The fifth grade curriculum is designed to provide challenging work, increase independence, and to promote effective study habits.
The highlight of the year is the class trip—a marine science excursion to Maui. Several days of study in the field provide the opportunity for students to learn practical applications of their language, science, and math skills. This trip involves a three to four day stay away from home and participation in activities such as swimming, snorkeling, service project, animal dissection, laboratory activities, and hiking.
3rd Grade Assistant Teacher
Liz Cunningham has been at Holy Nativity School since 1989. She began her work at “The Little School in the Valley” assisting Petey Kaneshiro in Kindergarten. She also assisted in first grade and now serves as fourth grade assistant.
Liz finds it especially rewarding being able to provide valuable “TLC” in the classroom and on the playground. “The teachers have so much to do,” says, Liz. “It brings me great satisfaction to tend to the smaller, but no less important, needs of the children.”
In her spare time, Liz loves to read and garden. Whenever possible, she enjoys spending time in San Francisco where her daughter lives.
5th Grade Teacher
“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.
Originally from Eastern Colorado, Staci was raised in Iowa and is a proud midwesterner. “The family values and work ethic may be a more direct result of my family, but they are fairly commonplace priorities in the midwest. The harder you work, the better you can become. Embrace adversity, strive for excellence, and never stop growing. Be aware of yourself and others around you. While beliefs, values and cultures differ, mindfulness and self-actualization have the potential to remain constant and continuous. Mindfulness and self-actualization are two essential keys in creating and maintaining integrity and living an authentic life. By knowing who we are, we can better assess and evaluate our lives, and we can better direct ourselves towards our goals.”
Staci currently lives in Aina Haina and treasures her “little school in the valley” and the HNS ohana. “My coworkers are similarly motivated and inspired people, with incredible souls and a true passion for education. My students are my life. I feel as though I am their parent away from home. I truly love my students and relish the qualities and characteristics that make them unique. Whatever the passion, whatever the drive, I work to build a relationship with each student and lead them to strive for academic excellence, social and emotional awareness, and life-long learning.”