Marilyn Reisen earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Cross-Cultural Psychology at UC Davis in 1970. She chose to create an Individual Group Major that exposed her to a broad spectrum of knowledge about human beings and their development. Anthropological (physical and cultural), sociological, psychological, and historical studies enabled the desired grounding and understanding. Her graduate year involved a concentration of education-based course work, seminar, and a full year of intern team teaching. She earned her Elementary Life Teaching Credential in 1971 through the UC Davis education department, as there was no official School of Education at that time.
Ms. Reisen went on to a 40-year career in education. She launched her career as Co-Director of the Menlo Park City Preschool, administered the Menlo Park City summer programs, and taught classes for 3 1/2–5 year olds. She taught in kindergarten through second grade in the Menlo Park City School District, and then was recruited to a teaching position at the independent Nueva School, which has campuses in Hillsborough and San Mateo. Ms. Reisen served as the Pre-Kindergarten Teacher and Director for twenty-five years. Her teaching roles at the Nueva School expanded into administration and in 2001 she accepted the role of Early Childhood Coordinator for Pre-K-first grades. In 2003 her administrative role grew as she accepted the position of the school’s first Lower School Head (Principal) for Pre-K-fourth grades. In 2008, with extensive institutional memory and contacts, Ms. Reisen became Nueva School’s Alumni Director.
Officially retiring in 2012 yet still committed to the belief that education is the key to a thriving society, she renewed her connections to UC Davis and has since participated in financial and mentoring supports within the School of Education. Her passion for teaching and quality education for all children has only grown stronger since she recognized and acted upon it starting at age 7. In 2016, Ms. Reisen established the Marilyn G. Reisen Early Education Scholarship Award at UC Davis, which is given each year to a School of Education teaching credential or master’s degree student with a demonstrated interest in pursuing a career in early childhood education at the K-6 level.