Our Loving Staff
"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."
- Nelson Mandela
Sara Zahn, M.A., PPSC
Founder & Lead Teacher
The vision for Happy Trails Preschool is the culmination of over 20 years of experience and commitment to the social, emotional and academic advancement of children of all ages. I began my journey as an elementary school counseling intern while earning my undergraduate degree in Social Ecology from the University of California, Irvine. It is there that I came to realize my great appreciation for the students' developing mind and sense of being. I continued my education and earned my Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology from Pepperdine University while working as a case worker and counseling intern at a residential treatment facility for adolescent boys.
After eight years, motherhood came calling and I was fortunate to eventually become a stay at home mom to my three children. During this time, I enjoyed taking on responsibilities at my children's schools and extra curricular activities. Once my children became self sufficient, I re-entered the work force and chose to go back to school to earn my School Counseling Credential. I worked at two elementary and one middle school as an intern.
After earning my credential, I became trained in Applied Behavioral Analysis and employed part time as an in-home therapist for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Although I found this work extremely rewarding, I wanted to work full time and therefore I switched paths to work as a teacher in an amazing in-home preschool.
After gaining five years of experience and fine tuning my teaching techniques with preschool aged children, I decided to follow my own dreams of developing a preschool from its inception. I am looking forward to sharing my passion and commitment to children and education with your family. A world of adventure awaits at any age.
HAPPY TRAILS TO YOU!!!!
Born and raised in Japan, I graduated college and received my kindergarten and elementary school teaching credentials. After graduation, I taught kindergarten for two years in Japan and spent one-and-a-half years teaching at a Montessori childcare center in Sydney, Australia. The last 13 years have been spent teaching bilingual kindergartners in a language immersion school in Sacramento, where my students learn the language and culture of Japan. I am also an enthusiastic volunteer at my children’s schools.
I firmly believe that exposure to world cultures and languages early in life will enrich the lives of children no matter where they go or what they do. My own daughter had a wonderful year here at Happy Trails Preschool.
Playing, talking, and doing creative crafts with kids brings me the most joy. I look forward to helping each child develop and find their individual potential. I am excited to be part of Happy Trails Preschool. Let’s learn and explore!
My passion in life has been about learning new skills and about new cultures, and I hope to instill that love of the world and learning in your children. After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Educational Psychology, I’ve spent time in Japan and abroad as a newspaper reporter/writer, accountant, community organizer, Japanese language teacher, and babysitter.
Along the way, I have traveled to a number of countries learning about the lives and cultures of people in Ecuador, Australia, China, Mexico, and a handful of European countries. I was also fortunate to have been a cultural ambassador for Japan meeting with people in Zimbabwe to exchange culture and develop leadership skills.
In my free time, I enjoy traveling, singing, playing tennis, and photography.
I am a mother of two daughters, 11 and 15 years old. In my experience, I firmly believe that we are raising not just children but good future citizens of the community. As a preschool teacher, I am constantly learning from my little friends as I help enrich their daily skills, and I look forward to helping them develop and expand their horizons at Happy Trails!