Our Team, Past & Present

Back L to R: Meghan Frisvold, Megan Shinkle, Brianna Offill * Front L to R: Melissa Avignon, Kaitlin Gray, Heather Lee

 

Sunshine is proudly owned and operated by Melissa Avignon, Meghan Frisvold, Kaitlin Gray & Megan (Mayday) Shinkle. Melissa and Megan got to experience the magic of Sunshine playschool as parents as their own children went through the program.  When Sunshine owners, Brianna & Heather, said they were ready to close this chapter of their lives after 15 years, Megan and Melissa knew they wanted to hold on to this special place...and so began our journey to make it our own. As experienced educators, and mamas ourselves, we strive to share our passion for open ended, emergent play, allowing children to take some risks and learn through curiosity and play. 

Meghan, Megan & Kaitlin are excited to be at the school teaching while Melissa supports us and oversees various administrative needs. 

 

We look forward to welcoming your children and your family into our Sunshine Playschool community.

 

 

 

 

Meghan Frisvold

Hello! I am Meghan Frisvold and I am so excited to be a part of our amazing ownership & teaching team and to get to know our Sunshine community. I am passionate about early childhood and love working with young children. I have been in the field of Early Childhood for almost 25 years, as both a teacher and an administrator. I have a B.A. degree in Young Child & Family Studies from San Francisco State University. After five years working as an Assistant Director at Duck’s Nest in Berkeley, I am ready to get back in the classroom for some emergent, fun, engaging, explorative play! I believe in meeting children where they are at, developmentally, and providing ways for them to grow, thrive and take risks in a safe & loving environment.

 

I am a Bay Area native and currently live in El Cerrito with my husband, Steve, our two kids, Felix (9) and Hailey (5), and our two dogs, Pickles & Lola. When I’m not at work I love to travel, take road trips and explore the hidden gems of the bay area with my family. I also enjoy reading, cooking & baking, meditation, game nights with friends, and a good cup of coffee. 

 

 

 

Melissa Avignon

Hi, I am Melissa Avignon, and I am so happy to be part of the Sunshine Playschool team. I have been in education for the past 19 years. I graduated from Mills College with a Multiple Subject teaching credential with an ECE emphasis, as well as a Masters degree in Early Childhood Education. I have been a math and science classroom teacher, a garden enhanced nutrition education teacher, and a teacher for Tinkergarten, an outdoor play based program. I also have been writing curriculum for the past 10 years. I am passionate about the creation of a safe, play rich environment that encourages children to become lifelong learners.

 

I live in Pinole with my son Rex (a Sunshine Playschool alum!) and our cats Matilda and Cosmo, and our bird ginger. I love to play and explore with my curious, funny, passionate, and experiment loving 6 year old son. I spend time growing my garden, singing karaoke and dancing with friends, camping and hiking, crafting and creating all sorts of things, and traveling.

 

 

Megan Shinkle

Hi there! I'm Megan, a Midwest mama with the heart and hands for service. I've been called to support families for as long as I can remember: helping in the church nursery as a young child myself, babysitting, nannying, and eventually training as a birth and Postpartum doula. Along with those trainings and certifications, I was also a certified Emergency Medical Technician for 6 years. My educational focus has been primarily Biological Sciences, STEAM, and Social and Behavioral Sciences. Helping children navigate their big feelings, and helping them find solutions to their problems, is one of my favorite things about being a teacher.

 

My family and I love to be out in nature, exploring the beautiful Bay Area. If we aren't at the beach (we LOVE tide pools!!), we're probably playing board games, trying new restaurants, or building those giant Lego sets.

 

Kaitlin Gray

Hi! I’m Ms. Kaitlin.  I am the proud mama of two fierce daughters, Charlie (7) and Quinn (3).  I love teaching about bugs and plants -- natural history, ecology, and human biology are my favorite topics!  I started working with preschoolers while I was in high school as a Montessori teachers aide and I continued to work in the onsite childcare program at UC Santa Cruz while I studied for my BA in Anthropology.  I worked in business management for a decade and then over the past several years, I experienced the joy of co-op preschool and realized my passion for community centered programs. I am excited to bring together my passion for community building, knowledge of the early child, and business experience to support our precious early learners and their families to create a family at Sunshine Playschool where everyone has a place.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

David Rikeman

 

David is a Montessori trained, fully qualified teacher with more than 5 years  experience working with young children. David began his career at Growing Light Montessori in Kensington, and grew to be the head teacher at Lamorinda Montessori. He holds a Montessori Preschool Assistant Teacher Credential (2007) from the Montessori Teacher Training Center of San Leandro. Additionally, David has experience working with children who are neurodivergent and have additional emotional and educational needs; he holds a BA in Psychology from Cal. We are excited to welcome him to the team!