Our Educators

Our beloved teachers are the heart and soul of Building Blocks!

Sally Brenton

Director & MWF Lead Teacher

Teacher Sally was born and raised in California. She received her BA in English from the University of Santa Clara and in her ongoing education has completed multiple early childhood education courses. She came to know and love the cooperative, play-based model when she founded Parents Nursery School in Palo Alto with her second of four daughters.  After finishing six years as a participating parent — including a year when two daughters were enrolled while she was a board co-president — she came back as the 4-5’s teacher and co-director, where she remained happily immersed for twelve years.


Sally understands, respects, and applauds the commitment families make when choosing a cooperative preschool. She feels blessed to be a part of the Building Blocks community!


Nicole Gomez

Director & TTH Lead Teacher

Teacher Nicole grew up in Santa Clara. She earned her BA degree in Child and Adolescent Development from San Jose State University and her AA in Liberal Arts at De Anza College. She has volunteered at the San Jose Family Shelter childcare center and as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for foster children. She moved to the mountains with her family in 2005, and her youngest daughter attended Building Blocks from 2009-10.


Nicole loves her role as Co-Director and Lead Teacher of the T/Th class. She is honored to have the opportunity to touch the lives of so many young mountain children. Outside of school, Nicole can usually be found with her family at the softball field or in the theatre. She also enjoys roller skating, music, reading, and spending time with her dogs and cats.


Shawna Persaud

Summer Lead Teacher 

Teacher Shawna grew up in Southern California. She has a BA in Liberal and Civic Studies. After college, Shawna took a job as a preschool assistant teacher and fell in love with the preschool age group. She pursued her studies in Early Childhood Education to become a certified preschool teacher. She has worked in a variety of preschool environments, including her own home-based preschool for several years, before moving to the Santa Cruz Mountains.


Shawna has two sons and joined the Building Blocks community as a parent volunteer when her youngest was two years old. Shawna believes Building Blocks is a rare gem and considers it a privilege to work here. She enjoys making a personal connection with the many mountain families we serve. At home, Shawna enjoys taking photos of her children and nature. She loves listening to music, dancing like no one is watching, and singing karaoke with her pink microphone.