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MAPS currently has three classrooms.  Our classes are determined by age and allow us to focus our attention and energy on specific phases of development for each age group.  Below, you will see a description of each class and a short introduction to each of our teachers.

Owl Class

Ages 2-3


Students in the Owl Class are focused on the early stages of learning.  Much of our time is spent helping them develop social skills and positive habits.  Academically, students begin age appropriate introductions to topics such as letters, numbers, colors, and more.  In addition, students use art and play as avenues to developing fine motor skills and to emphasize social development as they work and play with others.  To help emphasize their development in this early phase, our class currently has a maximum enrollment of eight students.  Students must be potty-trained to enroll in our Owl Class.

Jungle Class

Age 4


When students move into the Jungle Class, social development and building positive habits are still key elements of the program.  The academic portion of the program upgrades to a more advanced study of letters, such as work on vowels and blends.  Arts, crafts, and work with numbers and still heavily emphasized, but students get some added fun!  Jungle Class begins working on scientific discovery and character development.  

Butterfly Class

Age 5


Students in our Butterfly Class are preparing for the transition to elementary school.  As always, time will be dedicated to developing social skills and a good character.  Learning, in the academic subject areas, is now focused on more advanced skills.  The goal is to give our students the tools to make a smooth, confident transition to their next school.  Phonics, reading, and writing receive a higher level of emphasis.  Math also receives more dedicated time, with students working with shapes, numbers, time, and money.  Creativity is emphasized through art and drama activities and students develop more skills and experience in their scientific discovery work. In addition, students are exposed to activities and learning tools on the computer and iPad.  In today's technological society, simple computer skills such as clicking, scrolling, and selecting with a trackpad is important for the beginning of elementary school.

Jennifer Tomita

Teacher, Owl Class; Preschool Director


"My name is Jennifer Tomita.  I’m currently the Director of MAPS as well as the teacher for the Owl Class. After gaining two years of experience as a volunteer and aide, I’ve been teaching the 3-year-old class at MAPS for the past 3 years.  I enjoy coming to school and teaching the children. I use writing, music, art, and dramatic play to help my students learn the social skills they will need to succeed in school and beyond. My goal is to make sure each child learns everything they can and to have fun while doing so."

Kendra Thibaudeau
Teacher, Jungle Class


"I have taught at Maui Adventist Pre-Elementary School for almost 2 years.  As a certified elementary school teacher, I have a total of 9 years of experience in education.  It has been a joy for me to work with the children here and to guide them in their learning!  My goal is for each child to enjoy and to love their first year of school while they learn basic foundational skills.  The children learn ways to become a good friend and to practice sharing, waiting to take their turn, helping one another, and listening.  The children engage in fun, active learning through songs, poems, games, and crafts as they learn and practice writing the letters and sounds of the alphabet, numbers, colors, shapes, and also how to write one’s own name!  Each child is valued and supported in their journey of learning and always encouraged to do their best!"

Diane Nelson
Teacher, Butterfly Class


"Aloha, my name is Diane Nelson.  I am so happy to be here at MAPS.  I had the blessing of being the founding teacher and former director of MAPS.  I have always had a love for teaching: homeschooling my two children, then teaching grades 1-4 in our Adventist schools.  This has brought me 41 years of experience, with 18 years in the Adventist system.  Nothing brings me more pleasure than working with our keiki.  We are here to support your child's early school experience and encourage their learning and growth.  My goal is to continue to teach and help all under my instruction to know that Jesus is their best friend.  I am grateful to be a part of this wonderful team of teachers/mentors."

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