OUR TEACHERS

GET TO KNOW OUR BEST EDUCATORS

KINDERGARTEN

MRS. MARTIN

Kindergarten

MISS GRILL

Kindergarten

Hi, I’m Miss Grill. I grew up in Woodland Hills. I teach Kindergarten at WHECES. My passion has been teaching for as long as I can remember. One of my greatest pleasures is working with my students and watching every child learn and grow as they pass through my classroom each year.

After school, you can find me in the enrichment classroom teaching Hip Hop/Cheerleading to those aspiring dancers. In addition to dance, I enjoy running, hiking and other outdoor activities. I also love hanging out with my friends and family. My pets include 2 cats named Mystic and Bubba.

I hope you have learned a little more about me and I look forward to seeing you around school.

MRS. WEST

Kindergarten

MS. WELSH

Kindergarten

I was born in Santa Maria, California and was raised in Santa Barbara, California. My family moved to Ventura when I was in high school and we still remain there. I recently moved back home to beautiful Ventura after being away for 20 years. I enjoy the beach, yoga and spending time with the ones I love. I am a graduate of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a B.S. in Child and Family Development. I earned my teaching credential from Cal State Northridge. I have been teaching for 23 years.

I am passionate about teaching and love to see the excitement in each student as they grow and learn and achieve.

As Mary Kay Ash said, “Don’t limit yourself. Many people limit themselves to what they think they can do. You can go as far as your mid lets you. What you believe, you can achieve.” I want my students to believe that they can do anything and be great at it! If I give my students the confidence to know that they can achieve anything, then I have done my job!

MRS. CHODOR

Kindergarten

MRS. SRIRO

Kindergarten

Hi everyone, it’s me, Amy Sriro. At WHECES, most people refer to me as Mrs. S.

I was born in New York City many years ago, but moved to Los Angeles at the early age of five. I attended Rosewood Elementary School where my dream to become a teacher began. Bancroft Junior High followed and then I graduated from Fairfax High School. Attending college at Arizona State University for two years was fabulous, but I returned to Southern California and received my teaching credential from USC. “GO TROJANS!”

Upon graduation, I student taught at Third Street School in Hancock Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. It was there I was hired to teach first grade, where I remained for five years. During that time, I met and married the love of my life, Michael Sriro, and have been happily married for the past 43 years. In 1990, my kindergarten experience began and I have been there ever since. WHECES is a fun, warm, and wonderful place. I spend so much time there, I think of it as my home away from home. I have had the opportunity to work with so many talented teachers and administrators at our school. Together they have helped make our kindergarten program very successful. I love learning and implementing new ideas to stimulate the natural curiosity of my students so everyday is a new challenge and a new opportunity. When not teaching, attending conferences, participating in professional development or attending school events, I enjoy gardening, feeding the birds in my many birdhouses, scrap booking and participating in Model “A” Ford Club events along with my husband.

As Henry Brooks Adams said, “A teacher affects eternity, she can never tell where her influence stops”. Maybe the hundreds of students I’ve taught didn’t learn EVERYTHING they needed in kindergarten, but I know they sure had fun trying.

FIRST GRADE

MRS. KANG

1st Grade

MS. O'NEAL

1st Grade

MRS. PRICE

1st Grade

I have an M.A. Degree in Education from Pepperdine University and a B.A. in Early Childhood Education, with a minor in Administration from the California State University of Northridge. I have been teaching at WHECES since 2002. I have taught both first and second grade. I truly enjoy teaching and seeing the growth that my students make over the school year.

MRS. SILLMAN

1st Grade

I grew up not far from our school, attending both Hale Middle School and El Camino High School. I have degrees in art and social work, and, of course, a teaching credential. I love teaching at Woodland Hills Elementary School! I became a teacher after several other careers and this is by far, the best. I taught two years of 4th grade and then switched to 1st grade. Each year is a new experience and tailored to meet the needs of the students. It is always exciting to see students gain new understanding, enjoy learning and discover new things about the world and themselves.

I am married and have one daughter. My daughter attended Woodland Hill Elementary from kindergarten through third grade. She is now in college at CU Boulder. We have two dogs, Cola and Mini, who require lots of walks and love to play.

I enjoy listening to music and play it during class. I also like to go to plays and concerts. In my free time, I love to read, quilt, workout, and spend time with friends and family.

MS. IZUTSU

1st Grade

My name is Ms. Izutsu and I have been at Woodland Hills Elementary Center for Enriched Studies since 1996. I have lived in Los Angeles for many years, but call Honolulu, Hawaii my home. I try to visit my family in Hawaii every opportunity I get because I miss them very much.

Every day is an adventure in Room 13. It is important to learn new things, but it is also important to develop good work and study habits. It’s exciting when we learn new thing together! I feel extremely lucky to be at a school that makes academics as well as character development a priority!

“After school”, I enjoy going to art shows, museums, movies, concerts, and plays. I love hanging out with my friends and having a good laugh. Iced green tea, dark chocolate, Big Island Candies, chocolate dipped macadamia nut shortbread cookies, haupia shaved ice with vanilla ice cream, taro boba tea, as well as Japanese and Hawaiian foods are favorites.

I am proud to be a part of the WHECES family!

SECOND GRADE

MRS. BALDOCCHI

2nd Grade

MRS. KENT

2nd Grade

I am a native Californian. To be more specific, I’m a true “Valley Girl” and still live locally. I am married and have two wonderful adult daughters. We all went to Hale Middle School and El Camino Real High School. Both daughters have or will soon (June) graduate from UC Davis. I’m very proud of them.

When I am not teaching, I spend time with my family or friends. I am fortunate to have most of my family and friends living locally. I love going to the theater, movies, restaurants, the beach and parties. My husband and I love quiet nights sitting in our backyard, taking walks, reading, doing crossword puzzles, cooking and watching our favorite shows. We love to travel when we can.

I have been teaching for LAUSD for 30 years. I have been teaching at Woodland Hills Elementary since 1996. Most of my career has been teaching the primary grades. Second grade is my favorite grade to teach because the students are so sweet and are interested in learning. Actually, I learn something new from my students every day. I feel lucky to have a job where I am greeted every morning with a group of smiling faces.

MRS. SCHIFFMAN

2nd Grade

MRS. OBERLANDER

2nd Grade

My name is Diana Oberlander and I was born in Los Angeles, California. I attended CSUN, where I received a Bachelor and Master of Arts degree as well as my teaching and administrative credentials. I have been teaching 22 years and have taught all grade levels.

I am fortunate to have two wonderful and caring children. My daughter is in college and my son is a high school student. I enjoy travelling with my husband and children as well as taking long walks. Whenever I have some time, I like to work in the garden and read a good book.

MRS. MEACHAM

2nd Grade

I’m Anice Meacham, a second grade teacher at WHECES. I’ve been teaching for over 20 years. I have always taught in the primary grades, and I love it. I have been married for over 30 years and have lived in Woodland Hills with my husband and two children the entire time.

I am originally from Pacific Palisades, on the west side. I went to Pacific Palisades Elementary School, Paul Revere Middle School, and Pali High. I got my teacher’s credential from CSUN. My daughter, Carrie, is married with a daughter of her own, and lives close by in West Hills, just down the street from a neighboring school, Pomelo. Kevin, my son, is finishing up college at CSUN in the business department. I have two terrific dogs at home, Maggie and Jax, both from dog rescues. When I come home from school, I’m always greeted with wagging tails.

I love travelling, either with my husband or my kids. Recently we went to Vancouver, B.C., Canada where we cruised around the islands on a private boat. Such beauty up north. Hopefully over winter break, we will be going to Big Sky, Montana and then a cruise to Alaska this summer. It sounds like I’m trying to escape the heat.

I love cooking and baking – trying out new recipes. My family loves when the recipes are a success.

I’m very happy being a part of the WHECES family and working with our wonderful second grade teachers. I enjoy teaching so much and am looking forward to a great year.

THIRD GRADE

MRS. GARCIA

3rd Grade

MS. FILBY

3rd Grade

I was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. I moved to Los
Angeles in 1988. I graduated from CSUN in 1992. Just two years later,
I began teaching at WHECES, and I have been teaching there ever since.

When I am not teaching I enjoy spending time with my family.
I have two sons (Brian and Brett) and one daughter (Anani). Both of my sons play baseball
so our weekends are usually spent on baseball fields.

I have always felt proud to be a part of the WHECES family.
I believe teaching is an incredibly important profession and,
I am thrilled to be a part of it.

MRS. DEAN

3rd Grade

MRS. GAIRDNER

3rd Grade

MR. PEREZ

3rd Grade

My name is Jose Luis Perez Gonzalez. I was born in a little farm in the state of Jalisco, Mexico. In the farm, we had to grow our own food and make our own hats and shoes. I came to the U.S. when I was 12 years old. I went to the University of Northridge where I got my degree in Spanish. I have two daughters named Natali and Aimee. I feel very lucky because I have the best job in the world. I teach. I also coach and play soccer in my spare time. My favorite hobbies are going fishing and riding my quad in Baja. My favorite book is The Shack. I have been teaching for 25 years at WHECES.

FOURTH GRADE

MR. SCHUGEL

4th Grade

MRS. DEMIRCHYON

4th Grade

MRS. DUPUIS

4th Grade

MICHELE COHN

4th Grade

I began working at WHES in 2000. I started working as a part-time classroom assistant, then a full-time special education assistant, and finally a teacher. I taught second grade for one ear and this is my fourth year as a fourth grade teacher. I have two grown children, Ryan and Bryn, who both went to school here. Ryan is in college and Bryn is a junior in high school. I have been married for 24 years to my best friend Jody. Together we have a huge soft sport in our hearts for orphaned animals, we currently have 6 cats and 2 dogs (Buddy and Holly), all of whom were rescued.

FIFTH GRADE

MR. WRIGHT

5th Grade

After graduating from SMU, I taught Theatre Movement at the college and university level and choreographed over a hundred stage fights in theatres across the country. I finally arrived on these golden shores and became a working actor for 30 years. I started subbing at schools in all grade levels and all over the Valley and discovered that I enjoyed teaching elementary school. I went back to school at CSUN to get my teaching credential and was incredibly lucky to get my first job here in 4th grade. I moved to 5th the next year and have been there ever since. It is a wonderful grade. The kids are old enough to have decent conversations, young enough that attitude and the craziness of Middle School hasn’t started and I love teaching about Colonization, Revolution, and the Constitution. I love this job, this school, and this staff. Everyday is like doing a new show (with a captive audience!) I hope to be here for many years to come!

MRS. LOVEWELL

5th Grade

I have been working at WHECES for almost a decade. My teaching career began with a fourth grade class, but a few years later, when I took a class with me to fifth, I found it was a great fit for me. Although I live on the Westside, it is worth the commute to be a part of this creative and inspiring staff.

In my free time, I love to play with my puppy, Calvin. He has just learned how to sit and hasn’t torn up any of my shoes (knock on wood). As a solar-powered person, I also enjoy hiking, riding my bike, playing croquet, and gardening. In the next few months, I am hoping to teach Calvin how to sit in the basket on my bike and ride to the beach.

MS. ELBERFELD

5th Grade

Ms. Elberfeld's has been at WHES, where she loves teaching 5th grade, since 1997.

When she is not sharing history footnotes with her class or correcting endless piles of student essays, Ms. Elberfeld can usually be found reading (especially history, sociology, popular culture, 60s rock biographies, science fiction, slapstick mystery novels, and children's books), or laughing at the ridiculous antics of her rescued animals (1 dog and various trouble­ making cats).

She can also be found listening to 60s I 70s music, collecting vinyl records (way back before you were born, class, we had big, round, black disks that we put on something called a ``turntable``...), volunteering her time for animal welfare (especially trying to find homes for abandoned kitties), experimenting with different smoothie combinations, or learning how to draw cartoons.

Originally from Denmark, Ms. Elberfeld also enjoys teaching Danish words to her students, especially the ones that they can't pronounce. She is a biped, and yes, she is aware that her epidermis is showing.

COMPUTER TEACHER

MRS. GUARDIA

Computers

I’m Judy Guardia. This is my 14th year as technology coordinator for WHECES. I enjoy it more and more each year. The students, the teachers, and the administration are all wonderful to work with, and I appreciate being a part of this school community. The kids make me laugh everyday!

I am a native Texan. I graduated from Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State Univ.), then much to the dismay of my parents, became a rock musician in and around Austin, Texas for many years. I lived to tell about it and have loved living in California for the past 28 years. I’ve been married to Victor for 23 years and I’m the proud mom of a 22-year-old son named Dylan.

My passions are music, going on dates with my husband and hiking with my friends and my sweet dog, Wally. I love the ocean, and most of all, watching my son surf. Life is good.

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