Kawaikini faculty and staff

The Staff

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Kumu Alakaʻi Kula Haʻahaʻa (Lead Teachers for Elementary)

  • Kumu Ilima
    Kumu ‘Īlima Hose is currently the Kumu Alakaʻi for papa mālaaʻo/ʻekahi. She was born and raised in Wailua, Kauaʻi and graduated from Kapaʻa High School. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Hawaiian Studies with an emphasis in Hawaiian Language from the University of Hawai’i at Hilo. She also has a Teaching Certification and a Master of Arts Degree in Indigenous Language and Culture Education, both received under the Kahuawaiola Hawaiian Medium Teacher Education Program at UHH. She is licensed in Hawaiʻi to teach K-6 (all subjects) and K-12 (Hawaiian Language and Hawaiian Studies). She has 14 years of teaching experience in public, public charter, and private schools throughout Hawaiʻi in both elementary and high school including: Ka ʻUmeke Kāʻeo Public Charter School, Ke Kula Kaiapuni o Kauaʻi, Kamehameha Schools, Kauaʻi High School, and Kawaikini New Century Public Charter School. ʻIlima enjoys spending time with her ʻohana, including her two keiki, one of whom currently attends Pūnana Leo o Kauaʻi. Kumu ʻIlima is proud to be a kumu in her ʻāina hānau while teaching our keiki and perpetuating the language and culture of our kūpuna.
  • Nāmomi McCorriston
    Kumu Namomi McCorriston currently works as a Kumu Alakaʻi for Kawaikini’s papa ʻekahi/ʻelua. She has taught preschool at Pūnana Leo o Kauaʻi as well as grades K-1 at the Kaiapuni elementary school level. Kumu Namomi holds a BA degree in Hawaiian Studies from Brigham Young University Hawaiʻi, where she also served as the President of the Hawaiian Club. She is a dedicated educator with a passion for teaching Hawaiian culture and language. Kumu Nāmomi is fluent in ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi.
  • Lei Wann
    Kumu Lei Wann is the Kumu Alakaʻi for Papa 3. She holds a Bachelors in Anthropology and a Certificate of Pacific Island Studies from the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo. Kumu Lei also received a a Bachelors in Elementary Education from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Kumu Lei has previously worked at Kawaikini, as well as Hoʻopuka Learning Center, and Kamehameha Schools. Kumu Lei has 2 keiki, one whom attends Kawaikini. Kumu Lei is fluent in ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi.
  • Kaliko Goo
    Kumu Kaliko Goo is the Kumu Alaka`i for Papa 4. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Hawaiian Studies from the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo. She continued her education in the Hālau Wānana Teacher Education Program under KALO in Kamuela, HI. Kumu Kaliko is a graduate of Pāhoa High School. She has previously worked as an Education Assistant at Kua o ka Lā PCS and Kanu o ka ʻAina PCS on Hawaiʻi island. She was also a Kumu Kākoʻo at Pūnana Leo o Hilo and has held various other jobs. She has 1 child. Kumu Kaliko is fluent in ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi.
  • Uluwehi Torio
    Kumu Uluwehi Torio is the Kumu Alakaʻi for Papa 5. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. Kumu Uluwehi is a former student of Kula Kaiapuni o Kapaʻa. She is a graduate of Kapaʻa High School and recently obtained her Masters of Education degree from the University of Phoenix. Kumu has previously worked in preschools and volunteered at Kula Kaiapuni o Kapaʻa. She is fluent in ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi.
  • Kumu Lilinoe
    Kumu Lilinoe “Tita” Kuhaulua is currently serving as the Kumu Papa ʻEono at Kawaikini. Tita is a mānaleo. She is a former student of the Kula Kaiapuni Hawaiʻi o Kapaʻa program. She was the only Kaiapuni graduate of her 2004 Kapaʻa High School class and has obtained a certificate in Hawaiian Studies from Kauaʻi Community College. She was a Hawaiian Language teacher at Kauaʻi High School for two years and formally a Kumu Kōkua for our Hoʻopākela Program. She has also worked with many Hawaiian Culture programs protecting, preserving and rejuvenating our moʻomeheu. She is a mother of 5 keiki, with 3 of them attending Kawaikini. Kumu Tita is here to ʻauamo kuleana, that she feels honored to do so.

Kumu Alakaʻi Kula Ki’eki’e (Lead Teachers for Secondary)

  • Kanani Durant
    Kumu Kanani Durant is the current Secondary Program Social Studies Kumu, pae 7-12. She has previously worked at Hoʻopuka Learning Center learning and is fluent in ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i. She is a graduate of Kaua’i High School and holds a BA degree in Hawaiian Studies and Hawaiian Language from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Kumu Kanani is currently working on her Masters degree in Political Science and her Secondary Teaching Certification from the University of Hawai’i Mānoa. She is a mother of 3 children.
  • Wahineuʻi Waiamau
    Kumu Wahineu`i Waiamau is the current 6th-grade and Secondary Program (7-12) Mathematics Kumu. She is a graduate of Kamehameha Schools – Kapālama and holds a Bachelors of Arts in Secondary Education with an endorsement in Advanced Mathematics from Concordia University – Portland. This is Kumu Waiamau’s third year at Kawaikini and she serves as the Secondary Pouhana and an advisor for ‘Aha Haumāna.
  • Tuʻu Goo
    Kumu Tu`u Goo is currently the Hawaiian Language teacher in the Secondary Program, pae 7-12. Kumu Tuʻu has obtained two Bachelorʻs of Arts degrees in the area of Hawaiian studies and History (Asian/Pacific) from the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo. She has worked for numerous cultural outreach summer programs for 10+ years during Hawaiian cultural based enrichment institutes “Nā Pua Noʻeau-Hilo” and has currently worked at another new century public charter Hawaiian cultural based school on Hawaiʻi island “Kua o ka Lā NCPCS” for the past 9 years. There she attained numerous roles, first starting off as an educational assistant III, substitute teacher, community outreach coordinator for high school “Aho Loa”, and a part-time Hawaiian language teacher for their online school “Hīpuʻu”, and from there eventually taught Hawaiian language in the classroom on campus. She moved back to Kauaʻi in June 2016. She is a native of Kauaʻi and is happy to be back home to reestablish and reconnect to her one hānau.
  • Rebecca Pickett
    Kumu Rebecca Pickett currently works as a Kumu Alakaʻi papa 7-12 ʻŌlelo Pelekania at Kawaikini. She has taught for the last 23 years in a public high school setting. Kumu Rebecca earned her bachelor of arts in English with a minor in Communications at Ft. Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. She then went to San Jose State University to earn a California Secondary Teaching credential in English for grades 7 to Adult learning specializing in Multi-Cultural Literature. In addition, she earned her Masters in Teaching with a Specialization in Educational Technology from the National University cohort with Kamehameha Schools. She has taught Career and Technological Education (CTE) for the past 6 years and coordinated a Teen Parenting or GRADS program and Language Arts 9-11. In the school year intersessions she teaches in the Kaua’i Kamehameha Enrichment programs island-wide. Kumu Rebecca is a dedicated student advocate giving her students tools to navigate their world post-secondary to become effective stewards of their culture and community.
  • Nicomas Dollar
    Kumu Nico Dollar is the Kumu Epekema (Science Teacher) for the 7th through 11th grade. She holds a B.S in Agroecology & Environmental Quality from the University of Hawaiʻi-Hilo and worked for the University Sustainable Agriculture facility and USDA Agriculture Research lab for several years. Thereafter, she worked for the Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation as a state archeologist monitor and tribal cartographer for the Tribal Historic & Preservation Office, while working towards a Masters Degrees in Science, (Major: pollination ecology, specializing in bees) at South Dakota State University where she also taught a grad-school entomology lab and worked as a bee researcher. During the summers she took courses in Hymenoptera systemics in Poland, Costa Rica, and Arizona. Then she began her secondary teacher training with Teach for America. She has nearly completed her Masters of Education Degree in Natural Resources & Environmental Science at Hamline University, in St. Paul, Minnesota. She has taught Agriscience and FFA for 6 years on Indian Reservations, and taught various secondary science courses for 16 years. Before moving back to Hawaii she was the Outdoor Education School Program Coordinator for South Dakota State Game, Fish & Parks and served over 250 schools.

Kumu Kōkua/Kīnana (Educational Assistants/SPED)

  • Kumu Healani
    Kumu Healani Emmick is our Special Education teacher and Student Services Coordinator (SSC). She received her Masters of Education degree in Instructional Leadership through Chaminade University of Honolulu and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from Brigham Young University-Hawaiʻi. Kumu Healani moved her family to Kauaʻi from Oʻahu to be closer to her ʻohana and to help farm Kalo. Two of her five children attend Kawaikini. She enjoys hearing the haumana ‘Ōlelo Hawai’i on campus and is currently learning the language alongside her keiki.
  • Kawaiʻolu Torio
    Kumu Kawai`olu Torio has been a Kumu Alakaʻi, Kumu Kōkua and Kumu Pani Hakahaka (substitute teacher) since 1992, beginning in Kula Kaiapuni in 1992 until the present. Kumu Kawaiʻolu has an Associates Degree in Specialized Business from the ICM School of Business in Pennsylvania. She graduated from Rochester High School, in Rochester, Pennsylvania. Kumu Kawaiʻolu has worked at various positions including being an office manager and a computer operator. Kumu Kawaiʻolu is known as the Singapore Math Kumu, having done many of the Math Nights at Kawaikini. She is also the mother of two children, including Kumu Uluwehi. Kumu Kawaiʻolu is fluent in ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi.
  • Kaleilehua Victor
    Kumu Kaleilehua Victor is a graduate of Ke Kula Kaiapuni o Kapa’a at Kapa’a High School. She has also attended Kaua’i Community College and the University of Hawai’i at Hilo. She is currently a Kumu Kōkua in the Elementary Program. Kumu Kaleilehua has previously worked at Pūnana Leo o Hilo and Pūnana Leo o Kaua’i. Kaleilehua enjoys working with children and she is fluent in ‘Ōlelo Hawai’i.
  • Kahanu Keawe
    Kumu Kahanu Keawe currently serves as Kawaikiniʻs Counselor. She studied at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa graduating with her Master of Social Work degree. Kahanu is passionate about helping those around her to successful navigate their lives. She has a desire to speak Hawaiian language fluently as she lives her culture. She is currently studying voyaging/canoe navigation with Makaliʻi the Hawaiʻi island voyaging canoe. Kahanu resides in Anahola with her husband and 4 children.
  • Kumu Keani
    Kumu Keani Mayer graduated from Kapa’a High School in 2006, she then attended Kaua’i Community College and there she earned her a certificate of completion in Hawaiian Studies in 2008. She them moved to the island of Hawai’i where she attended UH-Hilo. She worked at various Hawaiian Cultural work environments, such as: ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center (2009-10), Pūnana Leo o Hilo Hi’ipēpē & Kūlia ia ka pono Hilo/Puna (2010-13). She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Hawaiian Studies with focus on Hawaiian Language in 2013. She returned to Kauaʻi where she became a Kumu Kakoʻo and a Kumu Alakaʻi for Papa Mala A’o (2013-14). She then went to explore more options of employment at Alaska Airlines and Kauaʻi High School as a TA/Sub (2015-16). Keani has returned to Kawaikini and currently serves as the Kumu Kako’o for Papa M-2.
  • Kumu Waiulu
    Kumu Waiulu Fernandez is currently the Kumu Kako’o for the Elementary Program. She graduated from Kapa’a High School in 2006, she then moved to the island of Hawai’i where she attended Hawai’i Community College.
  • Kumu Kanoa
    Kumu Kanoa Mayer holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Hawaiian Studies from the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo. He also received an AAS degree in Hospitality and Tourism, a Hawaiian Studies Certificate and a Hawaiian Botany Program Certificate of Competence from Kauaʻi Community College. Kumu Kanoa graduated from Kapaʻa High School and is a Kumu Papa ‘Ōlelo Hawai’i no ka Papa Mākua. He has previously worked at Ke Kula ʻo Nāwahīokalaniʻōpuʻu in Keaʻau, Hawaiʻi as well as various other places. Kumu Kanoa is fluent in ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi.
  • Emily Cadiz
    Kumu Emily Cadiz is currently the ʻEpekema Kumu for Papa ʻElima and Papa ʻEono. Emily holds a Masters degree in Natural Resource and Environmental Management from UH Mānoa, and a BA degree in Marine Science with a minor in Hawaiian studies from UH Hilo. She worked closely with Kawaikini Papa ʻEono during her Masters thesis where the students were a part of a Hāʻena community-based marine monitoring program. Emily is now enjoying working with the students in bridging science with Haleleʻa culture and community.

Office Staff

  • Keʻala Bristol
    `Anakē Keʻala Bristol serves as the school’s Student Administrative Services Assistant (SASA). Keʻala studied Journalism and Public Relations at Hawaiʻi Pacific University in Honolulu. While earning her degree, she took four semesters of Hawaiian language. Keʻala lives in Puhi with her husband and her two keiki. She is excited to play a role in the conservation of ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi and loves to hear Hawaiian language daily in the workplace!
  • `Auli`i Herrod
    `Auli`i Herrod serves as Kawaikiniʻs Administrative Assistant. ‘Auli’i started ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi in Papa Malaaʻo (Kindergarten) at Ke Kula Kaiapuni o Kapaʻa. She is a graduate of Kawaikini, Class of 2013.  She is currently studying Creative Media.
  • Terri Russell
    `Anake Terri Russell serves as the School Operations Supervisor for Kawaikini NCPCS. Terri holds a BA degree in Finance from Trevecca Nazarene College in Nashville, TN, and has over 25 years of experience in non-profit leadership and grants administration. Originally from South Carolina, Terri moved to Kauai in 1997 and immediately fell in love with the Hawaiian people, their language and their culture. Terri previously worked with Ho’ola Lāhui Hawaii for 14 years as their Chief Financial Officer and was a key player in the establishment of the Kauai Community Health Centers in Waimea and Kapa’a. Terri volunteers with many community organizations, including teaching Sunday School at Kapaa First Hawaiian Church. She resides with her son and her Hawaiian ʻohana and is currently studying ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi in her spare time.
  • Anake Lexa
    `Anake Lexa Mink-Flacco is the Technology Specialist, and joined us in August 2017. She also runs the schoolʻs robotics programs and computer lab. A graduate of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s Computer Science program, she has returned to Kauai to rejoin and give back to her community. Lexa is affiliated with Kauai Robotics Alliance, a nonprofit dedicated to expanding STEM opportunities on our island, and works with them to introduce our keiki to engineering and robotics events throughout the year. She is picking up ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi and looks forward to using it fluently at work and home.

Other Staff

  • George Jackson
    `Anakala George Jackson holds a trade certificate from San Francisco City College, San Francisco, California. He is a graduate of Kahuku High School. ʻAnakala George, as he is affectionately known, is the bus driver for the North Shore bus. He has his CDL license and previously worked on Oʻahu for Gomes Bus Service for eight years and other transportation companies. He was also the Housing Maintenance Supervisor for eight years at Brigham Young University at Lāʻie, Hawaiʻi.

Ho’opākela (Afterschool Program)

  • Noe Haumea
    ‘Anakē Noe Haumea is the Alakaʻi for Hoʻopākela, our After-School Program. She is a Kamehameha School graduate and was a stay-at-home mom until a couple of years ago when she decided to go back to school. ‘Anakē Noe has earned her Hawaiian Studies certificate. She is currently studying to receive her Associates in Arts degree in Hawaiian Studies at Kauaʻi Community College. Noe has four keiki. They are all products of Hawaiian Immersion. The oldest graduated from Kawaikini in 2011. Her two daughters now attend Kamehameha, and her youngest is in papa ʻekolu. Noe served as Treasurer for Nā Hulu Makua for 5 years. She has been with Hoʻopākela for the past four years.

Poʻo Kumu (Academic Director)

  • ʻAlohilani Rogers
    Kumu Malia ‘Alohilani Rogers is the Academic Director K-12. She has taught in the field of Hawaiian language education for over 14 years, where she has taught at the elementary, middle school, adult education and community college level. She has helped develop and translate materials used in the Hawaiian language education program. Kumu ʻAlohilani has a BA in Hawaiian Language from the University of Hawaiʻi and certification in elementary education. She is currently working on a Masters in Public Charter School Administration. She is also on the Board of Directors of ʻAha Punana Leo. Her goal is to see the revitalization of the Hawaiian Language and culture here in Hawaiʻi through the education of our kamaliʻi, with a specific emphasis on Kauaʻi. She enjoys spending time with her ʻohana and reading, especially stories and articles from old Hawaiian Language newspapers and books.

Poʻo Kula (Executive Director)

  • Kumu Jessell
    Poʻo Jessell M. Kalae Tanaka is the Poʻo Kula (Principal) of Kawaikini beginning May 2017. She holds a Bachelorʻs degree in Psychology and Masterʻs degree in Social Work at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Her prior experience includes managing operations of a center for child abuse, facilitating inter-agency team work and improving systems related to responses to child abuse. She was born and raised on Hawaiʻi Island and cherishes her time with family. Jessell is excited to be a part of Kawaikini and Hawaiian culture based education.

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