Cypress School Faculty
Laura Briggin – Cypress School Director
Laura has over 40 years of professional experience as a Non-Public School Principal, Board Certified Behavior Analyst, and Special Education Teacher. She received a Master of Science degree in Special Education from Dominican University in 1987 and became a member of The Association for the Severely Handicapped (TASH) in 1978. Laura established, and served as the Principal of, ABC School at the California Autism Foundation. During her 10 years, Laura developed a new 6,000 square foot school site, and increased enrollment to 45 students with autism spectrum disorders, developmental disabilities, and emotional disabilities.
As a leader in the field of special education, Laura was invited to Ljubljana, Slovenia in July 2006 where she provided a four-day autism services training seminar for medical and educational professionals.
Laura is working with Special Education Local Plan Areas, school districts, and parents to make Cypress School one of the premiere non-public schools in the San Francisco Bay Area. When asked about the development of Cypress School, Laura said, “It’s a dream come true – when we open our doors for the first day of school the families that we serve always find a dedicated staff committed to the well-being and education of their children.”
Nathan Yates, Cypress School Assistant Director
Nathan Yates is the new Cypress School Assistant Director. Nathan has eight years of experience teaching students with autism, four years at A Better Chance School in Richmond, and most recently four years at Hall Middle School in Larkspur.
He is a Level 2 Special Education teacher and just completed his Master’s in Special Education, working under Pamela Wolfburg, with a specialization in Autism. Nathan worked with Autistry Studios for two years teaching their Film Making classes. Nathan is a tremendous addition to the Cypress School team and we are confident that his involvement and participation will help propel the school’s mission.
DEEPAK TIMSINA, CYPRESS SCHOOL ADMINISTRATOR
M.A., Economics and Sociology. Cypress Administrator since August 2007. Deepak has 13 years’ experience in Special Education (8 years in USA and 5 years in Nepal) and 2 years’ experience in research and SWOT analysis. In Special Education setting he has worked in many settings such as program manager, human resource professional, quality assurance coordinator, assistant teacher and administrator. Previous to Cypress School Deepak worked as an intern social worker in the California Autism Foundation’s A Better Chance School and manager at the Nepal Disabled Association with the Central Community Based Disability Rehabilitation Program. He served Nepalese with all kinds of disabilities in different remote parts of Nepal.
As an Administrator for Cypress School, Deepak has helped Laura Briggin (School Director) in many clinical as well as administrative areas from the very first day. He felt very lucky to be an important part of Cypress’s team and worked and learned from amazing director Laura Briggin. Since August 2007 he has worn many hats, as he has helped the Cypress grow from a small start-up school of 3 kids to the multifaceted organization it is today. He has also served as the First Aid, CPR and AED Instructor for the school.
Please email Deepak or call him at (707) 766-9990, Ext 105 for assistance.
Margaret Farman – Chief Executive Officer
Margaret Farman has served as Chief Executive Officer of United Cerebral Palsy of the North Bay since November 2006. Her career in the field of developmental disabilities has spanned over 35 years – developing education, employment, recreation, housing, and supported living services. She has also served on numerous community advisory boards – advocating for the rights of people with developmental disabilities and coordinating services with state and local agencies.
Under her leadership, UCP of the North Bay has experienced rapid growth with the development of Cypress Primary School, Cypress Secondary School, Recreation Services and Social Enterprises: Gone For Good, OADS, Petaluma Recycling Center, and WineBev Services. Cypress School serves students ages 5-22 with autism and other developmental disabilities. Gone For Good, OADS, Petaluma Recycling Center and WineBev Services employ adults with developmental disabilities – paying them market rate wages that help to create economic self-sufficiency. UCP of the North Bay is currently expanding supported employment opportunities in Napa, Sonoma & Solano counties, developing jobs with many diverse employers.
We invite you to contact Margaret by email or phone at (707) 766-9990, Ext 102 to learn more about United Cerebral Palsy of the North Bay.
Ron Hamilton – Chief of Operations
M.S., Recreation Administration. Chief of Operations since March 2007. His career in developmental disabilities has spanned 31 years – developing recreation, adult day, and residential services. He was the Program Director for 16 years at Recreation Center for the Handicapped, the non-profit organization that began the recreation movement for children and adults with disabilities in 1952. He has also taught at San Francisco State University and served as the Chair of the San Francisco Developmental Disabilities Council and as the Therapeutic Recreation Representative, District III Board, of the California Parks and Recreation Society.
Please contact Ron by email or call him at 415-847-7892.
Ludy Argouarch – Chief Financial Officer
B.A., Business Administration. Chief Financial Officer since August 2007. Her career in developmental disabilities has spanned 28 years – providing financial management for non-profit organizations serving children and adults. She directs our financial planning, human resources, and accounting practices, as well as our relationship with lending institutions and the financial community. She has extensive experience with reporting financial outcomes of projects and she is responsible for the fiscal management of WineBev Services and Gone for Good, both social enterprises of United Cerebral Palsy of the North Bay.
Please email Ludy or call her at (707) 766-9990, Ext 104 for assistance.