Annette has spent her career as a passionate advocate for children, families, and early childhood education. She learned about Playmates many years ago when her sister was the AM Program Director and is thrilled to have the opportunity to join the Playmates cooperative community and work side-by-side with our wonderful teachers, great parents and beautiful children.
She joined the Playmates staff in 2011 after spending nine years as the Site Director for the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco, Helen Diller Family Preschool. Prior to that, she spent another nine years at the Helen Diller Family Preschool in a variety of administrative and teaching roles including Lead Teacher, Summer Program Director and Assistant Director. Her interests include fostering connections between children and the natural environment, supporting children with special needs and working to support the development of children as individuals in a play based, creative environment. In addition to her Director’s Permit, she holds a B.A. in social work with an emphasis on child welfare and family counseling and early childhood and family dynamics.
Michelle San Roman
Extended Care (EC) Teacher
Michelle is one of our Extended Care teachers and she joined the Playmates staff during the Summer of 2013. Michelle previously worked with children in a social services environment with at risk teenage boys in foster care. Most recently she’s been working independently providing childcare, pet sitting services, and personal assistant duties to clients throughout the Bay Area. She loves being part of every child’s journey at Playmates and craves the infectious laughter, the boundless energy and the wonderful “out of the mouths of babes” quotes.
Morning Program Teacher
Tomoko has become a staple at Playmates’ morning program after joining the Playmates staff in the fall of 2009. Tomoko studied early childhood development at City College of San Francisco and brings over 10 years experience as a preschool teacher into her daily interactions with her students. Her organized, caring and attentive manner leads the way in her teaching style.
Tomoko loves the environment that Playmates creates for the children and their families. By being able to interact with parents at the co-op, it helps her to gain a deeper understanding of each child and therefore, allowing her to connect better with the children at their current social and developmental level. Outside of school, Tomoko enjoys arts and crafts, making soap, photography, watching movies and collecting beautifully illustrated and rare children’s books. She originally hails from Kiryu, Japan.
Morning Program Teacher
San Franciscan native Kasie Carlisle is a returning teacher to Playmates’ AM program. With over 13 years experience of working with children and in child development, she has a passion for introducing children to different experiences and tools that will prepare them for the next stages in their lives. Kasie has a background and training in Child Development, Montessori philosophy and teaching methods, Play based philosophy and teaching methods, Reggio Emilia philosophy and teaching methods and is currently working towards a degree in Art Education.
As an avid surfer, Kasie brings her love for the ocean and outdoors into her classroom. She regularly set ups messy and fun art projects for her students which offer them both an educational and sensory experience. In her free time, she can be found creating and working on her art, surfing and swimming, reading, or spending time with her loved ones. A fun fact about Kasie is that her hair color changes regularly (one day it will be red, then purple the next) and she has lots of tattoos which are mostly inspired by children stories.
Gina began her career in early childhood during her college years, when she took a job as a teaching assistant. After college, she worked in a corporate setting in an administrative role, but missed the preschool environment, so she went back to school to study child development so that she could teach. After teaching for a number of years, she had the opportunity to help in the office, and found it enjoyable to tackle the administrative tasks within a school. After having two children of her own, Gina was offered the opportunity to work at Playmates doing the work that she enjoys in a place that she loves.
When not tending the chickens at school or chasing her own two kids around, Gina loves the arts; painting, ceramics, drawing, music, both in practice and experiencing it around her.
Young 5 Transitional Kindergarten Teacher
Maasa joined Playmates in 2008 and brings with her a strong project-based approach to teaching. She is also influenced by the Reggio Emilia approach as she believes it’s important for children to have real, hands-on experiences. As a teacher, she strives to provide children opportunities to think deeply and seek their own answers. Maasa grew up in Kumamoto city and arrived in San Francisco at the age of 19. She currently lives in Marin where she can be found taking in nature.
Some fun facts about Maasa is that she can do splits. She is also talented musically and can play the piano, recorder, and a little bit of ukulele and accordion. While growing up, she was a ballet dancer and regularly incorporates her love for music in the classroom. One of her favorite things about Playmates is the family involvement she witnesses only a daily basis. “It really takes a village to raise a child and we are doing it right here!” Maasa holds a B.A. in Child Adolescent Development from San Francisco State University.
Extended Care (EC) Teacher
“I just love the family atmosphere.” A new addition to Playmates as of summer 2007, Carrie is a natural athlete. And she brings a lively sense of action to the playground. Currently a college student at City College of San Francisco studying child development, Carrie’s long-term career goal is in the nursing field. Ask any Playmate child or grownup, and they’ll say they hope Carrie changes her mind and stays right here. “It’s such a caring and nurturing place for children,” says the alumnus. If you’re looking for Carrie, you won’t have to look far. Her favorite Playmates event is the annual Pumpkin Patch visit in October.
Afternoon Program Teacher
Benjamin joined Playmates in Fall 2013 as one of the PM teachers. A native Californian, Benjamin grew up in balmy San Diego before moving up to San Francisco. He began working with kids at a young age, babysitting his younger brothers and the others children in the neighborhood. In college, Benjamin started a summer job as preschool assistant/after school teacher, a job that shaped his resolve to go into the field of Early Childhood Education. After receiving his degree in Child Development, he worked for the Waldorf School of San Diego while attending classes at the Waldorf teacher training program. With ten years of experience in play-based and Waldorf curriculum, Benjamin is very excited to be a part of a wonderful community and school.
When not working, Benjamin enjoys finding time to play his tuba or having friends over to play board games.
Afternoon Program Teacher
One of the PM teachers, David joined Playmates in the Fall of 2013. David graduated with honors and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Manhattanville College, including a semester abroad in Firenze, Italy. His second major was in philosophy, with extended investigations into psychology, religion, anthropology, and mythology. David has lived in New England, California, Vermont, and Manhattan and is an accomplished woodworker, designer, and builder. After becoming a full time father of two children in 2002, David became active in a neighborhood, parent-led group called “Preschool on the Planet,” which still exists today in Inwood, NY.
David returned to San Francisco in 2006 and enrolled in Rocky Mountain Participation Nursery School. There, his understanding and investigations of children and child development matured. Serving on the Board as the Parent Ed chair in 2009 led him to return to City College of San Francisco to formally study Early Childhood Education and Child Development, with an emphasis on play-based learning and brain development. He is currently enrolled in The Master’s Program for Early Childhood Education at San Francisco State University. David’s intention is to work with parents and children, to discover how to incorporate, what is truly important to them, with their children’s true nature, and how to advocate for their children throughout life. He asks that we remember, “We are not just raising children, we are raising future adults.” What world will they inherit? How can we prepare them for this? David’s answer is, “we can’t, but we can discover who each child is, what each child’s gifts are, what kind of learners they are, and let them know that whatever the future holds, they can plug those qualities into it.” David firmly believes that society starts in preschool. That the work we do here lasts a lifetime, and he is honored to be a part of that important and precious process.