Faculty and Staff Directory

Stephen Dunn

Stephen Dunn brings more than 15 years of independent school administrative and teaching experience at The Ethel Walker School, a 108-year-old girls’ boarding school in Connecticut; The Nueva School, a studentcentered school known for its project-based program in Silicon Valley; and Texas A&M University. In addition, Stephen spent nearly a decade in executive and leadership positions within the private sector at software development and project management companies in Massachusetts. He has an undergraduate degree in business administration and management and a master of education degree in educational psychology, both from Texas A&M University.

808-885-7933 ext. 7105
Head of School
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Stephen Dunn brings more than 15 years of independent school administrative and teaching experience at The Ethel Walker School, a 108-year-old girls’ boarding school in Connecticut; The Nueva School, a studentcentered school known for its project-based program in Silicon Valley; and Texas A&M University. In addition, Stephen spent nearly a decade in executive and leadership positions within the private sector at software development and project management companies in Massachusetts. He has an undergraduate degree in business administration and management and a master of education degree in educational psychology, both from Texas A&M University.

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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!”

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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Scott Smith

Mr. Smith Joined Parker School in 2017. He holds a bachelor's degree in English and communication from Stephen F. Austin State University and a master's degree in business administration from Southern Methodist University. He has been in education for over a decade, both in teaching and administration and is certified to teach gifted and talented students. He lived in Dallas, Texas, for most of his life before moving to the Big Island in 2014. His wife Naomi is Middle & Upper School Receptionist, Registrar, Health Aide and his two children, Emily and Ethan, are Parker students. Mr. Smith believes, “Kids are a lot smarter and more invested in their learning than we tend to credit them as being. Given an environment in which the only failure is not trying your best, children are capable of incredible things.”

808-885-7933 ext. 7115
Middle School Head, Assistant Debate Coach
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Mr. Smith Joined Parker School in 2017. He holds a bachelor's degree in English and communication from Stephen F. Austin State University and a master's degree in business administration from Southern Methodist University. He has been in education for over a decade, both in teaching and administration and is certified to teach gifted and talented students. He lived in Dallas, Texas, for most of his life before moving to the Big Island in 2014. His wife Naomi is Middle & Upper School Receptionist, Registrar, Health Aide and his two children, Emily and Ethan, are Parker students. Mr. Smith believes, “Kids are a lot smarter and more invested in their learning than we tend to credit them as being. Given an environment in which the only failure is not trying your best, children are capable of incredible things.”

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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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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
Accountant
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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.”