Announcing New Faculty and Staff

August 15, 2018


Parker School welcomed 320 students in kindergarten through grade 12 for the school’s 42nd year on Monday, August 13.  Parker School also welcomes the following new faculty and staff:

Patrick Caenepeel, Middle School Math and Science Teacher
Mr. Caenpeel has spent over ten years working with students in grades K-8 in the San Francisco Unified School District. He holds a bachelor’s degree from The Hutchins School of Liberal Studies at Sonoma State University and earned a master’s degree in education from San Francisco State University. He is trained in balanced literacy at Teachers College, Columbia University and is a graduate of the California Academy of Sciences Teacher Institute on science and sustainability.  Originally from California, he and his wife (a ’01 Parker alum) recently moved to Waimea. Mr. Canepeel believes, “The classroom is a sacred place where students should feel safe to express their thoughts and feelings. Good teaching is a combination of fostering student talents while challenging student minds.” 

Mary Fran Donnelly, Part-time Middle School English Teacher and Service Learning Coordinator
Ms. Donnelly grew up on O’ahu and moved to Hawaii Island in 2017. She earned her bachelor of art degree in English from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. She has taught ESL (English as a Second Language), creative writing, and served as a tutor and substitute teacher for private schools in Waimea.  Ms. Donnelly shared, “As a teacher, I approach my classroom from a teamwork mindset. Everyone in the class will and can work together in all different ways, whether it is suggestions for a sentence or actively creating ideas together, my focus is to create a collaborative learning environment that cultivates leadership-based environment.”

Yngrid Gonzalez Feeney, Part-time Upper School Spanish Teacher
Mrs. Feeney rejoins Parker School and has a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Pennsylvania, and a master’s degree in early childhood bilingual education from City College of New York.  Mrs. Feeney has worked with grade k-12 students in both public and private schools on Hawai’i Island.  She is a native Spanish speaker originally from Manhattan and moved to the Big Island in 2006.  Mrs. Feeney believes, “Every day offers us opportunities to create meaningful impact in our students’ lives. Aside from teaching our respective subjects, we’re teaching our students life lessons on perseverance, empathy and enjoying the road ahead of us. School was always a safe place for me and I find providing a safe space that’s encouraging and respectful a priority.”

Catherine Harford, Upper School Math Teacher Long Term Substitute
Dr. Harford brings with her more than 13 years of education experience teaching at universities and private schools, in addition to nine years in the field of scientific research. Dr. Harford earned her bachelor of science degree and Ph.D. from the University of Toronto, where she is originally from.  After living in Massachusetts and Minnesota, Dr. Harford moved to Hawai’i Island in 2016.  She believes, “As a teacher, it is my goal to help each student realize their full potential.”

Kelley Heuston, Upper School History Teacher 
Ms. Heuston joins the Parker School ‘ohana after teaching for thirty years at Waterford School in Sandy, Utah.   She holds a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University, a master’s degree from the University of Utah and is a member of the Cum Laude Society.  “I am a deep believer in the importance of a traditional liberal arts approach to learning,” shares Ms. Heuston.  “I believe learning new ideas and about the past helps all of us to think better, live better, and create better communities.  I absolutely thrive when I am working with students, and teaching.”

Brian Koranda, Graphic Production and Web Specialist
Mr. Koranda joined the Parker School ‘ohana in Summer 2018 and holds a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Mr. Koranda has been building websites since the 1990’s for a variety of companies like Sony Pictures, DreamWorks Animation, Lionsgate Films, Rockwell Automation, and Carleton College. Originally from Wisconsin, Mr. Koranda enjoys spending time with his wife and watching his two kids grow up.  While he would love to explore Hawaii more on the weekends, renovating his house seems to take up all of his time. Mr. Koranda is also currently the 2018-19 PTSO President.

Aubrey Kommer, PAU Assistant
Ms. Kommer holds a bachelor of science degree in food science and nutrition from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. Originally from California, she has worked as a winemaker, a tutor and with at-risk youth organizations. “I hope to become as invested and devoted as the educators here at Parker School. They are a true inspiration as I work towards my own post-baccalaureate certifications.”

Cheynielle Pacheco, PAU Assistant
Ms. Pacheco joined the Parker School ‘ohana in 2018 and holds a bachelor’s degree in communications and a teaching certificate both from the University of Hawai’i at Hilo.  Ms. Pacheco has experience working at after-school and summer programs, as well as a part-time and substitute teacher. Born and raised on Hawai’i Island, Ms. Pacheco enjoys camping, fishing, swimming and making connections with new or old friends.  She believes, “If I can at least touch a few hearts in life I know the cycle will continue and they too will touch others in the process. I hope my influence will help young minds thrive and become the best person they can be.”

Gina Prowell, Upper School Math Teacher
Mrs. Prowell brings with her over 25 years of education experience at Raytown High School in Raytown, Missouri, Raymore-Peculiar High School in Peculiar Missouri and Sacred Hearts Academy in Honolulu, Hawai’i. Mrs. Prowell earned a bachelor of arts degree in mathematics from Connecticut College and a master’s degree in education from Avila University in Kansas City, Missouri.  She was honored with District Teacher of the Year in 2003-2004 and was a Teacher of the Year Finalist in 2015. Originally from O’ahu and a graduate of Punahou School ’86, Mrs. Prowell is excited to be back in her home state.  Mrs. Prowell shares, “I believe that learning is a journey, not a destination. There is always an opportunity to learn something new.” 

Audrey Smith, Middle and Upper School English
Ms. Smith comes to us from teaching at Georgetown University and in the Washington DC public school system. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English and Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies from Grinnell College, and a master of arts degree in English from Georgetown University.  Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Ms. Smith has lived throughout the Midwest and Washington, DC before moving to the Big Island in 2018. In her free time, she enjoys reading, swimming, reality television, and face timing with her family. “I believe in teaching the whole person and helping students develop into curious and compassionate lifelong learners through creating spaces for them to explore, make mistakes, think critically, and discover their passions. I believe literature has the potential to foster connections and empathy across time and space and that it’s is a tool through which we can build and understand worlds and ultimately come to better understand ourselves and each other.”