After School Classes
Mr. G. has been at Richland for 5 years. He was hand picked by Richland Staff and parents to ensure we had the right person to lead us. He has been with LAUSD for 20 years, and he began by teaching 3rd Grade. He then worked as a Coordinator at Saturn Elementary. He is fluent in 4 languages, English, French, Spanish and Basque. He loves to travel and spend time with his family.
Katie was raised in Los Angeles. She went to local schools, 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 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 - TK/K/1st
George H.W. Bush was in his second year in office when Mr. Olliff arrived at Richland to teach the fifth graders. Over a thirty year career, Mr. O has taught every grade level from a Special Education Preschool Class to a seventh grade math class at Bancroft Middle School.
Christy Danieri - 4th/5th
Ms. Danieri has been teaching at Richland since 2001. 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.
Maryse Daitch -
French Transitional Kindergarten
Mme. Maryse is from Normandy, France. She moved to NYC to attend college where she graduated with a degree in French and Education. Maryse also has a masters degree in French. After several years of teaching High School, she became a preschool teacher. When not at school, Mme. Maryse enjoys spending time with her family, her husband Jonathan, and her teenage daughters.
Marisol Rojas -
Ms. Rojas started at Richland 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, in the Northern East of France, where she received her B.A. in Physical Education, while being an after-school sport teacher, a baby swim leader, then a lifeguard. After graduation, she moved to Paris and started performing in many shows, including Disneyland Paris, a play on French Grammar (she was the qualifying adjective), and a French educational play that toured English primary schools. She moved to Los Angeles in 2010 with husband and baby in tow after she won the Green Card lottery. Since then, she's kept performing in family musicals (you might see her over the holidays at the Santa Monica Playhouse), and she's worked as a writer. But she missed working directly with younger children and became a teacher at Richland. When not at school, Mme. Elodie enjoys snowboarding, surfing or skating with her husband and sons Nathanael (in 4th grade here) and Oliver (Entering Kinder at Richland).
Matt Gaydos -
English 1st Grade
Matt has been teaching for 11 years. He has a BA from The University of Pittsburgh and an MFA from The University of San Diego. He likes video games, pizza, and Star Wars.
Veronica Leon -
English 2nd Grade
Originally from Gainesville, Georgia, Veronica 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. Veronica will begin teaching at Richland Avenue this upcoming school year. In her free time, Veronica loves taking her dog Maxwell to the dog park.
Clarisse Weidem - French 1st Grade
Clarisse is starting her third year at Richland. She began as a Teaching Assistant and enjoyed the program so much that she has made the move to being a full time teacher. She loves learning languages and sharing her knowledge of cheeses from around the world.
Mary Lee Dula -
French 2nd Grade
Mary Lee received her B.A. in Art History from NYU, followed by her M.A. from the University of St. Andrew's. After working in the art world, she decided to pursue teaching by getting a M.A. from USC. Mary Lee goes to Disneyland every chance she gets, but when not there she enjoys reading, traveling, and learning new languages.
Mari Morikawa -
English 3rd Grade
Mari received her B.A. in Education from Cal State Long Beach, followed by her M.A. in Education from UCLA, after deciding to be a teacher at the age of 4. She has been teaching for nine years, five of which have been at Richland. Mari is mother to two young children, and she is enjoying motherhood by exploring the world through the eyes of her children.
Astrid Burgess -
French 3rd Grade
Astrid received her B.A. in Geography from McGill University. She then joined the Peace Corps where she taught high school in Madagascar. Upon returning to the U.S., she began teaching French at Richland. She has taught first and third grade. Astrid loves hiking, reading, traveling, and camping.
Casey Fitchner -
English 4th Grade
Ms. Fichtner earned her B.A. in Anthropology/ Archaeology at UCLA, and received her M.Ed. and teaching credential from Vanderbilt. She has lived in Los Angeles for 14 years. She loves to hike and garden . At one point, she had over 20 different vegetables and fruits growing in her garden, including a watermelon that grew on a trellis attached to the side of her house.
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.
Rebecca Zewdu -
English 5th Grade
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 Bachelor’s degree in Biology from CSUN and a Masters in Public Administration from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in beautiful Monterey, CA.
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.
Kimberly Goodman -
French 5th Grade
Kimberly 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 four 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.
Keith Ceely - Preschool
Mr. Ceely grew up in West LA, attending nearby schools. He has a credential in Early Childhood Special Education and a 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
Ms. Chandler grew up in Los Angeles. She completed her Early Childhood credential at Cal State Northridge, and she is currently working towards her M.A. in Special Education. She speaks Japanese fluently, and she speaks Spanish pretty well. She also has two children. She enjoys reading, camping, traveling, hanging out with her husband and children, and having brunch with her friends.
Elizabeth DeFazio - Resource Program
Ms. Defazio grew up in Orange County.
Gisela Gutierrez - Preschool
Ms. Gutierrez has been teaching Preschool at Richland for over twenty years.