Enrichment Classes
Parent Handbook
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After School Classes
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Restorative Justice
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Our Staff
Gerard Granade-Principal

Principal Granade has been at Richland Avenue for nine years.  He was hand-picked by Richland staff and parents to ensure we had the right person to lead us. Mr. G has worked for LAUSD for twenty years. He began his career teaching third grade. Afterward, he worked as a Coordinator at Saturn Elementary School. Mr. G is fluent in four languages. He speaks English, French, Spanish, and Basque. In his free time, he loves to travel and spend time with his family.

Lori Forkin-APEIS
Katie Altschule-Coordinator
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Mrs. Altschule was raised in Los Angeles, California. She went to local schools in the area, grew up, traveled the world, and lived in New York City for four years. She graduated from Columbia University with a Masters in Curriculum and Teaching, and she then received a Masters in Administration. Richland Avenue has been her second home since 2001.  As for her own family, she is married to Mike, and she has two kids who keep her busy with sports and activities.  

Will Olliff 

George H.W. Bush was in his second year in office when Mr. Olliff arrived at Richland Avenue to teach the fifth graders. Over a thirty-year career, Mr. O has taught every grade level. He’s taught children from preschool to seventh grade. 

French Immersion
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Rebecca Zewdu - 
Transitional Kindergarten

Ms. Zewdu was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where she attended Le Lycée Français until she moved to California to continue her studies.  She holds a degree in Biology from CSUN and a Masters in Public Administration from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. Her career extends from holistic health to international development, where she worked for Save the Children and USAID projects, focusing on gender issues, refugee relief and Mother Tongue Education.  After becoming a mother and raising a bilingual daughter, she is returning to her lifelong love for teaching and promoting multilingualism among young children.  She was raised speaking four languages and is fluent in Amharic, Tigrinya, French and English.  She is passionate about Ethiopian food and hosts cooking classes and dinner parties in her home.

Marisol Rojas -
English Kindergarten

Ms. Rojas started at Richland Avenue as a Teacher's Aide.  During those early years, she went to school for her teaching credential and became a full-time teacher.  When the French Program opened, she jumped at the chance to join the fun. She has been teaching for over twenty years.

Elodie Moore - French Kindergarten

Mme. Elodie was born in Nancy, France, where she received her B.A. in Physical Education. After graduation, she moved to Paris and performed in shows, including Disneyland Paris, a play on French Grammar (she was the qualifying adjective), and other French educational plays. She moved to L.A. in 2010 with her husband and baby after she won the Green Card lottery. She enjoys snowboarding, surfing, and skating with her husband and sons.

Matt Gaydos -
English 1st Grade

Mr. Gaydos has been teaching for eleven years. He has a Bachelor of Arts from The University of Pittsburgh and a Master of Fine Arts from The University of San Diego.  He likes video games, pizza, and Star Wars.

Clarisse Weidem - French 1st Grade
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Veronica Leon -
English 2nd Grade

Originally from Gainesville, Georgia, Ms. Leon received her B.A. in Spanish Language and Literature from Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia. She then received her Masters in Education from UCLA. Ms. Leon has been teaching at Richland Avenue for three years. In her free time, she likes going on runs, exploring new areas, and taking her dog Maxwell to the dog park.

Mary Lee Dula -
French 2nd Grade

Mme. Dula received her Bachelor of Arts in Art History from NYU, followed by her M.A. from the University of St. Andrews. After working in the art world, she decided to pursue teaching by getting an M.A. from USC.  Mme. Dula goes to Disneyland every chance she gets, but when not there she enjoys reading, traveling, and learning new languages.

Mari Morikawa -
English 3rd Grade

Mrs. Morikawa received her Bachelor of Arts in Education from Cal State Long Beach, followed by her M.A. in Education from UCLA. Mrs. Morikawa wanted to be a teacher since she was four. She has now been teaching for nine years, five of which have been at Richland Avenue. Mrs. Morikawa is mother to two young children, and she is enjoying motherhood by exploring the world through the eyes of her children.

Dorothee Leroy -
French 3rd Grade

My name is Dorothée Leroy. I was born and raised in northern France. I moved to California in 2000. I have experience teaching elementary students and I am fascinated by their ever curious and developing mind. I enjoy spending my free time with my family and daughter. Swimming, reading, and cooking are some of my favorite’s activities. I am delighted to be joining Richland Elementary school and its Dual French Immersion program, as well as working and getting to know my students.

Rachel Zeidman -
English 4th Grade

Ms. Zeidman has spent her entire life in Los Angeles, California. She graduated from CSUN with a B.S. in Liberal Studies and a desire to follow in her mother's footsteps by becoming an elementary school teacher. In her free time she loves to read, watch Disney movies, and bake.

Florence Ekindi -
French 4th Grade

Mme Ekindi was born in Cameroon (Central Africa) where she spent part of her youth, and the other part was spent in France. After her high school diploma, she moved to Los Angeles where she obtained a B.S in chemistry from CSUN. She loves traveling and learning about new cultures.

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Kimberly Goodman -
French 5th and 6th Grade

Ms. Goodman grew up in Los Angeles. She graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a B.A. in French and received her teaching credential from Los Angeles County Office of Education. She has been teaching in French immersion for the past five years for fourth and fifth grades. When she’s not in the classroom, Kimberly works with Stanford’s Center for Opportunity Policy in Education, researching how best to support teachers locally. In her spare time, she enjoys road trips, baking, adventure novels, and her Golden Retriever, Bella. 

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Christy Danieri -
5th/6th Math and Science


Ms. Danieri has been teaching at Richland since 2001, and she has specialized in the teaching of math and science for at least ten years.  She has lived in Southern California for her whole life and attended UCLA for her undergraduate studies. She loves to play the piano and is a strong believer in musical performance education that starts in elementary school.

Special Programs
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Keith Ceely - Preschool

Mr. Ceely grew up in West LA, attending nearby schools.  He has a credential in Early Childhood Special Education and an M.A. in Special Education.  Mr. Ceely began his career at the UCLA Early Intervention Program as an assistant, which inspired him to complete his studies to become a Lead Teacher.  Mr. Ceely enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters, DJ-ing, skateboarding, watching movies, and practicing Aikido. 

Kaori Chandler - Preschool

Mrs. Chandler was born in Los Angeles, California. She has her M.A. in Early Childhood Special Education. She speaks fluent Japanese and conversational Spanish. She enjoys reading, camping, traveling, hanging out with her husband and children, and brunching with her friends.

Elizabeth DeFazio - Resource Program

Ms. Defazio grew up in Orange County, California. She has worked at Richland Avenue for eight years. In her free time, she enjoys gardening.

Gisela Gutierrez - Preschool

Ms. Gutierrez has been teaching pre-school at Richland Avenue for over twenty years.