Our Story

Our Founding

The Serra Preschool opened its doors with a small group of children in the Pacific Heights home of Bill and Marjorie Campbell on September 11, 2001. The Campbells collaborated with Marybeth Cody, who remains our Director today, to create a unique preschool experience that combines a play-based philosophy with a nurturing environment to encourage a child’s natural spiritual curiosity.

Marybeth Cody

Meet Our Founder

Marybeth Cody has devoted her life to the well-being of children.  With over four decades in the field of early childhood education, she brings a breadth and depth of experience to the position of Director that is unmatched in the city of San Francisco.  

Marybeth co-founded the Serra Preschool in 2001 and has served as its Director since its inception.  Prior to Serra, Marybeth served as Head Teacher at 150 Parker Avenue School, where she was mentored by the late Doris Welch, a pioneer in the field and an instrumental force in the creation of the nursery program at Stanford’s Bing School.  Before her 25-year term at Parker, Marybeth graduated with honors from U.C. Davis, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Child Development.

The Serra curriculum is the end result of Marybeth’s lifetime of research and hands-on experience building play-based, developmentally appropriate programs for young children – programs that integrate her love of the natural world and the wisdom of the Roman Catholic tradition.  It’s a unique approach and one that has produced remarkable results and brought joy to thousands of children over the course of her career.

Marybeth and her husband Chris raised three children in their native San Francisco.  Marybeth and Chris have been married 50 years and now enjoy the company of seven young grandchildren, a number of whom are graduates of Serra.

We love

Our Teachers

A skilled team of professional teachers share the philosophy that children are unique and learn best when given the opportunity to explore and play while being supported and challenged. Serra teachers guide the development of a child’s critical thinking skills, problem-solving abilities, and social competence through their daily interactions with them.


Years of Collective Teaching Experience

The teachers at Serra have a depth of experience, highlighted by their years in the classroom.


Years of Teaching While at Serra Preschool

More than half of our teachers’ 220 years spent teaching have been at Serra! Two of our teachers, Suzanne and Jennifer, have been working with Marybeth since the start of their careers at 150 Parker, opening the school with her on its starting day in 2001. All of this adds up to a seamless approach to early childhood education. Students at Serra experience a consistency of philosophy from their team of teachers that offers comfort as well as a solid base from which to explore all that the school has to offer.


Ongoing Professional Development Per Teacher Per Year

Teachers are encouraged to pursue professional development and enrichment opportunities including individual passions and expertise which in turn support the mission of the school.  Our team meets each week to share ideas, experiences, and workshop strategies for the best educational practices for each child.

Our Families

Our Community

Serra parents are an integral part of the preschool experience. The community is supportive and involved in the school year-round, from a welcoming picnic and lively Halloween party in the Fall to a fundraising auction gala and parent social activities in the Spring.There are abundant opportunities for parent participation and engagement both inside and outside the classroom. Life long friendships are established at Serra.

A life of learning

Starts at The Serra Preschool

Discover how the perfect preschool experience can benefit your child.