Kristina Mundera with son, Niko


At IC Community School we believe that the quality a school's teaching staff is the most defining variable that influences each student's learning. Our staff will be chosen for their: great passion for learning with children; sense of compassion and love towards others; understanding of the lastest in child development and educational theory; creativity and curiosity; ability to work collaboratively with the school community; and their dedication to the values of social justice. All lead teachers at IC Community School will be fully credentialed and/or hold a Masters Degree in Child Development or Education.

Director and Lead Teacher: Kristina Mundera, MA

Kristina Mundera has been teaching for 13 years and is passionate about her profession. Kristina started teaching in rural Nicaragua as a Peace Corps volunteer, where she also founded a children's library and education center (including a preschool) that continues to grow today. Back in California, she received her teaching credential with an emphasis in bilingual education. As an upper elementary teacher in the Spanish-immersion programs first in Mountain View, and then in Palo Alto she was known for creating creative curriculum that allowed her students to access academic content in a child-centered way, with a focus on critical thinking and social justice

Kristina holds her Master of Art in Teaching with a focus on Critical Thinking, Social Justice and Environmental Education. She was awarded the Frank and Josephine Humanitarian award for her work in education in 2005.

FROM KRISTINA: I have loved my time as a public school teacher, but the emotional drain of constantly struggling against the system to stand-up for what I know is truly right for our students is not what I want for my life in the long run, nor for my children's lives. My twins are only four, but their intensely bright personalities have been shining through from the beginning. I watch in wonder as they meet the world with dance, song and thoughtful questions, and as they develop different passions and ways of interacting with others. And I can't bear the thought of confining their spirits in a system of education that seems to value conformity above identity, creativity and social connections.

Which brings me to the next big learning lesson in my life: starting IC Community School. Although there is much I have to learn about creating the school I envision, I do not find this fact daunting, but exciting. Since leaving college my life experience has taught me that so long as I feel passionately about what I am doing it is the projects that seem most challenging that bring the greatest satisfaction and joy. I have learned that with motivation, effort and effective collaboration just about anything is possible. This is a lesson I hope my sons –and all our future students at IC Community School– will have the opportunity to learn at a young age as they constantly engage in challenging school projects that hold personal meaning.

TK2 Teacher: Julio Bernal

My name is Julio Bernal and I am entering into my second year of teaching at IC Community School in the elementary school program. This is a special position for me since I grew up in East Oakland and was educated through the Oakland Unified School District. I recently graduated from San José State University with a degree in Childhood and Adolescent Development. My prior experiences include working as Full-Immersion Spanish Teacher at World Kids Academy in Oakland, Lead Supervisor and 4th Grade Teacher at Higher Ground in Oakland, and Teacher Assistant at Chabot College’s Children Center in Hayward.

I was born in México and spent the first 10 years of my life there, where I completed elementary school. From a young age I liked school, although sometimes I lacked the motivation to study or engage in some of the classes. I now realize that it was due to the fact that everyone learns in different ways and uses different methods to produce academic results. I was lucky to have teachers who knew how to reach students like me and motivated me to find the joy in learning. These learning experiences have followed me into adult life, and now I find myself in the position to facilitate these types of learning opportunities for the students at IC Community School following the school’s principles and goals.

Preschool Program Director and Lead Teacher: Megan Parkinson

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Preschool Teacher: Rosa Carranza

My name is Rosa Carranza Gomez. I was born and raised in El Salvador, and I have lived in the United States for 22 years. I am a mother of three wonderful children and a grandmother of a 5 years old boy. I love and respect nature, and all the living things because I care about all human kind. I also love outdoor activities, especially camping, hiking, biking, playing fútbol (soccer), soft ball and dancing. I am very international with food and music, but my favorite food is pupusas a Salvadoran, dish and my second best is Indian food.

In 1995, I moved to Burlingame where I worked as a full time nanny for more than ten years. In 2004, I went back to school for English as Second Language classes and for Child Development classes as well. In 2013 my dream came true, I obtained my Associate of Arts degree in Child Development from San Francisco City College. From 2008 to 2013, I worked as a substitute teacher in the Bay Area while I was attending school. Then, for the 2013 to 2014 school year, I worked as a permanent full time teacher for the Sunnydale Heard Start Program. I am now enjoying my second year teaching in the preschool program at IC Community school.

I love everything I do, and I am proud and committed to the causes I believe in. I respect people for who they are, not for what they have. I believe that children deserve a loving and understanding environment, and people who can guide them with love and care.

Art Teacher: Elena Topete

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