Our classrooms

Academics

 

Meaningful Opportunities

Our Personal Best

Our students are known and loved by all. Our teachers inspire students to be motivated, collaborative, and inquisitive. Each child’s education is designed through a concerted effort between students, family, and educators to ensure developmentally appropriate growth. An HNS student is confident, self-directed, and engaged. Each day our students are challenged, involved, and personally successful.

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Curriculum

 

Classrooms

It is a fact that not all children learn in the same way. The phrase “one-size-fits-all” does not apply to education. Our curriculum is designed to assess, set goals, facilitate, and inspire students to learn, dig deep, and communicate their understanding.

Keiki 3s

Play is the “work” of the young child! In Keiki 3’s children take important first steps toward discovering who they are and how they fit in their world, while “playing”.

Carol Takamine

Carol Takamine

Co-Lead Teacher

Carol Takamine is acknowledged as a leader in early childhood education in Hawai’i for the past 30 years. Carol joined Holy Nativity School in 2016, bringing a wealth of experience and talent with her.

Katsue Teramoto

Katsue Teramoto

Co-Lead Teacher

Pre-Kindergarten

It is our mission to provide a safe place where children are free to explore, take risks, make mistakes and grow. We aim to foster independence while nurturing passions and supporting their creativity.

Renee Shitanishi

Renee Shitanishi

Lead Teacher

Renee Shitanishi has been part of the Holy Nativity School family since 2006. Born and raised in Hawai‘i Kai, she is an alumni of Kaiser High School.

Lehua Alo Williams

Lehua Alo Williams

Educational Specialist

Lehua Alo Williams has been at Holy Nativity School since 1999. Born and raised in the islands, Lehua graduated from Punahou School.

Kindergarten

We respect Holy Nativity’s embodiment of “Character, Heart, and Excellence” and greatly appreciate the understanding of the various dimensions of growth and development for each student.

Petey Kaneshiro

Petey Kaneshiro

Lead Teacher

A “transplant” from New York in 1968, Anna Ruth Peterson Kaneshiro, known as Petey, began her teaching career at Kilohana Preschool in Niu Valley after graduating with a BA from the University of Hawai’i-Manoa

Erin Zitz

Erin Zitz

Educational Specialist

1st Grade

First graders at Holy Nativity School learn to be kind and considerate members of their community, while also embracing the many opportunities to explore, inquire, and develop their individual passions.

Jenna Kieburtz

Jenna Kieburtz

Co-Lead Teacher

Jenna Kieburtz joined the Holy Nativity School team in 2014. She was born here on Oahu, but was raised in the beautiful state of Washington.

Destiney Peters

Destiney Peters

Co-Lead Teacher

2nd Grade

At HNS we strive to be good company for the right journey. The journey is different at every age. The journey is unique for each and every student.

Dr. Kirtland Peterson

Dr. Kirtland Peterson

Lead Teacher

A graduate of Princeton University and Hahnemann University’s clinical psychology program, “Cat” Peterson believes in academic rigor and lots of fun.

Jana Takemura

Jana Takemura

Educational Specialist

Jana Takemura joined Holy Nativity School in 2016 in second grade as an Educational Specialist. For nine years prior, Jana had taught elementary grades at various Honolulu schools.

3rd Grade

First graders at Holy Nativity School learn to be kind and considerate members of their community, while also embracing the many opportunities to explore, inquire, and develop their individual passions.

Dara Torres

Dara Torres

Lead Teacher

Dara Torres was born in California but grew up in Canada. She has over 12 years of teaching experience and has taught in Canada, Chile, South Korea, and Hawai‘i.

Liz Cunningham

Liz Cunningham

Educational Specialist

Liz Cunningham has been part of the Holy Nativity School family for a major portion of her life. She is a graduate of HNS and has worked as a teacher here since 1989.

4th Grade

In 4th grade we get to see these young boys and girls maturing into students who take more ownership for their education, start to ask inquisitive questions and take more responsible risks in class.

Alan Ching

Alan Ching

Lead Teacher

Alan Ching has been teaching fourth grade at Holy Nativity School since the 1996. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Redlands, from where he graduated in 1992.

Pamela Ka‘aihue

Pamela Ka‘aihue

Educational Specialist

Pamela Ka’aihue has taught at Holy Nativity School since 2003. Before joining Holy Nativity School, she spent ten years at Punahou School as a first grade teaching assistant.

5th Grade

Providing students with the skills and tools to make their dreams come true is our passion.

Staci Overton-Tune

Staci Overton-Tune

Co-Lead Teacher

Staci Overton-Tune has been teaching fifth grade at Holy Nativity School since 2013. Prior to fifth grade, Staci taught in early childhood programs and elementary schools in Chicago, New Zealand and Iowa.

Tristen Vidinich

Tristen Vidinich

Co-Lead Teacher

Tristen Vidinich was born and raised in San Diego, California, but moved to Hawai‘i in 2010 to attend Hawai‘i Pacific University on a full-ride cheerleading scholarship.

6th Grade

From Shakespeare to horseback riding in Arizona, the sixth grade year focuses on big ideas, independence, and a sense of adventure.

Jyo Bridgewater

Jyo Bridgewater

Lead Teacher

Jyo Bridgewater is the Principal of Holy Nativity School and the lead teacher in the 6th grade classroom. A graduate of Yale and NYU School of Law, she has been involved in child advocacy and education in a number of roles and settings.

7th and 8th Grade

It is rewarding to see students take ownership of their own education through personalized learning. We believe that this unique form of learning will allow students to reach their potential.

Dasia Sessoms

Dasia Sessoms

Co-Lead Teacher

Dasia Sessoms began teaching at Holy Nativity School in 2017. She moved to Hawai’i from Maryland in April to be with her new husband.

Marisa Maurer

Marisa Maurer

Co-Lead Teacher

Special Programs

We will get descriptions of our special programs soon!  Bear with us!

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Performing Arts

The process of art and joy of creative exploration are promoted as the primary learning experience beyond any preconceived expectation of the final production. Performing arts incorporates music, dance, maker space, production design, and culminates with the spectacular Lei Day at HNS, our signature program!

Computational Thinking

HNS students have the opportunity to learn the fundamental principles of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms, data decomposition and data representation. They can analyze problems & develop practical experience in writing computer programs, becoming responsible, competent, and creative users of information and communication technology.

Religion

Students are encouraged to explore their family faith traditions and are supported by the model of Episcopal worship as a foundation for, or to contrast with, their own tradition. Students attend weekly chapel services and classes, and attend a monthly All School Chapel service. The program as a whole inculcates the sense that a richness of spirit is one of the gifts of being human.

PE/Health

Physical conditioning, teamwork, and a balanced involvement in competition are components of a physical education program designed to develop the whole individual and to provide students with a lifelong interest in fitness. In support of our physical education curriculum, HNS has an indoor gymnasium and two large outdoor playing fields.

Visual Arts

The arts curriculum provides students with the opportunity to explore their own creativity and take risks while being able to make independent choices. Students are encouraged to explore, experiment and develop personal style while learning various art concepts. Fine arts exploration in painting, drawing, printing, clay, paper construction, photography and other media are offered to students at all grade levels.

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Global Education

Through global education, HNS students learn to appreciate the world and local culture, better preparing them for the 21stcentury. Upper elementary and middle school students receive daily Japanese language instruction by our native speaking teacher and all grades engage in global education projects.