Teachers & Leadership

Our Teachers

Trevor Graham-Wilcox, Redwoods Lead Teacher

Trevor has a passion for deepening our connection to the world and taking on meaningful challenges. This stemmed largely from his seven years as a director and facilitator at an outdoor education center and summer camp in the mountains of San Diego County. It was there he learned to appreciate the point of view of children and work to support their growth as unique human beings on this awesome planet. In teaching he finds that each day is packed with opportunities to explore our minds, bodies and hearts. Trevor earned his B.A. from Wheaton College in Massachusetts and has his Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from Cal State Dominguez Hills. He loves playing and writing music, running while listening to podcasts, and bike rides to Mexican restaurants with his son, Jude, and wife, Ashley.


Seth Rogers, Nature Growers Lead Teacher

Seth Rogers is an educator, writer, and publisher. He is an experienced advocate for the community-based model of education. As a teacher in New York, he loved finding the way to inspire learning through local business studies, community events, and field trips to local landmarks. Upon moving to California, Seth worked in Educational Publishing, but soon realized the need to be contributing to his community in the classroom setting. Seth is a graduate of SUNY-Cortland with over 13 years of learning with students of all ages.


Kelsey Smith, Acorns Lead Teacher
For the last five years, Kelsey has been a lead teacher at Alta Vista CDC. She was born and raised in the South Bay graduated from Redondo Union High School in 2008 (Go Seahawks!). She studied Non-Profit Leadership and Management at Arizona State University and was an active member of their Best Buddies International Collegiate Chapter. Shortly after the birth of her (TKG student) daughter, she made the decision to move back home to continue her studies in Child Development at Los Angeles Harbor College and American Sign Language at El Camino College.   She is certified in Nonviolent Communication (Compassionate Parenting), Adult/Child/Infant CPR First Aid, and AED. Kelsey holds a child development teaching permit with the State of California through the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. Before working at Alta Vista CDC, she was a preschool teacher at Riviera Playschool in Redondo Beach. 

Nicolette Rodriguez-Moody, Pre-K/D Teacher
Nicolette (they/ them) will be our pre-K lead teacher. Their background in education includes over 6 years in progressive public and private schools in all over Los Angeles as a K-8 lead & Enrichment teacher. With a teaching philosophy of “follow; support; question,” they are rooted in community aid and abolition for all people. Nicolette is returning to TKG after being away for four years and they are especially excited about expanding the classroom beyond walls.  Nicolette is a parent of an amazing red-headed 17-month-old with an amazing spouse of 4 years but together for 8…and they love board games! Their other roles include doula, childbirth educator, and future Montessori Guide! Their goals for Fall Enrichment will follow a flow that allows for play, exploration, and independence while including math, social justice, emotional regulation, writing, and reading into every session. 
Alicia Kwan, Enrichment Teacher
Alicia is a recent graduate from UCLA majoring in Environmental Science. She has a passion for sustainability, education, and fostering a supportive and nursing environment for others especially children. She also works at Corridor Flow and in her free time you’ll find her reading, baking, or taking a walk in nature. 

Leadership & Business

Trish Valdez, Interim Executive Director & Co-Founder

Trish Valdez was inspired to start TKG when she felt stuck between choosing between “we’re doing the best we can” and “you can’t afford it.” Thinking that a different, innovative and student-centered choice should be available to more families and unwilling to accept the status quo, she began to create opportunities for like-minded parents to help build the vision that was the foundation for TKG. Funneling her skills as a student of sociology (UCLA ’96) and a marketing and PR executive with over 23 years of experience combined with her personal journey as a passionate parent of two boys (15 & 13) and first-generation citizen of the United States, she manages the business logistics & operations structure of our school.

Bria Biesmon-Simons, Bookkeeper

As the Bookkeeper at TKG, Bria helps run numbers for the school. Bria grew up in the South Bay and attended Scripps College in Claremont, California. She graduated summa cum laude, earning a B.A. in Sociocultural Anthropology and a minor in Latin American Studies. Bria also works for Peninsula School of Performing Arts and teaches ballet in Palos Verdes. Each summer, she runs the registration for 250 at risk kids to attend P.S. I Love You Foundation’s annual Day at the Beach Event. Bria is happy to be part of the TKG Community!

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