Summer enrichment institute 2023
Dates: June 20-july 14, 2023
Flyers and course offerings are now posted!
Elementary Campus = Rossmoor ElementarySEI Session 1
June 20 - 30
SEI Session 2
July 3 - July 14 (No Class on July 4)
EARLY BIRD PRICING ENDS on Wednesday, May 31.
Summer enrichment institute 2023 information
is now posted below
2023 Elementary SEI Flyers
2023 High School Offerings
Please note that the Multi-Class discount applies to SEI classes only. It does NOT apply to Summer Sports Camps run by High School Coaches or Camps in the Arts run by High School Directors or the High School Health Graduation class.
Elementary Class Descriptions – SEI 2023
Click on the arrow to read class descriptions
Please note that each Jumpstart Class is the same in Session 1 and Session 2.
All Jumpstart Classes are aligned with Common Core State Standards.
ASL is a fun, interactive, hands-on second language! Learning ASL has many cognitive benefits such as higher abstract and creative thinking, better problem-solving, better listening skills and greater academic achievement. Students will present what they have learned at the end of the session.
Students will learn from an LAUSD Art teacher how to design characters with a specific aesthetic or personality in mind along with the techniques on how to draw like real animators.
Spanish students will be exposed to a Spanish language program that engages children to learn through creative activities. Instructional focus is on acquisition of vocabulary and practical conversation through multiple learning strategies to stimulate every learning style. A fun filled approach allows children to learn a new language and with a high level of retention.
Students will learn a variety of art techniques through a course filled with both individual and group projects. We will study unique artists from history as well as the contemporary art world to explore artistic styles and learn the basics of many mediums. Students will work with these new mediums and discover fun ways to express themselves through art. They will also work on group projects and learn to collaborate with a creative team.
Young artists will rub elbows with famous artists such as Warhol, Pollack, Basaviat and more. Students will explore mediums while engaging in their creativity and imagination.
In this class, students will learn the lyrics to a handful of songs as well as choreography to go with each song. Students will also get the chance to freestyle dance and play team building games with their peers. At the end of the session, students will perform the songs and accompanied choreography they have learned. This class allows students to practice performance, while being creative and physically active.
We will teach your child the skills they need for both on and off the court, to be a better student athlete. Students will learn the fundamentals of passing, shooting, dribbling and rebounding. Athletes learn new basketball skills along with vital life lessons such as respect, teamwork and responsibility.
This course is perfect for the beginner ukulele player that is looking to start playing fun songs and wants to have fun playing! Fret board knowledge, string knowledge and note positions will be covered.
*Must bring a ukulele to class. Ukuleles can be bought for approximately $20 on Amazon.
What if science is more than just wearing a white coat and jotting down notes? Want to find out?Let’s explore the messy, goopy, slimy side of science by creating slime, bubbling volcanos, sticky explosions, slippery soapy bubbles and so much more! Join us!
To obtain knowledge about breakdancing while also developing their own personality and establish confidence. Students will understand the value of discipline and hard work while having fun and dancing with others.
Cheer is a sport involving the performance of organized cheering, chanting, and dancing. Cheer-leading teaches teamwork. The ability to work with other people to achieve a goal is an aspect of cheer-leading that carries over into your non-cheer life. This is because cheer-leading instills a strong work ethic. Cheerleaders are high achievers because cheer-leading teaches the following five key traits: Confidence, Dependability, Responsibility, Accountability and Difficulty.
Build your own portfolio with masterpieces you create each day. Explore a variety of art materials and styles. Students will build confidence and creative thinking by engaging their imagination.
In this class, students can expect to learn how to write different comic strips that will explore their creative side. Students will learn the importance of character choice, word choice, and the purpose in which they write. In addition, students will come to understand how comics began while learning different events in history and science in which they have been used. Students will look at different stylistic choices that famous comic book/strip authors use to pull in their readers. This will help students in writing, reading, speaking, and communicating.
With technology advancing at a very rapid pace, this course will not only allow students to increase their technology abilities in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and typing, but also in web skills and coding. Students will learn how to use, create, and save a word document and a PowerPoint presentation. This course will also utilize typing software and fun activities for students to learn the “home row” on the keyboard. Students will increase their web skills by learning how to research, navigate, and bookmark scholarly websites and articles. It will also increase students’ ability to become beginners at computer programming.
In this class, students will develop foundational writing and public speaking skills by creating narrative stories. Students will be taught how to add details to stories through graphic organizers and creative writing assignments. Students will work independently as well as collaboratively to create original stories that correlate with common core.
This beginning jazz class will introduce your child to the basics of dance. Our program will teach your child proper stretching techniques, basic jazz movements, and musicality. Your child will develop strength, coordination, and confidence. Our goal is to help your child gain a solid understanding of dance principles in a fun and creative way.
An age-appropriate fitness class that gets kids moving, builds balance and coordination skills, and instills the importance of an active and healthy lifestyle. During class kids will learn fitness through games, obstacle courses, as well as speed, agility, and quickness drills. Each week the class will follow a basic format while the activities change. Our emphasis is teaching kids that fitness is fun!
Bonjour! Have fun learning the basics of French language in a dynamic and interactive environment! In this class students will be introduced to foundational French vocabulary and phrases. Students will practice conversation with their classmates and learn about French culture and arts. They will also learn language basics such as introductions, colors, animals, and daily activities. Instruction will include movies, videos, games and fun activities that will immerse you in all things French.
From slime-making with new recipes, to growing plants and exploring building strategies, the focus of this class will be hands-on FUN. The students’ interests will shape what we decide to dig into and explore, allowing your child to discover innovative approaches to solving problems while being creative and having fun. We’ll engage in projects that introduce and reinforce STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) concepts through creative materials, allowing students to learn through inquiry, exploration and play.
This Beginning/Intermediate Gymnastic class will introduce your child to the exciting sport of gymnastics! Our program will teach your child stretching, locomotor skills, and basic gymnastics skills on the vault, bars, balance beam, and floor. Your child will improve coordination, strength, and developmental skills in a fun and safe environment. Gymnasts will be challenged with skill progressions as they advance in their abilities.
Dive into the world of biology, react with chemistry, zoom with astronomy, wonder with engineering and architecture as we unlock secrets in science. In this class, students will conduct a wide variety of hands-on scientific projects including building rockets, creating inventions, exploring electricity and magnetism, conducting chemical reactions, and so much more. Science is all around us so let’s jump in and have some fun.
In this class, students will acquire basic vocabulary and grammatical structures that will allow them to engage in basic and daily conversations in Spanish. We will focus on high frequency vocabulary, which supports fluency. Students will acquire the language through personalized and engaging activities, such as student-centered conversation, songs, acting, compelling stories, and games. Essential vocabulary and grammar will be presented slowly, in context, and with visual, auditory and kinesthetic supports to make it comprehensible and accessible to all students.
Young students will have the opportunity to be creative and explore multiple techniques for art expressions. This class will be lively and fun and encourage students to think out of the box, create from their imagination and tell a story through art. Students will work on art pieces every day and will bring all projects home at the end of the session.
This course is an introduction course to acting and public speaking. Through ensemble and individual performance, students learn about the basics of a performance, creating a character, improvisation games, acting techniques, vocal expression and play production. Students develop life skills in addition to having fun! Students will perform short scenes with partners, and the final project will be a monologue that students will perform for the class.
What do you get when you combine curiosity, creativity, and an imagination? You have the perfect ingredients for solving the STEM challenges in our class. Come participate in a variety of STEAM activities that range from coding, designing, constructing, and testing various structures, and programming Ozobots. Get ready to learn about the Engineering Design Process, plus Science experiments: here we come! Let’s make slime and learn how crystals are formed. Come join us for a STEAM-tastic class!
This class will focus on bully prevention and self-defense, while helping students gain confidence in their physical abilities using Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. This is a grappling style of martial art where children will learn to use takedowns and positional control to protect themselves. Our goals are to learn safety techniques, get/stay in shape, build coordination and strength, gain better focus and have fun! Classes will be divided into conditioning/general warm up, skill and techniques specific movement drills, technical instruction and practice, and conceptual mat chats. See you on the mats!
Children will be exposed to the Soundabet phonics program and Houghton Mifflin Alpha-friends through writing activities, music and movement, and hands-on activities. This course gives your child a head start in reading, which can lead to kindergarten success. It also builds confidence in your child, which will ease some first day of kindergarten jitters.
Children will also engage in developmentally appropriate activities that will promote mathematical higher thinking skills. Your child will take part in fun and enjoyable large movement games and art activities that address kindergarten math goals. This course gives your child a jump-start with mathematical skills that include the following: counting, number recognition, patterning, adding, subtracting and more!
Students will encounter daily activities that will prepare them for first grade success. Students will participate in C.G.I. math problems with varying number sets and participate in Writer’s Workshop where they will learn to write, revise, edit and publish their own stories.
Please note that each Jumpstart Class is the same in Session 1 and Session 2.
Students will encounter daily activities that will prepare them for second grade success. They will use manipulatives to solve and discuss CGI math story problems, participate in guided reading groups, participate in Writers Workshop with an emphasis on adding details, editing and revising with a published story at the end of each week. First grade sight words, language conventions and math fast facts will be reviewed.
Please note that each Jumpstart Class is the same in Session 1 and Session 2.
Students will be exposed to fundamental third grade concepts and skills so they are prepared for and continue their forward momentum towards 3rd grade success. The course will include lessons in reading, fast facts, C.G.I. and multiple writing activities that focus on paragraph development and descriptive language.
Please note that each Jumpstart Class is the same in Session 1 and Session 2.
Students will participate in various writing activities with an emphasis on sentence structure, grammar, and punctuation. Students will also be exposed to fundamental fourth grade math concepts in Number Sense, Algebra, and Measurement & Geometry to prepare them for a smooth transition to fourth grade.
Please note that each Jumpstart Class is the same in Session 1 and Session 2.
Students will encounter activities in writing and math that will prepare them for fifth grade success. They will participate in various writing activities with an emphasis on sentence structure, grammar, and punctuation. Students will be exposed to fundamental fifth grade math concepts in Number Sense, Algebra, and Measurement & Geometry to prepare them for a smooth transition to fifth grade.
Please note that each Jumpstart Class is the same in Session 1 and Session 2.
Kids of all ages learn self-discipline and respect in this physical fitness class. Basic Karate techniques will improve student strength, flexibility, endurance and coordination.
Leadership instills confidence and helps children solve problems creatively, work in a team and work collaboratively with others while also developing crucial social-emotional learning. Social Emotional Learning is an essential piece of the puzzle to help students learn the soft skills they need to be productive, successful adults. Our curriculum pairs specific learning pillars with games, team-building, exercises, activities, self-assessments, and a custom reflection workbook.
This class is designed to be both fun and educational, no prior experience is needed. Students will have the opportunity to explore the amazing world of Minecraft while learning valuable coding skills. During the class, our instructors will guide students through Minecraft using an educational tool that allows them to easily create and modify their Minecraft projects using code. They will also offer support and encouragement as students work on their own projects.
We believe that coding can be fun and accessible to everyone. Through this class, we hope to ignite a passion for coding in your child. We are excited to embark on this adventure and can’t wait to see what amazing creations the students come up with.
*$15 Material Fee is added at checkout.
This class is perfect for kids who love to sing, dance, and act and want to get better at it! We will start each day with fun warm-up games and team-building exercises, and then move on to our one-of-a-kind curriculum that includes self-esteem activities with Performing Arts Education! This class is for students at all talent and experience levels. We have tailored our classes to prioritize a safe and FUN environment. Please send your student with water and light weight clothing that they can move in. Your future star will have an amazing experience in this musical theater class!
A fun course for performers of all levels. This is the perfect place to learn how to be a “triple threat” – singing, dancing, and acting- through various warmups, exercises and games, all leading to a final performance of a summer-themed musical.
Students will be provided a fun and friendly environment. Promoting an active lifestyle is the goal all while strengthening students’ confidence, accountability, sportsmanship, work ethic, and overall understanding of why staying active is healthy and important. Ohana Kid Fit will focus on running based relays, games, and activities that create an amazing place to get kids up and moving. Students will have fun, will learn quality values, and will be challenged to use their brains.
Students will explore different areas of printmaking. Together we will make a block print and a cyanotype/sun print. As we create these prints, we will add our designs on to our own custom-made t-shirt.
“One, Two, Three, Sing” is for the budding beginner singer to explore their creative voice while learning to sing with others. Expect to learn singing basics, play music games, sing along to popular hits, and of course, have fun! The next step in your musical journey begins this Fall!
Following an age-appropriate curriculum, every player will be provided with a fun yet challenging environment facilitating the development of soccer skills and techniques.
Students will do daily stretches and a warm up activity. Next, they will get into a sports lesson including skills, drills, and game play. Cool down stretches to conclude the day.
Students will be learning a variety of different sports and activities such as basketball, soccer, volleyball, wiffle ball, and the 5 components of fitness. Students will learn the importance of participating in sports, fitness, and exercise for their lifelong health. Students will learn a variety of cooperative games that will help with their physical activity, social skills, teamwork, cooperation, and leadership roles.
Develop a love for literature and reading for your child! Story Circles will focus on one classic picture book story per day. The book will be read and discussed while learning about phonics, vocabulary, theme, setting, mood and interpreting illustrations. Additional daily activities will include music, games, and arts and crafts related to the story. Children will also build community and learn communication skills during circle times.
Explore the world of STEM by diving into engineering lesions inspired by Picture Books. Each class will have a themed lesson based on a picture book where kids will explore the various aspects of STEM. It’s a perfect STEM option for your enthusiastic learner. Students will also learn introductory coding and robotics.
Young artists will rub elbows with famous artists such as Warhol, Pollack, Basquiat and more. The students will explore mixed mediums while engaging in their creativity and imagination.
Chef Ollie will teach children about California food history, agriculture, gardening, cooking and safe food preparation. Children will make snacks and small dishes using fresh produce from local farmers markets and from garden harvests. All classes are peanut-free, however some ingredients may have been processed in the same facility that processes nuts. Chef Ollie is happy to make any reasonable accommodations and modifications to ensure your child has an inclusive and fun experience. *$50 Material Fee is added at checkout.
Do you love Super Heroes? So do I, but how do they get those amazing powers? Can we use science to find superpowers of our own? Let’s explore how Superman uses wind speed to fly, magnets to make Spiderman crawl up a tall building, learn how Elastigirl stretches using polymers, and how the Flash runs through solid rock using the power of sound vibrations. Join us to find your super science powers with us!
Students in this upbeat class will learn vocal technique, basic music theory, as well as how to perform a song. Using both classic and contemporary songs as a guide, students will enjoy learning how to portray character and emotion, giving each song meaning. We will incorporate free-form dance to loosen up the body and strengthen the diaphragm. This is the perfect class for the child that loves to sing.
Students will learn the basic skills needed to participate in the sport of volleyball. The focus will be technique when passing (bumping), setting, serving, and hitting (spiking)! These skills will be applied while participating in drills and lead-up games.
Students will learn concepts of science that are present in their everyday lives. This course is designed to apply knowledge of these scientific theories to the world around them. Students will conduct hands-on experiments to illustrate the wonderful world of science!
Elementary Teacher Bios – SEI 2023
Lesli Ayers is happy to be back for her 12th year teaching SEI for LAEF! She has taught elementary education for the past 36 years between Los Alamitos Unified, Long Beach Unified and the city of La Cresenta. She is a proud graduate of Long Beach State and a proud parent of a Los Alamitos High School Graduate. Lesli looks forward to helping students reach their full academic potential through academics and the arts.
Melisa has a passion for teaching and motivating young people to discover their own passions, while striving to accomplish their goals. This fall will be her 15th year of teaching. As a Titan alum, she has a Bachelor of Science degree in Child and Adolescent Development and a Multiple Subject Teaching credential from California State University, Fullerton. Melisa has worked with a diverse group of students during her years of teaching, ranging from grades TK through 12th grade. She also has numerous years of experience teaching STEM with the Tiger Woods Foundation, through their enrichment and afterschool programs. Melisa is currently the STEM teacher at Rossmoor Elementary. As an educator, Melisa is driven by one philosophy; Inspire young people to believe in themselves and empower them to create positive change in the world. Melisa and LAEF are both excited to have her on board for her third summer teaching during SEI!
Leslie is an experienced basketball coach and player who loves the game dearly. He enjoys all aspects of the game including: playing, watching, teaching, and coaching. He has been playing since age 5 and continues to play in multiple competitive men’s leagues to this day. He has coached all ages ranging from Kindergarten (age 5) up until high school kids. While attending UC Riverside, he even assisted the women’s team as he participated as a practice player. Currently Leslie coaches skills academies and an AAU middle school girls basketball team. Even though he is always playing he makes sure to watch and follow the majority of all NBA games. His favorite team is the LA Lakers. Leslie is excited to teach for LAEF during his third SEI.
Brianne is a creative elementary art teacher who has a strong passion for introducing children to the interactive world of art. Brianne is an imaginative teacher. She is professional and highly trained in a wide array of artistic mediums. Brianne makes instant connections with her students through creative art activities.
Anya is currently the Art teacher at McGaugh Elementary. Before working at McGaugh, Anya received her BFA in Studio Arts and her B.A. in Philosophy from Chapman University. Anya taught art at Orange Presbyterian Preschool as well as served as the Lead in their after school art program where she created the curriculum using a variety of materials.
Makena Carrion was a 4-year Varsity cheerleader for Los Alamitos High School. During that time they were National World Champions and also earned a CIF Championship. She was also a Level 7 Coed All Star Cheerleader for Pacific Coast Magic where they were US Cheer Champions and qualified for Worlds. She currently is at the University of Oregon on the Acrobatic & Tumbling Team where she competed as a freshman during the season in Team event and was on the Academic Honor Roll. Her sophomore year as a Duck, NCATA gave her an honorable mention of Athlete of the Week and she competed in all 7 meets for the season scoring 9.7 or higher in every meet. Competing as a top and tumbler this season, her junior year, Makena helped the Ducks to an average score of 9.86 in the open pyramid and a No. 2 seed at this year’s NCATA National Championships where Oregon placed 2nd in the Nation. Makena finished her season strong being chosen 2023 NCATA All American and was also voted the team MVP from her peers this season from University of Oregon’s Acrobatic & Tumbling team.
Ollie graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.A. in Comparative Literature, English, Italian and Spanish. Ollie is a fully credentialed and highly qualified classroom teacher. She earned her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from Cal State Long Beach, and an Ed Specialist Credential from the Orange County Department of Education with English Language Learner and Autism Authorization. Ollie earned her director’s credential from UCLA and has run an enrichment program and preschool as both a non-profit and a small business. She has 16 years of teaching experience and integrates inquiry-based and hands-on learning into her cooking classes. She cooked in Spain and Rome while completing her undergraduate work; and traveled extensively throughout Italy, Costa Rica, Mexico, Hawaii and Europe. Ollie brings her traveling experiences to the kitchen with simple, rustic dishes using local and sustainable ingredients. While living in Berkeley, Ollie was inspired by Alice Waters’ cooking, edible garden, and farm-to-school programs. She currently works as a private chef and teaches organic cooking and biodynamic gardening classes. Her family’s roots are from Ischia, a small island off of Naples, which is reflected in her Italo-California fusion cooking and passion for gardening. In her spare time she enjoys cooking with her family, creating cheese plates, caring for a baby California desert tortoise and Zucca the puppy (Italian for squash). Ollie is excited about teaching for LAEF again this summer!
Macaine is a 2021 Los Alamitos High School graduate and was on the HS Robotics team for 3 years leading the manufacturing group. He is currently the head coach for the HS Robotics team and is attending Arizona State University for a Mechanical Engineering degree. Macaine brings much enthusiasm and is ready to inspire creativity in your students.
Ellie is a passionate dancer who enjoys sharing the art of dance and music with children. She has been highly trained in various styles of dance since the age of two. Ellie is extremely creative and works well with children of all ages and abilities. Ellie is excited to teach during her first Summer Enrichment Institute!
Andy Farrell is a current full time college student studying philosophy and art. Andy has a passion for all different forms of art, and has been exploring art their whole life. They’re also extremely passionate about education in the arts, working at camps and LAEF after-school programs for multiple years, as well as working for a nonprofit organization which advocates for equity in the arts. They love working with children and helping them build confidence in expressing their artistic talents. As a former Los Al student, the teachers in the district who encouraged their love of art helped to create the lifelong passion they’re following today, and they hope to help do the same for a new set of young artists!
Melodie graduated from Hope International University in Fullerton with a B.A. in Human Development and has taught in several private elementary schools throughout southern California for over twenty years. Developing her own curriculum and spear-heading an innovative after school program on the east coast, she moved back to California to pursue her love of hands-on teaching in the classroom. She is currently a projects coordinator at Oakwood Academy in Long Beach and regularly teaches for LAEF after-school and during the summer.
Carrie is in her 9th year as an elementary school teacher at McGaugh Elementary School in Seal Beach. This is her 22nd year as a teacher. In her career she has taught from 1st grade to 4th grade but has been teaching 3rd grade for the last 7 years. She grew up in Long beach and went to schools in Long beach. She then spent the next 2 years at Long Beach City College and transferred to Oregon State University where she graduated as a Broadcast Journalism Major. She is married now with 3 boys who are 18, 16 and 12. They are a water polo family and that is what she does most weekends. Her oldest will be attending Long Beach State in the Fall to play water polo and they are so excited to cheer him on! She loves being around kids, watching sports and being with her GoldenDoodle, Sailor.
Tanya Gelder and Carolyn Simon run Fitness For All and are certified personal trainers. They have worked at local gyms as personal and group fitness trainers for adults and children.
Free to Be Me Performance Academy provides quality performance training in a positive, enthusiastic, nurturing, and embracing environment. Through their classes students learn essential life skills such as teamwork, respect, responsibility, care and compassion. They emphasize the importance of character both on and off the stage and work to inspire each student to BE a positive light out in the community. Most importantly they encourage FUN!
Mrs. Marisol Garcia, M.Ed. comes to Los Al with 21 years of experience specializing in elementary education (science and math are her favorites) and Professional Learning Support for K-8 students. She has two education-based master’s degrees and recently added Mild/Moderate Special Education Credential to her repertoire. Mrs. Garcia has a true passion for teaching and helping each of her students realize their full potential and achieve success in a variety of areas and levels. Each child is equipped with a unique skillset, and Mrs. Garcia celebrates and embraces each challenge they encounter together!
Natali is a Los Alamitos USD alumna and current employee at Rossmoor Elementary. Natali graduated from CSULB with a B.A. in Child Development and Family Studies and is currently enrolled at the university to earn her teaching credential. As a native Spanish speaker, Natali is eager to serve Los Al families by teaching LAEF Spanish classes.
David Grace received his degree from California State University Fullerton, in the field of Kinesiology. He has a range of experience working with young athletes through the Boys and Girls Club, National Junior Basketball League, and AYSO. He has worked for the Anaheim and Garden Grove school districts as a paraeducator in the Autism and Special Education departments where he worked in classroom, home, clinic, and community settings with his students. He is currently the head freshman/sophomore basketball coach at Garden Grove High School. He is a father of two young children, enjoys playing sports, and camping with his wife and kids.
Wendy is in her twenty-second year of teaching and in that time she has taught grades three through eight. She currently teaches sixth grade reading, language arts and history at McAuliffe Middle School and loves it! Wendy and her husband have two sons and live locally.
Sonya has been teaching voice, musical theater, and dance for the past eleven years. She holds a bachelor’s degree from California State University, Fullerton in Theatre Arts and continues to perform herself in both theatre and television. Ms. Henning owns and operates an academy for arts in Long Beach, Emerging Artists Musical Theatre Academy, where the mission is to give every child the opportunity to experience a performing arts education.
Michelle graduated in 2014 from CSULB with a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology (K-12) Physical Education. She is currently working on her master’s degree at CSULB. Michelle is working as a PE teacher at Hollydale School in South Gate. She student taught under Janet Fettig, Los Alamitos High School Softball coach and PE teacher. Michelle is the head coach for the volleyball, basketball and soccer teams. Michelle prides herself on instilling the importance of good sportsmanship and character in all sports activities. She has also won championships in girls’ basketball/soccer in 2017 and volleyball in 2018. Michele has camp counselor experience from the CSULB 49er camp. Michele is excited to teach SEI again with the students of Los Alamitos/Seal Beach.
Jessica Jakubowski is a graduate from San Diego State University where she obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies and a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential. She currently works at McGaugh Elementary School in Seal Beach where she teaches as a Reading Intervention teacher. Growing up, Jessica took ballet and jazz dance classes, and she attended Los Alamitos High School where she was apart of the Soundtrax and SoundFX show choir groups. She also participated in an acapella group in college called Soundwave. Although Jessica now spends most of her time teaching academics in the classroom, she still holds a passion for performance and music.
Susie received her undergraduate degree from UCLA and her multiple subject credential from CSULB. She has a master’s degree in reading instruction. Currently, she teaches kindergarten at McGaugh Elementary. She has over 14 years of teaching in the primary grades. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, bowling, and attending concerts. Susie is looking forward to teaching for LAEF for her 4th year.
A program designed to inspire the youth through Breaking. As a former athlete, Jason uses skills, drills, and repetition to teach proper dance techniques. Encouraging his students to move with the music, he wants them to build character and design their movements as artistic expressions. Knowledge Breaking Crew shows young dancers that anything is possible by the dint of hard work and dreams.
Andrew Maldonado is a Musicians Institute graduate with two decades of live performance experience. Andrew owns his own music school called Blue Box Music in the city of Los Alamitos and has a decade of teaching experience. He was the music director for the JCC Maccabi Games and Artsfest in Long Beach. Andrew is excited to teach Ukulele at his first Summer Enrichment Institute.
Alejandra was born and raised in Costa Rica and has been living in Southern California for the past 11 years. Her love for nature, culture and adventure were her main motivation to get her College Degree in Hospitality and become a Travel Agent, working in the Tourist Industry for over 10 years. She loves teaching kids her native language and uses it as a tool to teach young generations about the importance of acceptance, diversity and cultural awareness. She is a strong believer that an early exposure to different cultures is a great way to become a more inclusive and empathetic person. Alejandra has three kids, two of them are students of Los Alamitos Unified School District and enjoys traveling in her free time. She is currently working on a Spanish Immersion Program for kids in the Cloud Forest in Costa Rica, what a great way to combine her love for teaching and nature conservation!
Hilary McGilton is starting her 5th year teaching. She is a teacher in Colorado where she’s taught 2nd and 4TH grade. Hilary grew up in Rossmoor; attending Rossmoor Elementary, Oak Middle School and Los Alamitos High School. After high school, Hilary earned degrees at San Diego State University in Journalism and Political Science. After working in television news and law enforcement, Hilary decided her real passion was teaching. She received her master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Colorado Christian University. As an educator, Hilary fosters growth in her students by being dedicated to develop a learning community filled with love, wonder and respect.
Kristina is a Los Alamitos High School graduate and is currently working as a long term sub teaching math and science at McAuliffe Middle School. She recently earned her single subject teaching credential in Science. Kristina is very passionate about science and very excited for the opportunity to teach with LAEF this summer!
Eli Nieto is an aspiring physical education teacher who will have graduated with a bachelor of science in Kinesiology from Long Beach State University in the spring of 2023. He has worked with children ranging from elementary-age children all the way to high schoolers. Eli has been a first communion teacher for 5th graders as well as a confirmation teacher for high school seniors. He currently gives music lessons to children ranging from 6 years of age to 14 and is also the head junior varsity coach for boy’s volleyball at Godinez Fundamental High School. Eli is the third oldest of eleven kids. He loves sports and music, but his greatest passion is the promotion and teaching of health and wellness through the scope of exercise and physical activity.
Je’nelle (owner) is very passionate about introducing kids to an active lifestyle. She played every sport she could get her parents to drive her to ultimately focusing on volleyball and soccer. Je’nelle’s degree in elementary education has brought out the joy she has when teaching kids, a new skill and how to keep going even when the going gets tough. She loves to see kids accomplish a challenge or event or basic movement that they could not previously do and finally get it.
Whitney has been employed with Los Alamitos Unified for 13 years as an Extended Day Care Center Assistant and more recently as a substitute teacher for TK-12th grade. While attending Los Alamitos High, she “accidentally” discovered her passion for teaching through an ROP program for preschool teacher assistants. While learning how to work within a preschool setting, she knew her future career would involve educating children while inspiring them to discover their passions and a love for lifelong learning. After attending Cerritos College and receiving her AA in Child Development she transferred over to CSULB to obtain her BA in Communication Studies, and then later to complete the Multiple Subjects Credential Program in order to become an elementary school teacher. When she isn’t studying you can find her at Disneyland (pre covid) or with her dog, Mr. Sy.
Katie, a California native, is an accomplished artist and teacher. A recent graduate from California State University, Long Beach, Katie has already led her students to art competitions and had their work shown in the Nixon Public Library. Her art, especially in the classroom, focuses on the collaborative. Katie has a heart for her community that can be seen not only in her work, but also in the way she interacts with others. She is both detail oriented and creatively flexible, allowing students to explore their ideas while holding them to a high artistic standard.
Born and raised in Long Beach, CA, Coach Larry was bred in a city known for its volleyball culture. Studying under various prominent figures in the volleyball world, he brings his insights to LAEF, in order to grow the game with the next wave of athletes. At 5’8″, he has achieved a AA rating from the California Beach Volleyball Association, and is shooting for his AAA. Larry is currently coaching volleyball at Gahr High School, the Beach Volleyball Club and Surf City Beach Volleyball Club. Volleyball is Larry’s passion and he really enjoys teaching youth the game that has given so much to Larry. Coach Larry focuses on athlete engagement through hard work, emphasis on technical skills, and most of all, fun.
Yesenia Quezada comes from a strong Hispanic household who values education. At a very young age, her parents taught her the value of education, and today she wanted to share this value as an educator. Yesenia Quezada graduated from Chapman University with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Disability Studies. She is currently enrolled in the Graduate Program at Chapman University to complete her credentials and MA in Teaching with Elementary Education Emphasis. Her patience and dedication to children has driven her in this path to work toward a career working with children in a school setting. She has the determination and knowledge to create a welcoming, creative, and engaging learning environment for all students. Through her courses in psychology and disability studies, she came to realize that the educational system lacks individuals who truly understand disabilities, which she strongly believes is an essential component to anyone interested in becoming a general education teacher.
During her time working at Michael’s, she had the privilege of instructing Sunday afternoon classes. This was a life changing experience for her because it was then she realized she wanted to become a teacher. Using their hands as their voices and their smiles as their emotions, she found her passion for teaching. Valuing the importance of inclusion, Yesenia Quezada changed her minor to disability studies. She took this opportunity to get involved with students with disabilities as an Instructional Assistant in Special Education at LAHS. She hopes to continue to get involved in the Los Alamitos School District as she is an alumni from Weaver Elementary, McAuliffe Middle School, and Los Alamitos High School.
Yesenia Quezada is confident that her educational background at Chapman University has well prepared her for the next step into her career as a school teacher. The compassion and wholeheartedness she has toward educating children is a huge component as to why she wants to become an elementary school teacher. As a LAHS alumni, the Los Alamitos School District has opened a number of doors for her, and she hopes one day it will help her open the door to my own classroom. Yesenia is excited to teach her 2nd summer in a row for LAEF!
Devin is a motivated educator that has just completed the multiple subject teaching credential program at the California State University of Long Beach. She received her bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies with a minor in education in 2021. She has worked with a variety of students over the last seven years and is eager to continue her journey as an educator. She has had professional experience working with students in educational settings such as being a teacher assistant at a preschool, one on one therapy for students with disabilities, substitute teaching at the Cypress school district, and working with students at an after school daycare program located at Jack L. Weaver elementary school. Devin is dedicated to working with students of all ages and is passionate about education.
Heather Richmond has over 12 years teaching experience in classroom environments. She is currently a Reading Intervention Teacher at J. H. McGaugh Elementary. Heather graduated from California State University, Fullerton with a Bachelors of Science degree in Child and Adolescent Development. She earned her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from CSU, Fullerton as well. Heather is active in her son’s Boy Scout Troop and enjoys all outdoor activities. Her family resides in Seal Beach. Her daughter attends McGaugh and her son attends McAuliffe.
Mia Roman is in her second year of teaching 3rd grade at Dr. Albert Schweitzer Leadership Academy in Anaheim. Mia currently teaches American Sign Language for LAEF after-school. She wanted to be a teacher since she was in 3rd grade and she loves every day of it! Mia earned her Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies and attained her California K-8 Multiple Subject teaching credential from William Jessup University in Rocklin, CA. Mia graduated with an ASL Minor. This past summer she completed my Masters in Education in Educational Leadership from Grand Canyon University.
Mia currently runs her school’s after-school ASL Club, called Schweitzer Signers, with 40 students in total. She is passionate about teaching students new skills, improving their overall communication, and bringing awareness and appreciation to the Deaf culture. ASL is a beautiful language backed by a beautiful community! Mia is excited to be apart of her first SEI this summer!
May Samari is the STEM teacher at McGaugh and has been for the past 9 years. Prior to creating the STEM Lab, she taught 6th grade for eight years at a STEM School in Silicon Valley. May worked for many years with LAEF at the Annual STEAM Fair for McGaugh and she is constantly inspired by working with the dreamers and inventors at her school. Going into her 17th year of teaching, May loves teaching engineering coding and robotics to elementary students and creating cross-curricular units. She’s excited to return to LAEF SEI for another year.
Renée Schwarz is a passionate theatre artist and theatre educator that has created work as a director and actor in California, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Ms. Schwarz is also the Drama Teacher and Director at McAuliffe Middle School and teaches 6th Grade Drama Wheel, Drama 7/8 and Advanced Drama. Directing credits include: “Trap”(McAuliffe Middle School), “Check, Please” (Central High School), “Oleanna” (University of Minnesota), “Proof” (University of Minnesota); Acting credits include: “I With Things New Born” (The Birthplay Project/Off-Leash Art Box Theatre), “Men on Boats” (University of Minnesota), “The Table” (University of Minnesota/Combustible Company), “Denim” (University of Minnesota/Theatre Novi Most). She holds a BA in Theatre Arts & Performance Creation and a M. Ed in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Minnesota. She is incredibly excited to continue her teaching journey at LAEF this summer and looks forward to meeting future middle school drama students!
Tiffany Salter, former elementary teacher, private tutor, and mom to two recent LAHS graduates, has always been involved with youth. As a Scout leader for the past 15 years, she has created fun and engaging activities for kids of all ages; and as a Kidsguide Magazine staffer throughout that time, she has been immersed in local family events and programming. A creative and engaging out-of-the-box educator, her focus is on fun — her students are always learning …whether they realize it or not!
Paul is no stranger to the stages of the Los Alamitos School District, performing with the McAuliffe and Los Alamitos High School show choirs and drama programs, winning best performer, musician, and singer throughout his years in the highly celebrated programs. Paul then studied Musical Theatre at CSUF and performed professionally in regional theater in productions such as Legally Blonde, Shrek, Bonnie and Clyde, as well as the world premiere of the play Jupiter Moon. He continued to study acting under Sue Hamilton in LA (focusing on scene study, on-camera auditions, and improv), as well as working with Central Casting doing background work, featured in shows like Young Sheldon, Scream Queens, American Crime Story: Versace, Silicon Valley, and more. Paul recently graduated from Cypress College with an AA in Film, Television, and Media and certificate in Creative Writing. Now Paul is studying Film (Screenwriting and Production Management) at CSULB while working as Box Office Manager for the Performing Arts Center at Cypress College and Stage Managing Holiday Shows at the Bella Terra. His experience in teaching is quite extensive. Mr. Scott volunteered as a Teaching Assistant for Los Alamitos School District’s Elementary Summer School, working for three summers from 2011 to 2013. In 2019, he was hired as a Teaching Assistant to an Art Teacher through Cypress College Art Gallery and Able ARTS Works. Paul teaches after-school classes for LAEF and he is excited to teach at his first Summer Enrichment Institute!
Nalani owns the mobile gymnastics program Leap of Faith Gymnastics with her husband, Chris. She fell in love with the sport of gymnastics at just four years of age. Nalani competed for Newhope Gymnastics in Fountain Valley where she began coaching in high school, working her way up to recreational supervisor, special events coordinator, and competitive team coach. Nalani has been coaching for over 20 years. She has been a USA Gymnastics professional member and a certified compulsory judge.
Katia Swihart joined Los Al in Fall 2020 and is the head art director at McAuliffe Middle School here in LAUSD. Katia has worked in many different places prior as an art educator and instructor from institutions such as the Museum of Latin American Art and Girl Scouts. Katia loves teaching interdisciplinary art as this is what they also practice in their own art making.
Brent currently teaches fifth grade at Hopkinson Elementary School. Before he was hired as a teacher at Hopkinson, he taught intervention classes for the Los Alamitos Unified School District. He is excited to teach again for LAEF at our Summer Enrichment Institute.
Andrea has been a student of Kenpo Karate for over 30 years and is currently a 5th Degree Black Belt. She has been the International champion six times and has won more than 150 1st place trophies in her tournament career. Ms. Pfefer- Trombi owned and operated a karate school in Telluride, Colorado for 15 years. She has instructed several hundred people over the years, having many advanced students, and bringing several people to the rank of black belt. She moved back to her home state, California, with her husband and two children who attend school in the Los Al school district. Ms. Pfefer-Trombi is passionate about teaching kids and is always excited to be an instructor for the LAEF program!
Coach Jay is a college athlete that currently plays at Hope International University. She has been playing soccer since she was four years old and loves soccer deeply. She has also been named All GSAC for her college conference! Since she is a collegiate athlete she knows what it takes to get to play college soccer! She currently coaches at Beach FC and at Saint Joseph High School. She wants to share her passion with the kids to see them progress and get to the level that they dream of being! Lastly she enjoys having fun while training because its all about loving what you are doing!
Mrs. Vida grew up speaking French as her native language. She was raised in the Loire Valley, in France; graduated from college with a language degree, and worked in Paris in an American Company, before moving to the USA in her thirties. She is very familiar with our Los Alamitos Unified School District as she volunteered on PTA Boards for over 20 years. This is Mrs. Vida’s second year working for LAEF and she is so excited to get back at it!
Gabrielle has been a third grade teacher in Scottsdale, Arizona since 2018. She was born and raised in Seal Beach and is a LAHS, Oak, and Weaver alumna. Gabrielle attended Northern Arizona University and then decided to continue her stay in Arizona because she loved it so much! Of course she couldn’t stay away from California for too long so she is back here for the summer. She has always enjoyed school, especially writing and can’t wait to share what she loves!
Jerry is the founder of Red Zone Threat Management and travels nationally and internationally teaching seminars to members of the DEA, Local Law Enforcement, and civilians on the topic of personal protection. He is the author of the book “Red Zone Prime: A Foundation for Personal Protection”. In addition he is a passionate instructor of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts which he teaches at the facility he has owned and operated for the last 14 years, Centerline Martial Arts and Fitness. Jerry runs kids classes daily in mixed martial arts and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as well as the kids BJJ competition team. He has two children who both attend schools in Los Alamitos Unified. Jerry firmly believes that every child has the right to enjoy their school days without fear of being bullied and is committed to helping them develop the necessary tools and attitude to help them on their journey.
High school Class Descriptions
This in-class teen Driver’s Education program is approved by the DMV to comply with California requirements to earn an instructional permit. *This class does not cover behind the-wheel training.
Health will satisfy the state requirements of instruction of Drugs, Alcohol and Tobacco, in addition to the California Healthy Youth Act. It satisfies the Health requirement for a high school diploma. Topics covered include Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Certification, Automated External Defibrillator (AED) & Hands-On CPR, First Aid, Injuries, Tobacco, Alcohol, Drugs, Sexual & Reproductive Anatomy, Sexual/Gender Identity, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) & Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Birth Control, Healthy Relationships. The course will be completed in sixteen hours. This Health class is for the class of 2023 through 2026 graduates who are Performing Arts students and athletes!
High School Teacher Bios
James grew up in Los Alamitos and graduated from LAHS in 1999. He earned his bachelor’s degree from CSULB and holds teaching credentials in Health and Social Science. James has worked at LAHS for 7 years. He coaches girls’ basketball, and is currently working towards earning a master’s degree from Concordia University in Education Administration.
Dave teaches PE and Health at LAHS. He is also the Head Coach of Girls’ Volleyball. Dave graduated from CSULB with a BA in Human Development and a MA in Education. He played volleyball, football and basketball at Fallbrook High School and volleyball at CSULB.
All of Kanor’s driving instructors have passed industry standardized tests as well as in-house testing prior to becoming a member of their staff. You can be confident that Kanor’s instructors know exactly what it takes to help the student reach their goal of becoming an educated driver.
The Summer Enrichment Institute (SEI) offers fun, engaging and educational courses designed to keep our LAUSD students entertained during the summer…and your children (students entering Kindergarten through 12th grade) will absolutely love it! Our courses also counter the effects of something called “summer learning loss.”
What’s “Summer Learning Loss”? Research shows that on average, all students lose skills over the summer. Educators increasingly promote quality summer learning ON ANY TOPIC as a key strategy to improving achievement. Plus, studies conclude that the effects of summer learning programs endure for at least two years after the student has engaged in the summer program. LAEF really cares about this! Since our very first SEI in 2010 we have increased the number of students attending summer classes each year…and students and parents continue to rave about the sessions.
LAEF offers opportunities for quality enrichment programs, both those typically offered during the school year and courses that encourage students to expand their interests, while still reinforcing reading and often incorporating math skills. SEI also offers courses for high school graduation credit on-campus at LAHS and online.
Our SEI programs feature all of the research-supported measures of a quality program: smaller class sizes, differentiated instruction and small working groups, high-quality instruction, aligned school-year and summer curricula, engaging and rigorous programming, maximized participation and attendance, sufficient duration and involved parents.