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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

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
Sara Anderson's picture

Sara Anderson

Administrative Support
sara@presidiohill.org
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
Martin Gross's picture

Martin Gross

Martin Gross's picture

Martin Gross

Front Office Administrator
AA Fine Art, Mesa College, San Diego
Studied Graphic Design at California College of the Arts, Oakland
martin@presidiohill.org
After a career in hospitality management, I came to PHS searching for a more community oriented environment, with the idea that I may want to pursue teaching. I found that I greatly admired the energy, commitment and creativity that I saw in our teachers each day. I quickly determined that teaching wasn't the right path for me, but have greatly enjoyed my various support positions at PHS for the past decade plus. 
Front Office Administrator
martin@presidiohill.org
Lizzy Laidlaw's picture

Lizzy Laidlaw

Educational Technology Specialist / Distance Learning Coordinator
lizzy@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
Eileen B Siegel's picture

Eileen B. Siegel

Business Office Associate
Assistant to the Head of School
eileen@presidiohill.org
Steve Sisney's picture

Steve Sisney

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

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
Callie Taylor's picture

Callie Taylor

Callie Taylor's picture

Callie 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
Daniela Wehmeyer's picture

Daniela Wehmeyer

5th Grade Teacher
daniela@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
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
Robyn Moss's picture

Robyn Moss

Robyn Moss's picture

Robyn Moss

Faculty Support
 BA, Boston University
MA, University of the Pacific
moss@presidiohill.org
I am originally from New York and have lived in the Bay Area for over twenty years. I started my teaching career in San Francisco at Town School Boys. I worked at Children’s Day School, San Francisco Day School and, of course, at Presidio Hill School. I am drawn to PHS because of the warm and inclusive community, the connection and collaboration between faculty and staff, the engaged students, and the Wednesday soup!  

During the past two and a half years, I have pursued other creative endeavors. In addition to substitute teaching, I have been working on two book projects and I have written and performed several solo performance pieces. I am a former triathlete and I still enjoy swimming and biking in Marin. My husband, Adam, and I live in Fairfax and we have a seven year old daughter, Hayden, and a Golden Retriever named Addie.
Faculty Support
moss@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
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
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
Linda Greiff's picture

Linda Greiff

Assistant Teacher - 3rd Grade
linda@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
Shannon McGilloway's picture

Shannon McGilloway

Counselor
shannon@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
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
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
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
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

Art Assistant
greg@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

After School & Enrichment Program Staff

Sebastian Bates's picture

Sebastian Bates

sebastian@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
Maria Zuffanelli's picture

Maria Zuffanelli

After School Teacher
Joined PHS: 2015
maria@presidiohill.org