Brianne Naiman

PRESCHOOL DIRECTOR

Hello! I am excited to be part of the Westwood Presbyterian Church Preschool at such a pivotal time. I grew up in Los Angeles and have fond memories of my own early childhood experience. My love of art and admiration for children was the driving force in my decision to go into education. I have worked in education for 16 years, 12 dedicated to young children, teaching art, preschool, mentoring, developing curriculum, and as an administrator. I hold a BFA from California College of the Arts, where I studied illustration and education, and a master’s in early childhood education from Pacific Oaks.

 

It is a great privilege to be guiding WPC Preschool as we continue to serve the families on the westside and honor the mission of the church. I love working with our parents and family members to support a child as they realize who they are and what they are capable of. Part of my continued passion is to ensure that children have the opportunity to be part of a diverse community of learners where curriculum is developed based on the interest of the children and infused with strong community values. In my spare time I enjoy painting, kickboxing and walking Rue, my adorable beagle.

 

Yellow Room

  • Lulu

    Hi, my name is Lourdes Ramirez but my friends call me Lulu. I am married and have been blessed with two wonderful children. My daughter Marissa is 19 and my son Johnathon is 20.

     

    I have been working in early education for over twenty years. Teaching is my passion. I feel very fortunate to have experience in working with infants through school-age children. I have a Child Development Certificate, Pre-School Teacher Associate Certificate, Commission on Teacher Credentialing Permit, and thirty-five child development units through Santa Monica College.

     

    My interests include bike riding, hiking, gardening and spending time with my family. I am excited and looking forward to having the opportunity to watch the children grow and learn in the upcoming year. This is my sixth year here at WPC Preschool and I feel very thankful to have found such an amazing place to teach and to be part of this community!

     

  • Jeeva

    My name is Jeeva Paxgren. I got my Montessori Diploma from back home in Sri Lanka. Then I got all my child development units from UCLA. I love working with children. I have been in the teaching field for the last thirty years and have been at WPC Preschool for 22 years.

     

    I love reading, nature walks, hiking with friends and traveling internationally to see family and friends.

  • zeke

    Hi, my name is Zeke and I’ve been working in early childhood education for over fourteen years. I have a BA in Early Childhood Education from Pacific Oaks College as well as Certificates of Achievement as a Preschool Teacher and Preschool Director from Pierce College. This is my fifth year teaching at WPCP.  

     

    My wife and I have two children. Our daughter, Lucy, is in her final year at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington and our son, Cole, is in 12th grade at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA). We also have a third “child” who is an important part of our family: a thirteen year old labradoodle named Daisy. We love our time together as a family and count each day as a blessing. 

     

    Thank you for the opportunity to be your child’s teacher.  I look forward to our upcoming school year together!

     

     

     

Green Room

  • Genesis

    Hello, my name is Genesis and this is my fifth year here at WPCP. Children have always brought me so much joy and I look forward to exploring the world with them. This year I’m excited to be teaching in the Green Room and also teaching Spanish Immersion, we have so much fun to explore.

     

    I’m a Los Angeles native and love to explore the city and find new adventures during my free time. I also spend time studying, working out, and bike riding. I also love spending time with my new puppy Elphaba.


  • irma

    Hello, my name is Irma. I am a native of El Salvador and have been living in Los Angeles since 1980. I have been a preschool teacher at WPC Preschool since 1991 having received my AA degree in Child Development at Los Angeles City College. In my free time I enjoy going to the movies, reading, taking long walks and hiking.

     

  • lisa

    Hi, my name is Lisa. I currently hold my AA degree in Early Childhood Education and look forward to graduating with my Bachelor’s this spring. I love learning about child development and ways to best support young children and families. I enjoy children’s sense of curiosity, wonder and joy as they discover the world around them and believe we can learn so much from them!

     

    In my free time, I enjoy watching movies, taking walks, reading, spending time with family and friends, and playing with my pet guinea pig, Muffin. I am grateful for the caring community here at WPCP and look forward to another lovely year as a member of it.

Red Room

  • Becky

    Hello! My name is Becky. I have worked in the field of Early Childhood Education for 16 years and it is truly my passion. I have worked both in the classroom as a teacher and as a nanny over the years. I have received my CDA (Child Development Associates) and in 2011 I won a National Child Care Teachers Award. I am currently working toward my degree in Early Childhood.

     

    I live here in Los Angeles with my partner and our 8 year old daughter, Abbey. We also have two fur babies, our cats, Billy and Oreo. I enjoy doing anything outdoors and/or sports related. I also love to read...anything. My most favorite place is the ocean and I LOVE spending time with my family there every chance we get.

     

    I love working with children because I get to ignite and inspire the love of learning. I get to lead but I also get to follow the direction of a child and see the world through their eyes. A few of my heroes are Dr. Seuss and Mister Rogers and like them, I just want to make a positive impact in the lives of children. Thank you for the opportunity to work with you in the life of your child this year.

  • lugie

    Hi, my name is Ludmila Smith (Lugie). I’m so happy to be joining the Westwood Presbyterian Church Preschool family! I have been an Early Childhood Educator for 16 years. I love that I get to make a difference in children’s lives daily, to watch them evolve is the greatest motivator and reward. I love their enthusiasm, curiosity and resilience. They are so capable! 

     

    I’m the proud mother of a 22 year old daughter whom I love to spend time with. I enjoy cooking, yoga, meditation, reading and escaping the city on weekends to the desert, the beach or the mountains. I love nature!

Blue Room

  • bertha

    Hello everyone! My name is Bertha Juarez. I was born in Veracruz, Mexico and have been living in Los Angeles since I was 10 years old. I am happily married and I am also a mommy to an Mila, an adventurous 3.5 year old. In my free time I enjoy recharging my batteries and going on adventures. This past summer has been especially fun and memorable as it was filled with “first” experiences for my little family.

     

    This will be my eighth year teaching at Westwood Pres. I’ve obtained an Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education as well as an Associate’s Degree in Social and Behavioral Sciences. I began as a student teacher and was beyond ecstatic to join the teaching team. I’ve been fortunate to co-teach along side several experienced teachers and with different age groups. This year I will be a Blue Room (Pre-K) teacher. I am very excited for a new school year and for all the adventures ahead.

  • garrett

    Hello! My name is Garrett and I've been working in early childhood education for two years. I was a second grade teacher at a German-speaking international school in Chicago, and before that I got a Master's degree in philosophy from the University of Chicago. I think of children as the original philosophers, exploring every facet of their environment with curiosity and fearlessly asking big questions. I love working with children because I get to rediscover the world with them every day. I am very excited to get to join the WPC Preschool this year. 

Auxiliary Teachers

  • hortencia

    I have been working with the children of WPC Preschool for 17 years. I graduated from East L.A College with an Associate’s Degree in Child Development. I am married and have three children and a granddaughter. I love going on walks and enjoying nature.

  • hyeonji

    Hi, my name is Hyeonji Yun. The thing I love most about young children is their creativity and love of exploration. I have always enjoyed spending time with children whether it was helping them with their homework, watching them while their parents were busy, or just engaging in play.

     

    I recently graduated from Pierce College; I hold two associate's degrees, one in Early Childhood Education the other in Social & Behavioral Sciences. I am excited to be continuing my education at CSUN. In my free time, I like to watch movies and sing. I also have a dog named Mochi and he is very energetic but so loving.

     

  • laura

    Hello everyone my name is Laura Cortez. This will be my first year at WPCP. I am excited to join this wonderful caring team. I have been working with children for six years. I am excited to make new memories here.


    I love going to the movies and spending time with friends.

  • monik

    Monik C. Jones is the founder and director of Monik’s Creative Movement. She joined WPC Preschool in 2000, as the Movement Education Specialist. This year she will be teaching creative movement and sign language. She will also be supporting as needed in the classrooms. Monik graduated from UCLA with a BA in World Arts and Culture, concentrating in dance, with a minor in Education.

     

    In 2005, she graduated from UCI with her M.F.A in Dance. She is currently finishing her Child Development Certificate. Monik is passionate about teaching and is excited to be exploring the new journey at Westwood.

Office Staff

  • heidi

    office manager

    My name is Heidi Rudd and I have found the best job in the world. It was quite a journey to find it. I received my BA in Theater, TV & Film Production and after working at CBS and Sony I became an international travel agent which led to an Operations Manager position at a Meetings & Incentives firm. Although that was fun, I longed for something more. Once I found Early Childhood Education I was hooked. I spent many years at the Goldwyn Children’s Center before coming to WPCP. As the Office Manager and Enrollment Coordinator here at WPCP, I have the best of two worlds: organizing an office and spending time with parents and children. I have a busy household with five cats, one dog, two children and one husband. Brennen is starting his second year at USC and Gwendolyn is a rising Junior at Grand Arts High School downtown. Robert, my husband works at USC near where we live.

  • priscilla

    office assistant

    My name is Priscilla Glaza and this is my sixth year here at WPCP. I have an Associate’s of Science in Early Childhood Education from SMC and my B.A in Early Childhood Education from Pacific Oaks College. I always knew I wanted to work in early childhood education and I absolutely love my job here at WPCP. Aside from working here in the office, I worked in our Parent & Me program, as well as in the classrooms. I have always loved getting to know all the children.

     

    My husband and I have one son, Theodore, who is an adventurous, silly, and car-loving 2 year old. We are excited that he will be attending preschool here this year. We love being outdoors at the beach, bike riding, hiking, or at Disneyland! My husband and I also coach volleyball at a near by high school, which is another passion of mine.

Additional Staff

  • javier

    Maintenance/Handyman

    Hi my name is Javier Torres. I’ve been at WPC Preschool for 19 years and do everything from maintaining the preschool and the church, managing security, and general handyman tasks. My favorite part of the job is interacting and having fun with the children while I work. I have a beautiful wife and daughter and two grown sons. When I’m not working I like to relax at home with my family.

     

  • Lourdes

    Hi my name is Lourdes and I’ve been at Westwood Pres. for almost 20 years. Along with my husband, Javier, I help maintain the preschool and the church, and do shopping for supplies and snack. I love what I do here and I really enjoy seeing the children every day.

     

    Javier and I have a daughter and two sons. We also have two granddaughters, one who came to preschool here. When I am home I love cooking and baking for my family.