We have a wonderful staff of four teachers and our office administrator.
Martha melgoza, director and preschool teacher
E.D.D. Educational Leadership (expected completion: May 2020)
M.A. Early Childhood Education from San Francisco State University
B.A. Chicano Studies from UC Berkeley
Having been in the field of early childhood education for 30 years has filled my life with joy and a deep respect for young children and their families. I have worked with toddlers and preschoolers for most of my career but I have also been an elementary school teacher, taught early childhood courses at the university level and led parenting classes. The focus of my work comes from teaching a respect for children as they are and not as what we wish them to be one day.
The strength of families is at the core of children’s lives. Supporting parents through the adaptation of themselves in the role of parent is critical. Families are busy and stressed, loving and attentive, and at times seek information and advice to better support their children and grow their parenting skills. The information available for parents in books and on the web can be confusing and frustrating to sift through. My parenting courses offer parents the opportunity to pinpoint what they seek to understand about their parenting and their children. Parenting needs to evolve and grow along with our children in order for our relationships with them to remain authentic, transparent, and intimate. Having a space to talk about parenting concerns and get insight into children’s development can help re-center families back into the strength and passion they have for their children and their family.
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 son, who is currently attending UC Santa Cruz.
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
As a preschool/toddler teacher for 17 years, I believe that children are more able to absorb the material being taught in an environment that is flexible and adjusts to the needs and interests of the children. By incorporating their interests, they feel a sense of ownership to the curriculum and therefore, are more willing to participate in the activities being presented. With many years of experience, I have gained knowledge of the many different temperaments that can be encountered in one classroom and they all must be nurtured and supported in their own unique way. I strive to create a partnership with all my parents to assure that the needs of every child in the program are met. In the end, what I hope the children acquire from their preschool experience are: the ability to resolve conflicts, negotiate with others and all of the basic skills that are necessary to move on and have a great experience in kindergarten.
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.
jenn o'kane, School Administrator
I first joined Skytown as a parent of two preschoolers. I appreciated the school for its ability to create an environment that respects each child for who they are while supporting them emotionally and developmentally. My sons thrived at Skytown and I gained confidence as a parent through the parent education opportunities that are incorporated into the program. I also valued the cooperative model at Skytown, which builds a sense of community for its families that extends past the preschool years.
It was an honor to return to Skytown Preschool as the Administrator in 2017. Prior to my work at Skytown, I was a corporate meetings and events planner for over 10 years. Outside of work, I love to go on adventures with my family, spend time in nature and enjoy good food.