MEET OUR STAFF
Stephanie Vorrises, Director
Hello, I'm Stephanie! I’ve lived in the San Francisco area my entire life and also attended school here at St. Thomas More. I enjoy visiting new places (especially those with beaches), playing basketball, and spending time with my niece and nephews! I have always known that I wanted to work with children. I love their eagerness to learn about the world and the people around them and have always valued their natural ability to welcome, accept and learn about the similarities and differences between one another. I began working in Early Childhood Education in 2006 and have been at Utopia Preschool since 2013! My education includes a Bachelors Degree in Sociology with an emphasis on Social Services as well as, 19 Early Childhood Education units. Other certificates and trainings include a Site Supervisor Permit, Professional Learning Community (PLC), Reflective Teaching, Supervision and Mentoring and CPR/First Aid. My experience consists of teaching children 2-6 years old with varying abilities and participating in the IEP (Individualized Educational Program) planning and implementation process. One thing I enjoy most about my job is creating so many memorable relationships with the children, families and teachers!
Lead Teacher and Assistant Director of Family Engagement
My name is Andrea Posadas and I have been a part of the Utopia Preschool community since 2014. I was raised in Bakersfield, California, but have called San Francisco my home for over 10 years. I received BA in Child and Adolescent Development from San Francisco State University. Prior to Utopia, I was a curriculum coordinator with Pin@y Educational Partnerships, teaching Ethnic Studies and Filipinx Studies at Denman Middle School. In order to further my knowledge of the Early Childhood Education field, I have completed training in Project-Based learning, creating nurturing classroom environments, Anti-Bias Education, and inclusion. Outside of work, I love drinking coffee, playing guitar, writing, and eating all kinds of food! Utopia has been a wonderful place to grow and learn alongside the children, and I love working with our passionate team of educators everyday.
Andrea is the recipient of First 5 San Francisco's 2018 Excellence in Teaching Award. The annual Excellence in Teaching Awards is based on a competitive nomination process, focused on teaching excellence, as well as evidence of family engagement, leadership, and demonstrated commitment to creating high-quality, innovative early care and education curriculum, and environments. Congratulations Andrea!
Lead Teacher and Assistant Director of Administration and Enrollment
I was born and raised in Daly City and attended St. Thomas More School as a child. I started working with children at the age of 16, through the YMCA of San Francisco as a childcare provider in their gym daycare. After I graduated from the University of San Francisco in 2011 with a BA in U.S. and European History and a minor in Fine Arts, I started working at Utopia Preschool as a teacher aid during the 2012-2013 school year. After Utopia, I left to work full time at the YMCA preschool (at both their St. Francis and LCOS locations). While working at the YMCA, I took online child development classes to further my education in the field. This will be my 9th year of teaching preschool! I love hanging out with my son, my family and my friends. Trying new food and restaurants is one of my favorite things to do especially if it involves dessert! I also enjoy baking. I love shopping as well as exploring the Bay Area, specifically places my son can enjoy too! I am so happy to be a part of the Utopia family and can’t wait to enjoy another fun year!
Linette Illastron, Lead Teacher
My name is Linette. I was born and raised in Guam and moved to California when I was 9 yrs old. I have lived in the Bay Area since and am proud to call it my home. Before I received my AS degree in Early Childhood Education, I studied Piano Performance at the S.F. Conservatory of Music and NDNU. I plan on going back to school to combine my passion for music and love of working with preschoolers to bring music therapy into our classroom. Having worked in the ECE field for 15 years and at Utopia Preschool for 8 years, I’ve discovered the huge impact early childhood educators have in inspiring the love of learning and discovery by providing actual experiences. I look forward to welcoming new families, reuniting with those who are returning and being a part of building a strong foundation of early learning for your child.
Winnie Huang, Assistant Teacher
I’m Winnie! I grew up in Guangdong, China then I moved to the United States with my family in 2005. I’ve worked at St. Thomas More School since 2010, starting out in the Extended Care Program and then to Utopia Preschool in 2012. I’ve studied at City College of San Francisco taking Early Childhood Education classes such as basic Child Development, and have completed several Child Development certificates, such as “Building a Healthy Preschool Community,” “Inclusion-Understanding and Supporting Diverse Learners,” “Chinese Parent Education,” “Early Autism Spectrum Disorder,” and “Children with Special Needs.” My daughter, Rouyi, has graduated college and my sons, Jordan and Stephen, graduated from STM and now are in high school. Outside of work, I like to go to the movies, travel, and have fun with my family. I love working with the children and families at Utopia Preschool, and am so excited for this school year.
Mary Warner, Assistant Teacher
Hello! My name is Mary Warner A.K.A Teacher Mary. I was born and raised in Michigan and have lived in San Francisco for more than 30 years. I graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in Theatre Arts. I worked in customer service for many years, and when I became a Mom I decided that I really wanted to work with young children. I began volunteering at my son's preschool and enrolled in classes at San Francisco City College. When I'd completed my certificates in Child Development and in Early Intervention for Children with Special Needs, I was offered a job at Forest Hill Preschool. I joyfully taught there for 12 years! When Forest Hill Preschool closed in 2019, I needed a new home. How lucky I was to be welcomed into the Utopia/St. Thomas More community. I spent the extraordinary year of 2020-21 with the Second Grade of STM. It was a wonderful experience! Now I'm happy to be back with my terrific colleagues at Utopia, where the children teach me something new every day!