About Natomas Preschool
Growing Brilliant Natomas preschool is a family of four schools owned and operated by Zach & Lisa Hansen. We are very hands-on and dedicated to our preschools. We truly believe that we have assembled the best teachers, highest quality curriculum, and perfect learning environment for children. Our daughter has attended all of our schools and loves them as much as we do! Our door is always open and we love hearing from our families. We look forward to helping your children grow brilliantly along with ours at our Natomas preschool!
Growing Brilliant’s educational approach is based on over 20 years of testing and research. Our schools provide children with a loving, caring, and stimulating environment in which to learn and grow. We will partner with you to create an individualized educational experience tailored specifically to your child’s interests, needs, and goals.
Welcome To Our Natomas Preschool!
Our unique Natomas preschool programs are based on developmental areas including physical, social, emotional, and intellectual growth. Our small class sizes usually have ratios better than other schools in the area. We feature specific learning standards that measure developmental milestones and outcomes. Our balanced approach involves young children in engaging, hands-on activities that stimulate curiosity and inspire wonder.
Our curriculum is based on years of testing and research. We strive to involve parents in our theme-based experiences, as we believe that parents are each child’s first and most important teachers.
Our unique preschool programs in Natomas are based on developmental areas including physical, social, emotional, and intellectual growth. We offer small class sizes with specific learning standards that measure developmental milestones and outcomes. Our balanced approach involves young children in engaging, hands-on activities that stimulate curiosity and inspire wonder.
See below for a list of the all preschool and infant programs offered.
Baby & Infant Preschool and Daycare Program
Brilliant Babies: 6 Weeks-1 Year
Our infant program in Natomas, CA is designed to provide babies with a variety of skills to build confidence for further discovery. The classroom environment is uniquely designed to encourage curiosity and exploration. Language development, sensory play, and socialization are key components.
- Nurturing, personal, individual care
- Sensory play
- Safe sleep standards
- Infant ASL (American Sign Language)
- Early skill acquisition including vocalization and fine motor development
- Age appropriate toys and materials
- Daily parent communication
Toddler Preschool and Daycare Program
Early Explorers: Ages 1-2 Years
The journey of discovery continues in our toddler classes as children develop social awareness and build friendships. Cognitive and motor development are enhanced as children have the space to physically explore their world. Learning centers and daily routines are introduced.
- Children begin to learn shapes, colors, and numbers
- Early literacy skills
- Daily routines are introduced
- Toddlers learn through a balanced program
- Creative arts & dramatic play
- Learning centers
- Hands-on activities build dexterity and coordination
Preschool and Daycare Program
Little Learners I: Ages 2-3 Years
Preschool children continue to develop as curiosity grows. We provide opportunities for individuality and independence. The curriculum is infused with self-selected activities to further language, physical, and cognitive development. Structured learning time is also integrated.
- Early math and reading skills are developed
- Children follow daily routines
- Learning centers
- Stories, songs, and rhymes build vocabulary
- Creative arts & dramatic play
- Supported socialization with positive role models
- Spanish immersion is introduced
Preschool II and Daycare Program
Little Learners II: Ages 3-4 Years
Little Learners II students are ready for phonics and letter sounds which sets the stage for literacy development. Critical thinking and problem solving develop as children express themselves and learn about the world around them. Math skills such as counting, patterns, and number recognition are also a central focus.
- Structured routines with large blocks of time for focused learning and discovery
- Learning centers for language, literacy, math, and
- Interest based learning and child directed inquiry
- Music and Art Activities
- Gross motor development & healthy habits
- Spanish immersion is integrated
Kindergarten Readiness: Ages 4-5 Years
At Growing Brilliant, our Kindergarten Readiness students are preparing for a formal kindergarten program. Their enthusiasm for learning and discovery is captured in a structured, yet holistic program that fully develops their readiness for the next stage. This program includes character development and global awareness.
- Engaging small and large group opportunities
- Music & movement
- Children are introduced to reading as they become
- Kindergarten math skills are introduced
- Character education is introduced
- Spanish immersion is integrated
- Technology is introduced
TK Program: Ages 4-5 Years
The year before kindergarten lays the foundation for academic success. Our Transitional Kindergartners work on reading goals and phonics mastery. Writing skills are also addressed. The foundation for math learning is introduced through fun games and hands-on activities. National Common Core Standards are introduced. Our Transitional Kindergarten program also includes character development and global awareness.
- Engaging small and large group opportunities
- Reading and writing
- Sight word recognition and basic concept knowledge
- Kindergarten math skills are covered
- Character education is reinforced
- Spanish immersion is integrated
- Children become comfortable using education-based technology
Before & After-School Program
School-Age: Ages 5-12 Years
School-age children come to our center after school for a fun and safe environment. We provide both academic and interest-based activities in our before and after-school programs. Our before and after-school program is led by a qualified teacher in a structured, age-appropriate setting.
- Homework support
- Reading and math advancement
- Enriching, interest-based activities
- Technology, music, art, dance, and more!
- Leadership and social skills
- Structured and supervised physical activities
Zach & Lisa Hansen
Zach and Lisa Hansen started Growing Brilliant in 2013 with their Rocklin location. Lisa holds a doctoral degree in education from the University of San Francisco. Lisa is a credentialed elementary school teacher and also has experience as a preschool teacher and reading specialist. Through her research, Lisa has learned that early experiences are directly linked to academic achievement later in life. She has a passion for early childhood development and believes in promoting lifelong learning.
Zach graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside with a degree in business and marketing. His main focus is on the operations side of our schools. This allows Lisa to focus on creating exceptional classroom experiences and curriculum with our amazing staff!
“Our favorite part about Growing Brilliant is knowing that our daughter (and her classmates!) have the best possible early learning experiences. We absolutely love taking her to our Preschool Academy and Parent Participation classes. We feel blessed that we can share Growing Brilliant with so many other parents!”
Jenny has over 19 years of experience working with children and families in a child care setting. Jenny grew up in the Bay Area where she attended Skyline College and received her AA degree in Child Development and earned her Early Childhood Education Certificate. After that, Jenny continued her education, earning her Site Supervisor permit as well as her BA in Business Management.
Jenny has four children of her own, Luke, Alana, and newborn twins, Adam & Ryan. In Jenny’s spare time she enjoys spending time with her family and watching her son play sports or her daughter practice ballet. Jenny has always wanted to work with children ever since she was a little girl. “I love watching children grow through experiences and creative opportunities. Each child develops differently and it’s extremely rewarding to see children be successful in a positive educational setting.
Beverly (Bev) has been in the field of Early Education for over thirty years. In the early years of her career she worked hands-on in the classrooms, and this is where Bev developed a passion for making a difference in the lives of young children. She believes that every child deserves a high-quality early learning experience and the opportunity to grow in a nurturing environment.
Originally from England, Bev made the move to California back in 1999. The warm weather and the walk-in closets were just too much to resist!!! Prior to joining the Growing Brilliant team, she worked at a non-profit childcare center in the heart of downtown San Jose for almost twenty years; first as a teacher and then as the Center Director. Bev has an NNEB certificate from England and continued her education in the field after re-locating to the USA. She gained valuable experience and knowledge over the years through classes and ongoing professional development.
In her spare time, Bev loves spending time with family, particularly her three grandchildren. She also enjoys visits to the beach, eating out, British TV shows, and (now and then) a bit of retail therapy!!!
Hello Everyone! My name is Franklin and I have been working with children for over 13 years. I have my Bachelor of Art in Psychology and have taken my core classes in Early Childhood Education.
Originally my wife and I are from Southern California. We moved up here 3 years ago with our two dogs. Our family has since grown to 5, with our 2-year-old toddler. We love going to the dog park and just being outdoors and spending quality time together exploring Northern California.
I have spent most of my career in childcare working as a director for the YMCA. I have been a preschool director for the last 3 years and have really fallen in love with this age group. This is especially because my daughter is going through the same milestones as all the children I work with! She continues to surprise me daily with how much she continues to grow.
I am overly excited to become part of the Growing Brilliant family. If you ever have any questions (or want to talk about Southern California traffic!), our door is always open.
Hello, my name is Nita and I am excited to be a part of the Growing Brilliant team as the Assistant Director! Originally from the Bay Area, I moved with my husband to Sacramento in 2017. We have been married for 9 years and have two beautiful children, Zarina and Zarren, ages 3 and 1. My children are my world and I love spending time with them! In our free time, we like to go hiking, swimming, and we love music!
I graduated from Sacramento State University in 2009 with a BA in Child Development. After getting married in 2010 and moving to San Jose, my first opportunity to teach was in Sunnyvale. I started of as a Lead Preschool Teacher and was later promoted to their Enrollment Coordinator position. While working in Sunnyvale I gained 7 valuable years of experience.
I am very passionate about preschool. I feel that children are our future leaders and we as educators need to guide their development. As many of us know, the first five years are critical to a child’s development. To me, the most enjoyable part of this profession is watching them develop from infancy to the time they are ready for school. I am thankful to be a part of such a wonderful team of early childhood professionals here at Growing Brilliant who are just as committed as I am to creating a positive development environment for our children!
Hello, my name is Kelly. I love working with children of all ages. I have been teaching for 20 years with all age groups, infants through school age children. I have my A.S. in Early Childhood Education from Woodland Community College.
I am also an entrepreneur. I have owned a family gym and café, both located in my hometown of Woodland. When I am not working with your children, you will find me out hiking, bowling, and helping others with the organization in their homes.
I look forward to molding your child’s young mind through singing, laughter, and dancing.
Ms. Erika C.
Hi, my name is Erika C. I started working for Growing Brilliant in July of 2017. I have been working with young children for over 20 years and I love it. I have worked with all age groups, ranging from infants to Pre-K. I would have to say that working with the little ones would be my first choice.
I was born in San Antonio, TX. I am the daughter of a retired military veteran and a retired schoolteacher. My family moved to California in 1979 and has been here ever since. My family includes my parents, my younger sister, brother-in-law, nephew, and niece. Some of my hobbies include: baking, scrapbooking, reading, watching movies, shopping, and spending time with my family, especially my nephew and niece. I love to watch sports, basketball, football and baseball. My favorite teams are the Sacramento Kings, SF Giants, and the SF Niners.
Working with young children has been a passion of mine, since I was young. My influences are my mom and aunt because they were schoolteachers, and this led me to a career in working with children. I attended and graduated with my BA in Child Development, from Sac State in 2002.
I love coming to work each and every day, because not only do I teach the children new and exciting things, but I learn from them as well. I also look forward to seeing their smiling faces, because that lets me know I am doing my part in making them feel safe and secure every day.
I have enjoyed working with children since I was young. I received my AA in Child Education at Monterey Peninsula College a few years ago and have been working with children since then. I have been teaching for over 7 years and have over 10 years of experience working with children of all ages. My philosophy is to help nurture your children as they grow in this world with loving care.
I grew up in Pacific Grove and Carmel, California. I come from a wonderful family with three loving sisters and my parents. I have my sweet daughter, Zofia, who is 5 years old and in kindergarten. She is the joy of my life!
I was involved with dance and in the theater arts, from childhood into my college years. They have wonderful dance and theater programs where I grew up; I acted and worked on the stage crew. I also love to work with clay and am an accomplished potter.
I have only been in Sacramento for a little over a year. I enjoy finding great new people to work with and learning about the community. I enjoy the parks, river areas, and driving up to Folsom Lake. I am glad to be near my parents who currently live in Lake Tahoe and other family members that are nearby. I have met a lot of great parents while working in Sacramento and look forward to interacting with everyone from the school and the community.
Hello everyone, my name is Shani. I’m a Brilliant Babies teacher here at Growing Brilliant. I love working with children and feel that you can learn something new from them every day. I have over 17 years of experience and have taken 24 units of coursework related to early childhood education. I plan to continue taking courses to further my knowledge of children and their development. I am very passionate about children with special needs and would like to someday work with them as a career. Children never cease to amaze me and I love them so much!
I have four children and guardianship over another. My favorite pastime is simply being with them. We love being around water and often go swimming, fishing or to the beach. I am also a certified massage therapist.
I love the Natomas area! I moved here from the Bay Area in 2015 and I immediately fell in love with it. There are so many family-friendly activities and everyone is so welcoming!
Hello, my name is Tatyana (Taty for short). I love working with children. My family and I came from Ukraine in 2005. Since then I have worked with children in my church for 2 years. I also operated a childcare in my home for another two years and worked at a center for another 6 years.
I am working towards getting my Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education at American River College. Also, I am the mother of five children, two of whom are grown adults. My youngest son is 9 years old. In my free time, I like to spend time with my children. We like to go to the park to play soccer, cook together, and go to the movies.
I am excited to work with your children and provide fun and educational experiences. I enjoy watching them as they grow, explore, and learn.
Early Explorers I
Hello, my name is Ms. Tracey. I have over 20 years of experience working with children ages 6 weeks to four years. Most of my time has been spent working with toddlers. I have obtained my preschool teacher certificate and it is my goal to complete my AA degree in early childhood development. I have training in American Sign Language (ASL) and love helping infants and toddlers to communicate in multiple ways.
I believe each child is special and unique. It is important for teachers to value each child as an individual with their own feelings and ideas. I also believe it is equally important to build a foundation of trust between all caretakers.
I am married and have been blessed to be a mother. I have an eight-year-old son. We are always sure to be found spending our time in the great outdoors. We enjoy kayaking, boating, camping, and exploring tidepools at the beach!
I greatly look forward to meeting you and your child and sharing together in each precious moment and developmental milestone!
Early Explorers I
Hello everyone, my name is Brandi. I have been working with children for about three years now, and every day is a new experience. I have worked with the ages six weeks up to five years old and enjoy all the different ages. I love working with children because I feel each child has something to build upon and you can watch them each grow day by day. I am currently enrolled at American River College getting my general education and taking steps to achieve my goals.
As far as family goes, I have my mother Lynda and brother Brandon. Being a smaller family, we have a very tight bond. I was a dancer for about thirteen years and my mom and brother never missed a show. Aside from dancing, I also like basketball, swimming, and enjoying the outdoors. I moved to Sacramento about two years ago from a small town, and I love it here because there is always something to do.
Early Explorers I
Hello, my name is Keshia and I am excited to be at Growing Brilliant! I have an Associate’s Degree in Journalism from American River College and I am currently completing a degree in Early Childhood Education. In 2017, I began my career in early childhood education as a preschool teacher of a 3 years old class. I love working with children because I enjoy helping them learn and reach their greatest potential.
Some of my hobbies include traveling, cooking and spending time with family and friends. I love that the families in Sacramento/Natomas come from diverse backgrounds. I look forward to meeting you and your little one!
Early Explorers II
Hello families! I am so excited to begin my first year with Growing Brilliant! I am a graduate of the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs where I earned a Bachelor’s of Innovation in Inclusive Early Childhood Education. My passion for early childhood and special education drives me to work in classrooms of all shapes and sizes. I have 7 years of classroom experience as well as 3 years in Applied Behavior Analysis. I hope to one day receive a degree in law and work in education policy reform.
Born and raised in Colorado, this is my second year living in California! I am an Air Force spouse and moved with my husband to this area for his first assignment. In my free time I enjoy spending time with my husband Matthew, our two dogs Trooper and Dala, watching Star Wars movies, and cooking.
Little Learners I
Hello, my name is Ms. Satpreet. This will be my first year working at Growing Brilliant, but I have been teaching for 4 years now. I am a fully qualified infant/toddler teacher who enjoys exploring with all ages of children. I love working with kids and have been volunteer counseling since I was in High School.
Family is very valuable to me and I enjoy spending time with them whenever I can. I have two nieces that are the center of my universe. I was born in Sacramento and also lived in a small town called Wheatland for most of my High School days.
I strive for the success of my students in all the goals and milestones they may encounter in life. I believe that children learn better through experiences and play than they would from me simply lecturing. Seeing the excitement in children’s faces as they learn something on their own is what drew me to this career. I look forward to getting to know your child and family!
Little Learners I
Hello families! My name is Jacalyn, but everyone calls me Jackie! I moved up to Sacramento from the Bay Area a couple of years ago and love this area.
At age 15 I started working at a cheer gym, coaching tumbling and cheer to 3-5 year olds. I went on to coach competitive All Star teams ranging in age. It was then that I fell in love with the learning process; watching children reach their goals gave me a sense of fulfillment and from then on I knew I had a future helping children succeed in some capacity. At age 18 I spent a year in a third grade classroom where I was granted the opportunity to experience first-hand the joys of elementary education. This set me on the adventure of preschool teaching! I have previously worked as a Toddler Teacher in my own classroom before becoming a Growing Brilliant Teacher.
I am currently a student at Sacramento State, where I plan to obtain my B.A. in English. After graduation I have hopes of entering a teacher credentialing and master’s degree program where I intend to further study education.
I am immensely thrilled to be a Growing Brilliant Teacher. I can’t wait to get to know all of your little ones and watch them grow!
Little Learners I
Hello everyone, my name is Yajaira and I am 24 years old. I graduated from Sacramento State in December 2017 with a BA in Child Development. I have been working with children since I was in high school, tutoring and babysitting. I enjoy working with children because they are fun to work with and even though they are little, we can learn so much from them.
During my free time, I enjoy going to coffee shops to drink my favorite coffee and relax. If I’m not drinking coffee I’m with my favorite boy, Valentino. He is a Pomeranian and Yorkie mix. We both enjoy running and riding bikes. When I’m craving sweets I prefer to eat ice cream rather than candy or chocolate. At the end of the day I like to go to sleep with a book in my hands!
Little Learners II
My name is Brandy Russell and I am originally from Los Angeles, CA. I have lived in Sacramento for about 2 years now and I must say that I LOVE IT here. I attended Cal State Monterey Bay and earned my BA in Psychology, and I have currently been taking ECE courses in order to pursue a teacher permit. I would say my teaching philosophy is that children learn best through play. In terms of my hobbies, I enjoy hanging out with friends, painting, as well as traveling. I currently have no kids, but I have two kittens named Chewy & Cha-Cha. Something that I love about Sacramento is all the trees as well as the hot weather during the summer.
Little Learners II
Hello everyone, my name is Nicole. I love working with children of all ages. I have held many different positions working with children, such as babysitting, being a nanny, after school care, and now a teacher. I am so grateful to be working with the children at Growing Brilliant. They teach me something new every day and I love watching their minds grow. The one thing I love most in children is their laughter and smiles, it reminds me to always smile and enjoy life. I believe every child deserves a fun, loving, and safe environment, and I’ve made that my philosophy!
I love all things Disney. When I’m not teaching your children you can find me at Disneyland. I also, love music and baking.
Kindergarten Readiness I
Hello Families, my name is Belinda. I enjoy traveling and spending time with my family. We have recently moved back to Sacramento in July of 2017. My family and I lived in Turkey for 6 years, where I taught children aged 2-6 at an International Preschool and Kindergarten.
Currently, I am enrolled at Sacramento State University working on my BA in Child Development. My philosophy is that children learn best when they are happy and playing. I love working with children because of the fun and new challenges we get to accomplish every day. I am glad I get to work with parents who share the same devotion to their child’s social and emotional development and early education. I look forward to another exciting year with you all!
Kindergarten Readiness II (Transitional Kindergarten)
Hello, my name is Ms. Jessica! I have been working with children for about 10 years now and have taught preschool for four years. I attended American River College (ARC) for my preschool teacher permit. I love working with children because it gives me the opportunity to have fun while helping them learn. I am a very hands-on teacher and really enjoy building relationships with my students and their families.
I have one son who is 6 years old. We both enjoy going to parks and Six Flags. In my spare time, I enjoy crafting and planning events. I grew up in the Sacramento area and love this community. My son plays soccer in Natomas and I really like how family orientated everything around here is.
I’m looking forward to a great school year and getting to know you and your children!
Kindergarten Readiness II (Transitional Kindergarten)
Hello! My name is Christina. I recently started with Growing Brilliant Preschool and I absolutely love it! I have been working with children of all ages for 7 years now, I love being able to teach and guide children to be the best that they can be. I recently moved to the Natomas area but have been in Sacramento all my life. I studied at Cosumnes River College where I completed my Early Childhood Education classes.
I just became a new mother in 2017 to a baby-boy who attends Growing Brilliant. I love being a mom and I love spending time with my son and family. In my spare time, I also enjoy the football season and eating good food.
Hello, my name is Janelle and I am a School Age teacher in Natomas! I also run the Parent Participation program in the mornings. I am currently working towards receiving my bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education with the hopes of becoming an elementary school teacher. During the early years of my higher education, I enrolled in several early childhood education courses, which provided me with invaluable knowledge about the many complexities of caring for young children. I love being around children; specifically, watching them grow, prosper, and learn new things every day brings a big smile to my face! I am a kindhearted and nurturing teacher who enjoys building relationships with the children, parents, and caregivers.
Some of my favorite personal activities include going to the movies, traveling, and most importantly, spending time with my own little family.
Hello, my name is Bernadette and I started working at GB Natomas in January this year. I have experience teaching children of all ages including infants to high school for about twenty years. I have also taught children with special needs for ten years. I have acquired a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology at Sacramento State.
My heart has always been for children, especially for them to discover their abilities and gifts. Each and every child is special and wonderfully made!
I have lived in Sacramento for 18 years and love it here! Some things I enjoy are spending time with family and friends, cooking, swimming, hiking, and traveling. I am excited to be a part of the GB team and thrilled to get acquainted with the children and families here!
Hello! My name is Monica and I am the chef at Growing Brilliant Natomas. A little bit about myself, I have been in the culinary field for over 17 years. I have about 8 years of experience working with children and cooking for them.
I have a child of my own that attends Growing Brilliant. This is a wonderful location and I’m looking forward to many years here!
Hello, my name is Mirian and this is my first year working for Growing Brilliant. I have more than 8 years of experience working with children. I love working with children because I love being part of their early years of development. I also enjoy teaching them Spanish. I love being a preschool teacher because we get to experience things with them for the first time.
In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I also enjoy going to baseball games and rooting for my favorite team, the DODGERS! Another favorite activity of mine, when I have time, is to workout. I also love to travel.
I’m very excited to be part of this wonderful team of teachers and see what this year brings!
My name is Ms. Irma. I was born in Mexico. I’m married and I’m a mother of two sons who are 18 and 21 years old. I have been working with children since I lived in Mexico. I started taking Early Childhood Education classes to learn more about children’s development and I completed my Associate’s Degree in Child Development. I am still planning to continue my education.
My passion as a teacher is helping little ones feel comfortable, happy, and meeting their needs. I believe that children learn best by having fun and giving them respect and love.
Hello families! My name is Christy. I am a floating teacher here at Growing Brilliant. I am a fully qualified preschool & infant/toddler teacher. I have an Associates Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. I am currently working towards my degree in Child Development. I have 28 years of experience working as a preschool teacher, nanny, and stay at home mom.
My philosophy is that children learn through experiences in their environment. It is important for teachers to respect and value each child as an individual in order for trust to be developed. Children thrive when they are happy and should be allowed many opportunities for play.
Family is very valuable to me. My husband and I have been married for three years and together we have seven children ages 11-22 years. When I am not spending time with my family you can find me crafting, gardening, or reading a good book. I look forward to meeting you and helping your child grow and develop to their full potential.
Floating Teacher (On Maternity Leave)
Hi my name is Savanna, and I’m so excited to be at Growing Brilliant! I am 22 years old and originated from the Bay Area (Sunnyvale). I have lived in Sacramento for about 1.5yrs now and I really enjoy the area! I’ve worked with children for as long as I can remember, starting with babysitting when I was 11 to getting my first job as a swim instructor at 16. Since then I’ve worked in 2 licensed centers, and just finished working as a nanny for a little girl from age 5 mo to 2 yrs. I am currently finishing up my Associates degree at ARC, and will be done June 2019!
Some of my hobbies and interests include spending time outdoors with my boyfriend and our dog Harvey, watching movies on Netflix, and music! I love singing, dancing, playing guitar or piano, and overall just enjoying music in any way possible. Working with children is truly my passion, and I hope that comes across in the way I work!
I will be a new mom coming July 2019, and I cannot wait to see what that adventure brings! I’m loving getting to know your children and I hope to be a lasting part of the Growing Brilliant family!