Our wonderful Staff

The principal qualification for our teachers is the ability to love children unconditionally, to be able to communicate with them and develop a relationship that emphasizes that he or she is their friend.

  Fern Eisenberg, Director   Fern Eisenberg has been in the field of Early Childhood Education since 1965 when she graduated from the University of Illinois with a B.A. in Primary Education. She began teaching and then became administrator of one of the first Head Start Programs in Chicago. She attended UCLA for graduate studies and earned a California Credential as a Parenting and Family Life Specialist. As a Parenting and Family Life Specialist for Los Angeles Unified School District, Fern was a Parent Education and Child Development Master Teacher. Fern has been the founding member of several organizations including The Association of Child Development Specialists, The Family resource Coalition, and The Valley Infant, Toddler, Adult Leaders. Fern has been the Director of Early Childhood Centers since 1993 beginning in Los Angeles. In 2003 she moved to San Francisco to be close to her family. Her dream of starting a non profit Preschool and Parenting Center with the emphasis on a relationship-based curriculum that focuses on the child's social emotional growth and worthy wages for teachers became a reality when GPFP was established in the summer of 2015.

Fern Eisenberg, Director

Fern Eisenberg has been in the field of Early Childhood Education since 1965 when she graduated from the University of Illinois with a B.A. in Primary Education. She began teaching and then became administrator of one of the first Head Start Programs in Chicago. She attended UCLA for graduate studies and earned a California Credential as a Parenting and Family Life Specialist. As a Parenting and Family Life Specialist for Los Angeles Unified School District, Fern was a Parent Education and Child Development Master Teacher. Fern has been the founding member of several organizations including The Association of Child Development Specialists, The Family resource Coalition, and The Valley Infant, Toddler, Adult Leaders. Fern has been the Director of Early Childhood Centers since 1993 beginning in Los Angeles. In 2003 she moved to San Francisco to be close to her family. Her dream of starting a non profit Preschool and Parenting Center with the emphasis on a relationship-based curriculum that focuses on the child's social emotional growth and worthy wages for teachers became a reality when GPFP was established in the summer of 2015.

  Robb Rye Ramos, Assistant Director   Robb began his work with children in 1991 in Vermont where he worked at a residential school for medically, physically, and emotionally challenged youth. From there he moved into public education teaching first-grade and serving on a team of 8 mental health specialists. Working primarily with children defined by their neurological health diagnosis Robb gained great knowledge in crisis intervention, understanding behavior in young children, fostering positive relationships with children and families, and providing support for children at risk. In 2004, Robb became one of 30 founding staff members at a public charter school in Washington D.C. There he worked with a small team of educators to develop a rich early childhood program, including learning objectives for children and guiding principles for teaching. It was there that Robb learned that his true love for education and teaching rested with the youngest of our youth. "Their innocence and curiosity is so inspiring and creates a natural pallet for learning. I don’t take lightly knowing that I am one of the first lines of defense in their learning, in their lives. And I love everything that they teach me.” Robb ventured to San Francisco in 2007 and continued his work and study in Early Childhood Education. In 2012, he joined Fern in her work with children and families. In 2016 he became the Assistant Director of Growing Place Family Preschool. Robb often uses art as a tool in his work with children and has produced several exhibitions showcasing child-produced fine art, including a photo essay that was used as a school wide teaching tool for diversity and inclusion, a district wide project that included work from over 2000 students reflecting on their feelings in the wake of the September 11 attacks on the United States, and a collaborative art exhibition with children that benefitted a pediatric AIDS foundation. His most recent endeavor was LOVE, ART & GROW, a fine art exhibition of work by GPFP's children. Robb’s knowledge of children and development has come from his studies at UMASS Amherst, City College of San Francisco, internships and continued professional development.

Robb Rye Ramos, Assistant Director

Robb began his work with children in 1991 in Vermont where he worked at a residential school for medically, physically, and emotionally challenged youth. From there he moved into public education teaching first-grade and serving on a team of 8 mental health specialists. Working primarily with children defined by their neurological health diagnosis Robb gained great knowledge in crisis intervention, understanding behavior in young children, fostering positive relationships with children and families, and providing support for children at risk. In 2004, Robb became one of 30 founding staff members at a public charter school in Washington D.C. There he worked with a small team of educators to develop a rich early childhood program, including learning objectives for children and guiding principles for teaching. It was there that Robb learned that his true love for education and teaching rested with the youngest of our youth. "Their innocence and curiosity is so inspiring and creates a natural pallet for learning. I don’t take lightly knowing that I am one of the first lines of defense in their learning, in their lives. And I love everything that they teach me.” Robb ventured to San Francisco in 2007 and continued his work and study in Early Childhood Education. In 2012, he joined Fern in her work with children and families. In 2016 he became the Assistant Director of Growing Place Family Preschool. Robb often uses art as a tool in his work with children and has produced several exhibitions showcasing child-produced fine art, including a photo essay that was used as a school wide teaching tool for diversity and inclusion, a district wide project that included work from over 2000 students reflecting on their feelings in the wake of the September 11 attacks on the United States, and a collaborative art exhibition with children that benefitted a pediatric AIDS foundation. His most recent endeavor was LOVE, ART & GROW, a fine art exhibition of work by GPFP's children. Robb’s knowledge of children and development has come from his studies at UMASS Amherst, City College of San Francisco, internships and continued professional development.

  Jan Wald, PreK / TK Teacher   Jan has been teaching since 1996. She began teaching at 10th Street Preschool in Santa Monica and taught for seven years at Wildwood School, a well-known progressive school, in Los Angeles where she taught in a multi-age classroom which included Kindergarten, First and Second Grade students. Jan has many years of experience teaching in a Reggio Emilia-inspired settings including Evergreen Community Preschool in Santa Monica. Jan was also the PreK / TK teacher at Kehillat Israel Preschool in Pacific Palisades, where she worked with Fern. She recently moved to San Francisco to be near her son and grandchildren who live in Los Gatos.  She has her B.A. in Early Childhood Education, and has attended UCLA and Santa Monica College. 

Jan Wald, PreK / TK Teacher

Jan has been teaching since 1996. She began teaching at 10th Street Preschool in Santa Monica and taught for seven years at Wildwood School, a well-known progressive school, in Los Angeles where she taught in a multi-age classroom which included Kindergarten, First and Second Grade students. Jan has many years of experience teaching in a Reggio Emilia-inspired settings including Evergreen Community Preschool in Santa Monica. Jan was also the PreK / TK teacher at Kehillat Israel Preschool in Pacific Palisades, where she worked with Fern. She recently moved to San Francisco to be near her son and grandchildren who live in Los Gatos. She has her B.A. in Early Childhood Education, and has attended UCLA and Santa Monica College. 

  Jasmin Mendez, PreK /TK Teacher   Jasmin earned her Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education from Los Angeles Valley College. From there she moved to San Francisco and completed her B.A. in Child and Adolescent Development at San Francisco State University. Jasmin has been a teacher at GPFP for two years. We are glad to have her continue her teaching as a member of our staff. Jasmin’s work experience began at Wellspring Healthcare, an agency dedicated to supporting individuals with autism and related developmental disabilities. It is through this work that she discovered a sense of fulfillment and passion to assist and advocate for children.Jasmin moved on to work at Valley Village Nonprofit, another agency dedicated to working with adults with developmental disabilities. There she managed a program that was designed to nurture the development of their social skills.

Jasmin Mendez, PreK /TK Teacher

Jasmin earned her Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education from Los Angeles Valley College. From there she moved to San Francisco and completed her B.A. in Child and Adolescent Development at San Francisco State University. Jasmin has been a teacher at GPFP for two years. We are glad to have her continue her teaching as a member of our staff. Jasmin’s work experience began at Wellspring Healthcare, an agency dedicated to supporting individuals with autism and related developmental disabilities. It is through this work that she discovered a sense of fulfillment and passion to assist and advocate for children.Jasmin moved on to work at Valley Village Nonprofit, another agency dedicated to working with adults with developmental disabilities. There she managed a program that was designed to nurture the development of their social skills.

  Sara Dionisio, PreK / TK Teacher   Sara was born and raised in Alameda, California. She has her B.A. from San Francisco State in Child and Adolescent Development and her California teaching permit in Early Child Development. She began as a Chemistry major but while working for TEAM Math Assessment at Stanford University she began working with young children and decided to pursue her degree in early childhood development. Sara has worked as a volunteer for Jumpstart Corps and in that capacity provided positive adult child relationships to help prepare children attending preschool in under privileged neighborhoods for school success. She is also a volunteer for Reading Partners and is a reading tutor for children.

Sara Dionisio, PreK / TK Teacher

Sara was born and raised in Alameda, California. She has her B.A. from San Francisco State in Child and Adolescent Development and her California teaching permit in Early Child Development. She began as a Chemistry major but while working for TEAM Math Assessment at Stanford University she began working with young children and decided to pursue her degree in early childhood development. Sara has worked as a volunteer for Jumpstart Corps and in that capacity provided positive adult child relationships to help prepare children attending preschool in under privileged neighborhoods for school success. She is also a volunteer for Reading Partners and is a reading tutor for children.

  Elizabeth Reisteter, PreK/TK Teacher   Elizabeth moved to San Francisco from Ventura county in 2009 to study early childhood education at San Francisco State University. She discovered an affinity to working with young children when she started as a volunteer with preschool age children as a student in high school. While completing her degree, Elizabeth worked for Reading Partners, a non profit located at Leonard Flynn Elementary school. She spent about two years with Reading Partners working closely with the kindergarten classes as an aide in an after school setting and as a lead teacher during their summer programs. As she finished her degree, Elizabeth then ventured into the preschool classroom where worked as a lead teacher at Gan Noe Preschool (Chabad of Noe Valley) for three years. Elizabeth's experience at Gan Noe helped her learn about Judaism and how to integrate the culture into the classroom.

Elizabeth Reisteter, PreK/TK Teacher

Elizabeth moved to San Francisco from Ventura county in 2009 to study early childhood education at San Francisco State University. She discovered an affinity to working with young children when she started as a volunteer with preschool age children as a student in high school. While completing her degree, Elizabeth worked for Reading Partners, a non profit located at Leonard Flynn Elementary school. She spent about two years with Reading Partners working closely with the kindergarten classes as an aide in an after school setting and as a lead teacher during their summer programs. As she finished her degree, Elizabeth then ventured into the preschool classroom where worked as a lead teacher at Gan Noe Preschool (Chabad of Noe Valley) for three years. Elizabeth's experience at Gan Noe helped her learn about Judaism and how to integrate the culture into the classroom.

  Dallas Stromberg, Three's Teacher   Dallas started working at Growing Place Family Preschool in 2015 as a substitute teacher and assistant for Parent and Me Classes. She joined the staff as a permanent team member in 2016. Though she has always been interested in education, her focus has changed over the years. Dallas has a degree in Journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and focused her studies on documentary and multimedia production. After graduating, she worked at Duke University to help build an online program for the School of Nursing, and became interested in studying how people learn. She went back to school for her Masters in Instructional Design at Indiana University in Bloomington. After having children, Dallas realized that her true interest in education was with young children and working with families. From there she pursued her Early Childhood Education credits from City College of San Francisco. Dallas has also served as a Girl Scout Leader, on the Board of Directors for Golden Gate Mothers Group, and currently with the San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center through the Junior League of San Francisco.

Dallas Stromberg, Three's Teacher

Dallas started working at Growing Place Family Preschool in 2015 as a substitute teacher and assistant for Parent and Me Classes. She joined the staff as a permanent team member in 2016. Though she has always been interested in education, her focus has changed over the years. Dallas has a degree in Journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and focused her studies on documentary and multimedia production. After graduating, she worked at Duke University to help build an online program for the School of Nursing, and became interested in studying how people learn. She went back to school for her Masters in Instructional Design at Indiana University in Bloomington. After having children, Dallas realized that her true interest in education was with young children and working with families. From there she pursued her Early Childhood Education credits from City College of San Francisco. Dallas has also served as a Girl Scout Leader, on the Board of Directors for Golden Gate Mothers Group, and currently with the San Francisco Child Abuse Prevention Center through the Junior League of San Francisco.

  Lenora   Esquenazi, Three's Teacher   Lenora grew up in the San Gabriel Valley, near Los Angeles, CA. She then moved to San Diego to attend the University of California, San Diego where she received a Bachelor's in Psychology and a Minor in Health. More recently, she moved to San Francisco and acquired enough Early Childhood Education Units to apply for an ECE Site Supervisor Permit. Lenora has worked with young children for over ten years. She has found fulfillment and joy as a Preschool Teacher, having experience with children ages 3 months through 5 years of age. She has also worked as a nanny as well as with organizations such as The YMCA. Lenora is passionate about providing children with a safe space for learning skills such as problem solving, social empathy, accountability, and authenticity. Her experience and creativity has provided her with the tools to actively listen to children and help them to cope with challenging situations. She is empathetic and often puts herself in her students shoes to interpret the classroom through the child's perspective. 

Lenora Esquenazi, Three's Teacher

Lenora grew up in the San Gabriel Valley, near Los Angeles, CA. She then moved to San Diego to attend the University of California, San Diego where she received a Bachelor's in Psychology and a Minor in Health. More recently, she moved to San Francisco and acquired enough Early Childhood Education Units to apply for an ECE Site Supervisor Permit. Lenora has worked with young children for over ten years. She has found fulfillment and joy as a Preschool Teacher, having experience with children ages 3 months through 5 years of age. She has also worked as a nanny as well as with organizations such as The YMCA. Lenora is passionate about providing children with a safe space for learning skills such as problem solving, social empathy, accountability, and authenticity. Her experience and creativity has provided her with the tools to actively listen to children and help them to cope with challenging situations. She is empathetic and often puts herself in her students shoes to interpret the classroom through the child's perspective. 

  Julia Kotzian, Three's Teacher   Julia was born in Poland, and moved to San Francisco with her family when she was 4 years old. She has a B.A. in Communicative Disorders from San Francisco State, and also received a minor in Special Education. Julia has volunteered for Support for Families, Las Americas Preschool, Reading Partners, and Marin General Hospital. She has had the pleasure to work as an aid for an adolescent with CP (Cerebral Palsy) through Golden Gate Regional Center for over a year. In addition, she has worked at after school programs through BACR (Bay Area Community and Recreations), and the YMCA. She worked closely with bilingual students in schools that are in low-income areas in San Francisco. Julia is completing her teaching credential at SF City College.

Julia Kotzian, Three's Teacher

Julia was born in Poland, and moved to San Francisco with her family when she was 4 years old. She has a B.A. in Communicative Disorders from San Francisco State, and also received a minor in Special Education. Julia has volunteered for Support for Families, Las Americas Preschool, Reading Partners, and Marin General Hospital. She has had the pleasure to work as an aid for an adolescent with CP (Cerebral Palsy) through Golden Gate Regional Center for over a year. In addition, she has worked at after school programs through BACR (Bay Area Community and Recreations), and the YMCA. She worked closely with bilingual students in schools that are in low-income areas in San Francisco. Julia is completing her teaching credential at SF City College.

  Amy Thurston, Three's Teacher   Amy has lived in the Bay Area all of her life and in San Francisco since early childhood. She earned her Associate Teacher Certificate from Santa Rosa Junior College in 1999 and in 2003 graduated with a BA from Sonoma State University's Hutchins School of Liberal Studies. Amy spent 17 years working as a career nanny with children of all ages before having her own son, Jimmy, in 2012. A year later she became a Certified Birth Doula. When her son entered preschool, Amy volunteered as a parent-teacher. The school quickly hired her as a long-term substitute and she was able to complete the requirements needed for her California Teacher Permit. Amy is excited for a new adventure in teaching now that her son is moving on to Kindergarten. 

Amy Thurston, Three's Teacher

Amy has lived in the Bay Area all of her life and in San Francisco since early childhood. She earned her Associate Teacher Certificate from Santa Rosa Junior College in 1999 and in 2003 graduated with a BA from Sonoma State University's Hutchins School of Liberal Studies. Amy spent 17 years working as a career nanny with children of all ages before having her own son, Jimmy, in 2012. A year later she became a Certified Birth Doula. When her son entered preschool, Amy volunteered as a parent-teacher. The school quickly hired her as a long-term substitute and she was able to complete the requirements needed for her California Teacher Permit. Amy is excited for a new adventure in teaching now that her son is moving on to Kindergarten. 

  Paola Besagno, Two's Teacher   Paola has been working with young children all of her adult life. She started as a nanny for an infant and continued this work for five years. Although she loved working in a family dynamic, her true calling was to be in the classroom. From 2002 to 2012, Paola taught at Marin Day School, where she worked with young two's and three's. In 2013, she met Fern and immediately fell in love with her philosophy and passion for working with children and families. Paola has an Associate in Arts - Liberal Arts and Sciences degree from College of Marin. Her Early Childhood studies were done at College of Marin and City College of San Francisco. She continues to gain knowledge of child development through workshops. Paola has a love for cooking and enjoys sharing this passion with the children in her class.

Paola Besagno, Two's Teacher

Paola has been working with young children all of her adult life. She started as a nanny for an infant and continued this work for five years. Although she loved working in a family dynamic, her true calling was to be in the classroom. From 2002 to 2012, Paola taught at Marin Day School, where she worked with young two's and three's. In 2013, she met Fern and immediately fell in love with her philosophy and passion for working with children and families. Paola has an Associate in Arts - Liberal Arts and Sciences degree from College of Marin. Her Early Childhood studies were done at College of Marin and City College of San Francisco. She continues to gain knowledge of child development through workshops. Paola has a love for cooking and enjoys sharing this passion with the children in her class.

  Yuki van den Ende, Two's Teacher   Yuki has worked with children most of her teenage and adult life. In the late seventies through the mid eighties Yuki was a preschool teacher at Katherine Michiels School in the Sunset and the Mission before moving to France in 1985; in Paris, Yuki studied French at the Alliance Francaise and cared for young children as an au paire. Upon returning to SF in 1987, Yuki embarked on a new career in retail and fashion, culminating in her role as GM for Giorgio Armani for the West Coast. After the birth of her two girls; Sophia (now 17) and Isabella (now 14), Yuki decided to focus on the girls and dedicate herself to volunteering at their schools; Rosa Parks and Gateway Middle School. Yuki has a certificate in early childhood education from SFCC, is an avid yoga practitioner and is thrilled to return to her most loved passion at GPFP!   

Yuki van den Ende, Two's Teacher

Yuki has worked with children most of her teenage and adult life. In the late seventies through the mid eighties Yuki was a preschool teacher at Katherine Michiels School in the Sunset and the Mission before moving to France in 1985; in Paris, Yuki studied French at the Alliance Francaise and cared for young children as an au paire. Upon returning to SF in 1987, Yuki embarked on a new career in retail and fashion, culminating in her role as GM for Giorgio Armani for the West Coast. After the birth of her two girls; Sophia (now 17) and Isabella (now 14), Yuki decided to focus on the girls and dedicate herself to volunteering at their schools; Rosa Parks and Gateway Middle School. Yuki has a certificate in early childhood education from SFCC, is an avid yoga practitioner and is thrilled to return to her most loved passion at GPFP!

 

  Frenda Tran, Extended Day Teacher   Frenda was born and raised in San Francisco. She graduated from San Francisco State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Liberal Studies. Frenda found her passion working with children while still in high school. She was a volunteer at The UCSF daycare center. As she was working toward her Bachelor's Degree, Frenda spent 7 years working at an after school program with children ranging from Kindergartner to 5th grade. Frenda is passionate about helping each child through their journey.            

Frenda Tran, Extended Day Teacher

Frenda was born and raised in San Francisco. She graduated from San Francisco State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Liberal Studies. Frenda found her passion working with children while still in high school. She was a volunteer at The UCSF daycare center. As she was working toward her Bachelor's Degree, Frenda spent 7 years working at an after school program with children ranging from Kindergartner to 5th grade. Frenda is passionate about helping each child through their journey.

 

 

 

 

  Albert, Extended Day Teacher   Albert has completed his studies in Early Childhood Education and is continuing his education at San Francisco State University studying Child & Adolescent Development. Albert has been working with children in different capacities since 2012. He has been a camp counselor, sports coach, and an art teacher's assistant at Woodland Hills Private School back in his native Los Angeles.  Albert was most recently a Lead Preschool Teacher at the Reggio-inspired Gateway Child Development Center in South San Francisco. He is inspired through his collaboration with children and like-minded teachers to fulfill his potential as an educator. He lives to nurture each individual child's natural curiosity and wonder, which sometimes means just getting out of the way. He believes there's an independent learner in everyone, and it's this view that has given him purpose to help children solidify their natural foundations of a love of learning for the rest of their lives.  Albert is excited to join the Growing Place Family Preschool community.

Albert, Extended Day Teacher

Albert has completed his studies in Early Childhood Education and is continuing his education at San Francisco State University studying Child & Adolescent Development. Albert has been working with children in different capacities since 2012. He has been a camp counselor, sports coach, and an art teacher's assistant at Woodland Hills Private School back in his native Los Angeles.

Albert was most recently a Lead Preschool Teacher at the Reggio-inspired Gateway Child Development Center in South San Francisco. He is inspired through his collaboration with children and like-minded teachers to fulfill his potential as an educator. He lives to nurture each individual child's natural curiosity and wonder, which sometimes means just getting out of the way. He believes there's an independent learner in everyone, and it's this view that has given him purpose to help children solidify their natural foundations of a love of learning for the rest of their lives.

Albert is excited to join the Growing Place Family Preschool community.

  Christine Brenneman, Atelierista   Christine holds a degree in art history, and has over 15 years experience as an early childhood educator, working in the classroom and as an art specialist. Her great passions are art making, teaching young children, and spending time outside. She attended the University of Colorado at Boulder, studying studio art and art history, and working part-time at the campus nursery school. Upon completion of college, Christine moved to San Francisco and found her way into journalism and writing about the visual arts scene. Her work appeared in many local publications. A brief stint as a staff writer at an online art gallery completed this chapter of her career. Christine had a strong desire to return to teaching. She was lucky to land a job at Calvary Nursery School here in the city. There, she worked as a classroom teacher for 10 years, becoming a mentor teacher over time, and attending City College of San Francisco to earn her certificate in Early Childhood Education. For one brief year, she was Program Director at Stretch the Imagination preschool, trying her hand at administration. The classroom beckoned, and she returned to it, and her job at Calvary. Christine also runs an after-school and summer art camp program, and crafts her own artwork in her spare time. 

Christine Brenneman, Atelierista

Christine holds a degree in art history, and has over 15 years experience as an early childhood educator, working in the classroom and as an art specialist. Her great passions are art making, teaching young children, and spending time outside. She attended the University of Colorado at Boulder, studying studio art and art history, and working part-time at the campus nursery school. Upon completion of college, Christine moved to San Francisco and found her way into journalism and writing about the visual arts scene. Her work appeared in many local publications. A brief stint as a staff writer at an online art gallery completed this chapter of her career. Christine had a strong desire to return to teaching. She was lucky to land a job at Calvary Nursery School here in the city. There, she worked as a classroom teacher for 10 years, becoming a mentor teacher over time, and attending City College of San Francisco to earn her certificate in Early Childhood Education. For one brief year, she was Program Director at Stretch the Imagination preschool, trying her hand at administration. The classroom beckoned, and she returned to it, and her job at Calvary. Christine also runs an after-school and summer art camp program, and crafts her own artwork in her spare time. 

  Ruthie Sakheim, Extended Day Teacher   Ruthie grew up in New York. She attended Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, and Pratt Institute in New York City where she studied painting. She moved to San Francisco, continued painting, and worked as a graphic designer in advertising for several years. She then became a documentary filmmaker working on films for PBS. One film, Daddy & Poppa. about gay dads adopting, inspired her to adopt her 3rd daughter Lola. Wanting to spend as much time with Lola as possible she spent time in her classroom and ultimately began her study of Early Childhood Development at City College of San Francisco. She began teaching preschool at Temple Emanu-El while continuing her education and getting her Master Degree from Gratz College in Jewish Early Childhood Education. Ruthie continues to work on films and is active in the social justice movement.

Ruthie Sakheim, Extended Day Teacher

Ruthie grew up in New York. She attended Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, and Pratt Institute in New York City where she studied painting. She moved to San Francisco, continued painting, and worked as a graphic designer in advertising for several years. She then became a documentary filmmaker working on films for PBS. One film, Daddy & Poppa. about gay dads adopting, inspired her to adopt her 3rd daughter Lola. Wanting to spend as much time with Lola as possible she spent time in her classroom and ultimately began her study of Early Childhood Development at City College of San Francisco. She began teaching preschool at Temple Emanu-El while continuing her education and getting her Master Degree from Gratz College in Jewish Early Childhood Education. Ruthie continues to work on films and is active in the social justice movement.

  Brianna Brostoff, Floating Teacher   Brianna, a Los Angeles native, made her way to San Francisco in 2008 to attend San Francisco State University. Prior, she spent a year in Israel, where she realized it was imperative that she choose a career in which she could help or teach people directly. Working with preschool children brings her immense happiness, presents crucial critical thinking opportunities for her, and gives her the feeling of knowing she is in the right place. Studying dance seriously as a child and a teenager, she has brought an array of energetic movement activities to each of the preschools she has worked in. Brianna began her career at Gan Noe, continuing at Congregation Beth Sholom Family Preschool before joining GPFP. She brings her love of Jewish culture and peoplehood wherever she goes.            

Brianna Brostoff, Floating Teacher

Brianna, a Los Angeles native, made her way to San Francisco in 2008 to attend San Francisco State University. Prior, she spent a year in Israel, where she realized it was imperative that she choose a career in which she could help or teach people directly. Working with preschool children brings her immense happiness, presents crucial critical thinking opportunities for her, and gives her the feeling of knowing she is in the right place. Studying dance seriously as a child and a teenager, she has brought an array of energetic movement activities to each of the preschools she has worked in. Brianna began her career at Gan Noe, continuing at Congregation Beth Sholom Family Preschool before joining GPFP. She brings her love of Jewish culture and peoplehood wherever she goes.

 

 

 

 

  Kate Truka, Yoga Teacher   Kate has been a Children’s Yoga Specialist in San Francisco for many years. She has watched generations of SF's children through their entire time at pre-school go from toddling Tree Poses to Peacock Prep in Pre-K. More exciting than watching children develop the core strength, balance and coordination that will serve them in later physical activities, Kate is honored to create a space in which kids can explore their relationship to movement and their bodies that is set apart from the performing arts or competitive sports. She seeks to instill curiosity and kindness and acceptance for what it is to live and move in a body! Kate uses song, storytelling and the images of nature to invite playful shapes and stretches, awareness of breath, focus and kindness towards the self when poses are challenging and delight in movement. As a lifelong dancer, Kate began teaching children’s creative movement classes in 1995, and continued while teaching in Japanese elementary and junior high schools from 2000-2002. She began intensive yoga training among the rice fields of rural Japan and began teaching children’s yoga in San Francisco in 2006. 

Kate Truka, Yoga Teacher

Kate has been a Children’s Yoga Specialist in San Francisco for many years. She has watched generations of SF's children through their entire time at pre-school go from toddling Tree Poses to Peacock Prep in Pre-K. More exciting than watching children develop the core strength, balance and coordination that will serve them in later physical activities, Kate is honored to create a space in which kids can explore their relationship to movement and their bodies that is set apart from the performing arts or competitive
sports. She seeks to instill curiosity and kindness and acceptance for what it is to live and move in a body! Kate uses song, storytelling and the images of nature to invite playful shapes and stretches, awareness of breath, focus and kindness towards the self when poses are challenging and delight in movement. As a lifelong dancer, Kate began teaching children’s creative movement classes in 1995, and continued while teaching in Japanese elementary and junior high schools from 2000-2002. She began intensive yoga training among the rice fields of rural Japan and began teaching children’s yoga in San Francisco in 2006. 

  Linda Moody, Music Teacher   Linda holds a Master of Science in Education from San Francisco State University, a Multiple Subject Credential and a Site Supervisor Permit in Early Childhood Education. Her Bachelor of Arts is in Philosophy from Miami University of Ohio. She is a professional musician and has been doing music classes with children since 1999.                        

Linda Moody, Music Teacher

Linda holds a Master of Science in Education from San Francisco State University, a Multiple Subject Credential and a Site Supervisor Permit in Early Childhood Education. Her Bachelor of Arts is in Philosophy from Miami University of Ohio. She is a professional musician and has been doing music classes with children since 1999.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Erica Kajdasz, Office Administrator   Erica is originally from Los Angeles and has a Bachelor's degree from University of California, Berkeley in City & Regional Planning. After college she started the San Francisco Little League Girls Softball program and worked as an Assistant Athletic Director in San Francisco Independent High Schools for 12 years. She has two children that currently attend Growing Place Family Preschool. 

Erica Kajdasz, Office Administrator

Erica is originally from Los Angeles and has a Bachelor's degree from University of California, Berkeley in City & Regional Planning. After college she started the San Francisco Little League Girls Softball program and worked as an Assistant Athletic Director in San Francisco Independent High Schools for 12 years. She has two children that currently attend Growing Place Family Preschool.