Duo marks 20 years in Laie preschool

[Story and photos by Mike Foley: Originally published in KALEO, November 29, 1997]

Gerry NihipaliGerry Nihipali [pictured at right] and Lilian Makaiau have been preparing children for school for 20 years in Laie. They teach preschool for four-year-olds and last year they had children of former students in their classes. Their students mainly come from Laie, but they have had students as far away as Kaneohe and Pupukea. Teaching the children is one of Nihipali and Makaiau’s greatest love and passions.

They got started teaching when the preschool teacher who was teaching their children moved to the mainland. The teacher wanted someone to carry on with the program she had worked so hard to establish. She wanted it to stay in Laie and approached Makaiau about taking the preschool. Nihipali had the space to set up the preschool, and so they told her they’d do it. The teacher gave them all the materials she had been using. They have since amassed a great wea lth of knowledge and materials over the years.

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