Our Staff

Angela Fernandez

Young5 Teacher

Angela Fernandez

Benjamin Wilson

Afternoon Program Teacher

Benjamin WilsonBenjamin 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.

Carrie Maher

Extended Care (EC) Teacher

Carrie MaherCarrie joined the Playmates teaching staff in the summer 2007.  A natural athlete, Carrie brings a lively sense of action to the playground. A Playmates Alumnus herself, Carrie studied child development at City College of San Francisco. Her favorite Playmates event is the annual Pumpkin Patch visit in October.

Kasie Carlisle

Morning Program Teacher

Kasie CarlisleSan 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.

Lucas Sanchez

Support Teacher

Lucas SanchezLucas grew up San Diego. They have also lived in Tucson, Chicago, and London, but have now called San Francisco their home for the past 6 years. They have a BA in Art with an emphasis in Conceptual Information Art from San Francisco State University. They also have a certificate from City College of San Francisco as a Child Development Practitioner and a California Site Supervisor permit. While at CCSF, they interned at Rocky Mountain Cooperative Nursery School. It was at Rocky Mountain that they fell in love with the community of parent participation schools.

Through the years Lucas has also had many jobs in the food and hair salon industry but feels now they have found their true career in early childhood education (ECE). They served in Americorps doing arts education while in Chicago, working with children from preschool through 12th grade. Being there planted the seed, working mainly with the Head Start children, which led Lucas to pursue a career years later in ECE. They feel privileged to be supporting and nurturing children in these crucial, formative years and understand the importance of the involvement of parents and caretakers in a child’s early formal education, as they are the first and most important teachers in their child’s life. Lucas believes that emotional intelligence (EQ) is just as important if not more important than IQ, and it is in these years that we have an opportunity to lay the foundation for the social and emotional skills that can foster a more successful and grounded individual in an unforeseeable future.
Outside of school Lucas loves to bike, is an ordained minister, and engages in conversation about gender diversity/equality and the role of technology in the evolution of humankind.

Maria Medeiros

Extended Care Teacher

Maria Medeiros

Michelle San Roman

Extended Care (EC) Teacher

Michelle San RamonMichelle 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.

Jarrod Rondeau

Executive Director

Jarrod RondeauJarrod has joined Playmates for his first year as our Executive Director, although this is his twelfth year working in early childhood education! He has held numerous positions in early childhood education, beginning as a Substitute Teacher for a preschool and toddler program. What was meant to be a one-month stint, turned into five plus years at his first school in Boston.

After taking a year off from the field to explore other options, he quickly returned to early childhood education when arriving in San Francisco in 2010. For three years, Jarrod spent his time at two of San Francisco’s Jewish-based preschools and has also contracted as a Literacy Specialist at a school for children with behavioral challenges and special needs. He has also worked at a Spanish-immersion preschool and a community-based drop-in center in the Excelsior District. After taking two years off two work in the world of HIV/AIDS fundraising, Jarrod returned by joining the well-known non-profit, Glide, supervising their childcare and after school programs. He holds a BA in Global Studies and International Affairs from Emmanuel College in Boston and an MA in Applied Sociology from the University of Massachusetts Boston. He has also completed extensive coursework in child development and holds a state-issued Program Director permit. His favorite professional accomplishment? In 2013 Jarrod taught a workshop titled, “From Daddy’s Roommate to A Different Dragon: A Conversation About the Evolution of LGBT Literature for Children” at the annual NAEYC Conference in Atlanta, GA. This annual event is the largest gathering of early childhood professionals in the world.

Outside of early childhood education, Jarrod also sits on the Board of Directors for an organization known as Chooda, specifically working to support their flagship event, Bike Zambia. This seven-day bike ride from Lusaka to Livingstone, Zambia raises funds for HIV/AIDS and promotes social awareness of the rights of women and young girls. He participated in this event in 2016 and dreams of returning. Previously, Jarrod had completed 3 AIDS/LifeCycle events, another seven-day bike ride, this one from San Francisco to Los Angeles in 2012, 2013 and 2014. In his spare time, he’s busy exploring San Francisco’s discovered and undiscovered neighborhoods and loves trying new food. Traveling and tattoos are important side hobbies as well, and his family (both blood family in Boston and chosen family here) are extremely important to his every day functioning. One random note about Jarrod: he’s a super geography buff and knows more countries and capitals than the nerdiest of nerds. And a not so random fact: social justice is typically at his forefront.

Katherine Gillespie

Administrative Director

Kath GillespieKatherine became a part of the Playmates community as a Teaching Parent in Fall 2015, and a member of the Board in Spring 2016.  She officially joined the Playmates staff as Administrative Director in August 2017.  Kath brings over 15 years experience in administration to the school office, along with an affinity for technology and penchant for event planning.

A resident of the Outer Sunset neighborhood in which the school resides, Kath and her family first discovered Playmates on a Sunday morning bike ride and instantly fell for the school grounds that could spied from the 42nd Avenue entrance.  One of her favorite Playmates community events is the Harvest Festival, where she loves to share her signature West Coast BBQ with the community.

Playmates has become an integral part of Kath’s Outer Sunset extended family.  As a third-year parent of a current Young5 student, Kath can attest to the positive impact the school and its philosophy has had on the growth of her son, Liam, as well as herself as a parent.