Vrinda McGinnis received a Master of Education degree, with an emphasis on Special Education, from San Jose State University. She has over 19 years of experience working within the Applied Behavior Analysis field, working with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Asperger’s, PDD-NOS, and a variety of other cognitive and physical diagnoses.
Vrinda has worked as a behavior therapist for over fourteen years within the Bay Area of California. For eight plus years, she managed programs for dozens of children, of all ages. She also created an ABA-embedded preschool program for San Jose Unified School District. An integral portion of this program was its parent training component, which Vrinda designed and implemented. She also spent time in a position being the on-site behaviorist and supervisor for a Non-Public School for individuals with Autism, and other neurological and developmental delays.
Upon relocating to Colorado 9 years ago, Vrinda saw the need for a quality preschool program to meet the ever-growing needs of Boulder County. After sharing this information with the owner of Creative Learning Center-Foothill Preschool, Lafayette's Foothill Preschool location was formed.
Over the past 15 years, Vrinda has obtained multiple professional certifications, including SCERTS and Teaching to Individuals with English as a Second Language, and has also received trainings in Floortime, Pivotal Response Training, PEC’s, and Assistive and Augmentative Communication (AAC). A special interest of Vrinda’s is Sensory Integration, having done a research thesis on the topic.
Vrinda has three children with her husband, Bryan: Emily, Madeline, and Jacob. When she is not at the preschool, she can be found spending time with her family, gardening, or baking.
Lead Teacher/Assistant Director
Maria comes from a rich cultural background and is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, and English. She was born in Madrid, Spain where she spent her childhood years, and then at 9 moved to Sao Paulo, Brazil. At 19, she decided to move to Miami, USA to get her degree in Marketing. Maria quickly realized that Marketing was not for her and found her passion for working with children when she moved to San Francisco. There, she was a Special Education Paraprofessional, assisting children with IEP’s, and also helping lead teachers with all classroom management and needs. Maria moved back to Florida where she obtained a temporary teaching certificate from Florida Department of Education and taught a K/1 classroom at Pompano Beach Elementary. She wanted to explore working 1:1 with children, so after teaching a full classroom, she decided to tutor children with learning disabilities. She joined a tutoring system where she learned the sensory-cognitive instruction model Lindamood-Bell, and also instructional strategies related to phonetic processing with Orton-Gillingham techniques.
After completing her Level 3.0 certificate in Early Childhood Education, Maria has gone on to complete a number of training modules and programs to further her education within the ECE field. Most recently, Maria became Director-qualified, and was promoted to Assistant Director.
Maria is passionate and enthusiastic about working with children. She is all about teamwork and communication and is able to relate well to her co-workers and student's parents. She truly values her student relationships and diversity in a community. In her spare time, Maria loves to cook vegan meals, garden, and be outdoors as much as possible, skiing and hiking with her dogs.
Lead Teacher- Preschool
Mikayla Ford is the Lead Teacher in the Preschool classroom. She is originally from Kentucky and has lived in Colorado for almost 2 years. She graduated from Western Kentucky University with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis in Social Work and Child Development. She has been an Assistant Teacher for two years, mostly working with autistic children in a public school setting. The classrooms she has worked in include a general education kindergarten classroom working 1:1 with an autistic child, and a public school intensive autistic preschool classroom. She is currently back in school taking a few more ECE courses to expand her knowledge in the field as she strives to always keep learning! She is passionate about helping young children experience all the joy and excitement that comes with learning here at Foothill Preschool.
Lead Teacher- Preschool
Kat is a Lead Teacher in the Preschool room. She has been with Foothill Preschool for a year, and is a student at CU in Boulder. Kat loves kids, and is an asset to the classroom. The students love playing with her, and she can almost always be found with a group of students playing with and around her. Kat recently earned her Level 3.0 certificate in Early Childhood Education after completing a number of courses at CU and through the state's professional development modules.
Speech Language Pathologist
Ali received her Master's of Science in Communicative Sciences and Disorders from New York University in May of 2015. Since that time, she has worked with children of all ages, from infancy through adolescence. She has worked in schools, clinics, and the home health setting. Ali has worked with children and their families to address a variety of communication needs including language development, articulations difficulties, apraxia, and ASD.
Ali joined Foothill Preschool Educational and Behavioral Services after moving from New York back to Colorado where she was born and raised. In her spare time, she enjoys running, biking, reading, and spending time with her husband, Andrew, and new puppy, Rigatoni.