Meet the Staff

The teachers at Woodland Hills Private School are specially selected and trained for our program. They work with both the children and the parents to assure a positive school experience. Their experience, dedication, caring ways and professional concern will nurture you child through these formative years.

 Staff Qualifications

Preschool: All our preschool teachers are experienced and certified in Early Childhood Education.
Elementary: All our kindergarten through 5th grade teachers have a credential or equivalent (or are currently completing the credential program), and hold MA and/or BA degrees. Our TK lead teachers hold MA and/or BA degrees and a credential (or equivalent) or certification in Early childhood Education. Our teachers have degrees and specialized training in elementary and early childhood education from some of the finest universities.

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Administration Team

Lynn Kuo | Founding Director | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
The founding director and co-owner of WHPS since 1985, Ms. Lynn holds an MA in Education from SUNY at Buffalo, N.Y. She has been in the education field since 1978 and a director since 1983. Education has always been her passion. As a lifetime member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), Ms. Lynn enjoys attending educational conferences, professional workshops, and school legislative seminars. She visits other schools and always keeps current on the most updated information concerning the education of children of all ages. Her goal is to always work to keep WHPS growing and improving. Ms. Lynn always welcomes all of your comments and suggestions as she is always looking to continue to enhance the school program in order to provide the best care and educational foundation for your children.
 
Mission Statement
  • To ensure Woodland Hills Private School continues to be a unique place where all children can succeed.
  • To provide a nurturing environment where children gain love and a great foundation to become a lifelong learner who respects others and appreciates the world around them.
  • To provide a learning space where parents know their children are in good hands and believe WHPS is one of the best decisions they have made for their children.
  • To remain a school where all teachers are proud of what they are doing and recognize that they can be one of the best things in a child’s life and feel rewarded with their career.

Seth Pozzi | Head of School | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Seth has been in the education field since 2004 with past experience as an elementary and middle school teacher, Dean of Students, Elementary Principal and Interim Head of School. Seth holds a BS in K-8 Education and a MS in Administration from the Educational Leadership Academy at Pepperdine University. He has been actively involved in research on social-emotional learning, resiliency, grit-building, and leadership education for elementary school students, in collaboration with several colleges and universities, including Pepperdine and The University of Pennsylvania. Seth is passionate about developing a strengths-based school community that values and leverages each child and staff member’s unique talents and strengths.
 
Mission Statement
I use my natural talents and gifts for being strategic, futuristic, an activator of others and a good communicator, and I strive to incorporate the following attributes into all areas of my life: understanding, compassion and ethics.

Jacey Dexter | Elementary Principal | Oxnard Campus | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Jacey has been with the WHPS family since 2008, both as an administrator and as an elementary teacher. She has a BA from CSUN, a MA in Cross Cultural Education, a California Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, and is a member of the Computer-Using Educators (CUE) organization. As an administrator, Jacey has served as a member of the school’s WASC committee, has helped establish a competitive sports program at WHPS, and is working on integrating technology into the program to support our 21st century learners. Jacey strives to motivate the students and staff to reach their full potential, and her door is always open to all staff, students and parents, with the belief that every voice should be heard.
 
Mission Statement
My mission is to motivate students and staff, and to build partnerships with parents. I strive for our students to feel empowered and take ownership of their learning as well as take pride in their unique contributions to our school community.  I will use my natural talents to keep perspective, work hard, and listen effectively. My life’s journey is a process of growing, learning, experiences, and loving my family.

Robin Gee | Preschool and Toddler Center Director | Collins Campus | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Robin has been in the education field since 1987. She has been a Director since 1992, including 13 years as an Executive Director and has been a Director at the Collins Campus since 2010. A fully qualified preschool director, Robin has a BA in Child Development and earned a Dedication Award for 20 years of Child Care Experience.
 
Mission Statement
My mission is to motivate and inspire teachers to be the best they can be and to help develop an environment which creates love, harmony and creative experiences for young children. I want to give parents the tools and confidence to build positive relationships with their child.

Ailin Sacks | Preschool and Toddler Center Co-Director | Collins Campus | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ms. Ailin is a fully qualified preschool director with a degree in Child Development, a B.S. in Human Services and a M.A. in Early Childhood Education. Ms. Ailin has been with WHPS since 2009, and has been a teacher at both the Collins and Oxnard campuses, as well as a part of the administration team at the Oxnard campus. Her breadth of knowledge, both in the classroom and in the office, is invaluable as Associate Director. Ms. Ailin has been trained to screen children for developmental delays by the Child Development Institute Early Learning Center, where she also continues to volunteer in her spare time.
 
Mission Statement
My mission is to maintain positive relationships with the staff, parents and children as well as work towards a safe successful learning community. To create an environment of empathy, honesty, and integrity. I will work towards helping guide the staff to find their individual philosophies and pursue of knowledge in the field of Early Childhood Education. To inspire all the children at WHPS to reach for the stars!

Tracy Ewing | Preschool Director | Oxnard Campus | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tracy holds her Ph.D. and M.A. in Child and Adolescent Development from UC Santa Barbara, specializing in Early Childhood Education, and has a B.A. in Psychology. Tracy has been in the Early Childhood Education field for 17 years, with 6 years of experience as a child care owner/operator, 2 years as a center director and 8 years as a preschool teacher. She also currently teaches Child and Adolescent Development at CSUN, which keeps her connected to the most current research and trends in Early Childhood Education.

Mission Statement
Young children are active learners absorbing and constructing knowledge with every experience. When developing and guiding early childhood programs my mission is to cultivate
an environment that will foster the development of the whole child through healthy attachments with adults and peers while allowing for the discovery of the wonder of learning. My philosophy of teaching young children is grounded in the belief that young children need a teacher who recognizes and inspires their desire to learn, allowing each child to experience joy in mastering the classroom environment. As a preschool director it is my mission to recognize and inspire each teacher’s desire to teach, so they too can experience joy each day in the classroom. Since parents are a child’s primary teacher I also wish to serve as a supportive foundation for families as they navigate the challenges of parenting during the early childhood years. Children (and adults) learn best when they feel respected and valued and are given opportunities to express themselves. It is essential for teachers to truly connect with each child in such a way that the children feel known, heard and understood. My mission is to ensure that each child that attends WHPS feels known and that every family feels a sense of belonging.


Christine Chiché | Preschool Co-Director | Oxnard Campus | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ms. Christine started with WHPS in 1999 and is a fully qualified preschool teacher and director with a BA in Liberal Studies and 24+ ECE units. Ms. Christine was a teacher at our Collins Campus for 10 years and the Camp Director for 5 years. Ms. Christine has been the Co-Director at the Oxnard Campus since 2013.
 
Mission Statement
My mission is to motivate and inspire creativity in all children. I want to support children's ideas and show them their thoughts matter in and out of the classroom. I want children to appreciate their natural surroundings because there is always a lesson to be learned.

Sheila Rudow | Office Manager | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  Sheila joined the WHPS team in 2016. Sheila has been in the customer service industry since 2010 and in the education field since 2014. 

Sarah Johnson | Business Manager | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  Sarah joined the WHPS team in 2017. Sarah has served as an educational leader and school administrator for almost two decades. 

Serena Koegler | Chief Operating Officer | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

As an alumna of WHPS, Serena was happy to return as a staff member in 2013. Serena has a BS in Business Administration from USC and an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth. Her work experience includes consulting and product management for companies such as Navigant Consulting, Ernst & Young, and Target, as well as involvement in WHPS operations since 1985. Serena is involved in all aspects of the schools' operations, including daily operations, human resources, finance, facilities management, marketing, and WASC.
 
Mission Statement
My mission is to pursue continual growth through all the unique experiences, ideas, and interactions encountered through life. I hope to create a community of diverse individuals working together to create something far more extraordinary than we could imagine independently.

Wentar Kuo | Owner | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

As the owner of WHPS, Wentar plays an active role in the general operation of the school. Wentar has an MSin Computer Engineering from SUNY in Buffalo, N.Y. and was the Vice President of a high tech company before becoming involved in the daily operations of WHPS in the year 2000. Wentar oversees the direction of maintenance and repair, the upgrading of playgrounds and the facilities, and is our liaison with the community. Wentar is very hands-on with the daily activities of WHPS, and you will often see him directing traffic or talking with teachers and parents all around the school.

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2018-2019 Preschool - Collins Street Campus - Coming Soon
 

2018-2019 Preschool - Oxnard Street Campus - Coming Soon
 

2018-2019 Elementary - Oxnard Street Campus
 
Firuza Karwa | Transitional Kindergarten Teacher | Room 14
Joining WHPS in 2000, Ms. Firuza is a fully qualified preschool and transitional kindergarten teacher and holds a BS in Botany, Biochemistry and Environmental Sciences, as well as a Multiple Subject Preliminary Teaching Credential.
 
Mission Statement
“Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think.” - Albert Einstein
 
My mission as a Transitional Kindergarten teacher is...
To motivate and support students by providing them a safe, secure, and loving environment.
To encourage creativity, exploration, and a curious nature.
To encourage students to attempt new activities without fear of mistakes.
To have them know that every error is a learning opportunity.
To educate students cognitively, emotionally, and socially so they may build a strong foundation, and develop a love for life-long learning.
 
I believe in the quote: “Every child is Gifted. They choose to unwrap the package at different times.”
 
Coach” Albert Albino | Transitional Kindergarten Teacher / Elementary Physical Education Teacher | Room 14
With an AA in Child Development, Coach has a solid understanding of the needs of the Transitional Kindergarten, Kindergarten, and elementary age students. Coach joined WHPS in 1996.
 
Mission Statement
My mission is to work hard, stay consistent, and keep all student safe throughout the whole year.
 
Maxia Barnett | Transitional Kindergarten Teacher / Extended Care | Room 14
Ms. Maxia joined WHPS in 2014 with experience in the education field since 2007. Ms. Maxia has an AA from Los Angeles Valley College and she is working towards obtaining her BA from CSUN. She has worked with all elementary grades and has served as an extended care supervisor. She has also been working with our summer program, Camp Woodland Hills, as our cooking instructor and counselor. In March 2015, Ms. Maxia became certified for tennis instruction for children ages 10 and under.
 
Jacqueline Gottlieb | Kindergarten Teacher | Room 15
Mrs. Gottlieb joined WHPS in 2017 and has been in the education field since 1995.  Mrs. Gottlieb holds a Master of Arts in Education from Pepperdine University, a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential with Crosscultural, Language & Academic Development emphasis, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Southern California.
 
Jennifer Baker | Kindergarten Teacher | Room 15
Mrs. Baker joined WHPS in 2016 and has been in the education field since 2010.  Mrs. Baker holds a BA in Liberal Studies from CSUN and a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential.
 
Mission Statement
My mission is to make sure my students get the most out of their time with me. I will do my very best to ensure they know how much I care about each and every one of them. My hope is that years from now they will think of me and smile.
 
Marcy Ancrum | Kindergarten / First Grade Teacher | Room 16
Ms. Ancrum has a BA in Liberal Studies, with an emphasis in education, and a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from San Diego State University. Ms. Ancrum joined the WHPS team in 2014, has taught in a dual language school and is a member of ASCD (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development).
 
Mission Statement
My mission is to create a safe, loving environment in which my students feel important and respected. I want to help my students practice empathy and realize the power they have to affect the world around them. I want to instill a love of learning in my students and I want them to know that their best is always enough.
 
Jennifer Donaldson | Kindergarten / First Grade Teacher | Room 16
Ms. Jenn joined WHPS in 2017 and is a fully qualified preschool and elementary teacher who has been working in the education field since 2012. She has a Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education and Early Education and Care (EEC) certificate. 
 
Mission Statement
“It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.”
-Albus Dumbledore
 
Gilea Hurley | Second Grade Teacher | Room 17
Ms. Hurley is a credentialed teacher holding a BA in Elementary Education from Kutztown University in Pennsylvania and an MA in Educational Therapy from CSUN. Starting at WHPS in 1998, and with experience in the field of education since 1995, Ms. Hurley was chosen as “Best Teacher,” as listed in the Daily News in 2000.
 
Mission Statement
My mission is to…
*motivate and inspire my students
*teach my students to embrace their weaknesses and strengths and use them to thrive in their lives
*to deeply understand and listen to others ideas, inventions, and solutions
*inspire in my students positivity, compassion, and respect for themselves and others
*elevate a love of life and learning in my students
*have an open heart and mind
*overcome difficult challenges with unstoppable perseverance
*stimulate a curiosity and adoration for nature in others
 
Melissa Pero Second Grade Teacher | Room 17
Ms. Pero joined WHPS in 2015 and has experience teaching in grades K-8 since 2006. She also holds a California Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and BA in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Earth Science and Astronomy.
 
Mission Statement
My mission is to help students build a love for lifelong learning and approach the challenges of learning with a positive attitude. I want to encourage all my students to do their best and achieve success.
 
Navelle Molina Third / Fourth Grade Teacher | Room 18
Ms. Molina joined WHPS in 2016 and has been in the education field since 2004. Ms. Molina has a BS from Kean University and the State of New Jersey Certificate for Elementary Education K-5. From 2010 until 2016, when she joined WHPS, her classroom was selected as the model classroom.
 
Mission Statement
My mission as an educator is to inspire my students and to help awaken abilities and capabilities within themselves that they never dreamed possible. I will create a loving, caring and supportive, learning environment where taking risks and meeting challenges head-on  become choices that students welcome and tackle to the best of their ability. My hope is to help prepare my students socially, emotionally, and academically for their future.
 
Tamar Soultanian |Third / Fourth Grade Teacher | Room 18
Ms. Soultanian came to WHPS in 2014 with experience in both private and public education since 2009. She received her BA in Sociology from CSUN, and her MA in Education and teaching credentials from National University.
 
Mission Statement
My mission in life is to always be the best version of myself, an eternal explorer, and a creative self-challenger who inspires those around me in infinite ways.
   
Melanie Henson | Fourth / Fifth Grade Teacher | Room 19
Ms. Henson has a BS in Zoology from UCSB and a multiple subject teaching credential from CSUN. She has been working with children since 2005—first as a gymnastics teacher, then as a preschool teacher here at WHPS starting in 2006, and finally in our elementary division since 2010.
 
Mission Statement
My mission as a teacher is to inspire young minds to think deeply and question often, to be courageous and explore the world around them, to gain confidence in themselves and their own special abilities, to gain a love of all living things, and to trust in the student-teacher relationship.
 
Jennifer Foster | Fourth / Fifth Grade Teacher | Room 19
Ms. Foster began teaching in the elementary classroom in 2009 and at WHPS in 2014. She has a BA in Liberal Studies/Elementary Education with a focus in science, is currently in the credential program, and is Responsive Classroom Certified.
 
Mission Statement
My mission is to support my students in their hopes and dreams. I hope to challenge them in ways they have not been challenged before. I believe, trust, and care about each of my students and hope they will find a love for learning. 

Specialists & Support Staff
The staff members listed below are our support staff, along with our specialists, who specialize in a particular enrichment area and help to expand and enhance the quality of the program you find at WHPS.
 
"Coach" Albert Albino | Elementary Physical Education Teacher
Coach wears several hats at WHPS. In addition to his duties in the Transitional Kindergarten classroom each morning, Coach teaches a wonderful physical education program at WHPS. With an AA in Child Development, and courses on coaching and athletics for children, Coach has a unique understanding of the needs of our Transitional Kindergarten, Kindergarten, and elementary age students. His physical education program strives to help develop coordination and physical fitness skills, teach the rules and form for various sports and playground games, as well as encourage teamwork and good sportsmanship. Coach’s students are eager to participate and there are always smiles and cheering when Coach arrives.
 
Nathalie Haller | Music Teacher
Ms. Nathalie received a BA from UCLA. Her experience in the education field dates back to 1997 and she started with WHPS in 2006. She has an extensive background teaching music both privately and in the public school system. In addition to songs and musical expression, Ms. Nathalie introduces her elementary students to basic music theory, the works of the great composers, and rhythm. She also conducts a special preschool program at the Collins Campus. Ms. Nathalie is dedicated to the enhancement of each student’s own musical talents. She teaches the recorder to our second and third graders and keyboarding to our fourth and fifth grade students.
 
Mission Statement
My mission is to help my students discover joy, work together as a team, and learn things they never thought they were capable of, through music.
 
Jill Miller Technology Integration Specialist
 
Alyse Rubinich | Elementary Art Specialist
Ms. Rubi has a BA in Art and Art Education from Cal State University and over 16 years of experience as an art instructor. She is a dedicated teacher who has a strong passion for introducing children and their families to the world of ART! 
 
Patty Rebulard | Elementary Spanish Specialist
Patty came to WHPS in 2015 with a BA in Spanish and French and an MA in Recreation Management. Patty is fluently trilingual in Spanish, French, and English. Working in the education field since 2012, Patty is passionate about teaching our elementary students how to read, speak, and write in Spanish.
 
Mission Statement
As a Spanish teacher, my mission is to expand the horizons of my students by exposing them to a diversity of language and culture.
 
Matthew Fike | Animal & Nature Specialist
Matthew oversees the WHPS Science & Nature Center. He joined WHPS in 2015 and has over 10 years of experience working with all kinds of animals. Matthew graduated from the EATM (Exotic Animal Training and Management) program at Moorpark College. He's especially excited to launch our enhanced animal and nature studies curriculum this year, aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards.
 
Tanja Wolfmeyer | Animal Keeper
Tanja joined WHPS in 2016 and previously worked as veterinary technician and has been in the animal husbandry field since 1995.
 
Steve Ignacio | Technology Support
Holding a BS in Information Technology and an MA in Educational Technology, Steve is our go-to guy for any technological issues. Since 2007, Steve has been on campus helping to keep WHPS current with 21st century technology. 
  
Lidia Perez | Floater
Ms. Lidia is a fully qualified preschool teacher who has worked with young children since 1998 and at WHPS since 2003. She has a calm and caring personality that really helps our little ones settle into their new classroom. Ms. Lidia has a positive attitude and a great rapport with our children and their parents. She is very organized, responsible, compassionate and nurturing.
 
Mojgan Sanei | Floater
 
Mardon Yasen | Maintenance Supervisor
Mardon is our right and left hand maintenance man! He has been with WHPS since 2005. He can do anything, and he often does. We always call on him to repair, improve and remove! His responsibilities include the maintenance of both the Oxnard and Collins campuses. He never gets frazzled with all of our requests and we are so very grateful for his support.
 
Santos Arrieta | Maintenance
Mr. Santos has been with WHPS since 2002 and also divides his time working at our two campuses. He is responsible for keeping the school clean and safe. His duties include general maintenance and repair and also include set up for special school events and activities.
 

Substitute Teachers - Coming Soon
 
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