Tali Risse - Director
Hi, I'm Tali. My family and I opened Fuzzy Caterpillar in 2006, just as I was starting a family of my own, My husband and I have three beautiful children, Teva, Nuri and Ilan. My first experience working with children took place way back in high school, getting my feet wet through an ROP program. Little did I know the impact the class would have. It was then I realized the direction I wanted my future to take. I continued my education in early childhood while working with preschoolers and even spent a few years teaching kindergarten which was an amazing experience. For me though, there was always a strong draw back to preschool. These very early years are so important in shaping who we become and to be a part of this very delicate time is a true honor. The children may not remember digging for worms, making edible bird nests or creating clay masterpieces. And perhaps they will forget the words they sang at their graduation, what doing the tree means and how many mudpies they squashed. It's all okay though because I am confident that all of the experiences they have here, all the lessons and values they learn and the relationships they form will play a much bigger role in shaping the person they become and influencing important parts of their future. For me, there is no question that I am the person I am today, because of my family, my teachers and all of these children. I can only hope to teach them as much as I have learned from them. I can only hope to inspire them as they inspire me. And who knows...maybe they will remember.
Julie Cohen - Director
Three things that make being a teacher at FCP my happiness.
1. The bright, smiling youthful voice of "Good morning Teacher Julie" as I open the front door to so many sweet faces at the fresh start of each day. 2. The warm, strong hugs received at about knee height from an enthused and energetic child that feels safe and happy. 3. From a distance, observing a child's self pride from completing a project that is all their own and knowing the joyful anticipation they feel to share their work with their family. These are just a few moments we teachers are privileged with every day. Some of my previous experience includes working at a private preschool in Rockridge for over four years, being a before and aftercare teacher for K-5 on the Joaquin Miller campus, graduating from a Culinary Arts and Hotel Restaurant Managemant program and furthering my education to become a Director at FCP. My sister in-law and I, along with our family, opened the school in 2006. At that time, my husband and I were just starting our own family and had a four month old baby, Arel. As we all find out, time flies much faster than anticipated and now, my family has grown to include not only Arel, but Ziva, and Zev. Happiness is being with children, reading, playing, teaching and learning new things myself everyday. I feel a content joy being with my fellow teachers, the children and their families.
I was born and raised in Peru. I grew up in a multicultural environment. My mom is Japanese and my dad, Italian. My childhood was an adventure everyday, from learning how to call my grandma in japanese, Oba, to learning how to twist spaghetti with my fork and discovering my love for choclo. I'm so thankful that I had these experiences as a child because it helped me understand the world that we live in. I remember playing in the dirt with no shoes, climbing trees, eating fruit right off the trees, playing with the dogs and making my own toys out of things I would find. I knew someday I would become a teacher. Being a teacher is a dream come true for me. Everyday I promise myself I'll do my best to provide our children with new experiences in which they can use their imagination, to help them explore and discover. I want them to see how wonderful life is and to be happy and enjoy their childhood the same way my parents and teachers did for me when I was little.
I always knew I wanted to be in this field as I come from a long line of teachers within my family. I have been working at Fuzzy Caterpillar since July 2006. I truly love being a part of the children's growth and development. I love to see the joy and wonder on their faces as they begin their journey into a new environment and then over time witnessing how they have grown and blossomed into unique individuals with their own personalities.
I was born and raised in Berkeley. After graduating from High school in 2004, I attended Chabot College where I received my certification as an Associate Teacher. You can often find me with a camera glued to my hand capturing the children's expressions and experiences as I have a true passion for photography. When I'm not taking photos, you can find me reading, enjoying music, art and the outdoors. I'm always following the motto to live, love and laugh.
"A teacher takes a hand, opens a mind, touches a heart, shapes the future" -Author unknown
One of the main reasons I decided to pursue a career in Early Childhood Education was because I was intrigued with the way children learn through play and I love being around children. So, in 2007, I began taking ECE classes and received my Certification of Achievement in 2011. I want to be a teacher who plays with the children, who teaches them to think for themselves, who guides them and allows them to explore using their imagination and wonder. One of my desires as a teacher, is to instill a love of learning in the children as I share my own passion for learning with them. I feel there is a need for compassionate, strong and dedicated individuals who are excited about working with children. It is important for children to have a good foundational learning experience, working with teachers who are sensitive to their individual needs, I feel I am this type of teacher and always strive to be the best educator I can.
Hi y'all, I'm Teacher Dayna. I grew up in Mississippi and moved to the bay area seven years ago. I received my B.A. in Early Childhood Education at CSUEB and I am currently pursuing my M.A. at SFSU in ECE as well. I love working with children and truly feel that I learn something new from them everyday. Teaching is my passion and success to me, is seeing their smiles and excitement when they have a new experience, overcome a challenge or learn something new. I enjoy exercising, dancing and just having fun and often share that energy with the children.
"All of the world is made up of faith and trust and pixie dust." -J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
I love being a teacher. I love nurturing strong relationships and seeing the progress every child makes. I love that I am able to come to work and make somebody's day brighter, somebody's smile wider, and to make the world a more magical place for children. I love the moment when a child's eyes fill with excitement or when you can see how proud they are when they complete a difficult task.
I grew up in Kentucky and moved to the bay area in 2010 after graduating from WKU with a B.S in Elementary Education. Everyday brings new challenges, experiences, insights and joys. I am constantly trying to better myself, because being a teacher is such a privilege.
My name is Pech. I am the oldest of seven children and am fluent in both Cambodian and English. I was born in Prachunburi, Thailand, but my parents are from Takeo, Cambodia. We migrated to the U.S. for a better life and opportunity. We lived in Oklahoma for a few years before relocating to Oakland. I pursued my college education at SFSU and Chabot College obtaining my A.A. in Early Childhood Education. I have been working in this field for over 10 years and am grateful that Fuzzy Caterpillar gave me the opportunity to broaden my knowledge and skills while being part of their great team. In addition to being a teacher, I love reading, photography, spending time with my family and volunteering at my temple. I am also blessed to be a mom of two.
Hi! My name is Evelyn and here is a little bit about myself. I am from a small country in Central America called El Salvador. My family and I moved here when I was eight years old. As a child, I remember being scared to be in a new country and new school. But, I found amazing, patient and caring teachers that helped me feel comfortable and learn a whole new language. From that point on, I realized I wanted to make a difference one day in a child's life. So, I started pursuing my degree in Early Childhood Education. The doors of opportunity began to open and I was able to teach Spanish for a private program in Lafayette. From there I moved to working with infants and preschoolers which I was thrilled about. In 2011, I landed a position here at Fuzzy Caterpillar. The first day I walked in, I fell in love with the school and the children. Here I am, enjoying every day with a smile, a positive attitude and attempting to give the children the adventure of their life during their preschool years. Aside from enjoying my job, I also enjoy cooking and salsa dancing.
Hi, my name is Carrie. I've been a teacher at Fuzzy Caterpillar since 2008, working part time and as a substitute. I have also been a teacher for over ten years working with toddlers in the Alameda Unified Head Start Program, Alameda after school programs and some private preschools in Oakland. I hold a State of California Child Development Site Supervisor Permit and Child Development Certificates. I received my AA degree in Early Childhood Education and Social and Behavioral Sciences and I am currently working on my BA degree. I am a member of "Every Child Counts First Five" and NAEYC. I am also fluent in both Mandarin and Cantonese. I have taught children from infancy through school age. I love working with young children and have two daughters of my own. Working with children is so rewarding. I try to instill in them that they can succeed at anything now, and in their future. I also believe they should always have fun! I am proud to be a part of FCP's big family. It is a pleasure to be a part of this wonderful environment that has great children, families and staff. The children are a real joy and I look forward to getting to know all their families.