Meet The Team


Chiara Angelicola

Founder | Head of School

For the past 17 years, Chiara has worked in the early childhood education field, both as an

educator and director. She studied Developmental Psychology and graduated with Honors from UC Santa Cruz in 2006. She is a children's book author and published contributor to various educational magazines including the North American Reggio Emilia Alliance quarterly journal. She is the founder and  owner of the Silver Lake Center for Creativity (SLCC) which was recently rated by Business Insider as one of the most prestigious preschools in Los Angeles.

In 2016, she was a founding contributor and designer of The Discovery School's first kinder-prep classroom within the walls of the Bay Area Discovery Museum (BADM) in Sausalito, CA, for which she led and taught during the school year. During this time, Chiara worked beside BADM's on-site Center for Childhood Creativity to implement the nation's latest cutting-edge research on STEM, creativity, and collaboration-focused learning experiences.

Angelicola has taught on both U.S. coasts, from the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn, NY to the bustling, entrepreneurial city of San Francisco. She continues to discover qualitatively impactful data which may support implementing widespread practicum for the first five years of life, emphasizing creativity and problem-solving while substantively providing equitable and inclusive long-term social-emotional and academic outcomes for children within pluralist communities.

Angelicola is an advocate for the decentralization of standardized education for the first five years of life and a promoter of the pioneering research in nuanced educational approaches to supporting underserved families and children. She is interested in contributing to the diverse perspectives and professional lenses within educational leadership, politics, and policies in addition to exploring best practices steeped in the cognitive development of creativity and problem-solving skills.

Chiara and her partner are expecting a daughter in May of 2022. She is a musician and also enjoys cooking, hiking in the redwoods of California with her family, and listening to Kate Bush.


Eunice Rhee

Assistant Director | Co-Lead Educator

Eunice is Korean-American and raised in Los Angeles. She's been a part of SLCC since 2019. She received her Bachelors in Developmental Psychology from the University of California Santa Cruz in 2018 and then immediately attended Los Angeles Valley College as a Child Development major.


She has always had an interest in working with children ever since working at Kumon Math & Reading Center right after she graduated high school. In her last year in Santa Cruz, she had the opportunity to work at a Coastal Community Preschool. Through this great opportunity, she realized she wanted to pursue becoming a preschool teacher. That's when she decided to take early childhood education classes at LAVC so she could earn her teacher, site supervisor, and director permits. Eunice facilitates our Story Workshops for students enrolled in Extended Day programming.

Marika profile pic.heic

Marika Zappas

Occupational Support Specialist |

Co-Lead Educator

Marika Zappas is thrilled to join the SLCC community as a co-lead educator and occupational support specialist in spring of 2021. Born in Las Vegas, raised in Los Angeles and educated in Boston and Portland, she graduated with a BA in Anthropology, with a focus on international children's media.


Marika has spent the past 10 years in Brooklyn, NY working as an evaluator for an education research nonprofit, a teacher in programs for infants through tweens, and a children's developmental gym director and regional director.


Upon moving to LA in early 2020, Marika continued to work remotely for the collection of developmental gyms revising the holistic cognitive, socio-emotional and physical development-centered curriculum and advising the staff. She also took time during the pandemic to complete an Early Childhood Education certificate and is currently procuring a Master's in Educational Psychology, with an early childhood concentration.


Marika also works at a pediatric occupational therapy clinic, providing fine, gross and graph-motor tutoring for the young clients. She loves fostering a joy of movement in her students and helping children find strategies to help regulate themselves and their sensory needs. She's also always ready to support scientific curiosity, outdoor learning, and artistic exploration.

Marika loves to hike, dance, play with her dog, Osito, and go to the beach. She is learning to be a better gardener and looks forward to her weekly compost drop-offs. She looks forward to exploring and discovering alongside the vibrant students, teachers, and family community at SLCC on a daily basis.


Maria Rodriguez

Beautification Schoolkeeper

Maria is our school’s beautification lead, regularly tending to our operational needs and making sure our community goes above and beyond the CDC guidelines to provide the highest quality health and disinfection standards on a daily basis.


Maria is a native Spanish speaker and regularly speaks her native language with our Spanish-speaking learners. Maria will often babysit or nanny for the families of our school community and is a mother of three. She is beloved by all of the SLCC children, staff, and parents.



Administrative Assistant

Niloufar (pronounced Nee-loo-far) is our Head of School's pandemic rescue pup. Her name means blue lotus in Farsi, reflecting her beautiful blue eyes. Her calm and loving nature is beloved by our whole community. Niloufar is our office administrator though she occasionally makes leashed and facilitated appearances with the children.


Chloe Sirene


Chloe Sirene completed her teacher training at the Institute of Education, London, specializing in Early Childhood. She also has a Masters in English Literature from Cambridge University and a number of trainings in Art and Acting, which she studies regularly. She has taught in public and private schools in England and America, she co-created and ran a children’s summer program in Brooklyn, and she works individually with children.