Monday, July 15, 2024

redondo preschool

Our wonderful, NVC-trained teachers / facilitators are passionate about our students and our school, which creates a joyful and compassionate environment in which the children, parents, and facilitators alike can feel connected and secure.

Our teachers are experienced preschool teachers who also hold advanced degrees and certificate in art, languages, education, linguistics, mathematics, nature, physical fitness, literature, art, science, child development and brain development, which bolsters the enriching environment for our children.  We have an incredibly attentive ratio of 1 to 4 (typical), with a 1 to 6 maximum!

Linda Shannon, Founding Director/ Facilitator

Linda is the mother of 3 young children: Kian, Kaveh, and Laleh.  She is an avid gardener, a builder, a writer, an artist, she is bilingual in Japanese, an unexpected potato farmer, and she loves people.  She graduated with honors from Michigan State University with a bachelor’s degree in English Literature, and minors in Mathematics, Linguistics, and Japanese;  she has been working with children and youth for over 20 years.

Linda has completed multiple sessions of coursework at the Center for Non-violent Education and Parenting, with founder and executive director Ruth Beaglehole.  She has also completed studies directly under both Bev Bos and Marshall Rosenberg (Non Violent Communication).  She completed her studies in early childhood education at UCLA (University of Southern California, Los Angeles) Extension, and is currently in process of becoming a director mentor with the California Early Childhood Mentor Program.

Linda writes a blog that appears on various multinational websites, including that of the Center for Non Violent Communication.  She has also served on UCLA Extension’s Education Department Early Childhood Education Advisory Committee, and is a life coach, working with children young and old to reach their highest potential and find fulfillment within their lives.

“Our motto really says it all: ‘People are people no matter how small.’ And you really have to come and visit to appreciate what this means to us.”

Katie Schluntz, Assistant Director/ Facilitator

Katie has been working with kids since she was a freshman in high school.   She loved helping out at the preschool her mom worked at and with her dad tutoring kids in 8th grade English.  She continued through high school facilitating after-school programs and then in college working as a counselor for a college preparatory program.

After graduating with honors from Indiana University with a Bachelor’s Degree in General Studies and minors in Non-profit Management, Social Action and a Journalism Certificate, Katie worked as a nanny for multiple families and volunteered at St. Louis Children’s Hospital spending time playing with patients.  Finally making her way to California several years ago, Katie has been working with preschool and young children in various capacities for the past 6 years, as a nanny, a tutor, and a teacher.  She has also held the position of Development Coordinator for a non-profit bringing arts education to undeserved public schools and their communities.  Katie’s passion continues to guide her career choices, and we are lucky she has chosen to land at PlaySchool.  “I am so excited to be a part of this community and happy to be following in my parent’s footsteps!”  Katie is very close to completing her early childhood education certificate at UCLA extension.



Ana Moretto, Facilitator

    Ana Marcela Moretto-Fargo, a Brazilian born Portuguese teacher from São Paulo, immigrated to the South Bay in 2009 to be an Au pair for a Hermosa Beach family of four, and to pursue a career in working with and teaching children. She graduated college in Brazil in 2005, with a bachelor’s degree in Language from Universidade Paulista. After her formal education in Brazil, Ana became a Portuguese teacher for kids and teenagers in public and private schools in the greater Sao Paulo area. Her father was a Biology teacher and her sister is also currently teaching Portuguese. When it was time for her arrival in the U.S. she extended her studies in English at the UCLA Extension Program in the summer of 2009 and 2010, as well as at El Camino College in the spring and fall of 2012. She worked directly with two young children for four years and with other young children in the South Bay area. She also completed the Non-violent Parenting Classes by Echo Parenting & Education in July, 2013. She is currently married to her ‘American boy’, Alexander, and is happily residing in Redondo Beach while taking care of all the great kids at this amazing play school!


“Discovery is so important. I discovered a new language and a new culture that I love. Every kid I teach needs to discover new things, it can be a word, a game, a song, a picture, or anything that happens that day. Being able to observe and assist in their discoveries for me is the reward of teaching!”


Lindsay Petty, Facilitator

Lindsay Petty was born and raised in San Pedro, California where she currently resides with her husband, Adam, and two Boston Terriers, Baktus and Brutus. She has been working with children since the age of thirteen as a babysitter, nanny, and mother’s helper with multiple families. Her interests include anything arts and crafts, spending quality time with her family, traveling, being outdoors, and gardening.


After receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from San Diego State University, where she also was on the Rowing Team, she continued her education at Long Beach State University in the Teaching Credential Program. While in the program, Lindsay was also able to volunteer as a teacher’s aide at a local elementary school for an entire school year. Lindsay plans on returning to school to receive her Early Childhood Education Certificate in the spring. “I am so excited to be a part of this community!  I feel that I have so much to offer and I look forward to my time with all of you at Riviera PlaySchool!”


Dawn Smith, Substitute Teacher/ Facilitator

Dawn is married to Glenn, and the mother of three beautiful girls: Millena, Laura, and Chelsea.  Dawn holds a degree in Early Childhood Education, with a Supervisor designation.  She has been working in education for the past 24 years.  Like all of the PlaySchool teachers, Dawn has been trained in Non Violent Communication at the Center for Non Violent Education and Parenting in Echo Park.  Additionally, she has 15 years of experience working for Redondo Beach Unified School District as a special education assistant.  Dawn continues to substitute for Redondo Beach Unified School District and also Torrance Unified School district on her days off from PlaySchool.

“I believe we have as much to learn from children as we have to teach them and greatly enjoy the opportunity to work in such an amazing school with such creative people of all sizes.”


Melody Elder, Educational Advisor and Parent and Faculty Support

Melody is the mother of an adult daughter, is a teacher and parent educator with over 35 years experience working with children and parents in nursery school, elementary school, and home-school settings.  She has taught parenting classes for South Bay Adult School and the Center for Positive Parenting and works part-time teaching and directing at Manhattan Beach Nursery School.  Melody maintains a private coaching practice in the South Bay where she facilitates parenting support groups as well as 1:1 coaching ( She holds a Master’s Degree in Education and in Spiritual Psychology and is a credentialed teacher in Early Childhood, Elementary, and Special Education.



We are also proud that UCLA Extension and El Camino College early childhood education departments have chosen Riviera PlaySchool as a practicum site for their student teachers. On any given day you may also see a fabulous teacher in training out in the yard, lending an extra hand at playschool!  Our fabulous teaching staff serves as mentors to aspiring Early Childhood educators, and in exchange they impart their passion, wisdom, and experience to playschool!  Win-Win!


TASHA BUCHANAN, Substitute Teacher/ Facilitator

“I have been working with children for about 8 years, and have been at Riviera PlaySchool in various capacities for the last 3.   I have been a nanny, a tutor, a preschool teacher, and now a substitute preschool teacher while I complete my studies in nursing.   At Riviera PlaySchool, our primary focus is to help the children develop emotional intelligence and encourage them to express their needs to each other, and make successful connections with their community.

I think that the key to avoiding problems is building as much communication as possible with everyone concerned. I’ve seen a few situations where a child’s behavior starts changing at home and the family believes that he/she is getting this new attitude from school. The parents expressed their concerns, and this  helped us be more aware and know what to look for while the children play. By talking frequently with parents AND children we are able to tackle different situations as a team. In the end, the biggest potential problems usually stem from a lack of communication.

Just listening and seeing what interests the kids also helps me keep current. Whatever they are drawn to out in the play yard, in the studio, or talk about, I make note of and see if we can turn those ideas into a learning experience or a teacher-led plan.

We encourage healthy development through listening and giving the kids a place to really explore.  By being student-led we are encouraging creativity and critical thinking. If a child wants to try to make an airplane, we will do our best to provide the materials to do that. If she wants to paint the playhouse, great! what happens if we mix the green and the yellow?? If one wants to put toys in the water table, what sinks? which floats? Also, when we do set limits we check in with them and see if they have any ideas. By giving them a voice we are helping build confidence and independence. For an example, a few weeks I was having a hard time taking hikes with the kids. One child in particular would take off running every time we went out on the trail. Instead of throwing down the hammer and telling him he could not go on the hike anymore, I brought him to the side and told him that it was becoming a big problem and we needed to come up with a way to fix it. He said that if I yelled stop as soon as he started to run then he would stop right away… The next day it worked! I yelled stop and he came right back… and ran in circles!”

Non violent communicationRedondo Beach Preschool