About Us

Jennifer Gumina-Silver – Executive Director

Jennifer Gumina-Silver has co-owned and operated Tiny Giants with her sister, Erin, since January of 2004. Prior to opening the center, she pursued her Bachelors of Science in Child Development at the University of California, Davis. She continued her education at the University of San Francisco where she was awarded a Multiple Subjects Teaching Credential and a Masters Degree in Education. She began working in the Santa Clara Unified School District as a Kindergarten teacher. Jen continued teaching Kindergarten in the Jefferson School District of Daly City after two years, where she remained for another six years. Prior to and during her work as a teacher, Jen taught in an Archdiocese of San Francisco School, owned and operated a summer school program for kids in grades K-8, ran an after school tutoring program, coached athletic teams for children in elementary through high school, and was a nanny. Her experience, combined with that of her sister, and desire to start a school of her own was the perfect formula for the success of Tiny Giants. Jen is deeply rooted to the city of San Francisco. The child of two native San Franciscans and married herself to a San Francisco native, she plans to raise her three beautiful children here in the city. Jen enjoys spending time with her friends and family and has thrown herself whole-heartedly into making Tiny Giants a huge success. Making kids happy and building a solid foundation upon which children can build in years to come is what she strives for when working with children.

Erin Gumina – Executive Director 

Erin Gumina is very excited to be living her life long dream as a co-founder and owner of Tiny Giants Preschool and Childcare Center. She began her career with children after studying Child Development at the California State University at Chico. Erin returned to her native San Francisco after her studies and began working at a multi-age preschool in San Mateo. After one year she became a lead teacher at the Laura Vicuna Pre-Kindergarten in San Francisco’s North Beach District where she taught for six years. In addition to her work as a teacher, Erin has been a swim instructor, a nanny, a tutor, and has run an after-school program for young children. She has always worked with children and continuously strives to provide all children she encounters with positive, safe and fun learning experiences. Erin loves to dance and enjoys music. She has four brothers and sisters who all still reside in the city and is the proud Auntie of eight beautiful nieces and nephews with whom she spends much of her free time. She has a fun loving, carefree spirit and looks forward to a long career in working with children at Tiny Giants.

Renee Capurro – Site Director

Renee is a San Francisco native, married, with a two year old son of her own. After taking a Child Development class in high school and doing many babysitting jobs, Renee knew what her career in life would be. She continued her education in Early Child Development at City College of San Francisco. Her work experience includes positions such as an elementary after school program director, an in home day care teacher with children ages three months to five years, a preschool classroom teacher, and a nanny. With over ten years experience, she settled at Tiny Giants in 2008 and for three years she managed the infant program at the previous site on Clay Street. After the birth of her son, Renee stayed at home to care for him for about a year and a half. She has returned as the full-time, on-site Director at Tiny Giants Too! Infant Center in May of 2013 and is excited to be back with the children and families of Tiny Giants.

Bridget Emery – Infant Center

Bridget is currently attending San Francisco State University, working on a B.A. in Child and Adolescent Development. Prior to working at Tiny Giants, Too! she has worked on a more individual basis, being both a babysitter and respite care provider.

In her spare time Bridget enjoys going on picnics all around the city, going to sporting events, being philanthropic with her sorority, and traveling the world. She is trilled to be working at tiny Giants, Too! and making an early impact on so many different children’s lives.

Devan Upchurch – Infant Center

Devan was born and raised in Orange County, CA and recently relocated to San Francisco to complete a Bachelor’s of Arts in Early Childhood Education. She is also currently working on a minor in special education. Prior to being at Tiny Giants, Too!, Devan worked as a nanny for 5 years with children from infancy through school-aged. She was also a student teacher in a preschool for a year and a half.

When not at work with children or working on schoolwork, Devan can be found either enjoying time outside exploring this wonderful city or curled up inside with a good book. She enjoys spending time with my family and friends, traveling, and cooking new and exciting meals. Devan is very excited to grow and learn with the Tiny Giants, Too! Family!

Kathie Behlen – Infant Center

Kathie moved from Fresno, CA to San Francisco in 2008 to pursue a B.S. in Health Education at San Francisco State University. While she was earning her degree, she worked as a Lead Assistant in a family childcare for three years. This experience made her realize her true passion was working with young children. After completing her degree and attaining a Site Supervisor Permit in Child Development, Kathie joined the Tiny Giants, Too! team. She hopes to continue working with the school and looks forward to getting to know the families. In her free time Kathie likes to shop, explore the city, try new restaurants, and spend time with her family.

 

Kelly Nevarez – Infant Center

Kelly was born and raised in Texas and has just recently married and relocated to San Francisco with her husband. She graduated in 2013 with a BS degree in Psychology from Texas A&M University. Prior to coming to Tiny Giants, Kelly participated in many volunteer organizations focused on teaching under privileged children. Her favorite part about working at Tiny Giants, Too! is that she gets to help the kids grow and develop. In her free time Kelly enjoys cooking, shopping, any type of physical fitness, and meeting new people. She has always had a passion for teaching children and is very excited about being a part of the Tiny Giants team!

 

Nicole Winegred – Infant Center

Nikki was born and raised in Los Angeles California. She graduated with a B.A. in Psychology with an emphasis in Leadership and Communications from Chapman University in 2012. After graduation she decided to move to the beautiful Bay Area and see what all the fuss was about. While in school, Nikki started her adventure of working with children. She tutored, was a nanny, and coached children of all ages. She soon realized that working with children was her passion and she couldn’t be happier about working at Tiny Giants, Too!! In her spare time Nikki enjoys going to sporting events, dancing, playing volleyball, and trying new cuisine!!

 

Stephanie Heim – Infant Center

Stephanie is originally from Redondo Beach, CA and a recent graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, with a B.S. in Child Development and a minor in Psychology. During her time in school she worked at the campus’ prestigious preschool with children ranging in ages from 3 months-6 years for about three years. She also interned at a preschool specializing in abused and neglected children living in poverty. Her time there taught her the importance of family relationships and attachment. Stephanie has also worked with at-risk teens, has done high school tutoring, and has studied abroad where she was able to visit many different orphanages.

Stephanie is currently pursuing her Masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at the University of San Francisco. She is very excited to see where this journey will take her! In her spare time, Stephanie loves to go for long runs, play volleyball, and shop. Her favorite thing to do with the children of Tiny Giants, Too! is have dance parties!

 

Nedzada Handukic – Infant Center

Nedzada was born in Bosnia and has lived in San Francisco for 17 years. She is a recent graduate from City College of San Francisco where she completed her studies and received her A.A. in Child Development. She is currently a part time student working towards her B.A. in Human Development. Nedzada loves being with children and is passionate about helping them grow into the next stage of their development. She enjoys gardening, cooking and has a bright and bubbly personality which children love.

 

Missy Englehardt – Infant Center

Missy was born and raised in Lodi, CA and currently lives in San Francisco. She attended Sonoma State University where she received her Bachelors of Fine Arts with and emphasis in Sculpture and a Minor in Art History. In 2011 she moved to San Francisco and attended San Francisco Art Institute where she received her Masters of Fine Art with an emphasis in Sculpture. Missy has been working with children for many years as a babysitter, nanny, as an art teacher, a summer camp teacher, and teaching/coaching Tiny Tot soccer. She is currently a working artist and children’s book illustrator. She spends most of her free time with family, making art, or babysitting. She is so excited to be part of the Tiny Giants family and is enjoying getting to know all the children and families.

 

Lianna Picetti – Infant Center

Lianna was born and raised in San Francisco and is a recent graduate of the University of San Francisco in Fine Arts. The past three years she has worked in childcare and family programs for the YMCA and is currently working towards a degree in child development. Her hobbies are making unique jewelry made from vintage and antique parts and pieces. She also enjoys learning any new dance she can get her hands on. Lianna is going to continue working towards her childhood development degree and would like to become a teacher.