Phyllis DeMotta   
Adjunct Faculty, De Anza College

Phyllis DeMotta has been teaching and caring for young children since 1980. She has held many positions: caregiver, preschool teacher, school age program, youth center director, family child care coordinator, assistant director, director, mentor teacher, family child care provider, and adjunct faculty. She is also the Co-Coordinator for California Early Childhood Mentor Program. She has her AA from DeAnza Communtiy College, and her BA and MA from Pacific Oaks College. Many family and friends call her “Aunty” for her role in the Hawaiian community.

Cheryl Hovey
Assistant Professor: ​Early Childhood Education
Program Director:​Early Childhood Education
Fisher College

In 2012, Professor Hovey began her career as an Adjunct at Fisher College in the DAPs program. Previously, Professor Hovey has also worked at the University of Virginia at the National Center for Research on Early Childhood Education as a Research Scientist; in the pilot study of the CLASS, the National Center for Children in Poverty, Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health, Research Connections as a Research Description Writer, and is a CDA Professional Development Specialist. Professor Hovey holds positions on various organizations in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Connecticut, in the early childhood field. Along with her current research; Professor Hovey presents at national, local and regional conferences on early childhood subjects. Professor Hovey is dedicated to providing current knowledge, research and theories in early childhood. She is committed to providing high quality education to the early childhood field. Professor Hovey is the only recipient in Rhode Island to receive the 2015 Emerging Leader Award from Child Care Exchange, Inc.

Shelley Gonzales
Adjunct Professor, West Valley College

Shelley Gonzales is the director of an outdoor classroom, bilingual preschool program in the San Francisco Bay Area.  She was the director of the laboratory school at West Valley College.  She is also an adjunct instructor at West Valley and Mission Colleges where she teaches curriculum courses, supervision and administration, and the outdoor classroom courses.  She has a master’s degree in leadership of early childhood programs from Mills College.

Dipa Kalra
Dipa is an Education Specialist, currently teaching in Special Day Class in California. Her education qualification and experience spans over three countries and fifteen years from preschool to high school and college. Her specialization is in Special Education. Her philosophy is “Every Child can learn and we need to alter the way we teach to suit their learning.”



Todd Hioki
Adjunct Professor
Pacific Oaks College, Los Angeles Mission College, UCLA Extension, and Santa Monica College

“I am fascinated by the way the pieces must come together to support growth. How do we design the relationships between families, teachers, administrators, various agencies, and public policy to create a powerful developmental ecology? How do we create this unified intent while honoring diversity? I think the trick is to take joy in constraints, to channel the tension between competing interests into creative solutions. Children can teach adults a lot about this.”

Todd Hioki is an ECE college instructor and has been a teacher at Pacific Oaks Children’s School for the past eighteen years working with children ages 6 months to 5 years old. There, he designs and implements progressive play based curriculum, incorporating the principals of emergent curriculum, experiential learning, and anti-bias curriculum and is head of the professional development program. He is an adjunct professor at Pacific Oaks, Los Angeles Mission College, UCLA Extension, and Santa Monica College where he specializes in early childhood education. In 2014, he was named a Teach with Africa Fellow and presents internationally on a wide range of developmental topics. He has a private consulting practice that provides trainings for schools and families.

Sandra Bermea
MA Early Childhood Education

I began my career in 1974 in California’s Community Colleges. I had the opportunity to meet numerous pioneers in our field (who became my mentors). The National Association for the Education of Young Children was 10 years strong and my mentors were dedicated to developing; best practices, developmentally appropriate practices and antibias curriculums.

I worked in a variety of settings including private, public, state and federal programs (continuing to meet and acquire mentors all along the way). In the mid to late 1980’s my mentors encouraged me to be a lifelong leaner and motivated me to pursue degrees and credentials in our field. I earned my AA and a BA in Child Development and earned a MA at Pacific Oaks college in Pasadena, California. I met my current mentor there! My mentor has helped me to explore, refine and develop my assets and utilize my liabilities to foster confidence in myself and others. A true gift we hope to share with each child I meet…