Shani grew up in Newport Beach, CA. She attended Mater Dei High school and then moved on to Pepperdine University. She graduated from Pepperdine in 1994 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with an Art minor. While at Pepperdine she worked with the Art Therapy group at Camarillo State Institution. After graduating, she went to work at a group home for abused children.
Shani met her husband, Dave Woody, at Pepperdine and they married in 1995. In 1999 they settled in Oregon and gave birth to their first child, Aiko. In 2000 they moved home to Orange County and Shani became a full-time mom.
Shani and Aiko attended Tustin Community Preschool in Tustin, CA. This is where Shani became enamored with the idea of a cooperative preschool. She was very involved with the school and gained as much information as possible from the director. In 2003, Shani and Dave gave birth to their 2nd child, Zaya. They moved to Cardiff, CA in 2007 and were in search of a cooperative preschool that would compare to their old school. Their hopes were met and expectations exceeded when they found Sandy Hill. Zaya started Sandy Hill in 2007 and enjoyed 2 years there. Shani was very involved with Sandy Hill and spent the last year on the board.
In 2010, she was asked to work part time with the director. While working with her, Shani went back to school to receive her credentials to be a teacher and director. In 2011, Shani became the interim director while the director went on maternity leave. When the previous director decided to stay home with her children, Shani was hired as the new full time director. She loves every moment of it and enjoys working with the children, families and teachers.