Meet Our Staff
We are a dedicated learning center committed to our children, our families, and our staff that embodies best practices of Early Childhood Education. We promote collaborative learning to help our children realize their full potential and developmental goals. Through purposeful play and daily opportunities we foster all areas of a child’s development; social, emotional, cognitive, and physical. Throughout our day our program promotes strong social skills, a sense of wonder, opportunities for mastery, and the exciting world of discovery.
Sunnyside Learning Center started out as a small in-home daycare in early 2017. Our vision for Sunnyside was to offer a program that provided a dynamic and nurturing environment in which students are both individually and collectively challenged, supported and encouraged to become active and life-long participants in the learning process. Every child is unique and has a different learning curve. Which is why we customize our curriculum to fit their individual needs.
Sunnyside's Dream Team
Meet Our Staff
Rocky & Sarah Ilaian, Owners
Rocky and Sarah Ilaian are the owners of Sunnyside Learning Center. With extensive experience in childcare, our owners began Sunnyside as a licensed in-home daycare. The once My Learning Tree Daycare has now expanded as Sunnyside Learning Center in San Marcos, CA.
Sarah has a passion for early childhood development and believes in promoting lifelong learning. Before Sunnyside, Sarah put her passion for childcare to work in pediatric dentistry for 4 years in Carlsbad, CA. When it came time to take her passion to the next level, she gathered an amazing team and launched Sunnyside Learning Center with co-owner Rocky Ilaian in 2017. Sarah and Rocky work together behind the scenes to establish and expand their thriving preschool to serve families in the San Marcos area.
With a background in economics, finance and marketing, Rocky’s main focus is on the financial and operations side of Sunnyside. Rocky strives for Sunnyside to provide a strong foundation for each child’s developmental growth; not only for each child’s future education but for each child’s entire life.
Michelle Agg, Director
Mrs. Agg has over 14 years of hands on professional Early Childhood Education experience in providing administrative, operational, human resources, and quality care and support for several schools in Southern California. Michelle is passionate about supporting other educators to respect and understand the whole child. She has worked with children ranging in age from infant to elementary school age.
Michelle grew up in Carlsbad, CA and holds a degree in Early Childhood Education with an emphasis in the Social and Behavioral Sciences, and hold multiple permits from the Commission on Teacher Credentialing. She enjoys spending time with her husband and two children outdoors paddle boarding, camping and hiking whenever possible.
Kristina Barton, Office Coordinator
Kristina has had a passion for children and education for as long as she can remember. She has worked professionally in the education industry for over 10 years and has held various roles ranging from nanny to teacher, from tutor to mentor, and many roles in between. Kristina has worked with infants through school age groups in multiple types of settings. Her well-rounded educational and professional experience has led her to discover her passion for educating teachers and mentoring others with a love for children. Kristina grew up in San Marcos, CA and has lived in San Diego County her whole life. She has a degree in Early Childhood Education with a concentration in Teacher Education. She is incredibly optimistic about her journey with Sunnyside and hopes to provide a safe, fun, and engaging experience for staff, students, and families to flourish in. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, training with her dog Luna, and exploring our wonderful local environments!
Lisa McMillian, Teacher
Ms. Lisa has a true passion for teaching. She earned her Associates in Early Childhood Education in early 2015, after working as an art teacher with children from infancy to adolescents. Ms. Lisa quickly fell in love with the care and devotion that the staff at Sunnyside provide for all the children and graciously joined the team. She continued to offer exceptional and remarkable childcare while advancing her education in early childhood education.
Ms. Lisa has always had a love for caring and teaching young ones. She finds a gratifying feeling watching each student progress through all areas of their development. Ms. Lisa is most excited about the many years to come of learning and growing with each and every student at Sunnyside. When she is not teaching, she enjoys spending time with her family, hiking, reading, and going to the beach.
Kristin Ward, Teacher
Mrs. Kristin's passion for childcare began at a very early age when she would volunteer as a youth leader with children in early adolescence. Her volunteer work later encouraged her to peruse an education in early child development. Her role as teacher at Sunnyside has provided her the opportunity to form a loving connection with each and every student. Kristin is patient and kind with all students, fellow staff and enjoys introducing facts about animals as well as baby sign language for fun.
Kristin grew up in Escondido, CA where she graduated high school and attended college to build a foundation in child development with a focus on infant care. Outside of work whether its going to the beach, horseback riding, or hiking, she enjoys being adventurous with her husband and growing family.
Erin Malott, Teacher
Ms. Erin’s passion for young children developed at a very young age; from taking care of her baby dolls, to earning childcare badges in Girl Scouts, to babysitting as soon as she was old enough. Once she entered her first professional childcare setting, she was sure she had found the career of her dreams. Her love of working with young children inspired her to pursue an education in Early Childhood Education at Mira Costa College. Working with and watching children grow and explore the world around them for the first time brings a sense of fulfillment to Ms. Erin that she just can’t get enough of!
Ms. Erin grew up in Riverside, CA and relocated to Oceanside, CA in 2013 and has since fallen in love with San Diego County. When she isn’t working with little ones, Ms. Erin likes to spend time with her friends and family, bake, sing, and loves arts and crafts. Ms. Erin is positively delighted to be joining the Sunnyside team and is eager to learn and grow with all the children in her care for years to come!
Susie Garcia Leon, Teacher
Mrs. Susie’s passion for child care began when she took a child development course at MiraCosta college. By taking just one class of child development, she fell in love with the idea of teaching young children. Mrs. Susie decided that working with children was the best career for her and earned an associate degree in child development from MiraCosta college. She then completed her bachelor’s in child development May 2020 at California State University San Marcos. She enjoys teaching the subject of art to her students because it gives them a way express themselves and learn about all the beautiful colors of the world. Mrs. Susie also enjoys teaching the beautiful language of Spanish to her students.
When Mrs. Susie is not educating young children, she enjoys hiking and going on long walks with her husband and her dog. She enjoys learning about wild animals and loves watching movies having to do with animals. Mrs. Susie comes from a big family and enjoys making new memories and laughing about the old ones.
Ashley Parker, Teacher
Mrs. Ashley's passion for Early Childhood Development started at a young age with her Mother being a loving and devoted preschool teacher and director. It was then that she realized this was something she truly enjoyed doing. She began taking child development courses in high school and continued on through college with a child development major. Ashley has worked with children from infant to school age and has over 19 years of experience working in early childcare setting. She thrives on building positive relationships with each child in her care and fosters a safe and loving environment.
Ashley grew up and continues to reside in Oceanside, CA. She is a mother of 3 children and is loving, patient, and nurturing. When Ashley is not nurturing her students at work, she enjoys spending time with her family, photography, listening to music, hiking, and going to the beach. Ashley is excited to be a part of the Sunnyside family and looks forward to providing many years of exceptional care while promoting a love for learning through each child in her class.
Shawntea 'Tea' Morrison, Teacher & Behavioral Specialist
Ms. Tea's passion for working with kids began once she reached middle school. While earning a degree in Biology with the hope of one day becoming a pediatrician, she began volunteering with at risk children and found her heart pulling her towards having a more hands on approach with teaching and nurturing children. She has 10 years of experience working with preschoolers who have special needs and 7 of those years were focused on working with children on the autism spectrum.
Ms. Tea grew up in San Bernadino and has just moved to Oceanside. She doesn't have any children, but enjoys spoiling and playing with her 2 goddaughters. In her free time, Tea enjoys reading, singing, gaming, going on bike rides and having quiet nights at home. Tea is excited about her new beginning at Sunnyside and looks forward to furthering her career of loving and nurturing the minds of young children.