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Meet the Team!

Dr. Cynthia Guerrero

Dr. Cynthia Guerrero, Assistant Superintendent, Educational Services

Dr. Cynthia Guerrero has been in Huntington Beach City School District since 2005 serving as the principal at John H. Eader Elementary School.  While at John H. Eader Elementary School, she served as the first Preschool Director when the Preschool Academy first opened its doors in 2008 with two classes. After serving at Eader Elementary School, she became principal at Isaac L. Sowers Middle School for several years, then served as the Director of Child Welfare and Attendance for three years where she was recognized as the State Administrator of the Year- Pupil Services for the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA).  In July 2019, she assumed the role of Assistant Superintendent, Educational Services, and continues to support and grow the Early Childhood Programs in Huntington Beach City School District.

Dr. Guerrero's background includes earning a bachelor's degree and teaching credential from the University of California at Irvine, a master's degree in Educational Administration from Pepperdine University, and her doctorate degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Southern California.  Prior to her responsibilities in administration, she taught elementary school and had been a preschool instructional assistant while attending college.  She continues to have a passion for learning and supporting the growth and learning of those around her.       

Carolyn Werthiem

Carolyn Wertheim, Director of Early Childhood Education
714-962-3348, extension 2335

Carolyn Wertheim joined the Huntington Beach City School District family in September 2012 and was selected Director of Early Childhood Education in 2016. She brings the unique combination of dual master’s degrees – one in Child Development and one in Business Administration and recently completed her Leading Edge Certification.  In 2018, the California School Board Association awarded the HBCSD Learning Link with a Golden Bell Award for exemplary programming.  The Preschool Academy was recognized by the Orange County Association for the Education of Young Children as the Outstanding Early Childhood Program in 2018.  Ms. Wertheim’s vision is to ensure that children of all ages have the opportunity to learn through play, exploration, and discovery.  In addition to her responsibilities with HBCSD, Ms. Wertheim volunteers extensively on behalf of youth organizations in Orange County, including serving on several Advisory Boards.

Carolyn Beck

Carolyn Beck, Eader Principal

Mrs. Carolyn Beck has been in education for 31 years as an elementary school teacher, teacher on special assignments, and principal. In the Huntington Beach City School District, Mrs. Beck is currently the principal of John H. Eader Elementary School. She is excited to be in her fourth year as principal with students in school for full-day instruction.

Mrs. Beck earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, and is proud to be a Bruin! She completed her master’s degree in educational administration at California State University, Long Beach.

Mrs. Beck and her husband have been married for 31 years and have an adult son and daughter. She enjoys spending time with her family hiking, boating, and relaxing with a good book. She loves being a part of the Huntington Beach community and helping her students to reach their full potential.

Dr. Kevin Smith-Johnson, Peterson Principal

Beth Young

Beth Young, Preschool Supervisor

I have been in the field of Early Childhood Education since 1992.  I currently hold a Bachelor’s degree in ECE and have my Director Permit through the California Department of Education.  I started my career as an Assistant Teacher, then moved on to being a Lead Teacher for the next 24 years until I obtained my current position as Preschool Supervisor.  I have been working for the HBCSD Preschool Academy since 2011.  I started my path in preschool due to my love of children and the opportunities it provided me to spend time with my own family and still work.  Since the onset of my career, my love for Early Childhood Education has grown into a passion.  I deeply believe in what I do and strive to enrich the lives of the children and staff in our program.  Some of my hobbies include playing Pickleball, soccer, camping, hiking, reading, and spending time with friends and family (especially the grandkids). 

Jocelyn Carbajal, Educational Support Assistant 

I have been with Huntington Beach City School District since August 2018. It has been a great experience working with young children. I enjoy staying busy helping our instructional team and families.  

I have 2 little ones of my own and enjoy spending time as a family going on walks, swimming when it's warm out, and watching movies. 

Angelica Angulo

Angelica Angulo |

At a very young age, I discovered I wanted to be a teacher.  While going to school to pursue a career as a teacher, I worked as an Instructional Assistant in summer programs to get experience working with school-age children.  My mind was set on teaching Kindergarten.  It wasn’t until I started volunteering in a preschool classroom that I discovered I preferred to work with Preschool children.  

 I graduated from Cal State Los Angeles in 2003, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Child Development. Since then, I have been in the field of Child Development for the last 17 years.  I have worked as an Instructional Assistant, Substitute, and Teacher with Head Start and State Preschool programs.   Throughout these years of being in the classroom, I have learned that children are the most fun to work with.  They are the most genuine, energetic, and honest human beings. They can make us reflect and question the things that sometimes we adults may take for granted. They are full of curiosity and eagerness to learn new things. They can take us on a journey of self-discovery. Therefore, I enjoy working with children.  They make every day interesting and unique.

In my spare time, I like to spend time with my family.  I enjoy traveling and visiting different places and learning about them.  I love to dance so I go to Zumba classes to keep myself in shape. I enjoy the outdoors, occasionally, I like to go on hikes with my husband and daughter. It helps me connect with nature. 

 staffShari Blaich-Kawai |

I began my tenure with the HBCSD in November of 2014, first as a substitute instructor for the Preschool Academy and currently as a teacher. From that time until the present I have been blessed to be active in all three campuses of the Academy, as well as with the State Preschool program. I must admit- I am loving every single moment of it all!

Having been an Early Childhood Educator for the better part of the last 15 years has prepared me well for this adventure. I hold my Associate of Arts degree with Honors from Orange Coast College, as well as my Certificate in Early Childhood Education. I am currently enrolled at Ashford University, where I am completing my Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education. I have been the gracious recipient of many honors on my journey, including the sole recipient of a Scholarship Grant from Future Teachers of America. In the past, I have been fortunate enough to have worked in all areas of Early Childhood beginning with infants and spanning through 8th-grade students. I have been the Director and Lead Teacher of several programs, where it has been my extreme privilege to teach ELL (English Language Learner) students and assist them in their grasp and knowledge of the English language. Although each path has held its own rewards, my heart belongs in preschool! It brings me unsurmountable joy to be such an integral part of a child’s first learning experience, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything! To be allowed to share in the excitement when a child discovers for themselves all that they are capable of, all that they can dream, and all that they can master, is truly an honor for me and I cherish each milestone. Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your child’s journey. I am looking forward to many more years of growing, discovering, and learning…TOGETHER!

Sara Fletcher

Sara Fletcher |

I have had the privilege of working for the HBCSD since 2012, and have been in the field of education for 26 years. It is such a joy to work with little ones. It is a blessing to be able to share in the lives of these amazing little people and watch them discover and explore the world around them. They bring so much joy, laughter, and unforgettable memories each and every day. The most important thing I can do for each child is to provide a caring, nurturing, and safe environment that invites them to engage in meaningful and purposeful activities that foster the social, emotional, and cognitive skills that will enable them to be successful in their future school experiences. My education has taught me the importance of play and exploration throughout the classroom. I have an Associate of Arts degree from Orange Coast College, a Bachelor of Arts degree in Early Childhood Education, and a Master of Arts degree in Child Development. I have worn many hats while in this field, including Preschool Director, Curriculum Coordinator, as well as teaching everything from Preschool to 8th grade Language Arts. 

When I am not teaching or looking for new activities to implement into the classroom, I enjoy being outdoors with my family and friends. I enjoy riding my bike at the beach, camping in our motor home in the desert, and riding dirt bikes. I look forward to partnering with you to create a wonderful school experience for your child.


Tammy Tang |

I grew up in a small town in Canada and have moved to multiple locations before finally settling down in Southern California with my husband and son. I graduated from Trabuco Hills High School and first pursued my passion for fashion at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM). A few years after I graduated from FIDM, I realized that I also had a love for teaching children and started to pursue a career in education. I then went on to complete my Bachelor of Arts Degree in Liberal Studies at California State University Long Beach. I started gaining experience as a teacher's assistant in multiple classrooms in Orange County. I then became a preschool teacher at a private preschool in Garden Grove for three years, I have been working at the Preschool Academy in Huntington Beach City School District since 2017. It has been such a blessing being able to work with young children. Children bring so much laughter, joy, creativity, and so much more to a classroom. I love their view of how the world works. Teaching young children has taught me something new every day. When I look at children, I see unlimited possibilities and I am so glad I can be a part of their growth. Being a teacher is the most rewarding gift. 


Molly Kiefer | 

Since I was a young girl I have always loved working with children. I think it’s the “Mommy” in me that loves to be with and help shape the lives of every student that comes through our class. Since I was old enough to babysit I have always worked with children in some capacity - be it babysitting, nanny, Mom, or teacher. Besides being a Mom, being a teacher is the only job I ever wanted! After my youngest was born, I made the decision to complete my Early Childhood Education (ECE) units and become a preschool teacher. I have been in the ECE field for almost 11 years. I have been at Eader with the Preschool Academy for 11 years - six with the 3-year-old children and this is my sixth year with the 4/5-year-olds. I love every single day I have with these children and hope to have many more years working for the Preschool Academy!

Nora Orozco

Nora Orozco |

I have taught in the HBCSD preschool program since 2007. I received my Associate of Arts Degree at Orange Coast College in Liberal Arts with certificates specializing in Early Childhood Education and Accounting. I enjoy attending workshops to stay current on new ideas, research, and curricula pertaining to Early Childhood Education. I love the excitement of a new school year and seeing children's growth as the months go by. I think it is important for children to learn how to make friends and to be good friends. I enjoy and value having the opportunity to be part of children’s early school experience. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, and relaxing in my garden!  My favorite children's book is The Giving Tree.

Pam Barr

Pam Parr |

I have had the great pleasure of working with little ones for 22 years. They amaze me daily and keep me laughing with all the funny things they say. I wouldn’t trade my job for anything in the world. I enjoy working with kids because I am able to educate them in ways that make it fun for them to learn. I have owned and operated an in-home preschool getting my little friends ready for kindergarten. After the sale of my home and business, I worked at a private preschool for two years. I am excited to be at the Preschool Academy!  I am currently finishing up my BA in Early Childhood Education and have applied for my Master Teacher permit. I have a 22-year old daughter who is currently in a Graduate program for Clinical Psychology. In my free moments, I enjoy spending time at the beach looking for sea glass, interior design, doing arts and crafts, and photography.

Kori StephensonKori Stephenson |

I have been working for The Preschool Academy for 10 years. I received my Certificate in Early Childhood Education with an emphasis on Preschool-aged children from Orange Coast College. I have been working with children for 17 years. I started my career as the Lead Teacher for the Extended Kindergarten program at the Eader YMCA. I was with that organization for eight years and served as the Interim Director on multiple occasions. During my time there, we also went through Accreditation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). I knew from a very early age that I wanted to work with young children and never considered pursuing anything else. My favorite thing about working with children is watching their growth from the beginning of the year to the end. I love to see their eyes light up when they learn something new! I strive to provide an environment for them to explore and feel comfortable, as well as develop a love for school. In my free moments, I love spending time with my husband and two children Finn and Lucy. Some of our favorite things to do are: taking walks, reading stories, and going on adventures as a family.

Lisa Springer

Lisa Springer |

I have been working with children collectively for 19 years. After raising two boys of my own, now ages 24 and 21, I returned to school to finish my Certificate in Early Childhood Education at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa. I have completed my Associate of Arts Degree and possess a Master Teacher Permit with the Orange County Department of Education. I have been a preschool teacher at Huntington Beach City School District since 2016. My philosophy of teaching is based on my belief children are capable and competent beings when given the chance and my teaching style reflects this belief. I want to be a teacher who opens up possibilities and new avenues of growth for the children by bringing forth new ideas and fresh activities for them to explore and enjoy. In my free time, I enjoy the beach, walking in the park, spoiling my dogs, country music, and watching ice hockey games.