Meet the Staff

The teachers at Woodland Hills Private School are specially selected and trained for our program. They work with both the children and the parents to assure a positive school experience. Their experience, dedication, caring ways and professional concern will nurture you child through these formative years.

 Staff Qualifications

Preschool: All our preschool teachers are experienced and certified in Early Childhood Education.
Elementary: All our kindergarten through 5th grade teachers have a credential or equivalent (or are currently completing the credential program), and hold MA and/or BA degrees. Our TK lead teachers hold MA and/or BA degrees and a credential (or equivalent) or certification in Early childhood Education. Our teachers have degrees and specialized training in elementary and early childhood education from some of the finest universities.

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Administration Team

Lynn Kuo | Founding Director/Head of School | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
The founding director and co-owner of WHPS since 1985, Ms. Lynn holds an MA in Education from SUNY at Buffalo, N.Y. She has been in the education field since 1978 and a director since 1983. Education has always been her passion. As a lifetime member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), Ms. Lynn enjoys attending educational conferences, professional workshops, and school legislative seminars. She visits other schools and always keeps current on the most updated information concerning the education of children of all ages. Her goal is to always work to keep WHPS growing and improving. Ms. Lynn always welcomes all of your comments and suggestions as she is always looking to continue to enhance the school program in order to provide the best care and educational foundation for your children.
 
Mission Statement
  • To ensure Woodland Hills Private School continues to be a unique place where all children can succeed.
  • To provide a nurturing environment where children gain love and a great foundation to become a lifelong learner who respects others and appreciates the world around them.
  • To provide a learning space where parents know their children are in good hands and believe WHPS is one of the best decisions they have made for their children.
  • To remain a school where all teachers are proud of what they are doing and recognize that they can be one of the best things in a child’s life and feel rewarded with their career.

Seth Pozzi | Assistant Head of School | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mr. Pozzi has been in the education field since 2004 with past experience as an elementary and middle school teacher, Dean of Students, Elementary Principal and Interim Head of School. Mr. Pozzi holds a BS in K-8 Education and a MS in Administration from the Educational Leadership Academy at Pepperdine University. He has been actively involved in research on social-emotional learning, resiliency, grit-building, and leadership education for elementary school students, in collaboration with several colleges and universities, including Pepperdine and The University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Pozzi is passionate about developing a strengths-based school community that values and leverages each child and staff member’s unique talents and strengths.
 
Mission Statement
I use my natural talents and gifts for being strategic, futuristic, an activator of others and a good communicator, and I strive to incorporate the following attributes into all areas of my life: understanding, compassion and ethics.

Jacey Dexter | Elementary Principal | Oxnard Campus | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ms. Dexter has been with the WHPS family since 2008, both as an administrator and as an elementary teacher. She has a BA from CSUN, a MA in Cross Cultural Education, a California Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, and is a member of the Computer-Using Educators (CUE) organization. As an administrator, Ms. Dexter has served as a member of the school’s WASC committee, has helped establish a competitive sports program at WHPS, and is working on integrating technology into the program to support our 21st century learners. Ms. Dexter strives to motivate the students and staff to reach their full potential, and her door is always open to all staff, students and parents, with the belief that every voice should be heard.
 
Mission Statement
My mission is to motivate students and staff, and to build partnerships with parents. I strive for our students to feel empowered and take ownership of their learning as well as take pride in their unique contributions to our school community.  I will use my natural talents to keep perspective, work hard, and listen effectively. My life’s journey is a process of growing, learning, experiences, and loving my family.

Robin Gee | Preschool and Toddler Center Director | Collins Campus | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Robin has been in the education field since 1987. She has been a Director since 1992, including 13 years as an Executive Director and has been a Director at the Collins Campus since 2010. A fully qualified preschool director, Robin has a BA in Child Development and earned a Dedication Award for 20 years of Child Care Experience.
 
Mission Statement
My mission is to motivate and inspire teachers to be the best they can be and to help develop an environment which creates love, harmony and creative experiences for young children. I want to give parents the tools and confidence to build positive relationships with their child.

Ailin Sacks | Preschool and Toddler Center Associate Director | Collins Campus | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ms. Ailin is a fully qualified preschool director with a degree in Child Development, a B.S. in Human Services and is currently pursuing her MA in Early Childhood Education. Ms. Ailin has been with WHPS since 2009, and has been a teacher at both the Collins and Oxnard campuses, as well as a part of the administration team at the Oxnard campus. Her breadth of knowledge, both in the classroom and in the office, is invaluable as Associate Director. Ms. Ailin has been trained to screen children for developmental delays by the Child Development Institute Early Learning Center, where she also continues to volunteer in her spare time.
 
Mission Statement
My mission is to maintain positive relationships with the staff, parents and children as well as work towards a safe successful learning community. To create an environment of empathy, honesty, and integrity. I will work towards helping guide the staff to find their individual philosophies and pursue of knowledge in the field of Early Childhood Education. To inspire all the children at WHPS to reach for the stars!

Tracy Ewing | Preschool Director | Oxnard Campus | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tracy holds her Ph.D. and M.A. in Child and Adolescent Development from UC Santa Barbara, specializing in Early Childhood Education, and has a B.A. in Psychology. Tracy has been in the Early Childhood Education field for 17 years, with 6 years of experience as a child care owner/operator, 2 years as a center director and 8 years as a preschool teacher. She also currently teaches Child and Adolescent Development at CSUN, which keeps her connected to the most current research and trends in Early Childhood Education.

Christine Chiché | Preschool Co-Director | Oxnard Campus | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ms. Christine started with WHPS in 1999 and is a fully qualified preschool teacher and director with a BA in Liberal Studies and 24+ ECE units. Ms. Christine was a teacher at our Collins Campus for 10 years and the Camp Director for 5 years. Ms. Christine has been the Co-Director at the Oxnard Campus since 2013.
 
Mission Statement
My mission is to motivate and inspire creativity in all children. I want to support children's ideas and show them their thoughts matter in and out of the classroom. I want children to appreciate their natural surroundings because there is always a lesson to be learned.

Samantha Breyer | Office Manager | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ms. Samantha joined the WHPS team in the summer of 2015 and is excited to be back in the education field. She graduated summa cum laude from CSUN with a BA in Liberal Studies and a multiple subject teaching credential. With over 5 years of experience working in elementary schools and over 8 years of experience in office administration, including 4 years as an Office Manager, Ms. Samantha is uniquely qualified as our school office manager.

Sheila Rudow | Assistant Office Manager | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  Ms. Sheila joined the WHPS team in 2016, has been in the customer service industry since 2010 and in the education field since 2014. 

Serena Koegler | Director of Operations | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

As an alumna of WHPS, Serena was happy to return as a staff member in 2013. Serena has a BS in Business Administration from USC and an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. Her work experience includes consulting and product management for companies such as Navigant Consulting, Ernst & Young, and Target, as well as involvement in WHPS operations since 1985. Serena is involved in all aspects of the schools' operations, including daily operations, human resources, finance, facilities management, marketing, and WASC.
 
Mission Statement
My mission is to pursue continual growth through all the unique experiences, ideas, and interactions encountered through life. I hope to create a community of diverse individuals working together to create something far more extraordinary than we could imagine independently.

Wentar Kuo | Owner | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

As the owner of WHPS, Wentar plays an active role in the general operation of the school. Wentar has an MSin Computer Engineering from SUNY in Buffalo, N.Y. and was the Vice President of a high tech company before becoming involved in the daily operations of WHPS in the year 2000. Wentar oversees the direction of maintenance and repair, the upgrading of playgrounds and the facilities, and is our liaison with the community. Wentar is very hands-on with the daily activities of WHPS, and you will often see him directing traffic or talking with teachers and parents all around the school.

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2016-2017 Preschool - Collins Street Campus
 
Cindy Candelario Toddler Teacher Room 1
Ms. Cindy started with WHPS in 2016 and is a fully qualified toddler teacher with 22 ECE units, and has been working in the education field since 2013.
 
Mission Statement
My mission is to take advantage of the little teachable moments that happen every day by fostering creative, social, emotional and physical growth and development among the children. To provide a safe, loving and nurturing environment for the children and their families in the classroom.
 
Malvida "Miley" Mardon Toddler Assistant Teacher | Room 1
Ms. Miley has been with WHPS since 2013. She is a fully qualified preschool teacher with preschool teaching experience and has completed the Early Child Development series at Pierce College. Ms. Miley is patient, caring, outgoing, passionate and dependable. She truly enjoys spending time with young children and loves to make friends with the kids. Ms. Miley's interests include cooking, singing, dancing and reading books.
 
Evelyn Cueva | Toddler Teacher | Room 3
Ms. Evelyn started with WHPS in 2014 and is a fully qualified toddler teacher who has been working in the child care field since 2003. She has 32 ECE units from Santa Monica College, and she is also working towards her BA in Early Childhood Education.
 
Mission Statement
As an Early Childhood Educator, it is my mission to provide children with a safe, nurturing, child-centered, stimulating environment to fulfill their social-emotional, physical and cognitive development. My focus is to instill the love for learning in each child and to develop lifelong learners.
 
Erica Ochoa | Toddler Assistant Teacher | Room 3
Ms. Erica joined WHPS in 2016 and is a fully qualified toddler teacher who has been working in the education field since 2008. She has 30 ECE units from Valley College.
 
Sheri Misko | Young Preschool Co-Teacher | Room 2
Ms. Sheri is a fully qualified preschool teacher with 25 ECE units that has been in the teaching field since 1997 and with WHPS since 2010.
 
Mission Statement
As a teacher of young children, it is my mission to provide a loving, healthy and safe environment. To provide experiences for young children that will inspire independence, a positive self-image, kindness and respect. It is my goal to provide an environment that encourages young children’s learning through hands-on experiences and opportunities for multi-sensory exploration and discovery. To nurture a child’s natural curiosity and imagination by providing an environment where children feel confident to explore and learn about the world they live in. My goal is to foster the children’s intellectual creative, social, emotional, and physical growth and development through these experiences.
 
Alex Trundy | Young Preschool Co-Teacher | Room 2
Ms. Alex joined WHPS in 2016 as a fully qualified preschool teacher with an AA degree in Science and 30 ECE units.  She has been in the education field since 2015.
 
Mission Statement
My mission as a teacher is to develop meaningful relationships with each child while instilling individuality and self confidence; in an environment where they can learn from themselves, each other, and the world around them.
 
Stephanie Miller | Young Preschool Teacher | Room 4
Ms. Stephanie is a fully qualified preschool teacher who joined WHPS in 2015 with a BA in Art and an MA in Educational Psychology in Early Childhood Education. Ms. Stephanie entered the education field in 2000, and she is also trained in the Reggio approach.
 
Mission Statement
My mission as an educator is to inspire children to discover their strengths and significance in the world through authentic experiences.
 
Cristina Castanon | Young Preschool Associate Teacher | Room 4
Ms. Cristina is a fully qualified preschool teacher who joined WHPS in 2014.  She has an AA in Child Development, a BA in Liberal Studies, and an Associate Teacher Permit.
 
Mission Statement
My mission is to teach, inspire, encourage and support students by providing a safe, secure and loving environment. I want them to feel confident about themselves and to always look forward to coming to school.
 
Jessica Monjes | Three Year Old Preschool Co-Teacher Room 5
Ms. Jessica has been with WHPS since 2014. A fully qualified preschool teacher with 32 ECE units, Ms. Jessica also has a Kinder Intervention Program certificate.
 
Mission Statement
I believe a loving and cooperative environment promotes cultural values and positive relationships as well as respectful interactions. My priority is for children to learn by doing and experiencing hands-on, which will help them reach their fullest potential socially, emotionally and intellectually.
 
Krystine Riley Three Year Old Preschool Co-Teacher | Room 5
A fully qualified preschool teacher with 24 ECE units, Ms. Krystine has been with WHPS since 2012 and has worked with children since 2004.
 
Mission Statement
My mission as a preschool teacher is to provide an environment where the children feel safe, loved, and supported. I want to encourage them to feel secure to be themselves and motivate them to be explorers of the world.
 
Brianna Goodie | Three Year Old Preschool Teacher | Room 6
Ms. Brianna is a fully qualified teacher that has been in the education field since 2005, has been with WHPS since 2008, and is trained in the Reggio approach.
 
Mission Statement
It is my mission to defend and promote the potential of all children by providing them with a developmentally appropriate and caring environment that supports children’s emotional, social, cognitive and physical development. With a child-initiated and inquiry-based education, the children and I will construct their learning experience through observation, intentional planning, creative environments, and an active exploration of materials. Through the use of documentation, I will learn from the children as well as enhance their learning. My goal is for every child to emerge as socially capable, creative citizens who love learning.
 
Roxanne "Roxy" Cruz Three Year Old Preschool Associate Teacher | Room 6
Ms. Roxy joined WHPS in 2016 and has a BA in Language Arts from CSULB and an AA from Moorpark College.  She has been in the education field since 2006.
 
Mission Statement
My mission is to foster motivation and guide children to thrive on values such as honesty, courtesy, and respect and also to promote preparation for their future and various responsibilities outside of school.
 
Shelley DeVito | Three Year Old Preschool Teacher | Room 8
Teaching children at WHPS since 1985, Ms. Shelley is a fully qualified preschool teacher with an AA in Child Development, and a member of NAEYC (National Association of Education for Young Children) and CAEYC (California Association for the Education of Young Children).
 
Mission Statement
In my classroom...
You are Amazing
You are Important
You are Leaders
You are Creators
You are Explorers
You are Friends
You are Unique
You are Respected
You are Loved
You are The future
You are the reason I'm here.
 
Stacey Kern Three Year Old Preschool Associate Teacher | Room 8
Ms. Stacey joined WHPS in 2016 and is a fully qualified preschool teacher with an AA in Early Childhood Education with 60 ECE units.
 
Mission Statement
My mission as a preschool teacher is to treat each child like they're family. I believe my job is to bring out the very best in them by introducing them to creative and fun learning techniques. I recognize their individuality, and make them feel like school is a safe and happy place to be.
 
Pam Cohen | Pre-Kindergarten Teacher | Room 7
Pam is a fully qualified preschool teacher that has been in the field of early childhood education since 1975 and with WHPS since 1985.
 
Mission Statement
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.”
-John F. Kennedy
 
Juliana Castro | Pre-Kindergarten Associate Teacher | Room 7
Joining the WHPS team in 2015, Ms. Juliana is a fully qualified preschool teacher with a Preschool Teacher Certificate and over 30 units in Child Development. She has worked with children from 2-4 years old since 2012.
 
Mission Statement
My mission is to make every day a teachable moment by nursing self-esteem, creativity, emotional and physical growth for their foundation with a lifelong commitment to learning for every student.
 
Dora Mowry | Pre-Kindergarten Teacher | Room 9
Ms. Dora is a fully qualified preschool teacher, working with children since 1981 and at WHPS since 1992.
 
Mission Statement
I will use my knowledge and kind heart to encourage positive behavior for others to see how very easy and rewarding it is to express kindness, appreciation and love on a daily basis.
 
Karen Ortez | Pre-Kindergarten Assistant Teacher | Room 9
A fully qualified and experienced preschool teacher, who has been in the education field since 1991, Ms. Karen has been with WHPS since 2000.
 
Mission Statement
Start each day with a smile…
The warmth it brings others will help strengthen yourself.
Teach respect for nature and become a part of it too.
Role model positive thoughts and behaviors.
Good vibes can be contagious!
 
Angie Martir | Pre-Kindergarten Teacher | Room 10
Ms. Angie has an AA in Child Development from Mission College, joined WHPS in 2001 and has a wide range of experience with children of many ages.
 
Mission Statement
I thrive on enriching children's minds with meaningful learning experiences. I am passionate about encouraging children's confidence and teaching them how to be compassionate, respectful, and loving individuals.
 
Anna Sera | Pre-Kindergarten Associate Teacher / Garden Specialist | Room 10
Ms. Anna is a fully qualified preschool teacher, working with children since 1995 and at WHPS since 2004.  She attended Los Angeles Valley College, majored in Child Development, and is a member of NAEYC (National Association of Education for Young Children).
 
Mission Statement
I am passionate about teaching children to love nature, care for the environment, and respect all living things.
 

2016-2017 Preschool - Oxnard Street Campus
 
Stacey Rubenstein | Young Preschool Teacher | Room 1
A fully qualified preschool teacher with a BA in Child Development from CSUN, Ms. Stacey has been teaching preschool (including toddlers) since 1999, and has been with WHPS since 2013.
 
Mission Statement
As a preschool teacher, my mission is to encourage, motivate and provide each child with a strong foundation for life-long learning and inspiration to excel through social-emotional development in a safe and nurturing environment.
 
Annette Ruffato Young Preschool Assistant Teacher | Room 1
With experience in the education field since 2002 and having worked as a dance teacher in our optional enrichment programs for about eleven years, Ms. Annette has been with WHPS since 2005. She is a fully qualified preschool teacher with an Early Childhood Education Certificate.
 
Maryam SeyedHosseini | Young Preschool Teacher | Room 2
Ms. Maryam is a fully qualified preschool teacher who started at WHPS in 2014 and has been in the education field since 2007. Ms. Maryam has an AA in Child Development from Pierce College and a BA in Child Development from CSUN.
 
Mission Statement
I want to make a difference in a child's life, I will always look at each child as an individual and I will make them feel unique. I want to touch their lives and make my classroom a great life experience for them.
 
Ellen Navarro Young Preschool Assistant Teacher | Room 2
A fully qualified preschool teacher that has been in the education field since 1995, Ms. Ellen joined WHPS in 2003 with 28 ECE units from Mission College.
 
Amber Lucio | Young Preschool Teacher | Room 11
Ms. Amber is a fully qualified preschool teacher and started with WHPS in 2013.
 
Mission Statement
I will find every opportunity to use my creativity and bring happiness to my classroom. I will inspire my students to be themselves and accept those around them as they are, to love and create friendships. I am committed to keeping a positive and safe environment where constant growth takes place. My mission is to set an example for my students and build their confidence, to allow them to shine as individuals, and to be here for them with an open heart, open ears, and open arms.
 
Elizabeth Santana | Young Preschool Associate Teacher | Room 11
Ms. Elizabeth is a fully qualified preschool teacher with a Bachelor’s degree in Child and Adolescent Development from CSUN and has been working in the field of Early Childhood Education since 2007.
 
Traci Maki-Brandonisio | Young Three Year Old Preschool Co-Teacher | Room 3
A member of the NAEYC (National Association of Education for Young Children), and in the education field since 2000, Ms. Traci joined WHPS in 2015. Ms. Traci has an AA in Child Development and holds certificates in Special Education and Infants and Toddlers.
 
Mission Statement
My mission statement for our future generation is to inspire them to be independent so they feel like they are fully capable and can do anything on their own. I wish for them to be strong and passionate, and to know how to stand up for what they believe in. I encourage them to feel confident, to try new things and to know that they are in a safe place. I want them to know that they will make mistakes, and they will be wrong sometimes, and that it is OK. Making mistakes and being wrong can teach us important lessons on how to be a better individual. I hope they learn to accept themselves and the beautiful world around them. I also encourage them to be creative in every aspect of their life. I hope the children leave my classroom and move to the next chapter of their life with love for learning and discovering new things. Most importantly, I want them to always feel loved and for them to share that love with others around them.
 
Liz Rudnick Young Preschool Assistant Teacher | Room 3
Ms. Lizzie is a fully qualified preschool teacher joining the WHPS team in early 2014 with an AA in Child Development and over 30 ECE units. Ms. Lizzie has a State of California Teacher Permit plus Certifications as a Director of a Preschool, Infant Care Teacher, and Preschool Teacher.
 
Vanessa Martinez | Three Year Old Preschool Teacher | Room 4
Ms. Vanessa has been teaching at WHPS since 2012. A fully qualified and experienced preschool teacher, she has been working in the education field since 2003.
 
Mission Statement
My mission is to teach and inspire with creativity and enthusiasm, giving the very best of myself as an educator. Giving your child the courage to try new things, the curiosity to seek new answers and the confidence to be the best they can be. To always give love and build relationships based on trust and understanding.
 
Marcy Aroche Three Year Old Preschool Teacher | Room 5
Ms. Marcy joined WHPS in 2016 and is a fully qualified preschool teacher with 27 ECE units.  Ms. Marcy is currently working on her AA in Child Development and Liberal Studies, and has been in the education field since 1997.
 
Mission Statement
My mission is to show each one of my students that, I genuinely love them by virtue of going the extra mile for them so they may learn, and experience academic success to their best potential.
 
Evelyn Sanchez | Three Year Old Preschool Teacher | Room 5
Starting at WHPS in 2013, Ms. Evelyn is a fully qualified preschool teacher with her AA in Liberal Studies and is completing her BA in Liberal Studies at CSUN. Ms. Evelyn has been in the education field since 2006.
 
Mission Statement
I believe that no one child is the same and they learn in different ways. It is my mission to teach your each child as an individual so they can learn and be successful. It is also my mission to treat children with love and respect. I will teach children about the world in a positive way so they can grow up to be the best humans.
 
Lori Hall Young Pre-Kindergarten Teacher | Room 6
Ms. Lori joined WHPS in 2016 and is a fully qualified teacher with 24 ECE units including Special Education and Preschool Administration. Ms. Lori is working on her BA in Special Education and has been in the education field since 2006.
 
Mission Statement
I hope to inspire my students to always be curious.
I hope to instill a lifelong passion for learning.
I hope to share the enjoyment of exploring our uniquely diverse world.
I hope to motivate my students to live a healthy lifestyle.
I hope to enthuse my students to find inner happiness.
I hope to share the joy gained by helping others.
I hope to achieve all of these things for myself both professionally and personally.
 
Stephanie Garcia Three Year Old Preschool Co-Teacher | Room 5
Starting at WHPS in 2015, Ms. Stephanie entered the education field in 2006 and is a fully qualified preschool teacher with 28 ECE units and a 12 unit PITC Certification (Program for Infant Toddler Care) from Pacific Oaks College.
 
Kirsten Wetzel | Three Year Old Preschool Teacher | Room 7
Ms. Kirsten joined WHPS in 2011 and is a fully qualified preschool teacher with 24 ECE units and experience in the education field since 2004.
 
Mission Statement
My Mission is to create a loving and trusting learning environment where the children grow as a whole. I want to provide a space that is both comforting and challenging for the children. I hope in doing this, I can learn and be inspired from the children as well.
 
Ashley Nuno | Three Year Old Preschool Assistant Teacher | Room 7
Ms. Ashley is a fully qualified preschool teacher with an AS in Child Development and a BA in Child Development, joining the WHPS team in the summer of 2015.
 
Mission Statement
My goal is to foster growth, confidence and creativity with every child I touch. I want to show all children they are loved and cared for to ensure trust and a healthy foundation for friendships and relationships. Finally, I want children in my care to gain a love and joy for school and learning! I wish for all children to continue in becoming lifelong learners.
 
Tanya Colligan | Pre-Kindergarten Teacher | Room 8
A part of WHPS since 1996, Ms. Tanya is a fully qualified preschool and pre-kindergarten teacher that has been in the education field since 1993. Ms. Tanya has a BA in Liberal Studies from CSUN and is also a member of NAEYC (National Association of Education for Young Children) and CAEYC (California Association of Education for Young Children).
 
Mission Statement
My mission is to be kind, be positive, be inspired, be creative, and be present in the moment. To know every student can learn just not on the same day or in the same way.
 
Nicole Dow Preschool Associate Teacher | Room 8
Ms. Nicole joined WHPS in 2016 and is a fully qualified preschool teacher with experience in the education field since 2001.
 
Mission Statement
My mission as a Pre-K teacher is to encourage and motivate my students to embrace their curiosity and creativity. I want to inspire in them a love of learning by building a foundation of trust, respect and love.
 
Shilpa Patel | Pre-Kindergarten Teacher | Room 9
Ms. Shilpa is a fully qualified preschool and pre-kindergarten teacher with a BA in Child Development. Ms. Shilpa has been in the education field since 1996, is a member of NAEYC (National Association for Education of Young Children) and CAEYC (California Association for Education of Young Children), and has been at WHPS since 2002.
 
Syra Siddiqui | Preschool Associate Teacher | Room 9
Ms. Syra joined in WHPS 2016 and is a fully qualified preschool teacher with a Bachelor's degree in English Literature & Sociology.  Ms. Syra has been in the education field since 2014.
 
Mission Statement
I'm at my best when I'm challenged I'm at my best when I provide comfort to a child and make a difference in his/her day I'm at my best when I see the world through my little friends' eyes I'm at my best when I give my best to each of them It's children, without a doubt, who bring out the best in me!
 
Cindy Valeri | Pre-Kindergarten Teacher / Opening Staff | Room 10
Ms. Cindy has been at WHPS since 2007. Ms. Cindy is a fully qualified preschool and pre-kindergarten teacher with an AA in Early Childhood Education and has experience in the education field since 1988. She is also a member of NAEYC (National Association of Education for Young Children) and CAEYC (California Association of Education for Young Children).
 
Mission Statement
I want to provide an environment where all children can achieve success to their fullest potential and have fun doing it.
 
Valerie De La Torre Preschool Assistant Teacher Room 10
Ms. Valerie joined WHPS in 2016 and is a fully qualified teacher with 24 ECE units and experience in the education field since 2014.
 
Mission Statement
My mission as a teacher is to show all the children I am around how much I love them equally. I want them to trust me and feel how much I care about them. I want to make coming to school fun because they are still very young. I don’t want them to hate school early on. I want them to remember me years into the future and wish me happy thoughts. I also want to grow and learn from my fellow co-workers. I can already tell there is a lot for me to learn here.
 
Annette Zaduri Pre-Kindergarten Teacher Room 10
Ms. Annette joined WHPS in 2007 and is a fully qualified preschool teacher, with a BA in Liberal Studies from CSUN and experience in the education field since 2001.
 
Mission Statement
Acknowledge
Noble
Nice
Empower
Thankful
Thoughtful
Energetic

2016-2017 Elementary - Oxnard Street Campus
 
Firuza Karwa | Transitional Kindergarten Teacher | Room 14
Joining WHPS in 2000, Ms. Firuza is a fully qualified preschool and transitional kindergarten teacher and holds a BS in Botany, Biochemistry and Environmental Sciences.
 
Mission Statement
“Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think.” - Albert Einstein
 
My mission as a Transitional Kindergarten teacher is...
To motivate and support students by providing them a safe, secure, and loving environment.
To encourage creativity, exploration, and a curious nature.
To encourage students to attempt new activities without fear of mistakes.
To have them know that every error is a learning opportunity.
To educate students cognitively, emotionally, and socially so they may build a strong foundation, and develop a love for life-long learning.
 
I believe in the quote: “Every child is Gifted. They choose to unwrap the package at different times.”
 
Coach” Albert Albino | Transitional Kindergarten Teacher / Elementary Physical Education Teacher | Room 14
With an AA in Child Development, Coach has a solid understanding of the needs of the Transitional Kindergarten, Kindergarten, and elementary age students. Coach joined WHPS in 1996.
 
Mission Statement
My mission is to work hard, stay consistent, and keep all student safe throughout the whole year.
 
Maxia Barnett | Transitional Kindergarten Teacher / Extended Care | Room 14
Ms. Maxia joined WHPS in 2014 with experience in the education field since 2007. Ms. Maxia has an AA from Los Angeles Valley College and she is working towards obtaining her BA from CSUN. She has worked with all elementary grades and has served as an extended care supervisor. She has also been working with our summer program, Camp Woodland Hills, as our cooking instructor and counselor. In March 2015, Ms. Maxia became certified for tennis instruction for children ages 10 and under.
 
 
Rosie Prieto | Kindergarten Teacher | Room 15
Ms. Prieto has experience in the education field since 2006 and joined WHPS in 2015. Ms. Prieto has a BA in Elementary Education and History and a multiple subject teaching credential. She has received honors in Elementary and Early Childhood Education and she made the Dean’s Honor List at Queens College.
 
Mission Statement
My mission is to inspire and nurture students everyday in every way. My goal is for each student to achieve their full potential academically, socially, and emotionally. I want to be the teacher they remember when they are well into adulthood. That teacher that left a positive impact in their heart and mind.
 
Marcy McBean | First Grade Teacher | Room 16
Ms. McBean has a BA in Liberal Studies, with an emphasis in education, and a multiple subject teaching credential from San Diego State University. Ms. McBean joined the WHPS team in 2014, has taught in a dual language school and is a member of ASCD (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development).
 
Mission Statement
My mission is to create a safe, loving environment in which my students feel important and respected. I want to help my students practice empathy and realize the power they have to affect the world around them. I want to instill a love of learning in my students and I want them to know that their best is always enough.
 
Cody Jonsen | First Grade Teacher / Athletic Director | Room 16
Mr. Jonsen has experience in education since 2008 and joined WHPS in 2014. Mr. Jonsen has a BA in History from CSUN, a MA in education at the University of La Verne and is in the credential program. Mr. Jonsen also heads the Bears Athletics program as Athletic Director.
 
Gilea Hurley | Second / Third Grade Teacher | Room 17
Ms. Hurley is a credentialed teacher holding a BA in Elementary Education from Kutztown University in Pennsylvania and an MA in Educational Therapy from CSUN. Starting at WHPS in 1998, and with experience in the field of education since 1995, Ms. Hurley was chosen as “Best Teacher,” as listed in the Daily News in 2000.
 
Mission Statement
My mission is to…
*motivate and inspire my students
*teach my students to embrace their weaknesses and strengths and use them to thrive in their lives
*to deeply understand and listen to others ideas, inventions, and solutions
*inspire in my students positivity, compassion, and respect for themselves and others
*elevate a love of life and learning in my students
*have an open heart and mind
*overcome difficult challenges with unstoppable perseverance
*stimulate a curiosity and adoration for nature in others
 
Jennifer Baker Second / Third Grade Teacher | Room 17
Ms. Baker joined WHPS in 2016 and has been in the education field since 2010.  Ms. Baker holds a BA in Liberal Studies from CSUN and a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential.
 
Mission Statement
My mission is to make sure my students get the most out of their time with me. I will do my very best to ensure they know how much I care about each and every one of them. My hope is that years from now they will think of me and smile.
 
 
Jennifer Vickery | Second / Third Grade Teacher | Room 18
Ms. Vickery began teaching in the elementary classroom in 2009 and at WHPS in 2014. She has a BA in Liberal Studies/Elementary Education with a focus in science, is currently in the credential program, and is Responsive Classroom Certified.
 
Mission Statement
My mission is to support my students in their hopes and dreams. I hope to challenge them in ways they have not been challenged before. I believe, trust, and care about each of my students and hope they will find a love for learning.
 
Melissa Pero | Second / Third Grade Teacher | Room 18
Ms. Pero joined WHPS in 2015 and has experience teaching in grades K-8 since 2006. She also holds a California Multi-Subject Credential and BA in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Earth Science and Astronomy.
 
Mission Statement
My mission is to help students build a love for lifelong learning and approach the challenges of learning with a positive attitude. I want to encourage all my students to do their best and achieve success.
 
Melanie Henson | Fourth / Fifth Grade Teacher | Room 19
Ms. Henson has a BS in Zoology from UCSB and a multiple subject teaching credential from CSUN. She has been working with children since 2005—first as a gymnastics teacher, then as a preschool teacher here at WHPS starting in 2006, and finally in our elementary division since 2010.
 
Mission Statement
My mission as a teacher is to inspire young minds to think deeply and question often, to be courageous and explore the world around them, to gain confidence in themselves and their own special abilities, to gain a love of all living things, and to trust in the student-teacher relationship.
 
Tamar Soultanian | Fourth / Fifth Grade Teacher | Room 19
Ms. Soultanian came to WHPS in 2014 with experience in both private and public education since 2010. She received her BA in Sociology from CSUN, and her MA in Education and teaching credentials from National University.
 
Mission Statement
My mission in life is to always be the best version of myself, an eternal explorer, and a creative self-challenger who inspires those around me in infinite ways.
 

Specialists & Support Staff
The staff members listed below are our support staff, along with our specialists, who specialize in a particular enrichment area and help to expand and enhance the quality of the program you find at WHPS.
 
"Coach" Albert Albino | Elementary Physical Education Teacher
Coach wears several hats at WHPS. In addition to his duties in the Transitional Kindergarten classroom each morning, Coach teaches a wonderful physical education program at WHPS. With an AA in Child Development, and courses on coaching and athletics for children, Coach has a unique understanding of the needs of our Transitional Kindergarten, Kindergarten, and elementary age students. His physical education program strives to help develop coordination and physical fitness skills, teach the rules and form for various sports and playground games, as well as encourage teamwork and good sportsmanship. Coach’s students are eager to participate and there are always smiles and cheering when Coach arrives.
 
Karen Friedman | Elementary Computer Teacher
Ms. Friedman is the owner, director, and principal teacher at Smart Start Computers, and has been educating young minds through technology since 2002. She has also worked for LAUSD as an instructional aide to support kindergarten learning and transitioning to the elementary school. Prior to teaching, Ms. Friedman was a human resource manager for Eddie Bauer Inc. and was responsible for training managers and teams. The philosophy behind Ms. Friedman\'s teaching methods in the lab is to make learning fun. Ms. Friedman can often be found using elements of play with her classes, which encompass all grade levels, to promote greater learning opportunities through fun, fast-paced and challenging tasks. Most students view lab time as "their time" as the class focuses on team building through technology lessons. In older grades, students have opportunities to help guide lesson plans and support other students. Ms. Friedman believes in creating an environment where students can gain a new skill in technology and more confidence in their ability to solve problems independently.
 
Nathalie Haller | Music Teacher
Ms. Nathalie received a BA from UCLA. Her experience in the education field dates back to 1997 and she started with WHPS in 2006. She has an extensive background teaching music both privately and in the public school system. In addition to songs and musical expression, Ms. Nathalie introduces her elementary students to basic music theory, the works of the great composers, and rhythm. She also conducts a special preschool program at the Collins Campus. Ms. Nathalie is dedicated to the enhancement of each student’s own musical talents. She teaches the recorder to our second and third graders and keyboarding to our fourth and fifth grade students.
 
Mission Statement
My mission is to help my students discover joy, work together as a team, and learn things they never thought they were capable of, through music.
 
Gila Malek | Elementary Art Teacher
Since 2007, Ms. Gila has been the art instructor for the kindergarten and elementary grade classes at WHPS. Ms. Gila has been teaching art to children since 1986. She encourages creative expression through art, while introducing the students to the history and importance of art. Ms. Gila’s imaginative curriculum includes a study of the great artists of the world, a survey of the different art forms, as well as a focus on bringing out each student’s inner artist. Ms. Gila works diligently to help the students recognize and appreciate the art that surrounds them in nature, in books, and in everyday life. Ms. Gila’s own expertise as an artist and painter serves her well when teaching art to children. Many of her masterpieces can be seen hanging on the walls around campus.
 
Patty Rebulard | Elementary Spanish Teacher
Ms. Patty came to WHPS in 2015 with a BA in Spanish and French and an MA in Recreation Management. Ms. Patty is fluently trilingual in Spanish, French, and English and was on earned both French and Spanish scholarships. Working in the education field since 2012, Ms. Patty is excited to teach our elementary students how to read, speak, and write Spanish.
 
Mission Statement
As a Spanish teacher, my mission is to expand the horizons of my students by exposing them to a diversity of language and culture.
 
Matthew Fike | Animal & Nature Specialist
Mr. Matthew joined WHPS in 2015 with an AS from Moorpark College in Exotic Animal Training and Management (EATM).
 
Dana Knepper | Animal Keeper
Mr. Dana joined WHPS in 2016 with a BS in Zoology and has been in the animal husbandry field and working in various zoos around the country since 1983.
 
Steve Ignacio | Technology Support
Holding a BS in Information Technology and an MA in Educational Technology, Steve is our go-to guy for any technological issues. Since 2007, Steve has been on campus on Thursday afternoons to work on our computers and keep WHPS current with 21st century technology. Every summer, Steve checks all our computers, installs any new devices in our classrooms and offices, and serves as our technology consultant in our tech meetings. During the day, Steve is the computer teacher and technology coordinator at another private school.
  
Lidia Paredes | Floater
A fully qualified preschool teacher, Ms. Lidia joined WHPS in 2001 and has become indispensable to our program. Ms. Lidia wears many hats. She prepares snack, gives teachers their much needed breaks, and is the on-site substitute teacher, as needed. She is flexible, reliable, responsible, and sensitive to children’s needs.
 
Lidia Perez | Floater
Ms. Lidia is a fully qualified preschool teacher who has worked with young children since 1998 and at WHPS since 2003. She has a calm and caring personality that really helps our little ones settle into their new classroom. Ms. Lidia has a positive attitude and a great rapport with our children and their parents. She is very organized, responsible, compassionate and nurturing.
 
Mardon Yasen | WHPS Maintenance Supervisor
Mardon is our right and left hand maintenance man! He has been with WHPS since 2005. He can do anything, and he often does. We always call on him to repair, improve and remove! His responsibilities include the maintenance of both the Oxnard and Collins campuses. He never gets frazzled with all of our requests and we are so very grateful for his support.
 
Santos Arrieta | Maintenance
Mr. Santos has been with WHPS since 2002 and also divides his time working at our two campuses. He is responsible for keeping the school clean and safe. His duties include general maintenance and repair and also include set up for special school events and activities.
 

Substitute Teachers
 
Syeda Khan Ali | Preschool Substitute
Ms. Syeda has her BA in Child Development and has great passion for early childhood education and working with young children. She has worked both as a preschool and kindergarten teacher and started as a substitute teacher for WHPS in 2014.
 
Deborah Cohen | Preschool and Elementary Substitute
With a BA in Physical Education and an MA in Education, Ms. Deborah has been teaching math, physical education, and Aerobics since 1980. She is a member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics and a certified Aerobics Instructor with Aerobics and Fitness Association of America. Ms. Deborah is a people person; she is energetic, fun, and has a good sense of humor. She was a Golden Apple and Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics nominee and she continues to work as a math consultant for the Everyday math curriculum. Ms. Deborah has been a substitute for WHPS since 2013 and also enjoys working as a counselor in our Camp Woodland Hills summer program.
 
Donna Coffield | Preschool Substitute
A fully qualified teacher with experience in the field of education since 1983, Ms. Donna has been a member of the substitute team of WHPS since 2008. Dependable, punctual, reliable, warm, and involved are just a few of the many wonderful attributes used to describe Ms. Donna. She is loved by all the teachers and students. Classroom teachers know that when Ms. Donna substitutes in their class they can count on her to meet their expectations for a job well done.
 
Lynn Monaco | Preschool Substitute
Ms. Lynn is a fully qualified teacher who started working at WHPS in 1991. She retired in June of 2009, but is so passionate about her work with children that she continues to be a member of our pool of substitute teachers. Ms. Lynn is a free spirit and highly creative. Ms. Lynn’s creativity has been expressed in the 10 children’s books she wrote for her son which she enjoys sharing with all the children at WHPS. Ms. Lynn is a member of SCBWI – Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators. She has been featured in the Daily News for her scrapbooking activities with the children in her class. Ms. Lynn is a member of the Humane Society and brings a love of nature, animals, insects, and spiders to her students. Ms. Lynn is also known for teaching a cooking extra-curricular class at WHPS that fills up quickly every year! Her hobbies include painting, cooking, baking and, of course, writing.
 
Nancy Moreh | Preschool Substitute
A fully qualified teacher, Ms. Nancy has been working at WHPS since 1990 and is considered the original substitute! Her nurturing, caring and loving personality is always evident whenever she is with the students. Her assignments have included both daily and long-term substitute positions and she enjoys working with all age groups, from our littlest preschoolers up through the higher elementary grades. Ms. Nancy is trilingual and speaks English, Farsi, and Hebrew, plus a little French.
 
Rebecca Luck | Preschool Substitute
A fully qualified teacher, with experience in the education field since 2004 and an AA degree from Pierce College, Ms. Rebecca has been with WHPS since 2006. Creative, dependable, and caring, Ms. Rebecca brings dedication to her work. Her greatest enjoyment is working with children, motivating them, and making them happy.
 
Joanna Steinhauer | Animal & Nature Specialist Substitute
Starting at WHPS in 2014, Ms. Joanna has a BS in Wildlife Biology and has been working with animals and leading science and environmental education programs since 2010. Ms. Joanna has worked as an animal keeper and outreach educator in Denver, as a Gallery Interpreter and Educator and the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum, and currently works as an animal keeper at the LA Zoo. Ms. Joanna is excited to pay it forward and help children nurture a love for nature and science that can last a lifetime.
 
Nicole Nagel | Animal Keeper Substitute
Ms. Nicole received her AS in Exotic Animal Training & Management from Moorpark College and her BS in Biology from Humboldt State University. Starting at WHPS in 2015, Ms. Nicole is excited to work with both children and animals. As an animal trainer, Ms. Nicole has worked with all sorts of animals, including primates, birds, tigers, wolves, dolphins, and reindeer! Ms. Nicole has volunteered at the LA Zoo and at the Aquarium of the Pacific.
 
Jeanine Abrams| Elementary Substitute

Daniel Davis-Williams | Elementary Substitute

Donald Gipson | Elementary Substitute

Monica Juganu | Elementary Substitute

Susan Fagan | Elementary Substitute

Jacqueline Blevons | Preschool Substitute

Rosa Cruz | Preschool Substitute

Cristina Garcia | Preschool Substitute

Denise Miller | Preschool Substitute

Jacqueline Nouriel | Preschool Substitute

Janet Reiter | Preschool Substitute

Danica Rozanski | Preschool Substitute

Mojgan Sanei | Preschool Substitute

Tanja Wolfmeyer | Animal Keeper Substitute

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