Maureen Morrison Preschool Director

I’m Maureen and I began my career working with preschool age children over twenty years ago, teaching 2 1/2 year old children.  Since then, I have worked with all ages and utilized many different philosophies. I have grown to love the inspirations that come from the small community in Reggio Emilia, Italy. I have a strong passion for providing high quality care and education to young children.

I also am passionate about my own learning.  I have studied and taught child development all of my adult life, earning a Master’s Degree in Educational Psychology with an emphasis in Early Childhood, taking many post graduate courses, teaching at the community college level, and attending workshops and conferences regularly.  I have visited preschools and attended study groups in 15 cities throughout our country, Canada, and Italy.  I believe that keeping abreast of current research and other information on how children develop is critical to providing the highest quality of care.  As you may be able to interpret, I am a life long learner.

For fun, I enjoy spending time in nature and listening to live music. I spend my free time hiking or camping and going to concerts with my friends and family.

ALC_Monica D’Herrera
Monica D’Herrera Co-Teacher

Hello my name is Monica. I am the Atelierista (studio art teacher) of Ascension Lutheran Preschool. I work with the teachers and children in the classrooms and in the Atelier to support and inspire creative learning by providing experiences and provocations through various media.  Giving children a chance to explore, experiment, plan, research, invent, express themselves, make mistakes, follow through an idea, and then ultimately create and share their ideas with their peers.

I have worked in a Reggio inspired program for the past 3 years beginning as a teacher and then made the transition to become the Atelierista. I attend workshops in local preschools inspired by this approach and attended the NAREA conferences in New York, Miami, and Toronto to further my knowledge and experience to keep up with the new research and theories in child development. They provide inspiration to create an environment for quality learning experiences for the children, teachers, and families as both learners and educators.

I have an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education and have interned at a preschool for field experience. Along with my studies in early childhood education I continue my work with still and life drawing with materials such as graphite pencils, pastels, and charcoal. As well as painting with oil, acrylic, watercolor, and gouache. Some of my favorite work is with three dimensional forms through sculpting and manipulating clay and other voluminous materials. In my free time, I like to go to concerts with my sisters, play and go hiking with my dog, cook at home or work on my pottery and painting.

Emily Hawkins Co-Teacher

Hi! My name is Emily and I started working at Ascension Lutheran Preschool in the Winter of 2018. I graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles with a major in Sociology and minor in Applied Developmental Psychology. I worked as a primary teacher at UCLA Megan Daly Infant Development Center and the Exceptional Children’s Foundation from the time I graduated until 2007 when I became the Infant Center Supervisor of First Presbyterian Church of Orange. A few years later when we moved I decided to stayed home with my three children. Having completed a course in the Reggio Emilia Approach I am excited to teach at ALC Preschool.

Lorna Juan-Kurosu Co-Teacher

My name is Lorna Juan-Kurosu and I have been associated with Ascension Lutheran Preschool for almost 20 years.  All of my three children were students here, so I started as a mom in the Mother-Helper program.  I realized I had developed a love and passion for teaching preschool children and went back to school to pursue my career.

I have worked with every age group and find it a very rewarding experience to see the growth and development within each child.  I love how every day is a new adventure and how I get the opportunity to teach children that learning can be fun.

It is important for me to know that I can help make a difference in a child’s life by teaching them in the loving and nurturing environment that we have here at Ascension Lutheran Preschool, and also have the opportunity to introduce them to the word of God.



Dulce Rodriguez Co-Teacher

My name is Dulce Rodriguez and I am a Co-Teacher at Ascension Lutheran Preschool. I studied at Santa Monica College where I received my Early Childhood Education (ECE) Certificate.  I decided to do my internship at a Reggio inspired preschool, where I was hired and have worked in Reggio inspired preschools for over six years.  I went on maternity leave to spend quality time with my kids and after three years I am excited to come back into the ECE field. I can’t wait to begin this learning journey alongside the children. I believe children are capable individuals who learn best through exploration, creating theories and testing their ideas.