Our Teachers

Linda Matsumoto

“To begin with I am from Burbank. I went to Stevenson Elementary, Jordan Middle School and John Burroughs High School. One interesting fact is that all three of my children went to the same schools. Not planned, but fun. I attended the University of Redlands where I received my BA and my teaching credential. I taught second grade before I began teaching at the Burbank Adult School.

I joined the Parent Ed program when my daughter was two years old. A friend and I heard about the program through an ad in the city water bill. I came to class with my daughter, Amiko and later with my twin sons, Michael and Paul. So I came to parent ed. and never left. When my twins started kindergarten, I started teaching an infant class. Since then I have taught every class. I became the Resource Teacher in charge of the Parent Education Department about 15 years ago.

I have seen alot of changes in Parent Ed over the years. But the core values of the program have remained the same. When I started we had Father’s Day once a semester on a Saturday for the dads to come to class. I think the biggest change has been the number of father’s attending class on a regular basis. And now we have the second dad to become president of Parent Council this year. It’s wonderful to see both parents being involved in the program with their children. What I usually tell parents who are thinking about attending class or want to know about it is this, “Come for a visit to see what we are all about.’ Once you are in class you will find that you can make the most wonderful, longtime friendships that can last a lifetime. My sons were in a two year old class with another set of twin boys. They are now 38 years old and are still friends. Their mother and I have remained friends since we met in class.  I have seen friendships bloom over and over again. That is one plus that is special in our classes.

Lastly,I am the mother of three and the grandmother of two grand-children. Parent Ed has always been and will continue to be a big part of my life.”


 

Deanna Jennings

Deanna Jennings

Deanna Jennings

I’ve lived in Burbank most of my life. I attended Edison and Emerson Elementary Schools, John Muir Junior High and Burbank High School. After high school, I went to the University of Redlands, where I received my elementary teaching credential. I also met my husband Don there. After graduating and getting married, we moved to Connecticut for two years while Don worked on his Masters. We moved back to Burbank where we raised our sons, Matthew and Brendan and attended the Burbank Parent Education program. I first started teaching at the Burbank United Methodist Church Nursery School. This is my 31st year teaching four and five year-olds. About 18 or 19 years ago, I started teaching two year olds in our Parent Education program and later took over the Daddy N Me class that meets one Saturday a month. I really enjoy my time with the parents, grandparents and children in my classes.

In my spare time I enjoy taking yoga classes, reading, walking for exercise, attending musicals at the Ahmanson Theater with my son Brendan and going to show choir competitions and performances. Brendan is the director of the John Burroughs High School Show Choirs. I also like going to the movies and out to dinner with my husband. I love to travel and would like to do more of that.

The highlight of this past year was the birth of my first grandchild. My son, Matthew and his wife Sandee gave birth to Charlotte in September of 2013. She is the joy of my life! I just wished they lived closer than Santa Cruz, California.

Kathy Stephenson

Kathy Stephenson

Kathy Stephenson

I am Kathy Stephenson. I teach the Monday 2-year old class. I feel honored to be featured in the newsletter after such a short time here.

I was born in San Francisco and moved to southern California when I was 12. I graduated from Cal State University, Los Angeles with a degree in geography and then my teaching credential.

I started my teaching career with Los Angeles Unified School District in Highland Park. I taught 4th, 5th, and 6th grades. I took a break from teaching to attend UCLA to pursue a life-long interest in interior design. I worked for one of my professors for two years. I came to Burbank to teach when my youngest child and I were attending Parent Ed. Linda Matsumoto was our teacher and we have been friends ever since. I was very blessed to teach here for ten years. I still run into parents around town that were in my classes. What a wonderful treat that is. When my sons were approaching college age I went back to full-time teaching. I taught at Jefferson Elementary in Burbank for seventeen years – two years in 4th grade and fifteen years in kindergarten. Finally, almost making it full circle, I am back here at Parent Ed. How lucky I am to have had such wonderful teaching experiences.

I have two sons. Scott lives in Connecticut and is teaching geography at the University of Connecticut. He is the “California guy” experiencing his first winter in New England and what a winter he got. Kyle lives in Burbank after being in the San Francisco area for nine years. He is a manager at Grant Thornton-a public accounting firm. He has an office in downtown Los Angeles but rarely sees it due to travel.

My husband and I both retired last year. We are keeping busy and enjoying our time together.   We both like traveling, reading, going to movies (We tied for first place on our Oscar ballots this year at the annual family Oscar party), Dodger games and the gym. I also volunteer at my sister’s kindergarten class at Jefferson and my niece’s 1st grade class at Stevenson.

It feels so good to be back here at Parent Ed being with the children, parents, and grandparents.

I leave you with a thought to remember—time is the most precious gift you can give to your children. Have fun together.

Chris Tutak

Chris Tutak

Chris Tutak

I first learned about the Parent Education program while substituting at a Burbank elementary school.  I was in the teacher’s lunchroom when one of them was talking about an opening at the Adult School in the program.  I thought that sounded interesting and fun and decided to find out more.  I went to an interview and the next thing I knew I was teaching the baby class!  And, you know what?  It was fun and interesting.  In fact so much so that I have been here over 17 years!

I love meeting and getting to know all the children and their parents.  I feel privileged to be a part of this challenging and exciting part of their lives.  I love the discussions, rug time, watching the children grow and being a part of something positive in life.  No sitting in a cubicle for me!
I was born in Santa Monica and spent the first twelve years of my life in Laguna Beach.  I not only roamed the beaches but was in the water as much as out.  But also explored the hills behind our house which are now part of Laguna Hills Wilderness Park.  I’m glad to see it has been kept wild rather than built up as so many other places were.  My elementary school, El Morro, now is at the entrance to the park. (The school is still in operation.)  One interesting memory of school is the yearly spring cattle roundup by the Irvine Ranch.  Clouds of dust and cattle mooing.  And us kids playing in the school yard overlooking the Pacific!
When I was 12 we moved to Topeka Kansas.  Yes, a BIG difference.  From a classroom with 32 kids I was now in a school with about 32 total!  Two rooms.  First through 4th grade and 5th through 8th.  There were five in my class, four girls one boy.  It was like living in the Little House on the Praire books.  But it was great.  I had a horse and rode all the time.  I learned all about farming, farm animals, seasons, lightning, thunder, hailstorms and of course, tornadoes.  The week after I graduated from high school I boarded the Super Chief and returned to Laguna Beach.
Besides teaching Parent Ed, I have been a children’s ministry professional for over 25 years.  For many years I raised, trained, and showed Newfoundland dogs in confirmation, obedience, tracking and water trials with my kids.  For a short time I also showed horses, but only had my own for a couple of years.  I spend my time reading, crafting, going on Volkswalks, (non competitive walk group), biking, going on road trips and, well I could go on and on. Right now I am trying block printing; trying!   I love the natural world and love to share it with everyone.
I have two children; Julianna and her husband Kurt have 3 boys, Hans, Matthias and Theo.  My son Noah and his wife Monica have Johel and Theone.  I share my home with Julianna and her family and Noah lives in Granada Hills so we are one big happy family!
So that’s me in a nutshell.  Well, maybe more than you wanted to know.  What my kids remember from childhood are the experiences when we were together.  Yes, they remember some of their gifts, toys, and first bikes.  But what they talk about are the times when we…and they would be off with a fun/crazy story of childhood.  Good, bad, funny, sad, this is what makes life worth living.  Enjoy, and remember.  Don’t worry.  Be happy!

Karin Wright

Bio Coming!


 

Linda Baca – Teacher’s Aide

Linda Baca

Linda Baca

“Hi everyone! I have been a part of this wonderful program for 15 years. I grew up in Southern California, I went to San Fernando Valley Sate College which is now known as CSUN.

I am married with two wonderful daughter and two precious grand-daughters. My daughter was a student at BPEC and when she couldn’t bring the girls I filled in and fell in love with the program. My granddaughters are 21 and 23 years old and to this day they have lasting friendships with children they met at BPEC.

My daughter was an instructor in the program for 12 years. Now she teaches the workshops “How To Talk so Kids Will Listen” and :”Listen so Kids Will Talk”.

I love coming to work because I get to spend the day with terrific parents and amazing children. I love watching them grow and learn in such a nurturing environment. I am honored to be a part of their lives and to be in the BPEC program.
When I tell people about the program (which is often) I tell them it is a broadening and constructive atmosphere where we put the children first. Additionally, we offer the parents a place to learn, and express concerns they have about their children and parenting and get the support they need.

There are no rights and wrongs but instead a wide variety of parenting techniques and valuable information to help them along this amazing and wonderful journey.”

 

Jill Richards – Teacher’s Aide

Jill Richards

Jill Richards

25 Things You May Not Know About Jill Richards

  1. My name is Jill Richards. I work as the aide for Monday and Thursday Multi-Age, Tuesday 2s, Wednesday and Friday 3s, Infant II, and the Saturday Dads’ classes.
  2. Prior to working here in the Parent Ed program I worked as a substitute campus supervisor for the high school and middle schools in Burbank.
  3. I used to work as an aide at my daughters’ elementary school when they were students there.
  4. When I first moved to CA in 1991 I worked at Martino’s Bakery.
  5. I grew up in Wisconsin and in Iowa.
  6. I have one brother, Hans, he lives in Florida with his wife and 2 sons.
  7. I started babysitting for all the families in my neighborhood when I was 11. I babysat all the way through high school and college to earn extra money.
  8. I played the clarinet in the high school marching band, concert band, and orchestra.
  9. I attended the University of Iowa and graduated with a BA in Art History.
  10. I met my husband Mike, in Kansas City, MO when we were both attending school there.
  11. I have two wonderful daughters, Hannah, 19 and Charlotte, 16. They make me very happy!
  12. I have a cat named Clawed.
  13. I usually visit Iowa twice a year to visit my mom, Helen. I enjoy going back to my home town of Iowa City, IA.
  14. My family and I really have fun visiting with my husband’s family in the San Francisco Bay area as often as we possibly can.
  15. I LOVE the Green Bay Packers and the Iowa Hawkeyes!!
  16. I like to embroider, cross-stitch, and crochet.
  17. I do enjoy playing golf, although I am not very skilled.
  18. I just started taking knitting lessons.
  19. I am in a really fun book club.
  20. I sing in my church choir.
  21. My favorite book ever is “To Kill a Mockingbird”.
  22. I have always enjoyed riding my bike. I try to ride to work as often as possible.
  23. I love to watch TV. My favorite show is “The Walking Dead”.
  24. My daughters and I got to shake Barack Obama’s hand when he was at a campaign stop in Iowa, in 2007.
  25. I feel so grateful to have a job here at the Burbank Adult School Parent Ed Program. I can honestly say, “I love my job!”
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