Our Professional Team

Our administration team has more than 15 years experience working with children. All of our teachers are fully qualified, and we do not have any teacher aids. All teachers are Infant, Child and Adult CPR and First Aid certified, cleared through the Department of Justice, FBI Database and the Child Abuse Index.

Rebecka (Becki) Williams


My name is Rebecka Williams (Becki), I am the proud director of our beautiful school, Knowledge Tree Children’s Academy (KTCA). I am a graduate from Sacramento State University with a bachelor’s degree in Child Development. I have over 25 years of experience in childcare field as director and teacher. I believe that all children can and will be successful in the right environment which fosters play, social growth, challenges them academically and provides them with a healthy and safe environment.

My philosophy is that every child should be treated with love, respect, and kindness. Preschool should be a place where children are taught to love to learn and become lifelong learners. My favorite part of every day is to see the smiles on the children’s faces as they excitedly enter the school ready to laugh, play, and learn.

On a personal note, I have two wonderful children. My daughter is 19, a sophomore at San Diego State University and my son is 17, a junior in high school. Together we love to travel, go camping, and hang out with our two Jack Russel puppies.


Assistant Director

Hello! My name is Cheylynne Shingoitewa. I have worked in Early Childhood Education for the past ten years. I began my teaching career in the Bay Area teaching children at all levels of development. My degree is in Early Childhood Education, specializing in teaching children with special needs. In my years of teaching and leading, I have enjoyed working with students in achieving their full potential and creating a safe and trusting atmosphere. I strongly believe in the importance of creating a joyous, intentional learning environment. I am inspired by the innovative curriculum Knowledge Tree Children’s Academy brings to Early Childhood Education and its mission to include and empower each child. I enjoy working with Ms. Becki as her Assistant Director, as well as with a wonderful group of motivated and focused educators.

Originally from the beautiful state of Utah, I enjoy many outdoor activities, such as camping, fishing, hiking and anything that involves a lake! I also love running, crafting and traveling to new places with my family.

Frank Lin

Mandarin Teacher/Curriculum Coordinator

Hi, my name is Frank Lin. I serve as the curriculum coordinator as well as the Mandarin teacher here at Knowledge Tree. My responsibilities include meeting with teachers to discuss lesson plan adjustments, material prep, class observation and translation. My educational background is in science for which I obtained my bachelor’s degree at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Soon after, I studied ECE at Sierra College for my ECE teacher certificate. I received my graduate certificate from National University in 2014 and then a master’s degree in special education in 2019. I taught as a pre-k teacher at Joyland Preschool for five years prior to my current position. My time as a teacher taught me the importance of supporting children’s learning via scaffolding and to develop their sense of wonder to the world around them. It’s my goal to continually improve our lessons and activities to ensure they adapt to the needs of the children.

In my spare time, I enjoy drawing, films, practicing the violin, reading and DnD.



My name is Erica Van Tongeren. I have been at Knowledge Tree since the beginning and have my BA in child development. I am the youngest of 4, and love being around my family. My passion for being a teacher started when I first became an aunt at 7 years old, I now have 5 nieces and 1 nephew. I am married to my best friend that I have known almost all my life. I love art, anything to do with being outside, and animals. My philosophy when it comes to children is that they have the capability to do amazing things when we give them the chance. I believe in guiding rather than pushing them to learn.

What I love about teaching is watching how the children react to learning something new, and knowing that I am helping them reach new levels of understanding. I look forward to helping your children prepare for kindergarten while having a lot of fun.



Hello, my name is Sara McKinnon. I found my love for teaching while helping out at a preschool in Lake Tahoe where my (then) 2-year-old daughter attended and I fell in love with it! I enjoyed teaching while having my daughter with me as I went to work each day. As of today, I’ve been teaching Early Childhood Education for 20 years. Along with teaching, I love doing volunteer work. While teaching, I obtained my CNA and Medical Assistant certification to broaden my usefulness in my volunteer activities.

I teach the importance of meaningful conversation and communication by teaching children to use verbal and non-verbal tools to best express themselves with one another. I also value charity; thus, I teach children the importance of thinking of others and how to show empathy and compassion for one another in the classroom.

I believe engaging children in meaningful conversations and catering to each child’s individual learning style through hands-on teaching is what will get them ready for Kindergarten, as well as, fostering self-help skills. I want to help children be successful in life, beyond academics.

I married my best friend and we have a 10-year-old son, Logan, and a daughter, Kyla. Kyla is a CSULB graduate and Logan loves musical theater. I love spending time with my family as well as doing anything art, musical and theatre-related. My passion for the Arts has led me to teach Art in the past and I work now to incorporate these elements into my teaching.

“Our job is not to prepare students for something. Our job is to help students prepare themselves for anything.” -A.J. Julian



Hello! My name is Kaitlin Merideth, feel free to call me Katie! This is my first year teaching so I am very excited to get to know all of my first ever students and their families! I am enrolled in Sierra College as a Liberal Arts major with a minor in Education and currently in the process of completing my ECE unit requirements to transfer to Sacramento State.

I have always wanted to become a teacher. In my youth (funny, coming from someone in her early 20s!), I loved to sit my stuffed animals up and teach them everything I learned at school! This included giving tests, assignments, grading, and playing with them! My favorite thing about working with Preschoolers in their never-ending energy. I am constantly on my toes and kept alert by how fun and excitable they are!

In my spare time, I love to play with my cat, Rosie, play video games, and sing! I’m so excited for many more years teaching children and allowing them to grow and blossom into beautiful human beings!



Hi, my name is Melissa Smith and I am the new Pandas teacher! I have been earning my degree through Shasta College as well as Sacramento State in education. I have been working with children for 12 years where I began volunteering at head start preschool. As a young girl, I always dreamed about becoming a teacher because my teachers were able to make learning so much fun. As I got older, school was not as easy for me, but my teachers always took the time to help me understand what was being taught. My teachers fostered within me a desire to learn, challenge myself, and explore. I wanted to share that same experience with others. Working with children has reminded me of how amazing and exciting the world can be. I love seeing things from their eyes. It makes me a happier, more positive person in my day-to-day life. Children also encourage me to use my imagination and find new creative ways to do things.

In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I love going to the beach, traveling, and having fun.



My name is Josephine. I have been married for over 30 years and have two daughters and one son. I have been in licensed child care for thirty years. I love being with young children and bringing love and positive care to all. I have a great amount of respect for all children and feel that being with them is the most rewarding job in the world. My job makes me feed needed.

Watching children develop and interact with one another day by day is a wonderful experience. I feel blessed. I make children and families feel comfortable by making the classroom a warm and friendly environment. I am committed to providing the highest quality care.



My name is Danica Chase and I am the Monkey teacher at Knowledge Tree Academy. I have been working with children in a childcare setting for 16 years. It is my life’s calling to help young children grow and experience the new and exciting things in their lives. I have also worked with children during swim lessons, family portraits, and dance/gymnastic classes.

What I love most about toddlers is that everything is new and you get to make learning fun. Between art projects and sensory projects, everything is exciting and new, and, as a teacher, I get to experience that with them. Makes me appreciate the little things in life and brings a new spark to every day.

I am a mother of two, soon-to-be three children, and have been married for two years. I love spending time with my family outdoors camping fishing, hiking and more. I love baking, flower scents, anything chocolate and teas/coffees. I love gardening, bringing new life, and watching every leaf sprout from the ground. The fresh veggies and fruit is something I love sharing with my family and friends.



Hello families, my name is Ms. Dale. I am very excited to be a part of the Lions class as their afternoon teacher. I am a Jersey girl with 2 adult children and 3 grandsons. My journey in teaching started when my own 2 children attended a co-op preschool. It wasn’t difficult to decide my career after spending time with the children. From the moment I started Sierra College, my life truly began. My first preschool brought me to Roseville where I taught a TK class and eventually became the Program Assistant Manager. After a few years, I ventured into the developmentally disabled field. I then retired from that and because I missed the children very much, so I returned to Roseville. I taught children ranging from infants to school-age. That is when I met the wonderful Ms. Wen.

I am so pleased that I have found my way to this wonderful school, KTCA; I love new adventures and hope to introduce new ideas in science, art, music and cooking. This will be a paradise of learning and fun for all. A few of my favorite things: traveling, music, crocheting, cooking and plant rescue.



Hi, my name is Viola Langston. I am delighted to be working at Knowledge Tree Children’s Academy here in Rocklin, CA with your precious children. It has always been my dream to teach kindergarten at an elementary school. I received my 21 ECE at SJCC, and have one more class to go for my associate’s degree at BYUI, and then I will pursue a Bachelor’s degree in education. I also accomplished the NAEYC Accreditation Program. I have been working with children for 34 years of all ages, and it has truly been a blessing. I previously worked at KinderCare for seven years and before that, in a school district teaching reading readiness and substitute teaching in Mississippi.

My husband and I just moved back to California from Mississippi two years ago and are super happy. I am a native Californian. We are approaching 12 years of marriage this coming September, but have known each other for 14 amazing years! I have a 27-year-old son who also lives in California and has studied to be a welder. My family is mostly here in California, and I come from a very large family of 12 siblings, with two sets of twins. Yes, I am a twin as well. A few of my favorite things are cycling, skiing. Hiking the great outdoors, family times, and cooking & baking. My two favorite holidays are Easter and Christmas. If you catch me in a bookstore, you’ll find me in the children’s section.

I look forward to the opportunity to teach your children and to gain great relationships in the four-year-old classroom!


Administrative Assistant

Hi, my name is Julia Sanders. I am very excited to be working here at Knowledge Tree Children’s Academy. You will usually find me working at the front desk, where I’ll be doing anything from paperwork, to budgets, or even preparing for fun activities for the students to participate in. More than anything, however, I’m just here to help.

Before joining KTCA, I was a caretaker for two school-age children, where I would make their lunches, help them with schoolwork, and play with them. Even before that, I spent some time volunteering at Brighton Schools, acting as an assistant to the summer camp counselors. Most of my experience with children, however, comes from hanging out with my two-year-old nephew, Jax. Through this experience, I’ve learned the importance of a proper education that incorporates both the intellectual and creative aspects of a child’s mind.

I completed my Associates Degree for Transfer at American River College, and I am currently a student enrolled at Sacramento State University, where I am studying Film with a focus in Digital Production. I hope to obtain my bachelor’s degree in the next two years, and then pursue a career in filmmaking, specifically directing and editing. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, writing, watching movies, and playing dungeons and dragons.



Hi, my name is Jody. I am a floater teacher in the Honeybee and Panda rooms. I feel very privileged to spend each day playing with and teaching your amazing children. I have lots of experience working with children of all ages, from infant to school-age.

I have been involved in my own children’s schooling and activities over the years. I’ve been a Girl Scout leader, room mom, team parent and have helped with many school events over the years. I began working with children in the WPUSD school district from 2015 to 2019 as a substitute teacher. Prior to coming to Knowledge Tree, I was working at an in-home preschool with 3- and 4-year-olds. I have also been involved in Bayside Church’s Children Ministry for over 10 years. I have loved working with children for as long as I can remember. I began babysitting when I was 12 years old and have 4 siblings who are all quite a bit younger than me whom I helped care for growing up.

I have 3 beautiful and very smart daughters, ages 13 to 26. Our family loves to travel when we can, visit with family and friends, go to the movies, explore different zoos and play games. When I have time for myself, I enjoy reading—that’s if I can stay awake long enough to do so 🙂

I truly enjoy getting to come to work each day to all the smiles and hugs.



Hello families, my name is Maria Cherry and I have been working with children for 9 years. As an experienced childcare professional, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work here at Knowledge Tree Children’s Academy. My educational experiences include creating a developmentally appropriate curriculum for all age groups and teaching in Spanish. I am First Aid certified and currently completed 32 ECE units.

My daughter, Luna, attends KTCA and she is in the Caterpillar classroom. Luna loves all her teachers! She enjoys the curriculum the teachers provide and always leaves the classroom happy. I love working at Knowledge Tree Children’s Academy and that I can be a part of this wonderful team!



Hello, my name is Jastane’e Price! I have been cooking my entire life and I love to serve others and seeing people happy with the food I’ve prepared. I come to Knowledge Tree Children’s Academy with a Management Food Certification as well as CPR Certifications. I have experience cooking for large groups, along with managing a kitchen. I am looking forward to cooking for your children this year. I love dropping the food off at each classroom and seeing all the beautiful children and experiencing each of their unique personalities.

I come from a close-knit family and learned my cooking style through traditional values taught to me by my grandmother. I am inspired by how food can tell a story and convey cultural ideas, as well as, how it can bring people together. I enjoy spending time with my family and dancing my traditional Samoan dance called Siva.

Mr. Pino


Hi, my name is Pino Fiorenze and I’m the bus driver here at Knowledge Tree. I was born and raised in southern Italy in an area known as Calabria. When I finished school I joined the Italian Navy where I served as a communications specialist. After my serves, I then came to America with my wife Josephine when I was 23 years old.

Josephine is the Monkey’s teacher here at Knowledge Tree and together we have 3 children and 6 grandchildren. We enjoy being with family and attending the various events that our grandchildren participate in such as plays, dances, and sports. In my spare time, I also enjoy watching professional soccer and bowling. I like the great people who work here at knowledge Tree and we all appreciate the opportunity to work with your great children!