About Us

Jenny

Jenny  is a Co-Director and the pedagogical coordinator for Mark West Community Preschool. She received her Masters in Education from Sarah Lawrence College in 2002. Realizing the incredible importance of the first five years of life she focused on early childhood education.  Jenny taught Preschool at Purple Circle School In Manhattan NY.  After moving back to California she continued teaching at Old Firehouse School in Mill Valley.
Jenny supports the staff in using project work to guide the curriculum.
It is through the children’s ideas, interests and discoveries that the curriculum emerges, projects are created and all areas of learning are fostered. Through careful observation and diligent documentation we create a scaffolding to support each child’s development.  Each group of children bring their own ideas that inspire the classroom projects and push learning to new heights. Jenny feels it is the teacher’s role to create an environment that excites and engages children to gain knowledge.  Teacher’s co-construct learning with the children by encouraging inquiry and investigation of the world around them. It is the educator’s role to build deep meaningful relationships with the children allowing them to confidently navigate their environments. Education is ever evolving; it is the pedagogical coordinators job to stay at the forefront of this change by continuing professional development and collaboration with colleagues. The pedagogical coordinator works closely with teachers, parents and students to ensure the best learning experience.

Renee

I am the founder and co-Director for Community Preschools. I have been working with children my entire life. I have bachelor of science in Child Development and Early childhood Education. I understand your journey to find just the right program for your child. We are dedicated to ensuring a high quality experience for not only your child but your family as a whole. Preschool is the beginning of your child’s educational career second only to the important, learning and relationships shared between parent and child. I believe that devoted teachers, caring parents and eager children, can together explore the wonder and possibilities during the time we are together. We are working toward the common goal of preparing our children for the world and life ahead.

Mulberry

Victoria


Yamy

  Hi, I’m Yamy. Children make me happy. I earned a bachelor’s degree from Sonoma State in Human development. I’ve always known I wanted to work with children, but I recently discovered that early childhood years are the most significant years of every human’s life. This is the time when children naturally learn how to learn, and I absolutely enjoy sharing this experience with them. I’ve worked with children with special needs from ages 0-5 for three years at Early Learning Institute. Through this work of early intervention, I learned that children learn best with the help of a supportive and collaborative group of specialists; with the parents being the number one educators. Although I enjoy one-on-one play based developmental therapy, I realized that a social environment provides the best opportunity for children to work on their language skills, motor skills, and all other areas of their development. The classroom setting is filled with excitement and encouragement. The child’s energy and motivation to learn inspires me to create a stimulating environment for every unique individual, while facilitating togetherness.  Hi, I’m Yamy. Children make me happy. I earned a bachelor’s degree from Sonoma State in Human development. I’ve always known I wanted to work with children, but I recently discovered that early childhood years are the most significant years of every human’s life. This is the time when children naturally learn how to learn, and I absolutely enjoy sharing this experience with them. I’ve worked with children with special needs from ages 0-5 for three years at Early Learning Institute. Through this work of early intervention, I learned that children learn best with the help of a supportive and collaborative group of specialists; with the parents being the number one educators. Although I enjoy one-on-one play based developmental therapy, I realized that a social environment provides the best opportunity for children to work on their language skills, motor skills, and all other areas of their development. The classroom setting is filled with excitement and encouragement. The child’s energy and motivation to learn inspires me to create a stimulating environment for every unique individual, while facilitating togetherness.

Ellie

My name is Ellie and I am honored to be a part of your child’s journey at Mark West Community Preschool. My greatest joy is to walk along side of a child as they seek to learn about the world around them. I want to nurture their individual interest and build a trusting relationship with the child and their family.
I am the proud mother of five children ranging in ages from fifteen to twenty-five. While raising my own children, I became passionate about early childhood education. I received my BA in Visual Arts and decided to pursue a Child Development Certificate and a Child Development Site Supervisors Permit. While teaching in both private and public preschools, I became aware of the impact of quality Early Childhood Education on the children and how that could shape a child’s life. I have been in the field for over twelve years and I wanted to work in a program that put children and their needs first. This has led me to Mark West Community Preschool. I believe all children deserve a Childhood filled with possibilities, imagination, curiosity, and amazement! I look forward to embarking on this beautiful adventure together.

Maple

Clare


Alyx


I am incredibly excited to have been welcomed so warmly into the community here at Mark West Community Preschool. As a recent graduate of Sonoma StateUniversity, with my Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education including a minor in Psychology, I am eager to get started full time in a preschool setting. When it comes to supporting the development of young children there is nothing more nurturing than the early relationships formed between a child and their caregivers. I believe the formations of these bonds are vital for the young child. Mark West has proven to be an environment in which children are surrounded byadults who believe in them, support them, and give them the opportunities to takeownership of their ideas, space, and creativity. I am thankful for this opportunity and look forward to getting to know each of the families within this community. 

Danielle


My name is Danielle Decker and I am a Santa Rosa native. I have worked with children from a young age and have always enjoyed watching their natural love of learning and exploring their world. I studied Child Development at Santa Rosa Junior College and California State University, Sacramento, earning a Child Development Teacher Certificate in 2000 and a Bachelor of Arts in Child Development in 2003. I have worked at a diverse selection of early childhood programs in both Sacramento and Sonoma County, including substitute teaching at both Santa Rosa Junior College Children’s Center and Beth Ami Community Nursery School. It was through these opportunities that I discovered how much I love the commitment to a child-centered learning opportunity the Reggio Emilia approach gives, and I am excited to be a part of this new community.

Redwood

Felila

Aloha! My name is Felila and my passion is Early Childhood Education. While working with young children for over eleven years, I have completed my Associates Degree in Early Childhood Education and Sociology from Santa Rosa Junior College as well as my Bachelors Degree in Early Childhood Studies from Sonoma State University. During this time, I also completed an intensive Hawaiian Studies Program called ‘Uniki as an ‘Olapa, which is equivalent to that of Bachelor’s Degree in Hula. During this five year program, I gained mastery in Hawaiian history, traditional hula, hula implements, and ancient chants. Incorporating my culture in the classroom, I also strive to build positive relationships with each child, acknowledging that no significant learning can take place without the foundation of a trusting relationship. Nothing brings greater joy to my heart than a child’s face lighting up as they discover a new concept through play. I am deeply committed to unveiling children’s innate interests, building upon their previous knowledge through observation and documentation. Out of all the memories each child holds, I feel humbly grateful to be one of them. 

Oly

My name is Oly (pronounced Oh-Lee) and I have been a preschool teacher for nearly ten years. Prior to becoming a teacher I worked in the homes of families with young children. In 2010 I received my AA from Santa Rosa Junior College and in 2016 I received my BA in Early Childhood from Sonoma State University. Over the years my love for teaching has only grown  and my passion for learning has only supported it. I am excited to work with the children and families at Mark West Community Preschool and look forward to the years ahead!

Hannha

My name is Hannah and I am so excited to have the opportunity to work with your children at Mark West Community Preschool. I have always loved being around children and having the chance to explore and grow with them. I have been working in a school setting for the past five years. My first three years were spent working at River Montessori Charter School as the aftercare director and an instructional assistant. Most recently, I worked at Union Elementary School as a para-educator. Although most of my experience is with school aged children, my passion and education is based on Early Childhood. I have just received my Early Childhood Education Certificate from Santa Rosa Junior College and am in the process of finishing my general education for my AA in Child Development. I plan on transferring to Sonoma State in the next year to earn my BA in Early Childhood Education. Outside of work, I enjoy being out in nature, hiking, working on my passion of photography, spending time with my family, and taking care of my pet bunny. I am honored to have the chance to learn and create with your children in the beautiful space at Mark West! 

Specialists

Janet Rae

Garden Specialist

Professional Development Coordinator


Janet Rae is thrilled to be merging two of her passions here at Mark West; young children and gardening. Janet Rae received her B.A. in Acting from Ohio University and her M.A. in Early Childhood Education from Mills College. She has worked at various schools in the Bay Area including Pacific Primary and Southern Marin Jewish Community Preschool. For three summers, Janet Rae facilitated, ‘Twigs’, a program for young children operated within the open spaces of Marin County. Her intention is to foster moments for uninterrupted play; especially within natural settings. The garden zone creates opportunities for young children to connect with one another, their food, and the earth. Janet Rae lives in a slice of heaven on Sonoma Mountain with her beloved, Paisha and their rowdy daughter, Arielle Breeze.

Jordan

Studio Teacher


My name is Jordan and I am the studio teacher at Mark West Community Preschool. I am very excited to start my new journey in this program. I’m originally from Sacramento and moved to Sonoma County for school. I graduated from Sonoma State with a Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Studies. I worked at Sonoma State’s Children’s School for four years. I love working with children and being able to see their growth through their development in play. My goal is to become a Pediatric Occupational Therapist. Currently, I am taking prerequisites before applying to the Master’s program. I’m grateful for this opportunity and look forward to meeting all the families.

Heather

Support Teacher


My name is Heather and I am excited to be a part of Mark West Community Preschool. I am a mother with two children in elementary school. I opened a large family daycare in 2008. During that time I enjoyed developing curriculum and working with my assistants and parents to provide the best possible environment for their children. After seven years I decided to continue my journey in a preschool environment outside of the home. I'm currently attending SRJC, working towards a child development certificate and to further my education. I'm an avid participant in the 4c's attending meetings and workshops where I have received numerous competency certificates related to child care and education. I am excited to learn more about the Reggio Emilia approach as I engage with the children and build relationships with all the families.