The Mission of KLA Schools is to provide a safe, innovative environment and high quality education for the students of our communities inspired by the Reggio Emilia Approach to education.
Vision and Values
All children are honored as individuals who are intrinsically motivated and are active participants in their learning.
Families, educators and children are partners in learning and research.
Environments are safe, nurturing, and designed to promote experiences that invite children and adults to enter into meaningful dialogues that foster children’s innate curiosity, creativity, and thinking.
Relationships are at the core of our educational approach and are built with our surroundings: people, materials, and environments.
Through documentation, the learning process of teachers and children is made visible for furthering understanding, expanding on concepts, and celebrating ideas.
Candy Ortega, her husband, Roberto and a group of investors and educators opened the first KLA School in Miami, FL, in 2008. For Roberto and Candy, the desire to provide an inspiring curriculum, a nurturing environment, and high quality education to pre-school students across America was deeply rooted.
Candy and Roberto have attended several Reggio Emilia conferences and study groups in the US and Internationally. Additionally, they have participated in the National Association for the Education of Young Children conference (NAEYC) in Chicago 2009, Anaheim 2011, Orlando 2011, and they have attended the 4th North American Reggio Emilia Alliance (NAREA) Summer Conference Boulder, Colorado 2008, the 6th NAREA Summer Conference Chicago, Illinois, 7th NAREA Summer Conference Pacific Grove, California, 3rd NAREA Winter Conference Mountain View, California and the 11th NAREA Summer Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico among others.
Roberto, KLA Schools CEO, inherited his passion for education from his grandfather who opened two schools of his own in South America. Candy, KLA Schools Educational Director, grew up in Argentina and Brazil and came to the US in 1994. She earned an Associate’s degree in Child Development and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, and began her educational career as a Pre-School Teacher at a Reggio Emilia inspired school.
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.
Ms. Candelaria Ortega is the cofounder of KLASCHOOLS. 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 KLASCHOOLS, 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.
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 Bachelors 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 through L’Atelier school. 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 ReggioEmilia approach.
Director of Finance
Ms. 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 Associate’s 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 from Miami, Florida.
Assistant Director of Finance
Daniela Ulibarrie has been working with KLA Schools Affiliates since 2012. She possesses a Associates 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.
Adriana Lamas Ortega
Director of Admissions
A Miami native, 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 Bachelors of Psychology from University of Miami in 2010 and has held these positions in our corporate office in Miami, Florida.
Director of Marketing
Jose Loor has held the position of Director of Marketing and the Director of Marking 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 help these positions in our corporate office in Miami, FL. 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.
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, received her Bachelors Degree in Special Education in 2008 from Boston University and a dual Masters 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.
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.
KLA Schools is proud to announce it is being considered by Child Care Exchange as one of The Exchange Top 50 (North America’s Largest For Profit Child Care Organizations). In addition, we are in the process of applying for the AdvancED Schools and Corporation Accreditation. We look forward to updating this section of our website as these recognitions are granted.
Inc. Magazine ranked KLA Schools NO. 4185 on its 35th annual Inc. 5000, the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies.
- KLA’s three year growth: 66%.
- KLA’s Miami Metro Area Rank: 109.
- KLA’s Education Rank: 63.
- KLA’s Early Childhood Education Rank: 2.
KLA Schools ranked #310 in Entrepreneur magazine’s
38th Annual Franchise 500.