Faculty & Staff

Dajin Yoon

Preschool Teacher

I am a multi-disciplinary artist from South Korea. My interest in education began while studying in the department of VAPAE (Visual and Performing Arts Education) at UCLA, where I received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2017. City Kids has provided me with the opportunity to embrace and nurture the unique individualities of the children I work with. Their originalities inspire the projects and experimention that happen in the class, and I feel honored to participate in the growth of their creative potential.

 

I aspire to Paolo Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed in conducting a class that challenges the hierarchy between the teacher and students. Learning with students is as important to me as teaching itself, and I deeply enjoy interacting with them to ensure that the classroom is a safe space to explore healthy boundaries and creativities. 

 

In my spare time I like to read and write next to my feline roommate. I also enjoy visiting galleries and museums. 

dajin@lacitykids.com

Denise Jenkins

Facility Maintenance

Denise is our out-going, positive, energetic, and dynamic Facility Maintenance staff member!  Her mission is to keep the facilities clean for our children every single day, and that is no easy job.  Rotating each day from facility to facility, Denise works with tireless devotion to ensure a clean and safe space for all our City Kids.

denise@lacitykids.com

Dina Cruz

Preschool Teacher

I grew up in Sherman Oaks, CA, and moved to the Los Angeles area two years ago with my husband. We have two adorable girls 13 yrs old and a 1 yr old. I have a degree in Early Child Education, and I've been a teacher for 10 years. My passion for teaching started when I was fifteen years old, when I knew I wanted to work with kids. I love and enjoy working with kids of all ages, and I have learned so much from them and their passion for learning and exploring about the world and life. I'm also bilingual, I speak Spanish and English and enjoy sharing my passion of Spanish with the kids and everyone around me.  I enjoy interacting with the kids and getting to know them one on one, which is one of the reasons I joined City Kids. I love that the kids can express themselves in their own way and speak their mind. I love nature, and that really attracted me to City Kids. I've never worked at a school where you can have fun while teaching. When we as teachers are finding joy in teaching you can see a big difference in how the kids form a positive relationship with school.

In my spare time I love to be outdoors I enjoy camping, going to the beach , Truck-riding with my little family :) . My hobbies are cooking, shopping, arts and crafts, and decorating.

dina@lacitykids.com

Edgardo Ramos

Elementary Teacher

I was born in El Salvador, I used to be a teacher of Elementary, Middle and High School.  I got my Bachelor Degree at National University of El Salvador, with a license to teach English at the middle and high school levels.  I have been teaching for 30 years, 17 years in my country and 13 years in California at Los Angeles Unified School District.  I’m taking classes at National University with a major of Bachelor of Art in Spanish with Preliminary single Subject Teacher Credential.

 

Also I am a Spanish tutor at HeyTutor.com online program.  Since August 2018, I started working for City Kids LA, my new home, I am very happy and excited to teach Spanish to my lovely students.  I feel so happy with my new family. (parent, students and staff).

edgardo@lacitykids.com

Jessica Coll

Preschool Teacher

I was born and lived in Spain until 2015.  I am married, the mother of two children, and we've lived in Los Angeles since 2015.


I have been teaching for 12 years and teaching children has been my passion and my life's dedication.  With knowledge in methodologies such as Maria Montessori and Reggio Emilia, my purpose in life is to empower and accompany children in their life processes.


My studies at Doula opened up a very broad field on how to manage the emotional and energetic field of children.
Another of my passions is writing, doing workshops to empower women and children and photography.

jessica@lacitykids.com

Lourdes Trujillo

Preschool Teacher

Growing up in Beverly Hills, California as an only child, I was around adults almost all my life and that’s where I believe that my interested in the psychology of people grew.  I strongly believe that at a young age the foundation of a person is being is created.  I found school quite difficult up until college when I attended California State University, which is where I became interested in learning about children and graduated with a degree in Child and Adolescent Development.   I’ve had experience working with children in a variety of areas, including as a behavioral therapist with children with autism and as a lead Montessori teacher before joining City Kids LA. 

 

I enjoy working with children because it challenges me to think of ideas in ways to engage a child’s learning and allows me to have fun and act like a kid myself.  I enjoy working at City Kids because of the strong belief that children should experience and learn, not from within the classroom but from their environment and the world. 

 

During my spare time, I really love to hang out at home or with my friends, watching movies or going to dinner.  I enjoy traveling and learning the history and culture of other people and places.

lourdes@lacitykids.com

Maria Cruz

Preschool Teacher

I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. I’ve been a preschool teacher since 2013 in Los Angeles. Teaching is a passion for me. Listening and helping children to grow and express their imagination through project work is something I truly enjoy and it’s the reason I’m dedicated to working in education. I also learn from my students daily!  Each student is so uniquely different I get the opportunity to create new memories with all of them. Memories that will always stay with me.

 

I have been married for 6 years now and have 1 fur baby named Cheshire.  I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. On my free time I like to watch movies, watch DIY tutorials and go shopping.

 

“It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge”. -Albert Einstein-

maria@lacitykids.com

Maria Montes

Preschool Teacher

I was born and raised in Mexico City. I migrated to the US and enrolled in my local college to take child development classes. I learned about children’s curriculum and their development. I’ve been working with children for many years, about fifteen to be exact. After working one-on-one with children, I wanted to be in a group setting to help multiple children expand their development.

 

 My first language is Spanish and I very much enjoy sharing my culture and experiences with others. While I have no children, just two nieces, my passion for working with children stems from our bond as they’ve grown up. 

 

I look forward to the school year and all the wonderful memories we’ll be making. 

mycitykidsla@gmail.com

Mariana Viana

Elementary Teacher

I'm a Brazilian educator with over 12 years of field experience. Education has always been a passion and through these years I had the chance to work in many different areas and learn from each one of them. 

I have a Pedagogy degree with emphasis in Early Childhood and have a specialization in School Administration.  In Brazil, my last experience was working as a school counselor for Middle and High School students.

I have been working at City Kids since June 2017 and it has been an amazing journey in which I grow professionally and personally every day.  It's incredible to see how our kids love to learn and take care of themselves, each other and the environment.

In my free time, I love to travel (still pursuing the dream to visit all continents), and watch TV shows.

mariana@lacitykids.com

Mike Aiello

Elementary Teacher

From the first opportunity I had to stand in front of a classroom, I knew that I was hooked on teaching. A basic SAT prep class taught while attending university to local high school students got me started down a road that has led me, after 15 years of teaching, to this amazing school I feel so happy to be a part of. That road led from Penn State to California, where I received my first proper teaching job at Westview, a non-public school for students with emotional and learning disabilities. After eight happy and enriching years I found my feet itching for adventure and packing as many books as I could fit, moved to Hoi An, Vietnam. There, I spent seven amazing years and worked at two different schools: the rigorously academic Singapore International School and the progressive Green Shoots International School. In July of 2019, I returned to California with my Australian wife and our son Dominic to await the birth of our second son while starting to teach at City Kids.

 

To me, teaching is the best profession there is. I love watching the way their brains work and the acquisition and honing of skills and knowledge. I love the moment when you see the lights go on and comprehension clicks in. I love developing fun and engaging lessons that will challenge learners to do their best. Finally, I love the surprising questions they ask and nurturing curiosity and a love of learning in my students.

mike_aiello@lacitykids.com

Mike Burns

Preschool Teacher

Growing up in the country outside of Milwaukee, WI, the forests and swamps surrounding my home inspired as much in me as the textbooks at school. I loved nature and the language we tried to capture it in, and eventually went to the University of Wisconsin - Madison to get my BA with Honors in French Literature and Political Science. I then taught and did advanced study at UCLA in French and Instructive Methodology, and after two years I decided to fully focus on teaching. That is when I found City Kids. City Kids is a special place for many reasons. I love that it empowers teachers to exercise the same research-based techniques that I was studying at UCLA, while integrating real-world application and independent exploration. As a teacher, I seek to inspire students to see wonder in the world and in themselves, and then to engage these worlds through the practice of math, science, language, etc. The French writer Anoint de Saint-Exupéry wrote, “If you want to build a boat, don’t begin by toiling at wood, but awaken in people a love for the endless and immense ocean.” Such is the work of a teacher, and it is work that I love.

 

Outside of school, I write and perform music with my band Stolen Audio, and hang out with my cat, Buddha.

mike@lacitykids.com

Myrna Garcia

Preschool Teacher & Social-Emotional Learning Coordinator

I am proud to call City Kids my new home. Go City Kids!  

My first language is Spanish and my second language is English. I come from a central American family in El Salvador. My Education background is in Liberal Studies, with an emphasis in Child Development. I have been teaching for 9 years and teaching children has been my passion and dedication.

I work at City Kids not only because it is an amazing school, but because it allows children to be innovative learners and allows children to learn through many different learning styles. Our school is filled with exciting learning activities and new adventures every day! I look forward to instilling in your child the same great love for learning that I have been developing over the years. One of my hobbies is painting! I love art. I am also a Makeup Artist. It’s fun to express your creativity!

myrna_garcia@lacitykids.com

Otto Asencio

Elementary Teacher

I was born in Guatemala, but I was raised in the US since I was 5 years old.  I grew up in Lennox, California; a small unincorporated city near the LAX airport.  I began my Educational career as an Instructional Assistant.  While working as an IA, I began to realize that I wanted to be a teacher.  Working with the students and the teachers at Jefferson Elementary convinced me that this was the profession for me.  I proceeded to attain a BA in Liberal Studies and MA in Multicultural Education from Cal State University Dominguez Hills.  I have been a teacher for over 15 years and have taught middle school, upper elementary, and began teaching Spanish at City Kids LA in September.


During my free time, I enjoy many activities:  running, working out, attending sports venues, and hanging out with my family and friends. 

otto@lacitykids.com

Phil Cannella

Elementary Teacher

Bio coming soon!

phil@lacitykids.com

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ADDRESS

 

5517 Venice Blvd

Los Angeles, CA  90019

CONTACT

 

admissions@lacitykids.com

323.447.5437

HOURS

 

OPEN DAILY

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