Our Teachers

At San Francisco Public Montessori, our lead Elementary teachers hold California teaching credentials and are either Montessori-certified or are currently enrolled in Montessori training.

Primary (Pre-K) Classroom Teachers and Paraprofessionals

In each Primary classroom there is a lead teacher, who is assisted by two paraprofessional aides. Paraprofessionals have all completed many units of Early Childhood Education Credits, and have participated in ongoing in-house continuing education on Montessori methods.

Ms. Sam Ferber teaches Pre-K at SFPM. She believes that even our youngest learners are capable, full of potential and wonder. She received her B.A. from UC Irvine in Psychology and Social Behavior. After graduating, she spent two years volunteering for AmeriCorps, teaching after school programs to elementary school students in both San Diego and Oakland. After, she decided to join the Peace Corps and lived in Morocco, where she found her passion for teaching preschool. When she returned from Morocco, she attended USF and earned her M.A. in International and Multicultural Education, while also working as an early childhood educator. This will be her fourth year teaching preschool.

Ms. Ella McBehr started teaching PreK at SFPM in May 2019. She holds a Master of Early Childhood Education degree from the City College of New York. Before moving to the US and embarking on a journey to become a teacher, Ms. Ella finished nursing school and law school. On the way to earning her master's degree in New York, she gathered ample experience with children in Waldorf and Montessori settings, in both public and private schools. She is currently working toward receiving her Montessori Teaching Credential. Having grown up in Germany, Ms Ella comes from a family of educators and has a strong enthusiasm for life long learning. With her, she brings her deep compassion for children and animals, as well as her love of books and music to our community. She is elated about joining the SFPM community and living in the Dogpatch neighborhood of San Francisco.

Elementary (Grades K-5) Classroom Teachers

Ms. Sara Guido teaches Kindergarten and 1st grade at SFPM. She received her BS in Elementary and Special Education from the University of Miami. This is her first year at SFPM, and her third year teaching. Ms. Sara is originally from New York, and moved to the Bay Area last year after finishing a Fulbright grant in Thailand. In her free time, she loves cooking, practicing yoga, and scuba diving. This summer she worked to receive her Montessori Teaching Credential. Ms. Sara is thrilled to be a part of the SFPM community!

Ms. Megan Dukes is the new K/1 teacher in room 122. This is her fourth year teaching and her first teaching at a Montessori school. She is from Michigan and taught kindergarten and third grade in Texas for three years. In her spare time she loves cooking, reading, running, and doing yoga. She is excited to complete her Montessori certification.

Ms. Asya Litvina teaches 1st/2nd grade at SFPM. This is her second year teaching and her first at SFPM. Her passion is sparking a love for lifelong learning in all students and making them feel excited to come to school. She received her BA in English from UC Berkeley and has a personal desire to build a love for reading and talking about books in all her students. She received her California Teaching Credential and Master’s in Education from UC Santa Barbara, with a focus on establishing student voice and autonomy in the classroom. She is currently working toward receiving her Montessori Teaching Credential this June. Ms. Litvina is a Northern California native who is thrilled to work in her favorite city. In her free time she enjoys reading, eating sushi, playing with her nephews, and taking long walks through Golden Gate Park.

Ms. Vidya Karra is a 2nd/3rd Grade Teacher & Montessori Instructional Coach. She’s from Fort Worth, TX and went to the University of Texas. After working in Finance, she discovered the Montessori Method and transitioned to a career in Education! She earned her AMS 6-9 Lower Elementary Montessori Credential and began teaching at Private and Public Montessori Schools in Texas.

She moved to Los Angeles in 2013 to attend UCLA’s Graduate School of Education where she earned a Masters of Education in Urban Teaching. Upon graduation, she was eager to continue her work in Public Montessori. A Google search led her to SFPM and she moved to San Francisco!

Mr. Nathan Bernhard-Beckman is a 2nd and 3rd grade teacher. While he was present as the para educator for the RSP staff during the 2017-18 school year, 2018-19 is his first year as a lead teacher in a classroom. He is very excited about the new year. Nathan is currently finishing his MA in Elementary Education from SFSU. He studied English Literature for his undergrad, also at SFSU. Nathan grew up in Orange County, CA. Coming to San Francisco regularly on summer vacations with family, Nathan decided that SF would be the goal. He has lived in the city for 6 years and loves every minute of it. Some of his hobbies include collecting toys, going to concerts and skateboarding.

Ms. Nelson is a 3rd/4th teacher who grew up in the suburbs outside of Washington D.C. She graduated from the University of San Francisco where she received her Bachelors Dual Degree in Teacher Preparation and her California Teaching Credential in Multiple Subjects. This is her 6th year teaching and her first year at San Francisco Public Montessori. Miss Nelson loves to sing, write, dance, and participate in theatre productions in her spare time. She is so excited to join the SFPM community this year.

Mr. Joe Bly writes "This is my fourth year at San Francisco Public Montessori and my first as a classroom teacher. I was the After School Program Director from 2015 until 2018 when I decided to pursue my graduate degree in education and teaching certificate at the University of California Santa Cruz. I grew up across America, starting in the East Bay of California and making my way through North Carolina, Maryland, and Chicago, before moving here ten years ago through the Americorps Program. I studied film and poetry at Columbia College Chicago, where I received my B.A. in Poetry. I am currently completing my Elementary I-II (6-12) Montessori training and will be completing my Montessori Practicum in 2020-2021 with the Montessori Teacher Education Center (MTEC)."

Ms. Stephanie Sliverman is a 4th and 5th grade classroom teacher, as well as the Montessori Coach, at San Francisco Public Montessori. This is her third year at SFPM and her sixth year teaching in a public Montessori school. Stephanie grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she received her B.S. in Elementary Education. She completed her Elementary I-II (6-12) Montessori training in May 2016 from the Montessori Elementary Teacher Training Collaborative (METTC) in Massachusetts. Stephanie also has her Wilson Reading Level I Certification. She is currently working toward obtaining a master’s degree in Transformative School Leadership at the University of San Francisco and will graduate in June 2019. When Stephanie’s not teaching or taking classes, she loves to be outside, practice yoga, cook, travel, and play with her dog Zoe! Stephanie is grateful to be a part of the SFPM community and looks forward to another great year!

Special Education

Mr. Steven Laliberte Resource Specialist. Mr. Steven Laliberte was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. Like most Arizonans, he came to California several times a year on family vacations and dreamed that one day he could live in the golden state. He graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. He then found his way to New York City where he received his Master of Science in Childhood Education from Hunter College and his Advanced Certificate in Special Education from Adelphi University. He began teaching in 2005 and most recently was special education teacher in a small public school in Manhattan's East Village neighborhood where he loved infusing art into his instruction. Alas, he found his way back to the state he visited so often as a child. Steven is grateful every day to live in the vibrant city of San Francisco and loves exploring it on urban hikes where he takes in the beauty and history of this amazing city.