My daddy and I could play football after dinner because my homework got done at Homework Central, and my mommy didn’t cry anymore.

Claudia, former Homework Central student; now in high school

HWC Board of Directors

Matt Feuer

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Matt is Chair and former co-chair of the Board of Directors. He joined the Board in 2011 to help provide strategic direction, operational, fundraising, and leadership development expertise to the organization. Matt and his wife have been longtime supporters of Homework Central. His wife previously served on the Board and has been a volunteer tutor for 14 years. Matt recently became a tutor at one of the homework sites and he loves working with such eager, high energy elementary school students!

Matt is a co-founder of McClure & Feuer, a legal search firm founded in 1995 and dedicated solely to recruiting attorneys on behalf of law firms and companies throughout California. The company has offices in San Francisco.

An active member of his community, Matt has served in leadership roles on the boards of George Hall Elementary School Site Council, Khadra International Folk Ballet, and Unitarian Universalists of San Mateo. In his spare time Matt is completely obsessed with road cycling and just about anything else that gets him outside.

Matt received a M.A. in Political Science from Northwestern University and a B.A. in Political Science from Santa Clara University.

Justin Fok

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Justin was born and raised in San Francisco and lived there until moving to San Mateo with his wife in 2010. He graduated from U.C. Davis with a B.A. in English and received his J.D from the University of San Francisco, School of Law. He currently serves as an attorney and partner at the Law Offices of Jean D. Chen, an immigration law firm with offices in San Francisco and San Jose.

While studying for his law degree, Justin fell in love with teaching, education, and empowering youth through teaching “Street Law” to high school students. Hoping to continue his passion in education, and also hoping to further develop his work with the immigrant community, Justin joined the board of Homework Central in November 2012. He hopes to assist the board with legal matters as well as improve upon Homework Central’s Internet presence and online fundraising capabilities.

An avid cyclist and runner, you can frequently find Justin attempting to run up the big mound at Seal Point Park on the weekends.

Judy Hemmer

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Judy is one of the founders and long-term advocates of Homework Central. As an educator, she believed that children in need could succeed in school when they received extra support from tutors with encouragement from their parents and guardians, many of whom were immigrants. Judy was instrumental, along with Betsy Woodward, in helping to turn the idea of a homework support program into a reality. She has been on the Homework Central board for 15 years and continues to provide valuable information about the educational and psych-social needs of elementary school students. In Judy’s words, “Homework Central is a dynamic match between parents, children and tutors to help children succeed through elementary school and beyond.

During her career, Judy was both an early childhood educator and a social worker, spending 15 years in each field, respectively, with the San Mateo Foster City School District.

Judy earned a M.A. in Early Childhood Education from Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena and a B.A. in Sociology and Early Childhood Education from San Francisco State University.

In addition to her volunteer activities at Homework Central, Judy has also been a long-term board member at Survival School in San Mateo and has been a coordinator of the Home & Hope program through her church.

Karen Jolliffe

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Karen is Vice-Chair and former Chair of the Board of Directors of Homework Central. Since joining the organization several years ago, she has served in a number of board roles, providing guidance in the design and coordination of homework centers, personnel matters, finance, strategic planning, and technology. In addition, Karen and her husband have been generous supporters in making certain that our sites are supplied with healthy snacks for our students and homework sites are equipped with appropriate school supplies.

In addition to her work with Homework Central, Karen has been equally passionate about serving many other organizations in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. For example, she has volunteered her time with Habitat for Humanity, Christmas in April, the San Francisco Zoo, SPCA Animal Assisted Therapy, Community Meals (in association with San Francisco Churches), and Home and Hope (providing shelter for families). Further, Karen is also an American Red Cross CPR Instructor, an American Heart Association CPR Instructor and has been active with the Physician Organizing Committee.

One can see Karen’s commitment to caring for others by looking at her career path. Karen has devoted her extensive career to wellness. She has expertise in nursing, nursing management, and medical informatics. Karen has been employed at UCSF Medical Center for many years, first as a Senior Staff Nurse and advancing to become Nurse Manager of a Neurosurgery Unit and later Assistant Director of Nursing in Pediatrics, Med-Surg, and Nursing Informatics Units. Currently, Karen is a Clinical Analyst in Information Technology.

Karen holds a B.S.N. in Nursing from Cal State Sacramento and a M.S.N. in Nursing Administration from University of California at San Francisco.

Lisa Kelaita

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Lisa Kelaita has more than 30 years of communications and public relations experience in Silicon Valley and has managed and executed strategic communications, media relations and content marketing campaigns for dozens of young technology companies as well as Silicon Valley’s most seminal technology innovators, industry associations, and venture capital firms.

While she started her communications career as an intern for CNN in Washington, D.C., she quickly changed paths from journalism to communications. Her professional reputation was built on launching and driving successful product and corporate communications programs for the Valley’s most innovative and visionary technology companies Until this day, she remains passionate about staying involved with developing and implementing communications programs for technology clients and to leveraging her strategic and tactical expertise on behalf of select non-profit organizations including Home&Hope Homeless Shelter; Samaritan House; Parents Helping Parents; Hillsborough Beautification; Hillsborough Concours de’ elegance which raises funds for Autism Speaks and The Vanguard Charities; Burlingame H.S. Athletics and, Hillsborough Little League.

Lisa holds a BA degree in Political Science from the University of California, Los Angeles (U.C.L.A.) and a Masters in Business Administration, Marketing from Notre Dame de Namur University.

Melodie Lew

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Melodie has devoted her career to working in the fields of education, school counseling of kindergarten to middle school students, and a part time private practice in marriage and family therapy. She completed a M.A. in Counseling from Notre Dame De Namur University in 2002 and a B.A. in Psychology from San Francisco State University.

In addition to her career endeavors, over the past 40 years, Melodie has volunteered, or has been appointed or elected to numerous positions in the community.  Currently, Melodie serves on the San Mateo County Commission on Aging, the San Mateo City Senior Commission, and is president of OCA San Mateo, an Asian American advocacy group.

In the field of education, Melodie served in leadership positions at Parkside Elementary School, Abbott Middle School and Hillsdale High School in San Mateo. She previously served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the San Mateo-Foster City School District for 18 years, In addition, Melodie is past president of the San Mateo County School Boards Association, served as a Director of the California State School Boards Association, and is a past president of the Asian Pacific Islanders School Board Members Association.

Melodie was excited when she was asked to join the board of Homework Central in 2010. Her interest has always been in working with children. She is known for being a voice and working for those who have a difficult time speaking for themselves.

Javier Ruiz

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Javier was born and raised in Guatemala City, Guatemala until he moved to the U.S. for college with the help of a scholarship from the Walton International Scholarship Program.  Javier and his wife later moved to California in 2012 after spending four years in Monterrey, Mexico. Javier holds a M.Sc. degree in Automation and is an electrical engineer. He currently works as a control and automation software consultant and helps technology companies accelerate their R&D and get their products to market.

In addition to his professional work, Javier is passionate about education, especially when it comes to technology.  If you ask him, he will tell you that science and technology programs in his school changed his life and inspired him to pursue a career in Engineering. Javier joined the board of Homework Central in 2017 with the intention of impacting the lives of children and families in San Mateo.  He hopes to help the board expand the science and engineering programs offered to the community.

In his spare time, Javier is an avid yoga practitioner.

Bill Swackhammer

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Bill is a Certified Public Accountant licensed by the State of California and has been practicing in the Bay Area for more than 25 years. He is a member of the California Society of CPAs and a long-time participant in the Peninsula Chapter's Committee on Nonprofits.

In addition to his work, Bill has taken an active role in his community by serving as a founding director on the San Mateo Public Library Foundation, a board member of the San Mateo Chamber of Commerce, and a member and past chairman of the City of San Mateo's Investment Advisory Committee. Bill has also been involved with his family by serving as a Den Leader, Cubmaster and Assistant Scoutmaster in scouting and coaching youth baseball, softball and soccer. He is an elder of the First Presbyterian Church of San Mateo.

Bill is married to Patricia and has three children, Wes, William and Stephanie. They reside in Foster City, CA.

Betsy Woodward

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Betsy Woodward is a founding member of Homework Central. She has been a member of the Board of Directors since the organization’s inception and has served in several leadership capacities. In addition, Betsy has been a volunteer tutor for 14 years!

Betsy is a UCC Commissioned Minister and served as Minister of Christian Education at the Congregational Church of San Mateo for 25 years before retiring in late 2012. Among her many activities, Betsy served on numerous committees and task forces in the areas of Christian education and faith formation. She holds an undergraduate degree in Sociology and Religion from Mills College and completed graduate work at Pacific School of Religion.

Betsy will tell you that her weekly tutoring sessions with Homework Central are the highlight of her week. She loves building relationships with the children while assisting them to successfully complete their homework. She supports Homework Central because she believes the program is making a significant difference in the lives of community children. "They are becoming capable students who believe in themselves!"


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