Kindergarten is a magical year at Carlthorp School as children embrace the transition from preschool to an elementary classroom experience.
With a two-week transition period of half days at the beginning of the school year, an Ice Cream Social, a mentor family/friend, and the help of their beloved 6th Grade buddies, Carlthorp School’s youngest students feel warmly welcomed into our community.

Kindergarteners are always eager to share “news” at daily Morning Meetings, which is the beginning of our children’s Responsive Classroom experience. Responsive Classroom focuses on the intersection of positive community building and academic rigor to create a fulfilling  and exciting learning environment.

Academic & Social Development

Our happy Kindergarten children enjoy working and playing all year long. From Teddy Bear Picnic day to a visit from Zero the Hero on the 100th day of school to the Lunar New Year dragon dance, our Kindergarteners develop both academically and socially. In addition to the core subjects, children are taught the importance of being respectful, cooperative, creative, and adaptable. Kindergarteners also experience time with other teachers in music class, Spanish class, science class, art, library, and physical education.

Meet the Team

List of 4 items.

  • Cori Snelson

    Cori grew up in Rochester Hills, Michigan. She graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, with a degree in Elementary Education.  After college, she taught grades 1-4 in Atlanta, where she received her master's in Early Childhood Education and became a member of the Academy of Orton-Gillingham Practitioners and Educators. Since moving to Los Angeles, Cori has worked as a go-to specialized reading and math tutor in grades K-6. In her spare time, you may find Cori training for running races, hiking, or Facetiming with her nephews.
  • Elizabeth Zapler

    Ms. Elizabeth Zapler (“Ms. Zap”) is thrilled to be teaching kindergarten once again after three fulfilling years as Carlthorp’s science teacher. She is very much looking forward to bringing to the kindergarten classroom the same level of experience, creativity, energy, and love for children that she brought to her science room.
    A Chicago native who spent her teenage years working at Wrigley Field, Elizabeth received her B.A. in English from Pomona College, an M.A. in Religious Studies from the University of Chicago, and an M.A. in Teaching from Colorado College. As a Rotary International Scholar, she spent a year studying in Jerusalem and traveling throughout the Middle East; she was dazzled by seeing ancient Egyptian tombs and pyramids in person. As an Earthwatch Fellow, Elizabeth joined researchers in an Ecuadorian cloud forest to investigate caterpillars and climate change. 

    Elizabeth previously taught kindergarten at Sinai Akiba Academy in Los Angeles. She also had the uniquely rewarding experience of teaching kindergarten at an international school in Guangzhou, China. No matter where her students have lived, the constant is that kindergarten is a magical age of discovery and exploration. Elizabeth loves the opportunity to encourage a lifetime of learning, creating a space where each child feels cherished and respected, experiences the joys and surprises of learning, and knows they are free and safe to learn about themselves and others. In her spare time, Elizabeth travels with her three teenage daughters, solves crossword puzzles, plays tennis, and is an avid reader.
  • Adrienne Rizk

    Born and raised on the Central Coast, Adrienne moved to Los Angeles where she received her degree in English from California State University, Los Angeles. She went on to earn her Master of Arts degree in Literacy and Language Arts as well as her teaching credential from Loyola Marymount University. Before arriving at Carlthorp, Adrienne taught kindergarten and filled the role of Literacy Lead for kindergarten through 2nd grade at Chadwick School in Palos Verdes. More locally, she also taught at Mayfield Junior School in Pasadena and at the UCLA Lab School in Westwood. Less locally, she spent time working with students in Ghana, West Africa, where she continues to serve as a board member for a community primary school. Adrienne spends her time outside of school exploring Los Angeles with her husband and two children. At home, she indulges in her passion for literature and reading.   
  • Caitlin Schriefer

    Caitlin graduated from Villanova University with her Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education. After teaching 1st grade in the Philadelphia suburbs, Caitlin relocated to New York City where she continued her education at Fordham University, earning a Master of Arts degree in Education with a focus in Literacy. She quickly found a school in Manhattan to call home for eight years, St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s, where she enjoyed developing and implementing new curriculum while teaching pre-kindergarten, kindergarten and 2nd grade classes. During her time at SHSH, Caitlin had the opportunity to travel to Chengalpattu, India, to teach English to children in grades K-6. A firm believer in professional development and continuing education, she was also able to organize and facilitate teaching workshops for the school’s faculty. Caitlin is thrilled to be living near her family in sunny Santa Monica without a hint of winters in sight! In her free time, she enjoys cooking, cheering on her Villanova Wildcats and taking her chocolate lab to the beach.