Thembi Ramos » Learning Center

Learning Center


Welcome to Birney!

At Birney, we are committed to the growth and progress of our students to prevent and/or reduce the effects of learning difficulties.  Self-esteem and confidence are an integral part of the child, and the foundation of a successful learner.  In the Learning center we are trained to support students in the areas of reading, writing, and math.  We utilize and have been trained in the following programs: The Sonday System, Project Read, Read Naturally, Barton Reading & Spelling System, Phonics for Reading, Step Up to Writing, Saxon Math, and Touch Math.  We are flexible and augment programs and systems as warranted by individual student needs.  


“A child with a disability is first and foremost a child…” –Lev Vygotsky


Thembi Ramos

I am one of two Special Education teachers in the Learning Center.  I have been teaching students with mild/moderate to moderate/severe disabilities in Redondo Beach for 13 years, and at all grade levels in special education.  I attended CSULB where I obtained my BA in Psychology, minor in Cross-cultural Language and Academic Development Studies, in addition to my Education Specialist Credential.  I went on to clear my credential and obtain my Masters in Special Education from CSUDH.   It has been my passion since the birth of my oldest son (21 yrs old), who is a product of the Redondo Beach Special Education System.  All of my children graduated from my alma mater, Redondo Union High School. 


Kate Buchen

My name is Kate Buchen and I am the additional Special Education teacher in the Learning Center at Birney Elementary.  I have taught at all grade levels in the general education and resource classrooms in both Torrance and Redondo Beach.  I have a bachelor's degree in History from UCLA and credentials in Social Science, Multiple Subjects and Education Specialist.  I completed my practice teaching under the mentorship of Thembi Ramos and have worked at Birney (and Beryl Heights) for three years. I am dedicated to supporting all learners in the areas of reading and math in order for them to experience the strongest educational opportunities here in the South Bay!  I have two children of my own who have attended Washington, Adams, and are now at Redondo Union.