BACNS has two classes for our oldest students.
The Anafim (which means branches in Hebrew) class serves a mixed-age group of children ages 3-5, and is taught by Priscilla, Debby, and Ellen.
The Alim (leaves) class serves children ages 4-5, and is taught by Barbara and Ashley.
Teacher Priscilla received her B.A. from San Francisco State University with an emphasis in Child Development and has been an early childhood educator since 2005. She was a lead and co-teacher at Gan Noe Preschool in San Francisco before moving back to Santa Rosa last year hoping to work at BACNS. She is passionate about emergent curriculum and is dedicated to teaching to the individual needs and interests of the child. She focuses on helping guide children through positive conflict resolution and on creating open-ended experiences for them that allow them to explore their world and construct their own learning.
Teacher Debby received her undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley and her Early Childhood Education (ECE) teaching credential and Masters from Sonoma State University. Debby began her ECE career in Cotati and Sonoma Valley, where she created several new schools with great groups of parents. These were creative, grass-roots programs.
Debby started teaching at BACNS in 1985. After 3 years at BACNS, she went to Napa Valley College for 5 years to teach in ECE. However, she missed the direct work with children and returned to BACNS in 1993. For Debby, the best part of working with our children at BACNS is seeing the kids get a hold of an idea and take off on their own ideas and play; and collaborating with co-workers to then support these wonderful ideas the children have developed.
Teacher Ellen received her B.A. in Psychology from Sonoma State University and has completed her child development coursework at Santa Rosa Junior College. Before coming to Beth Ami, she worked as an assistant and then as a lead teacher at Brush Creek Montessori. She has substitute taught at Art in the Garden, a Reggio-inspired school in Petaluma, as well as Spring Hill Montessori.
Teacher Barbara has a B.A. in Early Childhood/Elementary education from Michigan State University, and a Reading Certificate and CLAD certification from Sonoma State University. She has worked for the past 16 years in early childhood, public school, and Jewish education. Barbara has been a part of Beth Ami since 1997 when her daughter was born! Barbara loves coming to work with the children and having the opportunity to work with such a warm, talented, knowledgeable, and amazing staff.
Teacher Ashley began her teaching career with Cal Serves Americorps, working with elementary school children, before returning to SRJC to get her degree in child development. For two years prior to joining the staff of BACNS, Ashley taught at Learning to Learn Preschool in Petaluma. She came to Beth Ami because she believes in open-ended, play- and inquiry-based early childhood education, and in trusting children to follow their instincts and their interests.
Beth Ami Community Nursery School is a program of Congregation Beth Ami, and is supported by the Jewish Community Federation (JCF) of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties, as well as Jewish Learning Works and First Five Sonoma County.