Faculty and Staff Directory

Aubrey Kommer's picture

Aubrey Kommer

Ms. Kommer joined the Parker ‘Ohana in 2018. She holds a Bachelor of Science 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. Ms. Kommer enjoys ocean swims, surfing, and cooking. “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.”

PAU Assistant, Upper School History Teacher - Long Term Substitute
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Ms. Kommer joined the Parker ‘Ohana in 2018. She holds a Bachelor of Science 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. Ms. Kommer enjoys ocean swims, surfing, and cooking. “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.”

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Brian Koranda

Mr. Koranda joined the Parker School ‘ohana in Summer 2018 and hold’s 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.

Graphic Production and Web
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Mr. Koranda joined the Parker School ‘ohana in Summer 2018 and hold’s 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.

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Caroline Landry

Ms. Landry joined Parker School in 2014 as the lower and middle school technology teacher. In this role, Ms. Landry oversees computer science fundamentals and coding in lower school, middle school robotics club and lower school technology clubs. She has extensive experience as a chip design engineer at technology companies such as NVIDIA and worked on the first GPU and first Xbox chipset. Ms. Landry is from Montréal, Canada and holds a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from École Polytechnique de Montréal. She and her family have lived in California and Colorado before moving to Hawaii Island in 2011. In her free time, Ms. Landry enjoys swimming, running, learning tennis and piano. Ms. Landry believes “we need to prepare our children to take charge of technology, not just as users but as creators and to be in control – they can be tomorrow’s visionaries.”

Technology Teacher
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Ms. Landry joined Parker School in 2014 as the lower and middle school technology teacher. In this role, Ms. Landry oversees computer science fundamentals and coding in lower school, middle school robotics club and lower school technology clubs. She has extensive experience as a chip design engineer at technology companies such as NVIDIA and worked on the first GPU and first Xbox chipset. Ms. Landry is from Montréal, Canada and holds a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from École Polytechnique de Montréal. She and her family have lived in California and Colorado before moving to Hawaii Island in 2011. In her free time, Ms. Landry enjoys swimming, running, learning tennis and piano. Ms. Landry believes “we need to prepare our children to take charge of technology, not just as users but as creators and to be in control – they can be tomorrow’s visionaries.”

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Sara Jane Lilley

Originally from North Carolina, Ms. Lilley earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts with honors in theatre arts education and a minor in music from the University of Arizona and a Master of Arts in educational psychology from George Mason University. Most recently, Ms. Lilley was the theatre arts department chair and speech and drama teacher at a middle school in Virginia. She has also been a K-6 music resource teacher and 5th & 6th grade chorus director at various schools in the same area. She is a board member of the Mount Vernon Community Children’s Theatre in Virginia and has directed musical theatre and music performance productions there. Ms. Lilley has also directed high school and college level productions and has been very involved in community theatre and arts organizations in Arizona, Virginia and Washington, D.C. She and her husband moved to Waimea in August 2013. In her free time, she enjoys running, singing, acting, and playing with her two dogs. She has always been passionate about teaching and loves helping students find their passion through the arts. She also loves working with a strong team of educators and is excited to be working with her Parker family.

808-930-0072
Chorus Director, Middle School Play Production, Tech Theater and Lower School Music Teacher
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Originally from North Carolina, Ms. Lilley earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts with honors in theatre arts education and a minor in music from the University of Arizona and a Master of Arts in educational psychology from George Mason University. Most recently, Ms. Lilley was the theatre arts department chair and speech and drama teacher at a middle school in Virginia. She has also been a K-6 music resource teacher and 5th & 6th grade chorus director at various schools in the same area. She is a board member of the Mount Vernon Community Children’s Theatre in Virginia and has directed musical theatre and music performance productions there. Ms. Lilley has also directed high school and college level productions and has been very involved in community theatre and arts organizations in Arizona, Virginia and Washington, D.C. She and her husband moved to Waimea in August 2013. In her free time, she enjoys running, singing, acting, and playing with her two dogs. She has always been passionate about teaching and loves helping students find their passion through the arts. She also loves working with a strong team of educators and is excited to be working with her Parker family.

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Melissa Lunchick

With a diverse background in education, Ms. Lunchick joined the Parker School faculty in 2003. She lived and traveled extensively in Latin America for many years and taught Spanish for eight years in California, Connecticut and Hawai‘i. A graduate of the University of Colorado with a degree in anthropology and a minor in Spanish, Ms. Lunchick also attended the Universidad Pontificia Madre y Maestra in the Dominican Republic, where her studies focused on Latin American political systems. She was an environmental educator in the United States Peace Corps for two years in Panama and has taught Spanish to children in grades ranging from kindergarten to 12th grade. "Fluency in Spanish is the primary educational goal," says Ms. Lunchick, "but I also want to convey a sense of volunteerism and appreciation of cultural diversity in my classes."

808-885-7933 ext. 7204
Spanish Chair, Middle School Spanish
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With a diverse background in education, Ms. Lunchick joined the Parker School faculty in 2003. She lived and traveled extensively in Latin America for many years and taught Spanish for eight years in California, Connecticut and Hawai‘i. A graduate of the University of Colorado with a degree in anthropology and a minor in Spanish, Ms. Lunchick also attended the Universidad Pontificia Madre y Maestra in the Dominican Republic, where her studies focused on Latin American political systems. She was an environmental educator in the United States Peace Corps for two years in Panama and has taught Spanish to children in grades ranging from kindergarten to 12th grade. "Fluency in Spanish is the primary educational goal," says Ms. Lunchick, "but I also want to convey a sense of volunteerism and appreciation of cultural diversity in my classes."

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Stephanie Mannion

Ms. Mannion joined Parker School in 2017. She received her Bachelor of Science in applied mathematics from Texas State University in San Marcos. She is originally from Natick, Massachusetts and her husband is from Hawi. They moved back to Waimea in 2017 to raise their young son. Ms. Mannion loves being outdoors, especially running, hiking, and swimming and anything that involves spending time with family and friends. Her favorite books are Harry Potter and anything by Jane Austen. “I believe that success in mathematics is possible for every student, and that my job as a teacher is to facilitate a process of making connections from past knowledge to current learning. My goal is to help cultivate responsible, productive, and enthusiastic members of society who are committed to life-long scholarship and advancement.”

808-885-7933 ext. 7133
Upper School Math Teacher
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Ms. Mannion joined Parker School in 2017. She received her Bachelor of Science in applied mathematics from Texas State University in San Marcos. She is originally from Natick, Massachusetts and her husband is from Hawi. They moved back to Waimea in 2017 to raise their young son. Ms. Mannion loves being outdoors, especially running, hiking, and swimming and anything that involves spending time with family and friends. Her favorite books are Harry Potter and anything by Jane Austen. “I believe that success in mathematics is possible for every student, and that my job as a teacher is to facilitate a process of making connections from past knowledge to current learning. My goal is to help cultivate responsible, productive, and enthusiastic members of society who are committed to life-long scholarship and advancement.”

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Heather Matsunaga

Mrs. Matsunaga joined Parker in 2014 after working as a second and third grade teacher at Hualalai Academy in Kona. Previously, she worked as a third grade teacher at Hilo Union Elementary and as a first grade teacher at Iroquois Point Elementary on O‘ahu. She holds her bachelor’s degree in visual arts with an art history minor from Bowdoin College in Maine and her master’s in education from University of Hawai‘i with a focus in elementary education. At UH, she was a member of Pi Lambda Theta, the International Honor Society. Raised in Waimea, Mrs. Matsunaga spent time abroad as an intern at the American School in Japan. She enjoys painting oil landscapes of Waimea, gardening, traveling, and playing in the ocean. Mrs. Matsunaga is very passionate when it comes to teaching. She loves seeing her students grow creatively within their supportive classroom community. Each day, Mrs. Matsunaga strives to make learning fun and exciting for her students.

808-930-0072 ext. 0307
Fourth Grade Teacher
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Mrs. Matsunaga joined Parker in 2014 after working as a second and third grade teacher at Hualalai Academy in Kona. Previously, she worked as a third grade teacher at Hilo Union Elementary and as a first grade teacher at Iroquois Point Elementary on O‘ahu. She holds her bachelor’s degree in visual arts with an art history minor from Bowdoin College in Maine and her master’s in education from University of Hawai‘i with a focus in elementary education. At UH, she was a member of Pi Lambda Theta, the International Honor Society. Raised in Waimea, Mrs. Matsunaga spent time abroad as an intern at the American School in Japan. She enjoys painting oil landscapes of Waimea, gardening, traveling, and playing in the ocean. Mrs. Matsunaga is very passionate when it comes to teaching. She loves seeing her students grow creatively within their supportive classroom community. Each day, Mrs. Matsunaga strives to make learning fun and exciting for her students.

Lani Morris's picture

Lani Morris

Ms. Morris joined the Parker School ‘ohana in 2005 as middle/upper school registrar and health and moved into her new role as advancement associate in July 2016. As advancement associate, Ms. Morris assists the advancement director with all aspects of fundraising, including database management. Ms. Morris enjoys the good energy and the small school 'ohana feeling at Parker and says for her “it’s about the kids, believing in them, helping every child become the best that they can be.”

808-885-7933 ext. 7141
Advancement Associate
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Ms. Morris joined the Parker School ‘ohana in 2005 as middle/upper school registrar and health and moved into her new role as advancement associate in July 2016. As advancement associate, Ms. Morris assists the advancement director with all aspects of fundraising, including database management. Ms. Morris enjoys the good energy and the small school 'ohana feeling at Parker and says for her “it’s about the kids, believing in them, helping every child become the best that they can be.”

Kiyoshi Najita's picture

Kiyoshi Najita

The longest-standing Parker employee, a 2013 US Presidential Scholar Inspirational Teacher, and repeatedly voted "Most Inspirational Teacher" in the annual yearbook student poll, "Mr. Naj" has taught at Parker since 1995, when he moved from Chicago to Waimea with his family to teach English and history in the Parker middle school and become the third generation in his family to live on the Big Island. In 2001, he founded Parker School Recordings, which to date has recorded several CDs of original student and faculty music. In 2003, he taught the first AP courses at Parker. Prior to coming to Parker, Mr. Naj received a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and worked at his alma mater, the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, as a first and fifth grade teacher. He is an award-winning short story writer, a prolific musician, and an avid surfer and cyclist. His music with the band Big Empty Field can be found on bandcamp.com. Mr. Naj’s sons, Sivan and Kirean, are both Parker School graduates. Mr. Naj says, “What has kept me at Parker School for so long and will continue to keep me here is that we have lovingly crafted a community that celebrates individuality at the same time that it erases limiting boundaries between these individuals. As such, Parker School students honor themselves, each other and their collective dreams and aspirations. It is a blessing to be of service to them.”

808-885-7933 ext. 7206
Upper School English & Philosophy Teacher, Mindfulness Coach
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The longest-standing Parker employee, a 2013 US Presidential Scholar Inspirational Teacher, and repeatedly voted "Most Inspirational Teacher" in the annual yearbook student poll, "Mr. Naj" has taught at Parker since 1995, when he moved from Chicago to Waimea with his family to teach English and history in the Parker middle school and become the third generation in his family to live on the Big Island. In 2001, he founded Parker School Recordings, which to date has recorded several CDs of original student and faculty music. In 2003, he taught the first AP courses at Parker. Prior to coming to Parker, Mr. Naj received a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and worked at his alma mater, the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, as a first and fifth grade teacher. He is an award-winning short story writer, a prolific musician, and an avid surfer and cyclist. His music with the band Big Empty Field can be found on bandcamp.com. Mr. Naj’s sons, Sivan and Kirean, are both Parker School graduates. Mr. Naj says, “What has kept me at Parker School for so long and will continue to keep me here is that we have lovingly crafted a community that celebrates individuality at the same time that it erases limiting boundaries between these individuals. As such, Parker School students honor themselves, each other and their collective dreams and aspirations. It is a blessing to be of service to them.”

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Kealoha Nearman

“Aunty Kealoha” is the lower school’s ambassador of aloha. A graduate of Kamehameha Schools, Ms. Nearman attended Kapi‘olani Community College and Hawai‘i Community College, where she was a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. She has been an assistant coach for the Parker paddling team since 2008, when she joined the Parker School staff. In that time, Parker paddlers have qualified for State four times; the mixed varsity team won the BIIF championship in 2012; and the team placed in the top ten varsity crews in the state and the top two on the Big Island in 2012, 2013 & 2014. Ms. Nearman is secretary of the Surf Park Outrigger, a non-profit corporation with the goals of promoting paddling with Hawaii Island youth and encouraging and exhibiting fitness through paddling in the West Hawaii community. Her husband Michael is the head paddling coach at Parker; they have four sons and two grandchildren. Ms. Nearman’s other interests include reading, paddling and other water sports. “I appreciate the opportunity to hanai all of these children while honoring the families who share them with us,” says Aunty Kealoha, “We are truly a school ‘ohana.”

808-930-0072 ext. 0300
Lower School Registrar, Health Aide, Asst. Paddling Coach
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“Aunty Kealoha” is the lower school’s ambassador of aloha. A graduate of Kamehameha Schools, Ms. Nearman attended Kapi‘olani Community College and Hawai‘i Community College, where she was a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. She has been an assistant coach for the Parker paddling team since 2008, when she joined the Parker School staff. In that time, Parker paddlers have qualified for State four times; the mixed varsity team won the BIIF championship in 2012; and the team placed in the top ten varsity crews in the state and the top two on the Big Island in 2012, 2013 & 2014. Ms. Nearman is secretary of the Surf Park Outrigger, a non-profit corporation with the goals of promoting paddling with Hawaii Island youth and encouraging and exhibiting fitness through paddling in the West Hawaii community. Her husband Michael is the head paddling coach at Parker; they have four sons and two grandchildren. Ms. Nearman’s other interests include reading, paddling and other water sports. “I appreciate the opportunity to hanai all of these children while honoring the families who share them with us,” says Aunty Kealoha, “We are truly a school ‘ohana.”