Our Team


Jimelle Carlson

Jimelle Carlson

Co-Founder / School Director

Hello, my name is Jimelle Carlson, and I have the honor of being the School Director for Foundations Cognitive Schools. As a teen, I volunteered in a special education classroom, and I knew instantly that my mission in life was to work with at-risk youth and to help find solutions for struggling students who so often fall through the cracks. At Foundations Cognitive Schools, our vision has been to develop a program for children that offers hope, and helps students grow to their full potential. Our goal is to move beyond the standards of traditional special education, and to instead focus on cognitive development and the psychology that produces long-term change in the brain. As a result, we have watched student after student experience growth, and in-turn, find joy and self-confidence that they previously did not think was possible. I feel blessed beyond measure to get to spend my days doing what I love and being part of our students’ growth journey.

I hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Arizona State University and a Master of Education: Inclusive Learning, Special Education, and Universal Design from the University of San Diego. I am a certified Arrowsmith Cognitive Teacher, I have received certification in TCU’s Trust-Based Relational Intervention Program, Moyer’s Learning Systems, Advanced Brain Technologies Listening Program, and am a licensed Tomatis Practitioner. I am currently in the process of completing my Amen Clinic certification as a Brain Health Specialist.

My husband, Ed, and I have six wonderful children between us – three boys and three girls – and two precious grandchildren. We also have a goofy German Shepherd, and two cats (who think they are dogs), so our house is definitely full of love and laughter. We are very involved at our church, where I assist the tech team, my husband plays guitar, and our children sing on the worship team.

One of my favorite quotes is, “We cannot change our past…we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you…we are in charge of our attitudes.”  – Charles R. Swindoll


Geri Hamada

Geri Hamada

Assistant School Director

Hi, my name is Geri Hamada and this is my seventh year working at Foundations. I hold a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from Cal State Fullerton with a minor in Child Development. I have also received certification in TCU’s Trust-Based Relational Intervention Program. Although I did not teach in a formal setting while raising my five children, I did experience teaching all levels through homeschooling elementary to high school.  I have a heart for children with learning challenges and gained valuable experience over the last 20 years that I have incorporated into my classroom. 

Teaching has been my life long passion and I feel so blessed to be part of the Foundations team. Over the years, I have witnessed amazing growth in each of our students.  It is such a joy to watch their excitement as they conquer difficult programs and succeed where they once struggled. I truly enjoy encouraging them each day and helping them become the best they can be. 

In my spare time I enjoy reading, hiking, playing tennis with my husband and spending time with my family and our dog Leo. 

One of my favorite Bible verses is from Isaiah 40:31 “but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”


Kristi Lancer

Kristi Lancer

Student & Administrative Services

Hello, my name is Kristi Lancer, and I have been working in administrative and student services for the past 12 years. I graduated from Cal State University Long Beach with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, and I love to see how the power of positive thoughts can affect our lives in wonderful ways! I am thrilled to be part of the Foundations team, and to have the opportunity to work with students who struggle with learning challenges. It brings me great joy to know that our school doesn’t just help our students “cope” with learning challenges, but actually helps to heal their brain! My favorite part of the day is sitting with the students during lunch. I love to hear their conversations and listen to the creative ways they think. They inspire me all the time!

In my free time, I enjoy participating in outreach events with my church, and have had some incredible experiences on missions trips to Cuba and Colombia! During the weekends, my husband and I love to E-bike with our friends, go to the beach, surf, waterski, snow ski and hang out with our Golden Retriever, Roxy. We have two wonderful grown boys, ages 21 and 23.

One of my favorite bible verses is from Proverb 3:5-6. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, submit to Him and He will make your paths straight.”


Danielle Chambers

Danielle Chambers

Lead Teacher

Hello, my name is Danielle Chambers, and I have been blessed to work at Foundations for the past seven years. I received my Bachelor’s in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Psychology at Azusa Pacific University. I am also certified in TCU’s Trust-Based Relational Intervention Program.

One of the greatest joys of working with Foundations students is watching their self-esteem grow as they persevere and have success in areas where they previously struggled. It is so beautiful to see the students have more confidence and believe in themselves. I am also blessed to remind them of how loved, smart, and wonderfully created they are.

In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, going to the beach, and doing yoga.

A bible verse that means a lot to me is Isaiah 43:2, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”


Jennifer Winfield


Hi! My name is Jennifer Winfield. I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts with a minor in Psychology, a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, and certification in the Feuerstein Instrumental Enrichment Program and Learning Potential Assessment Device. All are from California Lutheran University.

By the time I was eight years old, I knew I wanted to be a teacher, and that desire has never changed. After college, I taught for several years in a special education program that implemented some cognitive exercises, similar to Foundations. Later, I homeschooled my son and daughter from preschool through high school graduation. Most recently, I volunteered as a first grade teacher’s aide in the Irvine Unified School District.

This is my third year at Foundations, and I am excited to be part of the team! The ability of the human brain to adapt, and the different ways people learn fascinate me. I am passionate about helping children reach their full potential, and I look forward to seeing the students’ growth day by day.

In my free time I enjoy reading books, chatting with friends while sipping tea, watching movies with my husband, hanging out with my adult children, and riding roller coasters whenever I get the chance!

“… a person’s performance rarely reflects that person’s potential… intelligence and competence are much more modifiable than we often give them credit for being.”  –  Don’t Accept Me As I Am by Feuerstein, Rand and Rynder


Tasha Querantes


Hello, my name is Tasha Querantes and I have worked in private school education for the past six years. I have also worked in the healthcare field as an educator and project manager for a non-profit organization. I worked with developing curriculum and engaging healthcare professionals to partner together. Through this experience, I discovered my joy for teaching and inspiring students and healthcare professionals to reach their goals.
I graduated from Cal State Fullerton with a Masters in Business Administration. I am married and have two high-schoolers and a very energetic dog. In my spare time, I enjoy taking spin classes, traveling, and being with family and friends. I am very excited to be a part of the Foundations team, and to help encourage students to always strive to do their best.
My favorite Bible verse is John 14:6, “Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.”

Annie Kosor


My name is Annie Kosor, and this is my third year working at Foundations. I’ve previously taught both middle and high school. I have a single subject teaching credential from Cal State Long Beach. I’ve also recently worked as a writing tutor. I love encouraging students to do their best and watching them grow and learn as they achieve personal success! 

My husband and I have three children. One in high school, one in middle school, and in elementary school. Throughout the years we’ve enjoyed being involved in our church through volunteer work and building friendships within our community. 

In my free time I enjoy taking Zumba classes, walking, reading on a beautiful beach, and spending time with my family and friends. 

One of my favorite quotes is “We do not need guns and bombs to bring peace, we need love and compassion.”  – Mother Teresa


Margaret Meyers Bio Photo 225x225

Margaret Meyers


Hi there, my name is Margaret Meyers. I am so excited to be part of the Foundations team! I completed my Bachelors of Science in Biology with a minor in Chemistry from Grace College. I have also completed my certification in TCU’s Trust-Based Relational Intervention.
I believe building relationships with others is where we see breakthroughs and changed lives. I have a varied background in teaching, ministry, and safety. I taught the laboratory sections of science courses to college students where I greatly enjoyed helping them understand theoretical concepts from lectures with hands-on learning. I then had the opportunity to minister to college students by helping them grow in their faith and leadership skills to prepare them for doing ministry in their future careers. I also have been a crossing guard for a nearby school where I have loved being a consistent security for the elementary students and families in my community. Each new opportunity has given me ways to build relationships and  develop a heart for the marginalized. I am looking forward to seeing changed lives here at Foundations!
When I am not working, I love to stay active: hiking, biking, or gardening. I also co-lead a newly married small group at church with my husband. I  enjoy volunteering and mentoring at-risk youth with OC United and foster/adopted children with Royal Family Kids. My husband and I plan in the future to become foster parents.
A verse that brings me great comfort and peace is Psalm 32:8 “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.”

Logan Cranford

Music / Dance / Art Teacher & Elementary Assistant Teacher

Hello, my name is Logan Cranford. This is my fifth year working for Foundations Cognitive Schools. Prior to Foundations, I was a summer camp counselor and dance instructor at Saddleback Valley Christian School, where I also choreographed and directed for the elementary musical theater program. I have a Bachelor of Arts from Vanguard University.

What I love about Foundations is watching each student grow over the course of the school year and the relationships I get to develop with our students. Whether it is through a dance, art, music, or a reading lesson, one thing that blesses me the most is watching a student’s self-confidence grow as they overcome their fears and develop skills that they previously thought were not possible.

In my free time, I enjoy everything creative – I write and record music, I perform in musicals, I am a Studio Barre instructor, and I am on the worship team at my church. I am also busy planning my upcoming wedding!

My favorite bible verse is Ephesians 2:8, “For it is by grace you have been saved.”


Christina Slay

Assistant Teacher

Welcome everyone! I find immense joy in witnessing children’s growth and successes as they embark on their educational journeys. I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education, specializing in Differentiated Instruction with a focus on Early Intervention. My educational background reflects a deep commitment to helping children thrive, particularly those who may require additional support to reach developmental milestones. My dedication to fostering the growth and development of young minds is not just a career choice; it’s a calling that I wholeheartedly embrace. 

My love for nurturing extends beyond the classroom. I am a proud wife and mother of four children, creating a loving and supportive home environment. My family also includes four cats, a dog, and a chinchilla, which further illustrates my affection for animals and my commitment to providing a nurturing atmosphere for all living creatures. I am also an avid nature enthusiast. I revel in outdoor activities such as hiking, horseback riding, kayaking, and road trips, allowing me to connect with the natural world and find inspiration in its beauty. My diverse interests extend to the arts and music as well. I enjoy playing musical instruments, a creative outlet that enriches my life and brings joy to those around me.

I am a dedicated educator with a profound love for children, animals, and nature. My journey in life is marked by a commitment to making a positive impact on the lives of young learners while cherishing the beauty of the world through various adventures. 

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike.” – John Muir


Asia Alvarez

Assistant Teacher

Hello, my name is Asia Alvarez and I am honored to be starting my first year teaching at Foundations. I graduated from William Penn University as a student-athlete with a Bachelors Degree in Public Relations and a minor in Business. I have previously taught and coached in middle school. Prior to Foundations, God led me to be a light in Social Work with the homeless with a dual-diagnosis. I had the opportunity to develop a strong foundation in my field, and I was able to make significant contributions towards those less fortunate. Now, starting this new chapter, I am very excited to be a part of the Foundations team! 

In my spare time, I truly enjoy giving softball lessons and being my niece’s pitching coach! I have a 7 year old Great Dane, and a 1 year old kitten that keep me very busy at home. I also really have a passion for photography and traveling!
My absolute favorite book is “The Hobbit Devotional” by Ed Strauss. It has been a staple in my daily reading routine! My favorite Bible verse is John 15:16, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in my name He may give to you.” 

Lauren Adair

Assistant Teacher

Hi, my name is Lauren Adair, and I have been working with children for 12 years. Three of those years took place in Student Ministry, and the last nine years I have been a Behavioral Therapist. I graduated with from California State University of Fullerton with my BA in Psychology. I am also a certified Applied Behavioral Analysis Technician. Throughout the last 9 years, I have received multiple other certifications pertaining to working with children. I am greatly looking forward to being part of the Foundations team. The tiniest step of progress is such a huge deal. Children grow, flourish, and have a more positive view of themselves when they are encouraged, uplifted, guided, and loved. I am looking forward to making a difference in the students’ lives. 

In my free time, I love spending time with family and friends. I’m blessed to have all my close family in Southern California. We love to go to the beach, have BBQs, play games, etc…I love spending time in nature, going on hikes with my lab mix Zoe, and photography. On Sundays, connecting with the community at church, and spending time with family after. 
One of my Favorite Verses is “‭‭For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” – Jeremiah 29:11-13

Stacy Whitaker

Director of Admissions & Student Growth

Delightful to meet you, my name is Stacy Whitaker, and I’m thrilled to be part of the Foundations team. As an ordained pastor, my professional journey has been steeped in administration and leadership roles. My academic journey encompassed studies in psychology and general education at various community colleges and Western International University. Over time, I’ve dedicated significant effort and commitment to attain multiple certifications, ranging from counseling to leadership culture development, ministry prayer, life coaching, advanced loan processing, and exemplary practices in medical trials. My professional journey also includes a significant role as a paraeducator at the Orange County Department of Education, focusing on students within the special education program. In addition, I launched a homeschool program, guiding students through all grade levels, including high school, while simultaneously orchestrating events for a local homeschooling community group. One of my unwavering passions lies in advocating for children experiencing learning challenges, inspired in no small part by my personal experience—two of my daughters, son and grandson have been diagnosed with these types of challenges.

My husband, Bill, and I are blessed with four wonderful children in total – three daughters and one son – and we have the joy of five precious grandchildren and another one on the way. Among them, my youngest daughter has a beloved great Dane named Dexter, affectionately referred to as my “grand dog”. Dexter holds a special place in our hearts as a cherished member of the family. Additionally, all our grandsons are actively involved in sports, and we take great pleasure in attending their games, which encompass soccer, football, and baseball.

During my leisure hours, I treasure the opportunities to bond with family and friends, sharing games and simply relishing their company. My interests also include going on thrilling escapades, whether it’s geocaching or discovering new hiking or e-biking hiking trails. Riding my E-bike with my husband and friends is a source of great happiness for me. I’m always eager for an opportunity to take a boat ride and bask in the refreshing ocean breeze. My passion for travel leads me to new horizons, where I eagerly explore history, admire the splendid architecture, sample new cuisines and meet fascinating new people.

A Bible verse that holds a special place in my heart is Matthew 19:26b, which declares, “With God, all things are possible.”

Abundant Blessings,




Elijah Munck

High School Mentor

Bio to Come!