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Gretchen Hayes 



Mobile: (424)261-5298

Has worked in the field of early childhood education for 25 plus years. She has a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in child development and a master's of art degree in early childhood special education from the California State University of Northridge.  Gretchen’s ultimate goal is to improve the lives of families and children in a loving environment.​


Aster Abraha 


office (310) 233-4322

Mobile (323) 393-3006 

Has been in the Early Childhood field since 2000. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Child Development from Cal State Los Angeles and has taken all the necessary graduate classes in Early Childhood Special Education. Aster has been at the Child Development Center working with three to four-year-olds, since the spring of 2009. In addition to working with young children, she is part of the California Mentor Program and mentors students on becoming Early Ed majors since 2010. Aster's main goal in the classroom is not only to provide a loving environment for the children but to also enrich their lives with learning while having fun.

Jennifer Masuda 


Office (310) 233-4206

Mobile (310) 817-0367

Graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education from Cal State University, Long Beach. Jennifer continued to take child development courses in order to attain a Child Development Master Teacher Permit. Jennifer began volunteering at the Center and became a part of the staff in 2010. She is currently part of the California Mentor Teacher Program here at Harbor College. Jennifer's favorite part of working with Pre-K children is getting to watch each child bloom and grow physically, socially, and cognitively. 

Caprina Buchanan 

Office (310) 233-4203


Has been in the Child Development field for over 30 years. She holds a Bachelor's of Science Degree from Cal State University, Dominguez Hills. She also holds a Program Director Permit from California Commission on Teaching. Her experience includes work in the child development field in LAUSD, Head Start/State Preschool, Montessori, for Profit, and non Profit. She has worked in the child development field as a Director, Supervisor, Staff Development Trainer, and Teacher. Her aspiration for early childhood education stems from her personal experiences, providing a strong foundation for the love of learning and optimal development. She believes that each child is a unique individual needing a safe, nurturing, and stimulating environment. Caprina is a 3rd generation of child development teachers. She is the mother of two daughters and the "Nana" of a granddaughter. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, cooking, working out, and living life to the fullest.

Alexandra Williams


Office (310) 233-4568

Mobile (562) 980-5037

Graduated in 2006 with a Bachelor's Degree in Child Development from Cal State Los Angeles. She holds a Child Development Site Supervisor's permit. prior to working at the Child Development Center she worked at Ann a Bing Arnold Children's Center at CSULA as an infant/toddler teacher mentoring students, then went on to work in administration as the curriculum coordinator. She also developed and ran a mini art studio where the children would have time to work on long term projects. Alexandra's favorite part of working with children is watching them learn and grow.


Jackie Leiva 


Office (310) 233-4206

Mobile (323) 391-3754

Has been in the field since 2011 and obtained a Bachelor's Degree in Early Childhood Education from California State University, Dominguez Hills. In addition, she holds a Master's Degree in Social Work with a concentration specifically on children and families. Her field experience includes working with preschool-aged children as well as infants and toddlers in the typical classroom setting, creative rich environments, and experiences that promote children's optimal development. She also has experience in the field of special education, providing not only center-based early intervention but also in-home developmental services to children with special needs. She also works with autistic children implementing behavioral therapy in their natural setting using best practices in Applied Behavioral Analysis. Observing children grow in all different areas as well as having the opportunity to learn from them are some of the things she enjoys most about teaching. 

Karla Amaya 

Office (310) 233-4205

Mobile (310) 894-6687

Has been in the field since 2006, she has worked with infants, toddlers, and preschool through her years. She has her Bachelor's Degree in Child Development from Cal State Los Angeles and is working towards her Master's Degree in Advocacy and Social Justice. She has worked at the Harbor College CDC since February 2017. She enjoys working in the different age groups watching as children develop and express their unique personalities.

Aloha Castillo 

E-mail: castilac@lahc.edu

Office (310) 233-4205

Mobile: (323) 391-4627

Is the Senior Officer at the Child Development Center.  Her background and experience have allowed her many opportunities over the past 20 years to explore various positions in the field such as Co-Teacher in a preschool classroom setting, Teacher's Assistant, Substitute teacher as well as Office Assistant.  She obtained her Associate of Science degree for Child Development here at Los Angeles Harbor College and is also currently working to acquire an Associate of Science degree in Psychology.  She additionally holds a teacher's permit and is looking to further her education and attain a Site Supervisor's Permit.  She has been blessed with a loving husband and son with whom she cherishes her quality time.  What she enjoys most about working at the Center is being able to be a part of a program that is continuously growing and having the opportunity to provide and care for the individual children and their families. 

Maha Kozman


 Is the Child Development Center Food Service Aide. She has a Bachelor's Degree in Eastern Cultures and Languages as a major and a minor in Education from UCLA. She has been working with children for 20 years; working with children allows her to view their creative spark up close, and it is always endearing to see how the parents care for their children. On her time off, she is usually at a beach with her own children, enjoying the sun and taking a dip. In the winter, she enjoys being home, BBQ, and relaxing. She also truly enjoys cooking and learning the different culinary styles this world has to offer! 

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