Please tell us about your family.
My name is Justa and I am a native San Franciscan who grew up in Parkside. I work in a philanthropic advising firm, helping individuals and family foundations make a positive impact in their communities. My husband Drew is a native Northern Californian and went to school in Berkeley. He now works at a local biotechnology company developing medicine for unmet needs. We have a daughter Margot and as a family, we love to travel. We have gone to Sardinia and Hawaii, and we will be traveling to Hong Kong and Japan this year. We also love music. Drew plays the piano and we have both passed on our love of music to Margot, who loves to sing and make up songs of her own. Margot’s grandparents live nearby. Her grandmother (pau pau) picks Margot up every day and gives her treats!
Why did your family decide on a Chinese learning environment for your child?
We are in the Cantonese program and chose it because of the cultural aspect of learning the language. My family speaks Cantonese and we wanted Margot to be exposed to the language and culture, so that she will, hopefully one day, have an understanding of the culture that she comes from and is a part of.
How would you describe The Storybook School (TSS)? What makes the school community special?
The school program is centered around the relationships that the teachers form with the students. The care and philosophy is evident in all of the teacher interactions. The teachers are admirably patient, loving and kind. What’s more is that they are really finding creative ways to engage the children in constructive ways to navigate conflict with their peers. The community is new and forming, and we have been impressed that the directors are engaging the parents in dialogue about where the school should focus resources.
What is the most memorable story of your child at TSS?
Margot was the second student enrolled at TSS. The other being Patrick, Marianne’s (the director) son. I’ll never forget the day when Margot came home one day talking about how the whole class walked by our house and how she showed everyone her Halloween pumpkin. I thought she was making up a story and was surprised the next day to find Teacher Anna asking about our house and describing it in great detail. This was the first time that we were able to have a reflective, detailed conversations with Margot about her experience and since then it has become a highlight of my day to ask Margot what happened at school!