Our Staff

​Kelley Cohen

Administrative Director

It is an honor and a privilege to work with the children, parents and teachers at Tree of Life Learning Center every day! I began my career over 13 years ago, teaching elementary education. I love being a teacher. I love the look on a child’s face when they are asking a question and the satisfaction they have when their curiosity has paid off and they have found the answer! I love being a director. I love watching the teachers develop and grow into your children’s heroes. I opened this school in August 2011 and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made. It has given me an opportunity to bring the kind of culture and values to the early education of the children in our community. I love working in the community in which I live with my husband and our three children. I hope to instill a love of learning into my own children and all the children at Tree of Life Learning Center!

Evelyn Owens

Hi! I am Ms. Evelyn and I am very excited to be teaching here at Tree of Life Learning Center! I received my teaching credential through Sacramento State University for Elementary Education. It wasn’t until my time teaching the preschool classes at the Lindsay Wildlife Museum that I fell in love with teaching preschool-aged children. I worked for the Museum for 4 years before deciding to focus on teaching in the classroom fulltime. I completed my Early Childhood Education units through Diablo Valley College. I love being creative and I bring this energy and learning to the classroom. I view the child as a whole person, who brings with them the tools and talents to learn and grow. My role is to guide their learning, build up their strengths, and support them with their challenges. When I’m not teaching, my passions include dance, theater, my dog Sparkey, and Civil War Reenacting.

Kerri White

Hi! My name is Ms. Kerri. I was born and raised in Fremont and moved to the Danville area in 1993. I have been with Tree of Life Learning Center since August of 2014. When not working I enjoy taking my daughter to sports games, cheering on my nephews in their games and spending time with family and friends. I have 20+ years of experience and am currently attending Diablo Valley College to gain a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. My main goal in the classroom is not only to provide a loving environment for the children, but to also enrich their lives with learning while having fun. I became a teacher because I love kids! I like to get messy and explore!

Zvia Bitansky

Hi! My name is Ms. Zvia. I was born in Israel and grew up there. I attended a vocational high school learning drafting and other architectural office skills. After serving in the Israeli Army, I worked for an architect in Tel Aviv. In 1981, my family moved to San Francisco. Soon after settling in the East Bay, I began to study preschool education and worked in the preschools at Contra Costa Jewish Community Center, Temple Isaiah, and B’nai Shalom. During this time, I completed the curriculum in Early Childhood Education at Diablo Valley College and earned numerous certificates. I bring the richness of Judaism to my classroom and with every small dose of Judaica, enrich the learning environment. I love introducing the children to the world, to language, music, and art. I have for many years watched children gain knowledge through experience as I encourage their curiosity. I am the one honored to guide their curiosity.

Jessica Mikkelson

Hi! I’m Ms. Jessica. I am a bay area native and have lived most of my life in the Concord/Clayton area.  After high school I went on to study nursing at the University of San Francisco. However, while working part-time as a daycare assistant I realized that working with children was my true passion and more aligned with my personality and purpose. I have since worked as daycare assistant, nanny, and various other early educational roles for over seven years while concurrently obtaining my degree in early childhood education. I am a lover of learning and am always looking to improve myself or my skills. As a teacher I hope to instill that same enjoyment for learning into the children. In my spare time I enjoy hiking, cooking, watching movies, and being crafty!