Your Learning CoLab Staff & Educators
Ms Shanel previously worked at iLead Encino and is a passionate, creative, organized and engaging personality who absolutely loves our kids and has a huge impact on them. She is originally from Buffalo, New York and loves music (she performs with various musical projects) and is the type of person who takes her experience from each year of working with kids and constantly upgrades for the next year. She already has great suggestions for us and will be the glue that keeps it all together as she will be on premises with us full time working with our facilitators and specialists to bring it all together.
Educationalist - Music
Aaron has been teaching in both classroom instruction and in one-on-one lessons for more than a decade and is passionate about finding and honing every students interest in music. He is originally from Rochester, NY and moved across country to pursue his love for music in LA. Along with performing in various groups, Aaron is a music teacher here at the Learning CoLab, as well as Fair Oaks Academy, and West Coast Music Academy. For Aaron, it’s all about helping each student find their way to connect with and explore music in whatever means resonate with them.
Educationalist - Mandarin, Kung Fu, Visual and Performing Arts
Originally from Dallas, Texas, Ms. Ariana has been teaching and tutoring in Mandarin Chinese since 2012, and teaching My Jhong Law Horn kung fu (a style from Northern China) since 2011. As the child of Chinese immigrants, she aims to not just teach the language, but also make sure that her students have a well-rounded understanding of Chinese and Chinese American history and culture. Ms. Ariana attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a focus in photography and design and graduated from American Musical and Dramatic Academy with a BFA in Performing Arts. When she is not teaching the wonderful learners at The Learning CoLab, she can be found training in kung fu, singing with her acapella group, The L.A. Femme Forte, or working as a stuntwoman.
Afternoon Adventures Coordinator, Educational Support Team
Benjamin Harmon is originally from Chicago. He moved to the City of Angels in search of better weather and varying topography. He is happy to share that he has fully succeeded! Ben comes to us with an eclectic background, much of which has been in education. He is a well-seasoned behavioral therapist of 10+ years. He has been a part-time program director and instructor for Spectrum Laboratory & The Ed Asner Family Center, both educational programs for neurodivergent individuals, which specialize in creative-arts enrichment programs. He is also a photographer of 20+ years and has taught children/young adults ages 8-25. Ben uses his past experiences. Furthermore, Ben is a field agent for Atlas Obscura, an online compendium of curiosity, where he organizes events/tours for a diverse audience of curious adults and children alike. Some of the field trips and educators this year will come from his vast pool of collaborators..
Educational Support Team
Originally from El Salvador. I graduated from the Teacher Training University of El Salvador in 1992, and worked for ten years as an elementary school teacher in my home country. I moved to the United States in 2002 and attended school to study Child Development. I worked as a Spanish teacher for several years teaching private classes, in a Spanish immersion program, and in Spanish summer camp. I believe that when working with children, the most important skills to have are patience, love and passion which I have learned from dedicating half of my life to teaching. It is truly enjoyable!
I am thankful for the opportunity to work as the TA at the Learning CoLab and I feel so lucky to be part of such a great team.
Coach Dennis Ruelas
Educationalist - Physical Education
Inspiring our Learners with his enthusiasm and energy while secretly getting them excited about exercise, learning about their physiology and healthy habits.
Educationalist - Visual and Performing Arts, Educational Support Team
Frank Moschetto is an experienced educator and musician, with a history of working in the Motion Pictures & Film industry. With a passion for teaching how to cultivate individual creativity, Frank supports and encourages everyone to express themselves through the arts. In the past, he has taught guitar, voice, media production, screenwriting and musical theatre to young learners. Frank resides in Burbank CA with his fiancé, Michelle, and 2 year old pup, Bowie.
Educationalist - STEM, Math
Ian McElfresh is an artist and educator who seeks to foster creative and emotional literacy with his students. While enrolled at Bard College, Ian participated in the Bard Prison Initiative as a writing tutor and has pursued a career in education ever since. In the 2018-19 school year, he was an associate teacher at The Waverly School for 1st and 2nd graders with a focus on social/emotional growth, responsive classroom, and teaching math. A writer in his free time, Ian is always looking for new and exciting ways to bring creativity into his lesson plans..
Educationalist - English Language Arts
From the time I was a little girl, I have wanted to be a teacher! My dream came true when I received my teaching credential from Cal State Northridge in 2012. I was raised in Sherman Oaks and attended Adat Ari El Day School. Little did I know that around 10 years after graduating, I would be teaching kindergarten in the same classroom I was a student. I have taught in many different settings, ranging from a traditional classroom setting to a homeschool environment, as well as working with children one-on-one in their homes. This past academic school year, I instructed four iLEAD Encino kindergarteners twice a week in a homeschool setting. I love to spend time with my family and friends, teach, be active, and travel. I am passionate about empowering learners to reach their highest potential, accepting children for who they are, encouraging their curiosity, celebrating their individuality, and teaching them in a way that meets their specific needs.