Board of Directors
Cynthia Sunahara, President
Ms. Sunahara is the Principal of Linapuni Elementary School. Prior to this she served as the School Renewal Specialist for the Kaiser Complex Schools. From 1999-2004, she served as Principal of Pu`uhale Elementary School. She began her teaching career at Farrington High School as a Title I Reading teacher. She served as Vice Principal at Farrington High School for seven years and at Kaimiloa Elementary School for two years. She is a member of the Collaborative Action for Public Education, a Principals’ Leadership Academy and the Kalihi Business Association.
Joseph Passantino, Secretary
Joe is the Principal at Central Middle School. Previously, he served as the Principal at Ali’iolani Elementary School and the Vice Principal at Kaewai Elementary School for the past 4 years. Before Kaewai Joe was the Vice Principal at Kalakaua Middle School for 4 years and previously to that he taught special education at the middle and high school levels both in Hawaii and in Las Vegas. He believes in positive relationships between students, parents, teachers, and the community to always move a school forward. His belief to always work with others ties into his coaching philosophy of nothing great is accomplished alone.
Dan is the Principal of Kalihi Waena Elementary School and was previously Vice Principal there for four years. Before Kalihi Waena, Dan was a social studies and leadership teacher at Kalakaua Middle School for 7 years. Dan is also a retired US Navy Sailor with 22 years in the active duty and reserves. He believes that as a service leader it is his responsibility to build our students into strong leaders who base their future around relationships, empathy, and supporting others. He deeply believes that all learning occurs when students are engaged in the lesson, safe in their environment, and are loved by their teachers.
Shingai is originally from Harare, Zimbabwe and moved to the United States when he was 13 years old. He attended Hawaii Pacific University where is studied Political Science. He previously worked for the United States House of Representatives and currently serves on the Executive Committee of Oahu Young Democrats. He is also the Co-founder of Aloha Dream Team, which is an Immigration Rights organization here in Hawaii.
Catherine is the new new Chair of the Hawaii Board of Education and has been a teacher, Principal and Vice Principal during her 36-year tenure with Hawaii’s public schools. She is the first board chair in at least a decade who is an educator. She won two prestigious national awards for her work in local schools. She was former the chairwoman of the State Public Charter School Commission and educational consultant for Ke Alaka’i Mau LLC.
Wendy is a Register Pharmacist. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from Drake University. She has practiced pharmacy since that time and has been a resident of Hawaii since 2010. Wendy specializes in Community Pharmacy and is currently the Pharmacy Manager at Walmart Pharmacy, Downtown Honolulu and has been employed with the company for over 18 years. Wendy is also certified to immunize patients.
With a passion to see all youth excel, Wendy maintains a Substitute Teachers Certification granted through the State of Hawaii (2013). She is an advocate of youth services and serves as a role model exposing children to STEAM projects, science, math, computer training and the arts.
Wendy is active in her community where she has served on the board of the Women’s Campus Club and Intelligent One. She is currently a member of the Hawaii Pharmacist Association, Illinois Pharmacist Association, National Pharmacist Association, Hawaii Public Health Association, The Junior League of Honolulu, The Links, Incorporated and The Elks Club. She has volunteered with The American Heart Association, Voyager Charter School, University Laboratory School, One Love Ministries, Girls on the Run, amongst other organizations.
Wendy maintains an active lifestyle. She is a Certified Personal Trainer and a Certified Group Fitness Instructor.
Wendy is the mother of three children, Otto (16), Ostin (13) and Olive (9).