Margarita was hired in December 2008 to teach parent participation preschool and parent education at East Palo Alto location. She has extensive experience with Montessori preschools, and was a Family Service specialist for the County of Santa Clara. Margarita holds a California Parent Education Credential.

Thelma Saenz, Teacher’s Aide – Belle Haven and East Palo Alto
Thelma Saenz was hired in September, 2008 to teach at both our Belle Haven and East Palo sites.  She has taught at both Head Start and The Learning Center preschools in Palo Alto. She is currently completing her Associates Degree, finishing in the spring of 2009.

Sara Arancibia, Bilingual Teacher – Saturday program
Sara Arancibia was hired in August 2006 to teach the Saturday morning program. Sara was born in Michuacan, Mexico and moved the United States when she was 17 years old. She worked with children and families for more than ten years at The Child Care Coordinating Council in San Mateo County facilitating parenting education classes and coordinating county-wide Touchpoints groups. She has also been a home visitor for The Pre to Three program and had her own Family Day care.

Our Staff

Renee Zimmerman, Executive Director
Renee Zimmerman started with Family Connections in January 2004 and is our Executive Director. Renee graduated from San Francisco State University and has a Master's Degree from the London School of Economics. She worked with children and families for over 14 years as a professional with the YMCA.

Loree Watanabe, Grants Coordinator
Loree has been with Family Connections since September 2004 and is part of the Development team. She is responsible for securing grant funding from a variety of sources. Loree has a background as a non-profit program director and has a BA degree from University of Washington.

Debbie Denton, Community Liaison Coordinator
Debbie has been with Family Connections since 2001. She is responsible for coordinating site and volunteer activities. She has a B.S. from the University of Massachusetts.

Betsy Carter, Volunteer Coordinator
Betsy was hired in January, 2009 to take over volunteer coordination activities.  She has volunteered for Family Connections for several years, including two years as the chair of the Evening with Children’s Authors Night fundraiser. She has a BA and a Masters of Public Affairs from Indiana University.

Donna Badgett, Development and Program Administrator
Donna Badgett was hired in August 2006 to administer the donor database, direct mail fundraising programs, donor correspondence and program data. She has a B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing from the College of Notre Dame.

Lynette York, Director of Finance
Lynette York was hired in November 2002 after volunteering as Treasurer on the Family Connections Board for two years. She is responsible for overseeing finances, which includes payroll, audit, taxes and helping develop the annual budget. She has a Bachelors of Science in Commerce from Santa Clara University.

Ruth Pinkus-Resnik, Education Coordinator
Ruth was hired in January 2003 to oversee the quality of our education program both for the children and the parents. She has a Masters in Family and Consumer Sciences and over twenty years of experience in early childhood development, including teaching at two local community colleges.

Aimee Swanson, Preschool Outreach Coordinator
We welcomed Aimee to Family Connections in January 2009 as our new Preschool Outreach Coordinator, focusing on our sister preschools.  Aimee assists with the outreach effort for Family Connections, and is helping to develop new volunteers and corporate support for the organization. Aimee has a B.A. in History from the University California Santa Barbara. Before joining Family Connections, Aimee spent 10 years in retail and then worked for and volunteered with the City of Belmont. She has been active in fundraising and volunteering for over 20 years.

Kathy Schrenk, Outreach Coordinator
We welcomed Kathy to with Family Connections in January 2009 as our new Outreach Coordinator, focusing on corporate and community relations.  Kathy is helping to develop new volunteers and corporate support for the organization.  Kathy has a degree in English and has five years of experience as a newspaper reporter at several Bay Area newspapers. She also worked in fundraising at the Marine Science Institute in Redwood City.

“After graduating from Family Connections when my son went to Kindergarten, I helped in the classroom as a teacher’s aid during the art program. I wanted to see his development in the classroom. He was happy to see his Mom there too!”

Margarita Herrera, Family Connections parent and mother of two children 8 and 2.5 years old