Administration & Staff
Responsible and responsive. They are the foundation of our school.
Our administrative team works to support Marin Montessori School from the ground up. From maintenance to admissions and communications to school management, our experienced and friendly staff make school days a pleasure.
Sam is responsible for ensuring that Marin Montessori flourishes and that we bring our school's mission to life each and every day. Educated on both coasts, Sam received his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the UC Santa Cruz, and his Master’s degree in the study of World Religions and secondary education teaching credential from Harvard University. Before coming to Marin Montessori, Sam studied and taught in Sumatra, Indonesia; Canberra, Australia; Cambridge, Massachusetts; and Makawao, Hawaii. He also spent fifteen years at the Athenian School in Danville, California, where he served in a variety of roles, including teacher, dean, and admissions. Sam’s professional interests include mindfulness in education, curriculum design, and the neuroscience of learning. Sam lives in Marin with his wife and two teenage sons. In his free time he enjoys cycling, hiking, and camping, as well as cooking large meals with his family while listening to jazz.
415.924.5388 ext. 117
- Jules Layman, Lower School Director
- Anna Yarbrough, Junior High Director
- Annie Reece, Consulting High School Placement Counselor
Jules's role is to ensure outstanding AMI Montessori teaching and learning in each toddler and primary class, and to work closely with staff and families to best serve the children in our community. She received her AMI primary training in London, England and taught in Yokohama, Japan and the Bay Area. Jules is passionate about Montessori education and is the proud mother of two sons, who both attended MMS, and is very excited to also be a new grandmother of twins.
415.924.5388 ext. 103
In addition to still teaching math classes, Anna's work focuses on supporting students, faculty, and families at the Junior High and ensuring outstanding AMI Montessori teaching and learning at the adolescent level. Anna attended Colby College and graduated with a double major in math and education and completed her M.Ed. in Math Education at Framingham State College. Prior to MMS, Anna served as a math teacher in a middle school in a suburb of Boston, and upon moving to the Bay Area at Leadership Public High School, a charter college preparatory school in Richmond. After having her first son, Anna wanted to join a Montessori community for herself professionally and her family too. In her free time Anna enjoys spending time with her husband, two sons, and daughter on the hills and beaches of Marin, and cheering on New England sports teams.
In her work as an educational consultant, Annie has a depth of knowledge of independent schools in the Bay Area and boarding schools throughout the country, and has developed good, trusting relationships with admissions professionals throughout the independent school world. Taking a highly personalized approach to her process, Annie strives to get to know her students well so she can best advise families in finding the high schools that are the right fit for their children.
Before becoming an independent educational consultant, Annie was the Assistant Director of Admissions at The Urban School of San Francisco. Annie has also served as a teacher at Town School for Boys in San Francisco, and has worked at other schools on the East Coast and abroad. An East Coast native herself, Annie graduated from the Taft School, a boarding school in Connecticut, and received her B.A. in Psychology from Colgate University, where she was also the captain of the Women’s Ice Hockey team. Annie now lives in Marin with her husband, Evan, three children, and their Entlebucher Mountain Dog, Pulver.
Leslie's work focuses on engaging current and prospective families in an effective and thoughtful enrollment and transition process into MMS. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Religion and Sociology from Indiana University and her Master's in Social Work focused on Interpersonal Practice from the University of Michigan. Leslie loves helping people find meaningful ways to engage in non-profit organizations and has served as the Director of Admission at three other schools - working with families on both coasts (New York and California) and in the middle of the country (Ohio). Leslie lives in the East Bay with her husband and two children, both of whom are students at Marin Montessori School.
415.924.5388 ext. 104
Deb’s work focuses largely on the financial, health, safety, and regulatory stability of the school, as well as oversight of Human Resources, Internet Technology, and Facilities. Deb received her Master’s in Business Administration from Dominican University. Prior to joining MMS, Deb spent many years working for assorted non-profits across Marin. In her free time, Deb is a passionate gardener. She lives in Novato with her husband, Jim, two cats, and a flock of chickens.
415.924.5388 ext. 105
Colin manages billings and accounts receivable, and ensures that MMS’s technology works well. He has a degree in Accounting and Computing Information System from San Francisco State University, and he is Microsoft MCSE certified. Before working in the accounting profession, Colin spent eight years in technology support and systems maintenance. In his free time, Colin enjoys hiking throughout the Bay Area, as well as bowling, badminton, and swimming.
415.924.5388 ext. 118
Heather’s work focuses on supporting fundraising, community events, and communications efforts. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Retail and Consumer Studies from The University of Arizona. Prior to joining MMS, Heather worked as the Director of Annual Giving for Stanford Athletics. Heather lives in Novato with her husband and daughter, who is a thriving MMS Primary student.
415.924.5388 ext. 331
- Fran Corcoran, Director of Operations
- Pamela Randolph, School Secretary
- Kim Cyphers, Junior High Assistant Administrator
415.924.5388 ext. 102
Kim manages administrative and behind-the-scenes aspects of the Junior High program to ensure that the Junior High functions smoothly on a daily basis with the overarching goal of enabling and supporting outstanding AMI Montessori learning and teaching. Kim came to us from the horticultural nursery business, where they spent five years working for two prominent East Bay nurseries as both a plant authority and an administrative specialist. Kim holds a BS in Biological Science from Chapman University and spent a semester studying environmental science in South Africa. In addition, Kim holds a Master’s degree in Theological Studies from Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley. Kim enjoys bringing their rich and varied experience, knowledge of environmental science and horticulture, and administrative expertise to the Junior High community. A strong believer in ecological conservation, Kim enjoys reading, traveling, and exploring the numerous botanical gardens and museums in the Bay Area.
415.924.5388 ext. 400
All facility repairs and improvements are managed by Mark with emphasis on ensuring the staff and students at MMS have a healthy, safe, and clean work and learning environment. He obtained his General Contractor's License in 2006 and is currently working toward a Bachelor's degree in Business at College of Marin. Previously, Mark owned his own construction company and worked in the recycling industry. He lives in El Sobrante with his husband, Francisco, and their rescue Shih Tzu, Elvis.
415.924.5388 ext. 123
- Carol Finnegan-Pisetsky, Transportation Coordinator
- Matt Godfrey, Driver
- Gilles LeSage, Driver
- Shellie Occhipinti, Driver
- Richard Stirling, Driver
- Sean Tabari, Driver
- Pete Hudson, Substitute Driver
- Steve Kelly, Substitute Driver
Carol’s position focuses on managing and coordinating transportation needs in order to make MMS accessible to all students. These needs include regular daily shuttle routes as well as planning and coordinating mid-day field trips and extended class trips. Prior to her position here, she was an Early Childhood Educator for 35 years. Carol lives in Sonoma County with her husband, dog, and bird, with her two adult sons living nearby. She is passionate about her long-time volunteer work as a wildlife rehabilitator.
Matt has been driving morning and afternoon MMS student shuttles—including the SF route—since 2011. He is a tech-savvy Marin native who works on audio-visual production and computer software development between MMS transportation commitments and enjoying life. In a previous life Matt designed and installed state-of-the-art electronics on world-class yachts. He’s a San Rafael resident.
Gilles joined the MMS transportation crew in 2013 and drives the northern Marin/Terra Linda route. His background is diverse—he’s been a teacher, a sports car designer, and a home remodeler. Gilles enjoys reading, football, and tinkering with anything mechanical. He keeps our fleet looking great. Gilles lives in Sausalito.
Shellie Occhipinti is an upbeat and friendly grandmother of two. She relocated to Marin a year ago after retiring from a director’s position at the Boys and Girls Club on the Peninsula. She is adventurous, fun, and passionate about nature and cultivating her organic garden. In her free time she enjoys cooking, traveling with her family, and exploring the Bay Area’s hidden secrets.
Rich has been driving for MMS since 2015. He was born and raised in San Rafael. Rich earned a degree from California State University, Chico and moved to San Francisco where he worked in sales and customer service in the telecommunications industry. Rich enjoys spending summers in Clearlake boating and fishing, winters in Reno/Tahoe snow skiing, and watching football at the Peppermill Sportsbook.
Sean has lived in the Bay Area since 1977. After graduating from UC Berkeley he worked hard, and with a little luck he was able to retire. His main passions are Astronomy and Biology, and he is planning to attend lectures at UC Berkeley in between transporting children. You’ll often find Sean cycling in the Mill Valley hills where he lives.