Meet The Team
Chiara Angelicola, she/her
Founder | Head of School
Chiara Angelicola has an academic background in developmental psychology along with 18 years of working experience in the field of early childhood education as an educator, director, and child advocate. She is a California native, Guatemalan-American and of Italian descent. She is a children's book author and published contributor to various educational magazines including the North American Reggio Emilia Alliance periodical. She is the founder and Head of School of the Silver Lake Center for Creativity (SLCC), a research-driven and Reggio-inspired preschool in Los Angeles committed to providing hands-on, collaborative learning experiences that help develop a child's imagination, creativity, and problem-solving skills. Angelicola is expanding SLCC's mission and acquiring a new campus, which is scheduled to open in the spring of 2024.
In 2016, Angelicola 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. 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.
Chiara continues to seek both quantitative and qualitatively impactful data which supports implementing widespread practicum for the first five years of life emphasizing creativity and problem-solving skills. She is an advocate for supporting equitable and inclusive long-term social-emotional and academic outcomes for children within pluralist communities. She is interested in contributing to the diverse perspectives and professional lenses within educational leadership and policies in addition to culling and messaging best practices steeped in the research for parent and teacher education.
Chiara holds a BA in Child Development Psychology with Honors in the Major from the University of California - Santa Cruz. She is currently procuring a Master's of Science in Child Development from Erikson Institute in Chicago, IL. She offers consultations for parents, educators, and schools nationwide. She is also a mother to her rapidly growing toddler, Leona Lulú, and enjoys cooking for her family and spending time in the redwood forests of California.
Eunice Rhee, she/her
Assistant Director | 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.
Ebony Reddick she/her
Ebony is originally from Buffalo, NY. She transitioned from health care to the field of education in 2017. She has since worked as a teacher in a childcare center with children ages 18 months-5 years old. She has also worked as a teacher in a school environment serving students with special needs and as a NYS certified teacher in the pre-k classroom. As a new part of the SLCC community, she is most look forward to learning new methods of teaching and partnering with the students, families, and the community to ensure that each child is provided with ample opportunities to participate in hand-on and collaborative learning experiences that foster optimal growth and development.
Maria Rodriguez, she/her
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.
Marika Zappas, she/her
Specialist & Substitute
Marika Zappas is our occupational support specialist and substitute teacher. 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 regular basis.
Jill Getto Lee, she/her
RIE Mentor, Infant-Toddler Care Specialist
Jill Getto Lee, M. A. is a RIE® Mentor and Infant-Toddler Care Specialist. She is also a Professor at Union Institute and University where she teachers Infant Toddler Programming and the Neurobiology of Trauma. Her passion is advocating for children’s physical and mental health rights. She holds a Masters Degree from Pacific Oaks College in Human Development, Specializing in Early Childhood Development, and a Bachelors of Science Degree in Psychology from Central Michigan University.
Jill currently teaches all RIE® course offerings and is a trainer to childcare professionals and parents. She is the former Chair of the RIE Board of Directors and has her own private practice for parents, caregivers, infants and toddlers at SLCC Preschool.
Jill currently participates in study groups with Dr. Allan N. Schore, Dr. Terry Marks-Tarlow, and Dr. Steven Seligman. She is a registered consultant for the Los Angeles County Office of Childcare and is a community member on Los Angeles Unified School District’s IPM team. She is also the proud mother of twin boys who will be heading off to college in the Fall of 2023.
To enroll in Jill's RIE class, please click on the Tour Info/Contact tab.