Our Staff

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Mindy Myers, Founder, Director

Miss Mindy has dedicated her life to helping children embrace that which is different. Through exposure to cooking and eating international foods,  learning about cultural nuances, and understanding world-wide celebrations and practices, children leave a Cooking Round the World experience with a broadened palette, and a desire to explore the world.

Karl Vonmecklenburg - Director of Technology

I have twenty five years experience working as an IT professional.

In my free time I love cooking and trying new recipes.

I am passionate about all things related to coffee.

I enjoy the outdoors and I like camping.

I value sustainable farming and the local farmers markets and I like to support  small local businesses

Ryann Hai - Program Director

Ryann is a mom of two teenaged boys and two very active French bulldogs. She has a passion for animals and children, and in her spare time she likes to cook and garden.

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Stefen is a dedicated employee of Cooking round the world of 5 years. She enjoys traveling with her 4 kids and Military husband. Loves to roll up her sleeves and cook for the homeless in her spare time. 

Stefen Thompson -Southern California Regional Manager
/ Company Researcher

Cooking Teachers

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Valeska Schultz - Lafayette

I’m currently a Spanish Language teacher and Academic Instructional Assistant for the Orinda School District, Orinda, CA. I have worked with students  TK- High School for 20+ years, including my own children (ages 24 and 26 years old) and their friends. I have also worked for Cooking Round the World as a Chef Educator teaching and sharing the history, wonders and joy of cooking with youth!  

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Kyle Dixon - Substitute

Chef Kyle Dixon has over a decade of kitchen experience and has cooked in four different countries around the world. His knowledge of the culinary arts runs deep, and his teaching style makes learning easy and fun!

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Rhoda Butler-Nelson

Rhoda Butler-Nelson is a long-time resident of the Bay Area.  She has over 25 years of experience working with kids in numerous roles such as: academic and athletic coach, a mother, grandmother, instructional aide and has worked with kids within the homeschooling setting.  She is retired Civil service employee of 30 years with the State of California and currently is a Board Member for the Council of Aging and Act Senior Assistance in Contra Costa County as well as an alternative Board Member for the First Five Program in Contra Costa County. She is passionate about life and wants to empower others to be passionate about life and live their best life. 

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Natasha Ruble

Natasha loves baking and cooking for others; she spends her free time trying new bread recipes. She has years of experience working with kids in summer camp and classroom settings where she learned the value of curiosity and creativity. She loves the rain, talking about superhero action movies, and anything having to do with outer space! 

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Ciara Murphy

Ciara is a student at UCLA studying Human Biology and Society. When she's not cooking or baking, she loves to travel, relax in her hammock, craft, and find new swimming spots around the Bay Area. She began as a camper at Cooking Around the World, and can't wait to be back as a counselor this summer!

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Maggie Zurowska

Maggie Zurowska discovered her love for food while working in catering for over 15 years.  She was a server and a leader at established New York City venues including the United Nations and Tavern on the Green. Her interest grew beyond the front of the house to the back of the house where she worked cooking and preparing foods.  

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Isabella Meda

Isabella Meda was born and raised in the Bay Area. She is passionate about working with children of all ages. Along with her bad jokes, she enjoys reading, hiking, and seeking new adventures. 

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Sydney Gong

Sydney is a rising freshman studying English Literature at the University of California, San Diego. In her free time, she enjoys creative writing, mentoring younger students in English, or enthusiastically rooting for her favorite Bay Area sports teams.

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Giselle Aguirre

Gisselle has been working with children since she was a senior in high school and is currently going to De Anza college to study psychology. In her free time she likes to be creative with art, reading a book, or enjoying a good movie.

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Lindsay Gong

Lindsay is a rising senior at Dougherty Valley High School. She is a cat lover who enjoys watching anime in her free time and is looking forward to helping kids expand their knowledge about cooking and baking

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Pooja Damani

Pooja is an avid home chef. Until recently, she has been a preschool teacher for many years. She collects cookbooks, loves different kinds of cuisine, and has an intense desire to try and make new dishes. Food is her way of making friends. She loves to make coconut cakes and salted chocolate chip cookies for dessert. In her free time, as a mom of two, (what free time??), she is often seen hanging out with her cats, cooking with her kids (mostly for), reading a good book  with a cup of tea, or laughing with her husband, (who is also kept around by his desire for good food.)

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Sarah Liss

Sarah is a fine artist and musician who has recently moved to San Diego, CA. When she isn't making art or working with kids she is enjoying her dog and cat.

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Jane Park

This is Jane's first summer with Cooking Round the World. Jane has been working with kids in education since 2018 and is looking forward to meeting you all!

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Charles Borrowman

Charlie has a culinary degree and has been a wilderness survival instructor for nearly fifteen years. When he’s not out in the bush, he loves to cook, grow chilies, and travel to new places.

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Annalise Burrows 

Annalise is a 2022 graduate who will be attending Cal Poly Slo in the fall for agricultural and environmental plant sciences! She has been working with children as a babysitter and camp counselor for 5 years and can’t wait for this summer! Annalise loves animals, plants, arts and crafts, and of course cooking!

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Alba Ferrús Rocha

Alba is a sophomore in high school. She has loved cooking from a young age and seeing the same excitement others get from it brings her a special joy.

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Emily  Ahn

Emily is a high school student who has a passion for cooking and baking, always excited to be in the kitchen. She enjoys being around children and likes trying new cuisines.

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Tululah Pickering

Tululah Pickering is a graduating high senior at Encinal High School with some experience teaching music. She enjoys road trips through California and hiking in the Oakland Hills.

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Kelly Thomas

Hi my name is Kelly and I am originally from San Diego. I have two kids of my own, my son is 20 and my daughter is 16. I’ve been working with kids for about 8 years a love it. In my spare time I enjoy cooking, baking, hiking, bowling and dancing. I am excited to combine my love of cooking and teaching this summer. :) 

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Kim Snyder 

Kim Snyder has many years of experience working with children and food. A girl mom with a love of cooking, she’s taken many culinary classes and enjoys writing about her kitchen creations on her blog. A lover of sunshine, soccer, food, wine and exploring new places. 

When life gets uncertain, eat dessert first.

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Nadia Lewis

Nadia was born and raised in San Diego. Nadia is passionate about her work with children. She was a behavioral interventionist for children with disabilities and has worked immigrant children. She also loves to paint and read a good book. 

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Taylor Pinneke

Taylor was born and raised in the Bay Area and she has been working with children since her junior year of high school. In her spare time she likes to be creative with art and hang out with her dogs.

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Kira Cummings

Kira is a full time SPED Paraprofessional at a charter school who loves to spend her summer break in a fun setting. Her passions include cooking, taking outdoor walks, and spending time with her kitty, Jinxy!

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Haylin Mujica

Haylin is no stranger to summer camp.  She has worked with children K-8 for over 6 years. She loves dancing, hiking, and always helping everyone. She is a very energetic and happy person. One of her favorite things to do is go on adventures and try new things. Haylin is excited and looking forward to meeting new faces this summer! 

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Dainy Esquivel

Dainy Esquivel, is a high school senior student who’s currently working towards pursuing her career in business. She’s skillful around kids, a  responsible being and a hard working person who has a passion for helping others. In her spare time, she enjoys being outdoors,baking, and spending time with friends . She’s thrilled to be working with everyone this summer! :) 

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Sunny Macier

Hello, my name is Sunny Macier and I'm an assistant at Cooking 'Round the World. I have been working with young children for about 2 years now, and I have worked with teens as a Camp Counselor Trainee at the JBA Camp Bloomfield. I am currently studying at Cal State San Marcos University to finish my degree in Child Development. I'm finally a senior! I love to paint, cook, hike, camp, and play with my little black cat named Pickles. I am a huge fan of movies, especially horror movies. My favorite color is yellow because I also love everything bright and cheery. I hope to meet you all soon.

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Kaitlyn Cohen

My name is Kaitlyn. I have worked with kids at my temple and have experience working with special needs kids through Assistance League. I also have worked at two country clubs and interned at a bakery.

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Kaitlyn Johnke

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Andrea Pelayo

She inspires children on making the world a better place. Loves being creative and artistic in every way.

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Macarena Gacitúa Alexander

Maca is a mom of 3 amazing kids and a cute dog. Spanish is such a beautiful language. I really enjoy teaching it . I feel very grateful to be able to pass on such an amazing tool to younger generations is a gift for me. In my free time, I enjoy spending time in nature.

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Nia Snow

My name is Nia Snow. I’m a 25 year old Oakland Native who is very passionate about cooking and eating great food! I also love working with the youth and strive to be a good role model in their lives. Growing up cooking class was always one of my favorite classes and I’m so honored to be in a position to teach cooking to the youth in a fun and educational way.

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Thalia Batista

Thalia Batista , (also know as Lia  is) a graduate of los medanos college with an associates in behavioral and social sciences sciences. Currently she works at a local charter school. She loves reading , cooking, writing and going to the gym in her spare time.

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Leila Fogel

Leila is a 2022 graduate planning on attending a 2 month internship in Fiji studying marine biology and conservation. She loves to read, travel, play guitar, and of course, cook!

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Diane Nguyen

Hi my name is Diane Nguyen I am 26 years old and I attend Georgia State University for my bachelors in Psychology and Sociology. I was born and raised in Oakland California. I love to travel and learn new culture foods then make twists of my own with food. Some of my other hobbies I like to do Muy  Thai and make bucket lists for my self and try to check one off at-least every month

Siyona Kathuria

My name is Siyona Kathuria and I am currently in high school. I live in the Bay Area. Some of my favorite hobbies include cooking, playing soccer, and playing guitar. I am so excited to be working with everyone this summer. I cannot wait to meet you guys!

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