Leadership and Staff

claireClaire Bainer

Co-Director

Claire holds an M.A. in Early Childhood Education (ECE) and has taught in pre-school classrooms and at the college level for 40 years. She has been the Co-Director since 1995 with primary responsibility for programs. Claire has a special interest in translating mental health practice into childcare settings and providing parents and teachers with the insights they need to offer each child exactly what he needs to become his or her best self. Claire’s years in preschool classrooms strongly influence her adult teaching, as she has a clear understanding of classroom and family dynamics as well as academic theories that pertain to work with young children. She has taught as an adjunct professor at Mills College and Chabot College. Claire has also co-authored and created several books and teacher training videos and is involved in advocacy for the field of Early Childhood.

liisaLiisa Hale

Co-Director
Liisa holds a B.A. in Early Childhood Education and has taught in and managed Infant Toddler programs for over 25 years. She has been the Co-Director since 1995 with primary responsibility for management, and a specialty in development of  two-year-olds. She also served as a California State Director Mentor for 12 years, coaching directors in other preschool settings. Prior to her career in ECE, Liisa administered a college financial aid program, which makes her one of the few people with strong administrative experience providing leadership to an early childhood program. Liisa has also co-authored and created several books and teacher training videos and is involved in advocacy for the field of Early Childhood.

Spencer Perry

Operations Director
Spencer is an operations professional with over 15 years experience managing systems, technology, programs and effective teams in a variety of for profit and nonprofit environments.

Ameena Muhammed

BlueSkies Program Director
Ameena holds an M.A. in Educational Administration from the University of Jos in Nigeria and has been at BlueSkies since 1989. She is the go-to expert for infants and one-year-olds as well as inclusion for children with special needs, was the Infant Toddler Program Director for more than 20 years, and has been the overall Program Director at BlueSkies since 2016, ensuring high standards of program quality through teacher coaching and support. Ameena has completed 4 years of training at Children’s Hospital Oakland in Early Childhood Mental Health and Reflective Supervision .

Christa Edwards

Assistant Program Director, Head Teacher Baby House
Christa began a second career at BlueSkies in 2010, following five years in the publishing world. She has been a Teacher and Head Teacher in the Infant Toddler program, and has been the Assistant Program Director since 2016. Christa holds a BA from Scripps College and is enrolled in a distance-learning MA program in Early Childhood at the Erikson Institute. She is fascinated by the study of how children learn and scaffold learning through play, how children develop a concept of self and, on the adult side, in building teaching teams and teachers.

LaTasha Robinson

Food Service Manager

LaTasha has been at BlueSkies since 2016, managing all aspects of the wholesome, healthy meals that are part of the children’s day at BlueSkies. She shops, cooks, manages staff and menus so that each age group is receiving exactly the right food at the right time every day. Prior to coming to BlueSkies, LaTasha was a cook in multiple group care settings.

Janice Haywood

Head Teacher, Playroom

Janice Haywood is the Playroom Head Teacher. Janice has a B.A. in Child Development from Iowa State University and 40 years of experience working with young children. Janice has been at BlueSkies as a Head Teacher and Program Director for more than 20 years.

Phyllis Montgomery

Bookkeeper
Phyllis joined BlueSkies in 2010 after decades of varied administrative work in both businesses and nonprofit educational institutions. She holds an M.A. from The University of Humanistic Studies.

Kenesha “Kiki” Parnell

Head Teacher, Homeroom

Kiki came to BlueSkies in 2006 after completing her A.A. at San Francisco City College. She has taught in every classroom at BlueSkies over the years, and has been the Head Teacher in the Homeroom since 2016.

Alice Hallaman

Head Teacher, Schoolroom

Alice holds a BA from Mills College and worked off and on at BlueSkies throughout her years as a student. She became a full-time teacher with the babies in 2015 and has been the Head Teacher in the Schoolroom since 2016. She has a special love for the babies but has discovered the magic of the fours and fives as well.

Sandy Quach

Head Teacher, Toddlers

Sandy joined BlueSkies in 2012 after earning her B.A. at UC Davis. She taught briefly in the Infant room but soon found her calling as the Head Teacher in the Todds.

Rosalia Arteaga-Romo

Head Teacher, Wobbly Walkers

Rosalia holds a B.A. from San Francisco State University, became a teacher in the Wobbly Walkers in 2012, and the Head Teacher in 2014.