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Faculty

Administration

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Director

Laura Clemens has been an Austin area preschool director since 2003 and Director of WUMP since 2016.

She grew up in Palo Alto, CA and graduated from Duke University with a degree in History and Spanish. She received her elementary teaching certificate from San Jose State University, with an emphasis on Early Childhood and Bilingual Education, and has taught at the early elementary level in California schools and for Round Rock ISD.

Laura and her husband, Noel, relocated to Austin in 1993 after he became a member of the Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics Department...

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Assistant Director

Gina Hernandez has taught at WUMP for more than ten years, most of them in the Older 3’s classroom. This is her fifth year working in the office as the assistant director. Gina was born in California, raised in Maryland and has lived in many places in between. Austin is where she has lived the longest and where she feels the most at home. Gina was a stay at home mom to her only child, a daughter, until her daughter began kindergarten and then found herself searching for a meaningful way to fill her time but not lose the ability to care for her child. At WUMP she found a wonderful place to...

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Floater/Curriculum Coordinator

I was born in Huntington Beach, CA, but moved to Houston before I turned one. I lived in Houston for 18 years, until I went to college at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ. I graduated with a BA in Communications and a minor in Journalism. I have a son, Connor, who is the light of my life and also a WUMP alumni. My favorite color is technically pink but if leopard was a color it would be my favorite, hands down. I enjoy painting, refinishing furniture, hanging out with my son, family, and friends. I started at WUMP as a sub when my son was a student here and have been a lead...

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Pre-k team

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Tina Allen

Pre-k Co-Teacher

I have been teaching young children for over 27 years and have been a teacher at WUMP for 4 years. I started working with children in 1994 in the Houston area. I completed my Montessori Pre-Primary Teacher training in 1998 at Brookhaven College in Dallas. Since becoming a teacher, I have taught in both Montessori and Play-based programs. I enjoy working with children of all ages and have worked with toddlers, Two’s and Threes and have several years of experience in Pre-kindergarten.

I grew up in the Westlake area when my family moved here due to my father’s military assignment. My husband and I decided to return to the Austin area in 2001. We have two children and enjoy hiking, camping and fishing.

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Cristela Hernandez

I have over 28 years working in early childhood programs with various age groups, I started my first teaching job in 1987. A big part of my working experience has been teaching Pre-Kindergarten for over 19 years and as a Kindergarten teacher for over 4 years, I have worked in both public as well as private schools. I have also mentored, taught and helped guide several University of Texas student teachers fulfill their dreams of becoming a teacher. I hold a degree in Human Resource, a Bachelors of Art in Elementary Education, Masters of Art Degree in Education with a Bilingual Generalist-Spanish Certification as well as a Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Early Childhood Education.

I started working at WUMP eight years ago when I came to visit the preschool to enroll my own daughter in their program. The minute I walked into the preschool and was given a tour it felt like home to us. I was very lucky that WUMP had a teaching position open and an opening for my daughter as well. I have remained at WUMP ever since and loving the Older 2’s. Besides my great love for teaching young children, I really enjoy traveling with my family in the summer time, exploring different cultures and enjoying a lot of sandy beaches along the way.

Three's team

Eileen Welser

Shilpa Ramgopal

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Missa Mayes

Three's co-Lead Teacher

I have been teaching young children for 15 years. I have previously taught toddlers , and 3’s and kinder age children. I have my undergraduate degree from Texas Tech University and my master’s degree in Counseling Children and Families from St.Edwards University. I have also taught elementary age children as well! So 23 plus years ‼️

I love children of all ages ‼️I have two boys of my own! I was raised in a Houston, Texas and have taught in Austin, San Angelo,Post and Odessa, Texas as well .

I enjoy running and working out ‼️I love competing in Spartan Races every year!

I love encouraging, nurturing and, teaching young children ‼️ ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Two's team

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Helen Sun

Two's Co-Teacher

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Jenny Thayer

I hold a BA degree in Music and German, and prior to becoming a mother, I was a career musician and actor for many years. During my Music Therapy studies at Sam Houston State University, I worked with young children in Special Ed, domestic violence shelter and hospice. Before deciding to teach, I was a frequently requested nanny/sitter at an Austin corporate agency. I have also served as a lead teacher/caregiver for several other church nurseries and mother’s day out programs before joining WUMP.

I am very pleased to be a part of the WUMP family of dedicated early childhood professionals. I love getting to know my students and helping them acquire the skills and confidence they need to feel successful in kindergarten, as well as to love learning their whole lives long.

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Luisa Salazar

Two's Co-Teacher

I am a native Austinite who moved around a bit after high school, but eventually found my way back home to Austin. Growing up, I was adopted by my grandparents and was raised as an only child but still remaining close with my older sister, younger twin brothers and 3 half brothers.

I have been at WUMP for about four years now and it has been such an amazing experience. It is the reason why I want to continue working with kids.With that, I’m approaching my last year at Texas State, in which I’ll be getting my degree in Health Science with a minor in Child Development.

Working with kids has been so rewarding and being able to help them grow into the smart and caring little people that they are is truly a blessing.

Infant and Toddler team

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Valerie Judalet

Infant lead teacher

I spent my early adult life as a veterinary technician, but when my first daughter was born in 2016 I felt a tug in my heart. I knew that I was meant for something different. Maybe it was because I was raised by my mother who was an amazing and innovative teacher or maybe it was the love I felt for my daughter, but I wanted to work with children. I began my teaching career in October of 2016. I obtained my Child Development Associate credential specializing in the education and care of infants and toddlers in 2018. In 2019 I had my second daughter who now gets to enjoy her preschool years at WUMP.

I strongly believe in the power of play and healthy relationships being the foundation for children’s lifelong love of learning. I look forward each year to partnering with new families to set that foundation. I have worked with children ranging in age from 6 weeks to 6 years, but infants and toddlers through age two are my favorite classes to teach.

When I am not working, I love to explore the outdoors and local restaurants with my husband and daughters. I also love traveling, snorkeling, restoring furniture, and singing.

I go to work every day, but no day is ever the same when working with kids. No matter what I have planned, the kids will always surprise me with their interests. I love to follow their lead. I learn more every day that I teach. I love my job!

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Kelly Garemko

Infant Co-Teacher

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Claire Cummings

Hi, my name is Claire Cummings and I’m so thrilled to be at WUMP! I have been working with children for over 16 years and can honestly say It is my passion. I have two beautiful daughters Merci and Meli who are the absolute loves of my life. My husband and I have been living in Austin for 12 years, however we decided to move to Westlake Hills a little over a year ago and we love it. WUMP is the icing on top. My degree focus is nursing however my compassion and caring extends further than the hospital. I believe all children are loving, smart and deserving of the space to be a fun, witty playful individual, while they grow and learn.

My focus with toddlers is exploration and play. Exploring the inside and outside world (with supervision, of course) is important for toddlers' emotional, social, and physical development. They learn more about the world and how it works. It's one thing to see an orange, but it's another to hold it in your hand, feel it’s cool, smooth surface, smell its fragrance, maybe even taste it. That development is all the better if you ask questions: What color is it? Is it big or little?

It is my belief that exploring also gives toddlers a chance to work on important motor skills. Whether it's kicking a ball or climbing stairs, they can persist until they get it right. Doing so not only adds skills, but it also boosts their sense of confidence and competence. In other words, they begin to think: "I can do it!"

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Stephanie Marmolejo

Lead Toddler Teacher

This is Stephanie's second year working with us at WUMP! Stephanie is a recent graduate of Texas State University where she majored in Psychology and minored in Family and Child Development. Stephanie is from San Marcos, Texas and is the oldest of four siblings. Stephanie's favorite thing about working with young children is how they always surprise you and you can never predict what they are going to say. Stephanie says, "They are energetic, enthusiastic and fun to be around!"

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