It’s about connection.

Generally speaking, MUSE School students don’t pay much attention to staff titles. Nor should they. What they’re aware of is being encircled by a community of caring adults, each one a potential mentor.

It takes more than just teaching experience to be MUSE faculty, and more than just good work experience to be MUSE staff. We first look for multidimensional people who are playful and calm, who work well with children of all ages and developmental levels and who also share our mission and values. As a result, the people we hire bring a wide array of experience and education to the table – some have decades of experience and multiple advanced degrees; others are new to their fields. But one thing remains consistent: They’re the same kind of open-minded, forward-thinking people with whom we’d choose to surround our own children.

Administrative Team



Jeff King

Head of School

Jeff grew up in Greensburg, Kansas. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from Emporia State University and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Newman University. As the son of retired teachers it is no coincidence that in January of 2012 he became the Head of School at MUSE School, CA. Jeff helped design the MUSE School Learning Plan, which is a specific and progressive way to engage students to learn. This Learning Plan includes two of Jeff’s other passions, the Process Communication Model and Self Efficacy. Jeff finds his sweet spot when he is teaching individuals of all ages how to communicate better, to be efficacious, and to follow their passions. Jeff, his wife, and three kids live in Calabasas.


Rebecca Amis


As a Co-founder of MUSE School CA, Rebecca has overseen its vision for over nine years. Rebecca brings important skills and insights into student-led curriculum, psychology, parent-child relations, socio-emotional development, and process communication. Rebecca is currently working on MUSE programming and its eventual application all over the world! Rebecca’s education includes a BA in Psychology and an MS in Child and Family Studies. She has worked in a variety of federally and privately funded child and family programs as a college instructor in the behavioral sciences and liberal studies, and has founded a Reggio-inspired school in the Midwest. Yoga, hiking, skiing, and traveling with her family are amongst her top priorities in life!


Dennis Campbell, Ph.D.

Middle School and High School Director

Dennis joined the MUSE community during the summer of 2013. He received his B.A. in early childhood education from Ryerson University, and an M.A. in child development from Tufts University.  He completed a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Pennsylvania.  Dennis is an accomplished educational leader with more than 20 years of experience managing, leading, implementing, and evaluating programs and practice in a diversity of educational contexts. Dennis began his career in education as a teacher working with teen mothers and their preschoolers, and later taught elementary and middle school. Dennis is excited to lead the MUSE Middle and High School team!

Joe Harper

Joseph Harper

Assistant Head of School and Curriculum Director

Joe Harper currently enjoys serving as Assistant Head of School and Curriculum Director at MUSE School.  His career in education began as a Drama teacher over 30 years ago. Joe moved into school administration with the desire to explore how to best support teaching and learning and to promote individual student growth and success. He received his undergraduate Fine Arts Degree from Howard University and completed graduate work in Education Leadership at Pepperdine University. Before coming to MUSE, Joe taught, directed, and produced numerous stage productions. He has acted and sung professionally in theatre, TV, and on film. Through education in the classroom, in fine arts and through school administration, that’s where he finds the most joy and fulfillment. As his personal philosophy, Joe believes that through our children, we touch the future and they have the potential to change the world…for good.


Monica Heredia

Early Childhood Education and Elementary Director

Monica helped establish the early childhood program at MUSE School CA in 2009. Her compassion, optimism, and natural nurturing spirit are easy to see in her interactions with the students. She graduated from Loyola Marymount University and because of her knowledge of young children she began working in children’s television. After a few years in the entertainment field Monica began missing working directly with young children. She returned to school to get her Early Childhood Teaching Certificate and began her career with MUSE. She strongly believes in the value of early education as a foundation for beginning learners. Society often assumes that preschool students simply learn their ABC’s and colors, but the genuine lessons of preschool go far beyond to include: compassion, self-efficacy, empathy, independence and confidence.  Monica feels grateful to be surrounded by children who continuously express curiosity and enthusiasm while discovering themselves, their relationships, and the world around them.


Tamika Famiyuro

Director of Admissions



Michelle Garcia

Director of Business Operations

Michelle Garcia has been with MUSE since 2012 and loves working in the MUSE community. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a Bachelor of Arts and received her MBA from Pepperdine University. In her free time, Michelle enjoys practicing yoga, hiking, and dancing.

Early Childhood Education Program


Rebecca Laff

ECE Teacher

Rebecca Laff is thrilled to be a part of the MUSE community! She brings six years of early childhood teaching experience to this magical milieu, bolstered by an undergraduate degree in Child Development and a graduate degree in Family Studies both from Cal State, Northridge. She has worked at the Parenting Education Center at Stephen S. Wise Early Childhood Center and at the Cal State University Preschool. She views her role as teacher as encompassing the roles of development facilitator, guide, and caregiver. Her areas of specialty encompass Child Development in both typical and special populations. She also has much experience and passion working with the families of her students. Rebecca is a mother of two daughters, and enjoys, reading, writing, and practicing yoga.


Jeneen Metz

Early Kinder Teacher

Jeneen began teaching at MUSE in 2014. She is excited to be apart of MUSE! Prior to coming to MUSE, she worked in the Student Services Department at her alma mater Pepperdine. She earned both her Bachelor’s in Communication and her Master of Arts in Education there. Outside of MUSE, she enjoys volunteering with her church, writing her book, blogging, cooking (and eating) with friends.


Titicia Michaels

ECE Teacher

Titicia has been teaching children for over twenty-eight years. She has an ability to work, connect with children with exceptionalities. She is skilled in connecting and engaging them in various activities to help them be successful in a classroom setting. Titicia studied at West Los Angeles College, El Camino and LA Valley College. She is pursuing a degree in Special Education: Pre School and Occupational Therapist Assistant. She believes that teachers act as guides to help young children follow their natural curiosity as well as helping them meet their full potential and provide a safe supportive environment. Titicia loves to dance and studies Martial Arts. She is currently a Red Belt; her goal is to get her Black Belt. 


Carole Morrison

Early Kinder Teacher

Carole has taught elementary school for over 20 years. Currently, she is teaching Early Kinder at MUSE School where she has also taught Kindergarten, 2nd grade and 3rd grade. Carole taught Special Education for two years within the LAUSD system and taught preschool for five years. She grew up in Pasadena and attended Pacific Oaks College where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Development along with my K-12 teaching credential. Carole truly enjoys teaching and supporting her students in developing their love and excitement for learning. She and her husband have three children and five grandchildren. Carole enjoys gardening, playing the piano, and watching a good college football game.


Caitlin Roche

ECE Teacher

Caitlin began working for MUSE as an ECE teacher in 2011. With over 13 years of experience teaching, Caitlin specializes in working with the little ones. She attended Colorado State University and graduated with a degree in Early Childhood Development focusing in Early Childhood Education. In her years of teaching she has worked as a Preschool and Pre K teacher at three schools and has also taught horseback riding and gymnastics to children.


Raquel Roco

ECE Teacher

Raquel has been teaching since 2012. She has a Masters of Education and Teaching Credential in Childhood Education. Before coming to MUSE, she taught at Winnetka Avenue Elementary School in Winnetka, California. She believes that all children are unique with their own passions, interests and personalities and that these can be highlighted and developed through student-driven activities. Raquel enjoys traveling, watching live stage performances, and creative writing.

Elementary School Program


Giselle Gutierrez

Elementary Teacher

Gisselle began teaching second grade at MUSE in 2014. Her background is in Early Childhood with a Masters in Educational Psychology. Before MUSE Giselle taught students in grades K through 8th in Spanish at a dual immersion school in Camarillo. This is my first year enjoying the outdoor education at MUSE.  Outside of MUSE I enjoy surfing and playing tennis. 


Chelsea Manos

Elementary Teacher

Chelsea is a new member of the MUSE team and is our 1st grade teacher.  She has a Masters in elementary education with an emphasis on curriculum and instruction. Before coming to MUSE, she taught Kindergarten at a Jewish Day school for eight years.  She was a “stay-at-home mother” for five years after her two children were born. She is extremely excited to get back into the classroom! When Chelsea is not teaching, she enjoys spending time with friends and family at the beach, and playing soccer on an intramural team.

Peter Nippard

Elementary Teacher

Peter is an accomplished educator with over 20 years of teaching experience in four countries, on three continents. From the Land Down Under, Peter has taught in public, parochial and independent elementary schools in Australia, England and the USA, as well as business English to adults and University students, in Warsaw, Poland. Peter recently graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Master’s Degree in Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education from University of Virginia. At the heart of Peter’s education philosophy is exploratory, child centered education encourages children to follow their passions.


Katelyn Patterson

Elementary Teacher

Katelyn graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in Elementary Education and a concentration in mathematics. She is currently working on a masters degree in Childhood Psychology and Counseling. Before coming to MUSE, Katelyn spent four years teaching in Tuscaloosa, Alabama at the first STEAM elementary school in the world. She loves inspiring children to take risks and be active participants in their learning! She strives to fluidly incorporate the arts into all core subjects. Outside of teaching, she enjoys being active, reading and spending time with her husband.

Julie Sachs

Elementary Teacher

Julie Sachs graduated from Berklee College of Music with a Bachelor’s Degree in Film Scoring. She has been a pianist for over twenty years. She has composed music for various TV/Film libraries and for local film schools. Julie always had a passion for teaching and returned to college, to pursue her Early Childhood Education teaching credential from Pierce College. Previous to her position at MUSE, Julie taught at Pierce College’s Pre-School. She believes that every child is unique and that school environments should provide opportunities that foster their own self-help skills, thoughts, and socialization skills through play. In her free time, Julie enjoys teaching private piano lessons, reading, music, theatre, sushi, and sports.


Amy Weng

Elementary Teacher

Amy Weng has taught at MUSE School since 2011. She began her MUSE journey in the Early Childhood Education program and is currently teaching Kindergarten. She graduated from University of California, San Diego with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and received her Masters of Arts in Teaching from University of Southern California. In addition, she helped start the Mandarin program at MUSE by incorporating the Mandarin language inside her ECE classroom. Amy believes the most powerful form of learning is one that is student-driven. Prior to landing at MUSE, Amy spent her time teaching Kindergarten and 5th grade in public schools and teaching Mandarin during her free time. Amy continues to challenge herself by pursing higher education opportunities in the field of education.

Middle School Program


Sir Bailey

Middle School Teacher

Sir James Bailey is supporting MUSE students in our Middle and High School classes. The devoted husband and father of three graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in African-American Studies with a concentration in Film and Television. Before arriving at MUSE, Sir utilized his California Teaching Credential in Social Studies teaching Middle School Social Studies as well as teaching character development, English and Social Studies through poetry in California Youth Detention Centers. Sir is a songwriter, musician and emerging entrepreneur that loves teaching because as Malcolm X expressed, “You can’t legislate goodwill, that comes through education”.

Taheerah Jackson

Middle School Teacher

Taheerah Jackson has taught at MUSE since 2013. She began teaching 8 years ago, and has experience with all elementary levels. She graduated from Montclair State University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Family/Child Studies. Additionally, she received her Masters Degree in School Leadership from Grand Canyon University. Additionally, she is on the recruiting board for the Little Miss America Association. Ms. Jackson believes that through fostering a sense of passion within students’ learning, she can aid in positively engaging a child’s learning styles. Before working at MUSE, Ms. Jackson taught departmentalized Language Arts for 2nd-6th grade, in New Jersey.


J Juelis, Ph.D.

Middle School Coordinator / Teacher and Outdoor Education Coordinator

J has been with MUSE since 2011. He began teaching 4th, 5th and 6th grades and is now one of our Middle School teachers. J received a B.A in History from Hobart College, a M.Ed. in Educational Psychology – Human Development and Cognition from the University of Washington, and received his Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction – Multicultural Education from the University of Washington.  As an educator, he helps students discover how much they are capable of and who they are as young adults. J’s expertise includes project based learning integrated to engage students and help spark their love of learning. J is also the Outdoor Education Coordinator. In this role he facilitates and guides students to discover their potential and push the limits of their skills through experiences in nature.

High School Program


Lauren Belcher

High School Teacher

Lauren received her Bachelors of Arts in English Literature from Manhattan College in Riverdale, NY. After working in fashion and marketing in New York City, she moved back to Southern California to pursue her teaching credential in Secondary Education at Chapman University. She earned her Masters of Arts in 20th century American literature from Cal State University Long Beach. She has worked in a variety of school settings and is excited to bring her experience with project based learning to MUSE. Lauren has a passion for literacy and learning through interests. Her mission is to help all she works with learn through their passions.



Giuliana Caredda

Art Teacher

Giuliana was born and raised in Southern California. Ever since she was very young, Giuliana actively pursued Art both in and outside of school.  Upon graduating with her Bachelor’s of Fine Arts from California State University at Northridge, Giuliana found herself “drawn” to education.  She taught at Calmont School for 6 years from 2004-2010. After Calmont closed in 2010, MUSE School CA offered her the position as Art Teacher / Program Director and she has been joyfully teaching here ever since. She believes Art should be a fun, experimental exploration where children can express their unique perspectives. Additionally, through MUSE, she has had the privilege of becoming a certified PCM Trainer. Giuliana is very connected to her Italian family and loves traveling back to the island of Sardinia to visit them as often as she can. She enjoys cooking and has re-discovered her passion for running.

dr reese

Reese Halter, Ph.D.

Chair of Science

Dr. Reese Halter is a passionate educator. He believes that each child is an exceptional innovator and it’s his goal to help them discover that from within. Reese received his doctorate in subalpine Eucalyptus eco-stress physiology from Melbourne University, Australia. Since graduating he invests his time, energy and passion for sustainability in the world’s youth and has authored nine books. His past college students have gone on to take part in many conservation endeavors including protecting African elephants and saving Minke whales in Antarctica’s international whale sanctuary. He loves cooking, racing sailboats and watching the moon along the Santa Monica Bay.


Paul Hudak

Director of Seed to Table

Paul has been teaching formally in schools since 2007. He attended SUNY Oswego and SUNY New Paltz studying Childhood Education at both schools. After college Paul pursued his passion: sustainable agriculture. This path brought him to farms around the world. From working on vineyards in Italy to running a permaculture farm powered by draft horses Paul has been deeply steeped in his field for almost 20 years.  Paul is dedicated to assisting youth of all ages pursue their own interests and passions through experiential education with a focus on ecological sustainability. Before MUSE, Paul directed a Seed To Table program at an alternative high school in Portland, Oregon. There he worked with 100’s of students to build a farm, distributing produce to schools, restaurants, and CSA members. In his free time Paul enjoys seeing live music, biking, farming, and traveling.

Myriam Le Goff

French Teacher


Joyce Li

Mandarin Teacher

Joyce is originally from Beijing, China. She began teaching after she earned her Bachelor of Education 2000. She taught Mandarin Chinese to international students for nine years before she moved to the United States. While studying at Pepperdine University, Joyce worked for different schools and corporations teaching children and adults to speak Mandarin Chinese. In early 2013, she received her Master’s Degree in Education and began teaching at MUSE. Joyce believes that teaching is supporting rather than telling, and that learning is exploring rather than receiving. Joyce always incorporates various fun activities and games into her class to ensure that students enjoy learning a new language.

Zach Nazar

Music Teacher

Originally from Chicago, IL, Zach took an interest in music when he was 6 years old. Studying music privately throughout elementary and middle school, he attended a creative arts high school. After graduating, Zach relocated to study at Berklee College of Music and began teaching in the Boston area. With a growing passion for music and teaching he pursued a Maser of Arts and Teaching Degree with a focus on progressive education. As the Music Specialist, Zach is excited to be reading, composing, jamming and performing with MUSE students. When he isn’t teaching, Zach enjoys meditating, reading, composing as well as leading his 10 piece group in rehearsals and performances.

Rosie Prieto

Spanish Teacher

Rosie began teaching Spanish at MUSE in the Fall of 2013. She moved to California in 2012 to broaden her teaching career. Rosie grew up in Queens NY. In 2007, she graduated from Queens College University of NY with a BA in Elementary Education and History. She graduated with honors and received both her New York and California teaching licenses. In her 7 years of teaching, she has taught students in Early Kinder through Middle School including Dual Language Programs in Spanish and English. Outside of work she spends quality time with her family.

Haven Reininger

Math Specialist

Haven Reininger has been instructing students in mathematics and the quantitative social sciences for over four years.  After earning his BA in Economics from Yale University in New Haven, CT, Haven spent four years in the video games industry as a product and marketing analyst. Haven is excited to partner with MUSE students and to help them discover how observable mathematics can help bolster their passions, as well as their own quantitative confidence.

Rick Perillo

Garden Educator

Rick Perillo is the MUSE Garden Educator. Since graduating from California State University, Northridge in 2006, Rick has been working with youth and exploring sustainable gardening practices. He enjoyed working with youth in Seattle and Downtown Los Angeles and organic farming in New Zealand and Colorado. Rick earned his Master Gardener Certificate, Permaculture Sustainable Design Certificate, and a Certificate in Global Sustainability from UCLA. He believes the garden is a great place to practice math concepts, gain a deeper understanding of science, and experience history and cultures. Rick is excited to share his passion for gardening with MUSE students.  



Francisco Argueta

Facilities Security


Erika Aquino

Kitchen Steward

Erika Aquino began working in the MUSE Kitchen in 2013. Following a year at Tidewater Community College in Norfolk, VA Erika moved to California in January 2013. She discovered her passion for cooking while working at a Cal State Northridge campus cafeteria. She wants to excite students, families and staff for MUSE lunches! Outside of work she sees live music, writes poetry, explores hole-in-the-wall restaurants with friends and loves to share her passion for food with others by cooking for them.


Danny Bermudez

Facilites / Security


Jaime Calderon

Bus Driver

Jaime is on the Facilities Team and is our School Bus Driver. He recently completed his certification course and is a California Certified School Bus Instructor. In all, Jaime has 15 years of transportation experience. Jaime enjoys spending his free time with family and friends.


Chip Duggan

Facilites Manager / MUSE Maker

Chip is an artist, a teacher, and a maker. He received his B.A. in Th e Philosophy of Aesthetics Through Film Production from Keene State College in New Hampshire. He earned his Master in Fine Arts from Columbia College in Chicago, Illinois. As an undergraduate he learned how to build houses without the use of power tools and served as an Assistant Teacher for 2 years. During his graduate studies he lived with and learned from a famous architech named Paulo Soleri, published a book called The Urban Guide: The Urban Quiet and owned and operated a construction company.


Meredith Hudak

Development and Marketing Manager

Meredith is the Development and Marketing Manager for MUSE School, CA. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Architectural History and a Master in Regional Planning with a focus on Community Development. Meredith has experience working in schools and as a project manager for a nonprofit. She is passionate about sustainability and creating safe and healthy learning environments for children. She enjoys hiking, learning new things, and exploring the world.


Charles Lee

Kitchen Steward

Jennifer Mau

Director of Development and Marketing



Javier Regis

Grounds Keeper /Falconer

This is Javier’s fourth year at MUSE. He is a member of the Facilities Team, our resident Master Falconer, and the caretaker of the MUSE Prime Campus. Javier is also a level 1 & 2 Certified Archery Instructor. Outside of work, he loves to hunt with his hawks and is passionate about teaching others falconry skills.


Eva Sanchez

Administrative Assistant / After School Coordinator

Eva began working at MUSE in the summer of 2013. She is the receptionist and the After School Coordinator. Eva shares her welcoming smile with students, parents and staff in the office.


Kayla Webb

Executive Chef

Kayla is the Executive Chef of MUSE School, CA. She joined the team in 2012 and has been serving as Chef three years. Prior to coming to MUSE she was Executive Chef of the Golden Door Resort and Spa in San Diego, where she specialized in healthy fine dining. She has a degree in Culinary Arts from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. She enjoys running marathons, upholstering vintage furniture, and swimming in her free time.