Bringing Long Beach Learners and Educators together

Our goal at Long Beach Learning Hub is to make it easy for homeschooling families to connect with excellent teachers to enrich their children's program of study, and to make it easy for teachers to do what they do best....teach!  Simply put, we are the connectors; we are the hub!

Fair, equitable, and transparent

Long Beach Learning Hub is founded on the principles of fairness, equity, and transparency.  We are a sole proprietorship run on a volunteer basis by a Long Beach homeschooling parent, in service of local independent educators.  We are in the process of incorporating as a nonprofit organization.  Long Beach Learning Hub does not mark up the rental cost of classroom space, and business costs are shared equitably among participating educators on a per-semester basis.

Our Independent Educators

Ayopechtli

Preschool Teacher

Ayopechtli’s love for a different way of teaching and parenting comes from many experiences and influences. As a Purepecha native, her indigeneity shapes her world-view and inspires her teaching interests as well. Ayopechtli has offered native programming for over 20 years. She currently co-facilitates rites of passage for native youth from Mexico and Central America and other ceremonies that are of great importance to the religious and cultural needs of the Indigenous communities that reside here from Mexico and Central America. She and her family also participate with the Tongva nation, and attend Pow Wows that serve to connect with other native peoples from Turtle Island. They’ve volunteered with the Los Cerritos Wetlands for several years helping to clean and revitalize this very important coastal ecosystem. These activities, among many more, not only enrich their lives but also bring much joy to her family.

Prior to homeschooling, Ayopechtli worked at a public school for over a decade before homeschooling her own children. What she saw and experienced there as an Indigenous teacher definitely impacted her choice to homeschool her children. She also made sure to simultaneously incorporate a way of informing her community of that educational option. During that period of time as a teacher, her social activism and focus on social justice, resulted in making a difference in her community, not only with youth but also with future child-care educators by providing classes to fill in the gaps for what is missing in the public school discourse. Under a specialty program for childcare providers Ayopechtli was an adjunct professor at Pacific Oaks College. During that time she shared information with child-care providers that encouraged them to be agents of social change within their own communities. She also co-founded Cuicacalli, House of Song, an after-school program offered to children from the South East Los Angeles area that introduced them to ancestral teachings from various Indigenous nations. Ayopechtli also participated with Xinaxtli, another after school program, which brought native teachings to young women, as well theatrical presentations to homeless families in East Los Angeles. Her family has also volunteered with various community gardens, Proyecto Jardin and Zapotepec, helping to ensure green spaces that were and continue to be culturally relevant to the communities the gardens serve.

Within the homeschooling community she has been involved in creating safe spaces for native and people of color via community-building park days for families and their children. She also co-facilitated several bilingual classes for Great Educational Experiences, GEE, and co-ran a summer Native Preschool Camp. For several years now, she has been part of a committee that seeks to inform Spanish speaking families who wish to homeschool of their rights to do so through the association Raices y Semillas: Opciones Educativas.

Formally Ayopechtli received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California Santa Cruz majoring in Latin & Latino American Studies and a minor in Literature. The National Association for Chicano and Chicana Studies twice selected her thesis for presentation at their annually held conference. Ayopechtli then pursued a Master’s Degree in Chicano & Chicana Studies at California State University Los Angeles. While there she was nominated for Who’s Who in American Universities and Colleges. She has also received training from ECHO parenting in Non-Violent Communication. And just recently she graduated from the city of Long Beach’s Neighborhood Leadership Program. Ayopechtli’s academic training has been surpassed by her own desire to learn beyond university settings. She has been highly influenced by Paulo Freire’s work on conscientización, Daniel J. Siegel and Tina P. Bryson’s work on parenting and neurobiology, as well as that of Dr. Amen’s, Michael Gurian’s very informative writings on boys and young men has helped her understand better the social needs of children, and the insightful and compassionate writings of Gabor Mate guides her understanding and treatment of our drug addicted and homeless community. She is also an apprentice to her elder in keeping the rights and rituals of her community’s cultural and religious practices and needs. Ayopechtli’s love of literature and science make Octavia Butler one of her most beloved writers as well as Giaconda Belli, Zora Neale Hurston, Sandra Cisneros and so many more.

All of the above has shaped and formed Ayopechtli’s parenting and teaching practices so that what she brings to her community is a compassionate approach and the desire to share her people’s teachings of love for the earth, love for one another, and the joy of being.

Erin Chianese

English Teacher

Erin Chianese has been teaching writing to homeschoolers since 1995. Her passion is reading and writing, which she loves sharing with children and young adults. As a homeschooling mom herself, she was one of six teachers in a small cooperative for elementary students. She was able there to begin her journey of creating her own writing methods and curriculum. She found that by hooking students into their own clever ideas, their interest is piqued, and they are willing to express those ideas in writing.  Further playing with words simply sparked vivid, clearer writing.

During her children’s adolescence, Erin wrote a regular column for six years, “Between 12 and 20,” for The Link Homeschool Newspaper. Honing her own writing skills gave her the experience to relate to other writers and the hard work of writing.  During that time, she also led book clubs for adults and children, as well as writing groups for children. In these latter groups, all participants shared writing and critiquing, successes and struggles. Now she strives to create a safe environment in her classes for students to feel comfortable sharing their opinions and precious writings. When Erin’s daughters left for college nine years ago, she focused her time on teaching literature and writing classes.

Her teaching philosophy still centers around challenging young writers to play with language. The more experience a student has with engaging in and stretching writing skills, the richer and smoother that writer’s articulation becomes. She has had the honor and delight to watch many of her students blossom in expression and master the art of writing.  Visit Erin online here.

Rosemary Cullinan

Cooking/Arts& Crafts Teacher

Rosemary Cullinan is a dual career person who identifies both as an educator and chef. She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from UC Riverside and her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from Cal State Long Beach.

Her teaching experiences include public, private, and charter schools, as well as a small homeschooling co-op in which she taught History, Social Studies, Math, Writing, and Cooking.

As a former restaurant owner and chef, with extensive experience in restaurants, cooking is a life long passion for her.

"To be a  Cooking Teacher is a dream come true. I love working with children in the kitchen and am enlivened by their natural passion for cooking. My philosophy is that children can benefit in so many ways from learning this important life skill. So much of the food that comes across our path daily is processed and unhealthful. If this skill is acquired early in life, children can benefit from a lifetime of conscious, delicious eating."

Rosemary uses the cooking experience as a springboard for multiple learning opportunities. She incorporates math, as well as nutrition, the origins and cultures related to various foods, smart shopping, consumer awareness, and best practices in the kitchen.

"I foster a team spirit in the kitchen in which we all participate with this unifying goal to make a delicious meal. It is so gratifying to experience the cooperation and excitement that happens in the group cooking experience. At the end of class, when we all sit down together to eat, it's nothing but big smiles and pride in the accomplishment."

Ines Echegaray

Organic History Teacher

Hello. My name is Ines Echegaray. I've been working for over 25 years in education and the arts with children and families in the non-profit sector as a teacher and a grant writer and project coordinator. I have also taught in Waldorf, Montessori, Reggio-Emilia and Constructivist Schools and Homeschooling Cooperatives for 30 years now. My background is not only in administration, grant writing, outreach, fundraising, volunteer coordination, office management, PR, teaching, activism and social media connection but in puppetry, film, multi-media installation, mural projects and Theater of the Oppressed. Aesthetics and community organizing inspire me as do having fun learning and activism. I have a deep commitment to outreach, connection, education, labor, sustaining artistry and finding/recognizing the intersectionality of art and social justice. I am here to share what i know and I intend to use it to help develop policy and work with the non-profits and learning environments I serve.

My experience with systems work is such that I have tried to use my knowledge to encourage creating circles of support in schools/learning centers and the non-profits I work with...to share knowledge, grow better communication in community and to have a more direct effect on our learning and learning environments alongside the people we serve and to ultimately address power dynamics.

I am very excited about learning more in this class alongside your children and look forward to Praxis and working/learning in community with everyone here.

I work with a few non-profits. They are almost all learning organizations because they are trying to distance themselves from more traditional hierarchal organizations and working to give their workers or members more agency. I am happy that I can learn along-side my co-workers, co-leaders, co-teachers and co-artists in an environment that promotes growth, experimentation and innovation, to move away from the oppressive and toward more creative and supportive and constructive feedback. I co-founded Caminos, which is an Interactive Non-Violent Communication Puppet Theater. I am the Founder of the Ridgewood Heights Neighborhood Association, which is a power sharing collective. I am a Camp Fire leader/mentor for two groups and I teach grant writing to community groups and youth service organizations in Long Beach and surroundings through the City of Long Beach's Neighborhood Leadership Project.

My office is in Downey, CA but I live in Long Beach, CA, in the Pacific Time Zone. If you have questions, please feel free to text me at (562) 212-8820 as that is my preferred commuication - or - you can email me at inesalejandraechegaray@gmail.com and I will get back to you in 24 hours. I look forward to working together. In Solidarity, 🙂 Ines

Edward Stafford

Board Games and Music History Teacher

Before becoming a board game ambassador, Edward worked in the music industry for over 15 years.  He worked for RCA records just out of high school and was an Alternative Marketing Rep back when “alternative” was a new genre of music.  He managed a big box music retailer and several cool and hip indie record shops before the mass extinction of The Record Store in the early 2000s nearly wiped them off the face of the planet.  He also studied Ethnomusicology, opened his own record store just in time for MP3s to crash the CD economy, and ran a boutique jazz label whose recordings featured many world-class artists.  He also played in punk rock bands, DJed at bars and gallery openings, wrote music reviews and essays for several publications, and was a DJ and and Music Director at his university radio station.

After a long sabbatical from the world of music, Edward has decided to put his hard-earned and otherwise useless treasure trove of music knowledge to use.  His music appreciation class is inspired own kids’ discovery of music through memes, anime, and YouTube playlists, and the infotaining discussions that followed.

Edward holds a bachelors degree in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Southern California.  He worked as a closed captioner for the hearing impaired for a decade before becoming a full time game master.  He lives in Long Beach with his lovely and patient wife, Sasha, their three children, four cats, one blind, diabetic dog, one ancient tortoise, and a bangin’ shrimp tank.  You can learn more about Edward's board game ambassadorship here.  Contact Edward directly at Edward@game-runner.net.

Darren Taylor

Language Teacher

For the last 16 years, I have taught all ages, from 3 to 60, as a teacher, tutor, and substitute.  During this time, my area of specialization has been languages.

My love of language is rooted, in part, within my family environment, where I grew up hearing English, Spanish, and Vietnamese.  After High School, I went to work and quickly became bored with office life.  So when the opportunity to become a teacher in China came along, I jumped at it and quickly began teaching myself Mandarin.  I became fluent within 2 years and began studying other languages in my free time.  My facility with language also helped me become a freelance journalist and translator.

A the age of 32, I returned to the US to pursue a college education.  Since that time, I have continued to teach and study various languages, including Japanese, Mandarin, Spanish, ESL, Vietnamese, Farsi, and Irish.

In addition to teaching language, I have also taught Creative Writing, Drama, and most K-12 subjects.

My approach to learning is influenced by my difficulties and differences with formal education.  I am dyslexic and did not understand what it meant until recently.  And coming from a working class background, education was often treated as something distant and incomprehensible.  Additionally, my teaching style has been influenced by background in activism and community organizing, on student issues, war, gender justice, worker organizing, racial justice, and housing.

In education, there is an endless possibility of creativity and discovery.  Over the years, I have learned to make my differences my strengths, and I find fulfillment in helping my students do the same.

Paula Tsoi-a-Sue

Math and Science Teacher

Paula majored in physical chemistry and minored in mathematics at UCLA. During her last year there she began coaching gymnastics in South Pasadena and grew to love working with the kids and helping them break skills down into manageable pieces.  When she began tutoring some students of the gym she adapted that teaching philosophy to math and science.  Paula believes that the key to success in learning is helping students trust in their own abilities.  She will work with you and your child to identify and address any gaps in learning in math and the physical sciences which will help them tackle new topics with confidence.  Email Paula here.