Our Teachers

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

Sally Brenton

Director & MWF Lead 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 found 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! After moving to the Aptos area in 2014, Sally spent the year as a director at PNS.  Moving on, while sad at the time, allowed her to find Building Blocks, and she feels blessed and excited to become a part of the community!

Nicole Gomez

Director & TTH Lead Teacher

Nicole Gomez 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 spent a year volunteering at the San Jose Family Shelter childcare center and has also volunteered as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for a young foster child. Nicole moved to the mountains with her family in 2005, and her youngest daughter attended Building Blocks from 2009-10.


With one of her daughters across the street in middle school and one daughter at Los Gatos High School, Nicole looked forward to returning to Building Blocks as the Lead Teacher of the T/Th class and having 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 theater. She also enjoys roller skating, music, reading, and spending time with her two yellow labs, two chihuahuas and two cats.

Shawna Persaud

Summer Lead Teacher 

Shawna grew up in Southern California. She has a BA degree 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 having 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.