Kawaikini faculty and staff

Nā Limahana

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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. 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.
  • Uluwehi Torio
    Kumu Uluwehi Torio is the Kumu Alakaʻi for Papa ʻEkahi. 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 Kaʻiulani Carvalho is the Kumu Alakaʻi for Papa 2.
  • 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.
  • Kumu Lilinoe
    Kumu Kaleimakamae Kaʻauwai is the Kumu Alakaʻi for Papa ʻElima/ʻEono.

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.
  • Kumu Wahineu`i
    Kumu Wahineu`i Waiamau is the current 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 fourth year at Kawaikini and she serves as the Secondary Pouhana and an advisor for ‘Aha.
    Hauamāna.
  • Kumu Mahina Nakea is the Kumu ʻōlelo pelekania for secondary (grades 7-12).
  • Kumu Nico
    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.
  • Keani Mayer
    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 served as the Kumu Kako’o for Papa M-2 for 2017-2018 SY. She is currently Kumu ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi for secondary (grades 7-12).

Kumu Kōkua/Kīnana (Educational Assistants/SPED)

  1. 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.
  2. Kumu Kaleilehua
    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.
  3. Kumu Kahanu
    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.
  4. 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.

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
    ʻAuliʻi 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.
  • Brittany Sohbatzadeh is the School Opervations Supervisor.
  • ʻAlohilani Rogers
    Kumu Malia ‘Alohilani Rogers is our Cultural Education Specialist. 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.
  • 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 ʻehā. Noe served as Treasurer for Nā Hulu Makua for 5 years. She has been with Hoʻopākela for the past five years.

Poʻo Kumu (Academic Director)


  • Kumu Namomi McCorriston is the Academic Director K-12. She has taught preschool at Pūnana Leo o Kauaʻi as well as grades K-2 at the Kaiapuni elementary school level and here at Kawaikini. 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.

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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