Margaret Haller brings 30 years of education experience to her new position as director of the Monument Community First 5 Center.
Margaret has a bachelor’s degree in art, a credential in bilingual and cross-cultural education, and a master’s degree from the University of San Francisco in multicultural education. She worked locally at Meadow Homes Elementary school in Concord for 15 years as a kindergarten teacher, after-school program coordinator, and a dual immersion program specialist. Margaret has also been a vice-principal and principal at other Bay Area schools. Learn more about her!
What was your favorite food as child?
My favorite food as a child by far was cornflakes soaked for more than a few minutes in milk. I was and am a texture kid. Smooth has always been my favorite, but crunchy too. I loved the immediate crunch of cornflakes in milk, but if I missed the crunch….I had to wait for the soaked and smooth!
What is your favorite childhood memory?
My favorite childhood memory was the predictability of traditions, like warm slippers and jammies every Christmas, or new stuff at the beginning of school. As an adult I am always about routines and being organized, so I guess the two go hand in hand. The tradition (or routine) has fueled my adult skills of routines, process, and order. It made me feel safe then and now.
What is your favorite place or activity in Contra Costa County?
I have several, and fortunately for me there are a lot of wide open spaces in Contra Costa County. I love the open spaces. I love Mt. Diablo, Shell Ridge, and my neighborhood that is unincorporated and has the feeling of the country and not the city.
What was special about your parents?
My dad died when he was 36, so I can only speculate that he was a wonderful dad because he brought my family here to have a better life from Mexico. He also played guitar, which was one regret I had for not knowing him; I might also have been exposed to music as a young person. My mom is my heroine. She raised three children, alone, with no English, in a place which at the time was less than friendly to foreigners. If only First 5 had existed then. My life has great purpose because of who she was. She was an immigrant in a strange place that may have offered resources, but she did not know about them. Knowledge is power, and when I empower parents I feel fulfilled. How lucky am I to get to teach my First 5 parents about what is available for them EVERY DAY.
What is your favorite children’s book?
My mom did not have more than a 6th grade education, so reading was not a strength for me until I reached adulthood and continued on in school. When I became a mom, reading was very important and I discovered Everyone Poops. It was my favorite because it was my kid’s favorite.