StarSeeds was founded in 2009 by a team of educators to provide a creative, fun, and enriching space for preschoolers to learn and grow.
All StarSeeds teachers are certified in child/infant CPR, First Aid and Health and Safety.
Kendra Pinkerton is the co-founder of StarSeeds. She is a dedicated educator with a passion for art, yoga, and global education. She believes that children thrive in an environment that encourages creative expression. Kendra values the need for children to explore and create, to build self confidence and social skills, and most importantly, to learn through play. Kendra is a fourth-generation San Franciscan with over 20 years of childcare experience. She graduated from St. Ignatius College Preparatory and earned a B.A. in Sports Medicine from the University of San Francisco. Kendra has had the pleasure of working as a nanny for a multitude of very special San Francisco families. Over the years she found herself returning to her work with children time and time again, and with the support of the families she has worked for and her passion for children, Kendra was inspired to create StarSeeds. Kendra has additional coursework in early childhood education from both USF and City College of San Francisco. This past spring she volunteered for two months at an orphanage in India. This experience deepened Kendra’s beliefs in the importance of cultural education. StarSeeds will explore other cultures through music, food, and dance. Kendra is also a certified children’s yoga instructor.
Trisha Cassidy is a co-founder of StarSeeds. She has extensive experience working with children and parents in various capacities. She received her Bachelors degree in 2004 in Social Work with a minor in Elementary Education and received her Masters degree in Social Work in 2006, specializing in Women’s and Children’s Health. Trisha received her LCSW in the state of CA in July/2015 and works part time as a Medical Social Worker. During her schooling years, Trisha worked as a part time nanny and also gained experience working in inner city elementary schools. She also worked in a daycare with children aged 2-3. After graduation, Trisha went to work for a non-profit agency working with foster children of all ages and their families. Trisha was a TBS clinician (therapeutic behavioral services) and also worked as a Case Manager, working with children, their families and support systems. This position gave Trisha the opportunity to learn a variety of behavior modification techniques and superb communication skills with children and their families. Trisha is a mother to her 4 year old daughter and two stepsons (ages 13 and 10 years old).
Krystyn Cassidy earned a bachelor of science in psychology, studying, among other things, child development from a cognitive and behavioral perspective. While earning her degree she worked as a nanny, primarily with infants and toddlers. Upon graduation she worked at the Medical University of South Carolina as an activity therapist and therapists assistant with adolescents and children from infancy to eleven years old. She then relocated to Baltimore where she continued working as an activity therapist, providing education to young mothers on infant care for an inner-city nonprofit. In 2003 Krystyn became a nationally certified massage therapist. Since then, she has created a private practice with a focus on aromatherapy and therapeutic massage. Recently, Krystyn volunteered at a childcare center in South Africa, running their daycare/preschool during the day and teaching wellness/yoga and meditation to the women in the evenings. She relocated to San Francisco in 2009 and has continued to develop her massage therapy business as well as work as a StarSeeds substitute teacher.
Judith Kerr earned her B.A. and early childhood education teaching credential at UC Berkeley. She then went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Special Education at San Francisco State University. Her extensive thirty-four year career as a teacher with the San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) ranged from teaching classes to English language learners as well as learning-disabled students to her main discipline of teaching Early Childhood Education to preschool through third grade students. Ms. Kerr’s accomplishments in her educational career are multifaceted. She created and implemented Developmentally Appropriate Practices (DAP) at SFUSD schools, which are practices based on Piagetian Theory, sensory-motor programs, primary level science and math curriculum. In addition to being a classroom teacher, she has also served as an early childhood education “Mentor Teacher” to new classroom teachers as well as a master tear for teachers new to SFUSD. Finally, Judith Kerr is a loving and supportive mother to two children, Gabriel and Kendra Pinkerton.
Erin Mendelson has been working with children since 2005. Born and raised in NY, Erin was classically trained in a variety of dance modalities. She specialized in ballet, jazz and modern dance. Erin comes from a long line of esteemed musicians which inspires her to share her passion for movement and music with children.
GraceAnn Cadiz earned her Bachelor of Science in Child and Adolescent Studies and Psychology at California State University, Fullerton. She received her Teaching English as a Second Language Certificate (TESOL) for both children and adults from the University of California, Irvine. She has spent her undergraduate career dedicated to working with children internationally and at home in school and community based settings. Most of her work has been working with non-profit organizations to create makeshift schools for village children to learn and play. She has worked with children and communities from China, Thailand, Burma, Israel, Jordan, Egypt, and New Zealand. At home, Grace volunteers with Fristers, an organization that provides help and resources for teen mothers and their children. She managed the child care center and helped develop and guide children aged 3-7 through weekly lesson plans. In 2010, Grace received her Registered Yoga Teacher Certification and began to teach yoga. With a passion for children, GraceAnn received her Children’s Yoga Registered Teacher certification. Grace began to work with local organizations to promote children’s yoga in school and home settings. She created weekly and monthly children’s yoga summer program implementing yoga poses, meditation, and building mindfulness. GraceAnn relocated to San Francisco and is working towards her Doctorate in International and Multicultural Education at the University of San Francisco. She hopes to implement her various skills, knowledge, and passion for children to the Bay Area communities as well as work with StarSeeds community.
Deborah Howard-Page graduated from high school at a Waldorf school in Los Angeles. As a teenager, she started training in classical ballet with her mother, Eva Ralf, a former soloist with the Berlin State Opera Ballet. Having assisted the kindergarten teachers at the Waldorf school from which she graduated twelfth grade (and where she learned to tell fairy tales from memory), Deborah went on to earn enough credits in Early Childhood Education to become a preschool teacher, while also teaching beginning through intermediate ballet to adults and children. In 1991, Deborah and her husband moved to San Francisco, so that she could complete her B.F.A. in painting at the San Francisco Art Institute. Most recently, she worked as the art specialty teacher at Congregation Beth Sholom, in their pre-K and preschool programs. Deborah is thrilled to return to working with preschoolers; she especially enjoys engaging them in art projects, music and singing, creative movement, cooking projects, and story time.
Saba Sadeghi earned a B.S. in Environmental Science and Policy from Chapman University. When she graduated from college, she pursued a career in the environmental field, gaining experience working for environmental and human rights non-profit organizations. She has ample experience working with children, as she was a baby-sitter throughout her adolescence and young adulthood, as well as a camp counselor over the summer months whilst in high school. She currently volunteers at a developmental after-school program for elementary school children in the Mission District here in San Francisco. She plans to pursue a masters program in education, with a focus on urban education and social justice.
Olivia Twidwell has been working with children for four years in multiple classrooms, studying different methods of teaching and learning in each. Olivia began attending her local community college in her small hometown while she interned at a local Montessori. Olivia moved to San Francisco in July 2016 and is attending City College of San Francisco working towards a degree in Early Childhood Education. Her ultimate goal is to be an advocate for parents and children alike and hopes to provide enrichment and stability in the lives of young children.
Erika Polanco recently moved to San Francisco from San Diego. Erika is originally from Los Angeles. She is currently a student at San Francisco State University and is studying Communication Disorders for children. Once she graduates, she will continue to study and receive her Masters Degree in Speech Pathology for Children. Erika has worked with children for seven years now. She has worked as a nanny and currently still does, Erika also does volunteer work with animals, enjoys crafts, yoga, nature walks, reading and music. Working with children truly brings her happiness and she feels blessed to work at Starseeds.