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Faculty/Staff Directory

Learning Services

Tamara Arboit's picture

Tamara Arboit

Tamara Arboit's picture

Tamara Arboit

Learning Specialist
 BA, UC Santa Cruz
tamara@presidiohill.org
Presidio Hill School offers students opportunities to develop personal learning styles through independent and collaborative work that is child-centered and project-based. Students are encouraged to apply their knowledge beyond the classroom setting. It is an honor to work at a school that truly lives out its mission.
Learning Specialist
tamara@presidiohill.org
Jennifer Heifferon's picture

Jennifer Heifferon

Jennifer Heifferon's picture

Jennifer Heifferon

Learning Specialist
MA, University of San Francisco
BA, Stanford University
jennifer@presidiohill.org
I feel honored to be part of a community dedicated to instilling a passion for not only learning, but global stewardship as well. PHS strives to recognize and celebrate the many facets that our students bring to the table and it is refreshing to be surrounded by faculty and staff that truly work as a team to address the needs of those they serve. I am thrilled to be able to work with PHS students on self-advocacy and resiliency - two skills that are critical for the future.
Learning Specialist
jennifer@presidiohill.org

Administration

Sarah Gaffney's picture

Sarah Gaffney

Sarah Gaffney's picture

Sarah Gaffney

Director of Marketing and Communications
 BA, UC Berkeley 
sarahg@presidiohill.org
Presidio Hill School is an incredibly vibrant community of learners and I am proud and happy to be a member of such an amazing group of people. I came to PHS looking for a community that embodied all the aspects of administration and a progressive education that I love. At PHS there is engaged learning between teachers, students, families and administration, commitment to being a social, global citizen, and an emphasis on people, rather than product. 
Director of Marketing and Communications
sarahg@presidiohill.org
Sara Anderson's picture

Sara Anderson

Administrative Support
sara@presidiohill.org
Stephanie Kastner's picture

Stephanie Kastner

Stephanie Kastner's picture

Stephanie Kastner

Development Associate & Assistant to the Head of School
B.A. University of Washington
stephaniek@presidiohill.org
As a graduate of a K-8 progressive school myself, I was immediately drawn to the warmth, creativity, and community evident at Presidio Hill School. After working in the legal sector for the past few years, I am excited to return to the world of education. I’m thrilled that in my position I am able to interact with just about every member of the PHS community, from current students, faculty, and parents to alumni and friends!
Development Associate & Assistant to the Head of School
stephaniek@presidiohill.org
Debbie Ko's picture

Debbie Ko

Debbie Ko's picture

Debbie Ko

Business Office Associate
BS, Hunter College
debbie@presidiohill.org
It's a privilege to join the PHS Community!
Business Office Associate
debbie@presidiohill.org
Robyn Mandel's picture

Robyn Mandel

Robyn Mandel's picture

Robyn Mandel

Admission Associate
B.A., Wheaton College
robyn@presidiohill.org
I have discovered that learning comes in many formats throughout our lives. It can change day-to-day, month-to-month, or decade-to-decade. Discovering what works for an individual and a group, and finding a way to bringing these two styles together can make a difference to a student’s education and life. In my personal experience it was Literature and Music that made all the difference. Whether it was relating to a character or putting hard material to music, I found a way to not only change how I viewed my education, but my life. It was at PHS where I was able to discover my educational balance and begin to believe that I could be successful in everything that I did. I am ecstatic to be able to assist students and families in finding that same balance.
Admission Associate
robyn@presidiohill.org
Adrienne Moon's picture

Adrienne Moon

Adrienne Moon's picture

Adrienne Moon

Director of Development
adrienne@presidiohill.org
Welcome to Adrienne Moon, Presidio Hill School's new Director of Development! Adrienne joins us after nearly a decade working in Advancement at the Exploratorium and six years building The Hamlin School's Alumni Engagement program. She will spend the last few weeks of this school year with us on campus; please say hello when you see her on the curb in June! Adrienne shares: "It is an honor and a privilege to join Presidio Hill School's vibrant, inclusive, and supportive community. I am thrilled to combine my passion for Development work with my deep commitment to the core values of progressive education. I am particularly excited about getting to know everyone in the PHS community and being a part of the day-to-day life of the school." 
Director of Development
adrienne@presidiohill.org
Tanya Nori's picture

Tanya Nori

Tanya Nori's picture

Tanya Nori

Front Desk Administrator
tanya@presidiohill.org
I am happy to be working with children and their families as the Front Desk Administrator at PHS.  My previous experience includes working as a 3rd Grade Teacher’s Assistant and Extended Care Aide at a private elementary school in Daly City, as well as, with San Mateo county children aged 7 – 12 as a Humane Education Coordinator in Burlingame.

When I’m not working with kiddos and their families, I am raising 4th generation San Francisco sports fans, attending live theater, traveling or finding quiet time to read a good book.

It is a pleasure to be part of a team that supports the uniqueness and abilities of each individual student.  The PHS community offers support and care not only to students but also to the faculty and staff.  ‘This School Welcomes You’ is not just a slogan on our door; it’s how you feel when you’re here.
Front Desk Administrator
tanya@presidiohill.org
Steve Sisney's picture

Steve Sisney

Steve Sisney's picture

Steve Sisney

Technology Associate
sisney@presidiohill.org
I am excited to be joining Presidio Hill School as a Technology Associate. I have a background in Aerospace and Internet engineering where I worked as a Senior Software Engineer at a major aerospace company, and most recently at a digital library. I also worked in social media for a time and have taught Astronomy and Calculus as a volunteer to international students. I am a strong believer in the appropriate use of technology for children and adults, and am a proponent of open-source software and open access for all. I love to travel in the interest of understanding diverse perspectives, and I greatly appreciate a wide range of art, history, music, and literature, which inform my efforts at printmaking and playing music. I hope to share my passion for the humanities, social justice, helping one another, and the use of technology for learning with all of the students, faculty, and staff at PHS!
Technology Associate
sisney@presidiohill.org
James Wygant's picture

James Wygant

James Wygant's picture

James Wygant

Middle School Director/Secondary School Counselor
MFA, New College of California
BA, University of California, Santa Barbara
james@presidiohill.org
Presidio Hill values students' abilities as original thinkers and encourages them to take an active role in their community. I appreciate that the school culture encourages engagement with topics pertinent to our students' lives, building curriculum around what interests, inspires and motivates, rather than simply preparing them for their next academic steps.
Middle School Director/Secondary School Counselor
james@presidiohill.org
Lisa Jeli's picture

Lisa Jeli

Lisa Jeli's picture

Lisa Jeli

Head of School
BS, Portland State University
Certificate in School Management and Leadership, Graduate School of Education & Harvard Business School Online
lisa@presidiohill.org
I continually strive to make Presidio Hill the best school it can possibly be. I am constantly inspired by the faculty to keep on this path; they take risks, try new things and are always looking to make things better for all learners. Of course, it's the day-to-day interactions with students and seeing their growth that makes PHS such a fun place to be. It's exciting to think that I have been here for about a quarter of our 100+ year history!
Head of School
lisa@presidiohill.org
Tony Cifra's picture

Tony Cifra

Tony Cifra's picture

Tony Cifra

Lower School Director
MA, Bay Area Teacher Training Institute, University of the Pacific
MA, New York University
BS, Cornell University
cifra@presidiohill.org
I am inspired by a spirit of possibility imparted by my family, an understanding that success results from collective efforts, and a belief that one's work is potentially limitless in scope. I believe that learners of all ages thrive when they experience ownership over their process, reinforcing an intrinsic motivation for lifelong, life-wide, and life-deep learning that extends beyond school walls. After first becoming acquainted with PHS over 10 years ago, I am thrilled to join a community defined by its warmth, commitment to progressive education, and spirit of collaboration.
Lower School Director
cifra@presidiohill.org
Tony Morgan's picture

Tony Morgan

Tony Morgan's picture

Tony Morgan

Director of Finance & Operations
BA, Carson-Newman College
M.Div., Texas Christian University
STM, Yale University
tony@presidiohill.org

I am so grateful to be a part of the PHS community; witnessing the daily interactions and shared learning among our students, parents, faculty and staff inspires and challenges me every single day.
Director of Finance & Operations
tony@presidiohill.org
Kelly Dees's picture

Kelly Dees

Kelly Dees's picture

Kelly Dees

Director of Admission
 BA, Occidental College
kelly@presidiohill.org
Presidio Hill School is an amazing place to work. The dedication of the teachers, administrators and staff that I witness daily is truly inspiring and the exhuberance of the students contagious. The parent community is smart, savvy, fun and diverse. All these factors and a progressive learning model make my job representing PHS an easy one!
Director of Admission
kelly@presidiohill.org

Faculty

Amrutha Prakasha's picture

Amrutha Prakasha

Amrutha Prakasha's picture

Amrutha Prakasha

Apprentice Teacher
amrutha@presidiohill.org
I’m Amrutha Prakasha, an avid learner and a big believer in progressive education. Journeying through life impacting young and curious minds through tutoring, fitness/swim lessons and
facilitating ABA therapy for children with special needs and facilitating organized, directed play has been my passion. I aspire to work in alternative and progressive school environments and travel the world to experience the diversity in educational practices so as to enrich my pedagogical skills. I’m honored to be part of Presidio Hill School which encourages and instills rich pedagogical practices honed over a century-old teaching history. Having earned the privilege of learning from experienced teachers at PHS is a boon indeed. I am very excited and grateful to be a part of the Presidio Hill School family and to continue to learn!
Apprentice Teacher
amrutha@presidiohill.org
Feli Pulaski's picture

Feli Pulaski

Feli Pulaski's picture

Feli Pulaski

Spanish Teacher
MA, Conservatorio Provincial de Música de Santa Cruz
BA, Instituto Superior del Profesorado, Joaquin V. Gonzalez, Buenos Aires
BA, Escuela Superior de Periodismo, Buenos Aires 
feli@presidiohill.org
At Presidio Hill School I feel that all ideas and creations are possible. I love the excitement students show when we start a new project and also how they come to me with suggestions about what we should do next. I have a lot of fun with the students!
Spanish Teacher
feli@presidiohill.org
Alethea Roche's picture

Alethea Roche

Alethea Roche's picture

Alethea Roche

Fourth Grade Teacher
MA, San Francisco State University
BA Saint Mary’s College of California
alethea@presidiohill.org
PHS is a magical place steeped in a rich history that embodies the heart of the progressive San Francisco that I deeply love and cherish. Everyday I wake up and say to myself, “I’m working at my dream job!” I am grateful and humbled to be part of a community where teaching and learning, kindness and inquiry, political activism and personal autonomy are inextricably linked.
Fourth Grade Teacher
alethea@presidiohill.org
Emily Sheppard's picture

Emily Sheppard

Emily Sheppard's picture

Emily Sheppard

Fifth Grade Assistant Teacher
emily@presidiohill.org
Hello PHS community! I'm thrilled to join you as the Fifth Grade Assistant Teacher and support PHS in fostering a student-centered, experiential, and inclusive learning community. I'm also so excited to learn and explore in the Presidio. My teaching background is primarily in outdoor education and I have taught Bay Area youth at Adventure Playground, Shorebird Nature Center, and Walker Creek Ranch. In 2020, I transitioned to a 6th Grade Teaching Assistant position at Redwood Day. I am super excited to continue learning about project-based instruction and engage students in cooperative learning opportunities.
Fifth Grade Assistant Teacher
emily@presidiohill.org
Cal Taylor's picture

Cal Taylor

Cal Taylor's picture

Cal Taylor

6th & 7th Grade Math Teacher
BS, University of South Florida
callie@presidiohill.org
I love making math friendly and accessible for students and creating an environment that allows for discussion to deepen understanding and problem solving skills. As a student who learned best when engaged, I feel that exploring and discovering is essential to learning. My first experience teaching was teaching martial arts in high school, so a hands-on approach that emphasizes practice and determination are important to me. When I’m not teaching, I enjoy reading and traveling even if it’s simply an adventure to the closest park. I am so excited to begin this year at PHS and see what adventures await.
6th & 7th Grade Math Teacher
callie@presidiohill.org
Xavia Warner's picture

Xavia Warner

Xavia Warner's picture

Xavia Warner

Assistant Teacher - 3rd Grade
xai@presidiohill.org
Hello, PHS! My name is Xavia, and I’m the 3rd grade assistant. My pronouns are she and her, and I go by my nickname, “Xai” (pronounced Say). I’m really looking forward to growing as an educator in this progressive learning community! It’s my hope and intention that learning is joyful, that I support our students in creating fond and meaningful school memories. I’m an SF native and urban gardening nerd. I would also like to write “cat lady,” but my partner is allergic to felines so I’m trying to become a “dog person.”
Assistant Teacher - 3rd Grade
xai@presidiohill.org
Daniela Wehmeyer's picture

Daniela Wehmeyer

Daniela Wehmeyer's picture

Daniela Wehmeyer

5th Grade Teacher
daniela@presidiohill.org
Warm greetings PHS community! I am honored to be joining PHS–with its impressive history in progressive education–as your new 5th grade lead teacher. I grew up and attended school in Germany. Passionate about new languages and cultures, I studied in Istanbul, Turkey, before graduating from Santa Clara University. After working in textbook publishing, I earned my CA teaching credential through the Bay Area Teacher Training Institute (BATTI). I started teaching at Children’s Day School and then, for the last nine years, taught elementary school at the German International School which has its roots in the Presidio. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family, trail running, biking, gardening, and finding sustainable ways to travel widely. I am currently completing my Masters at SFSU in Childhood Development and I am looking forward to sharing the latest research and my classroom experience with you, but most
importantly learning from and with you on Presidio Hill’s beautiful campus and in the amazing outdoor classroom of the Presidio.
5th Grade Teacher
daniela@presidiohill.org
Maria Zuffanelli's picture

Maria Zuffanelli

Maria Zuffanelli's picture

Maria Zuffanelli

Middle School Support Teacher
maria@presidiohill.org
I am so excited to return to the PHS community as a Middle School Support Teacher after completing my MA in Literature at San Francisco State University in the Spring. I love reading, cooking, and have recently started a garden. I can't wait to serve the PHS community and grow with the families, students, and staff during this unique time. 

 
Middle School Support Teacher
maria@presidiohill.org
Leah Nelson's picture

Leah Nelson

Leah Nelson's picture

Leah Nelson

2nd Grade Teacher
BA University of Hawai'i Manoa
MEd University of Hawai'i Manoa
NBCT Middle Childhood Generalist
leah@presidiohill.org
I am most excited that Presidio Hill School knows that authentic learning occurs outside the traditional four walls of a classroom. As a Native Hawaiian educator "Kū i ke ao," is a proverb that embraces the world in which one lives. Our world is a hands-on, dynamic, living classroom. This involves embracing diversity, having empathy and taking action. As a collaborator in your child's education I will encourage them to take risks, dream big, and be kind. 
2nd Grade Teacher
leah@presidiohill.org
Alyssa Nelson Mastronicola's picture

Alyssa Nelson Mastronicola

Alyssa Nelson Mastronicola's picture

Alyssa Nelson Mastronicola

Librarian
alyssan@presidiohill.org
Greetings PHS! For many years, I’ve hoped to join this vibrant, warm community, and I’m honored to now serve as your librarian. My path in education began as an elementary classroom teacher, though I was often found in the school library. The birth of my twin boys, now almost 6 years old, meant a longer road toward my Master’s in Library and Information Science, but has culminated in the most wonderful way possible. I can’t wait to connect, learn, question, and read with you all! 
Librarian
alyssan@presidiohill.org
Sarah Myers's picture

Sarah Myers

Sarah Myers's picture

Sarah Myers

Art Teacher
sarahm@presidiohill.org
I believe everybody has the potential to be a successful artist when guided through a mindful process. Mastering tools and techniques leads to confidence in ability and facilitates a growth mindset that can continue to be developed throughout life. When value is placed on curiosity and personal growth, our students are motivated to stretch themselves -- they become engaged in authentic learning.
Art Teacher
sarahm@presidiohill.org
Alysia Mercado's picture

Alysia Mercado

Alysia Mercado's picture

Alysia Mercado

Apprentice Teacher
alysia@presidiohill.org
Hello PHS! My name is Alysia and I go by the pronouns she/her. I received my B.S. in Child & Family Development at SDSU and worked as a co-teacher and lead teacher at a private preschool for two years before joining PHS. I view my profession of teaching as more than a career choice, rather, a labor of love. I am thrilled to continue my journey with USF and PHS and can't wait to help make a positive impact on/with this amazing community, as well as to learn from the experienced and wonderful current teachers. I am excited to share my love for life, learning, and teaching with students, parents, and teachers alike! Thank you for welcoming me with open arms, let's get ready to learn!
Apprentice Teacher
alysia@presidiohill.org
Leticia Abeyta's picture

Leticia Abeyta

Leticia Abeyta's picture

Leticia Abeyta

3rd Grade Teacher
MA, University of San Francisco
BA, University of California, Berkeley
leticia@presidiohill.org
I am ecstatic to join the PHS faculty this year!  I am passionate about cooperative learning - the more talking and interacting students do in school, the better!  I prioritize critical thinking, inquiry, autonomy, and reflection when creating our learning community.
3rd Grade Teacher
leticia@presidiohill.org
Laura Ainsworth's picture

Laura Ainsworth

Laura Ainsworth's picture

Laura Ainsworth

1st Grade Teacher
BS, Principia College
MA, Bay Area Teachers Training Institute, University of the Pacific
laura@presidiohill.org
I am passionate about guiding students to learn how to take pride in their academic experience and how to be a part of a classroom community that is not only diverse but promotes equity for all students. I am committed to helping our youth become empowered learners, stewards for the environment and effective changemakers. I’m a proud Oaklander (Go A’s!) and live in the Temescal area with my educator husband and our small terrier. When not in the classroom, you’ll find me hiking in the redwoods above Oakland, riding my bike on the winding roads to Pt. Reyes, or sitting among flowers reading historical fiction. I look forward to meeting everyone in the fall!
1st Grade Teacher
laura@presidiohill.org
Brittany Atkinson's picture

Brittany Atkinson

Brittany Atkinson's picture

Brittany Atkinson

English Language Arts Teacher, 7th / 8th Grade
brittany@presidiohill.org
I am thrilled to be joining the PHS community! I fell in love with Presidio Hill the moment I stepped onto campus: the vibrant, colorful art on the walls, the easy camaraderie of the faculty, and the exuberance and thoughtful curiosity of the students. It was clear to me that PHS kids are given the freedom to explore, to create, to question, and to be themselves, with a caring and nurturing community to support them. And classes in the Presidio? Sign me up! I’m a Bay Area native and a long-time English teacher, and I’m genuinely excited to become a part of a community so deeply rooted in the Bay and so committed to joyous learning. I know that we are all uncertain about what next year might bring, but I’m looking forward to meeting the challenges with creativity, passion, and hopefully a lot of laughter and love. 
English Language Arts Teacher, 7th / 8th Grade
brittany@presidiohill.org
Allan Avila's picture

Allan Avila

Allan Avila's picture

Allan Avila

TK Assistant Teacher
allan@presidiohill.org
I'm very delighted to be joining the PHS community and continue my journey as an educator for the young minds of our generation! I taught Spanish to Kindergarteners and first graders for seven years and have served as second-grade co-teacher. I cannot wait to continue to grow and learn from my PHS colleagues, students, and families!
TK Assistant Teacher
allan@presidiohill.org
Jen Bamesberger's picture

Jen Bamesberger

Jen Bamesberger's picture

Jen Bamesberger

Math and Science Teacher, 8th Grade
MA, University of Northern Colorado
BA, Humboldt State University
jen@presidiohill.org
As a teacher, Jen promotes intrinsic motivation by grounding students in a personal connection to the world. She makes content relevant and encourages students to figure out how the world works by getting their hands on it. Beyond teaching skills and concepts, she helps kids take an active role in their own education. They learn to manage time and choices, set goals and evaluate progress, and become effective communicators and team members. At PHS, she sees kids taking action to answer questions they ask themselves.
Math and Science Teacher, 8th Grade
jen@presidiohill.org
Ellie Bibas's picture

Ellie Bibas

Ellie Bibas's picture

Ellie Bibas

Social Studies Teacher, 7th / 8th Grade
MA, Teachers College, Columbia University
BS, Boston University
ellie@presidiohill.org
John Dewey famously asserted that "education is not preparation for life, education is life itself" and the spirit of that maxim is alive and well here at Presidio Hill School, where children and adults embrace and learn from one another as symbiotic members of a distinct community of individuals. As I see it, the humanities classroom should be a place for students to actively explore, investigate, collaborate, and inquire about themselves and the world around them, past and present. I feel grateful to be part of the PHS community, where such exploration extends far beyond my classroom and in fact, is ingrained so deeply in the mission and overall ethos of our school. 
Social Studies Teacher, 7th / 8th Grade
ellie@presidiohill.org
Alyssa Cruz's picture

Alyssa Cruz

Alyssa Cruz's picture

Alyssa Cruz

Middle School P.E. Teacher & Athletic Director
alyssa@presidiohill.org
I am so excited to be a member of the PHS community! I go by Coach Alyssa or Coach A to my students. Sports and exercise have been a part of my life since I was eight years old. I have played basketball, flag football, soccer, track, and softball throughout my life and those sports have really developed my passion for movement and sports. I graduated from St. Mary’s College of California with a BA in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Sports and Recreation Management. During college, I had the opportunity to intern for two years with Athenian School's athletic department. Following college, I worked for a nonprofit called Playworks as an AmeriCorps coach. At Playworks, I was the P.E., activities, and recess coach–providing fun and inclusive play to public schools that had no access to structured play throughout the school day. For the last two years, I have been the Middle School P.E. Teacher and Girls’ Basketball Coach for Richmond Charter Academy. I also enjoy reading, watching musical theatre, and traveling. I love athletics and hopes to pass on that passion to my students at PHS!
Middle School P.E. Teacher & Athletic Director
alyssa@presidiohill.org
Colt Deese's picture

Colt Deese

Colt Deese's picture

Colt Deese

Science Teacher, 6th & 7th Grade
M. Ed. University of Washington
B.S. Portland State University 
colt@presidiohill.org
Presidio Hill intentionally celebrates individual learning styles and unique viewpoints. This engenders an inclusive and caring community for all. I enjoy that students are provided the opportunity to reflect on their own learning and encouraged to become a part of the learning process. As a science teacher, the curriculum allows me to teach to my passions, this flexibility creates a program where I can respond to the needs and curiosities of the students. This approach allows students to build personal connections with the natural world, thus providing students with inspiration, skills and desire to become global of the world around them. 
Science Teacher, 6th & 7th Grade
colt@presidiohill.org
Dan Goldensohn's picture

Dan Goldensohn

Dan Goldensohn's picture

Dan Goldensohn

Music Teacher, TK-2nd Grade
BA, Harvard University
dan@presidiohill.org
When my son was one year old, I came to work at Presidio Hill School, having been urged to apply by friends who knew my work with children. They told me how happy their kids were at the school, how wonderful the teachers, how exciting the lessons. My son is now a graduate of PHS, and I still feel the excitement and pride in being part of the progressive education provided at this school. It is a joy to communicate my love of music to children and families and to grow as a musician and a teacher by living with the deep emotions of children singing.
Music Teacher, TK-2nd Grade
dan@presidiohill.org
Paulina Hidalgo's picture

Paulina Hidalgo

Paulina Hidalgo's picture

Paulina Hidalgo

paulina@presidiohill.org
Hola, wonderful PHS community! I am very happy to have the opportunity to be working with all of the faculty, families, and most importantly the students at PHS. I’ve always dreamed of working at a school like PHS that’s progressive, inclusive, and promotes curiosity. I am a passionate, dedicated, and enthusiastic educator who truly cares about empowering children through learning Spanish; I strongly believe in a bilingüal education. Here is a little bit about me: I was born and raised in Mexico City. I earned my B.S. in Biology from Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana (Mexico), and a master's degree in Environmental Education from Universidad Iberoamericana, (Mexico). I also have additional training in the TPRS (Teaching Proficiency Through Reading and Storytelling) and CI (Comprehensible Input) methods of instruction. After being an environmental education teacher at La Salle Elementary School (Mexico), I immigrated to the USA, where I’ve taught Spanish in preschool through high school at educational establishments all throughout the Bay Area. I enjoy hiking and spending time with my eighteen-year-old son who goes to college this school year. I’m excited to join this amazing community and can’t wait for what lies ahead! 
paulina@presidiohill.org
Larissa Hsia-Wong's picture

Larissa Hsia-Wong

Larissa Hsia-Wong's picture

Larissa Hsia-Wong

Kindergarten Teacher
larissa@presidiohill.org
When I received my invitation to join the PHS community, it was like receiving my very own Hogwarts letter; 3839 Washington Street may not be Hogwarts Castle, but it truly is just as magical and joyful of a place! During my visit, I quickly fell in love with the school and its mission to challenge and inspire young students to imagine, inquire, and create. What struck me most and made PHS instantly feel like home was the palpable sense of joy for learning that exuded from each student and teacher. I sensed that joy as I saw kindergarteners bury their noses in a new book, second graders excitedly joke with their teachers on their way to recess, and teachers check-in with one another during their lunch break. I am beyond thrilled and honored to be joining PHS as a kindergarten teacher. Elephant and Piggie said it best: "Waiting is not easy!"
Kindergarten Teacher
larissa@presidiohill.org
Kiah Jeffries's picture

Kiah Jeffries

Kiah Jeffries's picture

Kiah Jeffries

MS PE Teacher
Joined PHS: 2000
kiah@presidiohill.org
I was once a middle school student at Presidio Hill. I teach because I want to give PHS students all the positive experiences I enjoyed here. I am aware that I am a role model for them and strive to embody the traits I admired so much in my PHS teachers.
MS PE Teacher
Joined PHS: 2000
kiah@presidiohill.org
Lauren La Torre's picture

Lauren La Torre

Lauren La Torre's picture

Lauren La Torre

First Grade Teacher on Special Assignment
Lauren@presidiohill.org
I have been teaching for nine years on the East and West Coasts and am thrilled to have found a teaching home at PHS, where for the past year I have worked to support grades TK through Second. I hold a bachelor's degree and a master’s degree from Columbia University, and a Master’s in Teaching Reading from USF. I am passionate about literacy as a social justice issue, and am excited to join the First Grade team to imagine, inquire, and create with our energetic and thoughtful young stewards of tomorrow!
First Grade Teacher on Special Assignment
Lauren@presidiohill.org
Lizzy Laidlaw's picture

Lizzy Laidlaw

Lizzy Laidlaw's picture

Lizzy Laidlaw

Educational Technology Specialist / Distance Learning Coordinator
lizzy@presidiohill.org
I am excited to join the Presidio Hill School community! Before PHS, I spent several years at Town School for Boys and helped Town to envision distance learning for their 2020-2021 year. I have experience in curriculum development, global education, technology tools and leadership, and faculty and family coaching. I received my Master's in education from Bank Street College, have taught in Brazil, and helped coordinate the Teach with Africa Educator Exchange program. Thank you to the students, staff, and families who have welcomed me to the progressive and caring PHS community–I look forward to sharing my knowledge and experience and learning from all of you!
Educational Technology Specialist / Distance Learning Coordinator
lizzy@presidiohill.org
Chelsea Lemon's picture

Chelsea Lemon

Chelsea Lemon's picture

Chelsea Lemon

4th Grade Assistant Teacher
BS, San Francisco State University
lemon@presidiohill.org
As a San Francisco native, and as someone with lots of love for her city, to work in an environment representing a mosaic of this city is a dream. PHS is a place where children are given the opportunity of educational value in many forms. Instead of spending their day zoned into a textbook, the students of PHS are out of their seats exploring with hands on material and learning through appropriate discussions and debates; even at the age of 5! I value a school that lets its students know they can ask questions, or make comments without feeling embarrassed. PHS does its best to let all students know that they are welcome to be exactly who they choose, and a that acceptance gives students a greater desire to learn. I am grateful to be a part of a community that shares the same values as I do myself and look forward to the upcoming year!
4th Grade Assistant Teacher
lemon@presidiohill.org
Lina Lenberg's picture

Lina Lenberg

Lina Lenberg's picture

Lina Lenberg

6th Grade Humanities Teacher
BS, Michigan State University
MA, San Francisco State University
lina@presidiohill.org
I strive to work collaboratively with learners to raise their critical consciousness and engage in contemporary and historical issues from a variety of entry points. I value the student-centered, progressive approach to education at PHS, and I look forward to supporting students in their social, emotional and academic growth through readings, discussions, art, music and projects. In my spare time I am most often traveling, volunteering, exploring farmers markets, reading, dancing and appreciating animals. I am very excited to join a community of fellow progressive educators and get to know the students and families at this wonderful school!
6th Grade Humanities Teacher
lina@presidiohill.org
Dezirae Malabed's picture

Dezirae Malabed

Dezirae Malabed's picture

Dezirae Malabed

Assistant Teacher
Preschool Teacher at Imagination Station in Daly City
Therapist at Behavioral Intervention for Autism
dezirae@presidiohill.org
My favorite thing about working with kids is how bright they can be on a cloudy day. A child's love and honesty is priceless; I'm so blessed to have a job that I believe in. I am so fortunate for the opportunity to teach, learn & grow with the children at PHS. I'm excited to work in the Kindergarten classroom & I can't wait to learn and grow with all the children, families, staff and faculty at Presidio Hill School!
Assistant Teacher
dezirae@presidiohill.org
Steve Manseau's picture

Steve Manseau

Steve Manseau's picture

Steve Manseau

Transitional Kindergarten Teacher
BA, San Francisco State University
steve@presidiohill.org
I enjoy the camaraderie of the other teachers at this school, including the openness to sharing advice and ideas, lending a hand to help out each other when necessary, and sharing a few laughs. The environment of the school allows the voices of students to be heard, and the curriculum is creative and in-depth. Parents work with teachers and administrators to support their children at PHS.
Transitional Kindergarten Teacher
steve@presidiohill.org
Joshi Marshall's picture

Joshi Marshall

Joshi Marshall's picture

Joshi Marshall

Music Teacher, 3rd-8th Grade
California State University, Los Angeles
Certified Orff Schulwerk Music Instructor
joshi@presidiohill.org
At PHS we foster a love of artistic expression in our students. We encourage them to explore, invent, take risks, and share who they are. In Music, the students will have total, active involvement in music making, releasing creativity that extends far beyond the music classroom. At PHS the community celebrates diversity and values and cultivates in its students compassion, empathy and respect. This creates a non-competative, fun, fertile environment for learning and making good music together.
Music Teacher, 3rd-8th Grade
joshi@presidiohill.org
Greg McCrary's picture

Greg McCrary

Greg McCrary's picture

Greg McCrary

Art Assistant Teacher
greg@presidiohill.org
I am so honored to be Presidio Hill School’s Art Assistant Teacher. I look forward to working with our current Art Teacher (and great mentor and friend) Sarah Myers–she is patient and skilled as both an artist and educator and inspires students to think of themselves as artists. My career and life have prepared me to take on this rewarding, yet challenging role. It all began with
motivating children to smile and laugh as I drew caricatures for Richmond Illustrations and entertained kids with playful dancing and games as a part of the Road Crew for Radio Disney. In addition, I had four years of experience working and managing the afterschool program for my alma mater, Kirkwood School District. Here in San Francisco, I worked as a camp counselor for SFSPCA and currently teach cartooning and comics at the Cartoon Art Museum.

Lastly, I feel so connected to the beautiful progressive foundation that PHS is built upon. PHS is unique, from  being the oldest progressive independent school in California, to seeking diversity regarding race/ethnicity, gender, and backgrounds and the acceptance of students and staff. Thank you to the staff, families, and students at PHS. Growing up as a biracial person of color in Missouri had me feeling unaccepted in some parts of my life. Coming to a community that accepts me for all of who I am has meant the world to me. I will do everything in my power to prepare the next generation of students/artists with all the knowledge and experience I’ve collected and will push myself to perform beyond my own capabilities.
Art Assistant Teacher
greg@presidiohill.org
Shannon McGilloway's picture

Shannon McGilloway

Counselor
shannon@presidiohill.org

After School & Enrichment Program Staff

Alice DeMark's picture

Alice DeMark

Alice DeMark's picture

Alice DeMark

Yard Duty Supervisor & After School Teacher
BA, Chico State University
alice@presidiohill.org
Hi PHS families! I am new to San Francisco and I have been loving working at PHS and the community here. I have a bachelor's degree in Bilingual Education from Chico State and I taught English as a second language for two years in Spain. 

I am originally from Humboldt County and after graduating from Chico State I moved to Spain to explore the culture and education system there. I absolutely loved teaching English to children and I aspire to become an ESL teacher. I have truly enjoyed working at a progressive school and it has opened my eyes to a different type of teaching and learning. I hope to move into a more “academic role” at PHS and I am excited about the future!
Yard Duty Supervisor & After School Teacher
alice@presidiohill.org
Maya Miller-Bakaley's picture

Maya Miller-Bakaley

Maya Miller-Bakaley's picture

Maya Miller-Bakaley

Yard Duty Supervisor & After School Teacher
maya@presidiohill.org
Hi there, I'm Maya! (she/her) 

As someone trying to radically prioritize joy during these stressful times, I feel so lucky to spend my days with PHS students. Nothing makes me laugh harder or appreciate life more than sharing space and special moments with children. Growing up in the Bay Area, I was always involved in afterschool programs. I understand the crucial role after-care plays in a family's life and honor the relationships I get to build with students of all ages (especially the kids who get picked up the latest!) When I'm not goofing around with kiddos, I enjoy singing karaoke, researching local LGBTQIA+ history, and taking naps outdoors.
Yard Duty Supervisor & After School Teacher
maya@presidiohill.org
Erin Moody's picture

Erin Moody

Yard Supervisor & After School Teacher
erin@presidiohill.org
Kim Ying Walsh's picture

Kim Ying Walsh

Kim Ying Walsh's picture

Kim Ying Walsh

Director of After School and Auxiliary Programs
kim@presidiohill.org
When I first came to Presidio Hill School, I was seriously amazed. I did not know communities like these even existed. For the last two years, I’ve been continually inspired by students through their kindness, inclusivity, and curiosity.  I’m happy that I have found a place where I can utilize my past management skills while also having a genuine sense of community and shared goals. I look forward to continuing to be apart of the PHS community school experience by engaging children in problem solving and critical thinking projects, ultimately creating and sustaining a quality child care and enrichment programs.
Director of After School and Auxiliary Programs
kim@presidiohill.org