The Laura Vicuña Pre-Kindergarten was established in 1987 to inspire an early love of learning and to prepare students for their further education at Saints Peter and Paul School (SSPP). We are a state-licensed, Catholic, nonprofit program and we hold two classes:
The Pre-K 4’s class for those who are 4 by September 1.
The new Pre-K 3’s class for those who are 3 by September 1 and fully toilet trained.
Our teaching team is made up of dedicated, caring and experienced education professionals. We are located on Washington Square in San Francisco’s historic North Beach, just minutes from both bridges and in walking distance to the Financial District. Please read more on our site about the Pre-K’s wonderful curriculum, including time devoted to Italian, yoga, gardening, art, P.E. and more.
SSPP SCHOOL PARTNERSHIP
Our Pre-K is a feeder program for Saints Peter and Paul School, so admission priority is given to those with siblings enrolled there and to those intending to continue their education at the school. Our affiliation with SSPP School includes parent participation in our bi-annual fundraisers, as well as student involvement in school wide events such as the Christmas show, our sports field day, Grandparents’ Day, the Halloween parade and more. Our Pre-K students are paired with SSPP School 8th graders for fun activities all year long. And, Pre-K 4’s can join SSPP’s after-school dance program.
Barbara Simons, director and co-founder of the Laura Vicuña Pre-Kindergarten, holds a master’s degree in elementary education and environmental education from Southern Connecticut University. Prior to co-founding the pre-kindergarten, she taught elementary school for ten years including two years as a reading resource teacher. She has been part of Saints Peter and Paul School and Church family since 1984 and is a SSPP alumni parent. To hear Barbara speak about The Pre-K program, click here.
Diana Phung, our Pre-K 4’s teacher since 2006, came to us with previous experience at The Hamlin School. Ms. Phung is a graduate of The University of California at Santa Cruz and has her early childhood education certification from Vanguard University. Ms. Phung is a kind and patient teacher, loved and respected by both students and their parents.
Frances Emmons, a full time member of our staff and an alumna of SSPP School, was our after school care director for several years. In 2010, she returned to work in the classroom full time. Ms. Frances is encouraging with the children and does an excellent job leading small group projects. She is also a SSPP parent.
Cindy Choi, a student in Barbara Simons’ first Pre-K class in 1987, has been a part-time teaching assistant since 2003. Cindy was a part of Galileo High School’s Community Access Transition Program and is continuing her studies at City College in San Francisco. She provides important support for our teaching staff and our students.
Jessyca Ng, an alumna of both the Pre-K and SSPP School, is currently completing her early childhood education degree at San Francisco State University. Jessyca is our dedicated lead teacher for the Pre-K 3’s class and is a part time after school care instructor as well. We are grateful for her dedicated care for our students.
Shirleen Balistreri returns to the SSPP community as a member of the Pre-K staff. A former teaching assistant for six years at SSPP School in the lower grades, we are glad to have her caring and calm demeanor around our Pre-K students. She is also a SSPP alumni parent.
Lucia Rojas is a longtime North Beach childcare provider, currently continuing her studies in Early Childhood Education at City College of San Francisco. Lucia brings great experience, energy and enthusiasm to the Pre-K classrooms. She is also a SSPP School alumni parent.
Abby Herget, part time Pre-K 4’s art teacher and SSPP alumni parent, has been creating with the Pre-K since 2001. An art director and marketing consultant, she visits often to design and lead inspiring projects. Abby has an uncanny ability to create projects that are both educational and fun for the children.