Our Staff

Our diverse staff come from a variety of different backgrounds, but all share their love of children.

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Faith Nomura -Founder

Born in Fukui, Japan, Mrs. Faith Nomura came from a family of educators. In 1964, she founded the Nomura Preschool as a small music preschool with the dream of developing the full academic potential and creativity of Bay Area children. From this initial vision, Nomura Preschool now serves over 120 students from Albany, El Cerrito, El Sobrante, Emeryville, Pinole, Oakland and surrounding communities.

Matthew Clark – Administrator

Matthew Clark combines his expertise in business and his experience as a classroom teacher and coach in his work at Nomura Preschool. Mr. Clark has an M.B.A. from the University of South Carolina as well as a California State Teaching Credential in Mathematics. With the Nomura School since 2001 as a math teacher, PE teacher, business manager, and now school administrator, Mr. Clark oversees the daily operations of the preschool. He brings his passion for education, his ability to accomplish many things at once, and his enthusiasm for teamwork to our students and teaching staff.

Lucy Karanja – Director

The school director, as well as teacher in the Chicky class, Lucy Karanja has been educating preschoolers since 2003. Miss Lucy came to education from the travel industry, and is trained in the Montessori method. She works to ensure that children feel secure and happy and she cultivates the natural curiosity of her toddler charges. A native speaker of Swahili, Miss Lucy values the diversity of her students at Nomura Preschool.

Angelica Alemán

Angelica has been with Nomura Preschool since 2016. Before joining our school, she worked as a camp counselor and volunteered for the Richmond art center. She enjoys working with children of all ages and currently works in the Chicky Class. Angelica likes to incorporate art and photography in her lessons. She is passionate about early childhood development and loves to encourage others to express themselves through art .

Aiko Dahan – Puffin Teacher

Mrs. Aiko was born and raised in Japan, and studied Anthropology and Early Childhood Education in America. She believes it is important to give children a positive school experience so they feel confident in themselves and their ability to learn throughout the coming years. She cherishes the whole child and strives to nurture his/her social, emotional, and academic needs in a safe environment.

Dawn Douangsawag – Penguin Teacher

Dawn Douangsawang has been teaching Pre-K since 2012, and has been at Nomura Preschool since 2017.  She has a BA in Child Development and an MA in Early Childhood Education.   Ms. Dawn also has training in the Montesorri method and Montessori teaching experience.  She enjoys teaching and preparing children for kindergarten in all developmental domains.  Ms. Dawn is fluent in Khmu, and in her free time enjoys cooking, spending time with her family, reading, and shopping.

Yolanda Green – Yoga Teacher

For over thirty five years, Yolanda Green has been sharing her talents with the children of Nomura Preschool. Mrs. Green retired from full-time teaching in 2017 but still teaches our yoga classes, runs the school’s garden, and shares puppet and magic shows with the kids. Mrs. Green marshals her many talents to nurture creativity, ensure well-being, and teach respect and joyful learning to her students.

Kathy Namkung – Crane Teacher

A Bay Area native, Kathy Namkung is now teaching the children of students she taught a generation ago. Her skills in classroom management help guide her students to academic and social success. A fun and loving teacher, Mrs. Namkung listens, nurtures, and educates her students as individuals – while learning from them everyday.

Keiko Hernandez-Penguin Teacher

Keiko Hernandez is originally from Tokyo, Japan. She taught at Nomura Preschool for 10 years before moving out of state, and has now returned to teach again after moving back to the Bay Area. She has been teaching preschool for 25 years total. Mrs. Hernandez has a hands on approach to teaching, and especially loves teaching art and science. She strives to instill a love of all living things (big and small) in her students. In addition to this, Mrs. Hernandez also teaches Japanese classes weekly.

Tiffany Parham – Chicky Teacher

Tiffany Parham brings her years of experience with infants and toddlers to work with our young students. A mother herself, Mrs. Tiffany believes in a whole child approach and gives nurturing care to all her students. Mrs. Tiffany loves how curious, fun, and spirited her students are; they make her smile and laugh everyday! Outside of school, Mrs. Tiffany enjoys spending time with her family.

Ken Saeteurn – Crane Teacher

Miss Ken brings love, care, patience, and many years of experience to her work with her students. Currently pursuing her director’s credential, she believes that each child in her care deserves to be treated as an individual. Miss Saeteurn values on-going communication with parents and the warm, collaborative environment at Nomura Preschool. Born in Thailand and fluent in Mien, Miss Saeteurn enjoys a good book, taking road trips and spending time with her family.

Rosita Simon – Rooster Teacher

Rosita Simon has been a teacher at Nomura Preschool since 2009. Trained in the Montessori method, she employs a whole child approach to early childhood education. Miss Simon enjoys helping her students develop self-confidence, independence, and a joy of learning through stories, games, and play. A native speaker of Tamil, Miss Simon has teaching expertise in math, science, and language.

Rosi Tabuaniviti – Chicky Teacher

Mrs. Rosi teaches our youngest students in the Chicky Class. With Nomura Preschool since 2009, Mrs. Rosi most enjoys engaging her students in creative activities. She loves working with the Chickies because of their energy and enthusiasm for learning. Every day is an adventure!

Lusi Young – Rooster Teacher

Focusing on the individuality of each child, Lusitiawati Young uses patience, care, and an understanding of each child’s background and individual needs to create a safe, fun environment. Mrs. Young joined the Nomura School staff in 2008 after working with children for three years at Pacific Academy’s afterschool program. She enjoys cooking, art, and singing, and shares her expertise in origami art with her students.

Yun Zheng – Puffin Teacher

Yun Zheng joined Nomura Preschool in 2013, and has been working with children in a variety of settings since 2009. Mrs. Yun was born in Beijing and raised in the Bay Area. She speaks Mandarin and enjoys integrating Mandarin songs and games into her classroom. Mrs. Yun is especially interested in integrating arts and sciences into the classroom and always strives to think of new creative activities to make learning fun and keep children engaged.

Liz Engan – Music Teacher

Liz Engan comes to the Nomura Preschool twice a week to teach music. Building basic skills such as rhythm and pitch, Ms Engan wants every student to own music as their own. Trained in the Kadaly method, Ms Engan has been teaching music to children from preschool to college for over eleven years. She has performed and recorded extensively, and can currently be heard with the American Bach Soloists.