Our Teachers & Staff

Hilltop is staffed by fully qualified, enthusiastic and caring professionals all of whom have extensive training and background in the field of child development, possess CPR/ First Aid Certification, and are active participants in professional workshops in order to enhance their knowledge, growth and development as teachers guiding young children and their parents.

Lynette Anderson, Director

Lynette has worked in childcare for over 25 years. She has a passion for helping families become stronger and more effective at communicating with each other. It is also in the delight and wonder of helping and serving children in their discovery of the world around them and knowing about themselves that keeps her passionate about working. "There is nothing greater than having the privilege and honor of being a part of a person's first discoveries, a radish that's been pulled from the ground, a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis. This is the beginning of wonder and wisdom" She completed her basic and advance training through UCLA Extension and is a Certified Parenting from the Heart instructor. She has also had training in Brain Gym. Parent Effectiveness Training (PET), attended workshops and lectures in Reggio Emilia, Waldorf School pedagogy and is CPR/first aid certified.

Learning and growing into becoming a better, happier person is a constant passion for her.

Outside of school Lynette enjoys gardening, more recently into exotic plants, cooking preserving foods like ferments, canning, dehydrating and freeze drying, traveling from our "back yard" to around the world, working out at CrossFit and spending time with her family. She has 3 daughters, Ariel, Rochelle and McKenna all of whom attended Hilltop! Two are now adults and one is at home attending 8th grade. She has been with her husband, Bob for 36 years and now resides in Fountain Valley along with their cat "The Dude".

Alissa Baltodano

Alissa was a licensed childcare provider prior to her first exposure to Hilltop as a co-op parent. She was so inspired by the program that she completed her early childhood education certification through UCLA Extension. She has attended workshops and conferences in Reggio Emilia, Italy, taken the Parenting from the Heart Training course and is CPR/first aid certified.

She has been a co-teacher for the last several years in all the classrooms Seeds, Sprouts, Blooms and Blossoms. And has mentored newer teachers joining our staff.

As a parent of a child with special needs, Alissa brings a valuable perspective to her early childhood teaching. She also adds an artist's sense of aesthetic and deep sensitivity to Hilltop. Alissa lives with her husband and 2 children within our local community.

Meggan Colombo

Meggan is a single mom and an alumni parent who attended 3 years at Hilltop where she was a working parent and very involved with the Hilltop Family. With her background in teaching she has experienced a few years in public school, a year at a bay area co-op and then found her place for Ryder and herself here at Hilltop in 2014. After Hilltop she has enjoyed homeschooling for the last 2 years. As Ryder has flourished in homeschooling, Meggan is excited to return to Hilltop to join the team teaching on Mondays and Wednesdays.

This will be her 4th year at Hilltop and first year teaching with many teachers that provided an amazing support in her educational journey. She is first aid and CPR certified.

As a parent of a child with special needs, she hopes to bring the understanding that every child has their own set of unique needs.

Malia Daguio-Silversmith

I have been a part of this community for 14 years, the last 12 years as a teacher. My background is in holistic healing, life coaching (24 yrs) as well as education. I have experience and training in Reggio, Parenting from the Heart, Self- Parenting, Compassionate Communication and more so this year I will be stepping into a new role at Hilltop which utilizes all of my training and skill. We are creating a mentorship program for educators as well as expanding our program for family learning and support.

Working here has been an incredible blessing to my family and I. I have raised or helped to raise 10 children. 3 of whom are Hilltop graduates. 2 have become mentors/nannies to Hilltop children over the years and my niece Tazia is now a teacher. Through this place of "like minded" souls, we have found a home and created an ever-growing extended family. It is the unique experience of sharing intention, responsibility and celebration that creates the beauty that is Hilltop. I hope that you experience the same homecoming.

I look forward to connecting to you all this year!

Tazia Dammann

Welcome and welcome back to those of you continuing your Hilltop journey! This will be my 14th year as a part of this beautiful community. I've been working with children as a nanny since I was 18 but discovered my love for teaching a couple years after my first son was born. After this discovery I began working toward a certificate in Early Childhood Education at Vanguard University.

I have also taken the Parenting From The Heart course with Miss Lynette and am CPR/first aid certified.

My husband Nick and I have 2 sons, Owen (9) and Finnegan (4). We live in Huntington Beach with my older sister, younger brother and my Dad. We are a full house with a lot of love!

This year will be my 7th year as a Blossoms teacher. The Blossoms age is such a beautiful time to explore and I feel very lucky to be learning alongside the children and collaborating with parents!

Alexa Featherstone

I am excited to enter into another year with all of you returning families and to get to know all of the new families entering into our community.

This will be my fourth year at Hilltop and second year teaching. Last year I taught in Seeds and assisted in Sprouts.

My oldest son, Jayden, just graduated from his Hilltop journey this past year as a Blossom and my youngest son, Jionni, is entering his journey this year as a Seed.

I have taken Early Childhood Development courses at Saddleback College and am CPR/first aid certified. I have also taken Parenting From The Heart with Ms. Lynette and plan to further all of that knowledge as the years go on. I am eager to start this year off with everyone and to unite on this path of Hilltop magic.

Amy Schallmann

Amy is the newest member of our community. She has a background in social work and parent education. Amy has extensive experience working with children in the foster care system. Amy received her ECE teaching permit from Long Beach City College and is CPR/first aid certified.

She has four grown children and lives with her family and 2 dogs in Long Beach.

Amy enjoys ceramic, gardening, travel and swimming at the beach.

Isela Villanueva

Hi, my name is Isela. My husband Mark and I have three kids: Zack (10) , Nora (7) and Lila (4).

We have been part of the Hilltop community since our oldest started as a sprout and we continue to choose this place of learning, growth and love as our preschool. Lila will be a Bloom this year and I am serving on the board for the sixth time. I feel honored to be a part of this dynamic and lovely community.

*Isela will be found doing double-duty this year. Both as staff and a Board of Directors member.

Jalene Weigand

After many years as a Preschool Teacher, 27+years to be precise, I am so grateful to have found Hilltop Preschool, which is a community, based on love, respect, and vast knowledge of Child/Human Development. I have had a broad range of experience in the field of Early Childhood Development working with children from the ages of birth through 12 years of age. I studied ECE/Human Development and received an ECE Leadership Certificate at Cal State Fullerton. Along with my ECE Education, I am also a certified Life Coach focusing on Peaceful Parenting and Communication. I have also studied the RIE philosophy (Resources for Infant Educators developed by Magda Gerber), hold a RIE Certificate and am CPR/first aid certified.

I have taught in the Seeds, Sprouts, and Blooms classes here at Hilltop Preschool. I am excited to be returning in the fall as a Seed and Sprout Teacher for this school year 2018-2019.

I live in Anaheim with my hubby, Alan. We are the proud pet parents of 2 dogs, 2 cats, one bunny, and a fish. We are extreme animal advocates and rescue any lost pet we come across.

I am looking forward to getting to know each and every one of you and your beautiful families.