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-nine 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, Harnaam Kaur, Morning Preschool/ Afternoon Bridge Teacher, came to Griffin in September 2010. Harnaam is also a children’s yoga teacher and a massage therapist. All our children gravitate to her wisdom, affection, compassion, and sense of fun. Harnaam helps very young children access their innate powers of self-care and healing through breathing techniques and sensorimotor activities during group times. Harnaam makes every room feel comfortable.
Sara Berman, Morning Preschool Teacher, is in her second 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!
Marti Mogensen is our Afternoon Prekindergarten Teacher two days a week while Betsy is doing administrative work. Marti is an Early Childhood veteran. Though she has been teaching kindergarten and first grade since the 1990s, Marti 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. Marti 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.
Chris Taffe works with all our children, morning and afternoon. Chris, like Marti, has been in the business over thirty years. He was at two teaching posts for a nearly a dozen years each. Chris has been a site supervisor; he has helped launch new programs and taught teachers and parents; and he is author of an article published in 2011, entitled, “Two’s Company, Three’s a Crowd: Peer Interaction in a Preschool Social Triangle.” Chris got a Masters in Teacher Education/Early Childhood from San Francisco State University and has a Child Development Program Director Permit. His style with the children is quiet, egalitarian, authoritative, and adventuresome. All our children feel seen and heard by Chris, as do our staff members. He is an excellent team player and tireless worker.
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.