Big Kids Teachers

Lela Besom

Lela Besom

Lela besom is an artist and early childhood educator.  She started working at Hilltop in 2012 in the Big Kids program.  She has also taught at Cambridge Friends School in Cambridge, MA, and at Giddens school in Seattle.  Lela is dedicated to sharing art making with kids and supporting positive social and emotional development.  She is currently working on developing her anti-bias education practices with the Big Kids!

Joel

Joel

I manage Hilltop’s professional development Institute, including coordinating professional visits, trainings, coaching, and other opportunities for collaboration between Hilltop educators and the larger early learning community.

I came to Hilltop in the Spring of 2010 as an intern in the Beach Room.  Shortly thereafter, I also began work in the Big Kids program.  In the fall of 2014, I shifted out of the classroom and into a new role as the business manager of Hilltop’s professional development Institute.  In my time at Hilltop, I have learned much from its very unique environment, educational philosophy, approach to working with children, and, of course, community.  And in my role with Hilltop’s Institute, I am honored to have the opportunity to build systems for sharing that learning with the larger early learning community. I have a B.A. in Children, Youth & Family Studies and am working on my M.A. in Human Development from Pacific Oaks College.

Philip

Philip

My name is Philip and I’m a man of many interests. I love spending time out in nature, exploring new places, playing music, helping things grow, and speaking Spanish, to name a few. People often tell me I’m really “chill,” but I might surprise you sometimes with a zany outburst I’m excited to work in the Big Kids program because I love the great questions that kids ask and the enthusiasm that they have for life.