Our Team

Our mission is to empower students with an ever-growing desire to seek wisdom and develop creative and confident lifelong learners who embrace a strong moral code.

Diana Rudulph, MA, MPH

Founder | Director

Diana has been involved in the field of education for over 20 years.  She worked in public and private schools, teaching a variety of grades including kindergarten, second grade and junior high. Later she worked as a faculty member at Azusa Pacific University for numerous years, teaching undergraduate students in the Kinesiology department and serving as program director for the Physical Education major. With her background in health and wellness, she developed a variety of health promotion programs designed to combat childhood obesity.  Diana is also a wife and mom of 3 young children, who keep her very busy! She entered the homeschool world about 4 years ago, where the nudge to create a program to serve the homeschool community started sprouting as she taught her own children. As a response to the recent pandemic, Diana felt a strong calling to help families seeking alternative educational options, hence the creation of EverGrow Academy. Diana loves empowering youth and parents to thrive holistically and is very excited to utilize her talents and educational training to serve the homeschool community. Outside of directing EverGrow, you can find Diana hiking or working out in some type of way, chasing her kids at all their sporting events, cooking, dancing, at the beach, or spending quality time with her family and friends.

Aileen Ortega, BS

Assistant Director & Kindergarten Teacher

Aileen’s passion for working with children began nearly a decade ago while volunteering for medically ill children and at teaching at a preschool. It pushed her to later graduate with a BS in Child Development, with a specialization in infants and toddlers.  From student teaching and getting her degrees, she knew that educating the whole child was an important focus of hers, specifically being called to work with young children.  She is highly experienced in Conscious Discipline and Child Development which elevates the education of all children, and she is also currently furthering her education, finishing her MS in Child Life. Throughout her teaching career, Aileen gained a sense of passion for adapting and educating others based on their specific learning type and needs. She developed a successful homeschool program, called Wild Willow Academy, where she taught a learning pod of 8 children throughout the challenging times of the pandemic. When she is not handling her duties as Assistant Director or in the classroom, you’ll find Aileen with her head in a book about child psychology, traveling, or out on a fun hike/beach day with her family.


Lauren Kirschke

Lauren has been working and learning alongside children for over 13 years. She first started teaching at different preschools while getting her Bachelors in Early Childhood Development at Cal State Fullerton. While going through her Teaching Credential and Masters in Early Childhood Special Education at CSUF, she worked as a nanny/ house manager in Newport Coast. After graduating, she found a love for alternative schooling and taught at a hybrid homeschool program in Costa Mesa teaching Kinder- second grade. She fell in love with the freedom of homeschooling and began planning her family’s homeschool journey. Lauren is a wife and mother of 2 little boys, who has a love and passion for all things in nature. Her dream is to start her own nature based preschool for the homeschool community and provide a place where children can learn, grow and explore. When Lauren is not teaching, she enjoys going to the beach, camping in Mammoth, fishing, cooking, anything related to holistic living and spending time with her family and friends.


Desiree Rudulph

Desiree has been working with kids in the education field for over 20 years. She started out as a music teacher, giving private piano and voice lessons while also getting her BA in music education from APU. There she found her passion and gift for working with special needs children and young adults. She became a Behavior Interventionist and worked in schools, homes, and other community settings. Desiree continued her teaching journey working in a private school setting as a preschool and kindergarten teacher, utilizing her gift of music along the way. Desiree will be going into her fourth year as a kindergarten teacher and absolutely loves her job. She is also a wife and mother of two beautiful young children who she loves spending time with. When she is not in the classroom with her students, you can find her at the beach with her family, swimming, playing piano, or simply having a dance party at home.

Assistant TK/Kinder Teacher

Ruby Paule

Ruby recently left public education to join the EverGrow community. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communicative Disorders from California State University, Fullerton. She has a background in Behavior Intervention and Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Throughout her educational career she has assisted teachers working in behavioral disability and autism programs. She has supported and worked alongside behavior therapist, teachers and students in both general and special education. Ruby also became a registered yoga instructor and taught special needs/adolescent yoga. She excels in behavior management by supporting the whole child. 

Ruby is passionate about helping students achieve goals beyond what they thought possible. Making learning fun and helping each child feel successful are her greatest joys in motherhood and in the classroom. She loves hands-on projects, art, cooking, music, dancing, the beach, trying new foods and spending quality time with loved ones. Her focus is to continue to help create a safe and nurturing learning environment to inspire the “Ever-growing” minds of this community. 

1st Grade

Sam Rippey, BS

With an entrepreneurial spirit, Sam launched her babysitting and tutoring business, “Sam’s Helping Hands” working with local families in surrounding communities of Glendora, CA. Throughout her education, Sam served as an assistant teacher and tutor at the college level specializing in Public Speaking, English, and Communication Studies. With a passion for serving and uplifting others, she graduated with her BS in Human Communication Studies. During the midst of the pandemic, Sam’s passion ignited her to create a learning pod of 7 children to focus on academic and social skills development. Currently she is earning her Masters in Business Administration. Sam is eager to utilize her educational and career experience to empower the next generation to come. If Sam isn’t in the classroom, you can find her walking around town with her dogs in a stroller, studying at coffee shop, or soaking up the sunshine!

3rd Grade

Leticia Tufenkdjian

Leticia discovered her passion for teaching at a young age when she became a teacher’s aide for a special needs classroom. After attaining her B.A. in Music, her love of teaching led her to become an educator. Over the past 20 years, she has worked with a wide range of age groups, teaching a variety of subjects including music and visual/performing arts, health and fitness, and AP Psychology. She also worked as a school administrator for six years where she also organized social, cultural, and educational events among other things. Leticia is married and has two amazing children whom she has chosen to homeschool from the time they entered school in 2020. This homeschool journey has taught Leticia the many joys and challenges of being a homeschool parent and has now led her to become a part of this beautiful EverGrow community.

Leticia’s experience working with students of all ages, her studies in the field of education and psychology, and her travels to over 40 countries have given her a unique understanding on how to be tolerant, accepting, and appreciative of personal differences and has taught her to identify and be sensitive to individual needs. Leticia is a lifelong learner and aspires to share that love of learning with her students.

When Leticia is not in the classroom, you can find her spending time with her family and friends, singing, dancing, doing a puzzle, or learning about natural healing modalities.

4th-5th Grade

Amanda Herrera

Amanda Sevold Herrera received her B.A. in Theatre Arts from Cal State Fullerton in 2008 and her teaching credential in 2015. She has spent more than a a decade coaching and teaching students, both in the public and private sector as a theatre teacher and as a vocal coach. Her main area of expertise is musical theatre, as she spent several years coaching high school students for theatre competitions in the musical theatre category, as well as having performed in musicals since she was 10 years old. When she is not teaching and coaching, she is a mama to her three children and wife to her husband Alex. Empowering students to realize their full potential is one of her greatest passions in life and she hopes to continue to do so for many years to come.

6th-8th Grade

Sarah Nickenig

Sarah has always had a passion for art and teaching. From a young age, she knew education was in her future. Throughout her schooling, she realized her love for math, history, and reading, eventually leading her to tutor her friends and younger family members in these subjects. Her love for art became prevalent early on in her life, sparking her creativity and thirst to discover new and exciting ways to draw inspiration from the stories she’d read and the history. Sarah graduated with a B.A. in Studio Art and M.A. in Art History. During her Masters program, she combined her love for art and her childhood dream of teaching by working as an art teacher for students ranging from preschool to 6th grade. During this time, Sarah also began teaching math, history and art to the homeschool community. Sarah strives to apply her knowledge to encourage younger generations to take their skills to the next level, educationally and artistically.

When Sarah is not in the classroom, you can find her coaching her younger sister’s soccer team, walking around local art museums and galleries, painting in her studio, or spending time with her friends and family.

PE Teacher

shannon michelle

Coach Shannon believes activity and physical fitness are imperative to learning and development of the whole student. She grew up playing any sport her parents would allow her to which developed a true passion for soccer. Ultimately, Shannon received a soccer scholarship from Cal State San Marcos where she would graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development and Social Services. You can often find Shannon on the field coaching one of her three sons, in the stands of a Citrus College Basketball game where her husband coaches, or you might see her running the streets of Glendora. No matter the activity Coach Shannon aims to bring enthusiasm, encouragement, and an “all out” effort to Physical Education for the students of Evergrow!

School Nurse

Carla Vivar BSN, RN

Carla has lived in Glendora for the past 13 years. She grew up in Monrovia, California and gradu-ated from her Nursing program in 2001. She has two children, Dresden (12) and Ella (10) and her French bully Brody (1). She has been married to her husband Jaime for over 16 years. She has worked in Maternal Child health the past 21 years. The majority in Labor and Delivery with expe-rience in Antepartum, postpartum, preceptor (L&D), skills fair facilitator, taught Childbirth educa-tion classes in Spanish/English and in the Non stress testing clinic. Her passion for real health and hands on healing led her to become a Usui / Holy fire Reiki Master Practioner in 2019. She also joined an amazing Holistic / Integrative health team at The Center for Wellness headed by Dr. Jorge Moreno. She is currently studying toward her Functional Nutrition Practioner certification.

Carla and her family started their homeschool journey in 2020. The following year her son contin-ued in public school and her daughter continued the homeschool path.
She enjoys her family, friends, fitness (Crossfit), self-care energy healing modalities and yummy food!

Carla can’t wait to meet all our EverGrow students and families. Her love for helping people through support, safety, empowerment and through life long learning is the best part of working in her community.

Want to join the team?

We are looking for creative, experienced and enthusiastic elementary-junior high teachers who have a passion for empowering youth to join our team. If this sounds like you, let us know what you can bring to our organization that sets you apart from anyone else.

Join Our Team