Co-Founder / Program Director
Hello, my name is Jimelle Carlson, and I have the honor of being the Program 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, and have also received certification in TCU’s Trust-Based Relational Intervention Program, Moyer’s Learning Systems, and the Advanced Brain Technologies Listening Program. Most recently, I have completed the certification process to receive my license as a Tomatis Practitioner.
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 two of our daughters 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
Assistant Program Director
Hi, my name is Geri Hamada and this is my sixth 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.”
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.”
Hello, my name is Danielle Chambers, and I have been blessed to work at Foundations for the past six 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.”
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 second 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 Rynders
My name is Annie Kosor, and this is my second 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
Hello! My name is Madison Koelliker. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Brigham Young University. That is also where I received my Professional Educator License and my endorsement for teaching English as a second language.
I have taught multiple grade levels, including kindergarten, fifth grade and sixth grade, and have tutored all grades in between. I have always loved working with kids, and I especially love seeing the excitement on their face when they finally accomplish something that they have been working so hard on. For this reason and many others, I am excited to be a part of the Foundations team and to help children grow and see their true potential.
In my free time I love cycling, swimming, reading and working on all my art projects and DIYs. I also love spending time with my family!
My favorite bible verse is 1 Corinthians 16:14 “Let all that you do be done in love.”
Music / Dance Instructor & Teacher’s Aide
Hello, my name is Logan Cranford. This is my fourth 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 am in the final year of completing my Bachelor of Arts at 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, 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 am on the dance team at Vanguard University, I perform in musicals, and I am on the worship team at my church.
My favorite bible verse is Ephesians 2:8, “For it is by grace you have been saved.”
Bio to Come!
Bio to Come!
Bio to Come!