Punahou bids farewell to 27 colleagues who retired after the 2018 – 2019 school year. These faculty and staff were honored at the School’s annual Aloha Ceremony, held at the Chapel in May.
Bazemore has many fond memories of working with the PFA throughout the years. Tirelessly dedicated to Punahou, even in her retirement, Bazemore will remain attached to the School as a volunteer. She is currently helping archive the history of the PFA, and looks forward to keeping in touch with other retired colleagues.
Academy Mandarin Teacher
Char flourished as an Academy Mandarin teacher. Her career highlights include her involvement in the elementary school language program, which paved the way for Academy language teachers to bring Japanese and Hawaiian studies to grades 2 and 3. She says she will miss working with young people who love learning, and exchanging ideas with colleagues.
Junior School Robotics and Engineering Faculty
Dengler joined Punahou’s IT department in 1998, and soon pitched a summer robotics course, which developed into a full engineering curriculum spanning grades 6 – 12. He was inspired by the discovery and innovation that transpired in the Gates Learning Center, and more recently, the D. Kenneth Richardson ’48 Learning Lab.
Tom Earle ’65
Grade 7 English Faculty
Earle didn’t set out to become an educator, but inevitably followed in the footsteps of his mother, Barbara, a former Punahou teacher. Earle taught seventh- and eighth-grade English at Punahou for 45 years and headed the intermediate cross country and boys track teams. He looks forward to traveling, working on his house and garden, playing with his grandchildren and reading a lot of books.
Events Coordinator, President’s Office; President’s Home Administrator
An accomplished chef, Espania leaves an indelible legacy coordinating many memorable events at the President’s Home with the perfect food and décor. She is thankful for her time at Punahou. In retirement, she is looking forward to running Sweet Doughs, a catering kitchen and bakery, with daughter, Athena ’96.
Galingana’s first job at Punahou was as a cafeteria custodian, cleaning tables and floors. He then became a pot washer. Even outside of work, Rodrigo has always felt drawn to the kitchen, and frequently brings out his own large pots and pans to cook up Filipino feasts for birthdays and other special occasions with family.
Carpenter and Welder
Hired as an assistant painter, Gamundoy worked his way up to head painter and later became a carpenter and welder at the School. Extremely creative, he designed and built many Carnival booths over the years. He recalls going to the library in the mid-’80s to find pictures of a “strong man” game so he could build the booth, sledgehammer and steel mechanism from scratch.
Ron Gould, ’67
For 33 years, Gould shepherded students through Carnival, college applications and the journey of adolescence. His focus on well-being through collaboration was the hallmark of his service to Punahou. He was a founder of the Psychosocial Department, whose impressive growth has testified to the need among students to learn to manage social and emotional challenges.
Horner started at Punahou after a 25-year career with Hawaiian Telcom. He spent 12 years working in the locker room, then switched to security, where he has skillfully maintained order at the bustling sixth-grade traffic circle. His buff and blue wand has long served as a beacon for parents navigating Piper’s Pali. He is thankful for all of his colleagues over the years.
For 23 years, Kesler has been a vital presence in the Junior School. She was a member of the steering committee for the Omidyar K – 1 Neighborhood, and considers it a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to design a learning environment for young children from the ground up. Every year, she looked forward to meeting a new group of eager kindergartners and watching them grow and thrive during the year.
Associate Director of College Counseling
Kishimoto started at Punahou by teaching speech, then English. She is especially proud of introducing an Asian-American literature course. She felt it was important for students to study stories that they could connect to on a personal level. She became a college counselor 21 years ago, a position she found to be very rewarding.
Academy Physical Education Faculty
A one-year teaching stint in the Junior School PE department turned into a 30-year career of educating students to be active and healthy. For her first 12 years at Punahou, Ko taught seventh- and eighth-grade PE. She then taught ISPE and Lifetime Fitness in the Academy. She also coached ILH boys and girls bowling and ILH swimming for more than 20 years.
Junior School Counselor
When she arrived at Punahou, McCool was the sole counselor for the Junior School. Today, a team of counselors helps students with anxiety, conflict resolution, relationships, self-control and other issues. While social and emotional learning is now a focus, McCool has long promoted the practice, with an emphasis on mindfulness. She has led SEL classes, divorce groups, buddy programs and more.
McDonnell’s first position at Punahou was for six years. She left for another job, but returned after realizing how great Punahou is to work at. She was assigned to the President’s Home. She also worked in the Omidyar K – 1 Neighborhood, where she cleaned and assisted with lunch and snacks. In her final years at Punahou, she worked at Case Middle School.
For 20 years, Melear was charged with ensuring that Case Middle School remained spick-and-span. She loved that the kids call her “Auntie,” and they always treated her with respect. Talking to them was usually the highlight of her day, although she also became known for her ability to keep even the rowdiest kids in line.
Mercado racked up the miles transporting the ‘o¯pala generated on campus to various sites around O‘ahu. He estimates that he drove more than 200 miles each week dropping off trash to the H-Power facility in Campbell Industrial Park and the PVT landfill in Na¯na¯kuli. As a school bus driver, he also drove students to and from field trips and athletic activities.
York Ping Pang
Pang started in the housekeeping department and moved to the cafeteria shortly after as the salad maker. With a quiet and friendly demeanor, she spent every morning from 6:15 to 10, cutting fresh fruit for salads. It made her happy that students have so many options for lunch. Pang says she appreciated how well everyone at Punahou works together.
Senior Infrastructure Engineer
The company Parrish founded was hired in 1982 to write the School’s accounting, scheduling, attendance and grading software. He was hired as a full-time employee in 1993. He recalls a time before Wi-Fi when he had to hardwire 25 laptop computers in a fourth-grade classroom. The excited reactions of the students and parents as the network came to life remain with him to this day.
Pelakai made sure that students had safe and reliable transportation for excursions off campus, including field trips and athletic events. He came to Punahou after a 20-year career in the printing industry. Even when he wasn’t driving a bus, he could be found on campus working hard, especially during Carnival. He is thankful for his colleagues, whom he knew he could rely on.
Qi Jun Peng
Cafeteria Prep and Server
Peng joined Punahou in 2002 as a part-time dishwasher, took a full-time position as a janitor and later transferred to the cafeteria, where she prepared salads and served students in the main dining room. The peppy cafeteria worker had no shortage of energy. She walked to work every day – a one-hour, round-trip journey – and took care of her grandchild after work.
Academy Psychosocial Faculty
After coming to Punahou in 1990, Peterson helped build the Academy’s Psychosocial Department. She loved creating engaging activities that resulted in personal growth. She is especially proud of co-creating the Freshman Orientation Program, Camp Kuleana and the Introduction to Counseling Psychosocial course, one of the most popular electives.
Food Service Worker
Sasuga was a cashier and prepped items for the salad bar, deli bar and taco bar for Academy students. She describes Punahou as a great school with a good community, and she is proud that people are so dedicated to giving back to future generations. Sasuga enjoyed her coworkers and loved talking to students, some of whom she saw return to the School as faculty.
For 17 years, Sato warmly welcomed newcomers to the Punahou ‘ohana through her work in the Admission Office. Along with mastering the many tasks related to admission, her most valuable role was empathetically communicating with families who were navigating the admission process, from the earliest stages of applying all the way to enrollment.
Jim Scott ’70
After leading Punahou for the past 25 years, Scott is retiring with a remarkable legacy, including a significantly expanded financial aid program, the Luke Center for Public Service, the Clarence T.C. Ching PUEO Program, Mamiya Science Center and a completely redesigned Junior School, filled with inspiring learning environments. Punahou undoubtedly has greatly benefited from Scott’s longtime commitment to the School.
Ainsley ‘Ulu’ Seto
Seto was Punahou’s unofficial ambassador of aloha. His first job at the School was arranged through a temp agency, where he worked the Carnival. His lively personality and easy rapport landed him an invitation to apply for a permanent position. He was responsible for maintaining the cleanliness of the facilities – an essential, never-ending function at a school of Punahou’s size – and he always did it with a smile.
Custodial Team Leader
Fondly known as “Auntie Nila,” Tampon was loved by children in the Omidyar Neighborhood and Wilcox Hall before that. She is known for baking delicious Filipino sweets, and she often received requests from the kindergartners to make banana lumpia. Tampon has a wonderful sense of humor and great attitude, and her team knew that they could always count on her.
Dan Tuttle ’73
Grade 8 Science Faculty
Tuttle is a popular teacher who helped students develop a love for science and appreciation for the natural world throughout his 41-year career at Punahou. An avid runner, he has coached JV and varsity girls cross country and track teams for decades. He appreciates his colleagues, whom he credits for showing him how to be an effective teacher.
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