Children learn by doing. The child-centered Kindergarten classroom encourages students to take an active role in their education by participating in meaningful activities, working cooperatively with classmates, and interacting appropriately with materials. Children are expected to work to the best of their ability and to help one another as they learn, necessitating conversation and movement about the room at appropriate times. Every child is expected to function with limited teacher supervision: observing rules, following directions, and taking responsibility. Boundaries are well-established and expectations clearly articulated, allowing children to freely and safely explore, investigate, question, practice, and engage in teacher-directed and student-selected activities.
A “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.
“As a parent of eleven years at HNS, I knew about the quality education our school offers, its rich traditions, the `Ohana atmosphere and the strong Christian teachings which I also embrace. When I was offered the job as the kindergarten teacher, I jumped at the chance to continue my affiliation with this beautiful elementary school. Holy Nativity is my second home.”
Mrs. Kaneshiro says working with five and six year olds is a special privilege. “Kindergarten is a magical time in a child’s life when they begin to read, write, and work with numbers, which opens their world in new and meaningful ways. To share in this adventure is an incredible blessing in my life.”
Always in search of the most effective teaching methods, Mrs. K attends seminars, reads, and networks with other teachers in the community. In 2005 she was trained in the Orton-Gillingham Language Approach at Assets School.
An avid photographer, Mrs. K’s home is a gallery of pictures of her family, including her nine grandchildren. She exercises at Curves and is a member of Ka Hale I o Kahala Halau Hula in Kahala Mall. With her husband, Wayne, she supports Andrew Wommack Ministries, spends time with family and enjoys watching movies.
Kindergarten Assistant Teacher
Jan Israel has joined HNS in 2014 as the first grade assistant. She is a Kansas Jayhawk with a B.A. in German and English and a M.S. in Learning Disabilities. Her twenty-six years of teaching have been in elementary, middle, and high school classrooms in Kansas City and on Oahu. Jan has three grown children: a son, daughter and son-in-law. Marrying Rob Israel in 2005 blessed her with more grown children and grandchildren. She says, “We have an HNS family and you will find us all over the campus!”
She enjoys students of every age and height, German or English speaking. “It is a great joy to be able to see the grandchildren every day in this wonderful school. My professional goal is to invest in the academic lives of all HNS children, especially the first graders as they develop skills, passions, and confidence.” She believes that kindness is contagious and there is power in smiles, hugs, and laughter. On weekends, Jan likes to relax with her family, bake edible hugs (cookies), play golf, or enjoy the ocean.