On a Friday evening in November 2015, Ceci James enjoyed the camaraderie of fellow faculty, staff, and friends while celebrating her 20th year as a teacher at HSH. After relocating from Colorado to California, Ceci discovered HSH while searching for a school for her youngest son. As a parent she wanted a school with a strong curriculum, an emphasis on the performing arts, and a small student-teacher ratio.She found all of those things at HSH and enrolled her son in HSH’s 6th Grade. During that school year, Ceci joined the HSH community as a Transition Teacher (now known as Jr. Kindergarten).
Born and raised in Denver, Ceci graduated with a BA from Loretto Heights College earning her degree with a Major in English Literature and Minor in Elementary Education. After graduation she taught Third Grade, developing a personalized language arts curriculum for each of her students.
After three years she traded the classroom for the nursery but soon returned to education, this time in the field of Early Childhood. Having little ones at home, observing their physical growth and mental development, she became thoroughly intrigued with the development of the young mind. She enrolled in Continuing Ed programs focusing on this age group. Seeing a need she started a preschool for 3 and 4 year olds in her children’s elementary school. In keeping with the philosophies of Jean Piaget and John Dewey the program emphasized the importance of play and experiential learning. She directed and taught in the program for fifteen years.
Ceci brought her experience, talents, and skills to HSH teaching first in Transition and then in Kindergarten. After eight years she became Director of the Learning Center. For many reasons the Learning Center is an exciting place to be; but her favorite is that it allows her the opportunity to work with the same students over the course of a few years. “It is so awesome to read a beautifully developed story written by a third grader remembering how this child’s journey began.”
She continues with her own love of school and learning by taking classes at UCLA Extension and attending various workshops. For fun she enjoys reading, traveling, photography, shopping, eating out, movies, and hiking.
Hollywood Schoolhouse offers her endless possibilities for personal growth, inspiration, and opportunities to impart a love of learning to those she teaches.