Meet Our Staff
Each classroom is staffed with an early childhood professional who has several years teaching experience and holds a B.A. degree and a child development permit from the State of California Commission on Teacher Credentialing. The Children’s Center provides employment opportunities to California State University, Sacramento students interested in acquiring experience and knowledge in early childhood education. Student Assistants participate in continual staff development. Select the name to learn more about that staff member or classroom.
Sherry Velte - Director
Welcome to the ASI Children’s Center.
I started working here in 1988 as a teacher with 13 years as a teacher and 16 years as the Associate Director, now completing my career as the Center Director. My two “adult” daughters attended the Center. I am a certified Infant Toddler Specialist employed by West Ed, the Program for Infant Toddler Care providing college courses, technical assistance, and coaching to programs in the Sacramento Area. Supporting community based programs is one of my passions so I collaborate with Child Action (local resource and referral agency) providing trainings, workshops, and program assessments. Previously, I worked for Chico State, American River College, and Sutter Memorial Hospital delivering services to families.
Like many of you, my educational track had a few turns that became my strengths. I have an AS in Business Administration with a focus in accounting, a BA in Child Development with a minor in Business Administration, and a MA in Human Development with specializations in leadership, adult and college teaching, and Infant Toddler care.
I want to welcome you to the ASI family and encourage you to contact us should you need resources or information about child care, parenting support, fieldwork, course projects/thesis guidance, Child Development Permit advising, employment, or how we might collaborate with your program.
Phone: (916) 278-5120
Samantha Criswell - Associate Director
Samantha has been working with children since 2007. Over the course of her time in the field of ECE, she has worked as both a teacher and an administrator serving children ranging in age from infancy through pre-kindergarten. In 2014, Samantha graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in Child Development from CSU Sacramento. Currently, she holds a Directors Permit and is pursuing her Master’s Degree which she hopes to complete in the coming year. Samantha has a passion for learning and can often be found exploring new hobbies or topics when she isn’t busy dabbling in the arts. She takes great joy in learning alongside the children, and she is excited to share in their interests as they explore the many wonderful things our world has to offer.
Phone: (916) 278-5123
Nancy Lopez - Operations Manager
Nancy has been working at the Children’s Center since 2004, first as a student, then an Administrative Fellowship. After graduating with her BS degree in Business, Nancy joined the staff fulltime as Administrative Associate with responsibility for enrolling families for the California Department of Education Child Care Subsidy Program. Nancy is the proud mother of two sons.
Phone: (916) 278-2891
Regina Temple- Cook
Regina has over twenty years of experience in the food service industry. She is a Certified Dietary Manager and Serve-Safe Certified. She has held several positions as a Food Service Director, her duties included; menu planning; giving attention to special dietary needs of her clients; and preparing Kosher, Vegan and Gluten-free diets.
She loves working close enough to ride her bike, and enjoys being with family and friends. She also likes to do Crafts and enjoys tandem bike rides.
LEXI HALLUM- Administrative Assistant
Lexi has been working with children and serving her community since 2014. As the Program Specialist for a recreation program in Oregon, she planned and hosted several community events and activities, mostly geared towards children and families. She was also a volunteer after school leader and helped create an after school program at a title 1 school. Lexi received her bachelors in 2015 at Sac State, majoring in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Administration, graduating cum laude and receiving the Senior Recognition Award for her enthusiasm and quality of work. In her spare time, she enjoys being outdoors, watching movies, and surrounding herself with friends.
Kristin Allen - Bambini 1
Kristin began working at the ASI children’s center in the Spring of 2013 as a student assistant. As she earned her degree, Kristin worked in the infant, toddler, and preschool programs and spent three years as a Student Supervisor. Kristin recently graduated from Sac State and holds a B.A. in Child Development with a focus in Early Development, Care, and Education. She enjoys making music and sharing laughter both inside and outside of the classroom and looks forward to a year of learning and fun.
Dana Westbrook - Bambini 2
Hello! My name is Dana Westbrook and I originally started at the Children’s Center in the Fall of 2014. I moved to Oregon for the 2015/2016 school year, but I have been back at the Children’s Center again since Fall 2016. I have been working with infants and toddlers since 2005 in various settings including the Child Development Lab at Chico State and the Moss Street Children’s Center at the University of Oregon. I went to college at CSU Chico, earning my BA with honors in Child Development in 2011 and my MA in Education with an emphasis in curriculum and instruction 2013. I love this position in particular because I get the opportunity to care for and teach infants and toddlers, but I also get to mentor college students training to work in the field of early childhood. My other loves are camping, hiking, playing with my dog Hendrix, vacationing with family, and going to the movies.
Deysi Reyes- Fellowship Teacher Bambini 2
Deysi began working at the children’s center as a student assistant one in Casa 3. Then during the 2017-2018 academic school year she moved to La Casita 1 as a student supervisor. There she learned how to manage and operate a classroom. This year she is our fellowship teacher in Bambini 2. She looks forward to working with her mentor teacher an co-fellowship teacher. Deysi also holds a bachelors degree in child development from Sacramento State; she graduated fall 2017. She is eager to continue to learn and grow at the children’s center.
Valerie Lehrer - Fellowship Teacher Bambini 2
I started working at the Childrens Center in the Fall of 2016 when I transferred to Sac State. I started as a student assistant in Casa 1 and worked my way up to a classroom supervisor in Casa 2. Before coming to the Childrens Center I taught in a private in home preschool classroom for 10 years with children 3 months to kindergarten.
I recieved my Bacholors degree with high honors in Child Development from CSUS with a focus in Early Development, care, and Education.
When I am not at the Childrens Center, I direct a competitive high school colorguard program, manage a special needs ministry in a church focusing on creating classroom inclusion and mainstreaming opportunities for all children, and traveling to Uganda Africa to partner with and support a childrens center in their various needs.
In my free time I enjoy hiking, adventuring, dancing, and traveling. I am looking forward to joining the leadership team here at the Childrens Center and growing in new experiences!
Erin Hammer - Bambini 3
Erin Hammer has been working at the Children’s Center since 2015 and started as a student assistant while she was earning two undergraduate degrees. Erin graduated from Sacramento State in the Spring of 2016 with a degree in Child Development and a degree in Family Studies. Before working at the Children’s Center Erin worked with a variety of different programs with children as young as six weeks and up to six years. Erin is passionate about working with children and loves the diversity and uniqueness that comes with campus child care and is excited to continue to learn and grow at the ASI Children’s Center.
Daphne Vivar- La Casita 1
Daphne began with the ASI Children’s Center Fall of 2015. She has over 10 years of experience, in a variety of child development settings, working with children ranging from infants to school age. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Studies and graduated with honors in 2010 from CSU Channel Islands. Daphne is currently in the Child Development Master’s program here at Sacramento State. She holds a Site Supervisor permit and is working towards her Director’s Permit. She is passionate about collaborating with families to make not only the child’s experience, but the whole family’s experience at the Children’s Center, memorable. In her free time Daphne enjoys bowling, shopping, and spending time with her family, friends, and dogs.
Phone: (916) 278-5115
Hailey Tuaumu- La Casita 2
This is my second year at the ASI Children’s Center, but I come from a background in campus-based childcare. I recently relocated from the San Francisco Bay area where I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Child and Adolescent Development with an emphasis in Young Children and Families. I worked for nearly five years at the ASI early Childhood Education Center at San Francisco State campus and fell in love with the commitment to excellence that comes along with campus-based care. Before the SFSU Children’s Center I spent time in a Co-op Program in my home town. In my time outside of the center, I often escape to Lake Tahoe! I look forward to beginning a Master’s program in the Fall of 2017.
Pa Dao Vang - Casa 1
Pa Dao Vang began working in the field of Child Development in 2006, as a Student Assistant here at the ASI Children’s Center. While earning her undergrad degree at California State University of Sacramento, Dao has spent three years working with the infants/toddlers and eight years working with the preschoolers. She received her BA degree in Child Development with a concentration in Social and Community Settings, and minor in Social Welfare. After graduating, Dao worked with AmeriCorps through the Child Abuse Prevention Center in various services and community settings. She is passionate about creating a safe and secure environment to promote healthy relationships and developments. She enjoys doing photography, exploring nature, and spending time with her loved ones.
Phone: (916) 278-5114
Jagdish Majju Kaur- Casa 2
Jagdish Majju is tri-lingual and she completed two Bachelor’s degrees from UC Davis in Human Development and Women/Gender Studies. She is working towards a Master’s degree in Child Development here at Sacramento State. She has worked in the early childhood field for the past five years in different capacities such as interning, researching, and teaching young children. Jagdish is excited about joining the ASI Children’s Center and collaborating with a diverse population!
Phone: (916) 278-2114
Alma Ponce - Casa 3
Alma Ponce has been with the Children’s Center since 1983. She has a BA in Liberal Arts from Sac State, has experience in various preschool programs including Nature Rangers and Migrant Education, and has presented at professional conferences. Alma is fluently bilingual in English and Spanish and holds the Child Development Program Director Permit. Alma works with the Project Approach in her classroom and enjoys teaching the preschool class about their pet turtle Sofie. Alma has been the Mentor Teacher for the Preschool Fellowship and enjoys learning new things and exploring experiences to their fullest potential. Alma delights in cooking, gardening, shopping (especially bargain shopping) and enjoys spending time with her family.
Phone: (916) 278-5127
Julie Vang - Fellowship Teacher Casa 3
Julie Vang began working at the ASI’s Children Center in the Fall of 2015 as a kitchen assistant, and worked her way up to the Bambini classroom as a student assistant 1. She then move up to the La Casita classroom and later became a student assistant 2. Julie recently graduated from Sacramento State in the Spring of 2018 and holds a B.A. in Child Development with a focus in Early Development, Care, and Education. She is excited to be this year’s fellowship teacher for Casa 3B, and is looking forward to growing with the children here.