UMCS Administration

David Castillo

David Castillo (Mr. C) is Urban Montessori’s Head of School. He is beyond excited to return to UMCS for his second year. The first of his family to attend college, David earned a Political Science degree from UC San Diego. His early career was in global logistics with a firm that advised leading technology companies. Then he began pursuit of his true calling, public education. David completed his Single Subject Teaching Credential in Social Science from San Francisco State in 2002, and obtained a Master’s in Educational Leadership from Cal State University East Bay in 2009. He taught and then became Principal at Unity High School, another Oakland charter school. David is an avid cyclist, as well as an analog audiophile, possessing upwards of 5,000 vinyl LPs. He loves traveling to faraway lands and connecting with the community in his East Oakland neighborhood.  David enjoys spending time with his wife and their 5-year-old son. E-mail:



Taima Beyah is Director of Operations at Urban Montessori. This is her fourth year at UMCS. She first joined UMCS as a parent, when her daughter enrolled as a kindergartener, and quickly became an active volunteer and then a member of the staff. Taima is a Bay Area native with deep roots in the fight for social justice and social change, and she has been committed to helping people improve the quality of their lives through her work in health care, mental health and substance use, and affordable supportive housing. She brings an extensive background in operations, employee training, risk management, human resources, family advocacy, organizational development, and systems policies and procedures in nonprofit and corporate organizations to her administrative role. Taima holds a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Cal State University Long Beach and a Certificate from San Francisco State University in Human Resource Management. She enjoys laughing, exercising, cooking, and spending time with her large extended Bay Area family. E-mail:


Angie Esparza
 is the Communications Liaison at Urban Montessori, responsible for front office management, lunch coordination, and supporting administrators Carmen, Taima, and Mr. C. This is her second year at UMCS. She graduated from Sonoma State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology. During school as well as after graduation, Angie interned with Committee On The Shelterless (COTS), a homeless agency, where she helped kids with homework, shadowed caseworkers, and assisted families with paperwork and appearing in court. She also volunteered as a tutor for an SSU program that provided services for migrant workers and their families. For fun, Angie likes to run, hang out with her sorority sisters, and travel. E-mail: 


Michael Stollman is Urban Montessori's Academic Programs Coordinator, supporting Lead Teachers in assessment, curriculum and instruction to ensure our programs are aligned with our charter, the Montessori method and the new California Standards. This is his fourth year at UMCS. After a short career in the business sector, Michael engaged in an assortment of teaching experiences, starting as a soccer coach, camp counselor, English teacher in Japan, Special Education Aide and fourth grade teacher with Teach for America in Washington, D.C., before coming to California to attend U.C. Berkeley’s Developmental Teacher Education Program. Michael then taught in a range of districts, schools and grade levels before joining UMCS as a founding teacher. Michael is continuing his learning as he works toward his Lower Elementary Montessori credential. After serving in a variety of roles, he is excited to bring his expertise as an educator together with his experience at UMCS to support our scholars and instructional staff. Michael is also a husband and father of two UMCS students. He enjoys quality time with family and friends and exploring the Oakland hills on foot or by bike. E-mail:


Carmen Diaz

Carmen D. Diaz is Programs Coordinator, supervising Urban Montessori's Afternoon Camp and Recess, as well as creating and implementing PE curriculum for Lower and Upper Elementary levels. Carmen moved to Oakland from San Juan, Puerto Rico in 2011 with her three kids. When she first heard of Urban Montessori, she immediately joined the founding team as a volunteer and worked towards the start-up of our school. Carmen has worn many hats at UMCS, from P.E. and After-School Teacher facilitating yoga, dance, art, cooking and other enrichment classes throughout UMCS's first year, and now in her third year as Programs Coordinator. A Positive Discipline Parent Educator and owner of Chiqui Yoga & Mariposas Family Services, Carmen spends her spare time teaching Zumba, Dancing for Birth, Yoga and Childbirth Education classes as well as sharing with her family. E-mail:



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Montessori, Design Thinking and Arts Integration Charter School in Oakland, California