About Teachers

Our Teacher

Our team of teachers has been with Hope Lutheran Day School for an average of five years, creating the stability that is essential in helping children connect with their teachers. The team currently consists of nine teachers and fifteen assisting staff. All of our teachers are qualified and experienced educators who enjoy working and learning with children. Members of the teaching staff are either licensed by the State of California as elementary school and preschool teachers or they have obtained the necessary higher education units to qualify as early childhood educators. Teachers at Hope are encouraged to grow as professionals in the early childhood education field; all of our teachers are either actively pursuing permits or are regularly attending workshops to keep themselves abreast of best practices.

If you would like to know more about the hobbies of our teachers and staff, you can view this PDF file here.

Toddler (2-3 Year-Old)


Ms. Jan

Ducklings (2-year-old)

Hello, my name is Jan Gotera Palacio. I am the toddler teacher in our Duckling Class here at Hope. I began as a substitute teacher at Hope six years ago. In 2013, I was given the privilege to be the Duckling teacher. With the help of supportive teacher aids and staff members I was able to teach the Ducklings until the birth of my son in 2017. I took a year off to care for the newest addition to my family. As I return this year, I look forward to meeting new families, reconnecting with old families, and working with an amazing Hope team. As a teacher, I wish to strive for a safe, secure, consistent, fun and educational environment for children to grow and learn at their own individual pace. I believe in working closely with families to bridge the gap between home and school through communication, resources, positive reinforcement and building community. I hold both an A.S in ECE and an A.A in Liberal Arts. I earned a B.A in Child & Adolescent Development with a concentration in Early Childhood. I gained my teaching experience working at Skyline College CDC, Sunset Ridge Elementary, SF State University ASI ECEC, All Souls Preschool, and a local home daycare. Outside of school, I love to read, cook, and most of all spend time with my loved ones.

Pre-Schooler (3-4 Year-Old)

Ms. Carrie

Colts (3-4 year-old)

Learning should be enjoyable and fun. As a preschool teacher at Hope Lutheran, my role is to provide a safe Christian environment — filled with love and fun — that is conducive to learning. My goal is to encourage and guide the physical, cognitive, language, emotional and social development of each child through imaginative play and creative learning. From this, it is my hope and prayer that children become truly interested in learning.


I hold a preschool site supervisor permit from California Commission on Teacher Credentialing and a degree in early childhood development from City College of San Francisco. I have been working at Hope Day School since 2007. I thank God continually for giving me the passion and enthusiasm to love and teach young children, and through teaching, share with them God’s unconditional love and faithfulness.


Ms. Windy

Bunnies (3-4 year-old)

Hello, my name is Ms. Windy; I am a teacher of a class of threes at Hope. I received my Bachelor's degree in Childhood Education Studies from San Francisco State University. Also, I obtained site supervisor and teacher permit from City College of San Francisco. I have worked with children for over ten years and have been working at Hope Lutheran Day School since 2009. I have found working with the children at Hope very rewarding, as I watch them grow and develop each day. I believe growing, learning, laughing, and making friends are a child’s roles in life. As their teacher and caregiver, I am here to guide your precious little ones and provide them “a home away from home.”

Ms. Winnie X.

Dolphins (3-4 year-old)

My name is Winnie Xie. I graduated from San Francisco State University with Honor with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Child and Adolescent Development with a concentration in Early Childhood and minor in Special Education. I enjoy working with children. I have been working at Hope Lutheran Church and School for the past five years, starting as a Chinese School Mandarin teacher in 2013. Then I worked as an Assistant Teacher in Hope Lutheran Preschool from 2015. I became a teacher of the Dolphins Class in 2017.

As a teacher and caregiver at Hope, I am here to provide a warm, nurturing and safe environment that caters to each individual child and family’s needs. I strive to provide an educational play-based curriculum that provides to each individual child’s development in the areas of physical, social, emotional, cognitive, creative, language and moral growth. I work to enhance the children’s awareness of and respect for cultural differences and similarities and to value each child as an individual and that each has unique capabilities and interests.I am grateful that my interest and passion for early childhood education have increased. I am looking forward to working with more young children and families.

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Pre-K (4-5 Year-Old)


Ms. Amy

Alligators (4-5 year-old)

Hello!  My name is Amy, the new teacher for the Alligators at Hope Lutheran Day School. I am a mother of two girls, 9 and 7 years old, both are Hope Alum. I have a BA in Child Development and a Master in Marriage and Family Counseling.  I have worked in the child development field for over 10 plus year in different capacities. Ifind the most enjoyment in the classroom working with kids and the preschool years are my favorite! My teaching philosophy is that children learn through play. My job as teacher is to provide opportunities for the children to explore, learn, create and try new things.  My hobbies are traveling, trying out new restaurants and looking through Pinterest for new ideas.

Mr. Daniel

Penguins (4-5 year-old)

I have been at Hope Lutheran Preschool for the past 9+ years, starting out as a teacher aide, then a substitute, and eventually having my own class.  I currently have more than 24 ECE and currently pursuing a degree in Speech Pathology online, through Utah State University, with a plan to eventually become a speech therapist, with an emphasis on children with autism.  As a Pre-K teacher, I strive to have a fun, but also enriching atmosphere for your child to learn and grow. Also as a member of Hope Lutheran Church, I hope to build a relationship between our community and your family. In my spare time, I play drums, basketball (watch as well, go Warriors!), and I love to travel. I look forward to meeting you.


Ms. Kristina

Bears (4-5 year-old)

Hi! I’m Ms. Kristina and I teach the Bears Pre-K class. I’m going on my 10th year teaching at HOPE and I have enjoyed seeing this school and community grow. I attended SF state and graduated with a BA in Child and Adolescent development with an emphasis in School Age and Families. I’ve worked in summer camps, before and after school programs and currently am an assistant basketball coach at Abraham Lincoln High School in San Francisco. I enjoy working with kids of all ages. There’s never a dull day with them!  As a teacher I strive to make a difference in each of their lives, build character and inspire them to be great individuals.

Ms. Suki

Owls (4-5 year-old)

I am the Owls’ teacher. I graduated from UCSC with a B.A. degree in Business Management. I also earned a certificate in Special Education from City College of San Francisco. Being a member of Hope Lutheran Church for more than twenty years, I had never thought of myself being a preschool teacher until I started working here as a substitute teacher for a maternity leave teacher. Little did I know that I would fall in love with teaching young children and watching them thrive in such a nurturing environment as Hope with a team of staff who truly cares about and love their students. I also, strive not only be a teacher, but also a caregiver, a Christian role model, a friend and a counselor who seeks to understand the children and their needs and work to meet their needs.


TK (5-6 Year-Old)


Ms. Sarah

Lemurs (5-6 year-old)

Hello, my name is Sarah Riggs also known as, “Ms. Sarah.”  I am our preschool’s Assistant Director and TK teacher. I obtained a BA in Psychology in 2004 and a California Multiple Subject Credential in 2006 from Sonoma State University.  I have taught Pre-K at Hope Lutheran Day School from 2007- 2017, and am currently enjoying working with our oldest group of children in TK. My goals, for my students, are to be more independent and confidant, and to have a solid foundation on letters and numbers. I also want to prepare them for beginning reading, adding and subtracting.  I like to incorporate play and hands-on learning, in various subjects/activities, that have the students exploring and discovering answers for themselves…and most of all, having fun while learning! When I’m not working, I love to travel, cheer on the San Francisco Giants and try various restaurant recommendations!