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Academic & Wellness Coaching


Kaori Cierra Yamamoto, M.A.


Kaori Cierra "KC" Yamamoto is a compassionate, innovative, and energetic Early Childhood Educator who is committed to empowering children and families in creating a fun and engaging learning environment at home during this #socialdistancing season.​

KC's inspiration to develop AWC grew from her passion to support children and families during these times of uncertainty. Providing them with a safe space to nurture the learning of students and parents alike, she aspires to assist families with virtual learning by offering her expertise and connections with a variety of fellow educators who all share the same vision.


Emily Blackwell, M.S.


Emily is a passionate educator who has dedicated much of her time and energy towards expanding her knowledge in child development. She has her M.S in Child & Adolescent Developmental Psychology and her B.A. in Early Childhood Development. Emily started off as a preschool teacher, then moved to educational coaching with teachers, then finally landed her dream job, working alongside Kaori at AWC!

Emily and Kaori developed AWC with the intention to help bring families a sense of relief, stability, and empowerment during these uncertain times.


Lance Dayandayan, MS, BCBA

Behavior Specialist

Lance Headshot.jpg

Lance is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) who specializes in working with children and their families to meet their educational and personal goals. More specifically, Lance has experience observing children in their natural environment and assessing their current skills and skill deficits. From there, Lance develops goals and lesson plans, uses the science of behavior to adapt to different individual’s learning styles, and arranges environmental variables to set children up for success in achieving their goals. With a BA in Psychology, MS in Behavior Analysis, and years of experience teaching children new skills in a one-on-one format, as well as training and supervising individuals (e.g., parents, teachers, and behavior therapists) to teach children new skills, Lance is excited to offer a behavioral perspective to the team at AWC.

Lance' Bio


Compassionate, Innovative, and Engaged Coaching

Image by Ben White

AWC exists to empower students and families through relationship-based coaching centered around social-emotional development. We are rooted in providing students and families a safe space to learn and grow. Focusing on the whole student, our coaches provide guidance through schoolwork and emotional obstacles with the intent to support students in reaching their full potential with confidence.


We offer a wide variety of skills and experiences that can be tailored to address specific needs. Serving both parent and student, we work with every family to create personalized programs that will empower and support their individual growth and success.

We believe it is imperative that they are receiving the best support to help ensure their healthy development. It is always our goal to respect the rights of the student and always put their needs first. We encourage that the choice to be a part of the program is left up entirely to the student. Maintaining consistent communication with parents is vital towards creating an effective support system for each student. Each coach strives to build strong, trusting relationships with the families they work with to provide effective support systems for both the parents and student. We treat each family we work with as if they were our own and hope to build positive relationships that last a lifetime!

Theories & Learning Foundations

During coaching sessions, we draw from a combination of theorists/early childhood developmental framework in order to best serve the child and family’s needs. In addition to using the various theories, we also use research-based practices. Some of which include:

  • Reggio Emilia: The environment as the 3rd teacher

  • Maria Montessori's Practical life skills

  • John Bowlby's Attachment Theory 

  • Jean Piaget's Cognitive Development Theory

  • Bronfenbrenner's Ecological Systems Theory

  • Lev Vygotsky

  • California Learning & Development Foundations (Infant/Toddler & Preschool)

In addition to these theories, we also use different assessment/observation tools such as the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) and the Desired Results Developmental Profile (DRDP) in order to track each student's development.

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