Puanani Wilhelm

 

Lifelong teacher, Hawaiian language specialist

 

Aloha.  ʻO wau ka hiapo o Keawe Wilhelm a me Hisako Ogata.  Ua hanau ʻia a hanai ʻia wau ma Kapahulu, Oʻahu.  Aka ua noho wau i Portland (Oregon), Kapahi (Kauaʻi), Hilo (Hawaiʻi) a me Kaneʻohe (Oʻahu).  
 I am the eldest child of Keawe Wilhelm and Hisako Ogata and I was born and raised in Kapahulu, Oʻahu.  However, I have lived in Kaneʻohe, Portland (Oregon), Kapahi (Kaua'i), and Hilo. I attended the Kamehameha Schools and was one of the first two students to earn a BA in Hawaiian Language at the University of Hawai'i-Manoa.   I started my teaching career in the Hawaiian Language Immersion Program (Kaiapuni Hawaiʻi) in 1987, at Keaukaha Elementary School in Hilo.  I was the first teacher to teach in the Hawaiian language in a public school in almost 100 years. I then went on to teach in Kaiapuni Hawaiʻi at Kapaʻa Elementary.  In 1994 I became the first state level Education Specialist for Kaiapuni, where I worked for the statewide program for 11 years.  After the death of my mother, I moved to Hilo to become the principal at Ke Ana Laʻahana, a Hawaiian culture-based secondary public charter school (PCS), where I stayed for 5 years.  I then went on to be an administrator at Kua o ka La PCS in Puna, Hawaiʻi where I started their online program and coordinated their WASC accreditation efforts.



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