Christie was born and raised on O‘ahu. She attended the University Laboratory School and then graduated from UH Mānoa with a B.A. in French Language. Tomasa went back to school to complete the 12 credits in Early Childhood needed to become a preschool teacher. Tomasa joined St. Andrew’s Schools as our Admissions Assistant in 2021.
How did you get into education? What made you want to pursue this career?
I was previously a preschool teacher and worked in a preschool office. I also worked for many years at HMSA as a phone representative, then a Business Analyst, and then an Assistant to a VP. I realized that although I loved being a teacher (and had always wanted to teach) and I loved working in an office setting, I felt like being in a school office was the best of both worlds for me! I love connecting with both students and families and nothing beats the hustle and bustle of a school. I love when the students walk by my office and wave at me, or when I can hear students cheering each other on or just chitchatting as they walk by. I also love being able to be a part of school events, big and small. I came to SAS after my children were enrolled here. Yes, I was an SAS parent before I became an SAS employee. My children started attending and just loved it. I saw them grow and honestly, just thrive! When I started looking for work for myself, it was an easy decision to look to a cause that I believed in. I witnessed such growth in my children that I knew I wanted to share that with others. Thank goodness (for me!) that I was hired!
What is your current role?
I work in the Admissions Office. I get to talk to prospective families and tell them all about this fantastic school! I also get to help them navigate the admissions process.
What is a current goal and/or project you are working on?
We recently took a trip to the mainland (the first trip out of state for my kids!) and we were fortunate enough to visit Disneyland. I hadn’t been there in over 25 years and my children had never been there, so it was just so fun and such a wonderful experience. We’d love to go back one day, so I guess “Return-to-Disneyland” is my current project! If we are talking about work-related projects, then I am always working to refine how we share information with families. How can I be clearer? How can I be of more help? How can I make things easier for prospective families? I am a firm believer in continuous self-reflection and improvement.
What is the best part about working at SAS?
To me, the best part of being a part of the SAS family is sharing my love for this school with others. When a prospective family calls me, I love just sharing about all the wonderful things this school does and what our teachers do every day. It is so easy for me to talk about the school because I truly love it. I am proud to work alongside such wonderful people and I absolutely LOVE seeing our students thrive!
Who or what inspires you?
I am inspired by the greater good. I always think about what things I can do to make this world a better place. I try to be kind, helpful, and friendly, because happiness is contagious and what a big impact those little acts can have on this world!
What is the best advice someone has given to you? Who was that person?
I didn’t receive advice, per se, but, very early in my career, a former manager made a big impact on me. She held me, and everyone, to a very high standard. She expected a lot, and as a young twenty-something, it was quite intimidating. But she taught me how to raise my own standards. She expected a lot but she also believed that I could do it and her constant belief in me, even believing I could do things that I myself didn’t think I could, pushed me and continues to push me to bring my best-self forward. I cannot control the world around me, but I surely have control over my own actions and attitude, no matter what.
What is one interesting thing people may not know about you?
Something a little quirky that I don’t think many people know is that I like to have the “perfect” bite of food as the last bite I take. So, when I am getting full or nearing the end of my meal, I’ll start to partition out the bites on my plate – a little rice in each portion, a little veggie in each bite left… I hate when the last bite is just rice or just bread! I call those “waste-time” bites!
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I love hanging out with my family and spending time with my kiddies. We go to the beach often or drive around the island to enjoy the sights. I enjoy taking them to their events and classes and I enjoy keeping my family organized. I love plants but wish I had a little more time to garden. I also love to thrift for vintage muʻu and I do sew a little when I have time.
Tell us about your family (including pets):
My immediate family consists of me, my husband of 15 years, and my two daughters. We are so lucky to have most of our extended family here on O‘ahu as well. We have two bunnies and several fish. We also have chickens that live on our property but are not officially ours – they just showed up one day and never left. We call them “BCS” which stands for “Big Chicken Squad!” They help us by eating the bugs, so we happily invite them to stay.