Faculty & Staff

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BERENICE CRUZ

Preschool Teacher

I am excited to join LA City Kids and get to know all of you and your wonderful children.

To start off, I would like to tell you a little bit about myself both personally and professionally. I am an L.A Native and have enjoyed growing up in Los Angeles. I graduated from California State University, Los Angeles and obtained my Bachelor's of Arts degree in Child Development. I have been working with children and families for 6 years now. I have worked as a tutor, an after school program leader and preschool teacher. The last 4 years I have been working as a Preschool teacher and I can say preschool is my favorite age group to work with. I would like to work closely together with you. I believe keeping an open communication is key to helping the children explore, learn and grow. If you ever need to get a hold of me for any reason I can be reached via Brightwheel.  I look forward to working with you and your children. 

 

 In my free time I enjoy gathering with my family and friends. I also enjoy the outdoors, dancing and traveling. 

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CLARA CRUZ

Elementary Teacher

I am thrilled to be part of the City Kids LA family!


I am excited to be part of a community where I will be sharing special moments with my fellow coworkers, parents, and most important the children at City Kids LA.
 

I have my Bachelors degree in Early Childhood Development from National University and my Associates degree from Pasadena City College. Over the years I have worked with preschoolers, elementary students, and young adults. I believe that every person has a unique learning style. My vast knowledge of different teaching methods will allow me to help students with diverse backgrounds and give each student the opportunity to learn in a meaningful way.

During my free time, I really enjoy going on runs, hiking, and going to the beach. My favorite color is purple, I love pasta, and I enjoy binge watching shows.  I am a proud soccer fan and always support my team. #RealMadrid

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CLAUDIA SANCHEZ

Preschool Teacher

Bio coming soon...

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DAJIN YOON

Art 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. 

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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.

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DINA CRUZ

Preschool Teacher / Site Supervisor

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.

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ERIKA COLIN

Preschool Teacher

Bio coming soon...

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JHULIANA SALAMANCA

Elementary Teacher

Bio coming soon...

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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.

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LUIS SANCHEZ

Elementary Teacher / Music Teacher

Luis Carlos Sánchez Heredia is a Composer, Director, Arranger, Guitarist, Singer and Music Teacher, with extensive experience in the professional musical field. He has performed, directed, taught, and composed music for more than ten years in Mexico and the United States, both classical and popular music. He began his formal musical education at age 11 in Mexico and obtained a Bachelor of Music Education from the Faculty of Arts at the University of Chihuahua. He has taken master classes with many renowned composers and his music has been performed in Mexico, United States, and Europe by various chamber ensembles, soloists, and orchestras. He also has composed music for commercials, animations, and short films.

 

As a conductor, he has been invited to conduct children's symphony orchestras at different festivals, as well as guitar ensembles and choirs. His career as an educator began at age 19 in public and private educational institutions both in Mexico and the United States, providing him great experience and training teaching students of various ages from children, adolescents, and adults.  

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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-

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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!

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PEGGY NGUYEN

Elementary Teacher

I've grown up in Los Angeles, lived in San Gabriel Valley the majority of my life, and came full circle back to DTLA. I have a Bachelor's Degree in English Education with a minor in TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. I've been teaching for over 8 years and enjoy teaching multiple subjects. I love sharing my enthusiasm for each subject through my lesson plans with a goal to help each student find success. I strive to build confidence and happiness in students individually - however that may look to them. I understand that each child learns differently and I take on a role to support them in any way possible. My passion for teaching and working with children stem from the strong relationships I had growing up. These relationships gave me the tools to be who I looked up to in the classroom and the importance of building strong relationships with the families whose children I work with.

 

I'm very aligned with City Kids' school mission and values and look forward to getting to know all the students and parents!   A fun fact about myself is that I love doing yoga, soul cycle, and dancing! During my free time, I enjoy spending quality time with my family and friends. I also enjoy trying new brunch and coffee spots! I’m very excited to join the City Kids team! 

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PHIL CANNELLA

Elementary Teacher

Bio coming soon...

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REBECCA TIONGSON

Preschool Teacher

I was born and grew up in the city of Manila, Philippines. I studied at St. Paul College where I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. Married for almost 40 years now, I have a son and three daughters who are all degree holders and are professionals in their respective fields of work. I am also blessed with four granddaughters.  In my free time, I love to sing, listen to music and dance. I also enjoy cooking especially Spanish dishes like Paella and Callos.

I have been teaching for 15 years now and have been a teacher at Pilgrim School and St. James' school in Los Angeles. Early on in 2017, I had the opportunity to be introduced to City Kids School and I was fortunate to be offered a teaching position at a school that encompasses everything I believe our kids deserve. I have enjoyed every moment working at this school with this community.  The working environment is great and my co-teachers are fantastic, very accommodating and so helpful.  I have always loved preschool teaching and treat the children as my own grandchildren.

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TASHA TAYLOR

Elementary Teacher

Born and raised in Southern California, I grew up knowing I had a love for learning especially when it came to life, nature, and numbers. I graduated with my Bachelors of Science in Animal Science with a minor in Biology from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, while I was their feature baton twirler for the marching band. While there I found I loved not only learning and studying, but sharing it with others.


After college I went to Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Florida and did the Disney College Program followed by a Professional Internship with Disney’s Animal, Science, and Environment department as a conservation and animal educator. Not only was I able to share my passion there for animals, nature, and the wonderful work scientists do to help protect our Earth, I was able to make lifelong friends from all over the world such as Thailand, Indonesia, Africa, Japan, Canada, and India.

 

I decided then that education was my path and moved from Florida back to Southern California to teach outdoor science at an outdoor science school in Lake Arrowhead. It was great to be able to teach elementary students all about science and how math could be incorporated into it by making it hands on and nature based. I wanted to make it a mission to try and take these activities and experiential learning styles into the classroom environment, so I first became a substitute teacher for elementary, middle, and high school. During this time I started my teaching credentialing and Masters of Education program with National University.


In my spare time I am a baton twirling instructor, baton competition judge, and host announcer. I am a proud parent of a cat and two goats. I love Disney, surfing, snorkeling, running, animals, visiting museums, memorizing digits of Pi, and learning about genealogy and cultures. I am excited to watch the students engage, discover, question, and find out things that they find so interesting that get them hooked on being a lifelong learner.