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Meet the Office

Mr. Joshua D. Clark
Director of Admissions

Mr. Clark graduated from Purdue University with a double major in Political Science and philosophy, and a minor in religious studies. Mr. Clark then began working on a master's in comparative politics. During this time, he and his new bride, Brenda, took on the role of dorm parents at Purdue and Mr. Clark taught Introduction to Communication courses to Purdue freshmen.

In 2000, Mr. Clark relocated to Arizona to start his career in boarding school admissions. There, he was involved with domestic and international admissions, and financial aid. A few years later, Mr. Clark accepted a post at a boarding school in Maine, where he took on more responsibility with international admissions and became instrumental in academic and social curriculum development for international students.

In 2006, Mr. Clark moved to the island of Hawai'i to work at Hawai'i Preparatory Academy. As director of admission, Mr. Clark works closely with the admission team in helping families apply to grades kindergarten through postgraduate (PG).

Mr. Clarkʻs enthusiasm for the “place-based” education at HPA, which takes advantage of the unique opportunities available on Hawai'i Island, is unmistakable. At HPA, students can pursue their passions, learn in a rigorous academic environment, and get involved in cutting-edge research, which can put them at an advantage when applying to universities. Programs and courses such as sea turtle research, environmental science and Green Tech in the Energy Lab, Agro-Ecology, geology, and astronomy, give students opportunities to develop specialized knowledge and skills that can benefit them throughout their university and professional careers. These “place-based” and hands-on-learning opportunities truly are unique to HPA.

Mr. Clark enjoys seeing families from outside the state of Hawai'i light up when they recognize the amazing experiences a student can have while attending HPA, living on a safe, multicultural island, with access to a high-caliber American education, surrounded by Hawaiian history and culture, making global connections, and developing lifelong friendships with students from around the world.

Mr. Clark and his wife, a distinguished member of the English department at HPA, live in Waimea with their daughter, Ruby Belle.

Mr. Mike Donnelly '83
Assistant Director of Admissions

Mr. Donnelly joined the admissions team in 2014 and his geographical focus areas are Hawai‘i and the greater Asia-Pacific region. Mr. Donnellyʻs goal is to find students who are passionate about learning and who will seize the many opportunities offered at Hawai'i Preparatory Academy (HPA) and on the island of Hawai‘i.

Originally from Honolulu, Mr. Donnelly has a family history tied to HPA dating back to 1976, with six of nine brothers and sisters attending the school. His son, Sean '17, is the first second-generation member of his family to attend HPA.

Mr. Donnelly is a retired Army officer and who spent 26 years serving the nation as an Airborne Infantry Ranger, and a public affairs officer. He was based in the Republic of Korea, Germany, Georgia, Kentucky, New York City, North Carolina, and Hawai'i. Mr. Donnelly has been part of operational and combat deployments to include Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iraq, and the Southern Philippines. He most recently served as the senior communications advisor responsible for all media relations, internal communications, and community engagements to the four-star general overseeing the Army in the Pacific stretching from Alaska and Washington to South Korea.

Mr. Donnelly is a graduate of Gonzaga University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy and minor in Political Science. Returning to Waimea has been a lifelong dream for Mr. Donnelly and his desire is to give back to the community that has made such a dramatic impact on who he is and what he loves to do. He has a passion for the ocean and is an avid stand-up paddle surfer, bodysurfer and runner.

Mr. Donnelly lives in Waimea with his wife, Paige, and their son Sean '17. The Donnelly family also includes two daughters who attend the University of Hawai'i-Manoa.

Mrs. Jackie Jefferson
Assistant Director of Admissions

Mrs. Jefferson came to HPA in 2012, after working for a Boulder-based private equity firm, prior to which she spent many years in development, public relations, and journalism, for companies that included Ericsson, Spirent Communications, InfoWorld, Pacific Business News, the American Cancer Society, and the Kahilu Theatre Foundation.

After graduating from Punahou School, on Oʻahu, Mrs. Jefferson continued on to Whittier College, where she earned a bachelorʻs degree in business administration.

At HPA, Mrs. Jefferson is instrumental in admission communications and marketing. She enjoys introducing students and their families to the many unique opportunities available at HPA, on the majestic island of Hawaiʻi. Among her favorite things about HPA are the schoolʻs signature sustainability and environmental stewardship programs, and the elevated level of support students receive in their academic, leadership, and co-curricular endeavors, from HPAʻs dedicated faculty, staff, athletic coaches, and parents—the HPA ʻohana.

Mrs. Jefferson lives in Waimea with her husband, Steve ʻ86, and their children, Jack and Bayla.

Mrs. Tiare Judd Police '86
Assistant Director of Admissions

Mrs. Police has deep roots at HPA as an alumna, daughter of a 1962 alumnus, and parent to 1 child currently attending the school and two that are alumni. Joining the HPA team in 2009, Mrs. Police began her work in the Advancement and Alumni Office, bringing lasting momentum to initiatives in that department. She now brings her knowledge of and love for HPA and its rich history to the admission team.

After attending HPA, Mrs. Police attended Colorado State University and earned her bachelorʻs degree in human development and family studies. Prior to working at HPA, Mrs. Police spent several successful years in real estate sales on Hawaiʻi Island and managed the office for a bustling chiropractic practice.

At HPA, Mrs. Police loves connecting with families and helping them understand the essence of the HPA experience and all that the school has to offer. As a former student and current parent, Mrs. Police can speak to the schoolʻs rigorous academics, character building experiences, and opportunities for innovative thinking. She is inspired by the initiatives taking place across campus to promote the philosophy and methodology of the Positive Coaching Alliance, which supports the mental, physical, and emotional growth and well-being of all HPA students.

Mrs. Police lives in Waimea with her husband, Albert '85, and their children, Kepa '13, Maiah '15, and Isabella '21.

Mrs. Lisa Tagal
Office Manager

As the Admission Office manager, Mrs. Tagal manages enrollment databases and daily operations, including student inquiries and applications. She is a Designated School Officer for HPA in the Department of Homeland Security’s SEVIS program. Her responsibilities include issuing and maintaining the I-20s for HPA’s international students.

Mrs. Tagal graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She worked for 26 years in a variety of retail roles— store manager, buyer, and field consultant for major fashion designers based in New York and Los Angeles. She then moved to a new occupation in the career college field working her way from a campus extern coordinator for medical training to a regional director of career services covering more than 50 campuses across the United States. Both her retail profession and her career college vocation played to her strengths in organization, relationship building, and attention to detail. All these skills are now being utilized in her career at Hawai’i Preparatory Academy.

While Mrs. Tagal’s family has only been in Waimea since 2014, their history and love of the islands starts from childhood. Mrs. Tagal lived on Oʻahu until she started kindergarten, when her family moved to Seattle. Her husband, Mark, also grew up on Oʻahu and is a Punahou graduate. Together they have five children: Tristan, Madeline, Phoenix, Callahan, and Cameron ʻ20. They also have four heelers and multiple chickens.

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