Professional Background


Melissa Spiegelman has been working in tandem with parents to help their children achieve the best possible results for over fifteen years. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from California State University, Northridge. Melissa also studied at Pepperdine University where she graduated with a California Clear Teaching Credential and a Masters Degree in Education, with an emphasis on English Language Acquisition. She has also been educated in NonViolent Communication, as well as other conflict resolution programs, and has trained parents on how to use these highly effective systems.

Melissa is a National Writing Project fellow and presenter. She has also presented at the UNLV Graduate School of Education, and at a UCLA workshop benefiting inner-city youth and their parents. Melissa has experience teaching and inspiring students from Kindergarten through eighth grade, and also spent time teaching English to executives in Madrid, Spain.

Melissa has also provided workshops for parent to improve student outcomes, launched two Family Writing Projects, and has served as a member of the Student Success Team Committee, where she devised teaching strategies and learning objectives to meet the needs of students in decline, as well as gifted students requiring more specialized curriculum. She has also developed and trained school staffs on how to implement dynamic writing curriculum, and has worked collaboratively with parents and teachers to assess student work and devise strategies to enable students to meet State Standards.

Melissa believes that instruction should be individualized and tailored to students’ interests and academic needs by emphasizing hands-on learning experiences. She has experience working with all types of families: Hollywood stars, the working middle-class, and families from the culture of poverty. Melissa was able to teach authentically, while still giving her students the skills to consistently be among the top scorers in the city of Los Angeles on the CST.

Melissa is a Google Certified Educator and was instrumental in launching a school-wide one-to-one iPad program during her most recent full time teaching position. She is currently working as an expert consultant to the USC/LAUSD/RAND/UCLA Trauma Services Adaptation Center for Resilience, Hope and Wellness in Schools, a community-based research partnership, on the STAT (Support for Teachers Affected by Trauma) project and hosting art playgroups for toddlers.

Illustration of Patrick

Patrick Garland began his educational career working in a hospital for children with severe mental and physical disabities. He continued this by creating plans to help teachers successfully mainstream special education students into traditional classrooms.

He received his Bachelors Degree in Communication from Loyola Marymount University, where he eventually earned a Master’s Degree in Reading and Literacy Development.

Patrick has worked in Reading Clinics, diagnosing learning disabilities and designing programs to address student’s specific academic needs.

He has spent the last six years working at progressive, student-centered charter schools throughout southern California.  Patrick holds a California Clear Teaching Credential.

Image of QueenieS. “Queenie”  Lindsey’s work with schools, learning centers, parents and kids emphasizes process-based education, which heightens critical consciousness and dynamic thinking. To her “education is a leading out of what is already there in [a child’s] soul.”  Her classroom and coaching curriculum is in tandem with the needs/interest of her students.Queenie has worked with children in grades K-12 in various formats; individual, small groups and whole class for over ten years. Her early work was in reading, intervention and assessment supporting parents, and teachers in the IEP process.In 2004, as the Lead Resource Teacher at HRC, she piloted  a program  providing intervention and support for underperforming students with varying learning disabilities. In this position she managed a talented support staff and trained them in her innovative strategies.

Queenie is highly trained in project-based curriculum, strategic design, & various Inquiry Learning Models. She uses Life Enriching Communication to develop her students academic and emotional intelligences while mixing a dash of magic and skill to create the optimal learning environment . She firmly believes that “we shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”

Queenie has designed summer orientation and professional development training materials. She has mentored teachers in the experiential/constructivist implementation process, while serving as a member on the curriculum and support team. In 2007 she served as a key player in the charter renewal process for the school she worked at working with stakeholders, parents, and community members.

She is a trained intergroup dialogue and diversity facilitator and has created a curriculum for middle school students that  gave them the tools to grapple with complex issues such as race, class, and gender. Queenie is a graduate of Occidental College with a Bachelors Degree in Psychology and holds a Masters Degree in Human Development with an emphasis in Social Change from Pacific Oaks College. She also possesses her California Clear Teaching Credential.

Queenie is the founder of Distinguished Learning Group, LLC an academic coaching company. Annually, DL(G) offers a project-based summer camp for kids 6-12 yrs old, called Camp N’Vision.