Jeff Bock, MEd
Center Director

Jeff is a fan of large projects that the students can immerse themselves in. He joined the Center family in 2007, but has also taught early elementary classes at a Montessori school, as well as at the high school level with the Hawai’i Department of Education. Jeff has worked with the State on Early Childhood Education issues.


Leilani Au
Assistant Director

Lani Au recently transitioned to Assistant Director at UHMCC in the Fall of 2022, after serving as the Educational Coordinator and then the Center Director. Previously, she was a preschool teacher for twenty years, including as the lead teacher in the infant room at Honolulu Community College. She has a Master’s degree in Education from University of Hawaiʻi, Mānoa. Lani is the mother of two grown up boys, one whom is a UHMCC alum! She enjoys hiking, reading, gardening, taking care of her chickens, and baking – but she still has enough energy for getting to know all the children and families at the Children’s Center.


Wendi Uyemura
Office Manager

Wendi has a BS in Family Resources and a Masters in Early Childhood Education from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. She was a lead classroom teacher at St. Timothy’s Children’s Center for 7 years working with two and three-year olds before joining UHMCC as a toddler teacher. In 2009, Wendi transitioned into her current position as administrative assistant.

Andrea Hill
Poni Class Teacher, 2′s

Andrea has called O‘ahu her home for all her life, and if asked for directions is known to say, “I know landmarks, not street names. But you can’t get lost on an island — just take the scenic route!” Andrea is passionate about her friends, family, and extended family at the Children’s Center, where she has worked since 1998. If asked what age group she would like to work with on any given year she would definitely say, “The two year old group!”:) Andrea and her other family — her husband, James, and daughter Ashley — love spending time on their boat in Kaneohe Bay with their two puppies, Elsa and Anna. Andrea earned a BA in Sociology from University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa while also doing coursework in Early Childhood Education.

Lyndsee Sugano
Poni Class Teacher, 2’s

Lyndsee was born and raised on Oahu.  After she graduated college in 2011, she became a swim instructor and a Head Start Assistant Teacher.  A couple years later, she became the Head Start Teacher for 3 years before joining UH Manoa Children’s Center in 2016.  She is currently getting her Master in Special Education with a BCBA track.  Lyndsee looks forward to continuing to grow and learn while working with the amazing staff at UHMCC and continuing to further her education.


Valley Varma
‘Ōma‘oma‘o Class Teacher, 2’s

Valley joined the UHMCC ‘ohana as a Hokū teacher in 2011 after she fell in love at first sight with the environment and the school’s philosophy the first time she saw it! Although Valley is an island girl she didn’t begin her journey in the field of Early Children Education until she left Kauai for college in California with plans to pursue a career in live theatre. After volunteering as a camp counselor for third graders along the coast of Northern California during spring break, Valley knew she would never be the same again. While she entered the field as a surprise to herself she has been teaching since 1997 and is passionate about her work. Valley hopes to instill a life long love for learning in the hearts and minds of the children she has the pleasure to know and believes that this is done best by creating a balance between child directed emergent learning experiences and intentional pre-planned inquires that evolve from children’s interests. Valley was a student at Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena CA before she moved home to the islands and is currently pursuing her Masters degree in Curriculum studies at UH Mānoa. She lives in Kaneohe with her husband, son, and the family cat Alice.


Jenalyn Ng
‘Ōma‘oma‘o Class Teacher, 2’s

Jenalyn was born and raised on the East side of Oahu where she still resides with her parents, older brother, and numerous pets. Jen’s teaching experience started as a ballet teacher when she was 15 years old. She enjoyed teaching the young children so much that she decided to explore her passion further during her senior year in high school by volunteering in a special education elementary school classroom. She went on to graduate from Kaiser High School in 2013 and pursue her Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. While working on her B.Ed, Jen worked as a student assistant here at UHMCC for those 4 years. After graduating, she spent a year in the DOE as a kindergarten teacher before returning to the Children’s Center. Jen is currently working on her M.Ed in Curriculum Studies for preschool- 3rd grade.

Jen is very passionate about working with young children and hopes to help them develop positive perspectives on schooling through fun and engaging learning experiences, loving relationships, and a positive learning environment that nurtures and encourages a child’s natural curiosity. When Jen is not working, she can often be found spending time with friends and family, caring for animals, or working on personal projects.

France Feig
Hōkū Class Teacher, 3’s

France was raised on the island of Moloka’i and moved to Oahu to pursue her college education. She was a student intern and assistant at UHMCC while earning her BA degree in Early Childhood and Early Elementary Education. After graduating, she says she is extremely excited to grow, collaborate and be a part of the community here at UHMCC. She believes that it is of much importance to nurture children’s creativity and to recognize that their curiosity is a map to exciting adventures.


Meg Crisostomo
Hōkū Class Teacher, 3’s

A Hawaii transplant, Meg was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She graduated from Point Loma Nazarene University with her B.A. in Child and Adolescent Development and is recently completed an M.A. in Youth, Children, and Family Ministry. She enjoys learning about human development and the components that go into healthy and happy growth. She feels very lucky to be part of the UHMCC community where she is able to watch children play, explore the world around them, and cultivate new experiences. In her free time you can find her at the beach reading a good book or driving around exploring the island.


Avis Seki
Mahina Class Teacher, 3’s

Avis enjoys working with young children “because they remind us to live life to its fullest, to love unconditionally, and to laugh each and every day.” Outside of the classroom, Avis likes to craft, shop, and go to movies. Avis earned a BEd in Elementary Education from University of Hawai’i.


Shelley Yorita
Mahina Class Teacher, 3’s

“When working with children, I strive to keep everything simple, meaningful, intentional and fun!” Shelley loves Indian food, bean burritos, growing food to eat and watching the clouds roll by. Shelley earned a Masters in Education from University of Hawai’i, Mānoa.


Heather Tabios
Ānuenue Class Teacher, 4’s & 5’s

“I enjoy working with the children because every day is a new adventure!” Heather has been working as an assistant at the Children’s Center since 2005 and has been a classroom teacher since 2008. Heather loves drag racing cars and is a Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. She was born and raised in Hawai’i and earned a Bachelors of Science in Family Resources from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. She recently earned her Master’s Degree in Educational Foundations from UH Mānoa. Her son Braxton has gone through the UHMCC program and is now attending elementary school.


Ena Reelitz
Ānuenue Class Teacher, 4’s & 5’s

Ena was born, raised, and is still living in Kaneohe with his family. He graduated from Kamehameha in 1999 and has worked with children since. He has worked at the Alani Children’s Center on the Kapiolani Community College campus for 15 years. As a student aide and then a teachers assistant at Alani, he achieved a Bachelors in Sociology from UH Manoa with additional credits in Early Childhood education from Honolulu Community College. He joins UHMCC looking to grow as a teacher and to be a part of a larger family of enthusiastic educators.


Alyson Navarro
Tuahine Class Teacher, 4’s & 5’s

Alyson finds teaching rewarding because it gives her the opportunity to observe the student’s investigation, curiosity and discoveries into an about the world around them. Alyson earned a BA in Speech from the University of Hawai’i, Mānoa, while also taking classes in Family Resources and Early Childhood Education.


Kristi Kawahara-Xu
Tuahine Class Teacher, 4’s & 5’s

Kristi has worked with the Children’s Center as a student assistant while earning a BS in Family Resources from University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, afterwards working for three years as a program coordinator for elementary-aged children. Kristi began taking classes in Early Childhood Education after finding she missed working with preschoolers, and she joined the Children’s Center in 2004. Kristi has a passion for traveling and loves to explore the world with her family.

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Raymond Sanchez
Resource Teacher

My name is Raymond Sanchez. I excitedly accepted this amazing opportunity to become an educator of young children at UHMCC in 2013. I continuously and inspirationally seek to co-create thrilling and engaging experiences for young children that are rooted in enthusiasm and questionability. My belief is that understanding, acceptance and awareness of all living things is essential to a fruitful life and building relationships is key to a successful class and classroom culture. I spend a lot of time outdoors enjoying the natural beauty of Oahu, taking photographs and listening to good music. I’m a member of the LGBTQ community and grew up in LA with great parents, 4 siblings and a big family. Living and teaching in Hawai’i has been an amazing experience!


Ai Tanaka
Resource Teacher

Ai grew up in Seattle and graduate from University of Washington with an Interdisciplinary Visual Arts Degree. She has been teaching Early Education for seven years, and is currently working on her masters in education at UH. “I love being outdoors and teaching with nature. I love coming to work to help children get excited about going to school to find their passion and interests.” Outside of school, she enjoys surfing, wrenching, or cooking for friends and family.


Kara Nishijima
Education Coordinator, Website & IT, CCAMPIS Coordinator,

Kara loves encouraging and inspiring the natural creativity and curiosity of children as they learn about and discover the world around them. She believes that young children have a lot to share, values the perspectives they bring, and wants to let their voices be heard. “I love helping families and being a part of children’s lives. Experiencing the joy, wonder, and love they bring into this world is so rich and rewarding.” Kara received her BA from the University of San Diego in Liberal Arts (Education) and Masters in Early Childhood Education from Mills College. She worked at the Harold E. Jones Child Study Center at UC Berkeley for 3 years, then returned home to Hawai‘i and joined the UHMCC ‘ohana in 2007.


Norine Yuen
Fiscal Assistant, CCAMPIS Student Services Coordinator

2600 Campus Road, QLCSS 414B
Honolulu, HI 96822
Phone: 808-956-9009
Fax: 808-956-4160