Our Staff
Sweet Peas hires teachers who are dedicated to early childhood education.  Many of the staff are working on higher degrees in the the field of ECE or similar, and are commited to continuing their career in teaching.
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Samantha Dionne

Director/Owner

Sweet Peas Too

Samantha completed a degree in Child Development at Chico State University in 1997. After graduation, she moved to the Bay Area to continue her education and to teach preschool at Hoover Children's Center in San Mateo. In December of 1999, Samantha earned her teaching credential and for the next five years went on to teach Kindergarten at Westlake Elementary School and The Hilldale School, both in Daly City. Samantha holds a California Child Development Permit and enjoys continued professional development through a variety of different Bay Area and National organizations. Being at the beginning of a child's educational path is both inspiring and rewarding to Samantha. Sweet Peas was created shortly after the birth of her first son as Samantha decided to create a family based preschool where children are both nurtured and stimulated, a place where she would want her own children to be if they were in someone else's care. Her vision to offer this kind of nurturing learning environment was what inspired her to create multiple locations for Sweet Peas and she feels very blessed to work with so many wonderful families throughout their children's formative years.

Jesse Kaur

Assistant Director

Sweet Peas Too

Jessie has a degree in Human Development with an emphasis on children from UC Davis, where she began her career in early childhood. She has recently been accepted into a Masters Program at SFSU for Early Childhood Education. Jessie comes in with 10 years of experience volunteering, teaching, supervising and directing in the field of Early Childhood. Jessie currently holds a CCTC Child Development Director's permit. She is passionate about working with young children to empower and instill them with confidence, passion and curiosity. As an avid traveler, in her free time Jessie loves planning her next trip to another country or even just a weekend getaway. She enjoys exploring local foods, finding fun activities, enjoying live entertainment and learning more about the world through podcasts and reading.

Jennifer Angel

Teacher

Sweet Peas Too

Jennifer raised all three of her children and loved seeing each of them develop into their own unique selves and helping them become independent and confident teens and adults. She is a dedicated, passionate, fun, loving, caring, energetic person that loves children. She enjoys engaging with children doing art and crafting, dancing, and listening to toddler music playing educational games, puzzles, reading storybooks, and planning outdoor activities, such as walking to the local playground or park. She believes that every child is a unique small human with wonderful potential. For this reason, she chose a career that she loves and has a passion for which is to help children grow, develop and reach those potentials. During her free time, she loves to spend time with her family and friends. She also loves animals. She owns an African grey parrot, morkie, and a toy poodle and likes taking them for walks. She loves to do Arts and crafts, make jewelry, go to craft fairs, comedy shows, concerts, museums and travel.

Alba Ruthie

Teacher

Sweet Peas Too

Alba traces her joy for teaching back to her own childhood. Her mother worked as a prenatal health educator and she would volunteer at clinics as a young girl. Engaging with women and children from all backgrounds Alba quickly grew fond of being a part of growing and nurturing a community. Her experience working with families taught her the importance of teamwork and inclusiveness. As a teacher, Alba carries those values into her own classrooms. In 2016, Alba began teaching at Tiny Tot preschool in Sacramento, and then at Kirkham Child Development center in San Francisco starting in 2018. The classroom setting has helped Alba create flexibility around working with a wide variety of temperaments and learning styles, from parents and children alike! Alba is always in touch with her inner child, eager and always curious!

Fia Hinton

Teacher

Sweet Peas Too

Fia has been working with children her whole life. Born into a large extended family, she would watch over her many younger cousins. From that experience, her interest in early childhood education bloomed. In addition to watching the younger members of her family, Fia volunteered with two local churches for 7 years to help with childcare and education. Currently, Fia is finishing her Associate’s degree in early childhood education and plans to transfer to SF State to continue her education in pursuit of her bachelor’s degree. As a teacher and as a student of life, Fia believes in always trying to improve herself. She believes that education should be fun to develop a life long love of learning. She also believes that the classroom should be a safe, welcoming place where young minds are encouraged to grow. Fia believes that every person, not matter their age, should be treated with respect and empathy. When she is not working, Fia loves to cook her grandmother’s old recipes. She also loves to write, sing and crochet in her free time.

Emory Do

Teacher

Sweet Peas Too

Emory joined Sweet Peas Too in 2022 with over 5 years experience as a qualified Early Childhood Educator in various programs around the Bay Area. Prior to her work in Early Childhood Education, she enjoyed 3 years as an Ice Skating Coach as well!  Emory has enjoyed furthering her knowledge around working with children by taking ECE classes and is a mother of two young children. Emory truly enjoys working with children and loves to help them to build a positive image of themselves in a safe and nurturing environment.

Adri Briolo

Teacher

Sweet Peas Too


Adri is a recent Chico State graduate with her BA in Child Development and minors in family relations and psychology. Adri truly loved learning about the many aspects of a child’s development and is so excited to continue to utilize her knowledge in her work at Sweet Peas Too. She has been a family nanny, psychology tutor, daycare assistant, and has loved her time spent as an infant and toddler center intern most of all. Her favorite part of working with children is watching their curiosity and growth. No matter the age of the child, they have a lot to teach us grown ups! Adri wants to contribute to a high quality and fun learning environment for all the Sweet Peas children! Adri loves arts and crafts, spending time outdoors, and with animals. She is excited to incorporate her interests into her teaching and guiding the children each day!

Stephanie Valencia

Teacher

Sweet Peas Too

Stephanie began studying Early Childhood Development at CCSF in 2019. She was then offered a position as a teacher’s assistant in a preschool in SF by her instructor. This job helped her discover her passion for child development and prompted her to continue with courses to become a lead teacher. During the pandemic when the schools were closed, she worked as nanny. This experience helped her develop the nurturing and multi-tasking skills involved in working with children from 4 months to 2 years old. Her professional experiences have helped her understand that care and development begin by offering love to those you care for. In her spare time she likes to study the bible and cook, she loves to travel and try different types of cuisine.

Donna Gonzalez

Teacher

Sweet Peas Too

Bio Coming Soon!!

Esme Goldstein

Teacher

Sweet Peas Too

Esme discovered her passion for working with children when she started babysitting at age twelve. She went on to pursue childcare in her work as a camp counselor, nanny, youth group leader, and preschool assistant as she developed her joy for understanding how to support children in their growth in the world. Graduating from Chico State with a BA in Sociology and Multicultural Gender Studies, Esme decided to return to her work in childcare as an infant toddler teacher at Sweet Peas Preschool, while taking Early Childhood Development courses at City College of San Francisco. She is passionate about cultivating creative spaces in the classroom for children to freely explore and discover about the world. She believes in treating all children with respect, care, and confidence, and keeps a playful energy to her educational work. In her free time, Esme enjoys hunting for antiques, cooking, going for walks, and watching movies.

Charlotte Updyke-Brunet

Assistant Teacher

Sweet Peas Too

As the eldest of four children and the daughter of an early childhood educator, Charlotte comes to Sweet Peas with a wide variety of both personal and professional experience working with children. She spent several years as an educator at a natural science summer camp in Big Sur and last year served as an Extended Day teacher for kindergarteners at the San Francisco Friends School. Charlotte has worked with children and young adults with special needs at a supported living service and has a heart for making education and learning accessible and equitable. She studied International Relations at UC Davis and is currently obtaining early childhood education credits at CCSF. She’s interested in how the experiences people have early in life impact how they engage in the world and she’s honored to play a role in children’s formative early years. She loves to see the wonder and delight children get from imaginary and sensory play and facilitating a child’s growth and learning through play brings her great joy. In her free time, Charlotte enjoys hiking, reading, backpacking, exploring the city, and taking her corgi to the dog park.