Staff


Our teachers are committed, hard-working Jacks and Jills of the teaching trade that work together as a professional team. Each classroom at St. James Preschool has at least two teachers, and each teacher knows each and every child at the school. 
Kerry Tronstad, School Director, is a lifelong educator who has worked in early childhood education for more than 20 years. She has her AA in Early Childhood Development from Cerro Coso College.

 

Her emphasis on community and on doing right by our children resonates deeply. Kerry partners closely with teachers to foster play-based, child-led education. She guides meaningful professional development to ensure continuing education for staff. She builds inclusive, welcoming communities. She is also a parent of a blended family of five children and three grandchildren, full of insight and wisdom drawn from that experience.

 

Olivia Tsang, Director of Operations, found her way to St. James Preschool in 1998. Olivia started teaching at SJP, first in the Rabbit Class for 12 years and then in the Turtle Class for 8 years, as well as being the Assistant Director. Olivia has a BS in Early Childhood Education and a BA in Psychology from the University of Cincinnati, and more than 25 years of professional experience in the Early Childhood field. Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Olivia has made San Francisco her home since 1997. She enjoys traveling, puzzling, house projects, and trying new restaurants in the Bay Area.

“What I love about SJP is the way my daughter peeks through the windows in the school in the morning, eager to see her teachers and classmates. She spontaneously hugs the teachers. That tells me there is a loving bond there. What better place to start learning?”
St. James Parent

Nicole Banks, Rabbit Class and Extended Day teacher, is a native San Franciscan who graduated from City College in 1996 with an AA in Child Development. Nicole began her teaching career at a Daly City preschool and worked her way up to Site Supervisor. She missed interacting with children and returned to the classroom at a co-op. In 2003, Nicole’s teaching journey led her to the preK classroom at St. James. Nicole enjoys spending her free time reading, and watching sports.

Satoko Feher, Turtle Class and Extended Day teacher, first joined St. James in 1999. “Toko” graduated from Niigata Women’s College in Japan with a major in Early Childhood and subsequently worked in preschools in Tokyo. After arriving in the US in 1995, Toko continued her studies in Early Childhood at City College and holds a Child Development Administration certificate and a State of California Child Development Site Supervisor Permit. On weekends, Toko enjoys reading, gardening, crafting, knitting, sewing, and spending time with her husband and two children.

 

Lori Keating, Rabbit Class teacher: An East Coast native and recent transplant, Lori received a BA in English Literature from Rosemont College. Shortly after her first child was born, she began teaching Pre-K reading at a neighborhood Montessori school. After five years and another child, Lori moved on to teach kindergarten and second grade at Kent Place School in Summit, NJ. During her fifteen years there, Lori continued her education at Bank Street College of Education, took Writer’s Workshop courses at Teachers College at Columbia University with Lucy Caulkins and studied literacy, specifically Guided Reading, at Lesley University with Gay Sue Pinnell and Irene C Fountas. Outside of the classroom, Lori enjoys spending time with her family, especially reading to her grandson. She is also an enthusiastic runner and cyclist, and when she is not putting in mileage, she can be found either walking her dog, in the kitchen baking or maintaining her garden.

Tessa Marchant, Turtle Class teacher, grew up in Dana Point, California and moved to San Francisco in 2018 to attend SFSU. She graduated May of 2022 from the Department of Child and Adolescent Development where she received her Bachelors degree in Child Development with a concentration in Early Childhood. Tessa has had a passion for working with children for as long as she can remember, starting with teaching ballet, then nannying, and working in after school care during college. In her free time, Tessa enjoys spending time with friends, exploring the city, and trying new restaurants!

Diana Rodriguez, Support and Extended Day teacher, was born in Bogota, Colombia and now lives in Daly City, California. She graduated from Uniminuto University with a bachelor’s degree in English Teaching in 2016 and has been working with children for over 6 years. She came to the states as an au pair, doing a cultural exchange program in Washington DC. Diana loves to share her culture and Spanish language with the little ones through music, games, and stories. Her favorite part about being an educator is being able to connect with all the children and their families. Her goal in being a teacher is to instill confidence in themselves and help them learn different skills to be independent learners.

Paula Tannebring, Wildcat Class and Extended Day teacher, is a Bay Area native who graduated from Lynn University in South Florida with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. Paula has an Early Childhood Permit. She began her career with children as a private nanny in 2015. She started volunteering at a preschool and soon after was hired as an assistant teacher. Paula has taught various age groups, most recently the 3 to 4 year olds at an Episcopal Church preschool on the peninsula. Outside of work she loves spending quality time with family and friends, exploring San Francisco and enjoys the occasional concert.

Bonnie Yee, Wildcat Class and Extended Day teacher, is a native San Franciscan and first started working at St. James Preschool in 1993. She has worked in the early childhood education field for over 25 years and holds an AA in Child Development from City College of San Francisco. She continued her studies in early child development at San Francisco State University. Bonnie is married with one young son. On weekends, Bonnie and her son enjoy riding Muni all over the city, exploring new community parks, and love visits with family and friends.