jody roberts

co-founder

I began my journey at Little Dolphins 22 years ago as the parent of a 4-year-old, and in the span of that year, I fell in love with this way of early childhood education. With a professional background in the arts, I knew I wanted to be part of a community that nurtures a child’s creativity and imagination through art, music and folk tales from around the world. It was inspiring to see that a rich arts-based curriculum along with the immersion into a different culture each month had a profound impact on children at this tender age; giving them a sense of wonder, curiosity, and respect for others. Throughout the ensuing years, I have dedicated myself to continuing this hands-on approach to education by developing an after school enrichment program, teaching art classes, and acting as art consultant to keep the aesthetic vision of the school alive and growing. I believe that as early childhood educators, we have the opportunity to create an excitement for learning that lasts a lifetime. My 4 year old Little Dolphin is now 26 years old and she credits her confidence and ability to think creativity to her experience all those years ago at Little Dolphins By The Sea.

I received a B.A. in fine arts from Binghamton University, New York. I have worked in the areas of textile design, photography and children’s art education and co-authored a children’s art book, titled P is for Peanut, for the Getty Museum. I am the mother of two grown children (the most fulfilling job!) and live in Pacific Palisades with my husband, David Schwartz, and dog, Banjo.

Mari-Jo Deutschman

Co-Founder

Ever since I can remember, I wanted to be part of the educational process. From an early age, I taught, coached, tutored and worked with people of all ages, working to inspire them to be their best self in the classroom, on a court and as a person. I was and still am a voracious reader, an inspired student and a passionate athlete. I had teachers, mentors and coaches who from an early age made an impact on my life thus I too am determined to inspire others to find their passion.

While educating our children is a serious and important intellectual endeavor, I am a true believer that there always needs to be an element of fun in the process. Fun does not always mean laughing, giggling or playing, to me the fun is feeling good about the process, being present and enjoying the moment. That is how one learns. It might take 1, 2 or 50 tries to grasp a skill, but the enjoyment is derived from the feeling of satisfaction that you are giving your best effort.

Teaching by example is a very important educational tool. Everyday at Little dolphins I learn something new from my co founders, from our teachers, and from our young students. As a founder, I feel it is important to set the example of being an eternal student.

One must never forget that the process of learning at any age is an adventure, a way of opening the mind and soul to new experiences. When you engage children at an early age, you lay a foundation, which stimulates and inspires curiosity and provides a solid foundation for lifelong learning.


I am a member of the Princeton Class of ’83 and have two grown little dolphin alumni children and live in Pacific Palisades.

I am an advocate for children.

My mission is to understand each child's individual needs to ensure he/she achieves the most out of their human potential.

– Margarita Pagliai