MEET OUR TEAM
Maria Rachidi is the founder and director of the East Bay Hungarian Educational Group. She moved to the United States over 15 years ago and served as the Public Relations Director for the Hungarian Tourism Board in NYC prior to moving to California in 2015.
Maria's drive to found the Hungarian school was born out of necessity. Shortly after moving to Walnut Creek with her family, she sought out Hungarian institutions that would help her expose her children to their Hungarian heritage but soon realized there were no suitable programs available in the vicinity. Drawing on her prior experience in organizing the Hungarian community in NYC, she founded the school with the help and dedication of many members of the Bay Area’s Hungarian community.
In addition to her involvement with the school, Maria is also engaged with the sister city program and continues to serve as a liaison between Walnut Creek and the Hungarian city of Siofok.
Maria holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations from New York University, and a bachelor’s degree in media and Journalism from Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest.
Timea D. Yost
Timea has been living in the United States since 2014. Born and raised in Hungary she worked as a teacher and has many years of experience teaching private students, and small groups of adults. Before moving to California she spent three years on the East Coast, working with children.
Eva has been teaching since 1993 and has also been working as a television personality since 2008. These two defined her professional life in her hometown Târgu Mureş (Romania) and Szeged (Hungary). She and her husband Lehel Molnár moved to Berkeley, California in 2018 as research scholars. She also joined our team at the East Bay Hungarian Educational Group, teaching several classes a week. Teaching is Eva's passion. She has three children and enjoys hiking and reading.
Timea Zsedely, PhD
Psychologist, linguistics, theater director, educator, creativity-researcher
Born and raised in Hungary, lives in New York. Timea has been an educator since 2003 and an organizer and theatre director and producer since 2008. She is the founder and owner of 10 Thousand Steps Hungarian Books and Pilvax Art Center (in New York) and artistic director of Pilvax Productions, a Hungarian-American Independent Theater & Film Company for which she has directed and designed international productions of works by contemporary European, mostly Hungarian authors. As founder, artistic director and educator at Pilvax Art Center International Educational and Creative Studio since 2008, Anyanyelvmegorzes.hu since 2018 and AbsoLUTE Movement since 2019 in New York, she has been working on international creative productions and educational projects for both children and adults. She is inspired by this imaginative, open-minded, collaborative process and creative exploration including her mission of preserving the Hungarian language and culture. She holds a PhD degree in Psychology concentrating on Psychoanalysis and Masters of Arts degrees in European Literature, Hungarian Linguistics, and Philosophy of Arts from the University of Pecs in Hungary.
Kata Szabo studied at the Bod Péter Pedagogic High School and at the pedagogical faculty of the Babes-Bolyai University in Székelyudvarhely. She worked as a preschool teacher in Transylvania before moving to Berkeley with her family. She has two wonderful boys Magor and Regő.
Nono Judit Sipos
Photographer, Painter, Designer and Stylist
Judit was born in Hungary ( in 1975 ). Her affinity towards the arts stems from her childhood. Her photographer dad had a great influence on her. After graduating from the Hungarian University of Fine Arts ,in order to ensure continuous growth of her craft, she was awarded a Fine Art Scholarship, which brought her to Indonesia. She had an opportunity to take a peak into its Fine Arts through a program of Set-, Costume-Design, Batik painting and Painting while spending a couple of years with its wonderful culture. During her stay, she organized numerous exhibitions and fashion shows, which was sponsored by the Hungarian Embassy of Indonesia. Her proffesional successes continued in Hungary and a number of European countries. She’s worked in baden-baden, Munich, Kassel of Germany, London of England, Venezia of Italy and Antaya of Turkey where she organized the LOREAL Hair show.
She currently lives in New York City, where she participated in several Pilvax Productions projects as a Scene-and Costume Designer, and she’s working as a photographer of the New Stage Theatre.
Monika is a website designer and content marketing specialist who is passionate about elevating the digital presence of small businesses. She started Kameleon Digital Marketing in 2016 after noticing that many small-business owners don’t have the time, knowledge, or desire to keep their online presence up to date. Monika builds visually pleasing, responsive websites, optimized for multiple devices such as smartphones, tablets, and desktops. She helps them consistently create valuable content for their social media pages, websites, and newsletters. She's based in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, but enjoys traveling to explore new places.
Maria Rachidi - President
Erica Dénes - Treasurer
Elise Jordan - Secretary