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Educators 2020-01-28T23:01:40-07:00


In addition to being fully credentialed experts in their fields, and having lots of real life experiences serving families, our educators are simply nice people, too.

They have helped thousands of families, and want to help yours as well.


Raquel Lemus, CPM, LM

Raquel has been supporting families throughout pregnancy, birth, and postpartum since 2012. She provides holistic family-centered care as a childbirth educator, lactation educator, yoga instructor, and Certified Professional Midwife (CPM), Licensed Midwife (LM). Raquel believes in the intelligent wisdom of the human body. It is this intelligence that she adores witnessing her students connect to in her classes. It fills her with honor to teach and bear witness to such sacred life cycles.


Katie Waters-Smith, IBCLC

Katie supports breastfeeding families as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and through her work at a local hospital assisting new families. She is a former birth and postpartum doula. Katie works to encourage women and their families to be confident in their innate ability to birth and care for their babies. She is passionate about women and families from all walks of life having access to amazing birth and postpartum experiences. She enjoys providing families information and tools to confidently care for bond with their babies.


Jessica Claire, IBCLC

Jessica started helping breastfeeding families as a volunteer and quickly realized how rewarding it was to assist in the transition to parenthood. After becoming an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), she started her private practice. In addition to her private practice, Jessica teaches prenatal breastfeeding classes, hosts ongoing breastfeeding support groups, and works as an in-patient lactation specialist at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital.


Kim-Lan Dovan, MFT

Kim-Lan is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, with over 15 years of specialized experience with babies, young children, and their parents. Her background is in child development with intensive training in infant mental health. Kim-Lan has been a  Mommy & Me instructor for the over a decade and has worked with hundreds of families. Kim-Lan is the mother of a young daughter and fondly remembers their time together in Mommy & Me class. She believes all new parents deserve a community where they can grow and learn with their babies. Kim-Lan’s passion is to offer guidance and support to new mothers and fathers through a mindful and informative approach, as they take their first steps on their journey through parenthood.


Ryan Carey

Ryan is a former firefighter, EMT, and an educator with nearly ten years of hands-on experience. In addition to numerous other positions, Ryan has worked at the Pasadena Fire Department and the United States Forest Services, as a senior firefighter and lead EMT. He is currently the EMT Program Director and professor at El Camino Community College, where he oversees, directs, and coordinates the day-to-day functions of the EMT program.


Kristina Pulister

Kristina is a trained Babywearing Educator through the Center for Babywearing Studies and a child care professional. She is also a leader for BabywearingLA and has facilitated countless babywearing clinics, workshops, and groups.


Lexsea Mann

Lexsea’s life has always circled back to working with children, whether through outdoor education, art education, or traditional classroom settings.  She has a Master’s Degree in Education, holds both a California Multiple Subject Teaching Credential and an Art Teaching Credential and has years of experience teaching at both local independent private and public elementary schools.  Most importantly, she is a mom to two young boys and found her own experiences as a parent spark an interest and passion for supporting new parents. She believes the support and camaraderie that you develop in Parent & Me is an irreplaceable experience and that there is nothing like the community you build around the birth of your children.  Lexsea has been part of The Family Room family for over four years and also co-developed and facilitated Messy Play/Art at The Family Room for babies through toddlers.


Cheryl Elffers

Cheryl’s passion for working with children is evident by her more than twenty years of experience in education. Cheryl has a California teaching credential and previously taught in an elementary school setting for five years, in both first and second grades. After raising her four children, she returned to education and has been teaching preschool-aged children at St. Edmund’s Nursery School in San Marino for the last fifteen years. She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree and particularly loves working with young children to engage their natural curiosity through a variety of activities that stimulate and encourage discovery.


Gia Blount

Gia has been supporting families in the San Gabriel Valley for more than fifteen years through her work at Pasadena City College, where she is a Child Development professor, Parent Education Coordinator and instructor. She has a Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education, however, many of her insights into parenting support come from her personal experience raising two boys who are so different from one another it deepened her awareness that there is not one “right” way to parent. Her goal is to help parents develop their parenting intuition and tailor the overwhelming amounts of parenting “advice” to become their child’s optimal parent.


Rebecca Carr

Rebecca is an accomplished musician with years of education and teaching experience in both voice and piano. With degrees in Music Education, piano, voice and a California teaching certification, she is passionate about making music education accessible to everyone. She is the founder of Encore Music & Performing Arts, where she has used her experience to build a team of educators who are effective and inspiring. Rebecca is delighted to bring that passion for music and learning to the early childhood years through ‘The Music Room’!


Veronika Luu

Veronika teaches children’s music and voice therapy at Encore Music & Performing Arts. She received a Bachelors Degree in Speech Therapy and her extensive background includes teaching voice, guitar, songwriting, preschool, and speech therapy. Veronika specializes in children’s music, having written, recorded, and performed many of her own children’s songs and theater shows! She loves to share her joy of music and laughter with each of her young students, all to inspire their creativity and musical understanding.

Denise Peyre

Denise Peyre is a 285-hour Certified Yoga Teacher with added pre/post natal specific education. She became passionate about helping support and build community for Yogi Mamas through wellness after the birth of her son in 2016.  With focus on listening to your body and baby, her classes are designed to build strength and find relief depending on where your body is in it’s Motherly journey. She is also a CAPPA-trained postpartum doula and her classes help to educate and inspire well into your 4th trimester and beyond!