About the Head of School

Claudia Koochek is the Head of School at Westmark School, Greater Los Angeles's leading independent school for Grades 1–12 students with diagnosed language-based learning differences (LD).

In a career in LD education that spans more than thirty-five years, Ms. Koochek is a passionate advocate for all learners, serving as a trusted mentor and resource to countless educators, professionals, and families. She has provided educational conduits for neurodiverse students by developing teacher training initiatives, leading innovative curricular objectives, and collaborating with researchers to facilitate workshops for educational professionals and families. 

Ms. Koochek’s dedication to LD education stems from teenhood, when a stint volunteering for the Special Olympics in her native El Salvador inspired her to teach kids with learning differences. Her personal and professional journey later brought her to the United States. Prior to her tenure at Westmark, Ms. Koochek rose in the ranks at Charles Armstrong School, an LD school in Northern California, eventually serving as Head of School there. She took the helm at Westmark in 2015.

Ms. Koochek is a co-founder of the Dyslexia Center at the University of California - San Francisco (UCSF), which works closely with schools and educators to develop and apply early interventions and instructional strategies for children with dyslexia throughout the country. She has served on the Board of Directors at Parent Education Network, Mid-Peninsula High School, and Dyslexic Advantage. She continues her work with the National Center for Learning Disabilities as a member of their Advisory Board, as well as with the UCSF Dyslexia Center. Ms. Koochek also serves as a member of the UCSF | UC Berkeley Schwab Dyslexia and Cognitive Diversity Center Innovation Fund review committee, as well as the Multitudes Educational Interventions Task Force of the UCSF Dyslexia Center.

Ms. Koochek can be found at Westmark almost every day of the year. When she ventures off campus, you’ll likely find her walking her beloved Rhodesian Ridgeback, Suede, together with her husband, Joe … or listening to (what else?) a dyslexia podcast!

Headshot of Claudia Koochek