JOHN L. WEBSTER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL




FACULTY and STAFF BIOGRAPHIES

Administrative and Support Staff

PRINCIPAL
Phil Cott

As a student, Phil earned diplomas from Venice High School, UCLA, CSUN (M.A.), and the University of West L.A. School of Law.  As a professional, he has been an elementary school teacher for 14 years in Culver City, a deputy district attorney for L.A. County, the dean of students at Culver High School, and principal at Webster since 1990. Phil was born, raised, and still lives in West L.A., along with his wife, Charlee, a second-grade teacher at Franklin, his daughter, Rachel and son, Daniel and his dogs, Rose and Bonnie. He is a frustrated Dodger fan, and his hobbies include paddle tennis, traveling, and hiking.

SUPPORT STAFF
Mrs. Lore Meline
Administrative Assistant
Born in Germany, and now a U.S. citizen, Lore attended business school before coming to this country as a young adult.  She has been associated with Webster for over thirty years in a wide variety of parental, instructional and administrative roles.  She and her husband have three sons and four grandchildren. Lore’s hobbies include bridge, tennis, traveling, reading, quilting, dancing, bike riding and hiking.

Linda Reinbold, Office Assistant
Linda was born and raised in Santa Monica. She attended Santa Monica High School and Cal State Long Beach. She worked for Merck Pharmaceuticals and then moved to Germany, where she lived for 15 years. She has two children, Andreas, a graduate student and Caroline, a college student. Linda enjoys tennis, rollerblading, traveling and working at Webster.

LIBRARY
Peri Monte
Elementary Library Coordinator
Peri joined Webster in November, 2000 after six and a half years with the Malibu County Library.  She was born and raised in Southern CA and has a BA from UCSB. Peri’s two children both went to Webster. Her other interests include pattern making and fashion design.

NURSE
Charlene Niemi
Nurse
Charlene joined Webster in 2001. She was raised in the Conejo Valley and resides in Newbury Park with her husband and two sons, Carl and Daniel. Charlene is a graduate of Mt. Saint Mary’s College. Her experience includes school nursing, public health and teaching.

CAFETERIA
Virginia Rendon
Cafeteria Manager
Virginia was born in Mexico in 1964, in the little village of Michoacan.  She finished high school in Mexico.  In 1984, she immigrated to the United States.  She got married and had two children.  Her older daughter is in college, and her younger son is finishing high school.  Virginia was living in Ventura for 16 years, until she moved to Malibu where she resides.

Teachers

WENDY BERMAN
First Grade
Wendy has been at Webster since 1992. She was born and raised in Santa Monica, and currently lives in Westwood.  She went through Franklin, Lincoln and Santa Monica High, before going on to UCLA for both her undergraduate and graduate work. Her leisure time is spent playing tennis and paddle tennis, and on photography.  Wendy is now the proud parent of Tyler who was born in Jan. 2008.

KRISTINA COOK
Fifth Grade
Born in Georgia and raised on a blueberry and Christmas tree farm in Maine, Kristina now lives in Brentwood.  She has lived in California for the last eleven years and loves it, but misses being able to see her family on a regular basis.  She earned her B.A. in Organizational Communication and Business, and her M.A. in Education and teaching credential all from Pepperdine University.  She completed her student teaching at Webster and is excited about returning for her sixth year of teaching.  Kristina’s interests include art, reading, traveling, and outdoor activities.

MERRYL CRONROD
Kindergarten
Merryl joined Webster in 1998. Merryl originally hails from Brooklyn and Queens, NY, but now lives in Santa Monica.  She earned her B.A. and teaching credential from CSUN, and did post-graduate work there, as well as at UCLA and Cal Lutheran.  She also has experience as a general contractor and as an interior designer.  Merryl and her husband have two sons, and she enjoys cooking, art and…children!

REBECCA FURER
K-5TH, Resource Specialist
I became Becca Furer last summer when Ken and I got married! I was born and raised in West Los Angeles and got my B.A. in Psychology at U.C. Berkeley. I then went to Nashville to pursue a Masters in Special Education at Vanderbilt University. I love teaching at Webster and am so excited for the new year! My hobbies include reading, traveling training my dog to become a service animal.

STACY HARRIS
Third Grade
Stacy joined Webster in 1996. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from UC Berkeley (“Go Bears!”) and her Masters of Education degree from UCLA. Stacy was born and raised in Beverly Hills, and she and her husband (who teaches K/1 at Pt. Dume) daughter Maya and son Devin live in Agoura Hills. Her hobbies are reading, singing and baking.  Stacy is working toward her green belt in karate. She loves Webster!

PAMELA HELD
First Grade
Pamela joined the Webster staff as a kindergarten teacher in 1996. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Education from UCLA, and her Master’s degree from Concordia University. She taught for eight years at Franklin School in Santa Monica, was honored as the “Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District “Teacher of the Year” in 1978, and loves working at Webster. She has two children and she enjoys home and garden design.

REBECCA HELD
K-5th, Resource Specialist
Becca is a true Los Angeles native! She was born and raised in West L.A. and got her B.A. in Psychology at U.C. Berkeley. She then went to Nashville to pursue a Masters in Special Education at Vanderbilt University. She loves being around children and is extremely excited to be teaching at Webster. Her hobbies include swimming, traveling and wishing she had a dog!

TRACY KOOY
Fifth Grade
Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio Tracy moved to Los Angeles to attend USC in 1985.  After graduating with a BA in Psychology, she then went on to receive her Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology.  After completing her teaching credential at CSUN she finished five years of teaching for Las Virgenes Unified and she has been teaching at Webster since 2006. Tracy lives in Calabasas with her husband John, son Jake (a senior at Agoura High School) and her son Trevor (a sophomore at Agoura High School).  She loves reading, tennis, chocolate and teaching.  She is looking forward to another exciting year at Webster.

LIBBY MACCANI
Third Grade
Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Libby graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in Elementary Education.  After graduation, Libby packed up her jeep and moved to California.  She started her career in San Bernardino and joined the fabulous Webster staff in 2005.   She lives in Santa Monica with her wonderful husband, Vince.  Libby completed her first triathlon in Maui last year and loves sports. She also enjoys reading, traveling, running, biking, tennis and cooking. She is very excited for another fantastic year at Webster!

JESSICA MARIKO HIGUCHI-HERNANDEZ
Kindergarten
Born in England, Jessica was raised in New York (Long Island) and Hawaii (Oahu,) and now lives in Thousand Oaks.  She earned her B.A. in education at the Univ. of Hawaii, her graduate degree from Pepperdine. Jessica joined Webster in 1990.  She collects children’s books, rocks and shells, and enjoys cooking, yoga, gardening, shopping, traveling and reading.  Jessica’s first child, Cooper, was born in July of 2003.

KELLY MORRIS
Second Grade
Kelly was born and raised here in Malibu. She is proud Webster alumna and graduate of Malibu Park Junior High and Santa Monica High School. She has been a teacher at Webster since 1998. Kelly earned her B.A. in Design from Brigham Young University, and earned her M.A. in Education from Pepperdine University. Kelly enjoys spending time with her husband, Quint, her dog Scarlet, and a good book. She loves traveling, working in the garden, going to the beach, avidly watching the food channel, and of course…being a teacher at Webster.

MARCIA NIX
Second Grade
Marcia was born and raised in New England. She received her BA in foreign languages from Boston College; did graduate work in foreign languages and linguistics at Georgetown University and speech pathology at Northeastern University (in Boston). Her teaching credentials are from CA and MA. Marcia taught high school German and French before her children were born. At Webster, she has worked as parent volunteer, Resource assistant for 7 years, and Reading Enrichment teacher for 2 years. She served as the SMMUSD Reading Specialist for a year before returning to Webster to teach 2nd grade in 2001. Her hobbies include reading, cooking and travel. Marcia and her husband have three children, the youngest of whom attended Webster from Kindergarten through Grade 5.

JACQUELINE PAPALE
Third/Fourth Grade
Jacqueline is originally from Connecticut, where she was first introduced to the delight of working with children as a playground supervisor and tutor.  She attended college for Psychology at Quinnipiac University, and earned her master’s degree in Marketing/Communications from Boston University. Through her family, she has been exposed to dance and a variety of art forms all her life, She has also developed a love of the visual arts; particularly painting, jewelry making and creative writing, After a number of years in the corporate world, she decided to go back to her first love, teaching. She completed her certification in California, and has smiled from the first moment she stepped into the classroom. She returns to Connecticut each summer to teach at an institute for gifted children, at Fairfield University. Jacqueline considers working with children to be a privilege and joy, and marvels at the magic that happens in the classroom everyday.

LORI ROSE
Fourth Grade
Lori joined Webster in 1994.  She received her bachelor’s degree from CSUN, and began her career at Webster while she earned her Master’s degree from Pepperdine. Lori was born and raised in the Los Angeles area and currently lives in Oak Park with her dogs.  She enjoys hiking, walking with her dogs, the beach, reading, writing, and dark chocolate.

ERICA ROSS
First Grade
This is Erica’s 18th year teaching first grade. Prior to joining the Webster staff in 1993, she was Western Regional Sales Manager for an international hotel chain. Erica enjoys hiking, cycling and traveling…she has visited more than 60 countries. Erica lives in Malibu and Newport Beach with her husband Jack.  She is looking forward to job sharing with Mrs. Marsden again this year.

THERESA RUBIN
Kindergarten
Theresa looks forward to her fourth year at Webster – teaching Kindergarten.  She has lived in Malibu with her husband and two children since 1986, but spent much of her childhood in Venezuela before moving to Texas, where she graduated from the University of Houston with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology.  She got her M.A. in Education with a teaching credential from Pepperdine University while working as a substitute teacher in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District.  She subsequently worked in reading intervention at Webster.  Theresa’s children attended Webster and Malibu High School.  Her daughter is now attending graduate school, and her son recently graduated from college.  She loves traveling with her family, cooking, and attempting to play golf!

AMY ZATLIN STARK
First/Second Grade
Amy joined Webster in 1991. She lives in Camarillo with her husband, two daughters, Stephanie and Allison, their dog, and two cats. Amy grew up in Santa Monica, going to Franklin, Lincoln and Santa Monica High. She got her B.A. in psychology, her teaching credential from UCLA (go Bruins!), and her master's at CSUN. She enjoys gardening, cooking, hiking, camping, skiing and making family scrapbooks. She has two daughters, a dog and two cats.

KAREN VERHAM
Fourth Grade
Teaching has always been a pleasure in Karen Verham’s life. She has worked in the field of education for the past 35 years, as a nursery school teacher, the Director of Education for the American Cancer Society and in three elementary schools. She is the proud mother of four children: Jonathan (22) UCLA, Julia (20) Berkeley, Alicia (17) SMC and Briana (13) Malibu High School. She earned her BA and Masters in Education and took off last year to work as the General Contractor for the dream house that she and her husband are building on Point Dume. She is so excited to be back in the classroom!

Specialty Teachers

DARYL ADAMS
Physical Education Instructional Aide
Daryl was raised in the inter city of Los Angeles. He went to a small Catholic school in the city of Watts, Verbum Dei High School. He played football and ran track to keep off of the streets. In 2000, he graduated with a football scholarship to the University of Utah. One year later he transferred to Santa Monica College where he graduated in 2003 with an A.A.  in Liberal Arts. He then transferred to the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and graduated in 2006 with a degree in Physical Education. He currently coaches football at Santa Monica College. He is entering his second year at Webster.

DIANE HINES
Art Studio Instructor
Diane is not new to either Webster or to teaching. She is a past PTA president at both Webster and at Malibu High, has been active since 1995 as a classroom teacher, an instructional aide, and helped to create and now teaches our Art Studio Program. Raised in New York, Diane garnered a B.A. in English and art history at the University of Vermont, and did graduate work there as well as at UCLA. She earned her teaching credential in 1996. She lives in Malibu with her husband, and has two children; both Webster alumni who currently attend UCLA.

RUTH MARSDEN
Reading Teacher
Ruth received a B. A. in Art and a teaching credential from Cal. State University, Northridge.  She was born and raised in Pacific Palisades, California. She and her husband, daughter (age 19) and son (age 17) have been members of the Malibu community since moving here in 1993. Both of her children are proud products of the SMMUSD, where they attended Webster Elementary, Malibu Middle and Malibu High schools from kindergarten on (graduating classes of 2008 and 2010!). Her teaching experience includes five years with the Las Virgenes Unified School District and two years substitute teaching for SMMUSD, all at the elementary school level.

DORI WOODWORTH
Gardening Angels
Dorie splits her time between her positions as a kindergarten aide and an instructor of the Gardening Angels Program. She attended Webster herself, and then Malibu Park, Samohi and Santa Monica College. She has three children who are all Webster graduates and enjoys gardening and painting.