Faculty and Staff Directory

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Stephen Dunn

Stephen Dunn, Head of School

Mr. Dunn joined Parker School in 2020, with fifteen years of independent school leadership experience. He served as Upper School Head at The Nueva School which is internationally known for cutting-edge, inquiry-based learning in Silicon Valley and as Assistant Head and Interim Head of School at The Ethel Walker School, a 108-year-old girls’ boarding school in Connecticut. Prior to his work in Independent Schools, he served as an administrator for student development programs at Texas A&M University and also spent a decade in leadership positions at software development and project management companies in Massachusetts. He earned an undergraduate degree in business administration and an M.Ed in educational psychology, both from Texas A&M University. Stephen and his wife, Dr. Sheri Lyn Schmidt, have a son who lives in Bozeman, Montana. Sheri and Stephen fell in love with Waimea during their numerous trips to visit Sheri’s family in Waikoloa and Kohala.

In his free time, Mr. Dunn enjoys entertaining friends and sharing a good meal. When time allows he likes to work with his hands around the house or in the woodshop. He further enjoys exploring the beauty of Hawaiʻi island.

"In a school where students are known, valued, and nurtured, we must also ensure that they have the skills and knowledge to face the dynamic, rapidly changing world around them. Parker School is uniquely able to provide the support todayʻs students need for tomorrow, and for their future."

808-885-7933 ext. 7105
Head of School
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Stephen Dunn, Head of School

Mr. Dunn joined Parker School in 2020, with fifteen years of independent school leadership experience. He served as Upper School Head at The Nueva School which is internationally known for cutting-edge, inquiry-based learning in Silicon Valley and as Assistant Head and Interim Head of School at The Ethel Walker School, a 108-year-old girls’ boarding school in Connecticut. Prior to his work in Independent Schools, he served as an administrator for student development programs at Texas A&M University and also spent a decade in leadership positions at software development and project management companies in Massachusetts. He earned an undergraduate degree in business administration and an M.Ed in educational psychology, both from Texas A&M University. Stephen and his wife, Dr. Sheri Lyn Schmidt, have a son who lives in Bozeman, Montana. Sheri and Stephen fell in love with Waimea during their numerous trips to visit Sheri’s family in Waikoloa and Kohala.

In his free time, Mr. Dunn enjoys entertaining friends and sharing a good meal. When time allows he likes to work with his hands around the house or in the woodshop. He further enjoys exploring the beauty of Hawaiʻi island.

"In a school where students are known, valued, and nurtured, we must also ensure that they have the skills and knowledge to face the dynamic, rapidly changing world around them. Parker School is uniquely able to provide the support todayʻs students need for tomorrow, and for their future."

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Brandon Rogers

Mr. Rogers joined Parker School in 2020 bringing with him more than 24 years of teaching and school administrative experience after serving as Secondary Principal at International School of Turin in Italy, Head of Middle and Upper School at Khan Lab School in California, and Head of Secondary School Languages at Atlanta International School. Mr. Rogers holds a bachelor of science in education from the University of Georgia and a master of arts degree in English literature from Georgia State University. Additionally, Mr. Rogers received a certificate of International School Leadership from the Principal Training Center, completed an accreditation training from New England Association of Schools and Colleges, and is a workshop leader for Approaches to Teaching and Learning for the International Baccalaureate Organization. Mr. Rogers grew up in a military family and has lived all over the world, but calls Atlanta home after marrying his wife, Melissa, a Georgia native. Mr. Rogers has one son who attends Parker School. In his free time, Mr. Rogers enjoys reading, watching movies, listening to music, traveling with his family, playing soccer, and walking around aimlessly. He believes, “Positive relationships are key to a learning environment. Our aim should be to foster curiosity, independence, critical thinking, creativity, and open-mindedness, and empathy in students. And we do that by modeling these qualities as teachers and administrators at school and as parents at home."

808-885-7933 ext. 7115
Assistant Head of School
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Mr. Rogers joined Parker School in 2020 bringing with him more than 24 years of teaching and school administrative experience after serving as Secondary Principal at International School of Turin in Italy, Head of Middle and Upper School at Khan Lab School in California, and Head of Secondary School Languages at Atlanta International School. Mr. Rogers holds a bachelor of science in education from the University of Georgia and a master of arts degree in English literature from Georgia State University. Additionally, Mr. Rogers received a certificate of International School Leadership from the Principal Training Center, completed an accreditation training from New England Association of Schools and Colleges, and is a workshop leader for Approaches to Teaching and Learning for the International Baccalaureate Organization. Mr. Rogers grew up in a military family and has lived all over the world, but calls Atlanta home after marrying his wife, Melissa, a Georgia native. Mr. Rogers has one son who attends Parker School. In his free time, Mr. Rogers enjoys reading, watching movies, listening to music, traveling with his family, playing soccer, and walking around aimlessly. He believes, “Positive relationships are key to a learning environment. Our aim should be to foster curiosity, independence, critical thinking, creativity, and open-mindedness, and empathy in students. And we do that by modeling these qualities as teachers and administrators at school and as parents at home."

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Heather Polhemus

“Mrs. P,” was a founding member of the Parker lower school faculty in 2005; she served one year as the fourth grade teacher before moving into her role as lower school head in 2006. Mrs. Polhemus was born and raised on O'ahu and moved to the Big Island in 2005, where she is fifth generation kama'aina. She graduated from Hawai'i Preparatory Academy in 1990 and earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Puget Sound. In 2000, she received a master’s in elementary education from Chaminade University. Mrs. Polhemus is married and has one son. In her free time, she enjoys painting, gardening and spending time with family and friends.

808-930-0072 ext. 0301
Lower School Head, Lower School Math Teacher
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“Mrs. P,” was a founding member of the Parker lower school faculty in 2005; she served one year as the fourth grade teacher before moving into her role as lower school head in 2006. Mrs. Polhemus was born and raised on O'ahu and moved to the Big Island in 2005, where she is fifth generation kama'aina. She graduated from Hawai'i Preparatory Academy in 1990 and earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Puget Sound. In 2000, she received a master’s in elementary education from Chaminade University. Mrs. Polhemus is married and has one son. In her free time, she enjoys painting, gardening and spending time with family and friends.

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Makela Bruno-Kidani, LMFT

Ms. Makela holds a bachelor’s degree in Hawaiian studies from the University of Hawaii and a master’s degree in counseling psychology with an emphasis on family therapy from Argosy University. Prior to joining Parker School in 2019, Ms. Makela has 12 years of administration and faculty experience in the Native Hawaiian medium education school systems and 9 years as a licensed therapist in private practice providing individual and family therapy. Born and raised on Hawaii Island and passionate about supporting and guiding youth, Ms. Makela founded Aloha Legion, the home of Project Reach Out, a non-profit focusing on educating communities on teen suicide prevention and anti-bullying. She is a recipient of the C.H.I.L.D. Award (Castle Honor in Leadership Development) given by the Samuel N. and Mary Castle Foundation and the Na Manu a Ka'ae Award (outstanding contribution in perpetuation of the Hawaiian language) given by the 'Ahahui 'Olelo Hawaii Arts, Culture and Humanities organization. Ms. Makela is the author of Aia He Kāheka, a Hawaiian language children’s book. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her son, who currently attends Parker School, strumming on her ‘ukulele or guitar, paddle boarding, reading and writing. Ms. Makela shares, “It is truly an honor to be part of the Parker School 'ohana, where every child is known, valued and nurtured!”

808-885-7933 ext. 7107
Admissions Director
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Ms. Makela holds a bachelor’s degree in Hawaiian studies from the University of Hawaii and a master’s degree in counseling psychology with an emphasis on family therapy from Argosy University. Prior to joining Parker School in 2019, Ms. Makela has 12 years of administration and faculty experience in the Native Hawaiian medium education school systems and 9 years as a licensed therapist in private practice providing individual and family therapy. Born and raised on Hawaii Island and passionate about supporting and guiding youth, Ms. Makela founded Aloha Legion, the home of Project Reach Out, a non-profit focusing on educating communities on teen suicide prevention and anti-bullying. She is a recipient of the C.H.I.L.D. Award (Castle Honor in Leadership Development) given by the Samuel N. and Mary Castle Foundation and the Na Manu a Ka'ae Award (outstanding contribution in perpetuation of the Hawaiian language) given by the 'Ahahui 'Olelo Hawaii Arts, Culture and Humanities organization. Ms. Makela is the author of Aia He Kāheka, a Hawaiian language children’s book. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her son, who currently attends Parker School, strumming on her ‘ukulele or guitar, paddle boarding, reading and writing. Ms. Makela shares, “It is truly an honor to be part of the Parker School 'ohana, where every child is known, valued and nurtured!”

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Melinda R. Mizuno

Melinda comes to Parker School with more than 15 years of experience in non-profit development and donor communications. Originally from northern NJ, Melinda has lived in Hawaii for 28 years and has called Hilo home for 20 of those. She has a BA in anthropology from Pitzer College in Claremont, CA and an M. Ed. in educational technology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Melinda and her husband Harold have a daughter attending American University and a younger daughter, Chiara, in Parker School’s class of 2022. She says, “At Parker School, we’ve watched our daughter thrive because she is valued, known and nurtured and we couldn’t be more grateful. I am excited to work with people whose passion is to ensure Parker thrives for generations to come.”

808-885-8709 ext. 7129
Advancement Director
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Melinda comes to Parker School with more than 15 years of experience in non-profit development and donor communications. Originally from northern NJ, Melinda has lived in Hawaii for 28 years and has called Hilo home for 20 of those. She has a BA in anthropology from Pitzer College in Claremont, CA and an M. Ed. in educational technology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Melinda and her husband Harold have a daughter attending American University and a younger daughter, Chiara, in Parker School’s class of 2022. She says, “At Parker School, we’ve watched our daughter thrive because she is valued, known and nurtured and we couldn’t be more grateful. I am excited to work with people whose passion is to ensure Parker thrives for generations to come.”

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Gerry Delgado

Mr. Delgado joined Parker School in 2017 after working as the business manager, technology coordinator, athletics coordinator and transportation coordinator for one of the top charter schools in Hawaii. He received his bachelor of science in business administration from ITT Technical Institute in San Bernardino, California and has worked in the accounting field for almost 10 years. Born in Mexico, Mr. Delgado moved to southern California when he was 8 years old. His wife, born and raised on the Big Island, convinced him to move to the island over ten years ago, and he has not looked back. Mr. Delgado enjoys beach days with his family, playing hide and seek with his son, and date nights with his wife. Mr. Delgado stated, “I believe all students have unlimited potential. As a school, we need to help them enjoy the journey and the process. I think it is very important that we are with them, to challenge them and grow with them.” Mr. Delgado’s son, Josiah, is a Parker student.

808-885-7933 ext. 7136
Chief Operating Officer
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Mr. Delgado joined Parker School in 2017 after working as the business manager, technology coordinator, athletics coordinator and transportation coordinator for one of the top charter schools in Hawaii. He received his bachelor of science in business administration from ITT Technical Institute in San Bernardino, California and has worked in the accounting field for almost 10 years. Born in Mexico, Mr. Delgado moved to southern California when he was 8 years old. His wife, born and raised on the Big Island, convinced him to move to the island over ten years ago, and he has not looked back. Mr. Delgado enjoys beach days with his family, playing hide and seek with his son, and date nights with his wife. Mr. Delgado stated, “I believe all students have unlimited potential. As a school, we need to help them enjoy the journey and the process. I think it is very important that we are with them, to challenge them and grow with them.” Mr. Delgado’s son, Josiah, is a Parker student.

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Krista Anderson

Mrs. Anderson joined the Parker School ‘ohana in 2015 and holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, IL. Mrs. Anderson has more than fifteen years of marketing and communications experience, previously serving as communications coordinator at North Hawaii Community Hospital and leisure sales manager with Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa. Originally from Wisconsin, Mrs. Anderson enjoys spending time with her husband and two young, children, photography, traveling and a good sense of humor. She believes “learning how to think through exploration, expression and connecting with others helps build character – which is the greatest gift of education.”

808-885-7933 ext. 7109
Publications Associate
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Mrs. Anderson joined the Parker School ‘ohana in 2015 and holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, IL. Mrs. Anderson has more than fifteen years of marketing and communications experience, previously serving as communications coordinator at North Hawaii Community Hospital and leisure sales manager with Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa. Originally from Wisconsin, Mrs. Anderson enjoys spending time with her husband and two young, children, photography, traveling and a good sense of humor. She believes “learning how to think through exploration, expression and connecting with others helps build character – which is the greatest gift of education.”

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Ella Atoa-Simmons

Ms. Atoa-Simmons has a bachelor’s degree in Business major in Accounting and Interdisciplinary studies both from Emporia State University in Kansas. Originally from American Samoa, Ms. Atoa-Simmons lived in Lenexa, Kansas for 18 years before moving to Hawaii Island in 2016. She previously worked for Kanu o ka Aina New Century Public Charter School as Accounting Manager and as a Senior Accountant at AMC Theatre headquarters while living in Kansas. Ms. Atoa-Simmons has three children, one of whom is attending Parker School. She enjoys spending time with her kids and going to the beach.

808-885‐6803 ext. 7137
Controller
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Ms. Atoa-Simmons has a bachelor’s degree in Business major in Accounting and Interdisciplinary studies both from Emporia State University in Kansas. Originally from American Samoa, Ms. Atoa-Simmons lived in Lenexa, Kansas for 18 years before moving to Hawaii Island in 2016. She previously worked for Kanu o ka Aina New Century Public Charter School as Accounting Manager and as a Senior Accountant at AMC Theatre headquarters while living in Kansas. Ms. Atoa-Simmons has three children, one of whom is attending Parker School. She enjoys spending time with her kids and going to the beach.

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Christina Bagley

Ms. Bagley joined the Parker School ‘ohana in 2016. As PAU (Parker Afterschool University) assistant, Ms. Bagley assists with all aspects of the school’s afterschool program for lower school students. Originally from Chandler, AZ, Ms. Bagley moved to Big Island in 2015 and is in the process of earning her bachelor’s degree to become a teacher. Ms. Bagley enjoys drawing, reading and exploring the Big Island and shares, “I feel working at Parker’s afterschool program will be the best first step to becoming a teacher.”

PAU Assistant
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Ms. Bagley joined the Parker School ‘ohana in 2016. As PAU (Parker Afterschool University) assistant, Ms. Bagley assists with all aspects of the school’s afterschool program for lower school students. Originally from Chandler, AZ, Ms. Bagley moved to Big Island in 2015 and is in the process of earning her bachelor’s degree to become a teacher. Ms. Bagley enjoys drawing, reading and exploring the Big Island and shares, “I feel working at Parker’s afterschool program will be the best first step to becoming a teacher.”

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Bonnie Barron

Mrs. Barron joined Parker in 2015 and earned her bachelor’s degree in Spanish and English from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and a master’s degree in Spanish from Middlebury College in Vermont. Mrs. Barron has worked in both public and private schools in the Bay Area for the last eight years teaching Spanish levels 1-4, as well as Spanish for Native speakers. Mrs. Barron boasts two single subject credentials from San Francisco State in Spanish and English and has participated in professional development at Stanford University with Bay Area Foreign Language Project, as well as with Google Tech Education. Mrs. Barron has lived and studied abroad in Asturias, Spain and Guadalajara, Mexico. Mrs. Barron grew up in Waimea and attended high school in Kohala. She loves to read, hike, practice hula, and spend time with her husband and daughter. “Learning about a new language and culture lets you look at your world with a fresh perspective and gives you a different voice to communicate and express yourself. Although it is a new voice, it is still yours.”

808-885‐7933 ext. 7205
Upper School Spanish Teacher
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Mrs. Barron joined Parker in 2015 and earned her bachelor’s degree in Spanish and English from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and a master’s degree in Spanish from Middlebury College in Vermont. Mrs. Barron has worked in both public and private schools in the Bay Area for the last eight years teaching Spanish levels 1-4, as well as Spanish for Native speakers. Mrs. Barron boasts two single subject credentials from San Francisco State in Spanish and English and has participated in professional development at Stanford University with Bay Area Foreign Language Project, as well as with Google Tech Education. Mrs. Barron has lived and studied abroad in Asturias, Spain and Guadalajara, Mexico. Mrs. Barron grew up in Waimea and attended high school in Kohala. She loves to read, hike, practice hula, and spend time with her husband and daughter. “Learning about a new language and culture lets you look at your world with a fresh perspective and gives you a different voice to communicate and express yourself. Although it is a new voice, it is still yours.”