Meet the Faculty
Penelope Blair (Adjunct Professor)Business, Design and Workforce - Early Childhood Education
Penny Blair is the WestEd Program for Infant Toddler Care, Partners for Quality Infant Toddler Specialist & Training Coordinator (PITC PQ) for Region IV, which includes San Francisco, San Mateo, Alameda and Santa Clara Counties. As the Infant/Toddler Specialist Coordinator for the Program for Infant Toddler Care Region IV, she covers three counties in the South Bay Area: Alameda, San Mateo and San Francisco. She provides outreach into these counties to meet the needs of Infant Toddler Caregivers in training in the PITC six Essential Policies which go toward raising quality care for very young children in Group Care outside their families. Ms. Blair also teaches in the Community College system at De Anza College, and supports the PITC Demonstration site at Chabot College. Previously to training with PITC PQ she worked in the area of Parent Education through the local school districts in San Mateo. Her experience also includes directing in School Age, Infant Toddler and Preschool Programs in the Bay Area. She has a certification in Psychiatric Social Work from the UK and specialized in work with families and their adolescent children before coming to the States from UK in 1975. She received an MA in early childhood education from San Francisco State University.
Nirmala (Sheila) Dillman (Adjunct Faculty)Business, Education and Professional Programs - ECE
Patty Hall (Professor)Business, Design and Workforce - Early Childhood Education
Patty received her BS in Sociology from The University of Connecticut and began her career working with families as an Advocate in the Fair Housing Department in Hartford Connecticut. When she relocated to Northern California she found her true passion was working with young children and their families in child care and early education. As a site director, she has been instrumental in creating innovative programs for children aged 3 months to 13 years of age. She was a founding Director at Palcare, Inc. in Burlingame, a nationally recognized day and nighttime program affiliated with San Francisco International Airport. After completing her M.P.A. at The College of Notre Dame, in Belmont, CA in 1998, she joined Cañada College to start-up the Child Development Center. She currently teaches a variety of courses in the ECE/CD program as well as holding faculty leadership roles at the College, in the District and across the State. She completed her doctoral studies in 2008 by successfully defending her dissertation entitled: Personal Weblogs in the Early Childhood Practicum Experience: Asynchronous Group Experience as a Tool for Developing Reflective Teaching Characteristics.
Jamie Hui (Retention Specialist/Instructor)Business, Design and Workforce - Early Childhood Education
Jamie is a Skyline College alumni, and also transferred to UC Davis earning a B.A. in Communication and minoring in Managerial Economics. Exploring career options, she decided to go back to Skyline and Cañada College to take Early Childhood Education courses to become a teacher at Mary Meta Lazarus Child Development Center at CSM. While teaching she also earned a M.A. in Early Childhood Education from San Francisco State University. Then she went on to do non-profit education work in San Francisco. With over 10 years of experience she is now the Early Childhood Education/Child Development Retention Specialist and Instructor. She gets to go college every day and work with students who want to become the next generation of educators.
Sharon Keplinger (Assistant Professor)Business, Design and Workforce - Early Childhood Education
Sharon has been an adjunct professor in the ECE/CD department at Cañada College since 1987. She has a BA in Child Development from California State University, Chico and a MA in Education from Stanford University. She has worked as a Teacher, Assistant Director, and Director in ECE programs since 1976 in the Bay Area. She worked for the Child Care Coordinating Council for 10 years in a variety of positions. For the past 15 years, she has been a Program Coordinator for the Palo Alto Unified School District. Her responsibilities include the preschool program, Young Fives and Parent Education programs.
Lisa Kiesselbach (Assistant Professor)Business, Design and Workforce - Early Childhood Education
Lisa has been teaching at Canada College since 2011. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Concordia University, an Executive Master’s degree in Human Services from Springfield College and is on track to earn her Ph.D. in Human Services from Capella University in May of 2017. Lisa is also the Executive Director at Palcare in Burlingame. Palcare is known for its innovative child development program and offering flexible and changing schedules for families who work or go to school during nontraditional hours. Palcare is open 6:00-11:00 Monday through Saturday. Lisa lives with her family on the Montara Coastside.
Jan Lawrence (Assistant Professor)Business, Design and Workforce - Early Childhood Education
Jan earned her a Montessori Credential at Notre Dame University after earning a B.A. in Romance Linguistics at SFSU. She did additional graduate work with Dr. Rodgers of Vancouver University College researching second language acquisition utilizing the Montessori Method. She is currently the Director of the Early Learning Center at NDNU. She was invited to join the faculty of Cañada Community College in 1998 and continues serving as adjunct professor in the Department of Early Childhood Education/Child Development and teaches the courses in both English and Spanish. Her background in linguistics and experience with Italian bilingual education inspired the development of a methodology for second language acquisition through the arts and cooking with a strong emphasis on language as culture bound. This method has been used to teach both adults and children French, Spanish, and Italian. In 2000, she founded a Spanish language and culture community service project in Nayarit, Mexico called the Escuela de Juanita. In the Spring of 2008, she received a grant from the Trustee’s Fund of the San Mateo Community College District for a digital media project on the Montessori Early Childhood Model in its cultural context to contribute to its library system as a resource for instructors.
Elisa Magidoff (Instructor)Business, Education and Professional Programs - ECE
Elisa Magidoff has worked in the field of early care and education since 2000. She has a BA in Communications from University of the Pacific and an MA in ECE from San Francisco State University. She has worked for a variety of Preschool programs first as a preschool Teacher and since 2006 as a Director. Her experience encompasses NAEYC accredited preschools, Title 5 and Title 22 Programs as well as Inclusion and Special Day Preschool at Learning Links in Burlingame where she served as their first Director. She is currently the Executive Director of Kids Konnect Preschools. Elisa has worked as Adjunct Faculty in ECE at Canada and Skyline Colleges since 2009. She also worked for one year as the facilitator for a cohort of Head Start teachers in the BA in ECE program at California State University Sacramento.
Julia Mannheimer (Assistant Professor)Business, Design and Workforce - Early Childhood Education
Julia joined the faculty of Cañada College in 1989 and has over 30 years of experience as an Early Childhood Specialist. Classes taught include: Child Development; Infant Development; Administration in ECE/Business and Legal; Anti-Bias Curriculum; The Teaching Experience; Communicating with Parents; and PreKindergarten Learning and Development Guidelines. She worked as a Teacher, Assistant Director and Director in ECE programs serving infants through school-age children and their families. She was the Executive Director of GeoKids, the parent co-op child care facility at the US Geological Survey in Menlo Park. Julia has worked as a consultant to ECE programs while employed by The Children’s Health Council in the Outreach to Child Care Program. She lives in Danville with her husband and son and continues to work as a parent educator and consultant.
Pauahi McGinn (Instructor)Business, Design and Workforce - Early Childhood Education
Mauricio Palma (Assistant Professor)Business, Design and Workforce - Early Childhood Education
Mauricio is the director of the Early Learning and Education Initiatives at Silicon Valley Community Foundation. His career was launched from the Child Care Coordinating Council of San Mateo County where he led the creation of the Spanish Speaking Family Child Care Providers Association and the organization of family support networks in the region. In the course of his professional trek, he has worked hand-in-hand with parents, teachers, directors, principals, superintendents, service providers and faith leaders interested in family support and civic engagement practices. In addition to his community work, Mauricio has taught at City College of San Francisco and San Francisco State University, and has been teaching early childhood education for the San Mateo County Community College District since 1991.
Mary Anne Patterson (Assistant Professor)Business, Design and Workforce - Early Childhood Education
Maryanne received her Master’s degree from Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena and has been teaching courses at Skyline and Cañada Colleges since 2002. Maryanne has been at the state level administering a state preschool program, center director for military child care centers, and director for city government child care programs and administering state preschool for a countywide program. She has been a presenter at local, state and national conference workshops on subjects related to child development, family support, and early school readiness. Maryanne is also a Professional Growth Advisor to many early childhood professionals. She is a board member to an early childhood program in San Mateo County.
Melinda Ramzel (Associate Professor)Business, Design and Workforce - Early Childhood Education
Sarita Santos (Professor)Business, Education and Professional Programs - ECE
Dr. Santos completed both undergraduate and graduate degrees at the University of California, Santa Barbara. After completing her BA degree in Psychology, she worked for three years at a Chapter One preschool that served high risk children and their families while also completing her MA degree and Ph.D. in Special Education, with an internal minor in Research Design and Statistics and external minor in Political Science. She has served on faculty at the University of Texas in Austin Special Education Program; California State University Dominguez Hills Special Education Program; California State University Los Angeles Child and Family Studies; and Santa Monica College’s Early Childhood/Education program. She has also served as project director for UCLA’s Best Practices in Early Childhood Education that explored factors related to risk and resilience in young children. Dr. Santos continues to work with young children with Autism Spectrum Disorders in creative play-therapeutic environments, and was involved with the initial trainings and production of HBO’s award winning documentary, “Autism the Musical” with Elaine Hall. She currently teaches at San Francisco State University, and began her work in the San Mateo District at Skyline College.