GET TO KNOW US
David Peck, Chair, Board of Directors. Professor Emeritus in English Department at California State University, Long Beach. Co-founder of the South County Crosscultural Council and Friendship Shelter. Resident of Laguna Beach since 1978.
Janet Waters, Co-Director. Retired English Teacher and District Coordinator for English Learner programs. Volunteer ESL instructor.
Bonnie Teder, Co-Director. Retired Music Educator and Music Therapist. Volunteer ESL instructor.
Sally Rapuano. Former Director, La Playa Center since 1996. Former speech pathology teacher. Master's degree in Human Development from Pacific Oaks in 2003. Former Director, Sally’s Fund, which supplies transportation for Laguna Beach seniors. Resident of Laguna Beach since 1986.
Irma Ronses. Jobs Coordinator for the Laguna Day Worker Center. Irma became involved with La Playa Center as an advanced ESL student, became a childcare assistant, and was asked to run the LDWC in 1999. Irma has been an active member of the community for over 29 years, and in 2002 was honored by the Laguna Beach Woman’s Club for her outstanding work.
Tim Ronses. Local business owner, Tim & Son’s Hauling. Oversaw construction of the Laguna Day Worker Center office building in 1999.
Irma and Tim are proud of their 5 children, who are thriving in their chosen professions.
Joana McFarland. Professional marketing communications background in the computer industry. Peace Corps volunteer for 2 years in Dominican Republic, 1 year with NGO in Guatemala working with women's craft cooperatives. ESL teacher at La Playa for over 15 years.
Fritzi Werner. For 26 of the 44 years that Fritzi has lived in Laguna Beach, she was a Registered Nurse in Public Health and Aids Services Foundation. Laguna Beach Art Museum docent, and continues to volunteer as an ESL instructor at La Playa Center.
Maria Dominguez-Wilson. Advanced Practice RN, FNP. Works full-time as a registered Family Nurse Practitioner. Has been actively involved for 15 years as a board member and taught beginners' ESL classes. Lived in Laguna Beach for almost 20 years and has helped to bring medical information and assessment to La Playa Center and the Laguna Day Worker Center.
Yadhira Rojas serves as the Teacher on Special Assignment (TSA) to support English Learners in the LBUSD. She works with teachers, parents, and administrators to provide English Language Development for limited English-speaking students through teacher collaboration, open communication, student identification, and progress monitoring. She supports individual sites and teachers in the development of high quality curriculum and instructional practices to ensure the success of all English Language Learners.
Martin Tobin. Business owner of a CPA firm in Denver, Colorado. Serves as our financial consultant. Resident of Orange County for seven years and active in several other organizations.
Kolleen Lawson. Recording Secretary, Crosscultural Council. Currently an ESL instructor at La Playa Center and has taught English as a Second Language in Spain, Argentina, and Mexico. Married with 2 children, this Laguna Beach native has a passion to give her skills to our community.
Juan Carlos Gallego, Professor of TESOL and Spanish in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at California State University, Fullerton. Thirty-seven years of teaching experience at various Universities and in different countries. Academic interests include language education, discourse analysis, bilingualism, and dialectology.
Krisztina Fulep, current La Playa Center student, is from Hungary. In her native country she worked at the Budapest School for the Deaf as a special education teacher, and has studied Russian and German as well as being proficient in Hungarian sign language. Krisztina recently became a US citizen, can be seen working at the Sawdust Festival each summer, and is interested in leading a healthy lifestyle.
Meslissa Hexter, former middle and high school English teacher, received her teaching credential from San Francisco State University. She has a BA in Theatre from Whitman College, and an MA in Set Design and Scenic Painting from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. Volunteer ESL teacher at La Playa Center.
Alice and John Graves