Our Team

Devaki Douillard, Executive Director

Devaki Douillard has been working for the Mwebaza Foundation since 2013.  She was first introduced to the Mwebaza Foundation through her two younger siblings who both participated in the Niwot Elementary pen pal program. Devaki graduated from Guilford College, with a BA in International Studies and Peace and Conflict Resolution. She completed her college internship through the Mwebaza Foundation when she traveled to Uganda for the first time in 2012. Since then she has returned to Africa annually on behalf of the Mwebaza Foundation to implement projects and further our friendship. When she’s not in Africa she is assisting the Foundation’s growth through social media, fundraisers, education, research, and project development.


The Mwebaza Foundation’s Board of Directors and Officers are made up of an all-volunteer group of local educators and professionals.


Board of Directors

Dale Peterson, President and Founder

Dale Peterson - Board of DirectorsDale Peterson started the Mwebaza Foundation after a school-wide garage sale held in a snowstorm. Despite terrible weather conditions, people of the community attended the garage sale to help support Dale’s first grade class at Niwot Elementary in raising money for their pen pals at Mwebaza School in Uganda. The students raised over $4000 at that garage sale. Dale realized that schoolchildren and their families could collectively make a significant difference in the lives of others. The Mwebaza Foundation was created to foster cultural exchange between Colorado and African partner schools, encourage student involvement in helping African schoolchildren, and as a means to channel funds and provide oversight for development projects at the African partner schools. Dale is delighted that three Colorado and three African schools are now participating in the Mwebaza Foundation, as are hundreds of caring and generous community members. Dale continues to teach at Niwot Elementary, and serves as President of the Board of Directors for the Mwebaza Foundation.

 

Nicole Tembrock, Vice President

Nicole Tembrock - Board of DirectorsNicole Tembrock has worked in the fields of education, positive youth development and community building for various nonprofit organizations. She served as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic. Ms. Tembrock earned a bachelor’s degree in speech communications and psychology from the University of Denver and a master’s degree in nonprofit management from Regis University. She is an affiliate faculty member for this graduate program. Nicole currently enjoys working as an independent consultant and volunteering for several organizations.

 

Amanda Woodward, Board Member

Amanda Woodward worked as an engineer earlier in her career and has a PhD in Design and Planning with a focus on sustainable design. She and her husband designed and built their own straw bale home that is both solar powered and solar heated. She has been delighted to apply what she has learned toward the design of the two school buildings currently being constructed in Uganda.

 

 

KayLyn Thueson, Board Member

KayLyn Thueson became connected with the Mwebaza Foundation through the Coyote Ridge Elementary School pen pal program. After a school assembly introduced the kids to the Mwebaza School’s principal, Ms. Namatovu, it was the excitement and motivation of KayLyn’s children to get involved that spearheaded a family effort to do a little something more.

KayLyn obtained a bachelor’s degree in political science from Utah State University. She worked for several years as a paralegal and office manager. A few years, and a total of four daughters later, KayLyn is eager to serve on the board of directors.

 

Christa Keppler, Board Member

Christa Keppler has worked in the field of education since 1995. She has a broad background in elementary education and has worked in three different Colorado school districts, St Vrain,  Adams 12, and BVSD as well as overseas in Istanbul, Turkey. She is currently the principal at Fireside Elementary in the Boulder Valley School District.

Christa received her Bachelors from the University of Colorado, Boulder in Psychology and her Masters in Administrative Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Colorado, Denver. Christa has two daughters, Aleah and Sierra, and is married to Mike Keppler, who is also an elementary school principal and serves on the board.

She is a firm believer in the African proverb, “It takes a whole village to educate a child” and is honored to be part of the Mwebaza Foundation once more. She served on the board in 2008 and helped develop the partnership between Coyote Ridge and the St. Paul School. She’s visited the schools twice and continues to have a keen interest in the mission of the foundation as well as the betterment of education for all students.

 

Mike Keppler, Board Member

Mike Keppler is currently the principal at Coyote Ridge Elementary in Broomfield, Colorado. Prior to Coyote Ridge, Mike was the primary principal at MEF International School in Istanbul, Turkey for two years and the principal at Niwot Elementary in the St. Vrain School District for ten years. During his time at Niwot Elementary, Mike worked with Dale Peterson and helped support the start of the Mwebaza Foundation.

Mike has a BS in Psychology, an MA in Educational Psychology with a certification in School Psychology. After working as a school psychologist and counselor, Mike received his Administrative Degree and also obtained a Doctorate in Education in 2012.

In the summer of 2015, Mike was able to travel to Uganda with his family to visit the Mwebaza and St. Paul Schools. His current school has a longstanding relationship with St. Paul and a student committee dedicated to increasing awareness and appreciation for our friends in Africa. In his free time, Mike enjoys playing soccer, traveling and learning about new cultures, spending time with his wife and two daughters, and taking advantage of the amazing Colorado outdoors.

 

Alex Armstrong, Board Member

Alex Armstrong has been teaching students from 3rd – 8th grade since 2000, and has focused on mathematics education. Her undergraduate degree is from Indiana University, Bloomington, and her master’s degree is from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Alex is currently a math teacher and the International Baccalaureate Coordinator at Sunset Middle School. She became involved with the Mwebaza Foundation while facilitating a group of students on a design project for an IB Design unit of study. Alex has been inspired by working with Mwebaza and is thrilled to continue to connect students in Longmont with students in Uganda.

 

Hillari Hansen, Board Member & School Development Director

Hillari Hansen first became involved with the Mwebaza Foundation in 2010 when the school she taught at, Eagle Crest Elementary, was partnered with a school in Zambia.  Always having a love for teaching, travel, and volunteering she jumped at the opportunity to get involved with such an amazing organization.  In 2015 she and another teacher won a travel grant through the Education Foundation for the St. Vrain Valley to volunteer at Eagle Crest’s partner school in Kenya. Since then she has made two more trips to volunteer with the Foundation’s sister schools in Uganda. Each year she became more and more involved in the opportunities to foster cross-cultural relationships and provide service learning projects between the Colorado and Uganda schools.  Hillari retired in May 2019, after teaching in the Saint Vrain Valley School District for 30 years. She is beyond excited to now be working for the Mwebaza Foundation as the School Development Director! Her focus is to work with the Colorado sister schools to engage students in leadership roles where they can decide and participate in projects, fundraisers, educational presentations and pen pal cross-cultural activities with their partner schools in Uganda. 

Hillari grew up in Boulder and attended the University of Colorado and later received a Master Degree in Education from the University of Northern Colorado. She is married to Lee and mom to Kailey and Nicolas. 


Officers

Jon and Jennifer Novick, Co-Treasurers

Jennifer Novick is the Kinder Enrichment Director with Niwot Community Schools in Niwot, CO, and Jon Novick is an environmental scientist with the City and County of Denver’s Department of Environmental Health. Mrs. Novick has a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education. Prior to joining the Niwot Community Schools, she worked for Head Start in both Boulder, Colorado and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Mr. Novick has a bachelor’s degree in geology from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s degree in geology from the University of Tennessee. Their daughter Mia, who was in Mr. Peterson’s first grade class, has a pen pal at the Mwebaza School in Kyengera, Uganda. The Novicks became involved with the Mwebaza Foundation because they believe that children everywhere deserve a chance at a better life.