Our Team

Our Team

At Little Elephant, we are extremely proud of our teaching team. All of our lead teachers have B.A. degrees and are Montessori trained, and collectively we have over 40 years of experience teaching and caring for children. Our passion for teaching children using the Montessori method is what drives us to work as hard as we do. But we also like to have fun and we really enjoy working together.


Maxine Kincora, Lead Teacher, Caterpillar Class

Maxine joined LEMS in 2008.

She received her BA at the California Institute for Integral Studies, her master’s degree in English from National University, and her Montessori teacher training from North American Montessori Center. She brings a passion for arts education to the children, and the rest of her life. She is deeply committed to positive discipline and non-violent communication. Maxine is an avid bird watcher, kayaker, rock climber, performer, artist and reader. She loves commuting to work on her sporty blue electric bicycle. She’s much older than anyone here and is way more wrinkled than they are.

Pooja Ramsinghani, Teacher

Pooja is the Caterpillar class support teacher

Jennifer Kottage Lund, Lead Teacher, Butterfly Class

Alejandra Maciel, Teacher

Alex is the Butterfly class support teacher

Stephanie Sanders, Afternoon Teacher

Stephanie has been a preschool teacher for over 20 years, working with ages 6 weeks to 7 years. She is also a mother, grandmother and huge dog lover. Stephanie loves working with children watching them explore, learning new things. And just listening to them talk about their  day brings her joy.  Besides working with kids she loves to cook, explore new recipes and baking up scrumptious desserts, spending time with family, traveling or just hanging out at the beach.  Stephanie also volunteers at Bay Area animal shelters mainly with Pitbulls, and spending time with her own dogs, Nia, a 2 year old pit and Maxy a 11 month yorkie.  Children are a joy to be around and their little smiles make everything better.


Renee Lopez, Afternoon Teacher

Renee is our afternoon support teacher.


Julie Larwood, Lead Teacher

Julie joined Little Elephant Too! when it first opened in January 2016 even though she had been teaching Montessori for many previous years.  She studied at San Francisco Montessori Training Center where she received her AMS certification. Julie also attended Contra Costa College, D.V.C and Merritt Colleges.  Julie is a California native,  who grew up in Orinda and now lives in Oakland near Lake Merritt with her husband.  She enjoys volunteering for the Oakland Museum, the Food Bank & Earth Day.

Richard Escandon, Teacher

Richard  joined Little Elephant in 2015. He is originally from New Mexico, and been living in the Bay Area for three years. He attended UC Santa Cruz where he received his B.A. in humanities and is currently attending Merritt College to receive his A.A. in early childhood development. Richard has been working with young children all his life and enjoys every minute of it. When not in the classroom, he is biking, baking, gardening, card game playing, or skateboarding with friends and loved ones.


Jamilett Mendoza, Afternoon Teacher

Jamilett is our afternoon support teacher.

Angelina Macias-Crouse, Afternoon Teacher

Angelina is our afternoon support teacher.

Natanya Moore pictureNatanya Moore, Director

Little Elephant is owned by Natanya Moore, who received her International Montessori teaching credential from the St. Nicholas Centre for the Montessori Method of Education in London in 1992. With 27 years experience teaching at the infant through kindergarten level, Natanya has trained Montessori instructors at the Santa Monica Montessori Teacher Training Institute, established new programs and served as a director in other schools. Natanya works daily to support Little Elephant’s core values of Kindness, Peace, Passion for Learning, Community Building and Creativity. She is also the mother of 14 year old, Duncan.