Our Staff


Palo Alto PreschoolPleasanton PreschoolSan Jose Preschool

Palo Alto ElementaryPleasanton Elementary


President

Charles D. Bernstein, Ph.D.

Chuck Bernstein is the creator of the HeadsUp!® Approach to early learning and president of Early Learning Institute. He earned his Ph.D. in languages and linguistics from Stanford University as well as an MBA from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. …

Palo Alto Preschool

Director

Vittoria Barberis-Willner

Until her promotion to director of the HeadsUp! ® Montessori Preschool in Palo Alto, Vittoria worked as a teacher in both infant-toddler and preschool rooms. She served as head teacher of the infant-toddler program for five years and as assistant director for three years. Vittoria possesses a bachelor’s degree in education sciences from Genoa State University in Italy, where she grew up. She has earned both the infant-toddler and preschool Montessori certificates from the Montessori Teacher Education Center in San Leandro. Vittoria and her husband, Jon, live in Redwood City with their five-month-old baby, Luca, who is enrolled in our infant-toddler room.

Staff

Pleasanton Preschool

Director

Imelda Acosta, B.A.

Imelda earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Philippines. She completed both her elementary and preschool Montessori training at the Montessori Teacher Education Center in San Leandro. She has been with Early Learning Institute since 1988, …

Staff

San Jose Preschool

Director

Ryan Lee, M.A.

Education: San Jose State University, B.A-Child Development.; Santa Clara University, M.A.-Education Administration; University of San Francisco, Ed.D.-Organization & Leadership Joined HeadsUp! in 2021 …

Staff

Palo Alto Elementary School

Director

Linda Paz, B.A.

Linda is the director of Emerson School. She was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and earned her bachelor’s degree in liberal studies at San Francisco State University. She obtained her Elementary I, Elementary II and Primary …

Staff

Pleasanton Elementary School

Director

Imelda Acosta, B.A.

Imelda earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Philippines. She completed both her elementary and preschool Montessori training at the Montessori Teacher Education Center in San Leandro. She has been with Early Learning Institute since 1988, …

Staff