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Founded in 1972 by Meighen and Robert Tideman, Big City Montessori School is the oldest family-owned and operated preschool in San Francisco. Their vision was to create an environment where children from all walks of life could have a space outside of the home to feel comfortable and learn. Since its inception, BCMS has successfully provided a safe and nurturing environment for children, graduating over 3,000 students on to the finest schools in San Francisco.
BCMS moved to its current location in 1980. This was the year that the current director, their daughter Amanda Riccetti began her work in Montessori. Beginning with after school care, taking her turn with Montessori teaching and taking over as director in 1999, Amanda has touched every role within the school. This understanding helps her keep the tenure of her staff, which directly relates to the emotional security of each child in her care. BCMS is licensed through the Department of Social Services, Facility #380503028.
AMANDA RICCETTI is the Director of Big City Montessori School. She began her work at BCMS in 1980, when the school moved to its current location. She is a certified Montessori teacher and has worked nearly every job in the school. This has given her the empathy that helps her keep the tenure of her staff, which directly relates to the emotional security of your child. She has a son in college and a daughter in high school. They both graduated from BCMS. She loves her job and truly wants to create an environment where children from all walks of life can have a space outside the home to feel comfortable and learn.
HILMA AYDEE PEREZ is the Co-Director of the school. She has been working at BCMS for over thirteen years and has touched every role at the school. She has one daughter who graduated from BCMS and now attends elementary school. Miss Hilma teaches several of our after school enrichment programs. With her warm, friendly approach, she will give you and your child a wonderful first school experience. We are so excited to have such a wonderful, multitalented individual as part of our team.
EVELYN CASTILLO is one of the Head Teachers at BCMS. She is a fully credentialed AMI Montessori teacher, trained in San Jose at the Maria Montessori Teacher Training Center. She has been working at BCMS for over fourteen years. Both her son and daughter graduated from BCMS. Miss Evelyn is a warm, caring, amazing teacher, and she will give your child a wonderful first school experience.
SANATH JAYAGODA received his AMI Certified Montessori credential at the Woodlands Montessori Training Institute in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Mr. Sanath is also in his fourteenth year at Big City. He has a lovely wife, Miss Achala, who works with him in his class. The nephew of retired Miss Pearl, Mr. Sanath is a fourth generation Montessori teacher. He takes pride in watching the children’s progress as they grow and learn in his class. Mr. Sanath’s hands-on approach inspires the children with his love of science and nature.
SOUMYA LOKUMALAGE received her Montessori training at the Peninsula Montessori Center in Colombo, Sri Lanka, where she was head of her class. She came to the United States to work with her aunt, Miss Pearl, here at BCMS. Miss Soumya worked in Miss Pearl’s class for four years before taking over as Head Teacher. She works with her two brothers, Mr. Dinesh and Mr. Chaminda, in the classroom, both of whom are also AMI Montessori credentialed teachers. She shares with the children a love of art and nature, and through Miss Soumya’s gentle guidance the children thrive in the classroom.

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