Assistant Teacher Wendy Mendoza

I wish I could’ve found hazel woods sooner. It is such an amazing place to work for.

I’ve always been told to find a job that I feel happy going too. I have found that here at Hazel Woods preschool.

I love the concept of physical and social development through experiential and play based learning.

I love coming in everyday to work to see our beautiful students and learn from theamazing teachers around me.

Hazel Woods has motivated me to continue my career in early childhood. Prior to hazel woods I worked for a non profit organization tutoring and mentoring middle schoolers to help improve their grades and CST scores.

I have also been a certified makeup artist for 8 years and really enjoy working on clients every other weekend. During my time off I love spending the days with my lovely family. 

Meet Our Wonderful Teachers

Hazel Woods Teacher

Ana Zelaya

I feel very fortunate to have found Hazel Woods Preschool!  I am continually amazed by the amount of love and support I have found in this lovely school and am so thankful for the opportunity to be a part of this magical place.  

I have always believed that children learn best through play as it is where they are able to learn problem solving, social skills, gain self confidence, and learn about the world around us.  I love watching children learn, and experience new challenges and grow into capable, happy young children as they play. 


I feel blessed to be part of a Waldorf school where the whole child is recognized, and art, music, and appreciation of our earth are at the core of our philosophy. 

I have an educational background Family and Child Development and Special Education.  I have worked for several years as Preschool teacher, and an elementary school tutor for children with disabilities.

In my free time I love nothing more then being outdoors with my three young sons, my husband, and my grandfather.   


Hazel Woods Preschool

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Hazel Woods Director

Patti Binder
Dedicated to the idea of a public Waldorf school, Patti was actively involved in the opening of Ocean Charter School and has been involved with the Ocean Charter School community and governance for the past fifteen years, including a three year term on the Board of Trustees, as a dedicated parent, and as an Assistant Kindergarten Teacher. 

Patti studied Early Childhood Education and Emergency Medicine at Los Angeles Pierce College, CSUN, and UCLA Daniel Freeman.  She then pursued a career in Emergency Medicine where she ultimately became the Director of Continuing Education at the UCLA Department of Emergency Medicine before she took a hiatus to be home with her young children.

Patti was a a licensed Paramedic for over 25 years-

(CA EMSA license # A11658). 

After graduating UCLA Daniel Freeman she spent several years as a 911 Emergency Paramedic, Field Training Officer and Preceptor.

She has been a Paramedic Educator at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine, where she taught primary lectures as well as Pediatric Advanced Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, and Wilderness Medicine.  

Patti is married to Josh Binder a Battalion Chief for LA County Fire Department,  who she met in Paramedic school in 1989.  They have 2 daughters:  Kathryn is 22 and is a Senior at University of Wisconsin (Madison) with double majors in Legal Studies and Political Science, and is currently applying to Law School.  Her younger daughter Laura is 21.  She is a Junior at Tulane with double majors in Public Health and Psychology.  She plans to attend graduate school to become a child psychologist, and take over the family business when Patti retires.


Patti is a member of the (NAEYC) National Association for the Education of Young Children and the (CAEYC) California Association for the Education of Young Children. Hazel Woods Preschool is a member of the (LAPP) - The Los Preschool Partnership - a collaborative of 100 Los Angeles Preschools which represent the interests of children in opu community.

Additional Waldorf Training

 Art of Teaching Preschool - Rudolf Steiner College, Fair Oaks, Ca

The Developing Child from Birth to Seven Years - Sanderling Waldorf School, San Diego, Ca

Lifeways Early Childhood Training Program - Rudolph Steiner College, Fair Oaks, Ca


Painting, art collecting, hiking, non-profit work, cooking and travel.  Patti is also an Expert Licensed Skydiver #D9993, 

a PADI Certified Scuba Diver,

and a Master Gardener through the UCLA Cooperative Extension Program.

​​Hazel Woods Teacher

Vicky Simon

"As Early Childhood Educators, we are building a strong foundation for our children that will lead to their successful schooling years ahead."

Welcome to the wonderful years of preschool!  I'm Ms. Vicky and I am so happy to meet you! I know this is going to be a great year forall of us to grow and learn together.

Teaching has truly been a passion of mine since the moment it was introduced to me by my beautiful mom in my younger years. What I was taught in her classroom would give me the proper tools and fundamentals in early childhood. Creating a setting that allows each child to grow individually with the support and encouragement 

of the teacher has truly been my narrative throughout this incredible journey.

I look forward to amazing memories ahead.

About Me:
I have a soon to be 10 year old son who is my absolute world! 

Running every morning is something I enjoy doing simply because it allows me to listen to smooth jazz music uninterrupted LOL.

I taught for 10 years prior to taking a break from the classroom and being a one on one teacher/cook/doctor/playground runner/therapist/sippy cup cleaner to my little guy. The many hats all us mama's wear.

I also worked in the sports industry before heading back to teaching.  

Olivia Newton-John and I share a birthday together. Yay!

Fall is my all time favorite season. From pumpkin patches to the ever so beautiful color changing leaves, I am undoubtedly in my happy place.