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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

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Rebekah Holsinger

Three's co-Lead Teacher

My name is Rebekah and teaching preschool is my calling. I started serving in the nursery at my church when I was 7yr old and absolutely fell in love with teaching. I have been an educator in early childhood education for 20 years, specializing in difficult behaviors and a background in Applied Behavior Analysis. Being a mother of special needs children, I give extra love, support and patience to every child.

I attended college in Chicago and have been back here in Austin for almost 20 years. Education has been such a blessing in my life and I’m honored to be able to teach at WUMP!

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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 ‼️ ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Katie Vanderford

Three's co-teacher

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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Lilly Dawson-Miller

Infant Lead Teacher

Hi there! My name is Lilly. I have been and infant/toddler teacher for almost 4 years and was a lead teacher for about 2 1/2 years. I am in the process of going back to school to get a Bachelor's Degree in Education. I am from Austin but spent most of my childhood in Lockhart, Texas on my family's ranch. I love working with kids and teaching them. The best part of my job is watching the chilren learn and grow into smart little children. WUMP is an amazing school, it feels like home for teachers and kids! I am so blessed to be here.

Kelly Garemko

Infant Co-Teacher

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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!"