Playgroup Staff

Lonna Corder

Lonna Corder

Founder & Director

Lonna started her career as an Early Childhood Educator over thirty years ago. Bay Area native, Lonna graduated from St. Mary’s College, Moraga with a BA in Child Development and an American Montessori Society pre primary teachers certification. Lonna taught in the East Bay and Marin until she had her son in 1993.

In 1997, Lonna established a Montessori program in the home of San Francisco philanthropist Ann and Gordon Getty. For over a decade, Lonna presided over the cultivation of a well respected and sought after pre school program.

Lonna and her husband of over twenty five years are proud of their son whom they have traveled the world with and launched to UCLA with much success.

Margaret Alma

Margaret Alma

Assistant Teacher

Margaret was born and raised in North Carolina. After graduating from UNC at Chapel Hill with a BA in International Studies, Margaret obtained her K-6 teaching credential from Queens University in Charlotte. While studying for her license, Margaret assisted at Anami Montessori, where she fell in love with the Montessori philosophy. After finishing at Queens University, Margaret headed to West Side Montessori School in NYC to work at the pre school and attend their renowned teacher training program. After receiving her AMS Montessori certification, Margaret moved back to the South and taught at a Title One public school with a newly implemented Montessori program in Charleston, SC.

Seeking a change of scenery and influenced by her brother, Margaret decided to try out the west coast in the summer of 2016. Drawn to the outdoors, Margaret taught at Caring Creatives, in the Presidio. Just as the summer was coming to a close Margaret happened to hear about Playgroup and immediately knew it was where she was supposed to be. Its “follow the child” philosophy in addition to learning through dramatic play fit perfectly with Margaret’s beliefs and experiences.

In her spare time Margaret enjoys exploring San Francisco and its surroundings, as well as practicing yoga and spending time with friends, family and her rescue mutt, Sweet Pea.

Ali Beerli

Ali Beerli

Assistant Teacher

Ali was born and raised in Bakersfield, California. Ali graduated from California State University, Chico with a BA in Child Development in 2011. After graduating, she received her substitute teaching credential and spent a year teaching and tutoring children grades K-3. It became quite clear that her preference and passion was pre school.

Ali moved to San Francisco over five years ago and has been advancing her career in the field of early childhood education ever since. Ali’s love for learning is what led her to pursue her Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education from St. Mary’s College, Moraga where she came to meet Lonna and Noelle. Ali is ecstatic to be our newest addition to the Playgroup family!

In her free time, Ali enjoys running, yoga, and spending quality time with her family and friends.

Noelle Clothier

Noelle Clothier

Assistant Teacher

Noelle was born and raised in San Francisco. She graduated from Convent of the Sacred Heart High School in 2009 and earned her BA in Psychology from the University of San Francisco.

Noelle has over ten years of experience working with children and has worked as a full-time nanny for the past four years. Her love for being around children and wanting to be in the classroom has led her to peruse her AMS Montessori credentials. She is currently finishing up her program at St. Mary’s College in Moraga. Noelle is very excited to explore a new path by working as a teacher in the pre school classroom.

She has a passion for cooking, living an active lifestyle, and diving into creative projects.

Amanda  Corfman

Amanda Corfman

Head Teacher

Amanda was born and raised in California. After receiving her BA in Psychology from the University of Arizona in 2003, Amanda embarked on a career in education and has only advanced since. In 2005 she worked at Lindamood Bell of San Francisco as a Clinician focusing on reading, spelling, comprehension and language programs with children.

With a background in Psychology and extensive experience with children, Amanda was drawn to Playgroup’s successful implementation of the self-guided approach to Montessori education. She joined Playgroup in 2012 and has played a dynamic role in the school’s growth.

In addition, Amanda has drawn on her athletic background to introduce a yoga program to the children’s curriculum at Playgroup. In her spare time Amanda enjoys the local outdoors and spending time with her six nieces and nephews.

Joey Edeli

Joey Edeli

Head Teacher

Joey is a fourth generation San Franciscan. He has a degree in Economics from the University of California, Santa Cruz and AMI Montessori certification from the Montessori Teacher Training Center of Northern California.

Joey comes from a family of San Francisco educators and has over 15 years of experience working with children of all ages. For the last 7 years he has been the head Montessori teacher in a bilingual, international school in Nosara, Costa Rica.

In his free time, Joey enjoys surfing, gardening, traveling and spending time in nature. He is very excited to be back in his hometown to share his passion for Montessori and bilingual education with Playgroup.

Megan Jakobson

Megan Jakobson

Assistant Teacher

Megan was born and raised in Connecticut. The oldest of seven siblings, she has extensive childcare experience. Some of her earliest memories are helping her mom care for her four brothers and two sisters.

Megan has known Lonna since early 2012 when she made her first trip to the Bay Area and fell in love! After graduating from Iona College in New Rochelle, NY with a degree in Mass Communications she decided it was the right time to try life on the West Coast.

With a passion for kids and early childhood education Megan will join us as an assistant teacher as she figures out the next steps to take towards a Montessori certification.

When she isn’t learning and having fun at Playgroup Megan enjoys the outdoors, painting, cooking, playing tennis and soccer, and exploring and learning about her new home.

Nicole Kanai

Nicole Kanai

Head Toddler Teacher

Nicole graduated from the University of San Francisco with a BA in Psychology and an MA in Counseling Psychology in the School of Education.

Nicole has always enjoyed working with children. Some of her early experiences include working at summer camps and after school programs. For the past 7 years, Nicole has assisted Corinne Vernon in the toddler class helping to set the children up for success in their first educational experience.

Ariel Leasure

Ariel Leasure

After Care Director

Ariel was born and raised in Erie, Pennsylvania. She earned her BA in Musical Theatre in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is currently pursuing Early Childhood Education and is looking to attend graduate school.

Ariel has worked with young children for 10 years, teaching summer theatre camps, dance and acting classes. She continues to stay active in theatre performing in various plays, musicals and a series with the Bay Area Playwrights Foundation.

She has made San Francisco her new home and is able to help children at Playgroup discover and express themselves. While nurturing creativity and imagination, Ariel enjoys the genuine excitement of education that the children at Playgroup experience.

During Ariel’s free time, she enjoys visiting Farmers Markets for fresh produce, shopping for vintage clothing, and hiking trails in the beautiful Bay Area. Ariel plans to write her own series of children’s books.

Samantha Metzer

Samantha Metzer

Assistant Teacher

Samantha Metzer recently graduated from the University of Arizona with a BS in Literacy, Leadership and Learning and a minor in Special Education.

Just over a year ago Sam and her family relocated to the Bay Area from the East Coast. Sam is ecstatic to be apart to join our Playgroup family while she pursues her education. In her free time Sam enjoys spending time with her family and friends and being able to travel.

Ashley Sedillo

Ashley Sedillo

Assistant Director

Ashley was born and raised on the coast of California. After receiving her AA in Visual Communications followed by her BS in Technological Entrepreneurship at Arizona State University, she embarked on a career in business operations, human resources and financial management. Ashley merges her love for visually pleasing aesthetics and efficiency through technology as People Operations Manager at Playgroup.

Ashley comes from a family who is entirely immersed in Child Development and California public schools. With this background she is an engaging communicator, projects enthusiasm and warmth, while motivating other people.

When she isn’t taking care of Playgroup, Ashley enjoys spending time with her rescue dog, being outdoors, shopping and visiting Disneyland as often as humanly possible. She is overjoyed to be
a part of the Playgroup family.

Corinne Vernon

Corinne Vernon

Head Teacher

Corinne has been teaching preschool for over 16 years. She began teaching in 1991 and was promoted to director in 1993. Corinne used her strong Communication skills to build and foster relationships with her school families, those of who she still has ties to in her community.

Corinne graduated from St. Mary’s College, Moraga in 1991 with a BA in Communications and an emphasis on Early Childhood Education. Corinne’s interest in early literacy took her to the corporate world where she worked as an outreach coordinator promoting literacy materials to pre school and elementary teachers.

Her love of teaching brought her to Playgroup over six years ago and back to the classroom after her two children began elementary school. Corinne and her husband, Alan, reside in Danville where she volunteers at both of her children’s schools. She is a supporter and cheerleader to their busy dance and baseball schedules.