About Us

Ark Preschool Staff

Our dedicated staff are passionate about continuing to provide opportunities for children to break through the constraints of poverty and live the lives of success and joy they were meant to live.

Indira Lara, Teacher
I was born and raised in México. Both of my parents were teachers at the same elementary school, Pensadores Mexicanos, in our community located in San Gabriel Mpio de Pénjamo Guanajuato, México for 30 years. We literally lived inside the school. I remember my dad working really hard to help the school grow. When we moved from Michoacán to Guanajuato, the school was only two classrooms. At the end of their career, the school had 6 classrooms, a library, principal’s office, kitchen, and the teacher’s house with 4 small rooms. I think that since I grew up watching both of my parents be so committed to their jobs and always trying to help the school and the community, I have the same ideals. I give all my best to what I do. I work hard for the children. My oldest sister is a teacher too at the college in Guanajuato. I have taken classes at Sacramento City College, such as Early Childhood Education and Child Development to further prepare me for my vocation at Ark Preschool. I am going to keep taking classes. I have three daughters. My second daughter was one of the first students at Ark Preschool! Since then, I fell in love with the program and now my third child has matriculated from Ark Preschool to Kindergarten. Do I like working at Ark Preschool?? I love it. I like that all the teachers have the same goal, to give each child the best experience in preschool and to help them to be ready for Kindergarten. I love my co-workers!!! As a science teacher, I love learning from the children. Working with these children is phenomenal!

Crystal Hernandez, Cook/Teacher
Hello! My name is Crystal Hernandez. I have 3 children, 2 boys and 1 girl. When my oldest child was 3 years old, he began attending a local preschool. At the time, I went to a local community college taking coursework in Early Childhood Education. I was lucky to be able to get a job at my son’s preschool. I was able to work with a great staff and director. I worked there for 9½ years and was able to work with every age group there from the infants all the way through the school age children. In June 2014, the school closed and as they say, “when one door closes, another one opens.” In January 2015, I was able to apply here at Ark Preschool. Now I consider myself lucky to work with new children, families, and staff members. I am happy to be working with 3-5 year old preschoolers. I love their imagination, the way they play, the way they tell stories, and how they play with each other. I am thankful for having this opportunity to have this position at Ark Preschool!

Jennifer Heath, Teacher
My name is Jennifer Heath and I have been teaching preschool for 6 years. This is my 4th year at Ark Preschool. I currently teach language arts, creative arts, blocks, history, social studies, and circle time. I enjoy every moment I spend in this field of work. I have always had a passion for teaching and knew it was something I wanted to pursue. I currently hold a Child Development Associate Teacher Permit from the Commission on Teacher Credentialing. I look forward to providing hands on learning with each student as the art and history teacher. I will use every opportunity as a learning experience to grow.

Melissa Daley, Founder
I’m passionate about having a high quality education available to all children so that they might thrive in Kindergarten and beyond. As a credentialed elementary teacher and reading specialist for 19 years, I saw some children struggle unnecessarily because they did not receive a preschool education. I’ve been blessed to learn state of the art information and research through my membership in the National & California Associations for the Education of Young Children, the Yolo Co. Director’s Association, and from my masters degree in education. I’m very grateful to be learning alongside the preschool children for the last 8 years, which provides me with daily opportunities to be creative in seeking knowledge and designing play spaces and activities which foster curiosity and meet the children’s needs, to use my imagination to see the world in a myriad of new ways and to witness children’s positive development socially and emotionally.

Raquel, Student Worker, Cristo Rey High School, Sacramento
Raquel is a Junior at Cristo Rey High School in Sacramento and this is her second year at Ark Preschool as a student worker. She mostly enjoys the one-on-one moments with the children. Her inspiration for working with children is from her mother, who has a passion for children because she used to have a preschool when Raquel was little. Raquel believes that putting effort into the children's positive behavior is important because they are going to be the future generation leading the world some day.