Meet Our Staff
Milestones Preschool, licensed by the State of California, prides itself in hiring only the most professional and caring teachers, all of whom are extensively trained in early childhood development. Our team includes teachers who hold bachelors and masters level degrees in Child Development and Education, have many years of teaching experience, and have additional training and experience working with children with developmental delays or disabilities. Our low 1:5 teacher to student ratio ensures that your child receives individualized and personal attention regardless of ability. One of our core values is a respect for individual learning styles which enables your child to progress based on his/her strengths and needs.
In addition to your classroom interaction with the teachers, you will meet them at regularly scheduled parent conferences that include review of your child’s developmental screenings, classroom portfolios, and the teachers’ anecdotal observations.
Our teachers consult with Abilities United’s physical, occupational and speech therapists to foster appropriate behavioral activities for your child in and out of the classroom.
Stacy Matsuura holds a master’s degree in early childhood education with a child development program director’s permit from California State University, Fresno. She has worked as an early childhood caregiver in a preschool laboratory at the University of California at Davis, provided preschool staff development, and presented on Reggio-Emilia documentation. She came to the preschool from the Abilities United Adult Services department, where she was an independent living skills instructor. Prior to joining Abilities United, Stacy served as an adult service specialist working with adults with disabilities, and as a Child Life volunteer helping chronically ill children cope with hospitalization. She has worked as a campus monitor, as well as a teacher’s aide and teacher’s assistant with school-age children. Stacy is an avid hiker and nature enthusiast, and enjoys movies, golfing, and spending time with friends and family.
Betsy Harrity was raised and educated in New England, where she received her BFA in painting from Rhode Island School of Design. After volunteering extensively at her children’s schools, Betsy realized that she wanted to pursue teaching so that she could share her passion for art and music with children. She chose to work with preschoolers because of their openness, creativity and curiosity. Prior to working at Milestones, Betsy was the general education teacher in an inclusive preschool in Burlingame for seven years. Additionally, she was an associate teacher in the center’s special day class for nearly two years. Betsy believes that each child has unique abilities and that it is a teacher’s responsibility to ensure they reach their full potential by creating a warm, nurturing environment that is both challenging and comforting. She feels blessed to be able to teach in an inclusive learning environment and spend her day with children as they play, learn and grow at Milestones Preschool. Betsy enjoys spending time with her two college-aged daughters and her husband of 32 years. She loves visiting museums and painting in her studio when away from school.
Rebecca Richardson has more than 19 years of teaching experience as well as 44 early childhood education units from De Anza College. Her work has focused on children with and without disabilities and their families. Before joining Abilities United, she taught in a private, play-based preschool and in an accredited U.S. Air Force Base preschool. She completed a two-year training program through NAEYC, the national preschool accreditation agency, while working for the U.S. Air Force. Rebecca has also spent the last several years working in a social skills program at a private speech pathologist’s clinic. Rebecca has a special interest in bringing art, music, and animal therapy into the classroom. She enjoys spending time with her family, being out in nature, and finding good books to share!
Chris “Z” Zielewski has been teaching people living with disabilities since 2011 and has previously taught for both San Jose and Milpitas Unified school districts. Originally from Virginia, Z earned his bachelor’s degree from Randolph College, majoring in psychology and minoring in sociology with focuses in early childhood development, family and kindship, deviancy, and atypical psychology. While attending Randolph, Z received an award for community building and was credited for reuniting a community which had been fractured and at odds with itself for multiple years. Since moving to California, he has also earned his master’s degree in Special Education from Grand Canyon University. In his off time, Z is a first-string defenseman for the Electric Mayhem roller hockey team, an inventor, an avid outdoorsman, and has worked with and appeared on a number of local TV and Theatre productions. At home, he has one cat, “Turkey”, which was born feral, then raised as a dog. She now knows 16 commands based on words, hand signals, and whistles.
Olivia Saachi recognized her passion working with preschoolers while providing childcare to multiple families with toddlers and young children. She earned a bachelor’s degree in literature from Seton Hill University and has earned 12 units in early childhood education and 60 units towards a multi-subject teaching credential from Charter College of Education, California State University, Los Angeles. Before moving to the Bay Area, Olivia was a substitute teacher for grades K-12 at charter schools throughout Los Angeles County. She wants to obtain additional early childhood education units to further her comprehension and mastery in preschool education. Olivia is inspired by Milestones Preschool’s dedication to inclusion and its focus on all areas of child development. When not working, Olivia enjoys jogging, swimming, and spending time with her two adorable nephews.