When Kaylie Denenberg got a call about job openings at San Diego schools, she knew exactly where she wanted to teach: Pacific Beach Elementary.

Kaylie lives in Pacific Beach, just a few blocks from PBE, but even better than the short commute was the opportunity to work alongside her mother, Pamela Denenberg, a first-grade teacher at the school.

Kaylie had spent the last two years teaching at Central Elementary School in City Heights. She was named site teacher of the year for the 2017/2018 school year, but she was looking for a change, and she’d heard a lot about PBE from her mom.

“My mom was always saying how wonderful the school was,” Kaylie said, so she accepted the job as a kindergarten teacher, replacing the departing Mary Galvin.

Kaylie grew up in Crown Point and went to the University of Missouri, where she majored in journalism. While in college she worked at a preschool and it was there she discovered her passion for teaching. After graduating, Kaylie moved back to to San Diego and got her teaching credentials at San Diego State University.

Even though she teaches some of the school’s youngest students, Kaylie encourages independent learning.

“I want the students to be in charge, to learn things that interest them,” Kaylie said. She allows flexible seating in her classroom, giving the kindergartners the ability to work in different areas.

She said her experience at PBE is exactly as her mom described it, and more.

“Everyone is so welcoming and kind,” Kaylie said, “I feel really lucky to be teaching here,” she said.

As an added bonus, if she forgets her lunch, Kaylie said she can always raid her mom’s well-stocked mini fridge.