Meet Our Team
Our co-op preschool community works together toward a common goal: educating our children together. Hand-in-hand with parents, our teachers create a safe, play-based learning environment for our students. Each child is approached as an individual who has a unique learning style, and each family has the opportunity to be known and welcomed into our community. We begin as parents and neighbors with our beloved children in common; we become friends and family.
WPNS is an active participant in the California Council of Parent Participating Nursery Schools (CCPPNS), an organization that supports and advises the co-ops in the state of California.
Joyce A. Woodruff
Director / Teacher
Joyce has worked in the Child Development Field for over 20 years. She believes children are more successful in environments where parents are involved, curriculum is developmentally appropriate, and social development is a primary focus. Equally important is a learning environment where peaceful communication is used as a tool; where children are given choices; and where each child is a unique “whole” individual.
When her son Quinten was 18 months old she enrolled him in a wonderful co-op. It was there she rediscovered the beauty of parental involvement, the true meaning of a play-based school, and fell in love with working with children and parents.
Joyce earned a B.A. in Human Development with an emphasis on developmentally appropriate and anti-bias curriculum from Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena in 1986. She also has 30 units toward a Master’s degree in Human Resource Management/ Organization Development from Chapman University.
In the fall of 2002 she became our director at WPNS.
Joyce has held several different CCPPNS board positions, from President to her current position as Membership Chair. Joyce’s efforts have been recognized with several awards: in 2007, she received the CCPPNS Teacher of the Year Award and in 2009 received the President’s Choice Award.
Teacher & First Aid Coordinator
Sue sees children as wonderful people who express themselves freely when allowed: they enjoy life and can have fun no matter what they choose to do. They are creative and eager to learn when given the opportunity. Children are honest, loving and caring. Mostly, children are sponges just waiting to absorb any knowledge that comes their way. Sue first visited WPNS when she was searching for a preschool for her two young sons, Wesley and Adam (who are now grown ups!), and knew that she had found the right school for her children and for her! As her children grew, she saw how the skills and experience they received from WPNS helped them to succeed on their journeys. In the fall of 2003, Sue first joined the WPNS staff as the office administrator. The following year she became a teacher!
Prior to joining WPNS, Sue worked at TRW as a secretary in the Space and Technology department and was a stay-at-home parent. She has earned 24 units in Early Childhood Education from El Camino and UCLA and is also licensed to teach and certify in First Aid and CPR.
In 2009, Teacher Sue received the Teacher of the Year award from the California Council of Parent Participating Nursery School.
You & Me Teacher
Cindy M. is a skilled teacher with more than 20 years of experience working in preschools. She has 27 units in early childhood education and is near completion of her AA. In addition to running a home daycare while her children were young, Cindy worked for more than six years for the Torrance Unified School District. Three of those years she worked in special education. Cindy is also certified in CPR and first aide.
Cindy’s experience with children dates back to her teenage years when she babysat in order to buy her first car. At $1 an hour for a $1200 car, that was a lot of babysitting!
Cindy joined WPNS nine years ago and her 12-year-old daughter is a WPNS alumni. She also has two sons – 18 and 20 years old – both of who are Eagle Scouts. She also has a “part-time” 17-year-old daughter who she has cared for over the past 11 years as her mother worked.
Cindy’s love for children is evident everyday at WPNS. As she says, “I love working with children because I learn something new everyday!”
Jackie, a native of Los Angeles, has been working with infants and toddlers for over 4 years in a variety of preschool and childcare settings. She has a certificate in child development and is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education.
Teacher Jackie’s philosophy includes building strong supportive bonds with her students and encouraging learning through intrinsically motivated play and self-directed exploration.
In addition to working with children professionally, Jackie is raising two small children of her own, a 1-year old girl and 6-year old boy. In her time off she enjoys active outdoor activities and spending time with her friends and families.
While this is Teacher Jackie’s first year at WPNS, she has ready become one of the WPNS family with her warm and patient ways, beloved by students and parents alike.
Welcome Teacher Jackie!
Teacher’s Aide & Mornings with Jodie Teacher
Jodie, Australian by birth, has been living in California for 20 years now. She first arrived in Los Angeles in 1994, newly married with her American husband and they soon started a family. Along with working as an educator, she is also raising two fantastic children, Anthony, 6 and Samantha, 15.
Jodie’s career in education and childcare first started in 1996 and encompasses broad experiences: teaching children with special needs, infant care, being a stay-at-home mom, and working with school-aged kids along with formal study of child development at three separate colleges. It wasn’t until the Mason family joined WPNS as a member for her son to start preschool in 2009 though, that Jodie felt “home”. And WPNS found a way to keep her after her son moved on to Kindergarten.. as a teacher’s aide!
Jodie’s extensive experience working with preschool-aged kids, time spent as a co-op working parent, two years as a co-op board member and now a staff member give her incredible insight to the operations of our member-run organization and make her a great asset to the WPNS community both on the yard and off.
We are so happy that we get to keep you Jodie!
Michelle started her journey at WPNS with her oldest daughter in September of 2003. Michelle spent six years at WPNS as a devoted working co-op parent and board member while her three daughters attended WPNS. In 2009, her youngest daughter was going off to kindergarten and she found herself wondering how she was going to leave her WPNS family. At that time the school was looking for an office manager and it was a perfect fit.
Michelle’s transition into office manager was an easy one. Seeing firsthand through her own children the benefits of being a co-op parent, she finds it easy to introduce new families to their own journeys at WPNS and help the rest of us keep organized! She is most often the voice on the phone and the friendly face that new parents are greeted with when they take a tour at the school.