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Early Learning Community Task Force

Our Mission & Goals

The mission of the Laguna Beach Early Learning Community Task Force is to provide relevant and meaningful learning opportunities for parents of children 0-5 years old and early learning professionals in order to improve children’s readiness for kindergarten and beyond. Our priorities include: creating awareness of available community resources, identifying community needs, addressing resource gaps, and offering fun family events to support early childhood development, school readiness skills, and family wellness.

Our goals for the 2021/22 school year include: 1) Offering ongoing parent education opportunities both in-person and virtually; 2) Expanding opportunities for parents and early learners to attend high-interest classes offered via the city; 3) Develop an interactive Early Learning City Map for families with children ages 0 to 5 which identifies places to visit and learn; 4) Expand our task force to include partners representing our local PTA and healthcare system.

Members of the Community Task Force

  • Alexis Braun, Sr. Recreation Supervisor, City of Laguna Beach
  • Ali Rowley, Assistant Director, Laguna Presbyterian Preschool
  • Anne Herzog, Director, Laguna Presbyterian Preschool
  • Belen Guillen, LMFT, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
  • Cherie Frances-Boegeman, Occupational Therapist, LaunchPad OT for Kids
  • Christian Prietto, Speech and Language Pathologist, Infinity Kids
  • Cristina Belvins, Consultant with First 5 Orange County
  • Cynthia Rodriguez, Child Development Community Liaison, Help Me Grow OC
  • Deepa Somasundaram, Director, Montessori School of Laguna Beach
  • Elizabeth O'Grady, LCSW and ECMH Consultant, Start Well
  • Irene White, Director of Special Education, Laguna Beach Unified School District
  • Jonathan Navarrete, Preschool Director, Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach Preschool
  • Josh Hilliger, Regional Manager, Lakeshore Learning
  • Katie Bond, Laguna Beach Parents Club
  • Lisa Thomas, Director, Anneliese School 
  • Lynn Epstein, Speech and Language Pathologist, Laguna Beach Language and Speech Clinic
  • Nadejda Hickam, Branch Manager, Laguna Beach Public Library
  • Pam Talarico, retired Teacher, and Grandparent
  • Sandee Bandettini, MS, LMFT,  Early Learning Program Specialist, Laguna Beach Unified School District
  • Sandy Avzaradel, MS, Director of the Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Program- Start Well
  • Wendy Bana, Director, Anneliese School
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