Laura Tobias, Director and Lead Teacher
Laura created Bridges to Kinder in the summer of 2003, in collaboration with the Santa Cruz City Adult School. She has a BA in Recreation and Leisure Studies from CSULB, with a credential in Therapeutic Recreation. She attended Chapman University for her Post-Baccalaureate studies in Education, with an emphasis on Special Education and Early Childhood Education. She also has a credential in and teaches Parent Education. Laura grew up in Southern California and has happily lived in Santa Cruz since 2000. She and her husband, Mike, met at CSULB and have been married since 1989. They have 2 children, who are now young adults…their son Henry and their daughter, Jane. Laura loves spending time with her family and socializing with friends. She likes camping, hiking and swimming and enjoys travel and adventure.
Julie Atkinson, Teacher and Administrator
Julie has been a part of the Bridges to Kinder community since 2011. Her son, Grant and daughter, Jillian have both attended the program. She was the president of the Board of Directors for Bridges to Kinder for 3 years. Julie has a BS in Exercise and Sport Science, as well as Special Education. Julie also has a Master’s degree in Literacy. She has a California teaching credential in Special Education, Reading, and Language Arts. Julie and her husband, Nate moved to Santa Cruz from Seattle in 2010 to be close to family. Julie enjoys spending time with her family, biking, gardening, and travel.
Lisa Bagnall, Teacher
Lisa began working at Bridges to Kinder in 2003, as a parent in the classroom, when her youngest child Jake, was enrolled as a Pre-K student. She was hired in 2004, as a Teacher, when Jake began Kindergarten at Westlake Elementary School. Lisa studied at Cabrillo College and San Jose State University with an emphasis on Child Development. Lisa and her husband Peter have 3 mostly grown children, Carly, Taylor and Jake. Carly is in graduate school at USC, Taylor is studying at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles and Jake attends Santa Cruz High School. When not spending her time in the classroom Lisa loves to walk her dog on West Cliff. She also enjoys gardening, baking and attending any academic or athletic events for her kids. Lisa and her family love to travel, especially to Mexico and Hawaii.
Lisa Sliney, Master Teacher