School Age

Alison Michel-Hall
Job Title:
Sr. Director of Education
Bio:
Alison Michel-Hall has been working in the early childhood education field for over 35 years with over 20 years at Catalyst. She demonstrates a strong commitment to developmentally appropriate practices and has worked in multiple positions over the years. She has a bachelor’s degree in Child Development and master’s degree in Early Childhood Studies. She currently holds a Life Children’s Center Supervisory Permit and is a graduate of Program for Infant/Toddler Care (PITC). She continued her education throughout her career including specialized trainings such as: infant/toddler programming and care, special needs, adoption/foster care, anti-bias education, early language and literacy development, emergent curriculum, preschool programming, HighScope, Reggio Emilia practices, accreditation, school age programming, supervision/management, facilitation methods, Desired Results, Teaching Pyramid, trauma informed care, cultural competency, multi-lingual learners, responsive feedback, and effective coaching/mentoring.
Cassandra Brumfield
Job Title:
Site Supervisor
Expertise:
Bio:
Cassandra started with Catalyst Kids as an Associate Teacher in the substitute teacher pool in 2014. In 2015, she began working as a camp counselor at Catalyst Kids – Stone Lake. While working at Stone Lake, Cassandra finished her ECE coursework and received her Site Supervisor permit in 2017. That same year, Cassandra became a manager at Catalyst Camps. After a short break, Cassandra returned as a Site Supervisor at Catalyst Kids Pleasant Grove. She recently upgraded her permit level to Program Director.
Cindy Lipp
Job Title:
Center Manager
Expertise:
Bio:
Cindy Lipp has over 30 years’ experience with childcare, 27 of them with our company. Her passion is school age programming and summer camps. She has contributed to statewide teams, focusing on school age assessments and programming as well as helping launch a nine-week specialty engineering virtual class for upper graders. Her summer camps are fun, creative, and innovative. Summer programs have included day camps as well as week-long trips with older youth that focused on building skills in leadership, teamwork, and independence. Cindy works to create a culture where families, the school, and communities blend seamlessly together to provide the best experience possible for students. Currently, Cindy is the Center Manager of three sites. She has attended Purdue University, Mission College, DeAnza College, and San Jose State. She is currently enrolled at Purdue Global. She has a daughter, son, and a very spoiled dog.
Franczesca Louise G. Francisco-Ildefonso
Job Title:
Assistant Site Supervisor
Expertise:
Bio:
Franczesca was born in the Philippines and migrated to the United States back in 2009. Six years ago, she started working as an after-school Assistant Teacher with Catalyst Kids. At that time, she was completing her associates degree at a community college to transfer for her undergrad degree. In 2017, she obtained an A.A. degree in Behavioral Science and Child Development from De Anza College. She continued with an undergraduate degree at San Jose State University and received a B.A. degree in Liberal Studies Preparation for Teaching-Multiple Subject after two years. Franczesca knows the ins and outs of teaching and the administrative side of the company.
Jaqueline Arenas-Garcia
Job Title:
Center Manager
Expertise:
Bio:
Jaqueline began her career as a Preschool Teacher for the Garden Grove School District. After 2 years with the District, she came across an ad in the Penny Saver advertising Child Development Centers, now known as Catalyst Kids. Jaqueline was hired as a teacher’s assistant in 1999. She soon obtained her teacher permit and was able to work each school year with the same group of children that had started during their kindergarten year through their fifth-grade year. She became a Site Supervisor in 2009 and began running a traditional summer camp for children in grades K-2nd and an Adventure Camp for those in 3rd and up. At one point, she was overseeing 3 sites over summer camp with over 155 children! Jaqueline leads and supports many staff trainings around summer camp. Jacqueline is currently a Center Manager and has started the journey to completing her bachelor’s degree.
Job Title:
Program Quality Manager
Bio:
Lizelle Wulff has been working for Catalyst Family Inc. as a Program Quality Manager for the past three and a half years. She supports the program quality improvement of the Oxnard/Ventura region. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Maryland, she had years of experience as a K-3rd grade classroom teacher and Reading/Math intervention teacher in Maryland, Florida, and California. One of Lizelle’s passions is supporting Multilingual Learners, so she pursued a graduate degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from Nova Southeastern University. Lizelle transitioned back into the Early Learning and Care field by being a Site Supervisor for a California school district’s preschool program that had a combination of both Head Start and State Preschool classrooms. During that time, Lizelle completed an Advanced Core Certificate in Early Childhood Education with UCLA Extension. Since joining the agency, Lizelle has also become a Certified Trainer for the Program for Infant-Toddler Care (PITC). She was an instructor for the Dual Language Learner Professional Development Project courses at California State University Channel Islands, which equipped current early educators with the skills needed to support dual language learners in early care programs.
Rena Fields
Job Title:
Program Quality Manager
Expertise:
Bio:
Rena is currently a Program Quality Manager (PQM) for Catalyst Family Inc. She first started working in the Child Development field when she was in high school as a Science Camp Counselor. After high school, Rena began to work for the same nonprofit first as a Camp Leader, Childcare Teacher, Camp Director, and then as a Camp Coordinator. During her time with the organization, she learned about childcare licensing and got to be part of the American Camp Association Accreditation process. After graduating from California State University, Fresno with a BS in Child Development, Rena applied for a position with Catalyst Family Inc. Rena started as an Assistant Site Supervisor of a School Age program and then transferred to another center and became the Site Supervisor of Santa Teresa’s Preschool and School Age program. During her time at the center, she learned a lot about Catalyst Kids Preschool and School Age programming state compliance (Title 5) and camp. Rena became part of various leadership groups such as the Camp Ninjas and Leadership Ops. Rena soon was given the opportunity to join the Education Department and became a Program Quality Manager. She supports the Bay region with knowing what quality programming is and how to achieve it.
Whitney Lukanc
Job Title:
Center Manager
Expertise:
Bio:
Whitney has been working with children newborn through elementary school for over 12 years. She holds a BA in Child and Adolescent Development from San Francisco State University as well as two Associate degrees in Psychology and Liberal Studies. Whitney also has a Child Development Program Director Permit. Over the years, Whitney has had many roles, including camp counselor, assistant teacher, teacher, office assistant, bookkeeper, assistant site supervisor, site supervisor, and center manager.