Staff

Meet our amazing team

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.


Patricia Villagomez

Teacher - Pandas

Patricia has over 15 years of teaching experience. She earned her Associate's Degree in Child Development from El Camino College in 1998 and her ECE Certificate from UCLA in 2003.  She is currently working on her Bachelor's Degree in ECE.  Patricia has taught many age groups, from Parent and Me to 2nd grade.  She has worked with both typically-developing children and special needs children. She was the department head for the Toddler Program at a well-respected preschool in West LA, and she served as the director at a multilingual preschool in Santa Monica. 


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 - Sea Lion, Polar Bears & Los Koalitas

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. 


Rachel Kadar

Teacher - Sea Lions & Polar Bears

Rachel graduated from the University of Southern California in 2011 with a degree in International Relations. While in school, she worked as a private tutor for middle school age children. It was a job she loved and took very seriously. Growing up, she worked as a junior counselor at a summer camp and that is when she discovered her love of working with children. After graduation, she took a job in merchandising, but is now redirecting her career to follow her passion of becoming a teacher. She is currently enrolled at Santa Monica College and is taking Early Childhood Education classes in the hopes of completing an ECE Certificate.


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 - Bumblebees & Blue Jays

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.


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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! 

Kira Bernstein Rappaport

Music Specialist

Kira Rappaport comes into the classrooms onceweek to teach music to the children.  Kira has been teaching early childhood music since 1999.  In addition, Kira conducts an instrumental ensemble and teaches flute privately and in groups.  Kira has an M.A. in Music Education from California State University, Los Angeles and a B.M. in flute performance from the University of Southern California. She has completed all three levels of Orff Schulwerk Teacher Certification, Early Childhood Mastership Certification in Edwin Gordon's Music Learning Theory, Dalcroze Eurythmics teacher training, and Suzuki Flute teacher training. Kira has presented to early childhood teachers on the use of music in the classroom at the California Association for the Education of Young Children and the Bureau of Jewish Educators Early Childhood Conference.