Mary Aima

Mrs. Aima was born in St. Louis, Missouri and grew up in the small town of Webster Groves with her parents, four sisters and a brother. During her summers she and her family enjoyed traveling throughout the United States. She studied psychology while working at a deaf institute as a house mother for four years. She then traveled to Haiti to volunteer for three years at an orphanage, where she was the Activity Director. It was there that she met her husband and later they moved to California. She joined the GLM community in 1991 and has been working as one of our toddler teachers for the past twenty-nine years. During this time she has studied early childhood education and took administration classes to become a Site Supervisor. For twenty of those years she designed and sewed costumes for the GLM Performing Arts Camp, hosted by GLM every summer. She holds a AMI diploma from the Montessori Institute of the Northwest for the infant & toddler level. One of her favorite things about working with the toddlers is supporting them in their independence and watching them explore and discover things for the first time. She also values her role of supporting and collaborating with parents for the well-being of their children. Her daughter attended GLM through elementary. Outside of school she enjoys cooking, cake decorating, sewing and swimming.

Ying Tien

Mrs. Tien was born in Vietnam and moved with her family to China. She came to the United States in January 2006. She did not speak any English upon her arrival, but began taking classes. She joined GLM in 2008 as a support teacher in the Mulberry classroom, where she is still teaching! She believes that working at GLM is a great place for her to better her English and learn Montessori philosophy: learning from the parents and community, learning from colleagues, and especially learning from the children. Children have taught her to open her mind and her heart to joy. Ms. Tien feels blessed to be a part of the GLM community, and she has completed Montessori Assistant training for both primary and toddler courses. Her goal is to help children become confident, independent learners and she believes learning should be fun. She enjoys shopping and cooking for her family in her spare time.  

Charlie Zhang

Charlie was born and raised in Guangdong, China. After graduating from college, she ran an illustration studio, taught children painting, and worked as a freelancer in illustration. She enjoys drawing and using photoshop. In order to reunite with her parents, she moved to California with her husband and son in 2019. After that, she worked as a teaching assistant for a private toddler program in Oakland for two years. She is currently studying child development courses at Merritt College. She joined GLM in 2021 as a support teacher in the Mulberry classroom. She feels we have become accustomed to thinking in terms of “what can we teach the children” when in fact, perhaps we need to think more: “What can we learn from the children?”In her spare time, she likes to hike, watch movies, and paint.

Danny Tien

Mr. Tien was born in Beiha, China. His family immigrated to this country when he was 10 years old because his parents wanted a better life, especially for him. At six months old, he had an accident and hurt his right leg. He was very lucky to get into Shriners Hospitals for Children and the care he received there changed his life. He attended Merritt College and studied Child Development. In addition he received his Administrative Site Director units and holds a AMI diploma from the Montessori Institute of the Northwest for Infant/toddler level. When he first stepped into a Montessori classroom at GLM he observed how quiet, calm, patient, and well mannered the children were. His teaching philosophy is supporting children to make their own choices and helping them develop intrinsic happiness. He joined GLM in the early 1990s. He taught in a primary classroom for seven years before switching over to work with toddlers. He now enjoys his new role as staffing coordinator. He loves spending time with his family, cooking, and bowling.

Grace Mollel

Ms. Mollel was born and raised in Arusha Tanzania, East Africa, as were both of her parents. After finishing college she worked at the the NGO-Tanzanian Norwegian Aids Project in Arusha and the Kilimanjaro region as an account assistant for five years. She traveled to the United States and Oakland, California where she worked as a nanny for several years before joining GLM. She has worked as a support teacher in one of our toddler classrooms for more than 10 years. Her philosophy in her work with both children and adults is for all to be acknowledged, respected and treated with love. Her passions includes cleaning, organizing, music and spending time with family and friends.

Samanta Gonzalez

I was born in Jalisco, Mexico as were both of my parents. My family and I moved to California when I was 3 years old. I am the oldest of four siblings. I grew up in San Leandro and I still continue to live there. In High School, I attended vocational classes with a focus on Careers in Education. Through this program, I interned in a family home daycare, kindergarten and first grade classroom. After High school, I began to take Early Childhood Development classes. In 2018, I completed my AMI Assistant to Infancy training with Montessori Northwest. For 2 years, I worked as a Montessori Infant Head teacher. I’ve also worked as a Nanny to a wonderful kid for 3 years. I enjoy watching and helping children learn how to be better versions of themselves. My goal is for children to build confidence by being independent and be excited to learn everyday. During my free time,  I enjoy reading fiction books, sun bathing, making healthy meals and spending time with my family and friends.