We have a wonderful staff of four teachers and our office administrator.
Martha melgoza, director and preschool teacher
B.A. Chicano Studies from UC Berkeley
M.A. Early Childhood Education from San Francisco State University
I have been in the field of early childhood education for 25 years and it has filled my life with joy and deep respect for young children and their families. I have worked with toddlers and preschoolers for most of my career but have also taught first and fifth grade with assistant teacher positions in kindergarten and second grade. In addition to working with children I also teach adults at SFSU in the Education Department.
Children’s creativity and curiosity makes them wonderful conversationalists and makes working alongside them a privilege. Philosophically, I have taken from many learning theorists and teaching methods, but draw most heavily from Vygotsky, Dewey and Reggio Emilia, which consider children to be capable on various levels and posit that children construct their understanding of the world through interacting and exploring it along with their peers and their community. Children need time and space to discover and develop themselves and the world around them. They incorporate knowledge through hands-on activities, which allow them to make the cognitive connections in ways that memorized learning does not. Critical thinking and trusting their questions and voices allows children to develop a strong sense of self that then places them in the stance of learner throughout their lives. Social interactions and the ability to communicate clearly enables them to be better understood and to form strong relationships.
Other professional interests of mine revolve around action research, the power of language, literacy as a functional aspect of the lives of in young children and not simply a memorized action, conflict resolution and the relationships between teachers and families. More specifically, I am curious about how teachers and parents can collaborate in supporting children’s development and education. At Skytown we are constantly working on improving and understanding this relationship and the power it holds for the children as well as for our own development.
Outside of my educational interests, I enjoy hiking, bicycling, walking on the beach, cooking, gardening, reading (about everything), napping when at all possible, and spending time with my family.
I was born in Los Angeles, California and lived there until I was 18 years old with my parents and three younger brothers. I am a proud Dodger fan and yet fell in love and married a Giants fan. Baseball season is an exciting time at my house. I have a 15 year old son who is currently attending Berkeley High School.
Roland Bergfelt, Preschool Teacher
I became interested in child development when I lived in San Francisco. I attended City College of San Francisco, where I received an AA degree in Early Childhood Education in 2002. At that time, the Child Development Department at CCSF emphasized sensory integration needs in young children. I found this information exciting and I try to incorporate it in my teaching. While in SF I worked for several years at Laurel Hill Nursery School, a parent co-operative. Then my family moved to El Cerrito and I began working at Skytown in 2008. I champion educational programs that dedicate themselves to fostering the self-esteem of children and emphasize play-based curriculum. The parent co-operatives I have worked at have maintained strong family communities. I also feel this ultimately benefits children. Outside of teaching, I enjoy nature activities, bicycling, and film history.
Roland was selected as a "Bay Area Preschool Teacher of the Year" by Habitot Children's Museum in 2017.
nancy Ankrum, Lead Teacher, Toddler Room
sabrina eyal, Assistant Teacher, Toddler Room
Sabrina Eyal has considered Skytown Preschool a second home since she became part of the community as a parent in 2009. Two of her three daughters attended Skytown, and during that time she served as both Board Co-President of Membership and as a parent assistant in the Toddler room. After her youngest daughter graduated in 2014, Sabrina spent some time exploring her options in her former field, speech-language pathology, but ultimately determined that the early childhood classroom is where she belonged. She rejoined Skytown as a substitute teacher in 2016, and is thrilled to be back in the toddler room as assistant teacher. She believes that Skytown nurtures self-knowledge and understanding, both for children and parents, and that the community supports families during what could otherwise be a difficult and isolated time in their lives. She feels honored to be part of this community, helping to support families in her new capacity as a teacher, and helping to grow the community that supported her through her early parenting days.
Sabrina has a special interest in language and literacy, and especially enjoys hearing young children think out loud. In her free time, she enjoys reading, hiking, cooking, spending time in nature, and sharing meals and conversation with family and friends.