Teachers


team member

Mrs. Sherri Laboon


Executive Director
Sherri has been the owner/operator of Roots and Wings since 1977.  She obtained her Associates degree in Early Education from Moorpark College and was awarded the Child Development Student of the Year in 1989. She was an adjunct faculty for Ventura Community Colleges, teaching a wide variety of coursework in Human Development and Early Education. She was a successful grant writer and was awarded numerous grants and contracts to operate child care programs for the City of Thousand Oaks and Many Mansions. She went on to obtain a Bachelors degree in Organizational Management and a Masters degree in Leadership and Management from the University of La Verne. In additional to providing oversight of the Roots and Wings organization, she has also held positions as the State Director of Child Development Community Action Partnership and currently is the Early Learning Specialist for Northwest Educational Service District in Washington state. Through ongoing professional events at the national, state and local level, she stays continually abreast of developments and research in early childhood education.  In her spare time, she enjoys yoga, traveling, sailing, hiking and spending time with her husband (a ceramic artist), four grown children and four grandsons.
team member

Mrs. Kerri Launer


Director
Kerri began her career in early childhood education over thirty years ago and has had the pleasure of working in both teacher and director roles.  In 2003, she joined Roots and Wings, and has since enriched the lives of thousands of students and families. Her unwavering commitment to children is fueled by the love her students exude. Kerri loves how young children look at even seemingly small things with excitement and wonder.   She sees them as honest and playful, soaking up everything around them. “What better way to spend your day watching children learn and grow in an environment where they have opportunities to make choices and flourish?” Outside of school, Kerri loves to walk and hike. Above all, she enjoys spending time with her husband Craig; her two grown sons, Shane and Brett; and her two young grandchildren.  Kerri is a local expert; she has spent over forty years in the Simi Valley area. She has a special interest in writing poems and even simple classroom songs. Kerri is a member of the National Association of Young Children and VCAEYC.
team member

Ms. Diana Arriaga


Teacher
Diana joined Roots & Wings in 2001 and has more than a decade of experience working exclusively with toddlers.  With such rapid development during the toddler period, Diana believes in providing an enriching environment in which they can grow and develop. “I enjoy witnessing them become independent, develop verbally and make some of their first friendships!”When not with toddlers, she spends time going to the beach, camping, roller-skating, skiing and barbequing.   She values spending quality time with her family and friends whenever she can. Originally from Chatsworth, she relocated to Ventura County after the 1994 Northridge earthquake. Diana holds a Ventura County Associate Teacher permit and both WestEd Special Needs and Infant/Toddler certifications.
team member

Ms. Michelle Clark


Teacher
 Michelle Clark is from Oregon where went to school at Portland State University and earned her  Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Psychology with an emphasis on family studies during that time Michelle began teaching at a new and upcoming active learning preschool in Portland.  She is a lifelong learner, an athlete, and a child at heart. In her free time, Michelle enjoys traveling, playing flag football and volleyball, hiking, meeting new people, and spending time with family. She describes herself as hard working, dedicated, and friendly, and  uses those traits to propel herself through all aspects of life.
team member

Mrs. Jamie Starr-Garcia


Teacher
Jamie Starr-Garcia is a preschool teacher at Roots and Wings and has been working in the field of child development for 18 years. Jamie obtained her child development units at Oxnard College and began her career because she wants to make a difference in the life of a child. “Teaching young children has been very rewarding” says Jamie, “to create memories, see life through children’s eyes is such a gift and I am so happy to be a part of it.” Jamie has been married to her husband Carlos for 16 years, she has a 23 year old step son, an 18 year, a 12 year old and a 9 year old daughter; three boys and a girl. Along with her family, Jamie lives in Ventura where she loves sports, the beach, movie and camping. 
team member

Ms. Hope Roberts


Teacher
Hope is a teacher in one of our preschool classrooms and has over 35 years experience working with young children  She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of LaVerne in early childhood education and is also a certified as a registered behavior technician. It is evident in Hope’s daily interactions with children that she respects and values each child as an individual and helps them learn and grow at their own pace.In her spare time Hope enjoys spending time with her family which includes her beautiful daughter, ten nieces and nephews and three great nieces and nephews.
team member

Mrs. Kristen Purvis


Teacher
Kristen first developed her love for working with children when she was a teen helping out in her aunt’s kindergarten classroom. “I’ve always enjoyed the excitement that young minds have for learning new things.” She holds an associates degree in child development from Moorpark College and has seven years experience working in the field of child development. Kristen has lived in Simi Valley her whole life and enjoys traveling with her husband Michael, Disneyland, and going to the beach. Kristen loves all furry things, especially her two dogs, Luke and Madison.
team member

Mrs. Carmen Barbagiovanni


Teacher
Carmen has been working with children for eleven years as a Bilingual Master Teacher. She holds a California State Child Development Master Teacher Permit in Supervising and Mentoring and has worked with children ages two to five years old, in both state-funded and private preschools programs. One of her greatest joys is helping them attain new skills. Carmen believes in the value of each child: “Nurturing their individual strengths and gifts in a positive learning environment is the best way to bring out their highest potential,” she says. Carmen has been a long-time resident of Moorpark for 27 years and prior to that, she lived in New York, where she was born and raised. In her spare time she enjoys traveling with her husband Aldo, taking weekend drives down the coast and cooking for her family. She especially loves spending time with her four grown children and her three granddaughters Alaina, Madison, and Mia. Carmen is a member of the National Association for Young Children.
team member

Teacher