Phoebe Hearst Preschool | A Day in the Life

Phoebe Hearst Preschool

The Phoebe Hearst Preschool Learning Center is a “child-centered” preschool, committed to the growth of each child in a caring environment that nurtures self-acceptance and exploration. Our preschool environment is a testament to a belief in childhood.


Dear Irene,

Happy September and the beginning of the new school year. Zoe’s already learning snap words and Bowie’s a very happy 3rd grader. They are both thriving.

I’ve been gathering my thoughts to send you a note of gratitude for the amazing work that you do and the community that you’ve created. Dave and I fell in love with the school from the moment we toured and we always felt so lucky to have the kids at Phoebe Hearst. It’s amazing to me, looking back, how much we’ve learned from you, and how much care and support we’ve received. Beyond providing care for the kids themselves, you and all the staff and the teachers have such a gentle way of modeling for parents – like guiding us through separation anxiety and tantrums at pick up time. I have learned so much and I feel that the school philosophy informs everything I do as a parent.

The COVID era has been particularly trying for all of us, and here too you have led us through it in such an assured and confident way, showing us so much resilience and generosity. Susan’s KinderPod was the best education in every way possible, and we still watch the music videos that Dan made with the kids.

I particularly admire your dedication and focus on the art curriculum. As they grow, both kids rely on art as a grounding practice. And me, too—I always find that whenever we need a bonding activity, I can get them interested in some form of art.

Ever since Room 3, Zoe has been telling me that she wants to be a teacher when she grows up. Recently, she started considering what kind of teacher she wants to be: art, dance, a little kids teacher or a bigger kids teacher. She asked me how does one become a teacher, and I told her that one has to study the subject for a long, long time. What subject do you want to study? I asked her. Her answer was definitive: art.

I look forward to meeting you.

It’ll be so interesting to see how her interests develop growing forward, but I know both of them are starting with the best possible foundation.

Looking more broadly, I deeply admire your vision of early childhood education and what it takes to run a successful and inclusive program here in San Francisco. I look forward to staying in touch and supporting you and the school in any way I can.

With deep gratitude to you, Phuong, Susan, and all the teachers!

Olga on behalf of Dave and Bowie and Zoe