Serving the Children of East Honolulu Since 1949

Staff

Timothy P. Spurrier

Head of School

Timothy P. Spurrier

Tim Spurrier joined Holy Nativity School as the Head of School in 2012. His diverse background in education, communication, and business, as well as life experiences, led him to the leadership role at HNS.  In twenty five years as an educator, he has served as the founder and Head of School of Waimea Country School on the Big Island and as the Head of School of Mead Hall Episcopal School in Aiken, SC.

Tim has also taught in the private and the public school sector in grades K-8. He is certified in elementary education and early childhood education. Tim developed curricula for public and private schools, as well as for the Department of Education in Hawaii and the East/West Center at the University of Hawaii. He has also been an instructor at several universities teaching humanities, communication, and education.

Tim is a graduate of Towson University earning a BS and a MA in communication with an emphasis in human performance.  He graduated from the Loyola College ROTC program and was a commissioned officer in the United States Army. He earned his ECE certification from Stevenson University and his ELED certification from Morgan State University. Tim has earned a MA in educational leadership from Central Michigan University and is working on a doctorate in Education from the University of New England.

Tim is married to Myrna Spurrier and has two sons, Craig and Ben, and a daughter, Emily.

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Kelly Goheen

Director of Admission & Marketing

Kelly Goheen As the first-grade teacher at Holy Nativity from 2001-2004, Kelly Goheen loved watching her students grow each year.  Since then, she has served as Director of Admission & Marketing as well as Assistant Head of School, and she has enjoyed having the opportunity to work with the greater school community. Kelly is excited to continue to welcome new families to our school,all the while helping our current students and families to fully benefit from all that HNS offers.

Born and raised in Honolulu, Kelly graduated from `Iolani and went on to earn her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Arizona State University and then her master’s degree in education administration from the University of Hawai`i-Manoa. She was a substitute teacher and a kindergarten lead teacher in Arizona before moving back home to Hawaii and joining HNS.

”Holy Nativity is an incredible place where each child is known and cherished. I am honored to have the opportunity to represent our school in the community and to tell others about this amazing little school in the valley.” Kelly is a sports fan, loves to be active, reads as much as possible, and most enjoys spending quality time with her family.

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Faculty

Jyo Bridgewater

Principal/6th Grade Teacher

Jyo BridgewaterJyo Bridgewater is the Principal of Holy Nativity School and the lead teacher in the 6th grade classroom.  A graduate of Yale and NYU School of Law, she has been involved in child advocacy and education in a number of roles and settings.  Her teaching career spans inner city public schools on the East Coast and independent schools in Hawaii, most recently serving as the K-8 principal at Assets School, its mission to serve gifted, dyslexic and twice exceptional students.

“I am looking forward to once again being a part of the Episcopal school tradition that balances high expectations with a deep love for the individual.  In a complex and ever-changing landscape, elementary school is more important than ever.  It is where we learn to work with others, turn knowledge into experience and experience into a principled life.  And, of course, where we have fun!  Please stop by so we can get to know each other as we begin this joyful work together.”

Jyo’s work with the Hawaii Association of Independent Schools includes chairing accreditation and licensing visits for other schools in Hawai’i.  She was part of the legislative taskforce that published the first comprehensive plan for teaching reading in the state, and has been a workshop and conference presenter on topics including literacy and social emotional skills.

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Dawn Kurisu

Chaplain

Dawn Kurisu“Walking into the gate nestled between neatly trimmed hedges, I am greeted everyday with smiles and laughter of children, families and faculty members who like myself, have fallen in love with this little school in the valley. Inside the gate, a community of learners, visionaries and our future leaders gather everyday to work, play and DREAM.”  Dawn enjoys serving the school community as chaplain and part of the school’ administrative team.  Prior to teaching religion, she completed her student-teaching in the first grade classroom and also spent time as an assistant in the third grade classroom before serving as the first grade lead teacher from 2004-2007.

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Jenna Visoria

1st Grade Teacher

Jenna Visoria was born here in beautiful Hawaii, but was raised in Washington State. She received her Bachelor’s in Sociology and her Master’s in Teaching from Washington State University. 

Upon finishing her education, Jenna pursued her dreams of traveling the world by taking an opportunity to teach in China. Her plan was to only teach and live there for one year, however, she fell in love with being a part of the international community abroad and being immersed in the various cultures Asia has to offer.  During her three years in China, she taught 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade at a local Chinese public school, and two years teaching preschool at two different International schools. For every holiday, she never missed a chance to travel and explore a new country. She went bike riding through rice terraces in Bali, rode elephants in Thailand, and ate the most delicious pho on the streets of Vietnam. Although she’s loved every minute of living in Asia, she’s excited to return home to her roots and be closer to family.

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Renee Shitanishi

Pre-Kindergarten Teacher


ReneeRenee Shitanishi has been part of the HNS family since 2006, when she first started as an Assistant Teacher for the Summer School program. After graduating from Kaiser High School, she tested the waters at San Diego State University, only to find out she loved Hawai’i too much to stay away. She returned home after three semesters, and enrolled at the University of Hawai’i. Renee went on to graduate with her B.Ed in Elementary Education, and belongs to the Hawai’i Careers with Young Children registry.

In the fall of 2011, she started substitute teaching at HNS and was hired as the Early Education After-School Care teacher. In 2012, she began as an Assistant Teacher in the Keiki 3’s program, and then moved to the First Grade in 2013. The 2014-2015 school year marks her first year as a Lead Teacher in the beloved Pre-Kindergarten class. Renee believes that every child deserves a nurturing environment where they can grow and strive to do their “personal best!”

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Petey Kaneshiro

Kindergarten Teacher

Petey KaneshiroA “transplant” from New York in 1968, Anna Ruth Peterson Kaneshiro, known as Petey, began her teaching career at Kilohana Preschool in Niu Valley after graduating with a BA from the University of Hawai’i-Manoa. One year later, in 1989, she became a faculty member at Holy Nativity School where her sons, Daren and Dean, had attended from preschool through sixth grade.

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Dr. Kirtland C. Peterson

2nd Grade Teacher

Dr. Cat PetersonA graduate of Princeton University and Hahnemann University’s clinical psychology program, “Cat” Peterson believes in academic rigor and lots of fun. “The two go hand in hand. Acquiring real competence — in an academic subject, through music, or the arts — brings tremendous joy.”

A change-of-career elementary-school teacher, Cat has spent most of his professional life as a management consultant to Fortune 500 and International 1000 corporations. After a few months of teaching elementary school, he realized, “I should have made the change a decade ago. I enjoyed teaching adults. But I treasure teaching young people. There’s simply no comparison.” Cat has two sons, whom he raised as a single parent and home schooled for two years, and two step-sons.

Arriving directly from The Wilkes School at Grace & St. Peter’s, an Episcopalian school in the Mt. Vernon district of Baltimore, Maryland, Cat felt “immediately at home” at Holy Nativity School. “The teachers are dedicated. The students are delightful. The buildings and grounds warm and inviting. I never thought I’d find a school as wonderful as the school I came from. I feel lucky.”

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Kim Chun-Hoi

3rd Grade Teacher

Kim ChunNewly married, Kimberly Chun-Hoi is returning for her seventh year at Holy Nativity School, her third year as the Third Grade Lead teacher. Previously, she had been the Kindergarten Assistant Teacher to Mrs. Kaneshiro. After graduating from Iolani School in 2001, she furthered her education at Seattle University, earning a B.A. in Liberal Studies focusing on Elementary Education with minors in Psychology and Chinese. She received her Master’s degree in Elementary Education from Chaminade University in May 2009 and was privileged to be able to complete her student teaching with Mrs. Kaneshiro.

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Alan Ching

4th Grade Teacher

Alan ChingAlan Ching is in his seventeenth year of teaching fourth grade at Holy Nativity School.  Before this job, he taught for 3 years at Epiphany School doing their P.E. program and 1 year at Kapalama Elementary as a Kindergarten and 6th grade assistant.  He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Redlands, from where he graduated in 1992.  He has also taken classes towards his Masters Degree in Social Studies at the University of Hawaii.

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Staci Overton

5th Grade Teacher

Staci Overton“I find nothing brings me greater joy than empowering our youth.  Providing students with the skills and tools to make their dreams come true is my passion.”

Staci has been teaching fifth grade at Holy Nativity School since 2013.  Prior to fifth grade, Staci taught in early childhood programs and elementary schools in Chicago, New Zealand and Iowa.  A strong early childhood and human development advocate, Staci taught the Holy Nativity School Pre-Kindergarten class from 2006-2011.

Staci has bachelors degrees in Early Childhood and Elementary Education with endorsements in Special Education.  She graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in 2006. The university’s College of Education is known for having some of the most innovative teacher education programs in the country and has consistently been named one of the “Best in the Midwest” in the Princeton Best College Review.

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Carol Bendell-Wiers

Art Specialist

Carol Lei Bendell-Wiers has taught from PreK to college level in her long career as a teacher, starting in the Chicago area, then in Copenhagen, Denmark and finally Hawaii.  Carol was so fortunate as to attend The School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she was immersed in an environment full of professional artists with new ideas regarding visual perception and art education. She is very interested in how we learn and always looking for ways to inspire her students.

Carol is new to Holy Nativity School. She says “It is so much fun to teach in elementary school where children are less inhibited and therefore naturally creative. I want my students to learn to see the whole picture, but delight in details. The skills they acquire in their art class should help them in other subjects. Learning to plan, execute the plan, use a variety of materials, and adjust when things don’t go as planned are examples of what students experience in art class. Any art-making environment should be an oasis for students. Creativity brings balance. It feeds the soul.”

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