The Founders | Mali and George Rand
Happy Birch Preschool is the dream of founders Dr. Rand and Mrs. Rand.
Mali has degrees in both education and business. As she raised her own children, she came to understand the importance of having an experimental attitude. She sees child rearing is a kind of action-research where one experiments with different strategies. She has built a stunning preschool environment for young children based on her understanding and research on child development.
George was a Professor in the graduate program in child development at Columbia University Teacher’s College and at UCLA’s Department of Architecture + Urban Design. Dr. Rand is also a clinical psychologist with training in psychoanalytic psychotherapy. He has an extensive background in child development research. At UCLA he became an advocate of the value of the studio as the center of an education. Students work individually or in small teams on complex problems in an open environment.
Lead Teacher | Kelly Cooper
Kelly is dedicated to respecting and preserving the experience of childhood and believes that children learn best in a caring and playful atmosphere that honors their developmental capabilities and engages their innate sense of curiosity and wonder. She partners with parents in creating an environment that welcomes families as their children take the first steps in branching out from home into the larger community.
Kelly has 25 years of experience in early childhood development, having taught in both private and public school settings, including All Saints Preschool(now Evergreen Community), the Center for Early Education, Arlington Avenue Elementary(LAUSD) and the United Nations childcare Center in NYC. She is licensed psychotherapist and maintains a small private practice counseling children and families, and providing consultation to local preschool and parents.
Kelly is the parent of a ten year old daughter and learns more about parenting daily. Kelly also played the role of Milky White the Cow in a children’s theater production of Jack and the Beanstalk and will be happy to show you photos.