We recognize and appreciate the unique personality of each child
WPNS is a parent participation, play-based learning center that has served the surrounding areas for over 60 years. WPNS is more than a traditional preschool.
WPNS is a cooperative school environment that encourages a love of learning, respect and community. We recognize the unique qualities of each child and structure our school and curriculum to meet their individual needs. As a play-based preschool, we encourage learning through exploration and fun. Creativity, social skills and riding a tricycle are as important as learning the ABC’s.
Hand-in-hand with our parents, our staff creates a safe, play-based learning environment for our students. Our teachers are nurturing, experienced, and skilled at respecting small children and their big feelings. The WPNS staff also wonderfully supports our families in navigating parenthood.
JAMIE first came to WPNS as a Student Teacher looking to earn her certificate in Child Development. After seeing the way she connected with and engaged students, WPNS was excited to bring her back as a full-time staff member. As the TPK teacher, Jamie incorporates STEM lessons into her classroom’s play and exploration. She enjoys introducing students to the idea that they are citizens of the world through daily lessons.
Jamie attended Santa Monica College and graduated from Cal State Northridge with a Bachelor’s degree in Child and Adolescent Development. Jamie enjoys photography, traveling, and attending museums and theatre.
CINDY is a skilled teacher with more than 20 years of experience working in preschools. Cindy’s experience with children dates back to her teenage years when she babysat in order to buy her first car. She joined WPNS nine years ago and her daughter is a WPNS alumni. She also has two sons both of whom are Eagle Scouts. Cindy’s love for children is evident everyday in her signature smile and welcoming hugs. She loves that her students continually teach her new things as well.
Cindy 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.
Director / Teacher
JOYCE has been the heartbeat of WPNS since becoming Director in 2002. She believes that children are most successful in environments where parents are involved, curriculum is developmentally appropriate, and social development is the 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.
Joyce holds a B.A. in Human Development with an emphasis on developmentally appropriate and anti-bias curriculum from Pacific Oaks College. She earned 30 units toward a Master’s degree in Human Resource Management/ Organization Development from Chapman University. She has over 20 years of experience working in Child Development. During this time 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 the President’s Choice Award.
VANESSA first joined the WPNS family as a parent, as her two wonderful kids both graduated from our programs. Her family spent 4 messy, playful years as part of our membership. During that time she also served as a Board Member. When a staff position became available, Vanessa was a natural addition to our team and now is an incredible resource for our families.
Before joining our team, Vanessa spent 10 years as a behavioral therapist for children on the spectrum. She is an enthusiastic reader, baker, runner, and lifelong Angeleno with Salvadoran roots.
CHRIS also came to WPNS as a volunteer looking to earn hours toward his ECE Certificate. During this time, WPNS recognized how well the students connected with Chris's sense of calm and exploration. He was asked to join the staff as a Teacher's Aide.
Chris attended Santa Monica College with a major in Photography. He previously spent time as a volunteer in the Culver City Unified School District. He is an Eagle Scout who holds his ham radio license and has traveled to the North Pole.
Manda joined WPNS while her daughter was in the TPK program. She started in early childhood education teaching a Messy Art class and helping little ones get ready for preschool. She loves any opportunity to get messy and silly and thinks glitter is always a needed addition. She finds value in using art as a gateway to learn, especially to learn independence and foster creativity. Above all, she wants children to feel heard and supported.
She began her higher education studying sociology, but is now enrolled at Santa Monica College completing units to get an AA in early childhood education.
History of WPNS
WPNS was founded in December 1950 when 11 families organized a backyard playgroup, elected officers and set up a cooperative constitution. In the beginning, WPNS had different homes, including backyards, local churches and the Westchester Recreation Center. One rainy day, a family member, who was also a member of the Congregational Church of the Messiah, took pity on the kids and parents playing in the rain. They invited us in and soon after we expanded our enrollment to 34 families and our growing You & Me program. The school remained at this location until 2018, when it found its new home on Aviation Boulevard.
As a non-profit, member-run school, fundraising has always been an important aspect of WPNS. We held our first fundraiser, a theater party, in December 1955. Historians proudly noted a profit of $84 from this successful event. By 1961, the international themed dance held at the Inglewood Country Club raised a little more than $200. WPNS’ first purchases included a Hectograph machine, train set, cradle and puzzles, as well as sawhorses and chairs. Parent volunteers built easels and shelves in the shed. It was also reported that parent Mr. Felburg varnished the blocks and built a dolly. To this day, we continue to hold fundraisers and utilize parent volunteers. The support of our community is more important than ever as we continue to improve our new home