Virtual Summer at HPA

Meet your teachers

Rachel Baker

Rachel has been teaching math and engineering at the college level since 1998. With a background in aerospace engineering and applied math, her focus has been to show how mathematics can be used to solve real world problems. In Rachel’s Applied Math course, you can stretch your numerical muscles by applying beginning algebraic and geometric math principals to solve everyday questions. 

Dagan Bernstein

Dagan Bernstein is a mathematics, digital media, and music teacher at HPA’s Village Campus. He is a graduate of HPA and holds a degree in linguistics from the University of Oregon, where he also studied ethnomusicology. In addition to teaching, he spends his free time as a songwriter, performer, and independent music instructor. Dagan believes in finding your own creative voice through music and using that as a gateway to build on all your passions. With a diverse range of musical interests from Hawaiian, reggae, popular music, and traditional folk, Dagan brings a wide variety of knowledge to his music instruction. In Dagan’s music course this summer, you will learn to play popular songs on the ‘ukulele. All levels of ability are welcome.

Steve Best

Steve has tutored for the SAT, ACT and SSAT standardized tests since 2005. He majored in Education at the University of Maine, graduated in 1999 and was a Professionally certified teacher in Maine from 2003-2018. His SAT students have gone on to attend such prestigious universities as Wake Forest, George Washington and Harvard. He enjoys teaching and knows how to help students maximize their potential on the SAT.

JoAnn Birt

JoAnn has been acting for over fifteen years, and received her BFA in acting from the University of Illinois at Chicago in May 2019. Some of her credits include working with prominent members of the Chicago theatre and film community, as well as a recent performance on NBC’s Chicago PD. She’s trained under the Stanislavski philosophies of teaching. In her courses, you’ll learn the fundamentals of screen and stage acting.

Shelley Boswell

Shelley Boswell currently teaches middle school English at HPA. She’s been in education for more than ten years, working in both the public and private school settings, and in positions at the high school, middle, and elementary levels. Growing up in a family of educators, her mother’s classroom became like a second home, frequently spending weekends there, often to meet yearbook and school newspaper deadlines. Similarly, she was able to observe behind the scenes at The Rocky Mountain Public Broadcasting Service in Denver, where her mother worked at a public television station in a time when public broadcasting was being pioneered as an educational tool. As a teen and young adult, Shelley would later spend time in front of the camera doing news segments for The Colorado Association of Black Journalists. These experiences were what laid the groundwork for the passion she’s developed and that she shares every day with her students, whether the topic be literature, writing, journalism, public speaking or broadcasting. Ms. Boswell’s approach to teaching students about public speaking is backed by her content knowledge, while also steeped in the humility of an individual who has not forgotten how it feels to be unsure of how to articulate one’s ideas, and still know the incredible confidence one can find when taught how to prepare, and the natural dimension that can be developed when one is provided needed opportunities in a safe space to find their own voice. 

Mele DeMille

Mele is a graduate from Brigham Young University with a B.S. in fitness and wellness management. She is currently a substitute teacher at HPA and has also volunteered with children from ages 3-18 for the past sixteen years. She competed in the Ironman World Championship (1st Big Island Female, 2019), the Peacock 55-miler challenge (2nd female overall, 2019), and qualified/registered to compete in the Boston Marathon for September 2020. She earned the 2020 Ironman Silver All World Athlete award, placing her at the top 5% of all athletes in her age group. She is very excited for the opportunity to teach her second year in the HPA summer program and share her passion of fitness and nutrition with the HPA summer session students. Mele has lived in Hawai‘i for 12 years and resides in Waikoloa with her husband and four children.

Aimée Del Aguila Donoho

Aimée hails from Guatemala and came to the United States in the 1980s. She obtained a B.S. from Willamette University, has a Master’s degree in Cultural Geography, and recently obtained a second Master’s in Social Work. Aimée has over 21 years of experience in a variety of settings in Hawai‘i. She has been a high school teacher and an advisor at HPA for 17 years. In addition to teaching Spanish, she has taught English as an Additional Language (EAL) for summer session students looking to practice their skills through the summer months.

James Emley

James graduated from Oregon State University with a B.S. in Meteorology. After graduation, he worked in the cruiseline industry and traveled throughout South America, Antarctica, the Caribbean, and Europe as a touring piano player. Soon afterward, he received his AFDTC Certificate and worked as a dispatcher for the aviation industry. Finally making the leap to California driven by rock aspirations, James followed his passion for STEAM subjects and taught science. He is a Code.org Facilitator, film composer, virtual reality developer, and entertainer. In his course this summer, you’ll create your own video game with your classmates.

Jennifer Futrell

Jennifer has been an independent school educator for over a decade. After a career in business and marketing, she returned to school for her Masters in Education and has focused on technology integration, teaching object-based programming, 3D design, and physical computing to middle and high school students in Oregon and Hawai‘i. When she is not designing a virtual house or adding augmented reality pets to her backyard, Jennifer loves paddling outrigger and watching honu swim in the waters of the Big Island. 

Alexandra Hustace

Alexandra Hustace is HPA’s Lower School Art Teacher and the Educational Specialist for the Community Arts Program at HPA’s Isaacs Art Center. In addition to the visual arts, she loves to read and write. She holds a Master of Letters in Creative Writing from the University of Sydney and has previously taught middle and high school English. When she is not knee-deep in finger paint, she enjoys hiking with her husband, Mr. Hustace, and their pup, Stormalong. In her course this summer, you will use poetry (week 1), flash fiction (week 2), and photo essays (week 3) to explore the culture of Hawa‘ii.

James Hustace

James Hustace is an art appraiser, an assistant at Isaacs Art Center, a substitute teacher at both HPA and Parker School, and proctors standardized tests for high school students. James is also active in the Waimea community in his leadership roles with the Waimea Community Association, the South Kohala Traffic Safety Committee, and Waimea Trails & Greenways. He also raises a small flock of sheep. Both he and his wife, Ms. Hustace, grew up in Waimea. In his course, you will explore the art of Hawai‘i through landscape, portraiture, and storytelling.

Patrick Mulkerin

Patrick just completed his first year teaching physics at HPA. He holds a physics degree from the University of Chicago, and he enjoys listening to and playing music, and spending time outdoors camping or hiking with friends. Patrick attempted to climb to the Everest Base Camp, made it halfway, and now has the goal to make it all the way! Patrick is eager to dive into CSI and Forensics this summer!

Mary Todd

Mary just completed her first year teaching at HPA, but has been teaching ceramics and sculpture at the secondary level for over 7 years and has been in the pottery field for 20 years. She is thrilled to be teaching here at HPA and is excited for the summer virtual program! In her course, you will make sculptures from found objects, explore ephemeral art, and create your own design in paper while studying contemporary artists.