Pey Jaw, Director
To believe, to reason, to play; I feel the child should be the center of education. A child’s foundation at a preschool age is highly critical for them to develop their senses to ensure a stable future. An excellent formula such as Montessori is set up for these children, as well up to the educators to keep it alive. This formula shall be unique and maintained at a consistent rate of teaching. Montessori Method requires the instructor to study each child’s characteristics and create tools for them to advance to the next level. The environment around the classroom will be planned with designed curriculum and materials to cover all the knowledge to prepare the child for the future; however, it is up to the teachers to decide the proper timing to introduce the next activity. It is the teacher’s duty to know a child’s status on developing and their needs for success. To embrace Chinese immersion education, the techniques of teaching must be as exciting
Ph.D. Candidate in Education/Teaching, Educational Psychology, Alliant University
MEd in Early Childhood Education-Montessori, NDNU, Belmont
B.A. in Sociology and Social Work, Soochow University, Taipei
Director Permit of Early Childhood Education Certification, CA Educational Department Montessori Teaching Permit Certification, American Montessori Society
Adult/Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED (American Red Cross)
Jenny Hsu, Head Teacher
I was born and raised in Beijing, China. I immigrated to the San Francisco Bay Area 20 years ago. Previously, I had worked at a reputable organization offering a modified Montessori program to young children as a teacher for six years. I had a real interest in human behavior and obtained a B.A. degree in Psychology at San Francisco State University.
I am very grateful for the opportunity to be able to work at St. Mary’s Preschool. I believe in its philosophy and the Montessori teaching method. I strive to create a classroom where children are well cared for and safe. I value each child as individuals, and his or her need for attention is supported. I am very aware of cultural differences in education. Chinese people value education and career, while Americans put more emphasis on good character and faith. When I teach, I ensure that not only the children’s academic needs are met, but also that their favorable behavior is praised and encouraged.
B.A. in Psychology, San Francisco State University.
Charles Thomas Sullivan, Head Teacher
This year marks my 20th year as a pre-k educator. I began college as a graphic design major but found my calling in teaching when I took early childhood education courses. In 1997 I helped develop the pre-k program and was one of the first educators for St. Joseph the Worker School (Archdiocese of Los Angeles). I remained there until 2011 when I got married and relocated to the Bay Area from Los Angeles. From 2011 until June of this year, I taught Montessori based pre-kindergarten at Immaculate Heart of Mary School in Belmont and have also substituted in the pre- k at St. Pius in Redwood City. My past summers have been spent as Head Counselor and Assistant Program Director for youth summer programs in Los Angeles and Alameda, in addition to coaching soccer. Outside of school I enjoy being active and taking advantage of what the bay area has to offer in outdoor recreation and good weather by cycling, running, hiking, mountain biking, playing soccer and basketball, and spending time with my wife and family. Thank you for giving me a warm welcome into your school community and I look forward to getting to know you and your children this coming school year.
Nelli Korzhenkova, Head Teacher
I was born in Russia but grew up in San Francisco. I have worked with young children in some form for more than 10 years. I have been a teacher in a formal classroom for more than 3 years now. Working with young children is something I am extremely passionate about. I furthered my knowledge of working with young children when I attended San Jose State and majored in Early Childhood Development. While in college I learned about the Montessori philosophy of educating children. It really sparked my interest for many reasons. For one, Montessori fosters independence and the child grows and explores at their own speed, free to explore the classroom and the materials. Children at any stage are engaged in the materials provided for them. Materials were created to be self-correcting. Students can identify a mistake in their thinking without having an adult point it out to them. Teachers are there to facilitate learning for the child. This interest leads me to get my American Montessori Society credential, in Early Childhood, shortly after graduating from college.
I am thrilled to get the opportunity to work as a teacher in St. Mary’s Preschool and I am looking forward to getting to know your children and assist in their growth and development.
BA: Early Childhood Development, San Jose State
American Montessori Society credential (Early Childhood Ages 2 ½ -6 years old)
Ashley Guo, Assistant Teacher
I’ve been working in the field of child development for the past 6 years. My first experience working with children was as a preschool English teacher in China after I got my B.A. degree and my certificate in educational psychology. Actually, I had worked at an Immersion subject English after school program. Here is where my love for children was sparked and aware of that how Montessori benefits on children’s brain development and many aspects of skills. After this experience, I decided to come to U.S.A. to learn from a different teaching environment and pursue a career in Early Childhood Education in 2014, which has brought me to St. Mary’s Preschool. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to take part in the life of your children.
B.A. degree in English, Liaoning University, Shenyang China.
National Qualification Certificate of Mandarin
Adult/Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED (American Red Cross)
California Child Care and Preventative Health & Safety (American Red Cross)
Abby Li, Teacher’s Aide
I was born and raised in Guangzhou, China. My educational background is in accounting and finances, but when I came to the United States in 2016, I began working as a language research assistant at the University of Colorado. There, I developed an interest in the bilingual development of young children. Since moving to San Francisco, I have taken several courses in child development and bilingual language learning. Given my interests, I am very happy to be working at St. Mary’s Preschool, and look forward to engaging with the children and further supporting their language development.