Teachers

“Amazing love and dedication from the teachers here,
my son looks forward to school every single day!”

“I love how they let kids be kids and make learning fun.”

“Highlands has the perfect balance of structure / learning
and free time that allows the kids to play, learn, and
practice their social skills.”

“It’s such a fun, warm and nurturing environment.
Deanna, Angela and the rest of the team are all top notch,
and do a terrific job at drawing out the best in each child.

“We love this school! My daughter has really blossomed here, loves all her teachers and we’ve made lots of great friends!”

 
 


Highlands is staffed by a team of talented, loving,
and credentialed teachers who are entirely focused on creating a wonderful experience for Highlands students and families. The Director, Deanna Johnson, has been at Highlands since 1999 and has an extensive background in early childhood education. She is building on a wonderful tradition established by her predecessors and teaches at Highlands every day, alongside another credentialed preschool teacher, Angela Livermore. In addition to the regular teaching staff, enrichment teachers come to the school a few days each month to teach movement and art.

 

What parents and kids say about the program and teachers at Highlands Preschool:

 

“My child LOVES school and her teachers.”

“He loves Highlands and looks forward to going every time. He talks about school A LOT.”

“My daughter loves going to Highlands!”

“Highlands has been the best experience for our family, the teachers are all amazing and truly remarkable. My son is actually sad that he had to move on to kindergarten and now his little brother gets to go to Highlands.”

“Such a wonderful school and Deanna makes it such a warm, fun, and safe place.”

 

 

The Teachers

 

Deanna Johnson – Director

From a very young age, I always knew I wanted to be a teacher. There’s always been something that fascinated me about children. Their honesty. Their innocence. Their pureness and light. I love being able to witness the unbridled joy they exude. It’s magical. Being a teacher has given me the opportunity to help them learn and watch them grow. I feel truly lucky to be able to teach in Piedmont- a place that will always feel like home to me.

 

I was born in Oakland and raised in Piedmont. There I attended Wildwood Elementary, Piedmont Junior High (which then changed to Piedmont Middle School) and Piedmont High School. I have very fond memories of all my years spent there. I have 2 wonderful children; my daughter Bridgette and my son Kyle, both proud alumni of Highlands Preschool, I might add. When the kids were small we moved through the tunnel from Alameda to Pleasant Hill. We currently reside in Martinez. I began at Highlands back in 1999 as a part time substitute/classroom assistant which soon after evolved into the job of science teacher. I then progressed to the MWF teacher, which gradually became head teacher, which ultimately led to the director position. What a remarkable journey it has been! In my life I have been called a babysitter, a camp counselor, a nanny, a reading coach, an au pair, a teacher, and now a preschool director. Looking back, I have ultimately been working with children in some capacity for more than 40 years. I think it’s safe to say I’ve found my niche!

 

Angela Livermore – Head Teacher

I live in Oakland with my husband and two crazy kids (both Highlands Alumni).  I am a Bay Area local, born and raised in San Francisco. I’ve enjoyed being around kids ever since I can remember.  Growing up, I was the oldest cousin in the family, which made me the natural babysitter.
I’m even known to some as a “Baby Whisperer”.

 

After graduating from Lowell High School I moved down to San Diego for college.  When I took “Intro to Child Development” I knew I had found my path! I immediately found a job at a preschool and I also started a program at the local Junior College to become a preschool teacher.  It took a while due to my full time job during the day and taking classes at night, but I earned an Associate’s Degree as well as a Certificate in Child Development from Grossmont College in San Diego.  I worked in San Diego as a preschool teacher for 10 years at Congregation Beth Israel with a very successful babysitting business on the side. During this time I met my future husband, we dated for a couple years, got engaged, and moved back to the Bay Area.  Once back I worked as a Nanny for a couple of years until my first child was born in 2005.

 

When I began to look for a preschool for my son the idea of a Co-Op sounded like a great way for me to get back into the classroom.  I found Highlands and it has been a perfect fit for both of my kids and especially for me! By the time my son was in his second year at Highlands I was offered a part time job, only one day per week.  I’ve been here ever since, working a little more each year until I earned the job of Head Teacher!

 

Jackie Noyes, AKA “Wacky Jackie” –  Art Teacher

Originally from Oxfordshire, England I started my professional career in public relations and marketing. After moving to the Bay Area in 2002 I spent the next few years as a full time mom. I fell in love with Highlands preschool when my son started the Tuesday/Thursday class in 2005.
When he graduated in 2007 I began working as the art teacher.

 

Since I can remember I have loved art, in any form, and after becoming a parent I also realized how much I love teaching children. Luckily for me these two passions are combined in my role at Highlands. We explore colors, shapes and textures. We make gifts for our family and work on both individual and team projects. We have fun and we produce some pretty cool creative projects. My only desire from working with the children is that they feel loved, creative and successful, making sure that when they leave Highlands they are ready and excited for their next adventure.

 

Jennifer Kohler – Assistant Teacher

Hi! I’m Jen Kohler and I am so excited to be joining the Highlands team this year! I am a mom of 5 kids ages 17, 15, 13, 11 and 5, but for a long time now, this preschool has been a big part of my life. In fact, my very first job was working as a teacher’s aide at Highlands! I grew up in Piedmont, K-12. After high school, I attended college in Santa Barbara and took classes at Diablo Valley College for early childhood education and child psychology. I taught preschool for 3 years, and I was a Special Education paraprofessional for 5 years. Raising my kids took me out of the classroom for a while, but I am so excited to now have the opportunity to be a part of this amazing team of teachers that will be caring for and nurturing your children. My youngest graduated from Highlands last year and I am so happy to have the chance to stay on and remain a part of this wonderful community!