UCP of the North Bay
Cypress School Update
June 5, 2020
Dear Cypress Families:
Transitioning from Cypress School Director Laura Briggin to incoming Cypress School Director, Nate Yates: from the past, to the present, to the future!!!
How has the Cypress story grown- the parallel professional paths of Laura and Nate!
How did I get here today? In 1972, as an 18 year old, College of Marin student, I volunteered three times weekly as the Deep Water Instructor with the Larkspur Special Education class for students with special needs. In 1976, I completed my BS, Regular Education and Special Education Credentials and MS in Special Education. During this time, I continued to work in the special needs classroom and group homes for children with special needs. In 1978, Margaret Farman and I started a residential non-profit, Therapon Association, and supported children and adults with special needs, in group homes and day programs in Marin County for 17 years. In 1996, I began ABC School in the East Bay and directed that program for eleven years, adding my Board Certified Behavior Analyst certification. In 2007, I began Cypress School and we have grown from serving 3 to 76 children and young adults with the help of UCPNB, Margaret, Nate, Deepak and so many others!!! I will continue ten hours weekly as a consultant but I am now passing the baton today to Nate with a proud, confident, grateful and hopeful look forward.
How did Nate get here to today? In 1998, as an 18 year old, College of Marin student, Nate began working in a group home for children with special needs. He finished his BA at UC Santa Cruz in 2003. From 2004-2007 Nate worked as a Special Education Teacher with ABC School. He received his Special Education Credential from San Francisco State in 2007 and his Masters with an Autism specialty in 2010. From 2007-2011 he worked as a Special Education Teacher for the Larkspur School District. From 2011 through the present, he has moved from the Cypress School Special Education Teacher, to Head Teacher, to Assistant Director and now will serve as the Director!
The students and their families we support at Cypress School and Behavior Services have experienced a lifetime of challenging times. However, today is one of the most challenging! We have always designed and taught a unique blend of individualized positive behavior supports, social emotional/communication skills, emotional/sensory regulation skills, functional academics, physical, living and vocational skills. Cypress staff and therapists give our students love, respect and life experience. We are now learning how to expand this during a particularly challenging time.
It will take a tremendous amount of teamwork across our extended community to reach our goals in the coming year. Nate, Joe Thompson, Assistant Director, and our educational and therapeutic consultants (including me), teachers, aides, and the family teams of our students remain the ongoing innovators that will take us into a creative, productive, and safe future.