Educators and Professionals


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Traci Demuth

Founder and Master Teacher

Dr. Traci Demuth has pursued her dreams of positively impacting education in a variety of ways through public, private, and non-profit programs. In 2013, she started Dream AcadeME Summer Camp. Since then Dr. Demuth has expanded Dream AcadeME with Homeschool, Tutoring, Afterschool classes, and consulting services.

Dr. Demuth received her Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.) in K-12 Education Leadership at USC in 2015. With over fifteen years of teaching experience, her most memorable experiences have been teaching Pre-K at Harvard University and working with parents to open micro-schools. Dr. Demuth weaves Reggio and Constructivism philosophies to create a curriculum that meets the needs of 21st century learners with personalized Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math project-based experiences. She incorporates the latest research and constantly evolves the curriculum to meet the students’ interests and needs.

Teaching children to read and write is one of the most rewarding experiences for Dr. Demuth as an educator. She facilitates a blended program of whole language, invented spelling, phonics, social constructivism, and process drama to maintain motivation for reading and writing. By incorporating the child's interests and moving at a pace that maintains the child's confidence, Dr. Demuth has observed numerous children make leaps and bounds in their literacy development. With a strong foundation in reading and writing, students are better able to research, document, and experiment with STEAM learning projects.

Most importantly, Dr. Demuth respects and highly values the parent-teacher partnership and works closely in regular communication with parents about their children’s experiences. Parents can expect regular documentation with children’s pictures, videos, and quotes, including details of the daily curriculum, to make the children’s learning visible.

In addition to her credentials in education, Dr. Demuth is also a certified yoga and fitness instructor. Many elements of yoga, movement, dance, meditation, and mindfulness are integrated into daily practices at Dream AcadeME.

Dr. Demuth has a deep passion for teaching and learning. She creates the most authentic and honest approach to education possible to prepare children for success in today’s globalized society. Dr. Demuth hopes you will join her endeavor in education reform and expresses her gratitude for sharing in these dreams.


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Nivedan Nayak

Educator

Nivedan is a private academic and music tutor, teaching by day and rocking the stage by night. Originally from the Bay Area, Nivedan moved down south to attend UCLA, graduating with a major in Mass Media Communications and a minor in Film & Television. After spending two years consulting the recruiting teams of the top Bay Area tech startups, including Airbnb and Counsyl, Nivedan moved on to focus on his lifelong passions in education and music.

Nivedan's strong academic background and broad life experience have allowed him to teach students in a variety of subjects. As a graduate of the rigorous International Baccalaureate program at Andrew P. Hill High School, he has demonstrated proficiency in math, science, English, and the arts at international testing standards. As a filmmaker, Nivedan holds a minor from UCLA's prestigious film school and has thousands of hours of experience both on set and in the editing bay; he continues to direct and edit music videos for local artists as well as his own band. As a musician, Nivedan has written, produced, and released records, toured California, and performed in front of 10,000 people.

Nivedan has extensive experience tutoring students from elementary to adult ages. Nivedan's energy and passion for what he teaches is infectious, creating an environment which ignites students' curiosities and stokes their excitement for discovery. His philosophy is that students learn best when they: 1) have a relationship with their teacher based on mutual trust, understanding, and respect; 2) clearly see how what they are learning applies to the real world; 3) are confident in their own capability to learn and eventually master what they study through passion, discipline, and hard work; and 4) most importantly, when they are having fun!

Nivedan's speciality is in being adaptable—in discovering the individual needs of his students and molding the lesson to best fit their learning style. His ultimate goal with his students is to give to them the tools to help them unlock and realize the potential within themselves to achieve success in whichever path of life they choose to walk.

When he's not tutoring or performing, you can find Nivedan inventing new dance moves or petting the nearest dog.


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Tessa Lamb

Educator

Tessa has over 15 years of teaching experience. She has earned her Bachelor in Elementary Education (BEd), Bachelor in Fine Arts (BFA), and Master in Fine Arts (MFA), all from the University of British Columbia. Tessa has her California Multi-Subject Teacher Credential and has completed a comprehensive Orton-Gillingham training in reading intervention.  Finally, she earned a Certificate in Early Childhood Education from Douglas College in British Columbia.

Tessa is a dynamic Educator with demonstrated capabilities in understanding child development, gifted education, emergent literacy and Fine Arts. She is focused on supporting the development of the whole child through assessing needs, supporting emotional and physical development, and creating differentiated curriculum. Tessa helps families understand and translate assessments into home practice. She works collaboratively with families to develop ways to support and facilitate their child's learning.

Tessa uses different tools and processes such as the Constructivist education, Waldorf-inspired curriculum, the Orton-Gillingham method, and artistic expression to create individualized and group programs. She has a strong proficiency in creating and applying diverse methods in different learning environments and for diverse needs. As an artist, Tessa has developed a unique ability to connect with children to create security, excitement and readiness to learn. She can make children feel understood and is committed to supporting the uniqueness of each child’s path of development.


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Sabrina Kern

German, music, and Theater Teacher

Sabrina Kern grew up in Zurich and moved to Los Angeles four years ago where she has been working as a professional actress on various stages as well as in front of the camera. Sabrina trained for over 10 years at some of the finest acting schools both in Europe, New York, and Los Angeles. Her knowledge is wide-ranging, but her specialties are improvisation and the Meisner Technique. Sabrina loves working with children and her teaching focus is to ensure the students feel safe, have fun, and take risks that will open a whole new world for them. 

Sabrina firmly believes that acting class is not only for children who want to grow up to be performers, but very valuable for anyone who wants to learn how to get out of their shell, speak publicly with confidence, or just be more open and receptive on a daily basis. Lessons that Sabrina leads might include studying the history of acting and various acting techniques, researching famous actors and performers to create biographies, learning improvisational games that teach confidence, creativity, and being present, developing scripts and scenes together to rehearse and perform, and visiting live theaters right here in the Los Angeles area.

Sabrina teaches German in a playful and fun way focusing on student's immediate surroundings, life situations, and the students dreams and interests. She guides children through investigations about German traditions, food, dress, society, lifestyle, geography, and more to learn the language in an authentic way! 

Sabrina's music classes are not your everyday musical instrument lesson. Children will learn some piano and ukulele with Sabrina, while integrating musical theater. The focus will be on singing and expressive dancing, as well as some music theater history. The classes are open-ended and she uses inquiry based learning. Sabrina includes some time focusing on rhythms, musical notes & measures, and music theory.

Excitingly, Sabrina just finished filming the new Darren Lynn Bousman movie ST AGATHA as the lead Agatha. For fun she likes to spend time with her dog, Flo, record songs and monologues in her home studio, and spend time with her family.


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Nancy Fleming

Educator

Nancy has been passionate about working with children of all ages since she was in high school. At the age of five, she started taking dance classes, performing and competing in all genres, and by high school she was teaching jazz, hip-hop, and ballet to all ages. After moving to L.A. in her twenties, Nancy took her dance to the next level appearing and choreographing for numerous music videos. Today she remains active in dance as a way of releasing her creativity. Nancy continues to teach elementary aged children dance and enjoys teaching creative techniques musicality, while integrating rhythm and art with movement.

Nancy’s passion for the Arts can be seen in her ability to guide children. Over a decade ago she started working for SVUSD in Orange County as a camp counselor in an after school program. After a few months, she was promoted as a Program Coordinator where she oversaw nine different school sites, hired staff members and teachers, helped to coordinate events, and organized after school activities at each site. While working for SVUSD she attended Cal State University Long Beach and graduated with a Liberal Arts Bachelors Degree in Education with an emphasis in Mathematics.

During her program at CSULB, she volunteered 180 hours at an inner city public school where she gained experience teaching in a Japanese immersion Kindergarten classroom. When she moved to LA Nancy taught at a private school in Culver City called Turning Point School. Here she taught preschool through middle school aged children along with teaching specialized classes for the after school enrichment program.

Many experiences have contributed to Nancy’s growth in teaching, but she knew that teaching had to be much more than set lesson plans in order for children to expand their knowledge. Recently, she joined the PeaPods Schoolhouse, a Reggio Emilia inspired school that offers STEAM provocations, located in Mar Vista. Her role at the school was Associate Director and lead teacher, where she could help guide students through STEAM and explorations. One of Nancy’s fondest memories of a child was making mud pies with loose materials her mother used to give her in the backyard. Nancy’s philosophy on teaching is to not tell kids the answers, but rather guiding them to learn the answers through their experiences, surrounding environments, and interests. 

Nancy is thrilled to be a part of Dream AcadeME and has worked closely before with Dr. Demuth as a Kindergarten and First grade teacher. She’s exhilarated to bring her experience in the garden and coming up with farm to table recipes with Dream AcadeME students. Nancy will be sharing her passion and creativity of dance with the children along with her love for cooking and baking, while incorporating all components of STEAM. Whether it be experimenting with fondant and shapes in the kitchen, measuring tablespoons and cups for a recipe, or painting while dancing, she’s a firm believer that the memories that children create in their young minds are the ones that mold and shape who they become.


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Stee Gfeller

Music, Drum, And Keys Teacher

Stee's very first drum set was made of pots and pans from his mom's kitchen as soon as he could walk! Rhythm is definitely in his DNA with a drummer mom and guitarist dad. Stee started to perform in his father's band at the age of nine - although you couldn't see much of him behind the drumset! Winning the Swiss National Drummer competition at the age of 11 and again at 12 and 13, Stee decided to study music. He then auditioned for Switzerland's top music-school at the age of 16. After four years of studying mainly drums and keys, he started teaching in local schools while starting his own band with his sister, Coco, and making a name for as himself as one of the country's top drummers.

Stee has played for audiences of 25,000 and more. Now living in LA, he has recently been invited to join the star-studded troupe, "Street Drum Corps", as well as playing drums, keys, guitars, and producing for his own band "The Zibbz" and other artists. Stee is an all around talent and loves working with children to share his passion and inspire them to play music.


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Corinne 'Coco' Gfeller

Music, Dance, And Voice teacher

Coco's passion for dance and music started at ther early age of six, when she began taking ballet, jazz, and hip hop classes in her hometown of Muri, Switzerland. At the age of ten, she choreographed her very first show for her school. She danced and choreographed all throughout her teenage years five days a week (after school hours) and was accepted to one of Europe's most famous performing-arts colleges in London, "Laine Theatre Arts" at the age of 16. There, she studied all forms of dance, acting, and singing for three years as well as getting her "International Teachers of Dance" diploma. Coco then toured with several musical shows including "Beauty and the Beast", "We Will Rock You", and "Grease".

Finally, she decided to pursue her dream of starting her own band "The Zibbz" with her brother, Stee, and moved to Los Angeles in 2011. Coco has always had a deep passion to inspire children, to give them the courage to be themselves, and learn to express their feelings through dance.


 
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Jacquelyn Cohen

Atelierista

Jacqui has enjoyed working with children in a variety of settings since her early college years. She earned her Bachelors degree in fine arts with an emphasis in art history and she also has a Masters of Science degree in psychology. She attended art summer programs at both Otis Parsons and abroad in Italy. Early in college Jacqui was an assistant preschool teacher. After earning her Masters in psychology she worked in schools as a therapist intern and utilized art as one of the ways to help children and teens connect and express themselves. Her Master’s thesis was on the use and benefits of art therapy within certain populations. Jacqui also volunteered and taught art in a public school class when funding could not provide the art teacher for the full school year. She is passionate about both psychology and art and loves being able to help facilitate and encourage each child’s unique sense of creativity and expression through art. Currently, she is also getting her certification to teach children’s yoga.