Dr. Mark Hines
Dr. Mark Hines is the Director of Kupu Hou Academy and former Director of MidPacific eXploratory (MPX) at Mid-Pacific Institute, a preschool through grade 12 independent school in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi. Launched in 2011, MPX is a grade nine and 10 program that is grounded in integrated, community project-based learning. Students build authentic projects and work on community issues while integrating Math, Science, Language Arts, Social Studies and the Arts. Prior to this role, Hines was Technology Coordinator for Mid-Pacific for 15 years planning, developing and implementing technology and professional development for teachers, staff and students. In all, he has taught Science, Math and Technology for nearly 40 years. He is passionate about teaching, learning and the future of education. He serves on boards, accreditation teams and planning committees for a variety of education initiatives.
Leigh Fitzgerald is the vice president of academic affairs at Mid-Pacific Institute. Fitzgerald is passionate about school design, building positive school culture, and creating progressive learning environments rooted in the deeper learning competencies. She has coached leaders and teachers across the country through multiple school leadership positions in Hawaiʻi and as a coach with the Stanford d.School’s School Retool program. Fitzgerald’s work with public, private and charter school leaders in Hawaiʻi has focused on assessment for deeper learning; building inter-sector professional learning communities; and leveraging technology, community partners, atypical school structures and the design thinking cycle to create dynamic teaching and learning opportunities. She holds a bachelor’s degree in American Civilization and Education from Brown University and a master’s degree in Administration, Planning and Social Policy from Harvard University.
John Cheever has taught for 20 years, teaching classes in elementary, middle, and high school in all subject areas. His teaching experiences have taken him to Boulder, Colorado, San Francisco, California and back to Honolulu, where he was born and raised. He currently teaches Social Studies and English in the Mid-Pacific eXploratory (MPX) program, and has served as the coordinator for Kupu Hou Academy since 2017. Prior to teaching at Mid-Pacific, John worked in renewable energy development and advocacy for six years, developing commercial solar projects and solar farms all over the state, and leading educational outreach for a local non-profit.
Dr. Edna Hussey
Dr. Edna Hussey is principal of Mid-Pacific’s preschool and elementary school. She was the former head of Epiphany School which merged with Mid-Pacific in 2004. Hussey’s educational experiences span a wide range of ages of learners, from kindergarten through college, and teaching professionals. She worked as an assessment coordinator for the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Writing Program, co-directed the Hawaiʻi Writing Project’s Invitational Summer Institutes, and taught as an adjunct professor at the UH Mānoa College of Education. Hussey launched Hawaiʻi’s first Reggio Emilia-inspired preschool at Mid-Pacific in 2005. Working in collaboration with pedagogista Leslie Gleim, Hussey and Gleim coordinated the set-up of the famed Reggio Emilia Wonder of Learning Exhibit in 2013 and the North American Reggio Emilia Alliance Summer Conference. She earned her doctorate in education as a member of the first UH cohort in professional educational practice.
Pam Jenkins teaches fifth grade at Mid-Pacific Institute. Her teaching work is inquiry-focused and her students dive deeply into research, interviews, and presentations by generating a capstone project each year. Since 2014, Jenkins implemented the capstone inquiry project with Mid-Pacific fifth-graders and strives to create an engaging and dynamic learning environment by encouraging students to think critically and collaboratively. Prior to teaching fifth grade, Jenkins taught PE for 17 years and has a master’s degree in elementary education.
Gregg Kaneko teaches innovative programs in aquaponics and biology and is a founding teacher in the Mid-Pacific eXploratory program (MPX) at Mid-Pacific Institute, the integrated, student-centered project-based learning program for high school students. Kaneko oversees the planning and development of innovative curriculum for MPX. He has a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in private school leadership from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.
Chris Falk teaches ninth grade humanities as part of the Mid-Pacific eXploratory (MPX) program. An educator since 1999, Falk has served special motivation, and gifted and talented students, worked as substitute vice-principal, and taught Hawaiian history, world civilizations, and United States history in both public and independent schools. His classes emphasize and reinforce relationships, respect, and rigor.
Billie Napoleon has been teaching for nearly 25 years, including 19 years at Mid-Pacific. She joined the Mid-Pacific eXploratory program in 2016 and teaches 10th grade humanities, which is both interdisciplinary and project-based, and historic preservation, a project-based learning course that implements LiDar 3D scanning technology. Napoleon has presented at Schools of the Future conferences, the Kamehameha Schools Kūkulu Kaiaulu Conference, and was a research fellow with the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Research Schools International. She is interested in using technology in innovative ways and developing assessment tools to support project-based learning. Napoleon is passionate about using literature to teach history, developing structures that encourage student voice and choice, and encouraging academic discourse among students.
Bob McIntosh started his educational experience in 1980 teaching high school mathematics, and industrial arts and technology education in Estes Park, Colorado. During that time he designed, developed and implemented an award-winning middle school technology program. McIntosh led and facilitated teacher professional development around the world introducing teachers to technology-rich project-based learning environments as the educational leader and chief operating officer for Creative Learning Systems. He designed, installed and supported innovative learning environments around the United States and Canada. McIntosh led educational technology at Mid-Pacific Institute since 2005 and is currently a Mid-Pacific eXploratory (MPX) STEM and International Baccalaureate (IB) technology teacher, designing and implementing project-based learning experiences for students. He received his bachelor’s degree in industrial sciences arts/education from Colorado State University and is pursuing a master’s degree in educational leadership.
At Mid-Pacific, Leslie Gleim works in the role of pedagogista in the school’s Reggio-inspired preschool, concentrating on developing projects, the professional development of the teaching team, and working with the parents and children. She collaborates with Reggio Emilia expert Dr. George Forman who has consulted with the Mid-Pacific preschool since 2007. Gleimbegan her Reggio-inspired journey more than 20 years ago while working with children with special rights in an integrated setting in Ohio. In 1999, she participated with the Ohio delegation to Reggio Emilia, Italy for the first time. Gleim has published several articles, presented at the North American Reggio Emilia Alliance (NAREA) annual conference in Calgary, as well as numerous national National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) conferences. She continues to present on the processes of Reggio-inspired work on Maui, Kauaʻi, and Oʻahu at the Hawaiʻi Association for the Education of Young Children (HAEYC) and the Schools of the Future Conferences. In 2011, she participated in the professional development initiative “International Encounters with the Culture of Atelier” in Ligonchio, Italy and in 2012, Gleim co-authored the book “Seeing Young Children with New Eyes” with Sydney Clemens.
Sumoha Min, a former middle school teacher and administrator, began her teaching career through the non-profit organization Teach for America. She taught grades 5-8 for a total of 9 years as a classroom teacher and focuses on best practices for middle level learners. She also brings prior knowledge as an administrator, having served as a 6-12th grade Dean and Director of Admissions and an Associate Director at the college level, overseeing online undergraduate and graduate programs at Chaminade University. Min earned her bachelor’s degree from New York University and her master’s degree in Education from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. She loves to dance, practice yoga, and cook authentic Indian food and lives with her family in Honolulu, HI.
Jennifer Matsumoto’s teaching career began more than 20 years ago as a kindergarten, first and fifth grade teacher. She has worked as a kindergarten teacher at Mid-Pacific for 10 years. Over the past several years, Matsumoto has worked as part of the Mid-Pacific kindergarten team to build inquiry work into the learning experience and uses Mid-Pacific’s Reggio-inspired preschool as a model for new teaching and learning practices. Matsumoto has a master’s degree in elementary education from UH Mānoa.