Skip to content

Own a Sylvan

(888) 338-2283 Find a Location

Sylvan Students

Great Teachers Inspire

Our tutors and staff in Mililani consist of passionate educators who love inspiring children to succeed. Warm, caring and great at relating to kids, our tutors in Mililani know how to engage and motivate each child in a personal way—building confidence and smiles, as well as skills and better scores. We selectively choose tutors who know local curriculum and can link Sylvan lessons to what’s being taught in school.

Get to know our tutors and staff in Mililani!


Kai Lee Awaya

Center Director / Director of Education / Owner

Kai Lee Awaya oversees the educational integrity of our programs, managing and training our team of tutors in Mililani, Ewa, and Waipio and our program at the Boys and Girls Clubs on Oahu and Maui. A former writer and editor, Kai brings a wealth of knowledge to Sylvan of Mililani. She graduated from University of Puget Sound with her Bachelor’s in English and Political Science and is finishing up her Master’s at University of Hawaii at Manoa in Educational Psychology. When Kai isn’t at Sylvan, you’ll find her at the beach with her family.


Tobin Yoder

Center Director / Owner

Tobin Yoder has worked at Sylvan since 2002. When he moved to Hawaii in 2013, he found his new home as Center Director of Sylvan Learning of Mililani. With his wife, Kai Lee, Tobin purchased the center in 2019. Tobin attended Saginaw Valley State University and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts. He loves the great outdoors and that is where you will find him whenever he gets the chance. Since relocating, he has been enjoying learning to dive, hiking and exploring all that Hawaii has to offer.


Chris Baxa


Chris Baxa is a graduate of the University of Hawaii, where he got his degree in Electrical Engineering and later Education. Chris has been tutoring at Sylvan Mililani since 2002, specializing in math ranging from Algebra up to Calculus. Chris also teaches eighth grade at Mililani Middle School. His interests (when he actually has free time) include computers, basketball, and Korean dramas.


Cori Biete


Cori Biete is one of our most-adored instructors with a gift of working with a wide-range of kids. Cori currently teaches at Solomon Elementary in Wahiawa. At Sylvan of Mililani, Cori teaches reading, writing, elementary math, and all of our STEM courses. She especially enjoys teaching our MakersCamp because of all the excitement she sees when the kids are learning. When Cori isn’t at Sylvan, she enjoys spending time with her family and traveling to Kauai.


Michelle Carlson

Associate Director

Michelle is the Associate Director for Sylvan of Mililani. In addition to her work with us, Michelle is the librarian at Daniel K. Inouye Elementary on Schofield Barracks. When she is not working, Michelle enjoys spending time at the stables with her family’s horse. 


Alika Gorospe


Alika is a tutor at Sylvan in Mililani, HI. For his day job, Alika teaches in the mathematics department at UH West Oahu. Alika received his BS in Mathematics and BEd in Curriculum Studies from UH Manoa and is currently pursuing his PhD in Education. At Sylvan, Alika teaches all levels of math and math for SAT & ACT Prep.
When Alika is not studying or working, you can find him staying active in the ocean or playing sports. He also enjoys gaming.

Shy Helm


Shy Helm received her Bachelors of Art in Hawaiian Studies and Masters of Education in Teaching from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She enjoys helping students to achieve their goals while also providing them the support and encouragement to succeed. In her free time, Shy loves reading, going to the beach, hiking with her dogs and spending time with family and friends.


Ayesha Ishihara


Ayesha’s background may be in English education but she’s also well-versed in Math through Geometry! Ayesha received her Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education from Chaminade University and is a proud graduate of Mililani High School. When she is not working at Sylvan or Kapolei High School, where she teaches high school English, Ayesha enjoys photography and learning design. 


Jo-Hannah Valdez


Jo-Hannah is our resident math extraordinaire and can teach all levels of math through AP Calculus. She received her Bachelor’s from UH Manoa and her Master’s degree from Western Governor’s University and is currently a math teacher and the IB Coordinator at Campbell High School. 
In her free time Jo-Hannah enjoys spending time with her two dogs, baking, and crocheting. 

Start your child on the path to academic success today

Give us a call at (808) 800-4172 or fill out the form to discuss your child’s learning goals.


Loading testimonials…

Call us today: (888) 338-2283

Corporate Headquarters

502 Washington Avenue
Suite 400
Towson, MD 21204

(888) 338-2283