Meet our Teachers

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Kristen Tonda

Director of Kinder Village



I hold a B.S. Degree in Elementary Education with an emphasis on pre-primary from Minnesota State University, Mankato. I bring two years as an elementary teacher and five years early childhood teacher/Assistant Director.


I live in South St. Paul with my husband and our three daughters: Natalie, Charlotte, and Macy. I'm your typical mom who enjoys long, quiet walks through Target and strong coffee. I also have a passion for teaching and building strong relationships with parents, students, and staff.


Ihya Toure

Assistant Director and Infant B Teacher


I hold a Bachelors of Science degree in Family Social Science from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. I have been working with children for as long as I can remember. No matter the task at hand, as long as I was surrounded by children, I felt complete and happy. I've also had the amazing opportunity to volunteer at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's hospital, as well as volunteering with homeless children with the enrichment program at People Serving People. I have also worked with school age kids ranging from Prek-6 graders at Seward elementary school with the University YMCA as a literacy mentor. 


Fun Fact: French is my 1st Language! I love working with children because of the impact that I can have on them. From a social learning theory standpoint, children are like little sponges who absorb everything they see, hear and learn within their environment, especially from their caregivers, which then greatly impacts their development. I believe that it is my duty to make sure that these young ones are receiving the best care, and are equipped with skills and resources that will help them to become successful adults.


Kayla Urbano  

Toddler Teacher


I graduated from Park High School in 2006, where I started my career path in Graphic Design and Communications. Halfway through college, I gave into my passion of working with children and earned my degree from Metro State in May of 2017. I was able to earn a degree in Individualized Studies, where I combined my skills of Graphic Design with Early Childhood.


As long as I can remember, I have worked with children in some form. I began as a helper in my mom’s family child care center. I eventually became her assistant teacher. Over the years I have babysat and worked as a nanny. I have also taught church school, assisted with bible camps, and have been the nursery coordinator since 2014.

Maria Saliente

Infant A Teacher


I hold B.S. Degree in Family Social Science from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. I am still pursing a masters in nursing specializing in infants. In college, I was a literacy mentor for elementary students in the Saint Paul City School through America Reads. After SPCS, I went and became a mentor/coach for Beyond Walls’ students (Middle School- High school) in relation with the UofM after school program for three years. Before taking this job, I was an infant assistant teacher and was later moved as co-lead teacher in the infant room in an early childcare facility.


I am a daughter, a sister, a niece, an aunt, a granddaughter, an educator and a life-long learner. My passion is working with families and the individuals that make up the unit. I believe that families are the building blocks of society and understanding them is understanding life. I am a person who can relate to a lot of things and because of this I am able to read many emotions and connect with others with empathy and sympathy. My Filipino culture and faith has definitely impacted the way I live my life in the daily and the woman I have become. I give thanks to the people who have made me who I am today and the continual support and love.