Our Staff

Our staff is required to hold credentials from the California Commission on Teaching Credentialing. Staff members also participate in professional growth including continuing education, seminars and annual conferences in order to keep abreast of new developments in early childhood education and continue to provide a quality program for the children.


Our staff is carefully selected to provide a loving and nurturing Christian environment while stimulating the children academically and socially. All staff members are experienced, well-qualified, and knowledgeable in child development. Kindness and consideration are modeled in both words and behavior. Positive reinforcement is used to guide children and help them develop a strong self-esteem. 


All staff members are CPR & First Aid Certified.


Teacher/Child ratios are 1:8


Parent Teacher Conferences

We offer formal parent teacher conferences in October and May to review your child's growth and development.

Meet Our Preschool Staff Members


  • Carla Leveratt, our Director, is a native Californian. She and her husband, Neil, moved to Rancho Santa Margarita in 1987 where they raised three children. Carla, her husband, and all three children are graduates of California State University at Fullerton. Carla holds a Masters of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education. She has participated in the California Mentor Program for over ten years and she has taught at Saddleback Children’s Center for twenty-seven years. Carla enjoys outdoor adventure and has climbed a number of the fourteener peaks in the Eastern Sierras including eight successful summits on Mt. Whitney.

  • miss meagan - Assistant Director

    Meagan.K@saddlebackchildrenscenter.org

    Meagan Kraszewski, our Assistant Director, was born and raised in San Juan Capistrano. She attended Purdue University where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing and Minor in Psychology. Meagan also met her husband, Kyle, at Purdue and upon graduating they moved out to Chicago where they lived for almost five years. One year before moving back to California, God surprised Meagan and Kyle with two blessings, twin girls. Meagan began her career in banking, but from the moment her children were brought into her life she has since been inspired to work with children as a profession as she is continually amazed at the world through the eyes of a child. Meagan went back to school to obtain an Associate of Science in Child Development from Saddleback College and currently holds a California Child Development Teaching Permit as a Site Supervisor. For fun, she loves spending time with her family, being outdoors, drawing and just laughing.

  • Miss Jessica - Jumpstart Teacher (Orange Room)

    Jessica Ilfeld is thrilled to be a part of the Saddleback Children's Center family. She has a love for Disneyland, Star Wars, and is currently studying Early Childhood Education and Child Development. She is excited to be teaching in one of our Jumpstart classrooms.


    Miss Jessica absolutely adores working with children and helping them grow. She can't wait to meet all of you!



  • MISS ALICIA - JUMPSTART AIDE (Orange Room)

    Alicia Quesada studied Early Child Development at Riverside Community College and at Saddleback College. She says that working at Saddleback Children's Center has been a true blessing! Words cannot express how thankful she is to be working with an amazing staff.


    Outside of SCC, Miss Alicia has been married for 20 years with her husband, Edward. She has 3 beautiful kids: Joshua 16, Alyssa 12, and Vanessa 11. She was blessed to be a stay-at-home mom for some time. She loves cooking and baking and enjoys running and working out at the gym. 

  • MISS KRISTINA - JUMPSTART TEACHER (Brown Room)

    & OUTDOOR CLASSROOM SPECIALIST

    Kristina Amante began working with children in 2006 in an after school program. She began taking Child Development classes at Santa Ana College. In 2007 she had her first child, Alyssa, and began working as an assistant in the infant class. She later received her Associate of Arts in Child Development and became an infant teacher. In 2013 she had her son Levi. She later realized that she wanted to get experience working with other ages and decided to work at Saddleback Children's Center.


    Aside from being a mom, wife, and teacher's aide, Miss Kristina loves being outdoors running. She loves being able to watch children grow and know that she is able to make a different in their lives.

  • Miss Amanda - Jumstart Aide (Brown Room)

    Amanda Perez has been working with children for twelve years. She has studied Early Childhood Development at Saddleback College. She is very thankful to work with such an amazing staff and a great group of kids at Saddleback Children's Center. She also teaches Sunday school at Community Lutheran Church and leads the young moms group part of the women’s group of CLC. 

     

    Outside of SCC, Miss Amanda and her husband Chris enjoy spending time with their daughter Riley Rose. They enjoy camping, hiking, and being together as a family. 

  • MISS JENNY - Young 3's PRESCHOOL TEACHER (Blue Room)

    Miss Jenny recently graduated from California State University Long Beach with a Bachelors Degree in Child Development and Family Studies. Go Beach! She has also attained a Early Childhood Education Associates Degree from Saddleback College. Even though recently graduated, she looks forward to continually learning and improving as an early childhood educator.


    Miss Jenny was born and raised in Southern California and currently resides in San Clemente with her husband Max. She enjoys traveling, calligraphy, gardening, anything fitness, and spending time with her very large extended family. She looks forward to working with all the wonderful children and families here at Saddleback Children’s Center. 

  • Miss Kailey - Blue Room Aide

    Miss Kailey's bio is coming soon!

  • MISS LINDA - Mid 3's PRESCHOOL TEACHER (Yellow Room)

    Linda Burkholder is currently a teacher in the Yellow Room with the 3-4 year-olds. First and foremost, her passion is truly teaching and she looks forward to every day she gets to spend at Saddleback Children's Center. This will be her tenth year at this school and she has worked with four-year-olds, three-year-olds, and two-year-olds! She has an Associate of Arts degree and has completed the Early Childhood Development courses at Irvine Valley College to receive her teaching credential. She has also taught Sunday School for thirteen years with two-year-olds, so you can see where her heart lies! Prior to working at the school, she and her husband had their own business for 35 years.


    Miss Linda has been married for 51 years and is the proud Mother of two beautiful daughters, and has six wonderful grandchildren. She enjoys traveling, reading, drawing, sewing, cross-stitching, playing the piano, gardening, going to the beach, and spending time with her grandchildren. She believes that teaching is an incredibly important profession and feels very blessed to be a part of it.

  • MISS GENEVA - Yellow Room Aide

    Geneva is in her 7th year as a teacher's assistant at Saddleback Children's Center. She received her Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture from Cal Poly University. Geneva is currently attending Saddleback College to attain her Master Teacher Certificate.


    Miss Geneva resides in Rancho Santa Margarita with her husband Dave and two children, Siena who is in eight grade and Jacob who is in fifth grade and their dog Mocha. Aside from work, you can find her volunteering at her children's schools, Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts and sports. For leisure, Geneva is interested in the art of calligraphy, photography, architecture, and horticulture. Geneva also enjoys outdoor sports and traveling with her family.

  • MISS SANDI - Older 3's PRESCHOOL TEACHER (Red Room)

    Sandi Becerra has fifteen years of experience in teaching children in which she has truly enjoyed. She has taught three and four-year-olds during the morning preschool hours along with the Full Day and Summer programs.


    Her background includes completing Early Childhood Education courses at Irvine Valley College and receiving her teaching credential. Her goal is to further her education and to obtain a Master Teacher/ Site Supervisory Certificate.


    She lives with her daughter, Natasha, who graduated from The Art Institute of Orange County. She enjoys movies, walking, writing and spending time with her immediate and church family.


    She is a strong advocate for children and considers it a true blessing to be teaching God's precious children here at Saddleback Children's Center.

  • Miss Rachel - Red Room Aide

    Miss Rachel is from Trabuco Canyon and currently resides in Rancho Santa Margarita with her husband and two children. She is currently going to school for a degree in Early Childhood Education. She feels so blessed to be a part of Saddleback Children’s Center and to be able to get to know and work with all of your children!


    Outside of work she loves to spend time with her family doing anything outdoors or going to Disneyland!

  • Miss Jennifer - Pre-K Teacher (Turquoise Room)

    Jennifer has lived here in Southern California her whole life and is a seasoned parent with 3 grown children. Her eldest son is a graduate of USC, her daughter is in college and her youngest son will be a freshman at Saddleback this fall. Jennifer received her BA at Long Beach State in Child Development and Family Studies and her love of teaching has kept her in the classroom for 8 years-with 3 years here at SCC. She stays active by exercising seniors in her fitness and aqua aerobics classes and enjoys nature hiking, paddle boarding, cycling and travel adventures. 

  • Miss Michelle - Turquoise Room Aide

    Michelle is very excited to be a part of Saddleback Children's Center this year. She was blessed to be able to be a stay at home mom with her two children and is now ready to come back to the classroom.


    Michelle received her Bachelor's degree in Human Development with an emphasis on Child Development and Family Studies from Cal State Long Beach and has many years of experience working with children. It is her passion and something she truly enjoys

    .

    In her free time, Michelle enjoys reading, kayaking, and spending quality time with her family. 

  • Miss Kristin - Pre-K Teacher (Purple Room)

    Kristin Thomas is looking forward to a wonderful year at Saddleback Children's Center working with Pre-K students. She has always enjoyed young children, spending her teenage years babysitting children in her neighborhood and spending time in preschools during college. She received her bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education from Arizona State University. Kristin also earned her Master's degree from Northern Arizona University in Bilingual & Multicultural Education. She has taught in an elementary school setting for over ten years and is excited to rejoin the workforce after staying home with her son.


    Kristin is a native Arizonian who recently relocated to California with her wonderful husband, Brett and their young son. Their extremely affectionate puggle also came along for the ride. Together they enjoy hiking and spending time at the beach. 

  • Miss Marie - JK Teacher (Green Room)

    Marie Papst feels blessed to be the Junior Kindergarten teacher at Saddleback Children’s Center. She has been in early education for 13 years and has served primarily in Christian education. She has her Associate of Science Degree in Child Development from Saddleback College and a California Child Development Teaching Permit. Ms. Marie lives with her wonderful husband, their beautiful daughter and a very spoiled 13-year-old Labrador named Chloe.


    She spends her free time with her family, but she also enjoys refurbishing old furniture, garage sale shopping, eating, running and reading. Ms. Marie feels honored and very excited to be part of your child’s learning journey!

  • MISS DIANE - FULL DAY PROGRAM TEACHER &

    Green Room Aide

    Diane McVicker is extremely excited to be a part of Saddleback Children's Center and its remarkable staff. She works with Miss Marie in the Junior Kindergarten class and as the Lead Teacher in the afternoon for the Full Day Program. She has been at Saddleback Children's Center for 11 years and she absolutely loves it.


    Outside of school, Miss Diane loves to work out every chance she gets. She also loves going to dinner with family and friends. She has an awesome son Ryan who recently graduated from a college in San Francisco. She is looking forward to another exciting and fun year!

  • Miss LIgia - Full Day Program Assistant Teacher

    Miss Ligia is very happy to be working in the afternoon program this year. She considers it a great blessing and honor to be part of the education process and care of our precious children. She is looking forward to a fun time supporting them to discover their talents and interests through play and engaging activities. One thing that always fills her with wonder and reverence is the amazing developmental growth that the little ones are experiencing in front of our eyes. Also, not in the least, she finds it an incredible blessing to share God's message of love and grace with them!


    Miss Ligia move from Romania with her husband and her daughter to the United States 17 years ago. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science in Romania and, once in the US, she worked as a Computer Programmer for many years. In 2012, she had the chance to follow her heart's desire and to make a career change. She realized that being a part of the education process of young learners would bring joy to her life. Following her passion, she started Early Childhood Education classes and is now completing her last class at Saddleback Community College in order to receive her Early Childhood Teacher Certificate and Permit. She currently has an Teacher Permit. Her wonderful daughter, Diana, is 26 years old and lives in Phoenix, AZ where she is pursuing her doctoral degree at Arizona State University. Her family enjoys hiking, travelling, and visiting relatives in Romania. She loves nature, animals, and science is one of her favorite subjects.


    She is looking forward to getting to know you and your special children and to a great school year full of adventures and discoveries! 

  • Miss Lisa - Afternoon Assistant Teacher

    Lisa was born and raised in Pasadena, California. She and her husband and two children moved to Orange County in 2001. Her son is starting his senior year at Chapman University and her daughter just graduated from high school. Lisa received her Associate of Science in Child Development and spent many years volunteering for her children’s school. She works at a special education preschool in the morning and the afternoon at Saddleback Children’s Center. She loves helping the children learn and enjoys watching them grow as they navigate their world. Lisa loves travel, reading, going to the beach, music, coffee and spending time with family and friends.