Hand In Hand Child Development Center

Shelly Oswalt Saldana

Meet Our Staff

Shelly Oswalt Saldana
Director and Teacher
Shelly Oswalt Saldana is the Director of Hand In Hand CDC.  Shelly earned her BA Degree in History in 1999, an AA in Early Childhood Education in 2007 and her Program Director Permit from the CA Commission on Teacher Credentialing.  She has been in the field since October 1, 1992 and has been working at Hand In Hand since February 1, 1996. 

I married Jess in 2010, dissuading me from my previous life goal of becoming the neighborhood cat lady.  When I am not splattered in paint, ankle deep in the sandbox or wrestling paper work into the appropriate file I love to read, dabble in photography, write, decorate my house, enjoy my family, bury my feet in the sand at the beach, cook for friends, relax in a pedicure chair and shop!  I love NCIS and Deadliest Catch!  I adore all animals large and small.  Though I prefer to admire snakes and spiders from afar.  I have a profound interest and respect for the ancient world, particularly the Near East.  My degree is in History with an emphasis in Egyptology.  My library includes everything from Plato to Harry Potter.  I believe education is a life long, amazingly fun, humbling process of self-discovery.  I learn just as much from the children as they learn from me.  If I could have any job in the world it would be mine!  I find it indescribably gratifying to watch as children develop their natural interests, explore their innate scientific nature, find wonder in the world and discover who they are.   I enjoy learning from and mentoring our staff as they each grow and develop their own unique teaching style.

After many years at Hand In Hand, it is less of a job and more of an extended family for me.  I am committed to nurturing a community for our kids that is safe, kind and clean.  Each child must feel safe in the knowledge that they are loved, respected and appreciated just the way they are!  And when children have that respect for themselves, then they extend that same kindness and respect towards others. Once children have that social and emotional foundation to build upon they feel safe enough to explore, ask, hypothesize, take risks, challenge themselves, find their unique talents, develop their own interests and feel confident enough to boldly explore the world around them!   Seeing oneself as capable and competent is an integral piece of the learning process.   I proscribe to the ancient definition of education as a life long pursuit.  I find learning and challenging myself to be invigorating and I try to translate that enthusiasm in the teaching process.  I believe education for young children is a hands on and play based process.  I find that children learn more from curriculum that is designed around their personal interests rather than a boxed curriculum.  For example, creating a photo wall with a snake species that begins with every letter of the alphabet for the young herpetologist is much more meaningful than learning a letter of the week.

I look forward to meeting you in person.   Thank you for taking the time to stop by and learn more about our school.  Have a great day!

Jessica Gregorio
5 year old Class
I am the Partners Teacher.  I have been working at Hand In Hand since May of 2011.  Prior to working at HIH, I worked for the 4th R program for the City of Sacramento for four years.   I currently have 24 units of Early Childhood Education from Sacramento City College.  You can find me being safe, kind, and clean at HIH from 8:00 to 5:00 pm daily.

















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