Janelle Ledesma

Janelle was born and raised in the Bay Area. She is the first generation to grow up in the United States. Her appreciation for education started at a young age, as she watched her mother complete her high school and college education while speaking little to no English. Education was not as accessible to her mother in the part of Mexico where she grew up and knowing this gave Janelle an impression as to how valuable education was. As she worked on her degree in nursing at Contra Costa College, she began working in an elementary after school program in Richmond, CA. She worked with second graders in an ESL program. Watching the children learn and grow inspired her. She was so moved by the students that she

changed her degree and graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelors of Science in Family and Human Development. Although Janelle knew her place was to teach, she felt that in a traditional educational setting, the needs of children were not always being met. She set out to find the missing piece and discovered it in the Montessori pedagogy. Through her exploration in Montessori education, she has worked in infant, toddler and primary classes, but fell in love with working with elementary aged children. Janelle completed her AMI elementary training at the Montessori Institute of San Diego. In her spare time, Janelle loves to hike, read, cook, and spend time with her family and friends.

Djamila Guendoud

Djamila was born and raised in Algeria, North Africa. She grew up in a large family with many siblings. After receiving her BS degree from the University of Law and Administration in Algeria 2005, she moved to the States along with her husband. Right after moving to California she started attending college where she changed programs many times until she found out about child development and she never looked back. She graduated with an AA degree in child development from Merritt College. The thought of getting this degree came right after giving birth to her two children, who are pre-teens now. She worked as an interpreter at schools and children’s clinics to help Arabic and French parents who spoke little to no English. She joined GLM through an agency where she worked as a substitute teacher. She enjoys working with children as this offers her an opportunity to connect with them, help them reach their potential, and guide them towards meaningful growth. Cooking is her passion as it brings back her childhood memories and connects her with her country of origin and its traditional dishes. But the most important thing for her is spending time with her husband and kids.