Our Teachers

Crystal Beran


Program Director

In her 14 years as an educator, Crystal has taught a wide variety of subjects and students including high school performing arts, middle school English, elementary music, and play based preschool. She earned her BA in English before continuing on to a post-graduate study in education at San Jose State University. Her dream is to expand Sprout and Spark to serve elementary and middle school students as well as preschoolers.

Crystal enjoys anything that allows her to flex her creative muscles, especially cooking, writing, and composing elaborate impromptu operettas with her two kids.

Bridgid McGrath, MA




With a Master’s degree in Montessori Early Childhood Education and over 20 years experience serving families, Bridgid brings her passion for environmental sustainability in the classroom from Berkeley to Portland. As a teacher, she found free resources and innovated creative solutions in underprivileged communities, building gardens everywhere she goes. For her Master’s thesis, she wrote a social/emotional curriculum that weaved together the various influences from her academic studies, in person coaching from master teachers, and personal experience. The curriculum draws on Positive Discipline, Non-Violent Communication, self-determination theory, permaculture community building practices and her theatre background, involving children in imaginative role play to practice empathy. 

Her roots in the Pacific Northwest go beyond her undergraduate studies at the Evergreen State College: her grandparents met at the University of Washington in Seattle, where her great-grandfather was a newspaper editor. 

Jason Nimersheim


Groundsmaster General

After spending the last decade designing electric airplanes at Ampaire and getting rockets off the ground (and back on the ground again) at Space X, Jason can't wait to bring his technical expertise and love of science and engineering to our school. Jason is our do-everything and make-everything guy: fences and furniture, sonic shelters and structurally sound sandboxes. 

A devoted father of two young boys, Jason also enjoys playing guitar, designing tabletop games, and creating beautiful and precise CAD drawings.



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Aftercare Specialist


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