Executive Team

Executive Team

The Executive Team is composed of the Administrative Director and the Director of Family Resources. The Executive Team assumes full responsibility for the total program of Mandala Children’s House.

Our Preschool Director, Childcare Program Manager and Bookkeeper work closely with the Executive Team. Our LCSW Clinical Consultant and our Founder-Consultant offer additional guidance and support.

Administrative Director
School Administration & Enrollment
(408) 251-8633
Email: julie@mandalachildrenshouse.com

In August 2018 Julie stepped into the role of Administrative Director. She is responsible for the overall leadership of the school. Julie manages Preschool admissions/enrollment and Preschool operations. She gives parent tours, interfaces with teachers, and guides the placement of children. On the business side, Julie is responsible for the program budget, fiscal planning, personnel, and administrative decision-making. She collaborates closely with the Director of Family Resources in all management decisions. Julie’s management skills became clear when she joined the Board in 2010 and later guided it with capable hands as Board Chairperson. There she learned the workings of Mandala and caught the “spirit” of our school. In 2015, we invited Julie to leave her Board position and bring her gifts to the administrative side of Mandala. She was mentored for several years to prepare her for leadership of the school when Anne retired in 2018. Julie is organized, committed, and has proven her dedication. She first came to Mandala in 2009 as a parent, and is the mother of three Mandala graduates. Julie earned her Bachelor’s Degree at UCSB, has a Masters’ Degree in Teaching from Pace University in NYC, coursework in Educational Administration from Santa Clara University, as well as California Teaching and Program Director credentials, and Montessori training. Julie has taught in public elementary schools, worked in Human Resources at an investment bank, and comes with a wealth of educational and administrative knowledge. Julie is an outstanding collaborator who appreciates the teamwork model. We are grateful to have her as part of our leadership team.

Director of Family Resources
Administration and Child & Family Support Services
(408) 251-8633
Email: atty@mandalachildrenshouse.com

Atty is a joint member of the Executive Team. She participates in administrative decision-making and offers support and resources to the classroom and our families as a licensed Pediatric Occupational Therapist. Atty also has a Certificate in Infant Family Early Childhood Mental Health. Atty began working with Mandala in 2011 as an OT consultant to the teachers, parents, and childcare providers. In 2014 she joined the Executive Team. Because of her expertise, both professionally and administratively, Atty plays an important role on the leadership team. Atty served as a member of the Mandala Board of Directors for 6 years and helped us to grow our vision. She has encouraged Mandala to offer groups and resources to further support children with a variety of needs. Atty is a gifted communicator and collaborator who brings balance and calm to our program. She has 20 years of experience working with children and non-profit agencies. Atty is a valued resource to the teachers, who look to her for guidance and direction in the classroom. She is also an important resource for parents who need guidance with their child. Atty is the mother of two Mandala graduates, now in middle and high school. In addition to her work at Mandala, Atty also provides home-based early intervention services throughout Santa Clara County and offers private pediatric occupational therapy to children and families. She is bi-lingual and speaks fluent Spanish.

Child Care Program Manager | Facilities
Child Care Referral and State-funded Child Care Program
(408) 251-8633
Email: mary@mandalachildrenshouse.com

Mary works in the office as our Child Care Program Manager. She is responsible for overseeing our child care program for low-income families. She enrolls families, supervises family child care homes, assesses children in the homes, and rates home environments. Mary also supports the upkeep of our facilities. Mary started at Mandala as a substitute teacher and became a part of our permanent teaching staff in January 1996. She worked for many years teaching in the Preschool. After returning to school for her Bachelor’s degree, she was interested in taking on more administrative duties. She transitioned to the office in 2013 and assumed full responsibility for overseeing our state-funded Child Care Program. Before coming to Mandala, Mary taught at Evergreen Community Center. Mary received her B.A. in Early Child Education from National University. She has two grown children–the oldest went to Mandala and the youngest volunteered here. Mary brings optimism and “sunshine” to the school. She is well organized and efficient. Mary is bi-lingual and speaks Spanish, as well as English. Mary is now enjoying the delights of being a grandmother of five.

Payments, Billing, and Accounts
(408) 251-8633
Email: janice@mandalachildrenshouse.com

Janice works closely with our Executive Team. She is in the office daily to handle all the financial needs of parents and the school-wide program. She provides additional HR and office support. Janice came to us in October 2015. She is highly organized, extremely efficient, and thoroughly dependable. She was able to learn the workings of Mandala’s program in a very short time. We have all appreciated having her competent guidance available to us on a daily basis. Janice has over 25 years of bookkeeping experience. She has worked in a variety of small business settings, and she ran a successful family business for a number of years. Janice is the mother of four sons, and she is now the delighted grandma of two granddaughters.

Office Administration & Preschool Support
(408) 251-8633
Email: janine@mandalachildrenshouse.com

Janine spent many years teaching in the Preschool classrooms, and although she recently joined our office staff, she can often still be found in the classrooms supporting our teachers. Janine joined our staff in the fall of 2015, but has been part of the Mandala family for years. Janine was first introduced to us in 2001 when she brought her children to school at Mandala, so it feels like she has been with us forever. Janine graduated from San Jose State University with a BA in Child Development and a minor in Deaf Education, and has also obtained her Montessori Certification after coming to Mandala. Janine worked for over 15 years in management and then stayed home to raise her children. She was a substitute Teacher’s Aide for seven years at a local private school. Janine loves being an integral part of Mandala. We appreciate not only her organizational skills, but also her engaging and playful spirit and her natural gift with young children. Janine says she feels Mandala is “such a special place, not only for the children but for the parents as well. It truly is a loving and enriching environment.” Janine’s children are nearly grown now; her daughter graduated from UC Davis, and her son from Gonzaga University. In her free time, Janine loves to garden and has done coursework in horticulture and landscape design. She loves to plant with the preschoolers and offers Mandala her valued gardening expertise.

Clinical Consultant | Former Head of School/Family Services | Board Member
Administrative and Child & Family Resource Support
(408) 251-8633
Email: anne@mandalachildrenshouse.com

As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Anne provides weekly clinical consultation and administrative support to the Management Team and is available by referral to meet with families for consultation. Anne retired in August 2018 from her position as Head of School/Director of Family Services at Mandala. She worked alongside Julie and Atty for several years, preparing them to take over the leadership and management of Mandala. Anne assisted in the creation of Mandala in 1975 with founders Marilyn Drino and Linda H. She originally served on the Board and gave administrative support and mental health consultation to the school. In November 1990, when the need for support services at Mandala was recognized, Anne was hired as Family Services Director to assist with early intervention and offer guidance to families, teachers, and childcare providers about parenting and child development. She also assumed the role of Head of School for several years until the current Executive Team could step into place. Anne has three grown children who are all Mandala graduates. Anne specializes in parenting, child development, early trauma, and family challenges. She also has a private psychotherapy and spiritual direction practice.

Consultant | Founder-Retired Administrative Director | Board Member
Administrative Consultation and Guidance
Email: mdrino@yahoo.com

In September 2010, after 35 years of gifted leadership at Mandala, Marilyn made the difficult decision to retire to spend more time with her family. We carry her spirit with us. Marilyn has left a legacy that is lived out in the very workings of Mandala, from classroom to staff room. We call Marilyn the “founding mother” of Mandala. In 1975, she created the plans and philosophy for a preschool and satellite licensed family day care network. It was Marilyn’s vision to establish a preschool in the East foothills of San Jose that fit the diversity of the area. At first, Marilyn taught in the mornings and was the Assistant Director in charge of curriculum and classrooms. Later, she stepped into the role of Administrative Director in 1984. Marilyn was known as the “glue” that held Mandala together. In her last several years, she mentored others on the administrative staff so that she could “hand over the reins” with confidence. Marilyn continues to play an important role at Mandala by supporting the Executive Team as our Administrative Consultant and serving as a Board Member. She remains a most valuable resource to us all as the holder of our legacy and history.

Mandala Mission: “Nurture the child. Support the family. Nourish the staff.”