2019-20

Welcome New Faculty and Staff!

List of 18 items.

  • Tammy Abrahem

    Fourth Grade Teacher (4CD with Alex Wenderoff)
    Tammy has over seven years of elementary teaching and leadership experience, most recently at The Calhoun School in New York, NY as a Third Grade Teacher and Cluster Advisor, where she facilitated an affinity space working with students of color grades 3 through 5, and helped organize professional development pertaining to diversity. She has a BA in Arts, History, and Middle Eastern Studies from Rutgers University, a Master's in Political Science and Middle Eastern Studies from American University in Cairo, and a Master's Degree in Education from Hunter College.
  • Patricia Aguilar

    Infant and Child Care Facilitator
    Before joining CEE, Patricia worked for Honeywell in the department called Smart Grid Solution and Services. Patricia describes her dedication to provide fast solutions and proper customer service, and how she enjoys helping her coworkers as much as she can. After growing up in Los Angeles, Patricia raised her kids, now 19 and 22, and loved working with children when her children were young.
  • Nicola Berry

    Lead Infant and Child Care Facilitator
    Nicola joins The Caring Place after teaching children under 3 at Portable Classrooms. Nicola began her career at Outside the Box, a child development company, as an instructor focusing on specialized exercises that increased brain development, attachment and bonding, social learning and sensory stimulation. Nicola also served as the Residential Coordinator at The Help Group, supporting adolescents with a range of diagnoses, and holds a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Educational Studies from California Lutheran University.
  • Natacha Blanchet

    Fifth Grade Teacher (5CD with Aubrey Dreiling)
    Natacha joins CEE after many years in private practice as a Learning Specialist for K-12 students in New York and Los Angeles. Prior to running her practice, Natacha taught humanities to fifth and seventh grade students at the Bank Street School for Children in New York. She also previously worked for Bank Street College of Education designing observation and student evaluation tools. She holds a B.A. in Art History and Criticism from Stony Brook University and a M.S. Ed. in Museum Education with an emphasis on Special Needs from Bank Street College of Education.
  • Jesse Cardenas

    Instructional and Auxiliary Support Teacher
    Jesse comes to CEE with years of experience working with children as a summer camp counselor and director, coach, art teacher, and after school instructor. He taught a variety of different subjects at his prior school including art, music, Japanese, and PE. As Jesse majored in Fine Arts at California State University, Fullerton, he enjoys using his art background when teaching children in courses on comic books, abstract art, character design, painting, and drawing.
  • Raeshon Culberson

    Early Childhood Associate Teacher (EC2A with Nancy Hart and Yumi Lim)
    Raeshon joins CEE with over 13 years of teaching experience, including two years as a substitute teacher at CEE. Raeshon previously taught at a high school special education program in the San Francisco Bay Area, and has vast experience in diverse learning modalities, student engagement and the importance of nurturing the whole child. She holds an Autism Authorization and a CLAD certificate (Crosscultural, Language, and Academic Development), in addition to a BA in Sociology from UC Riverside.
  • Julia Flores

    Early Childhood Associate Teacher (EC1B with Lindsey Anthony-Bacchione and Jordana Reiner)
    Prior to CEE, Julia served as Interim Director of My First Place, a new early childhood center in Santa Monica. She has over 9 years of experience as an early childhood teacher, most recently at Para Los Niños Head Start. Besides working as a teacher, Julia also worked as an Early Intervention Specialist, working with children ages birth-three years of age in helping them meet development milestones. Julia earned a BA in Child Development from Mount Saint Mary's University and a Master's degree in Early Childhood Education from Pacific Oaks College.
  • Lisa Goodman

    Early Childhood Associate Teacher (EC1A with Arielle Lathan and Shannon Sarnowski)
    Lisa earned a Bachelor's degree in Mass Communications from Emerson College, a Master's in Elementary Education from Wheelock College in Boston, and a Master's in Mass Communications Research from University of Leicester in England. Lisa has over 20 years of teaching experience, including several years teaching Early Childhood students.
  • Ryan Graber

    Fourth Grade Teacher (4AB with Diana Pesin)
    Ryan has over 15 years of teaching experience, most recently at Walden School in Pasadena as a sixth grade teacher and at The Wesley School in North Hollywood as a fifth grade teacher. Previously, Ryan has taught in South Korea, China, and the Middle East, and explains how his overseas experience broadened his understanding of culture and its impact on learning. Ryan has a BA in Psychology from San Diego State University and a Masters of Education in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment from Walden University. 
  • Luis Herrera

    Technology Support Associate
    Luis joined our tech team this summer with several years of experience in educational technology, most recently at Culver City High School. At Culver, he served as the only technician on site for a school with 2,300 students, where he loved the relationships he built with his colleagues and the students. Previously, Luis worked with special education students as an Instructional Aide. Luis has a Bachelor's degree in Business Marketing from California State University at Los Angeles, and a Master's degree in Education.
  • Jeanne Jacobs-Gaffney

    Director of Finance
    Jeanne has worked in school finance for over 28 years, most recently at the Sinai Akiba Academy in West Los Angeles as the Director of School Finance and Operations. At Sinai Akiba, Jeanne managed the business office, and provided oversight of IT, human resources, student registration, financial aid, facility and purchasing. She earned a BA in Business Administration from LaSalle University in Philadelphia, and an MBA from California Lutheran University.
  • Caitlin Kramer ‘05

    Kindergarten Assistant
    After graduating from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in Media Studies, Caitlin worked in costume design in TV and film. Following a transition to education, Caitlin served as a substitute teacher at CEE in EC and CK last year. She is currently pursuing her Teaching Credential and a Master’s Degree in Education at Antioch University. As a proud CEE alum, she is honored to be contributing to the school that fostered her growth as a spirited student.
  • Ellen Krissman

    Director of Annual Giving
    Prior to joining CEE, Ellen had a small consulting business doing operational strategy for small brands and wholesale businesses. She was COO for the first 5 years, and then CEO for the next five. Ellen served as 2019 CEE Gala Chair, bringing the operational and organizational strategies she developed in her years running her business to last year’s gala. Ellen graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BA in Communication.
  • Katrina Lappin

    Director of Admissions
    Katrina has been in admissions at Redwood Day in Oakland for the past 13 years, serving as the Director of Admissions & Tuition Assistance for the past eight. She also has a background in preschool teaching. She believes that a successful admissions process and school must actively work to support diversity, equity, and inclusion. Katrina holds a BA from UC Santa Barbara in Political Science/International Relations and an MA from San Francisco State University in Political Science. 
  • Yumi Lim

    Early Childhood Master Teacher (EC2A with Raeshon Culberson and Nancy Hart)
    Yumi has several years of experience as an early childhood teacher in Japan and the U.S., most recently at Hancock Park Elementary as a Kindergarten Instructional Aide. Yumi holds a BA in French and Spanish from Scripps College, a Master's in French Literature from NYU. She received her Early Childhood Education Certificate from UCLA Extensions. In her free time, Yumi enjoys time with her husband and three boys (ages 10, 7, and 5), and all forms of fitness, including educating new mothers about postpartum exercise and nutrition for Mommy and Me groups.
  • Nataly Michael

    Instructional and Auxiliary Support Teacher
    Nataly brings her passion for caring for children to The Center with over 10 years of childcare experience, supporting children from infants to teens. Nataly prides herself in providing a safe play environment and encouraging healthy social behavior. She enjoys the opportunity to develop connections with the children in her care and supporting each child's individual growth.
  • Rachel Parrish

    Rachel Parrish, Third Grade Teacher (3AB with Sarah Troy)
    Rachel has over 18 years of teaching experience at independent schools, most recently at St. Paul's Episcopal School in Oakland, CA. Rachel is an ardent supporter of differentiated and responsive classrooms. Throughout her career, Rachel has engaged in the study and research of education, including at the University of Ghana in Legon. She also holds a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate and a BA in Arts Education from San Jose State University. Finally, Rachel is a specialized seamstress of traditional regalia of Cuba, Haiti, and parts of Western Africa. She also enjoys spending time with her daughter, reading, writing, gardening, and relaxing with friends and family.
  • Jenna Wolter

    Upper Elementary Learning Specialist
    Jenna has extensive experience teaching elementary-aged students across Los Angeles. Recently, Jenna obtained her Educational Therapy credential, expanding her skills in providing whole-child, therapeutic interventions to students. She also completed the UCLArts and Healing Certificate Program in Social Emotional Arts, and received an Education Specialist credential from Loyola Marymount University. Most recently, she was a teacher at El Rodeo School and UCLA Lab School.