I grew up in Canoga Park where I lived until going to UC Santa Barbara. Summers I always came home and worked at a preschool near my house, and I worked on and off at the university’s childcare center. After earning a BA in literature, I moved home to attend UCLA where I earned a teaching credential and master’s in education. I taught at a couple of small schools before settling into Glendale Unified School District where I taught (mostly first grade) for a decade.
My husband and I married in 1999 and have lived near Hollywood ever since. After my son was born (2004), I worked for about a year and a half and then decided to stay home with him full time. My daughter was born the next year (2007). I am extremely grateful that I was able to have that time with my children. We had so many great adventures discovering the city together and spending time with friends. There were plenty of tantrums and tears along the way, but it is by far my greatest joy.
While I was home with my children, I participated in a group for moms at a church. Eventually I co-lead the group and started another group for mothers and daughters that we enjoyed for many years. I have also led a mentorship program for high school students, worked as a nanny and currently homeschool my daughter.
Since joining the Parent Ed team in 2017, I have taught Infant III, multi-age, and the threes. This is such a special place. I love the opportunity to come along side families with encouragement, creativity, compassion and joy.
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. I taught four and five year old children three days a week for 32 years before moving on to the Burbank Parent Education Program. I started teaching the two year old class two days a week in our Parent Education program about 25 years ago and later took over the former Daddy and Me class that met one Saturday a month. I currently teach a two year old class three days a week and a toddler class two days a week. I really enjoy my time with the parents, grandparents, and children in my classes.
In my spare time I enjoy taking yoga classes (now on Zoom), 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 vocal music director of the John Burroughs High School Show Choirs. I also like going to movies and out to dinner with my husband. I love to travel and always want to do more.
My son, Matthew, and his wife, Sandee, live in Dallas, Texas and have two daughters, Charlotte and Lily, who are in elementary school. My granddaughters are the joy of my life! I just wish they lived closer to us so I could see them more often.
I am from Burbank, went to Stevenson Elementary, Jordan Junior High School, John Burroughs High School, and all three of my children went to the same schools! 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, and since then I have taught every class. I became the Resource Teacher in charge of the Parent Education Department about 20 years ago and retired 5 years ago. I still teach the school age classes.
I have seen a lot 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. 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 47 years old and are still friends and their mother and I have remained friends since we met in class. I have seen friendships bloom over and over again.
Lastly, I am the mother of three and the grandmother of four grandchildren. Parent Ed has always been and will continue to be a big part of my life.
ALY DRAKE SOLLEY
I was born in Northridge but spent most of my adolescence in Santa Clarita. Growing up, my passion was soccer and I later became an avid track athlete. In my senior year of high school, I was crowned the California State Champion in the 800 meter. I went on to play Division 1 soccer and track at the University of San Francisco. After burning out from a full plate, I transferred to UC Santa Barbara and graduated with my B.A. in Psychology in 2013.
After graduating, I realized I wanted to teach children how to avoid the same burn out that I experienced so I became a soccer coach at the club and high school levels. Simultaneously, I worked towards my Masters in Coaching and Athletic Administration at Concordia University, graduating in 2015.
After spending five years coaching, I became passionate about molding young minds and decided to pursue a career in teaching. In 2018, I was lucky enough to start teaching middle school at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic School in Santa Clarita. Concurrently, I attended Loyola Marymount University to complete my Single Subject Credential in Social Sciences and Masters in Urban Education.
My husband and I moved to Burbank from Santa Clarita in December of 2019. In January of 2022 we welcomed our son and later that year I was fortunate enough to transition into being a full-time mom. My son and I joined the Burbank Parent Education program in August of 2022 and are so happy to have formed so many friendships with other mamas and kiddos. My interests include playing soccer, hiking, and going to see live music and sporting events.
Burbank holds a special place in my heart; it has been my home since I was born. From kindergarten to 12th grade I attended schools in the Burbank Unified School District (Walt Disney Elementary School, Jordan Middle School, Burbank High School; class of 2006). Now, my son who is 9 years old attends elementary school in Burbank. My daughter who is 3 years old attended the Burbank Parent Education Program last year with me during which we created so many wonderful memories. This program helped my daughter meet friends her age, learn to socialize, and helped familiarize her with a school setting. This program also helped me feel a part of a community of parents going through the sane stages of parenthood as me. It was nice having a place to go to share and learn from one another. I am excited now that I can be apart of this wonderful program as a teacher.
I have a Bachelors in Accounting from Cal State Northridge and worked in forensic accounting. Then after I got married and had my son I decided to be a stay at home mom. Becoming a mom I learned so much and decided to pursue my dreams of becoming a teacher. I went back to school and received my teaching credentials. I taught middle school and did my student teaching in Glendale. I also tutored at Glendale Community College and tutored elementary age students. I love working with kids and watching them learn and grow. Every child learns differently and I believe every child is able to succeed with the right tools. Motherhood is life changing, a big learning experience, and difficult at times, but it has been the most meaningful and best part of my life. I am so excited to share my knowledge, resources, information, and experiences about parenthood with my class.
I enjoy spending time with my family. We love to go camping, nature walks, and traveling. I love cooking and organizing. I also enjoy doing arts and crafts.
I was born in New York City, grew up in the Hancock Park area of Los Angeles, and now live with my family in Silverlake. I have a B.A. in Women’s Studies from Vassar College and earned my Master’s in Social Work from UCLA, with a credential in school social work.
I first began working with children in my teens, as a volunteer tutor at my elementary school. As an undergraduate, I interned at a program for at-risk youth, completed a field study with children in India, worked as a camp counselor, and wrote my thesis on YA literature. Before entering graduate school in Los Angeles, I had a stint as a journalist in New York, writing for publications such as Entertainment Weekly, the Los Angeles Times, and Junior Scholastic. More recently, I’ve worked with K-12 students in the Santa Monica – Malibu School District, at a residential treatment program for teens, and, for over a decade, helping families expand through foster and adoptive parenting.
My husband and I married in 2002 and welcomed our daughter in 2005, followed by our twin boys in 2008. I stayed home with my children for four years before beginning to work part time during their school hours. Many of my closest friends were made during parent and me classes and the preschool years, and we’re still leaning on each other as our kids start to head to college. I have a longstanding book club with these moms and another with my childhood friends. In addition to reading, I enjoy yoga, skiing, and traveling.
I find so much joy in supporting families and am thrilled to be part of the Parent Ed team!
Hi, I’m Tekla Ackelson-Wright. I work as an Teacher’s Aide every day of the week with all of the different age levels. I’ve taught at BAS Parent Education for the past six years. I love the variety of different teachers, classrooms, parents and kids each day. As a former student of our parent ed. program, My family has benefited from it first-hand, My daughter is now 15. My husband, Bruce, and our daughter, Geneva enjoy spending time together (Although her friends come first these days!) We like to go to Disneyland (Bruce is an animator at Disney), see live theatre or movies, and play with our pets (a cat and a puppy). When we travel, we hit the big cities like New York, Boston, London, Edinburgh and Tokyo. I like to check out bookstores and bakeries. Sometimes we go to Yellowstone Park with my national park-loving sister and brother in-law. It’s wonderful to see all the animals there. I have a couple of groups of close friends (most of whom I met when our kids were small. Hold on to the people you meet at mommy and me!)
I’ve worked with teachers, parents and children in a variety of settings: Performing Tree, the California Arts Project, Stop-Gap Theatre, and the Child Development Center on the campus of CSU Long Beach. I was co-producer/director for Bread and Jam Children’s Theater. In addition, I’ve worked as an adult E.S.L. Instructor.
I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts with a focus on psychology and child development from CSU Long Beach. I have a Master’s Degree in theatre for young audiences from Cal State Northridge.
Substitute Teacher’s Aide
I grew up in Palo Alto and my family moved to Burbank when I was 14 years old. I attended Burbank High, then got my B.A. in English/Theater Arts at Occidental College.
I worked in law firm administration for a number of years, then got burned out on that (too may crazy lawyers, even though I married one) and as a lark worked as a Tour Guide at Universal Studios. When I became pregnant with twin boys, my doctor said no more tram rides through “Earthquake”, so I became a stay at home wife, then mom.
I started at Parent Ed when my twins were six months old. What a life saver! I still have friends from this program to this day, and my kids do too. Besides my twins, Dan and Chris, I also have a daughter, Carly. I’ve been with the program as a parent, I served on the board doing the Preschool Press, and then president for one year. Then Helen needed a teacher aide, so I’ve been here since 1990.
Besides being a substitute teacher aide, I volunteer at the LA Zoo, enjoy gardening, cooking, reading and doing crossword puzzles. I enjoy being with all the kids and parents in the program, and hope to continue to contribute as an aide for as long as I can.
I was born in Ithaca, NY and grew up in Chapel Hill, NC. I have a degree in English from Emory University and an MFA in Fiction Writing from the University of Washington.
I like art! and reading! and nature! and I really, really like kids! We live in Burbank with our quickly emptying nest. All that’s left these days is me, my husband, two dogs, three chickens and 13-year-old Calvin. Boo! I miss my girls (Elizabeth 25 and Lucy 22). I’ve been teaching at Burbank Adult School for four years. Before that I stayed home with the kids for 25 years, so I depend on Parent Ed to get my kid fix (particularly sweet during Covid — seeing all those little faces (even masked) has felt very life affirming). Looking forward to another great year!
Hi, I’m Hermineh Ohanian. I was born in Iran and moved to Burbank back in 2009. I’ve been living in Burbank for 14 years now. I wanted to gain a better education in America so I started attending Glendale Community College in 2012 and took a maternity leave from school when I had my youngest son in 2013. After about a year I came back to school in 2014 and in 2016 I graduated.
My husband and I got married 1999 and had my first child in 2005. I was a full time stay at home mom taking care of my child and moved to Burbank in 2009 with my husband and first born child. After moving to Burbank I had my second child in 2013. Both of my children went to Emerson while my youngest is still attending. My oldest has now just graduated from Burbank High School and is now playing for the Glendale Community College Men’s Soccer Team.
I’ve been volunteering at Emerson Elementary from 2009 till 2013 while my oldest son was attending school there. I worked as a Parent ED at Glendale Community College with all age levels in 2016 until Covid hit in 2020. I started to see what a great program Parent Ed was so I had my youngest son join. After Covid in the last year I applied to the Parent Ed program in Burbank and it’s been my best decision. My family and I love Burbank’s community and would never look back on moving here.
I love working with kids and seeing them develop and learn new skills. I love being outside taking walks and exploring new places. Nature gives me a sense of peace and joy. I also enjoy listening to music and watching movies with my family.