staff is an affectionate, experienced, responsible, and talented group of people.
I am Morning Preschool and Afternoon Prekindergarten Teacher/ Director Betsy Nachman. I received my early childhood education training in programs throughout the East Bay and apprenticed with Elinor Griffin for two years in the mid-1980s. I worked with Mrs. Griffin for three more years in the 1990s before assuming directorship in 1996, and I now have twenty-eight years of preschool teaching experience. I received an MS in Teacher Education/ Early Childhood in 2014 and thoroughly enjoyed returning to school. I hope to supplement my work at Griffin by teaching teachers and/or writing about teaching in the years to come. I consider Griffin Nursery School my home. I love providing a haven for children, parents, teachers—and myself!
After two years of preschool teaching on the peninsula and other endeavors in the East Bay, Tina Shaffer, Morning Preschool/ Afternoon Bridge Teacher, came to Griffin in September 2010. Tina is also a children’s yoga teacher and a massage therapist. All our children gravitate to her wisdom, affection, compassion, and sense of fun. Tina helps very young children access their innate powers of self-care and healing through breathing techniques and sensorimotor activities during group times. Tina makes every room feel comfortable.
Ed Silberman, Afternoon Prekindergarten Teacher, is in his fourth year at Griffin Nursery School. Ed was a substitute in play-based East Bay preschools for twenty years. He substituted for us frequently four years ago and was so simpatico with us philosophically and temperamentally that when I offered him a position in September 2014, he decided to take the plunge and become a teacher. It has been a pleasure to watch Ed grow steadily over the past three years in his new role. He has good rapport with and insight into the children, he observes them carefully, and he likes to try new strategies. Ed is also an excellent musician who sings, plays harmonica, and leads our Rhythm Bands.
Sybil Burciaga, Morning Bridge/ Afternoon Prekindergarten Teacher, has had around ten years of experience with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers in preschools, infant and toddler programs, after-school programs, and yoga centers. Sybil has special skills in yoga and meditation with young children; but she is well-rounded, experienced, and gifted in all things early childhood education. Sybil bonds with children quickly and deeply respects them.
Sara Berman, Morning Preschool Teacher, is in her first year with us. Sara got a thoroughly play-based, Piagetian training in the Early Childhood Education program at Mills College in Oakland, which dovetails with our philosophic orientation. Sara has had five previous teaching years at private preschools in the Bay Area; and she has particular training and insight into children’s physical development. Sara is a wonderful addition to our team!
Martie Mogensen is our Afternoon Prekindergarten Teacher two days a week while Betsy is doing administrative work. Martie is an Early Childhood veteran. Though she has been teaching kindergarten and first grade since the 1990s, Martie taught and directed preschool for eight years in the 1970s and 1980s. She got her MA in Early Childhood Education at University of Wisconsin/ La Crosse in 1981. Martie is a respectful, funloving facilitator in groups of children, and she is very intuitive and easygoing in her one-on-one relationships, which she is careful to cultivate. We are a mature teaching staff, able to collaborate, solve problems, and implement ideas. We are always aware that we are role models for your children.
We are a mature teaching staff, able to collaborate, solve problems, and implement ideas. We are always aware that we are role models for your children.