Heidi Deeringhoff and Megan Soldati

Heidi Deeringhoff and Megan Soldati

The start of the school year brought two Pleasanton educators together in a special way after more than 20 years. New Fairlands’ Principal Heidi Deeringhoff began her career in Pleasanton schools in 1995 as a kindergarten teacher at Lydiksen Elementary School. In 1998, she had Megan Soldati in her class.

“One of the things I remember about Megan is that every time I did a read-a-loud, as soon as I showed the front book cover she would raise her hand and shout, ‘I know that book,’” said Deeringhoff.

As Soldati grew older, she’d go back to volunteer in Deeringhoff’s classroom, even as a college student.

“I have great memories of being in Heidi’s kindergarten class way back when,” Soldati said. “I even still have my book box we created together.”

After graduating college, Soldati worked in the private sector. However, she quickly realized teaching was where her heart has always been. In Deeringhoff’s first year as Principal of Fairlands Elementary School, she encountered Soldati teaching kindergarten in a classroom of her own.

“I knew from a young age I wanted to be a teacher, and Heidi always welcomed me back in her classrooms to visit, read, or work with students,” Soldati said. “Now I’m also an educator, and Heidi’s been an incredible mentor and friend — helping me navigate this wild first year of teaching. I love that it’s come full circle: 1998 at Lydiksen, where she was my K teacher and I was her student; now 2019 at Fairlands where I’m the K teacher and she’s the principal. It's still pretty surreal at times! I feel totally lucky that she's the one leading us at Fairlands and supporting me throughout this journey.”

Added Deeringhoff, “I felt like she was destined to be a teacher. I’m so glad that we have people like Megan going into education who want to make a difference and realize the importance of connecting with her students.”