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Our Educators

Our teachers work in grade-level teams to ensure that every class is successful.  See what they’re doing to support and enrich the curriculum in every grade:


1st Grade

2nd Grade

3rd Grade

4th Grade

5th Grade

Special Education

Support Staff


Kindergarten at Jefferson

Our Jefferson teachers make kindergarten a very special year of exploration for the kids – in and out of the classroom, academically as well as socially. They supplement the standard curriculum with

• The school garden, an important extension of kids’ play and of the grade’s science curriculum, “Exploring the Environment through the Senses.”

• Collaboration with the Children’s Garden in Strybing Arboretum, which includes visits from garden instructors and field trips to the Children’s Garden.

• Science-based field trips that extend classroom curriculum – visits to the Discovery Museum, the Academy of Sciences, Crissy Field, the San Francisco Zoo, Windrush Farm, and Stow Lake.

• Participation in the San Francisco Opera Aria program, in which K students create and perform their own opera.

• Instruction in music and dance, plus a trip to see a live performance by Children's Theatre Association at the Palace of Fine Arts Theater.

Kindergarten Teachers
Our Kindergarten teachers are (L-R) Mary Baird, Pamela Kahn, Gail Kabat, and Mary Gow.  And Emily Ellingson (below).

Emily Ellingson

1st Grade at Jefferson

How do our teachers make 1st grade special at Jefferson? With projects and activities that supplement the standard curriculum:

  • Motor perception once a week.
  • Meeting with 4th/5th grade reading buddies.
  • Science exploration involving air and weather, liquids and solids, and plants and animals.
  • Incorporating study in dance, ceramics, and vocal music.
  • Field trips to the San Francisco Zoo, Cal. Academy of Sciences, San Francisco Symphony, the Palace of Fine Arts Theater for a live performance by Children's Theatre Association, plus monthly visits to Mother’s Meadow.

1st Grade Teachers 1st Grade Teachers 1st Grade Teachers 1st Grade Teachers

Our first grade teachers are (L-R) Pat Din, Annie Lum, Connie Ma, and Jennifer Tom.

2nd Grade at Jefferson

Our 2nd grade teachers look out for every child, and design programs and projects to meet individual needs. The year at Jefferson includes:

  • Learning about plant and animal life cycles.
  • Studying and writing poetry.
  • Special Science and Math nights, which alternate by year.
  • Junior Olympics participation and competition.
  • Music and movement.
  • Field trips to the Children’s Garden, Academy of Sciences, Children’s Theater at the Legion of Honor, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco Symphony, de Young Museum, 826 Valencia, and more.

Second Grade Teachers
Our second grade teachers are (L-R) Laura Alonso, Kim Probst, Cathy Giovannelli, and Sequoia Baioni.

3rd Grade at Jefferson

The program for our 3rd graders includes

  • Learning math through games that involve problem solving, manipulatives, and logic.
  • Studying the Ohlone tribe and creating a mural about aspects of their life.
  • Participating in motor perception once a week.
  • Meeting weekly with their kindergarten Reading Buddies.
  • Learning to play the recorder and giving a performance for students and parents.
  • Going on field trips to destinations like the Academy of Sciences, Conservatory of Flowers, SFMOMA, the Exploratorium, the Haas-Lilienthal House, bowling, and museums.

Third Grade Teachers
Our third grade teachers are (L-R): Allison Lee, Helen Kanbara, Morgan Proctor, and Amy Lee.

4th Grade at Jefferson

Every year, Jefferson 4th grade classes –

  • Work on projects about the California missions.
  • Write biography reports.
  • Work on projects about immigration.
  • Participate in motor perception.
  • Go on field trips – to Mission Dolores, Angel Island, the Academy of Sciences – and to hear the San Francisco Symphony.
  • Are offered new responsibilities and opportunities: instrument lessons, monitor jobs that support the school, and the vice president and treasurer positions on the Jefferson student council.

Fourth Grade Teachers
Our fourth grade teachers are (L-R) Jill Radwanski, Tony Acquarelli, and Loret Peterson.

5th Grade at Jefferson

Jefferson 5th graders learn through projects integrated with field trips that include – 

  • Reports on the 50 states.
  • Brochures about colonial America.
  • Reports on famous women.
  • Game boards about explorers.
  • Learning about the solar system.
  • Field trips, such as an overnight to the Marin Headlands, sailing on the Alma, and traveling to Angel Island.

Fifth Grade Teachers
Our fifth grade teachers are (L-R) Marcy Johnson, Steve Stanul, and Loret Peterson.

Special Education at Jefferson

Our students with special needs are supported by the Special Day Class teachers and the Resource Specialists (RSPs).

Special Ed Teachers Special Ed Teachers Special Ed Teachers Special Ed Teachers

Special Education (L-R):  Victoria Bautista (3rd-5th Grade Special Day Class teacher), Joseph Phillips (K-3rd Grade Special Day Class teacher), Steve O'Reilly (RSP), and Leigh Miles (RSP).

Jefferson Support Staff

Support Staff
         Sarah Cahuas (Librarian)                                  Kelly Carter (Literacy Coach)

Support Staff

 Mike Flynn                                                             A.J. Cucalon
 (Physical Education Instructor)                                (Education Outside Instructor)

Support Staff

Christina Devling                                                 Heather Golden
   (Psychologist)                                                    (Social Worker)

Support Staff
Livia Petronio                                                  Nikol Juarez
              (Occupational Therapist)                        (Speech and Language Pathologist)

Support Staff

Leslie Quan
(Science Coordinator)

Principal Kim Adams
Principal Kim Gilmore

Our Teachers in the News

Their awards and accomplishments prove what we already knew – Jefferson teachers are the best. Here’s some news about just a few of our stellar staff.


Tony Acquarelli

Patient, playful, and super-cool – and that’s just what the parents say. Read more about Tony Acquarelli, 826 Valencia Teacher of the Month.


Gail Kabat

One of our kindergarten teachers, Gail Kabat received the first-ever Youth Education Garden Champion Award from the San Francisco Botanical Garden.  Find out why.


Loret Peterson

She’s praised for the ways she gets her classes ready for middle school. Find out about Loret Peterson, 826 Valencia Teacher of the Month. 


Read about all of them.