Our Staff

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Diana Armstrong

Diana has a masters in Psychology as well as a degree in Early Childhood Education. She ran a developmental preschool here in the 90s. She believes that children need to play and have hands on experiences and that music is essential to a child’s development.

Sunshine Armstrong-Silverston

Oaks_Sun_Bio_PhotoSunshine Armstrong-Silverston is the Founder of Under the Oaks Early Childhood Center and the Teacher of the Parent and Child classes. This school lived in her heart for many years prior to its opening 1 year ago. Her grandmother Virginia began a school here in 1965 followed by her mother taking it over in 1990. Sunshine has 16 years of experience working in early childhood education. In college at UCSD, Sunshine worked with Autistic children and children with learning disabilities. She was inspired by the DIR method (Developmental Individualized Relationship based therapy) and how at it’s core it aims to instill a love of learning and values the power of experiential learning through trust and relationships. Sunshine also has a masters in Marriage and Family Therapy from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She has worked both as a School Counselor at a private elementary school and as psychological assistant for a child psychologist. She values family, mindfulness and community.

Rebecca Barling

Ms. Rebecca was born and raised in Washington State. She has a love of nature and is happiest outside hiking, camping, swimming and riding her bike. After becoming a mother to twin girls she started reading about Waldorf Education and applying it to her parenting. She went on to deepen her study and obtained her early childhood degree at Santa Monica College. Rebecca an avid crafter, taught crafting at her daughters’ Waldorf inspired School, Ocean Charter, for three years. During this time she created her own lesson plans, celebrated each season, gathered all the materials and supplies, and taught 28 children twice a week. She is very passionate about teaching and subbed at many preschools in Venice and Santa Monica before taking a permanent position at Under The Oaks. “When I walked down those steps that first day and saw the oasis of the school, I knew I had found my home away from home.” Rebecca also offers a crafting and drama camp at her home in Culver City in the summer. In her teaching Rebecca seeks to create a learning experience where children are nurtured and positioned to become well rounded, well-adjusted and promise-filled individuals.

Lori Gregorio

Grace Lewis

Grace LewisMiss Grace is loving, kind, musical and fun filled teacher.  She has gone to Waldorf schools for her whole life and feels very blessed to be able to keep sharing that education with little ones. She has worked as a music and theatre teacher in the past and brings those subjects into the classroom on a weekly basis with her guitar and instruments for the children to play along as they sing and dance. She completed her accreditation for early childhood education at Santa Monica College and is continuing her education this year while working at Under the Oaks doing our music time and in the Kinder classroom.  She also teaches Summer Camp and KITE a theatrical afterschool program.

Hara Lewis

Gary Silverston

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Renee Taylor (Substitute Teacher)

renee_keoniRenee was raised in the San Francisco Bay area and is one of nine children. She is from an airline family, and travel has always been a big part of her life- living back east and abroad. She has a degree in Sociology from UCLA and a teaching credential from the College of Notre Dame. She has taught from early childhood through grade 12. She was also trained as an actress and values the power of imagination and play. Renee believes that Under the Oaks combines beautifully the development of the mind and the heart- to embrace our children on every level through the Waldorf philosophy, which creates an atmosphere of patience and love. Renee teaches the Nursery class at Under the Oaks. She has two precious sons, who both attend Under the Oaks.