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Pacific Oaks is

Rising A Time of Renewal


A Word from the President



n., the act or process of making like new: restoring to freshness, vigor, or perfection

Rather than devoting a page to the traditional President’s Letter that opens many alumni magazines, I have decided to choose a single word to introduce each issue of Voices, our new twice-yearly magazine published by and for Pacific Oaks College & Children’s School. My intention is to find a word that characterizes the institution as it is today—or has been for several decades—and that offers a glimpse into the content that fills the pages that follow. As its dictionary definition suggests, renewal evokes a sense of freshness, vitality, and energy. But it also hints at resilience, and at bringing back a former vigor that has perhaps ebbed or faced challenges not easily surmounted—challenges not unlike those experienced by Pacific Oaks in recent years. As our first issue of Voices arrives in mailboxes across the country, we find ourselves in a phase of renewal. Buoyed by our rich history and the continued devotion of distinguished faculty and accomplished alumni, we are in the process of rebuilding—but on the very same foundation that has served as the cornerstone of our institution from its earliest days: a dedication to the principles of social justice and inclusion, a commitment to innovation, and a leading role in the education of children and adults. I invite you to read about the new Pacific Oaks in this issue—and to become an active participant in our broadened vision, our exciting plans for the future, and our renewed commitment to the principles of our founders.




3  Around the Oak & In the Yard

Burgess Lecture, Children’s School Spring Event, a new president, and more.


7  Perspectives

Faculty discuss issues facing American education today.

12  PACIFIC OAKS IS RISING Embarking on an era of renewed energy, unbridled optimism, and a broadened vision, Pacific Oaks charts its path toward the future.

24  Living the Mission

An alumna’s journey to success; Carlson family reflects on its multigenerational attachment to the Children’s School.

14  Our Past 

A Proud and Storied History

20  Our Present 

American Education Today


Play as an essential path to early learning: a photo essay.


22  Our Future 

A Vision for Tomorrow


Spring 2011 Volume 1 Issue 1 Editorial Staff Judy Beaupre Lynne Baker Lindsay Beller Design Bates Creative Group Contributing Photographers Udi Goren/Brooks Institute Rafael Guerrero/Park Labrea News/ Beverly Press Damon Jacoby/Brooks Institute Diana Koenigsberg Cover photo Udi Goren/Brooks Institute Pacific Oaks College President Tamara Rozhon, Ed.D. Voices is published twice annually by the Department of Marketing at TCS Education System in conjunction with the Department of Advancement at Pacific Oaks College & Children's School. It is mailed to alumni, faculty, teachers, staff, parents, and friends of Pacific Oaks College & Children’s School. Address changes and correspondence should be sent to:

ON THE COVER Shortly before her 5th birthday, Sofia Abad swings on a rope at the Children's School



Around the Oak & In the Yard


Edwards Delivers Burgess Lecture For more than 40 years, the annual Evangeline Burgess Memorial Lecture Series has provided an opportunity for distinguished leaders in the field of early childhood education to address the Pacific Oaks community. This year was no different. On April 28, Julie Olsen Edwards joined the ranks of speakers with an address at the Pasadena Convention Center titled, “New Understandings of Anti-Bias Education for the 21st Century Child: Addressing the Development of Competence, Courage, and Compassion.”

Co-author of the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s new Anti-Bias Education for Young Children and Ourselves with Professor Emerita Louise DermanSparks, Edwards has been on the ECE faculty of Cabrillo College since 1971 and served as department chair for 25 of those years. An award winning writer, editor, and consultant, she also has worked as an elementary school teacher and reading specialist; a children’s center director; a teacher

of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers; and a family child care home provider. A recipient of many awards, she served on the national board of NAEYC and numerous committees and commissions. The evening also included a mayoral proclamation issued by Pasadena mayor Bill Bogaard, and remarks from President Tamara Rozhon; event sponsor Alicia Procello Maddox, executive director of the Avery Dennison Foundation; and Professor Emerita Dr. Betty Jones, who

spring evenT boosts Scholarship Fund

delivered last year’s lecture on the occasion of her retirement. The Burgess Lecture was established in 1968 to honor the memory of Pacific Oaks’ first president Evangeline Burgess, who helped establish a vision for the College that emphasized the importance of early childhood education. The inaugural lecture was given by Milton J.E. Senn, M.D., a prolific author and former director of the Yale Child Study Center, and has remained a much-anticipated event for the College.

Left: Auctioned artwork from Adventure Yard. Right: Matthew Monahan, Lara Schnitzer, and Jenny Levy.

More than $56,000 was raised for the Pacific Oaks Children’s School Scholarship Fund at the annual Spring Event, a Spanishthemed “Fiesta Sevillana” held March 18 at The Castle Green in Pasadena. Co-chaired by Kim Apodaca and Sonia Yagura, the event featured a silent and live auction with items ranging from a trip to Spain to a campout at Pacific Oaks to artwork created by children in several yards. The children have extended the spirit of giving by selling notecards printed with their artwork to raise funds for Japanese earthquake and tsunami victims. “Fiesta Sevillana was a huge success thanks to the numerous parent volunteers who contributed their time, talent, and enthusiasm to this special event,” said Director Jane Rosenberg. “Everyone worked tirelessly on behalf of our scholarship fund.”



Around the Oak & In the Yard

Sharing Perspectives Across the Globe Pacific Oaks opened its doors to visiting Peruvian students and faculty in February, providing both groups with a glimpse of higher education in another country, and taking the first step toward an increased emphasis on internationalization at the College & Children’s School.

Academic Dean Linda Clowers discusses American education with visitors.

Visitors included four students and three faculty from Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas (UPC) in Lima, Peru. “With our emphasis on understanding education and human development

Our Blue Ribbon Preschool 4 


within cultural contexts, the opportunity to bring our students and faculty together with their counterparts in other countries is a natural fit,” said Dr. Tamara Rozhon, Pacific Oaks president. “The visit gave all participants a

chance to view education from varying perspectives.” The opportunity for the exchange came about as a result of Pacific Oaks’ ties with The Chicago School of Professional Psychology (TCSPP), which has partnered with UPC to provide reciprocal global exposure for students and faculty. Both TCSPP and PO are affiliates of TCS Education System, a nonprofit organization that provides ongoing support and resources for its member institutions, and is committed to providing international programming in the form of student and faculty exchanges, field experiences, academic partnerships, and international community service activities. Going forward, PO plans to leverage the UPC partnership and similar relationships to extend its commitment to social justice and diversity to the global arena, and to provide both students and faculty with opportunities for international travel and cross-cultural service experiences.

For proof that Pacific Oaks Children’s School has won the hearts of families throughout the San Gabriel Valley, look no further than the Pasadena Star-News. The newspaper’s 2011 Reader’s Choice Awards, which honor local organizations and businesses, named the Children’s School the Best Preschool in the San Gabriel Valley. Executive Director Jane E. Rosenberg accepted the certificate on the school’s behalf.

Answering the Call A “Call to Service” issued late last year by U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan has led to a proposed partnership between Pacific Oaks College and LA’s Best, a nonprofit organization that provides after-school programming for children throughout Los Angeles.

Duncan’s charge—to dramatically expand the number of teachers of color to educate the nation’s increasingly diverse K-12 student population—hit home with the two organizations, both of which are committed to diversity and to providing a bright future for American children. A new partnership has emerged from this shared interest, and plans are under way to provide LA’s Best after-school staff with professional development opportunities that will better prepare them to help children achieve academic success. LA’s Best provides academic enrichment and recreational activities for 28,000

children in 180 Los Angeles elementary schools, primarily in neighborhoods vulnerable to gangs, drugs and crime, and at schools with the lowest student test scores. The organization is staffed by child care workers and volunteers, many without teaching credentials and with academic backgrounds ranging from high school diplomas to some college work. The goal of the partnership is to provide coursework that leads to a teacher credential and, eventually, a bachelor’s degree. In his Call to Service, Duncan underscored the need to prepare more highly qualified African-American and Latino

teachers as part of the Obama Administration’s vision of improving achievement in low-performing schools. Currently only 7 percent of public school teachers in the United States are minorities, in contrast to one third of the children they teach. In Los Angeles, where 73 percent of public school children are Hispanic, the need for Latino teachers is particularly evident, and it is this shortage that the partnership between PO and LA’s Best wishes to address. The College’s designation as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and its expertise in preparing educators and human development professionals positions it well to provide the needed services. “We are thrilled to partner with Pacific Oaks on this project, which will prepare teachers who are uniquely qualified to instruct students who are most in need,” said Carla Sanger, LA’s Best president and CEO. “Our goal is to develop a workforce of effective future educators who readily identify with the students they serve.”

Stay Connected

New Website Launches

Plans are under way to launch the new Pacific Oaks Alumni Association, which will connect alumni, students, and parents in lifelong relationships with one another and Pacific Oaks. The Alumni Association will provide educational, social, and networking opportunities to retain and strengthen friendships developed at Pacific Oaks. Alumni of the College & Children’s School will be welcome at all Alumni Association-sponsored activities. Please save the date for one of the first events— the Pacific Oaks Family and Heritage Reunion on Saturday, September 10—to celebrate the proud heritage and exciting future of the Pacific Oaks community. The celebration will bring together alumni, faculty, staff, friends, and family of the College & Children’s School for an afternoon of food and fun.



If you would like to receive information about this and more upcoming news and events, please send your current email and mailing address to If you are interested in learning how you can become involved with the Alumni Board, contact, call 626.529.8091, or visit

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Around the Oak & In the Yard

Dr. Rozhon, with husband Ron and children Joclyn and Evan, enjoy a family getaway to the Grand Canyon.


chance I can get to endorse it. Right now I’m reading a book that our chairman gave me about being a college president and I’m also reading Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, which is just heartwrenching. Most gratifying part of working in higher education: I get to work with smart people who are passionate about their work and the difference it can make in the world. Why you accepted the presidency: The opportunity to work with the Pacific Oaks community to advance, revitalize, and grow a truly venerable institution—and to be part of something that evokes such loyalty, esteem, and passion from alumni, students, faculty, parents, and community leaders.

Introducing our 8th President: Dr. Tamara Rozhon Meet the new president of Pacific Oaks College & Children’s School. Name: Tamara Anne Rozhon Education: I have an Ed.D. in higher education management from the University of Pennsylvania and a master’s in adult education from National-Louis University in Chicago. I pursued my bachelor’s and master’s while working full time, and my doctorate while working full time and raising two children. So I understand the dedication and hard work of today’s adult student. Hometown: Mundelein, Illinois Professional Background: I’ve been working in higher education since 1987, and have been an administrator for over a decade. Earlier in my career, I taught adult basic education courses, ran a community-based ESL program, and served as a research assistant in the social sciences area. I’ve been lucky in that I’ve had professional and educational experiences



that have allowed me to understand and participate in almost all facets of higher education. The experiences have prepared me well to serve Pacific Oaks as president. Family: My husband, Ron, is a chef and private caterer. I have an 11-year-old daughter, Joclyn, and a 12-year-old son, Evan. Favorite weekend activity: Friday is family television night—we catch up on all our shows because the kids have a no-screens rule on school nights. I usually spend mornings catching up on reading and emails for Pacific Oaks. My favorite activities are watching my son play baseball, exploring our new city with my daughter, trying new restaurants with my husband, and running. Great book that you’ve read recently: I really enjoyed What is the What by Dave Eggers, a fictionalized autobiography of Sudanese refugee Achak Den, so I take any

Three things to accomplish first at Pacific Oaks: The best institutions are constantly examining and redefining who they are and how they serve the greater good within the context of their mission, so I’d like us to create the kind of environment that allows such conversations to thrive. More concretely, we need to increase enrollment, reinvest in our academic enterprise, including strengthening the relationship between the Children’s School and the College, and make our administrative processes more effective. Biggest challenge ahead for Pacific Oaks: We need to position ourselves for today’s rapidly changing and extremely competitive higher education marketplace. We have an impressive heritage, and we have high-quality academic programs. But we must recognize that the world around us keeps changing, so we must change as well. Technology, globalization, the rise of for-profit education, ever-increasing public demand for greater accountability and transparency, increased regulation, the student as both consumer and learner—these all require us to adapt. Biggest opportunity for Pacific Oaks: Pacific Oaks has the opportunity to expand beyond its traditional areas of expertise of human development and early childhood education. We can and should become a recognized leader in education across the lifespan and in family-related studies, using our teaching model and historical strengths as our foundation. We also have the opportunity to provide leadership to early education providers through the extraordinary model of our Children’s School.


Roundtable Education in America and Abroad Is the U.S. Falling Behind In Education? That depends on who you ask. We gathered Pacific Oaks College & Children’s School faculty, staff, and alumni to share their opinions on why the United States is behind other countries and what can be done about it. The conversation included Dr. Aki Ohseki, Department of Teacher Education; Dr. Tim Sundeen, Department of Human Development; Dr. Olga Winbush, Department of Human Development; Jane Rosenberg, executive director of the Children’s School; and Kathy Ramirez (M.A. Human Development), adjunct instructor, Pierce College and 2008 graduate of Pacific Oaks.

VOICES: Statistics show the U.S. is falling behind other developed countries in education. Do you believe we’re behind? Dr. Winbush: I think it depends on whose definition of “behind” it is. When you measure certain aspects of learning, whoever is in power will measure it in terms of their value and norm system, which means a lot of times those outside of their value or norm system are not going to be fitting in the measurement. Having said that, I do think we are in an educational crisis in this country. We do have issues in learning around math, we do have issues in learning around literacy, we do have issues in learning around sciences and social sciences. But as for this crisis that we are in, it’s also been very systemic. It has built up over years because the United States was famous for not investing in education like other countries. They do invest in education, and so what we see in terms of these quote,


unquote, statistics of student learning between us and other countries is not also taking into account the systemic racism and classism issues that had always impacted the U.S. educational system that may not impact those other countries in the same way. Dr. Sundeen: The U.S. hasn’t had to put itself under a lot of pressure to learn, whether you are looking at science or math or language. Most non-U.S. students have robust foreign language learning programs. People learn English much more than the other way around because that’s the way for them to become competitive. When the United States has been an industry leader, unchallenged for a long time, the pressure is off to do well, to necessarily achieve in those areas. VOICES: We seem to be falling behind, particularly in math and science. The reality is that we are outsourcing work overseas because

we don’t have, supposedly, the people who know how to do it. Dr. Winbush: They say we have to outsource work because we don’t have the minds that can do that. They also know the cultural powers do not, in my estimation, search in places of color or working class to see if the minds are there because from what they say, there’s a limited few there, too. This idea that we are lagging behind in sciences is also very indicative of what has been systematically stripped away in terms of pedagogy and schools. We’ve gone from a place of progressivism, where children were given pedagogy and curriculum where they could critically think, problem solve, and create—a good scientist has to be creative—and they have to be allowed to problem solve and do it in a group. We have stripped all of that out of our educational system in the last 15 years to a point now we have a narrow script of literacy and math, and there’s no room for a child’s thought processes. PACIFICOAKS.EDU 7


Dr. Ohseki

“You can invest more, you can increase the standards, and you can expose more at an earlier age. But if you don’t cultivate the desire to acquire more, if you don’t make it relevant to kids as they get older, are they going to really care where Zimbabwe is or what the Pythagorean Theorem is?”

Rosenberg: I would say it even starts in early childhood. That process of inquiry and of critical thinking is so critical for children, that just having children memorize facts and trying to dispense information and having them repeat it doesn’t mean that any learning has occurred. I think one of the major faults in our educational system is that children are no longer excited about learning. It’s no longer an active process where children are really engaged. I think it kills that spirit of inquiry and that curiosity and that sense of wonderment that’s so important to learning that has to happen in the early years and has to be encouraged throughout a child’s education.


VOICES: Should we extend the amount of time in school for play and inquiry?



Rosenberg: I think it’s how you’re prioritizing the time in school. Children are unfortunately, today, in elementary schools, having very little time for play. Most of the time is preparing for the tests. Schools today are being built without playgrounds, without outdoor environments for children to go out and explore. Children can’t sit at a desk all day doing paper and pencil work and be excited about learning.

Ramirez: We’re seeing this major push-down effect in working with young children, birth through 5. I’ve been doing this for 30 years, and it’s getting scarier and scarier for parents. Parents don’t know what to do at this point. I think they get locked into what they hear, “My child by kindergarten needs to know this and this and this and this.” Dr. Winbush: It’s a fear that parents have, but it’s a fear that has been perpetuated by the media, by systems of power. If your child doesn’t read by the time they’re 3, they’re not going to get into Harvard. A whole lot of money is being made in textbook companies and things like Baby Can Read. It’s very much a class, race, economic system driving our education. We have adopted this idea that testing is the only way to measure how a child learns, and now we want to test 3-year-olds and 4-year-olds. VOICES: How much testing should we do? Dr. Ohseki: Part of the crisis that you talk about has to do with who’s making the decisions about what counts. What counts as knowledge? What counts as success in school? People who are making those decisions are not educators; they are not people who are in the classrooms. They are not seeing a child engage in the inquiry process and have an “aha” moment. They are not the ones who are the teachers who are collaborating together and trying to figure out, “How can we better serve these children? How can we better our teaching practice through reflection, through inquiry circles as adults?” So I think that the people who are making the decisions are making them based on what is happening societally, politically, which, if you look at the history of education, is cyclical. Whatever is happening in the world, in the country, is reflecting. Dr. Sundeen: There is a push to academize earlier, and part of the universal preschool

VOICES: How can an institution innovate with limited resources? Ramirez: I think we need to have people in places strategically throughout our educational system who are able to look at each individual child and say, “This is what I see in you, and


Dr. Winbush: There was a book I read a while back called Children of the Mill. It looked at a, actually back around the early 1920s, school in Gary, Ind., that had a progressive school system based on Dewey. They talk about innovative approaches of science. It was a new town at the time, and there were issues with the water system and the flies that were hanging around. So the teacher took the kids out to begin to statistically look at how many flies are gathering, what kind of flies, what they do, how many are in this neighborhood, that neighborhood, and that neighborhood. Reading about flies, researching flies, seeing what happens where the flies were congregating, what was also happening to the water system when they were doing that. This was done with third, fourth, and fifth grade kids. Then the kids produced a report which they took to the city council. That’s innovative. Dr. Sundeen: We’ve seen a lot of different strategies that try to raise test scores. I think


Dr. Ohseki: I also think it has to do with whose voices are heard. I think a good teacher is informed by the children, and that’s who informs their practice—children and families with whom they work. Teachers then need to have a space to collaborate. It’s a reciprocal process of co-constructing knowledge and what it means to learn and what school should be about.


Dr. Winbush: We’ve got a system right now, and it doesn’t work because we're put into this corporatized model of education with the idea that this works in a corporation. Workers are going to change. Child development, the way children develop, it’s very holistic. It’s all over the place. What they take in today might not click for them until two years down the line. Then they have, “Oh, yeah. Aha,” and then they act on it. But we are saying, “Well, you’ve got to perform well on this test. Make scores so our school gets funding, it doesn’t get closed, and we go charter.”

these are schools that I feel would be great for you.” But that starts at the earliest level as saying, “I can see that you can do this.” This is at 3, at 4, and when they are learning how to walk, when they are learning how to talk, when they are learning how to get along with one another. They are learning to problemsolve on their own and figuring that out and not having somebody scoop them up every single time that they fall down, but letting them work through that process.


push is that kids should start getting this stuff earlier. When we look at a lot of these countries that are doing better, probably one of the biggest variables is they spend more time in school. When you talk about science and math literacy, you’re talking about content rather than skills or critical inquiry. It’s not necessarily having content stuffed into you, but it’s about your willingness to acquire content. You can invest more, you can increase the standards, and you can expose more at an earlier age. But if you don’t cultivate the desire to acquire more, if you don’t make it relevant to kids as they get older, are they going to really care where Zimbabwe is or what the Pythagorean Theorem is? So, looking at the countries, I have to think that it’s more than just longer school days. It’s also about the way learning is communicated and who’s held accountable. We don’t have a lot of respect for the job that teachers do in this country.



“Schools today are being built without playgrounds, without outdoor environments for children to go out and explore. Children can’t sit at a desk all day doing paper and pencil work and be excited about learning.”

tests are useful, and they do reflect something real. I think that a good education that’s nurturing and enriching, as a byproduct, will likely be reflected in testing. It shouldn’t be a way to catch you. We do know one of the issues with No Child Left Behind is accountability. People feel like if schools don’t make the grade, that they are punished with reorganization and upsetting the apple cart. That negative accountability flows downhill so administrators blame teachers, and then teachers blame the parents. Somehow there has to be a way of recognizing that even students or families or communities that are quote, unquote, disadvantaged actually have something to contribute, and that we can somehow accommodate for that in that classroom. Dr. Winbush: We need to have a lot of other forms of assessment out there. I think the powers that be are going to have to come to terms with the fact that a lot of these standardized test scores are really tests of socioeconomic class and status. VOICES: What is the first step we should take to start to change the system? Rosenberg: One thing is to fund education. Dr. Winbush: Second, it would be nice to be able to have a dialogue and look at early childhood process. It would be nice to bring in a lot of early childhood educators to sit down at the table to collaborate and discuss and share with the powers that be about what early childhood education is all about. Dr. Sundeen: I don’t think it has to be limited to early childhood. I’m thinking of the



example from the Rio Grande Research Center in Texas. This is a border immigrant community, very much historically disadvantaged. They have taken this assets-based approach, bringing the kids skills and having them contribute to the learning process. I think a part of it is to bring a kind of a small-school organization, these different educational units within the larger school where students can focus seems to make a big difference. They are succeeding by traditional measures, college attainment, how many are going to college, what kind of schools are they going to. Very, very successful. Rosenberg: And the same models don’t necessarily work in every community. Dr. Winbush: You have to have that community dialogue, you really do. Dr. Sundeen: I think in general, smaller schools, which again is harder to achieve with funding—where relationships can be built and maintained—that seems to be really important in terms of students not falling through the cracks but being viewed as individuals. Dr. Ohseki: There’s a community of decision-makers rather than the decisions being top-down. I think that’s important, too. Ramirez: I think ultimately giving people a voice, so at least they feel like they are able to voice their concerns. Whether it’s the other teachers that are in that dialogue, whether it’s the administrators, the parents, or the children—at least that voice is being heard.

Laurels A summary of faculty publications, accomplishments, and research

In her new book, Respecting Babies: A New Look at Magda Gerber’s RIE Approach, Ruth Anne Hammond draws on her extensive experience working with infants, toddlers and families to re-examine the Educaring™ philosophy that encourages caregivers to understand babies’ communication and to treat them as intelligent beings capable of solving many of their own problems. Hammond has used her work with Resources for Infant Educarers (RIE)—which evolved while she studied under long-time Pacific Oaks faculty member Gerber— throughout her career. Her book will be distributed to all 1,700 Early Head Start programs in fall 2011. To support that rollout, Hammond will address the Birth-to-Three Institute in June. Her workshop will be titled “Respecting Babies, Respecting Adults: Educaring Works Both Ways.” Faith, Theology and Psychoanalysis: The Life and Thought of Harry S. Guntrip, a book by Dr. Trevor Dobbs traces the influences and struggles that Harry Guntrip, a British psychoanalytic therapist and Congregationalist minister, faced as he sought to establish his profes-


sional place in the ongoing battle between science and religion. Two faculty were among the presenters at the 2011 California Association for the Education of Young Children (CAEYC) annual conference: Dr. Susan Bernheimer collaborated with Dr. Jing Babb on a paper and workshop, “The Many Faces of our Non-Traditional Students: Addressing the Needs of Diverse Populations Entering Early Childhood Education.” Ruth Anne Hammond presented a session, “Attachment Caregiving: How RIE’s Approach Leads to Self-Regulation.” Dr. Bernheimer also presented a workshop and paper, “Inclusion of NonTraditional Students in Institutions of Higher Education: A Theoretic Frame,” at the 2010 Reconceptualizing Early Childhood Education International Conference in Portland, Ore. Pacific Oaks College was also well represented at the 2010

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) Conference: Dr. ReGena Booze, Dr. Olga Winbush, and Cheryl Greer-Jarman presented on “Developing Appropriate Classroom Pedagogy Based on the Learning Styles Used in AfricanAmerican Families.” Dr. ReGena Booze, faculty member in the Human Development Department, has been named a finalist in the 2nd Annual Jewels of Pasadena Women of Distinction Awards. Sponsored by the Pasadena Star-News and Rose Magazine, the awards— and the gala at which they are announced—spotlight women who have made extraordinary contributions to the Pasadena community. In addition to her presentation at the NAEYC meeting, Dr. Winbush conducted a workshop for the Long Beach Charter Schools, “Magic Circle: Conflict Resolution and Problem-Solving With Children” in August 2010.


Pacific Oaks is rising—heading surely and steadily in a direction that builds on its storied past and positions it at the vanguard of education and human development across the lifespan. After an uncertain few years in which faculty, staff and alumni worked to chart the institution’s direction in a rapidly evolving higher education landscape while also preserving the aspirations that had so clearly defined the college for more than six decades, the seesaw has steadied. The small College that established its place as a leader in progressive early childhood education in the 20th century has emerged in the 21st with renewed momentum and an expanded vision for the future. The philosophy that guided seven Pasadena families in establishing the Pacific Oaks Friends School in 1945 and, 14 years later, in securing regional accreditation for a higher education program that would train early childhood educators remains unchanged. As Quakers and pacifists, these families emerged from World War II with a determination to instill their ideals—equality, peaceful

conflict resolution, and a belief in the intrinsic worth of every human being—into children at the earliest possible ages, sowing the seeds of the adults they would become. Those principles—never dormant but often struggling to maintain their centricity as Pacific Oaks sought to rethink its path to the future—have now reclaimed their unquestioned status as Pacific Oaks College & Children’s School faces the years ahead with renewed optimism and a bold plan for the future. “Our formula for the future is simple,” says Dr. Tamara Rozhon who, after serving three months in an interim capacity, was named president of Pacific Oaks College & Children’s School March 1. “We will leverage our remarkable past and restore the good will of our community, revitalize our academic enterprise, professionalize our business practices, improve our student services and—most of all—diversify and expand our program offerings, so that a new generation of children, parents, and students can benefit from a Pacific Oaks education.”

A Resurgence of Optimism From the earliest days, Pacific Oaks College and Pacific Oaks Children’s School were institutions of renown, embracing and leading innovative practices in education. • We embraced the concept of social justice and applied it to the classroom before it was fashionable to do so.



• We employed active learning to engage students directly in their own education, a pedagogical approach that has only recently found its way into more mainstream institutions. • We developed—and implemented—an anti-bias curriculum years before multicultural education became the buzzword that it is today. • We explored ways to reach out to underserved stu-

dents, embracing and leading innovative practices in education before they became the norm. These pioneering initiatives represent more than a reminiscence of years gone by. They are the bedrock of the new Pacific Oaks, rising from a cornerstone carefully laid by devoted founders and tended by the generations of believers who followed.



“Let’s dare to dream for our children better than we have yet known, and to implement our dream with sound family patterns and meaningful daily life within our school.” —Molly Morgenroth, founder and first director of the Children’s School

Our past:

     A proud and storied history


he story of Pacific Oaks College & Children’s School begins in 1906, when two sisters open an orphanage in La Loma House that eventually becomes a teacher’s college called Broadoaks. As the U.S. government begins to address critical social issues for mothers and children through laws that increase financial assistance and strengthen licensing requirements for operating child care centers, the school merges with Whittier College, a Quaker institution, while continuing to educate aspiring teachers with a nursery school for hands-on training. 14 


During World War II, a group of Quaker women turn to each other for support while their husbands, as conscientious objectors to the war, serve in work camps. Once reunited and inspired by their pacifist beliefs and increasing emphasis on the importance of education, the group develops a vision of lifelong learning that begins with children and extends to adulthood, a dream that moves closer to reality when a property in Pasadena becomes available. Sources for the timeline that follows included a Pacific Oaks history written by Peg Witt, news articles, and college catalogs from 1963–75.




Meet Our Founders Edwin Morgenroth earned a master’s degree in psychology from the University of Southern California and served as vice principal of South Pasadena High School. His wife, Molly, had a master’s degree in education from the University of Wisconsin and had been the in-service training director for federally funded nursery schools in Los Angeles during the Depression. She becomes the first director of the Children’s School. Edwin Sanders had a master’s degree from Haverford College. Sanders had just been released from a year in prison for his refusal to go to war. Both he and his wife had been instructors in Oregon’s Pacific College.


U.S.  1920 

Clarence (Mike) Yarrow had a doctorate in political science from Yale. As director of a soon-to-be closed Civilian Public Service Camp for conscientious objectors, Yarrow had taught at the University of Mississippi and Allegheny College before the war. His wife, Margaret, was a teacher at Pacific Ackworth Friends School. Phillip Wells was a doctor and graduate of Stanford Medical School, and his wife, Marguerite, was a nurse.

1920s Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky theorizes that play facilitates cognitive development in children. 1930s/1940s Several notable European human development intellectuals, including Erik Erikson and Peter Blos, escape prosecution by Nazis and come to the United States.

Alice and John Way were also Stanford graduates and teachers at Pacific Ackworth Friends School. Robert Young, who was the first to learn about the availability of the Broadoaks campus, was a CPA. He served as a business consultant and auditor for Pacific Oaks. Asenath (Kennie) Young became chair of the Personnel Committee and member of the Executive Committee. William and jean taylor

1945 World War II ends. 1946 The National School Lunch Act is created.

1945 Seven Quaker families buy Broadoaks School from Whittier College for $33,000 and found the new Pacific Oaks Friends School. Rooted in Quaker values of community, equality, simplicity, and non-violence, the school opens with 10 teachers, 65 children, and the active participation of their parents. Molly Morgenroth becomes the first director.

1952 Voters approve an amendment to the California constitution that requires private schools, churches, and veterans groups to sign an “oath of non-disloyalty” in order to obtain tax-exempt status.

1940s/1950s In the post-war era, Morgenroth and her successor, Evangeline Burgess, who becomes director of the Children’s School in 1949, define a vision to make early childhood education a viable and vital profession.

True to their commitment to peace and social justice, the founders break a covenant in place to keep the neighborhood white and Christian, and hire Taka Nomura, a Japanese American woman who spent two years in an internment camp and worked in its nursery school, as a founding faculty member. Although she and her husband had relocated to Illinois, the Nomuras moved back to California after the war ended. Nomura worked for 19 nonconsecutive years at the Children’s School and wrote an illustrated book, Taka Tips—Building Blocks for Parents that outlines ways parents can encourage their children to behave.


1952 The founders become embroiled in a McCarthyisminspired state amendment that requires private schools to sign an “oath of non-disloyalty” to receive tax-exempt status. They ultimately sign the oath but protest with a statement of opposition and file a lawsuit to recover back taxes in 1956. The amendment is overturned in 1958.


An Early Commitment to Social Justice

1951 Recognizing the increasing demand for nursery schools in Southern California and taking the first step to establish the College, the Board of Trustees establishes a two-year program for the preparation of nursery school teachers in 1951 and hires Abigail Eliot to direct the Teacher Education Program in 1952.

Philosopher John Dewey, whose theories about education and democracy pioneer progressive education efforts, dies.




1954 Brown v. Board of Education outlaws school segregation.



1960s Interest in adult development, aging, and development across the life span grows following longitudinal research conducted by University of Chicago professors Bernice Neugarten and Robert Havighurst.

“The strength of the program lies in certain intrinsic values chief among which is the development of an understanding of human relationships. The Friends’ philosophy of worth of individual personalities pervades the whole School. The development of a fine sense of self-direction and sensitivity toward the values in human relationships was evident in these students.” –Western Association of Schools and Colleges, 1959

1962 The first federal matching funds earmarked for Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) child care services are authorized and linked to adult work and training programs.

1961 The name is changed to Pacific Oaks College & Children’s School (Founded by Friends). 1963 The Children’s School serves 150 families while the College draws students from a variety of backgrounds, including college transfers, married women, teachers, and international students from countries as far away as Japan, Norway, Taiwan, Korea, England, Australia, Kenya, and India. 1965 In March, the federal government invites Pacific Oaks to conduct training for Project Head Start over the summer, as one of 200 colleges and universities that trains 44,000 prospective teachers. The College is also awarded a $101,685 federal anti-poverty grant to establish a Head Start site on campus.

1964 President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Economic Opportunity Act, which establishes Head Start, a new federal program designed to give low-income families access to early childhood education.



Following the death of Evangeline Burgess, Pacific Oaks founder Edwin C. Morgenroth becomes the second president. 1965-1972 Pacific Oaks houses Head Start’s Regional Training Office, which coordinates all Head Start training projects in Southern California and the Southwest.


1965 The Elementary and Secondary Education Act provides federal funding to schools while forbidding a national curriculum.

1959 After five years of offering classes through UCLA, Pacific Oaks receives accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), which recognizes its child development bachelor of science degree. Evangeline Burgess becomes the first president.


President & Visionary Renowned for her leadership, Evangeline Burgess joined Pacific Oaks in 1949 to succeed Molly Morgenroth as director of the school and defined the scope and vision for Pacific Oaks. She became president of the College after it opened in 1959, and even hosted graduation ceremonies at her home. Under her leadership, the College added programs to prepare nursery school teachers. She also initiated the school’s first research programs and established the cooperative master’s program with nearby colleges. She remained president until her death in 1965. “She was truly at the peak of her professional energy, excitement and involvement in early child education, participating in, and influencing the national conversation and agenda when she died very quickly of ovarian cancer in 1965 at the age of 52,” says Priscilla Gamb, her daughter. “She lived and breathed Pacific Oaks.” Burgess trained at Broadoaks School and received a B.A. from Redlands University. Following her death, President Richard Nixon bestowed a posthumous honorary doctorate from Whittier College in 1965. In 1968, Marianne Wolman established the annual Evangeline Burgess Memorial Lecture Series, which remains a tradition at the College.





1968 The annual Evangeline Burgess Memorial Lecture is established, and the inaugural lecture, “The Spirit of the Times in Childhood Education,” is delivered by early childhood expert Milton J.E. Senn of Yale University.

1967 The Education Professions Development Act is announced and provides funding to help train “persons who are serving or preparing to serve as teachers, administrators, or educational specialists in institutions of higher education.”



1969 E. Robert LaCrosse Jr. becomes the third president of Pacific Oaks after leaving a research position at Harvard Graduate School of Education. 1970 New B.A. and M.A. degree programs in human development replace the B.S. in child development degree based on the philosophy that teachers must understand themselves and the whole life continuum to more effectively serve children and families.

1968 The Bilingual Education Act provides funding for the development and implementation of innovative bilingual programs.

“The faculty tries to help students gain a sense of who they are as persons, and a sense of how they can relate constructively to other people. There is concern here for the quality of human relationships.” —Mio Polifroni, faculty member

1970 The Ryan Bill, which mandates the California Multiple Subject Teaching Credential, is signed into law. Standardized testing is used to measure school performance and scores are reported to the government and public.

1970s The Children’s School adds a primary school through third grade and a day care center. Each age group has its own yard arranged along “Shady Lane” to show the children their past and future destinations.

“The major appeal of Pacific Oaks is the attempt it makes to honor children by respecting their concerns, needs, and interests. If the place works, it works because the same principles which govern our efforts to serve children govern our efforts to serve each other.”

1971 Pacific Oaks extends its early childhood development programs to Seattle. These programs grow until 1992, when Pacific Oaks Northwest becomes an official branch of the campus.



—David Burke, parent

1971 The Comprehensive Child Development Act is passed by the U.S. Congress. One of the Act’s co-authors, Marian Wright Edelman, founds the Children’s Defense Fund.




1972 California Governor Ronald Reagan signs the “Riles Plan” into law, which expands early childhood education into public schools.



1977 Elizabeth Herrick becomes the fourth president of Pacific Oaks. At the College, marriage, family, and child counseling classes begin and become a specialization in the Human Development master’s program in 1980. 1978 Pacific Oaks Teacher Education Program is approved to offer California teaching credentials for elementary grades. Since then the College has added credentials in special education, bilingual education, and others.

Brazilian educator Paulo Freire writes Pedagogy of the Oppressed, a seminal work that favors the use of dialogue and open communication between students and teachers as a way to raise consciousness of oppression.

“There’s nothing more exciting than to see a child grow. It’s like watching a flower unfold.” —Marianne Wolman, faculty member

1982 Extending the reach of its programs, Pacific Oaks Northern California opens in the San Francisco area and offers human development courses.

1974 Supreme Court expands rights of students with limited English skills, ruling that they should have equal access to education.



“I can start digging a hole here and before too long the kids are taking the tools out of my hands. We’ll find a stone and crack it open so they can see its whole history inside. It’s like I’m leading them in a discovery. Part of it is just being a kid yourself. When I was a kid I never got answers. But I’ve never stopped learning and teaching and working.” —Russell Dawson, former maintenance supervisor who built many of the structures at the Children’s School


1975 U.S. Congress enacts the Education for all Handicapped Children Act (now called the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) to ensure that children with disabilities have access to education. The first Child Development Associate (CDA) Credential is awarded. The credential is a governmentfunded initiative to improve the quality of child care.

1973 The College catalog reports new trends in the student body: a decrease in the age of the average student, and an increase in the number of male and minority students.




U.S.  1983


1983 “A Nation at Risk” is released by President Reagan’s National Commission on Excellence in Education, pointing to severe underperformance of American schools. 1990 In what’s considered the nation’s first comprehensive child care legislation, U.S. Congress passes The Child Care and Development Block Grant, which supports low-income working families and enhances child care quality and availability.

1986 The Research Center opens, supporting early childhood research and becoming an umbrella for several programs, including The Center for the Children of Incarcerated Parents, Advancing Careers in Child Development, and The Partnership Project.

2000 The M.A. in Marital and Family Therapy: The Latina/Latino Family Studies Specialization launches to address the diverse mental health needs of Hispanic children and families. The Jones/Prescott Institute for Early Childhood Education opens to foster programs and initiatives that reflect the most current thinking in early childhood education and professional development.

1988 The College establishes a Marriage, Family, and Child Counseling master’s program after the California State Board of Behavioral Sciences raises the licensing requirements for the counseling profession.

2001 The American Association of Colleges and Universities recognizes Pacific Oaks College with a Special Commendation for Distinguished Achievement in Undergraduate Education for its unique teaching/learning pedagogy.

1989 Professor of Human Development Louise Derman-Sparks and Carol Brunson Phillips write Anti-Bias Curriculum: Tools for Empowering Young Children, published by National Association for the Education of Young Children (the book is republished by Teachers College Press in 1997).

2009 Responding to several years of declining enrollment and increased scrutiny by WASC, the board votes to seek a merger with another school.

1993 The College launches a satellite campus in Visalia and, during the next decade, opens several others to broaden educational access.

2010 As a means of ensuring its historic focus and to position itself for a financially viable future, Pacific Oaks College & Children’s School becomes an affiliate of TCS Education System, an entrepreneurial, not-for-profit enterprise dedicated to training professionals in applied fields to use their knowledge and skills to serve the greater good.

1995 Pacific Oaks celebrates its 50th Anniversary. 1996 The College launches an online distance learning program with three classes, drawing students from Vermont to British Columbia to Hong Kong. 1999 Carolyn Denham becomes the sixth president of Pacific Oaks.


2009 Cindy Carter becomes the seventh president of Pacific Oaks.

2011 Tamara Rozhon becomes the eighth president, ushering in a new era of growth and renewed commitment to the Pacific Oaks values of inclusion, social justice, and the unique worth of every human being.


1985 Katherine Gabel becomes the fifth president.

2001 No Child Left Behind legislation increases federal funding for education and ushers in standards-based reform. 2008 President Obama pledges increased investment in early childhood education but as of 2011, the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (a.k.a. No Child Left Behind) remains pending and other education programs such as the Early Learning Challenge Fund are still unfunded.


Our Present:

American Education Today


nce touted as the best-educated nation in the world, the United States—by many accounts—has slipped into mediocrity. President Obama has called for our country to regain its footing by 2020, labeling access to highquality education as the “new civil right.” Despite millions of federal and state dollars spent on closing the achievement gap, the chasm remains. In 2009, the difference in 8th grade reading performance between low-poverty vs. high-poverty schools was 34 points on a 500-point scale. In math, the gap was 38 points. The path that Pacific Oaks has forged—a route that began in the seminal post-World War II years and now leads resolutely toward its envisioned status as a leading school of education and human development—is best understood when viewed in the context of what is happening in American education today. Many of the issues identified as deterrents to educational excellence in the United States have been integral to the College’s progressive approach. Preparing Better Teachers. A report issued in November 2010 by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) proposed that the current system of American teacher education be “turned upside down.” Experts serving on the Blue Ribbon Panel on Clinical Preparation and Partnerships for Improved Student Learning specifically recommended making clinical practice a centerpiece of the curriculum and interweaving opportunities for

Where does the U.S. stack up compared with its peer countries? According the Programme for International Student Achievement (PISA), which measures the success of students in 34 developing countries, American 15-year-olds rank:

25th in the world in math


in the world in science


in the world in reading

teaching experience with academic content and professional courses. They also underscored the need to attract more diverse cohorts of teacher education students. Positioning itself as a leader in education, Pacific Oaks will draw upon the expertise of faculty and the growing body of research to train educators—particularly teachers of color—who can significantly improve academic performance and instill a love of learning in all children. The Importance of Starting Early. Among industrialized nations that make up the G-8, the United States and Canada rank last in the area of early childhood education. American 3- and 4-year-olds are, by and large, less likely than their counterparts in France, Italy, Germany and the U.K

Meeting the Needs of Diverse Learners Why a One-Size-Fits-All Approach Just Can’t Work • Nearly one in four children living in the U.S. was born in another country or was born to recent immigrants.

• More than a third (34%) of all children live in a household headed by a single parent.

• Nationwide, more than 20% of children in Head Start speak a language other than English.

• Hispanics constitute one-fifth of the nation’s young children (ages 0-8) and are projected to be a quarter of all young children by 2030.

• More than 270,000 children live in a household headed by a same-sex couple.

• 23% of children ages 0-5 live in poverty.

• More than 15% of children enter school with one or more emotional, behavioral, or developmental conditions.

Sources: U.S. Census, Child Trends Database, Williams

• 14% of children are African-American.



Institute, National Center for Education Statistics, Early Head Start Information Report.




Behind the Numbers “A world-class education is a moral imperative—the key to securing a more equal, fair, and just society…”

64% of U.S. children are enrolled in preschool programs.

Meeting the Needs of Diverse Learners. The P-12 population filling today’s classrooms defies easy definition or categorization. Students are black, white, Latino, Asian and multiracial; they speak English fluently or not at all; they live in traditional two-parent households, with single parents, same-sex parents, grandparents or foster parents; their families span the socio-economic spectrum; some have disabilities, others don’t. Meeting the needs of these students—in ways that embrace and celebrate their individual differences and prepare them for a lifetime of multicultural interactions—is critical to education today. Yet many teachers continue to struggle with this challenge, offering only a superficial approach to non-majority life circumstances, or ignoring them altogether—often because of their own discomfort or lack of training. Since its founding, Pacific Oaks has placed equality and individual worth at the core of the education it provides. Known for the ground-breaking anti-bias curriculum that emerged from the work of its faculty, it has long set an example of how children should be taught and how teachers should be trained.

















to reap the benefits of a formalized learning program prior to kindergarten. And yet, substantial evidence documents the profound effects—both cumulative and delayed—that such early experiences have on a child’s development and learning. The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) leads the movement toward such universal opportunity, and envisions a time when “all children will have access to a safe and accessible, high-quality childhood education that includes a developmentally appropriate curriculum, knowledgeable and well-trained program staff and educators, and comprehensive services that support their health, nutrition, and social well-being, in an environment that respects and supports diversity.” Pacific Oaks was established to provide the highquality early childhood education that is at the heart of the NAEYC vision. Its programs in human development and teacher education have been driven by this goal and, even as it expands its focus across the lifespan, early childhood education will be central to all that Pacific Oaks is and does.


—President barack Obama

Of the seven G-8 countries for which information is available, the United States ranks 6th in the percentage (64%) of children ages 3 to 5 enrolled in center-based education programs.

WHY? Unlike the U.S. and Canada, most industrialized countries consider access to early childhood education to be a statutory right from age 3. In France and Italy, most—if not all—families take advantage of free, government-funded preschool programs (beginning at age 2 in France, and for eight hours a day, 10 months a year in Italy). In Germany, kindergarten has been a legal entitlement for children ages 3 to 6 since 1996 and, while parents are expected to contribute to the cost, fees are affordable and based on a family’s income. More than 90 percent of Japanese children attend at least two years of youchien (licensed preschool), which is heavily subsidized by state and local governments. The United Kingdom offers free half-day nursery school classes to 3-and 4-year-olds and makes the Early Years Unit available for children 3 to 5. The lack of an instituted framework or a coherent in-state structure for pre-compulsory school-age children has left the United States struggling to keep up in the early education arena, however. Three programs currently vie for funding and attention: Head Start (for children in families that fall below the poverty level), private day care and preschool programs, and public school spinoffs, primarily for 4-year-olds. Source: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), 2008.





he centerpiece of Pacific Oaks’ steady forward momentum is a set of values that have remained constant for six decades and a bold vision that is currently being crafted as part of a community wide strategic planning process. Driven by the Board of Trustees, the work has involved individuals from all constituencies— faculty and staff from both the college and children’s school, alumni, parents, students, and trustees—and will result in a proposed set of strategic goals, to be presented to the full board for approval in May 2011. The goals, like the mission and vision they support, are expected to be bold. At the heart of Dr. Tamara Rozhon’s “formula for the future” is an expansion



of academic offerings, with plans under way for new programs, delivery formats and locations and, more fundamentally, a broadened scope. An institution with a strong history of preparing professionals to work in early childhood settings, Pacific Oaks will now extend its focus across the lifespan through programs in education, human development and family studies. New degree programs. A B.A. and an M.A. in Early Childhood Education (ECE) have been developed by faculty and are currently awaiting approval from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). Like the existing B.A. in Human Development, the proposed bachelor’s degree will be available

to students who transfer in with 60 or more undergraduate credits. The master’s will carry an emphasis in leadership and administration. The Human Development programs continue to focus on working with people at all ages and in a variety of settings, and share many of their distinguishing elements—including its use of an anti-bias curriculum and its focus on oppression and advocacy—with the new programs in education. Investment in Academics. Providing an academic home for the ECE degrees, along with the existing teacher education credentialing programs, is a School of Education. This addition to the infrastructure allows education faculty to focus on developing and




"Pacific Oaks is known for the impact that it has had on the field of early childhood education through our human development programs. It is time to develop degrees that will specifically prepare graduates with the methodology to teach in ECE classrooms and assume leadership positions in early childhood settings.” — Dr. Linda Clowers, dean of academic affairs

fine-tuning programs that respond to the challenges facing American education today. A School of Human Development and Family Studies will complete the academic infrastructure, incorporating the Human Development B.A. and M.A. programs, along with the master’s in Marital and Family Therapy. Online Campus. An Online Campus has been established to provide students with a choice of delivery formats and to respond to the rapidly growing cadre of prospective students whose work and family responsibilities preclude their attendance at on-ground classes—and who are seeking a means of completing degrees on their own timetable and in their own homes. Both new early childhood education degrees will be offered in a 100 percent online format as well as a completely on-ground format. While Pacific Oaks has offered online courses in the past, the College’s recent affiliation with TCS Education System will make it possible to expand online offerings quickly and efficiently, to ensure that course quality mirrors that of on-ground classes, and to provide students with the robust technology infrastructure and 24/7 support they need to succeed academically. New Student Aid Opportunities. Recognizing that the high cost of education can provide an insurmountable obstacle for many


degree-seeking students, Pacific Oaks is exploring ways to increase internally funded financial aid. We will launch new fellowships, scholarships, and assistantships in the fall, including a Children’s School Fellowship. Facilities. To address deferred maintenance realities and to use existing space most effectively, a long-range facilities planning process is under way. In the meantime, administrative offices have moved to the Eureka Campus in an effort to position student service offices in close proximity to students. The Westmoreland Campus continues to house Alumni Relations, Institutional Advancement and the Infant-Toddler program of the Children’s School, and to provide a venue for classes, seminars, and events. Student Services. Pacific Oaks’ recent affiliation with TCS Education System, a nonprofit educational enterprise dedicated to training professionals in high-level applied fields—allows the college to leverage expertise that is frequently unavailable to small institutions. These resources—in areas such as admissions, registration, financial management, and human resources—offer the potential for increased efficiencies and more streamlined administrative and academic services. Alumni Outreach. Alumni represent our most precious resource. They serve as our

ambassadors through their work, through their continued scholarly endeavors, and through their ongoing use of their Pacific Oaks education to make lasting improvements in the world around them. Many new initiatives target this critically important constituency: an Alumni Association, a Heritage Day Reunion planned for September 2011, and this magazine—Voices, a publication for alumni and friends of Pacific Oaks College & Children’s School. Bringing Us Together. We are seeking new ways to revitalize and further strengthen the historic link between the Pacific Oaks College and the Pacific Oaks Children’s School. Two halves of a whole, we share the values of our founders and a past that celebrates the intersection between teaching children and preparing the professionals who work with them and their families. We are exploring new business and academic relationships that will take advantage of our shared experience and our mutual goals. Partnerships. As we fortify the internal connections that give our institutions strength, we also are looking outward—to the local and professional communities, and beyond. Partnerships will propel our steady movement into the future. We will renew linkages that served us well in the past, and identify new ones that enhance our opportunities to impact the world around us. PACIFICOAKS.EDU 23















Living the Mission


     5. A ct u






n io


     2. Exp n





at i

Journey 5 Steps to a Transformation Sarai Koo M.A., HUMAN DEVELOPMENT (2006)


nowledg 3. K e 

1 | Realization

2 | Exploration

3 | Knowledge

4 | Action

5 | Actualization

Koo is teaching preschool when she realizes the best way to help young children is to “teach the teachers,” and enrolls in the Human Development program at Pacific Oaks. “There are cracks and holes in people’s lives. I want to help them become whole.”

She volunteers with Stand Up for Kids, a national organization that helps homeless children, and starts tutoring a 15-year-old boy, showing up to his sessions every week with food and clothes. In one semester, he goes from earning C’s, D’s, and F’s to A’s and B’s. “I decided education is the gatekeeper. You need to get skills, knowledge, and opportunities to move forward.”

The experience inspires her thesis, Homeless Youth: Succeeding in School. Among her findings: basic necessities and a mentor are critical, and educators should never count out students who seem hopeless. “Educators need to be aware not only of the bright students. There are vast opportunities for those who they think aren’t going to make it.”

Koo starts Maps 4 College, a holistic organization that has already helped more than 3,000 students prepare for college and life through college counseling, financial literacy and communication skills, personal development, and academic preparation. “We provide access and a pipeline for people to improve their lives.”

Maps 4 College partners with Baldwin Park, Calif., where just 5 percent of the population has graduated from a four-year college, and reaches out to girls in middle school. Koo pursues a Ph.D. in education at Chapman University on the recommendation of thesis adviser Dr. Greg Tanaka. She still keeps in touch with the homeless student, who graduated from high school and plans to return to college. “I see hope in students who have personal issues and problems and know that with help, they can make it.”



Family Ties

college & children’s school involve 3 geNerations of carlsons

One day shortly before Annie Salvati was about to start Pacific Oaks Children’s School, her mother, Lizzie, her aunt, Katie, and her uncles, Bobby and John, all took a walk from their parents’ home in Pasadena to the very same preschool that they had attended four decades earlier.

Three generations of the Carlson family—Maureen Carlson, her daughter Lizzie Salvati, and Lizzie's son Sam—walk down Shady Lane.

As they strolled down Shady Lane, memories flooded back—of digging into the enormous sand pile that transformed into whatever their hands and minds wanted to make it, of curling up with friends and reading books on an inviting hammock filled with comfortable pillows, of drinking Japanese tea on Multicultural Day, of exploring the wooded Arroyo Seco nearby. “The memories were hitting us,” Lizzie Carlson Salvati recalls. “At that moment, I thought, ‘this is going to be the greatest thing’ and made the connection between Annie attending the school and my own childhood.” Now age 11, Annie, her siblings Sam, 9, and Phoebe, 5, and her cousin, George, 4,


who is Katie’s son and enrolled in La Tierra Yard, are not the only children with parents who went to the Children’s School. Approximately 15 families a year are second-generation alumni, says Director Jane Rosenberg. “Every year our families share special memories of their time together,” she says. “The fleeting times go by quickly, but the memories created here last a lifetime. Most parents want their children to share those same treasured remembrances.” Although Pacific Oaks has undergone some changes since the first generation of Carlsons attended—the Children’s School stopped offering classes through third grade, and began full-day child care and part-time afternoon programs to support the scheduling needs of working parents— the reasons why alumni parents like Lizzie and Katie want their own kids to go to the Children’s School are rooted in the positive experiences they had there. “I love it like you love a person,” Katie says. “I didn’t have to wonder or worry. It adds a special connection between me and my son.” As a former student and now a parent, Lizzie appreciates how the school fosters creativity and freedom for children to learn in a safe environment. She has seen her three children gain self-confidence, independence, and the ability to relate well to other children—skills that continue to help them succeed in and out of the classroom as they grow older. “They have a comfort in their own skin,” she says. “They can make choices for themselves and have the confidence to do what they want to do.” Both Lizzie and Katie also developed close, lifelong friendships at the Children’s School, and have seen their children do the same, even after they graduate and attend different schools. “Those friendships are

real,” Lizzie says. “I think kids have chemistry, and when you’re at a place like Pacific Oaks you develop adult-like friendships.” Jane Rosenberg agrees. “At the risk of over sentimentalizing, I believe that friendships which begin at Pacific Oaks often last forever. This interconnectedness is the heart of our Children’s School,” she says. Perhaps the biggest reason why the school sees so many multigenerational families is the way it instills a passion for learning in each child. Katie and Lizzie’s mother, Maureen Carlson, was a human development professor at Pacific Oaks College who later served on its board of trustees (see page 26). To Maureen’s surprise, each of her four children wrote on their college applications that they owed their personalities, in part, to their nursery school. “Pacific Oaks Children’s School was a formative influence on my children’s development,” she says. “It gives a foundation for a love of learning,” confirms Katie, a psychiatrist who works with the homeless in Los Angeles. “I feel that it inspired me and all of my siblings to continue to learn and be active and a voice in our community.” This is already evident in the second generation of Carlson children. When Lizzie’s daughter, Phoebe, entered kindergarten this year at a new school, she was the youngest student not only in her class, but in the entire K-12 school. “Pacific Oaks was a huge factor in why I wasn’t worried about her transitioning into a big school,” she says. “She loves school. That’s the biggest message.” The Carlsons are not the only family to return to PO generation after generation and in a variety of contexts. email your multigenerational story to


Living the Mission

An Advocate for Education Maureen Carlson joined the Pacific Oaks faculty in 1964 with a passion for education that would never waver throughout four decades of involvement with the institution —as a faculty member, as a Children’s School parent, as a trustee, and as a donor. In all these capacities, her motivation for devoting time and money remained the same: a desire, she says, for the College to turn out teachers who could teach in public education and reform it with developmentally appropriate education. “I had education in my bones,” she says. “I had a commitment to public education and Pacific Oaks had a commitment.” When she first arrived at the College from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty was just beginning, and Pacific Oaks was about to play a role. In 1965, a Head Start site and training program was established on campus, and the College graduated numerous students who went on to work in Head Start programs and public schools. Carlson taught human development classes, and later her children, Katie, Lizzie, John, and Bobby all attended the Children’s School (see page 25). “I was proud of the College’s adherence to Quaker values that the founders of Pacific Oaks implemented,” Carlson said. “The fact that there was a college and a children’s school dedicated to the teaching of non-violence…there aren’t too many colleges like that. It was a special place to work.” But when the counterculture reached the campus and Carlson felt the school had become less academically rigorous, she



decided to leave teaching and go to law school in 1975. Combining her interest in child development and law, Carlson became a court-appointed attorney in the Superior Court of Los Angeles and handled cases around child abuse, family law, and divorce. Although she no longer taught at the College, Carlson’s involvement with Pacific Oaks only grew. As a professor, she had been the faculty representative on the Board of Trustees. After she stopped teaching in 1976, she served as a board member for 21 years and as board chair for three years. During her tenure, the College continued to expand programs in Seattle and San Francisco, to open satellite campuses throughout California to increase the accessibility of a Pacific Oaks education, and to grow its research efforts. Although she no longer serves on the board, her passion for education is evident. Carlson still wants to see the College do more to educate teachers who will teach in public schools. She has remained connected to Pacific Oaks for the past 11 years, as five grandchildren attended the Children’s School, the last of whom, George, is currently there beginning his own educational journey. “It’s in the Children’s School that you see the emphasis placed on the importance of every child,” she says.

News & Notes Share your professional or personal news with former classmates and friends! Submit class notes for the fall 2011 issue at by July 15, 2011.

1967 | Elspeth Benton (FR) of Santa Rosa, Calif., published Crucial Time, a mystery set in a Pasadena child care center. 1978 | Susan Lakkis Perry (M.A. HD) of Los Angeles, writes a blog on creativity called “Creating in Flow.” 1984 | Mark Smith (B.A. HD) has worked as a public school elementary teacher for the past 26 years in both California and Hawaii. 1989 | Linda Anne Hoag (M.A. HD) of Los Angeles, has worked as a therapist in Counseling Services at the California Institute of the Arts since 1997. She’s also a certified instructor of Constructive Living, and studied nonviolent communication with Marshall Rosenberg last summer. 1995 | Linda Stupin Angel (M.A. MFT) of Pasadena, Calif., wrote I Should Have Known Better: Seven Steps from Me to We, about her dating experiences after her husband’s death. Learn more at 2000 | Efrat Mazin (M.A. MFT) of Visalia, Calif., completed her Psy.D. in clinical psychology with a concentration in forensic psychology from Phillips Graduate Institute in 2005 and is studying for a license. She currently works at Coalinga State Hospital. 2001 | Gila Lehavi Brown (M.A. HD, TCred) of Sherman Oaks, Calif., started her own practice as a parent coach after teaching middle school. “I work with parents to help them better understand child behavior so that they can respond and communicate to their kids more effectively and more peacefully,” Gila writes. 2002 | Mary Jo Boyd-Prince (B.A. HD) of Sierra Madre, Calif., has worked with children and their families since graduating from Pacific Oaks. In 2009, she and her

Degree Abbreviations HD Human Development MFT Marital Family Counseling TCred Teacher Education Credential FR Friend

husband welcomed their daughter, Violet, which inspired her to become a certified birth doula. Mary Jo welcomes contact at 2004 | Child Development professors Adrienne Webster Seegers (M.A. HD) of Sonora, Calif., and Kathy Sullivan (M.A. HD) announce the opening of the new Child Development and Family Care Services Center at Columbia College in Sonora, Calif.

2005 | Ilsa Govan (M.A. HD) of Seattle celebrated the two-year anniversary of her business, Cross Cultural Connections, which performs diversity training for schools and organizations using information that she learned at Pacific Oaks. Kelly Shaver (M.A. HD) received tenure and the rank of associate professor at Brevard Community College, where she teaches online, face-to-face, and hybrid courses. “PO has changed my life, and I am so thankful,” she writes. “I truly love what I do.” 2006 | Noemi Abdessian (M.A. HD) works as a social worker and teaches part time at California State University, Los Angeles. She credits Pacific Oaks College for her success.

Sarai Koo (M.A. HD) started MAPS 4 College, a nonprofit organization that helps students graduate from high school, attend and graduate from college, gain job readiness skills, find a satisfying career, and acquire life-sustaining skills (see Journey, p. 24). Lillie Pardo (TCred) of Los Angeles writes that after teaching kindergarten for four years at the Los Feliz Charter School for the Arts, she started teaching kindergarten at the Larchmont Charter School West Hollywood last fall. Maria Shufeldt (M.A. MFT) of Montrose, Calif., is part of a project working to establish multiple community garden sites for Pasadena residents and

educate them on the health, eco-awareness, and social aspects of community gardening. This fits with one of her clinical interests—the therapeutic use of “near nature” and gardening. She welcomes contact at 2007 | Shaun-Adrian Flatt Choflá (M.A. HD) of Sacramento, Calif., is an adjunct faculty member and course developer at National Hispanic University/Laureate Education, where he creates courses in child development and early childhood education. He also teaches in Pacific Oaks’ Human Development/Distance Learning Department. 2008 | Aydee Salas (B.A. HD) writes articles about early childhood for

Social Justice at Work Tisha Marina Bernard, M.A. in Human Development student What happens when a student is excluded from a table in the cafeteria? What can someone sitting at that table do to help? As an anti-bullying trainer with the Safe School Ambassadors program, Tisha Marina Bernard works with 11- to 18-year-olds around the country to identify problems like this in their schools and come up with solutions. “People don’t look at them as contributors to society so when you give that power to them in a positive way, they really step up to the plate,” she says. Bernard felt a personal responsibility to take on bullying after discovering how pervasive it is. One recent study found more than half of high school students admitted to bullying someone while nearly


half have been bullied themselves. “I have worked with young people most of my life,” she says. “Bullying is so out of control. I felt it needed immediate attention.” As she nears her 50th training with Community Matters, the organization that runs the program, Bernard credits her Pacific Oaks education with truly preparing her for this role. “It has been my education that has trained me, not just academically, but in the vocabulary and in the ability to work with all walks of life. When I’m interacting with a diverse group of students, and I’m watching myself peacefully make that happen, I’m seeing what I learned at Pacific Oaks in action. I’m seeing lives transformed before my eyes.”


Rings of the Oak

a historical photo essay

Playing to Learn The toys may have changed, but the philosophy is the same. Play is more than fun; it is the way children absorb information, understand concepts and relationships, and make sense of the world. At Pacific Oaks Children’s School, where we provide a healthy jumpstart on a lifetime of learning—and at Pacific Oaks College, where we prepare early childhood educators for tomorrow—play is, and has always been, integral to our curriculum.



Sound Off Some of our youngest children share something really important that they learned at the Children’s School

I learned… …that worms don’t like bread or sushi. …how to make a new friend. …how to solve problems by myself. …to tie my shoes. …how to be kind and use my words. …that it’s not okay to hide at clean-up time. …that when my friend is sad to give them a hug. …that school is no place to worry.

5 Westmoreland Place Pasadena, CA 91103-3592


The magazine of Pacific Oaks College & Children's School

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