aloha & welcome to hanahau‘oli

Ho‘omau Hanahau‘oli, perpetuating a legacy of lifelong, joyful learning, articulated by our very own alumna and librarian Gabby Holt (’02), beautifully captures our work at Hanahau‘oli.  The theme highlights the core tenets of our 100 years of progressive education - lifelong learning and joyous work - while recognizing the significance of carrying forth this legacy for the next hundred years.  As Hanahau‘oli’s 12th Head of School, I am privileged to honor the work of our founders Sophie and George Cooke as well as all the learners who led us on the stepping stones for our first century.  

I humbly share my Hanahau‘oli story in an effort to explain the “magic” of Hanahau‘oli.  My Hanahau‘oli story resonates with the stories of other Hanahau‘oli learners as it conjures powerful feelings of joy, love and appreciation.  Our school’s rich traditions bind our community with shared common experiences and memories. My perspective of the Hanahau‘oli story is unique, as I have experienced Hanahau‘oli as a student, parent, teacher and administrator.

Lia 3.jpg

My Hanahau‘oli School story began in 1980 when I started as a Junior Kindergartener.  Many of my clearest memories as a student involve the arts - working in a group to put on a play, creating an art piece, making a useful product in Shop.  I remember feeling so proud of my work. However, what is most vivid when I think about my time at Hanahau‘oli as a student, is how I felt. I felt safe, cared for, appreciated for who I was, and loved.  

Returning to Hanahau‘oli as a teacher in 2012, I gained a greater appreciation for the intention behind the “magic.”  The “magic” is created by the intelligent design of all aspects of the school and by the close, personal relationships faculty build with each student.  Teachers and staff at Hanahau‘oli celebrate diversity of talent and thinking, and recognize that all learning outcomes are valuable.   

As a parent of Hanahau‘oli students, I am most grateful that my children get to be kids, and do the work of childhood, which is play, each and every day. I appreciate that my children - along with all the students here - are accepted for their uniqueness. Their strengths and talents are celebrated and their pace of learning is honored. I also love that every member of our school community - from the custodians to the front office to the teachers to other parents - play a role in nurturing and educating my children.  

Finally, as an administrator in a community where lifelong learning is encouraged, and in fact, expected, I know what holds true for children, holds true for adults - we thrive when we feel respected, supported and appreciated for our individual talents, and when such talents are used for the greater good of achieving our school’s mission. 

As we embark on our 101st year, we will not only perpetuate our legacy - made possible by the committed and visionary learners who came before us - but also create together a bold future for the next century of joyous work.  I look forward to being a part of your Hanahau‘oli story.

With Aloha,

Lia Woo
Head of School

Faculty & Staff

Artwork by Sophia Pakkala ’21

Artwork by Sophia Pakkala ’21

Classroom Teachers

Junior Kindergarten: Alison Baclig, Maia Lee Loy, Nora Sobrado, Christine Tanimoto

Kukunaokalā (K/1): Sarah DeLuca, Jayne Fryxell, Carla Matsui, Sheena Yamamoto

Kulāiwi (2/3): Kathy Galdeira, Keala Lee, Jennifer Stierli

Po‘e Ka‘ahele (4/5):  Juliet Johnson-Moore ’94, Shannon Porter, Stacy Prellberg

6th Grade: Noreen Varney, Cameron McGregor


Art – Lauren Okano

Band – Ernie Provencher

Mandarin – Jingwoan Chang

Hawaiian Culture Facilitator – Blair Sataraka

Librarian – Gabby Holt ’02

Library Assistant – Amy Donn

Music & Orchestra – Leah Abbe Bloem

Physical Education – Jewel Toyama

Physical World Laboratory – Marc Miyamoto


Head of School – Lia Woo ’88

Director of Operations – Anthony Yee

Director of Institutional Advancement – Terrina Wong

Director of Admissions – Beverly Crum

Director of Curriculum & Innovative Technology – Mike Travis

Director of the Professional Development Center – Amber Strong ’89 Makaiau

Director of Finance – Jenny Chen

Director of Administrative Operations – Joanne Guy

Advancement Specialists – Wendy Kaneda, Kellie James ’95 Schmidtke

Auxiliary Programs Coordinator – Lisa Taylor

After School Care Programs Assistant Coordinator – Alanna Daley

Bookkeeper/Summer School Assistant – Sara Shimabukuro

Coordinator of Learning Resources – Michiko Sugiyama

Counselor – John Kim

Extended Learning Program Specialist – Rebecca Eldredge

IT Specialist – Aubri Mead-Cleveland

Professional Development Center Coordinator – Veronica Kimi

physical plant

Physical Plant Manager – Ian Gillespie ’84

Physical Plant Staff – Leo Antonio, Gil Cacayurin, Vinie Javier

Board of Trustees

2019-20 Board of Trustees of Hanahau‘oli School

Terrence George – President

Jeff Piper – Vice President

Eric Schiff – Secretary

Russell M. Gifford – Treasurer

Sharon Himeno ’68 – Past President

 J. Kuhio Asam, M.D.

Stephanie Soll ’82 Buck

Wendy B. Crabb

Brian Doyle

Sara Magoon ’58 Dudgeon

Jennifer Kessner ’88 Engle

Patricia Halagao

Ikaika Hussey ’90

Pamela Omidyar

Greg Sato

Paul Singer

Nainoa Thompson

Rick Towill

Sharon Twigg-Smith

Vik Watumull ’70

Jodi Shin ’83 Yamamoto

Nicole Robinson ’85 – Hui Representative – Ex-Officio

Ryan McCauley – Hui Representative – Ex-Officio

Lia Woo ’88 – Ex-Officio

Artwork by Ava Aguilera ’20

Artwork by Ava Aguilera ’20