Staff

Meet our amazing team - 2016

Veronica Cabello, M.A.

Director

Veronica has been in the field of early childhood for over 25 years. She earned a Masters degree in Child Development from Cal State University, Los Angeles. While working as a teacher, she contributed to the field of Early Childhood by mentoring teachers from various colleges and universities. One of her greatest professional achievements and experience has been to successfully manage one of the largest preschools in West Los Angeles. In addition to that, she has directed and managed her own summer camp programs throughout the Los Angeles area for years. Her dream of creating and opening her own early childhood center was finally realized in 2010 when she built Green Beginning Community Preschool from the ground up!

Click here to read an interview with Veronica that was published in "Beyond the Brochure" in December 2010. 


Keone Kealalio

Assistant Director

Teacher - Bumblebees & Blue Jays

 

Keone has over 20 years of experience in the field of early childhood education. He was recognized for his hard work, dedication, and love for children when he was nominated for and won "The Best Preschool Teacher of the Year" awarded by LAUP (Los Angeles Universal Preschool) in 2008. He is a strong believer in the development of the whole child through active learning; therefore, his methods include facilitating hands-on activities where the child learns by experiencing rather than observing. He earned his B.A. degree from Cal State Dominguez Hills.


Fabian Ramos

Teacher - Pea Pods & Los Koalitas

Fabian attended Trinity Lutheran College and finished his Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education in the fall of 2013.  During his studies, he discovered a passion for teaching young children through nature.  He believes in the importance of the outdoor environment in building physical, social, emotional, cognitive, and linguistic skills in young children.  In addition to teaching preschool, Fabian has also been a children's soccer coach and referee for 7 years.  He also mentors at-risk teenagers in the hope of inspiring them to stay in school and pursue higher education. 


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Edith Villagomez

Teacher - Administrator & Classroom Support

Edith graduated from San Diego State University in 2007 with a degree in Psychology.  While in college she worked as an aide in an after school program for elementary school children, as well as a science and math tutor at a middle school.  After graduation she worked for three years at a well-respected preschool in West LA where she fell in love with the preschool age.  She is currently working on completing her ECE certificate at Santa Monica College.  In her work with children, Edith is particularly inspired by the work of Jean Piaget who believed in the importance of learning through play and through sensory exploration of the environment. 


Stacey Mediano

Teacher - Pea Pods

Stacey began her teaching career when her son was a preschooler, some 20 years ago, and she is still as passionate about early childhood education as she was then. The has a Bachelors degree in Communication Studies from UCLA and has taken extensive early childhood classes and workshops over the years. She has always believed that a preschool teacher's privilege is to lay the foundation for young children to love school and, more importantly, the learning process.  She is passionate about integrating music, literature, and art in the daily curriculum.  She looks forward to a magical, playful year at Green Beginning! 


Patti Mintz

Teacher - Pea Pods

Patti graduated from California State University at Northridge in 1990 with a Bachelors Degree in Art. While in college, she worked for the los Angeles Unified School District where she brought her creativity and love of working with children together as an aide in an after-school program for elementary school children.  Through the years, Patti has continued to bring her talent in art and her love of inspiring children to her own twin daughters' preschool and elementary school classrooms. As a head room parent for 6 years, she volunteered in the classrooms, planned art projects, organized class functions, and was a leader in communication between room parents.  Patti is now continuing her love of working with children by enrolling at West L.A. College to complete her ECE Certificate.


Afton Goins is a recent college graduate from Purdue University having double majored in Early Childhood Education & Exceptional Skills and Spanish.  Afton is bright, warm, enthusiastic, and enjoys working with others and meeting new people. She balances work with a myriad of hobbies and interests, including but not limited to jewelry-making, knitting, writing poetry, drawing, painting, gardening, and cooking. She is very excited for the opportunity to be at Green Beginning and looks forward to teaching in both the Pea Pods & Los Koalitas class.

 

Afton Goins

Teacher - Pea Pods & Los Koalitas


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Tiana Andino

Teacher - Bumblebees & Outdoor Environment

Tina is currently attending school pursuing an Early Childhood Devlopment degree. In the past, she's taught Kindergarten through 5th grade as well as tutoring a variety of ages.  She has worked with the Girl Scouts, conducted STEAM activities and has organized cooking classes for children.  Through these experiences, Tiana is a strong believer in the development of each child's emotional intelligence.  Having worked with a variety of ages, she's come to realize that preschool is the age that suits her the best, where she's able to lay the foundation for their love of school and education

 

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Melissa Sanchez

Teacher - Pandas

Melissa has been involved in the field of education for 7 years.  After earning her Bachelor's in Liberal Studies at CSULB, she decided to further her education in order to provide fruitful learning experiences for her future students, and to gain more knowledge as an educator. She recently graduated from USC with her Master's in Multiple Subject Education. Melissa has worked with diverse populations, non-profit organizations and in both the public and private school sectors. Melissa's passion has always revolved around supporting children and families.

 

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Joclynn Benjamin

Sports Specialist

Joclynn is co-owner and founder of Leaps n Boundz, an adaptive sports and recreation program with locations throughout the Los Angeles area.  She has a B.A. in family and consumer science and has spent 14 years working in gymnastics and adaptive services. She has experience working with a variety of special needs, as well as with typically-developing children.  Joclynn has been coming to our school at least once a week since we first opened in 2010. She implements a fun and instructive curriculum of sports and movement for the children.  The children not only gain exposure to new skills and activities, but theydevelop large motor skills such as coordination, balance, and muscle strenth, and a strong sense of self-esteem.  The children always look forward to Joclynn's arrival, and we do too! 


Baila Baila

Music Specialist - Los Koalitas program

The Baila Baila program has been a dynamic and engaging way to introduce our children to the Spanish language through music and games. Baila Baila offers classes in many learning centers throughout Los Angeles and in the Baila Baila Studio located in Santa Monica. Created in 2010, the company has been known for their fun musical program that helps parents raise kids in a bilingual household and/or for parents who wish to teach their children a second language at a young age.