"As soon as it was time to look at elementary schools for our preschool-aged daughter, we knew we had to first spend time with Leila to get her perspectives. Sure enough, her insight into the various public and independent elementary schools in the East Bay proved invaluable to us as we prioritized which schools to research, tour, and apply to amidst our busy work schedules. Leila took the time to really understand our goals for our daughter's education, our daughter's relationship to learning, and helped us understand which schools would be the best fit for all of us. She's also a wonderfully funny, down-to-earth, and thoughtful person to work with. I would recommend any Bay Area parent spend the money and time to get Leila's perspectives before embarking on the elementary school journey."
and John Davidson
Zainab Abusbeaa and Emad El-Haraty
"Leila has helped our family tremendously while we went through the process of choosing a K-5 school for our then four year old daughter. With her immediate experience teaching and evaluating private schools, especially those within the Bay Area, Leila is the person you need to advise you on choosing a private school. Given our daughter’s September birthday and the lackluster public school options available to us, we knew that private school was the best choice for our situation. We met Leila as the parent of one of our daughter’s classmates and right away she did not hesitate to offer us valuable and pertinent advice about the schools we were evaluating. She even suggested some schools that she knew would be a good fit which we had not even considered.
Leila really went out of her way to let us know that she was there for guidance throughout this long journey. She did not mind taking the time from her busy schedule to really be there for us whenever necessary. I remember one time she called us while she was out of town in response to an urgent email seeking her advice.
With her vast experiences at some of the best Bay Area private schools and her charming and approachable personality, she is the best person to help with this decision. Without a doubt, she will help many families in the long tedious journey of finding the right school for their children."
"Leila is not only a smart, intuitive guide to navigating the ins and outs of the East Bay school systems, preschools and daycares but she is just a fantastic and caring human being. Her background as a former teacher, knowledge of schools, inside connections and ability to listen to your needs to help you find the right match for your child and family is astounding and so very helpful. Above and beyond all of this, she is a kind and generous spirit who also offers a sound springboard for your concerns and a gentle hug to get you through the stresses of finding the right fit for the most precious parts of your life.
I worked with Leila as we relocated from Brooklyn, NY to Berkeley and I could not have kept my sanity without her unwavering, calm and thoughtful guidance, key insights and constant sunny disposition. She went above and beyond the job at hand, offering to be my proxy while out of town to tour schools, speak on my behalf and even showed me around town once I made it there so I could feel more comfortable about the cross country move. Working with Leila is a delight and has been a lifesaver for my family. Her insights helped us to land in the schools that are perfect for each of my children and have set my mind at ease. She is a true gem."
and Ravi Hampole
Maria and Nate Bosshard
"Leila was instrumental in helping us determine if our son was enrolled in the right school. Her experience as a teacher and a parent puts her in a unique position to really guide parents and their children into the best educational fit. Her process was empathetic but also action oriented. She was incredibly thorough in her analysis and the results helped inform new policy at our son's school that had been lacking. She was able to help craft an action plan in collaboration with his teachers that has since enabled him to thrive. We are grateful for her help and plan to work with her in the future as our children transition in to later grades and schools."
"Leila made navigating the school decision a joy and opportunity when we were feeling a bit overwhelmed and unsure. She was a knowledgeable resource for us about the various choices, both public and private, and helped us discern what would be the best fit for our family. Not least of all, she was a great listener and was encouraging and reassuring about us having the intuition to make the best decision, once we had all the information. We feel very comfortable with our choice, having partnered with her and vetted the pros and cons of several choices with an experienced educator."
and Parag Shah
and Marc Badger
"Leila was wonderful from the moment we first spoke. She was warm and welcoming on the phone and calmed my nervous parent fears. She took the time to learn about our situation, including what we hoped Mabel would experience in a preschool and the research we had done this far. She then offered suggestions for other schools to consider, and one of them, which we previously had not heard of, ended up being our first choice! Our daughter starts there in the fall, and we will begin school confident and excited thanks to Leila's excellent guidance. Thank you!"
"We knew we needed help to understand the educational unhappiness that our bright, “good-student” child was facing, but we had no idea the additional benefits and pleasures of having Leila visit our children’s school and observe them, the environment and their teachers. Leila is astute, direct, insightful, warm and full of good humor. She gave us a picture of our children when we are not around that we otherwise would never have—and she did it in a context of her deep understanding of how education can and should function, and her wise and experienced perspective on teaching strategies and the art of relating to, inspiring and directing children. Just for the clear-eyed, articulate consultation itself, hiring Leila was more than worth it! We are looking forward to having her as an ally as our family goes forward making educated and informed choices about what will serve our children best—about when and how to intervene and what does not deserve our worry. What a joy and what a relief!"
and Angie Powers
"I found myself in a difficult transitional situation when I decided to stay in Berkeley for the school year and had no knowledge of the local schools, either public or private. While Leila is incredibly knowledgeable about the specific characteristics of all the schools, it was her more general assurances and reassurances about decision-making for my kid that were most helpful. She is a calm, supportive presence and I highly recommend her."
and Ben Ringler
"Leila helped me find the perfect school for my son. It was an agonizingly hard decision, but Leila was available and present with lots of non judgmental support! She knew both schools inside and out and was able to answer many different kinds of questions for me. I am so grateful I took the time to meet with her (and have several subsequent phone chats). Leila really knows her stuff!!!"
"Leila guided our family through the public, independent and parochial school kindergarten application process in Oakland. She was open minded and informed about all of the options we were considering. Services we took advantage of included attending on of her presentations and one on one appointments. Her support included identifying great fit schools based on our daughter's strengths, reviewing drafts of applications and assessment prep. What I appreciated most about Leila was the positive energy she brought to the process. She turned what could have been a scary and stressful couple of months into an empowering experience for our family. Thanks to Sparkjoy Consulting, we were able to make an informed final kindergarten decision with confidence."