OUR STAFF & VOLUNTEERS
Say hello to our caring, enthusiastic team!
We are proud of the diversity of our staff and teachers’ educational & professional backgrounds and the array of talents they bring to the Well. Our staff is committed to reaching the required annual training and professional development hours. We encourage teachers to be creative with their continuing education so they can hone their skills and learn more about subjects they are interested in and passionate about. Teachers are up to date with CPR, First Aid, SIDS/SBS and Child Abuse & Neglect trainings and certifications. Our infant & toddler teachers complete additional training hours in “Fundamentals of Infant & Toddler Care.” In addition, we offer 90 hours focused on Introduction to the Childcare Profession and Skills & Strategies for the Childcare Teacher.
Please note, we respect the privacy of all our team members and at times our staff or teachers opt to not have their photo and bio included on our website.
Angelica Quintero, Executive Director & Owner: Angi is the brains of the operation. She holds 2 master’s degrees in business and a bachelor’s in engineering. The idea for the Well came to Angi after having her second child and looking for like- minded families to connect with.
David Webb, Administrator & Owner: David has a master’s degree in business and a kinesiology bachelor’s degree. David enjoys leading our team to be an excellent role model for children in the classrooms.
Jiabao Zhang, Assistant Director: Jiabao holds his MA in Music from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, a BS in Project Management, and a BE in Finance. He has 5 years of experience in childcare. He is an opera singer and loves food & travel. Jiabao supports administrative and school program/curriculum projects, ensuring we are meeting and exceeding licensing standards. He teaches Mandarin Language Learning and Voice Lessons to our preschool students. He is also a Well parent!
Vijaya Shree Pitchumani, Assistant Director: Vijaya, or “Viji,” has a bachelor’s degree in physics, as well as a master’s degree in human resources management. She has an extensive background in IT, however, having two kids of her own (one of whom was a Wellie!) has grown her interest in pursuing a career that will allow her to stay connected to kids. She is passionate about being a nurturing presence at the school and supporting our teachers in their development.
Santini Mejia, Lead Teacher: Ms. Santini is originally from Mexico, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in communication. She has a 9-year-old daughter. Ms. Santini has over 10 years of experience working in childcare. She loves teaching Spanish and is passionate about working with babies, as she gets to see them grow and see all their first tricks. Outside of work she enjoys hanging out with friends, dancing, exploring Madison and listening to music.
Gerladine Saravia, Lead Teacher: Ms. Geraldine is originally from Central America’s Nicaragua. She received her education in psychology there. She has two kids who are 12 and 7 years old, respectively, and she adores them both. Because young children are the foundation for the future, she enjoys working with them. She likes to spend time with her children and read nice books in her free time.
Sprouts (1 Year Olds)
Thokomele “Mbally” Ndwandwe, Lead Teacher: Ms. Mbally is originally from South Africa, where she earned her diploma in Hospitality Management at Durban University of Technology. She is a firstborn of 5, and always loved looking after her siblings. She has 3 years childcare experience and has been our teacher for infants and toddlers since she started at the Well. She is looking forward to furthering her studies to obtain a degree in Early Childhood Education. She is also a Well parent!
Patricia Mateos, Lead Teacher: Ms. Patricia has 6 years of experience in childcare. She enjoys being with kids and finds it fun to learn from each one of them. She appreciates assisting kids with their growth. She is currently pursuing a degree in early childhood educator. Her favorite pastimes include reading, taking walks, and watching movies. She is married and has three daughters.
Saplings (1- & 2-Year Olds)
Lamees Moustafa, Lead Teacher: Ms. Lamees was born in Egypt and has a bachelor’s degree from Ismailia University. Lamees has 4 years of experience in early childhood education and worked for two childcare centers in Madison and Middleton. Lamees loves working with children because she believes helping them (and their families) is the most rewarding job she can think of! She celebrates the little things every single day. She also gets to be a part of the messy, amazing learning process and see so many smiles. Outside of work, she loves to meet new people and learn about other cultures and lifestyles. She loves to read books about diversity and global citizenship education. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, listening to soft music and cooking new foods.
Veronica Sanchez, Float Teacher: Ms. Veronica is a mother of three and a native of Mexico. She spent more than 12 years working with children. She enjoys working with children, caring for them, and helping them reach their next milestone. she especially loves seeing how quickly they grow and learn about the world around them. She is very excited to continue her career at the Well.
Blossoms (2 Year Olds)
Taniyah Reynolds, Lead Teacher: Ms. Taniyah, also known as “Ms. T” by the Wellies, was born and raised in Madison. She first enrolled in MATC to study nursing, but she is currently seeking to switch her major to early childhood education. She has eight years of experience working with kids and has always loved it. She is an only child from a large extended family and enjoys supporting and observing youngsters as they grow in a variety of ways. Along with baking and reading, she likes to spend time with her loved ones.
Ellen Stang, Lead Teacher: Ms. Ellen obtained a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Ellen taught at a children’s academy in Chicago for two years before recently moving back to Madison. She loves hiking, backpacking, and just about any activity involving nature! She also enjoys spending time with her dog, Randall, and cheering on the Wisconsin Badgers! Ellen looks forward to being a part of your children’s educational journey and cannot wait to help them discover the joy of learning!
Willows (2- & 3-Year Olds)
Abby Hill, Lead Teacher: Ms. Abby started teaching at The Well in August 2023. Previously, she studied at the University of Iowa, earning a bachelor’s degree in music performance and a minor in Communication Studies. Over the last decade, she has explored a variety of careers, but ultimately continues to be drawn back to early childhood education. She has always had a special spot in her heart for little learners and strives to be a teacher that little learners can count on!
Meghan Stecker, Lead Teacher: Meghan Stecker (Meg) graduated from the University of Wisconsin — Madison with a degree in Music Education. Meg previously taught elementary general music in the public school system before deciding to shift their focus to a smaller and more personal teaching environment. In their free time, Meg loves to sing, play piano and guitar, and perform in musicals in the Madison Area.
Redwoods (3 Year Olds)
Elizabeth Snider, Lead Teacher: Ms. Lizzie relocated to Oregon, Wisconsin, two years ago to obtain a degree in elementary education at MATC. She is originally from Monroe, Wisconsin. She has been around children and taking care of them for a long time because she has two nephews who are 9 and 10 years old. She enjoys spending every day with children, going outside and doing crafts are some of her favorites with the Wellies. Outside of the Well, she enjoys riding UTVs, fishing, and spending time with her family and friends.
Stella Bernal, Lead Teacher: Ms. Stella, also known as Techy, is a native of Cartagena, Colombia. She graduated from Bogota, Columbia, with an associate degree in early childhood education. Her son is thirty-three years old. She enjoys teaching children and learning from them, which is why she is passionate about working with children. Furthermore, encouraging the social, linguistic, emotional, and other development of children. She enjoys going on hikes, traveling, reading, watching movies, and hanging out with her loved ones.
Sequoias (4- & 5-Year Olds)
Fabiola Alva, Lead Teacher: Ms. Fabiola has been at the Well since 2019 and has been working with children for 11 years, and formerly worked at Dane County Parent Council and Reach Dane. She holds a degree in Early Childhood Education. She considers it a privilege not only to teach young minds but also to learn from them. As a teacher, she loves supporting students in their social, emotional, mental, and physical development. She has four children of her own and birds.
Maria Vasilev, Lead 4K Teacher: Ms. Maria is not only a Sequoias teacher, but she also practices yoga with our young yogis. She started her adventure in the Well in 2018 as our volunteer yoga teacher, and shortly thereafter became a classroom teacher. She has been teaching yoga for over 6 years and holds her BS in Sport & Physical Education. Maria grew up in Romania and was an avid gymnast – she still enjoys practicing gymnastics!
Enrichment Learning & Support
Linda Hernandez, Nutrition Coordinator: Ms. Linda enjoys cooking and trying out new cuisines in the kitchen. She is active, loves learning and taking care of children. She believes it is important to care for every child as if they are her own. She is a mother and has cared for her nieces and nephews. She enjoys travelling, make-up, music and dance. She is in charge of developing our snack menus and encouraging the children to try new foods and make nutritious choices!
Analia Theo, Float Teacher: Analia, or “Ms. Lia,” has 6 years of childcare experience working with 3–4-year-old children. Before becoming an early childhood educator, she attended Aveda for esthetician school and worked in that field before switching to childcare. She is extra passionate about sunscreen and the UV index and acts as our resident skin care advocate! She’s excited to advance her career in a forward-thinking preschool that challenges her and that helps move Early Childhood Education forward.
Brooke Barakat, Float Teacher: Ms. Brooke is currently a student at UW-Madison studying Elementary Education, focusing on teaching foreign languages with a minor in Business Chinese. She has been working with children for two years by teaching swim lessons during the school year and counseling during the summer. During her free time, she loves to read anything she can get her hands on, learn languages, and try out new recipes she finds online!
Oksana Kindiuk, Substitute Teacher: Ms. Oksana was born and raised in Madison and holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has 9 years of experience working with children, mainly teaching gymnastics to kids ages 3-12 and nannying. She also plans on attending grad school to obtain an MS in Communication Sciences & Disorders to become a speech pathologist. Outside of work and school, she loves playing piano, cooking, and enjoying time outdoors.
Robin Moody, Float Teacher: Ms. Robin is from St. Paul, Minnesota, but is attending the University of Wisconsin – Madison, majoring in Elementary and Special Education. It is her junior year, so she looks forward to spending time learning from the Wellies before heading into student teaching next year! In high school, she was a summer camp counselor, babysitter, and coached dance camps for younger kids in her school district. She also works as a nanny in the summer. She loves hanging out with friends and family, board games, working out, and music. Ms. Robin is so excited to meet all the students and families of the Well!
Allie Sachtjen, Substitute Teacher: Ms. Allie has her Associate of Arts in Early Childhood Education and 11 years of childcare experience. Allie was one of our first lead infant teachers. She recently finished her degree in the Dental Hygienist program at Madison College. She enjoys cooking, baking, hiking and traveling.
Ellie Heiking, Substitute Teacher: Ms. Ellie has a degree in Corporate Health Communication & Health Promotion from University of Wisconsin – Whitewater. She has over 9 years of experience in childcare. Ellie was previously our Community & Culture Director, establishing partnerships with local companies and organizations that complemented our curriculum and programming. She loves to incorporate activities that focus on wellness and nutrition in her teaching. Passionate about fitness, she’s competed in 2 mud runs and 3 Susan G. Komen “Race for the Cure” events.
Becky Leider-Heiking: Ms. Becky was with us as a Saplings lead teacher before her retirement and looks forward to coming back as a volunteer for special events and other classroom support! She has worked for the Wisconsin Alumni Association as an administrative assistant and event planner and hosted several overseas alumni trips and countless Bowl trips. She also worked at ARC Maternal & Infant Community Services. Before teaching here, she was with the Dane County Drug Court through Journey Mental Health. She has experience working with people from all walks of life and really enjoys helping everyone. In her off hours she is a donation sorter for the Dane County Humane Society (which she says is very interesting!), loves making cards, scrapbooking and trying to upcycle and recycle anything she can. She has a grown son and daughter, three cats and a husband who enjoys biking and has played Santa Claus for the Well at winter events!
Deena Grass: Ms. Deena is a retired elementary teacher who taught for 30 years and now shares her knowledge, expertise and resources with our teachers. She also finds us really great learning materials! She holds her BA and MA in Education. She is a proud grandmother to 9 grandchildren.