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Faculty

Director of Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment (DCIA); Interim Student Services Coordinator – Kaulana Smith, M. Ed.
Kumu Kaulana is the Po`o Kumu at LCPCS. She has worked with Hawai`i's students in public education and the community for many years. Kumu Kaulana comes to LCPCS with experience from both Hawaii DOE and Public Charter School in the field of Special Education and Administration.  She has experience with a variety of student-centered learning programs, interventions, and support services in partnership with an array of organizations: Foundation for Excellent Schools, Pacific American Foundation, Hanai i ka Ipu, high school athletics, Hawaii Network Learning Communities, Department of Aquatic Resources, High Tech Youth Network, Rotary Club of Hilo, and Kupu Hou.  Kumu Kaulana also participates with parent and community groups in enhancing student and school development: LCPCS Governing Board, Hui Alaka`i Kumu, MTSS, its Self-Study and WASC Accreditation; Hui Makua, Na Lei Na`auao, and Hawaii Association of Independent Schools.

Student Records Coordinator – Paula Dickey
Paula has more than 25 years of experience in education, including teaching, coaching, counseling, coordinating, and directing the Hilo Intermediate School's Summer Enrichment Program. Paula has a Bachelor's of Science degree in Education, double majoring in School and Community Health. As a 20+ year resident of Laupahoehoe, parent and faculty member, Paula brings a well-rounded perspective to her position. She is motivated to see the school and every child at LCPCS succeed.

Counselor – Momi Nuuhiwa
Momi earned a BA in geology from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, a BA in psychology from UH Hilo, and an MA in counseling from UH Hilo. She moved to Hilo in 2000 from the island of Molokai. She has four amazing children and looks forward to being a tūtūwahine! She is an avid Aloha ʻĀina supporter and spends her free time farming, dancing hula, carving pahu, and practicing oli. One of her guiding principles comes from ʻŌlelo Noʻeau: Hana kāpulu ka lima, ʻAi ʻino ka waha (Careless work with the hands puts dirty food in the mouth!). It is a reminder to be conscious and aware of yourself, your effect on others and their effect on you. 

Student Services Coordinator / Teacher - M. Harsch 

Kaupea Instructor – Myles De Coito 
Myles has taught in various capacities on Hawai`i Island over the past two decades. He has over 10 years of experience working in Hawai`i public charter schools, and has spent the last three focused solely on virtual education. In his second year at LCPCS, he is focused on building process continuity and grade-level transition protocols for the secondary students of the Kaupe`a Virtual Learning Program. Myles is a "Google for Education" guru, speaks basic Hawaiian, and is experienced in community outreach. Jeff is originally from British Columbia, Canada, and comes to Laupahoehoe from California. He has a Master's of Science in special education, and a Bachelor's degree in exercise science and sports management. He spent 2015/2016 working as a special education teacher for the Ventura County Office of Education, where he worked with elementary students.   

Kaupea Teacher – Julie Rix

Pre-Kindergarten Teacher - Katherine Metzler-Nagata

Pre-Kindergarten Teacher - Amanda Martin
Amanda ("Ama") Martin was born and raised in Laupahoehoe. She has worked at LCPCS in various capacities since 2013. She has been teaching early childhood special education since 2018. Ama holds a BA in psychology and a certificate in education from UH Hilo, and earned her teaching credentials in lower elementary special education from UH Manoa. She is currently pursuing an MEd. in special education from UH Manoa. 
 
Kindergarten Teacher - Daniela (Dani) Smith
Dani has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology and a minor in History from the University of California. She earned her Master’s of Science in Elementary Teaching from California Baptist University.  Before moving to Hawai’i in 2010 she was an elementary teacher in California for five years where she taught first, third and seventh grade. Dani has taught kindergarten and/or first grade at LCPCS since the founding of the charter school in 2012. Dani holds an Advanced Teaching license in the state of Hawai’i. 

First Grade Teacher – Terri Jackson
Aloha from first grade! My name is Terri Jackson and this is my second year as a Seasider. I moved here in August 2019 from Dallas, Texas with my dog, Bellatrix. I have a BA from Lyon College in Batesville, Arkansas and I’m certified to teach Elementary Education K-6, Special Education K-12, and TESOL K-12. I’m the proud mom of Todd, who is 21.
Please contact me with any questions you may have!

Second Grade Teacher – Savin Knoblauch 
Savin has more than nine years of teaching experience. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education and her Masters in Multicultural Education from the University of California. 

Third Grade Teacher – NBCT  Josephine Harding 
Originally from the Philippines, Josie earned a BS degree in Psychology in 1987. Upon graduation, she taught elementary school for 12 years in Southeast Asia. After immigrating to the US, she earned a BA in Elementary Education from Washington State University and a Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Arizona State University. Josie taught 3rd grade for 10 years on the Navajo Indian reservation in Arizona, and was a finalist for the Apache County Arizona's Teacher of the Year Award in 2012. Josie has been the 3rd grade teacher in LCPCS since 2012. In 2016, she was awarded Teacher of the Year at LCPCS. She recently achieved a National Board Certification for teachers. Josephine has an extensive background serving the needs of diverse student populations.

Fourth Grade Teacher – Megan Patten 
Megan has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies and a Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from San Diego State University.  She is credentialed in Hawai‛i as a “Highly Qualified Teacher.” 

Fifth Grade Teacher – Cheryl Borsh
Mrs. Borsh and her family moved from Northern California to Big Island in 2014, she loves animals and spends her spare time taking care of her fur family and getting in moana kai any chance she gets. A graduate of University Hawaii Hilo 2017. An avid scuba diver since 2006 who loves the underwater world and all of its precious gifts. Mrs. Borsh has been teaching at Laupahoehoe since 2017.  A huge believer in Aloha. Knowing that Aloha is more than a word of greeting or farewell. Aloha means mutual regard and affection that extends warmth in caring with no obligation in return. Aloha is the essence of relationships in which each person is important to every person for collective existence. Aloha means to hear what is not said, to see what cannot be seen, and to know the unknowable. (N.k)

Elementary Teacher – Alisa Tripp
Alisa was born and raised in Alaska. She graduated from the University of Alaska with a Bachelor's degree in Elementary Education. She also earned an endorsement in Special Education. She has a daughter named Petunia, and they both love living in Hawaii. 
 
Math & Science – Jacquelyn Gomes

English, Language Arts, & Social Studies – Trent Silkey

Sixth Grade Teacher - Autumn Encincas-Domingsil

Math/Science - Ivan Therlkeld

Arts & Technology – Sky Stressman  
Sky was raised in Tempe, Arizona, and received his Bachelor's Degree in Education from Northern Arizona University. He also has an Associate's Degree in Multi-media. After 10 years of teaching at both the high school and college levels, he moved to Waikaloa with his wife and two little girls to escape the mainland rat race. His wife is a teacher in Waikaloa. Sky is an accomplished drone pilot. 

AG & Ensembles –Todd Otake  
Todd graduated from Kamehameha Schools-Kapalama, then attended UH-Hilo and graduated with a BBA and a secondary teaching certificate. He has been teaching at Laupāhoehoe since 2004. In Todd’s free time he enjoys music, fishing, and bodyboarding.

Social Studies - Kurtis Sherer
Kurtis is a graduate of the UH-Hilo's Teacher Education Program.  He received an Associate's Degree in liberal arts from Ohlone College in Fremont, California where he also played college baseball, and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in history from UH-Hilo.  This is his fifth year of teaching at LCPCS. 

Science – Robert Zellner 
Bob graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1991 with a BS in broadfield science and biology.  He has taught in both public and private schools for over 25 years. He came to Hawai`i in 2008, taught at LHES for a couple of years, moved to Kanu O Ka `aina in Waimea, and returned to LCPCS in the fall of 2014. 
 
English & Language Arts/English Language Learning – Chandra Oshima 

High School Teacher – Tracy Kakiuchi

Physical Education Pre-K to 12th - Dharma Shay