KLA Schools Franchising

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KLA Schools Franchise team is a group of highly qualified and trained professionals. Our team is made up of individuals who have been with the company since its start and have a wide range of knowledge and years of experience with KLA Schools and KLA Schools Franchise. Our support team aims to provide our franchisees consistency of programs and services as well as the guidance they need as members of the KLA Schools family.

KLA originated back in 2008 when its first location was opened in Brickell, near Downtown Miami by Candy Arocena and her husband Roberto, along with a group of investors and educators. In the years to follow, they proceeded to open a total of four corporate owned schools all located in the South Florida area. With both the vision and the resources to generate a national, Reggio Emilia inspired childcare franchise, the founders created the KLA Schools Franchise Program in 2010. Since 2010, KLA and its founders have awarded more than 15 franchises nationwide.

President & CEO

Roberto Ortega is the founder and President of KLA Schools (A Reggio Emilia Inspired Preschool Franchise), where he is responsible for the development, operations and oversight of multiple high-performing, preschools in the U.S. His scope of work encompasses the growth of the franchise arm of the company as well as the pool of corporate owned locations. Under his leadership, he manages a team of executives and educators with a passion for providing high-quality early childhood education.

Mr. Ortega inherited his passion for education from his grandfather who opened two K-12 schools of his own in South America. Together with his wife they wanted to create an impact in society by providing a quality early childhood education program. They knew the key was to have a curriculum suited for the 21st century and they selected the Reggio Emilia Approach hailed by Newsweek magazine as the best in the world.

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Pedagogical Director of KLA Schools

Ms. Candelaria Ortega is the cofounder of KLA Schools. She has been the director of the first school the company opened in 2008. Ms. Ortega became the Pedagogical Director of the KLA School Franchise in 2010 to support the corporate owned and franchise centers.

As the Pedagogical Director of KLA Schools, Ms. Ortega supervises the development and implementation of the philosophy and curriculum of KLA Schools. She is also responsible for the continuous improvement of the curriculum and professional development initiatives. Ms. Ortega and her team provide the necessary tools and materials to ensure that the students are getting a quality early childhood education program. Ms. Ortega is the company spokesperson on education and child-related topics.

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Director of Operations and Sales

Alicia Bacher has worked for the KLA Schools Affiliates since August 2008. She started her career with the KLA Schools Affiliates as a teacher for children 12 to 24 months of age, in their first school located in Miami, FL-KLA Brickell. In August 2009, she was promoted to the Assistant Director of our second school-KLA Coral Gables. In January 2013, Ms. Bacher joined the franchise team and became our Assistant Director. Later, in December 2013, she became our Director of Operations and Sales. She has held these positions in our corporate offices in Miami, Florida. Ms. Bacher has an Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education. She also has a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Development. She has over 10 years of experience working in the field of Early Childhood Education.

Director of Marketing

Jose Loor has held the position of Director of Marketing of the KLA School Affiliates since April 2013. Prior to that, he was the Operations Manager of the KLA School Affiliates from January 2010 to April 2013. He has held these positions in our corporate office in Miami, Florida. Mr. Loor has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Miami and a Master of Business Administration from Universidad Complutese de Madrid, Spain.

Director of Finance

Mrs. Dana Grimes has been in charge of the accounting and finance department of the KLA Schools Affiliates since 2008, and has served as our Director of Finance since November 2008. Mrs. Grimes has more than 15 years of experience in accounting and finance. She has worked in the public and private sector since 2001. She has an Associates Degree in Accounting from MDCC and a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Florida International University. She provides our staff and franchisees training and support in the areas of accounting and finance. She holds these positions in Miami, Florida.

Director of Admissions

Ms. Ortega has served as our Admissions Director since June 2013. Prior to that, she was a teacher for a KLA School Affiliate from August 2011 to June 2013. Ms. Ortega earned a Bachelor’s of Psychology from the University of Miami in 2010 and has held these positions in our corporate office in Miami, Florida.

Assistant Director of Pedagogy

Adriana Fontes has worked with KLA Schools and our Affiliates since February 2009. In August 2013, she became our Pedagogical Assistant Director where she oversees the pedagogical development as well as the classroom/learning environments of the new schools. She has held all of these positions in our corporate office in Miami, Florida while making frequent trips to provide support and training to KLA School Affiliates at their respective locations. Ms. Fontes has a background in the visual arts and has been working in the early childhood field for 15 years. She also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design for the Instituo De Diseno De Caracas.

Director of Professional Development

Claudia Chaustre has 15 years of experience in the learning and practice of the Reggio Emilia approach to education. She was part of L’Atelier school -Miami’s first Reggio Emilia inspired preschool- for 14 years. Throughout this time she was a teacher in the different age groups (0 to 5), a pedagogical coordinator, and a Co-Director. Her relationship with KLA Schools started in 2008, by being their consultant during their first years. She joined the KLA Schools in January 2015 as a full-time Pedagogical Consultant. Her role is to visit the schools periodically to provide pedagogical support in the Reggio Emilia approach.

Assistant Director of Finance

Daniela Ulibarrie has been working with KLA Schools Affiliates since 2012. She possesses an Associate’s Degree in Art from Universidad Nacional Rosari in Argentina and came to work in our corporate offices in Miami, Florida. She was hired as an Administrative Assistant from 2012 to 2013 and was later promoted to Assistant Director of Finance. She has over 10 years of experience working of Financial and Administrative Field

Assistant Director of Marketing

Gillian Gavurin has worked for the KLA Schools Affiliates since August 2013. She started her career as a teacher for children three to four years of age. After participating in projects throughout the school year of 2014-2015 with the marketing department, she became Assistant Director of Marketing in June 2015. She has been working in the education field since 2005, having received her Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education in 2008 from Boston University and a dual Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and Special Education from Touro College in New York City in 2010. She currently holds her position at our corporate office in Miami, Florida.

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