Meet the Executive Director

My name is Alicia Sharon Yahaya. I have worked in the field of early childhood education for more than fifteen years. I began as a teacher’s assistant and eventually worked my way up to assistant director. I am married to my husband and we have three daughters: Avery, Aubree, and Aliyah.

Prior to becoming an Early Childhood educator, I attended Sumner Academy (Go Sabers!). During my high school career, I began a program that taught theatre skills to students at Douglass Elementary. It was during this time that I discovered my talent and dream for teaching.

After high school, I attended the University of Kansas where I received my Bachelor’s degree. Like many students I worked full time while going to school. Hilltop, a child care center located on KU’s campus, introduced me to the world of early childhood. While working at Hilltop, I would tell others that I worked at a daycare. One day my director pulled me aside and said that it was a disgrace to call Hilltop a daycare, that we are professionals and we educate children, we don’t just house them as a daycare would. That day changed my life forever. I truly discovered and gained respect for the field of early childhood. I absolutely love seeing the look on a young child’s face as they discover something new, and I believe it is important to let a child’s natural curiosity guide the way in which you teach them. Students that are taught in a way that is relevant to them, retain more information. I feel very passionate about providing a high quality education to the students in our communities and I would be honored if you partnered with Open Minds for your child’s education.