Community Collaborating
To Support Public Education

About Us



Parents for Public Schools Hawaii (“PPS-HI”) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization of parents, educators, community leaders, policy makers, and other stakeholders in Hawai`i public education.  PPS-HI is a member of the national organization, Parents for Public Schools Inc., which has established 17 chapters in 12 states.


We work collaboratively to improve and support public education in Hawai`i by increasing family and community engagement through programs, events, and other activities.  We also work with key decision makers to advocate for policies that increase educational opportunities for parents, families, and children.







The mission of PPS Hawai`i is to engage parents, students and community members across the State in supporting enriched and quality public education through (1) effective communication between families, community, and schools, (2) greater awareness of educational policies and practices, (3) community involvement in education and decision making that promotes school support, improvement, and student achievement, and (4) accurate media representation of public education.

We work in partnership with other organizations that value public education, such as:

Parents for Public Schools – National –

Hui for Excellence in Education (HE`E) –



Parents for Public Schools—Hawai`i (“PPSHI”) emerged from struggles in our public education system.

The genesis of PPS Hawaii dates to the fall of 2009, when public schools closed for 17 “Furlough Fridays” in an attempt to cover a state budget shortfall. SOS Hawai’i –  a grassroots group of community members, students and parents – was created in opposition to then-Governor Linda Lingle’s decision to cut public education funding.

We realized that family voices had been left out of the conversation about public education.

Since then, many SOS members joined with other concerned citizens in order to form our Hawaii chapter of the national organization, Parents for Public Schools Inc., and we remain equally passionate about improving the quality of Hawaii’s public schools.


JOIN US: Show your support for public schools by becoming a member today, and join a statewide movement to improve public education for the children of Hawai`i!

Sign up Online

As a member, PPS-HI will equip you with skills and resources necessary to:

  • Increase community involvement and collaboration with decision-makers at all levels of government;
  • Monitor and present testimony on current education legislation and policies;
  • Promote accurate and positive media representation of public education; and
  • Support a public education system that values diversity and critical thinking.




screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-10-41-58-amLois Yamauchi, President
Lois Yamauchi is a graduate of Kalani High School and received her bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees from the University of Hawai’i. As a parent of two children in public schools in Honolulu, she is passionate about public education and was a founding member of PPS Hawai’i. Lois is a professor of education in the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Hawai’i and specializes in cultural influences on learning and instruction.


Kash_headshotKashmira Reid, Vice President
Kashmira Reid  has 20 years of experience in marketing and project management for the engineering and construction industry. She is a graduate of McKinley High School, and holds a B.S. Foreign Service International Politics from Georgetown University. As a first generation immigrant to Hawaii, and mother of a daughter with a chronic medical condition and son with a learning difference, she understands first hand both the importance of education as a soceo-economic driver and the challenges faced by many of Hawaii’s students and families outside the mainstream. Kash is an alumna and member of the Washington Middle School SCC and a strong proponent and volunteer of Hawaii’s Children and Youth Month/Day, honoring Hawaii’s keiki. Due to her work in the transportation field and being the 2nd of 3 generations that have been hit by a car while walking in a cross walk, she believes strongly in the National and State Safe Routes to School program.

ErnestineErnestine Enom
oto, Treasurer
A public school educator and advocate, Ernestine believes in the difference that a quality education can make for all of our children. She graduated from Hilo High School and holds a masters from the University of Hawai’I, as well as a doctorate from the University of Michigan, all public institutions. She taught for over two decades in the UH Manoa Department of Educational Administration. Her research interests were on leadership and organizational theory as related to public schools serving multi-ethnic student populations. She is currently an emeritus professor in the College of Education at University of Hawai


Deborah Bond-Upson, Board Member
An education innonvator, Deborah believes we can and must use technology, authentic assessment, and re-imagining learning to achieve equitable, relevant, engaging learning for all. Community involvement is critical for healthy schools. Education can be individualized to respect each student’s unique gifts and interests.Deborah has served on foundation boards and supported public education throughout her career. Her four adult children are all public school graduates. Serving in leadership and founding several education companies over the past few decades,  Deborah now leads LearningBond, a consultancy serving education organizations such as NBC Learn, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, Channel One, ACT Aspire, Awesome Stories and Ceeds for Peace. Deborah has a B.A. from Swarthmore College, a Master of Divinity from Starr King School for the Ministry, and is an ordained Unitarian Minister.


Mary_Weir_headshotMary Weir, Board Member
Mary has a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Minnesota.  Her two children both graduated from public schools. Mary has been active as a volunteer and advocate for public schools for 29 years in Hawaii, Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C.  She strongly believes that all children, regardless of their family circumstances or neighborhood, deserve an equal opportunity for a quality education.  She is a founding member of Parents for Public Schools Hawai’i and was a member of Save Our Schools Hawai’i.  She has been active in Faith Action for Community Equity as co-chair of the Education Task Force.


photoClare Hanusz, Board Member
Clare was a founding member of “Save of Schools” / SOS Hawaii, the group of concerned parents and student that fought Hawaii’s infamous “Furlough Fridays” in 2009. An attorney focusing on immigration law and a mother of two children in Hawaii public schools, Clare is passionate about fighting for underdog causes, including public education.  Clare attended both private and public K-12 schools in Ohio and she graduated from Ohio University’s Honors Tutorial College with a degree in Political Science. She later worked with Central American refugees and on public policy issues in Arizona.  After moving to Hawaii in 1995 she attended law school at the William S. Richardson School of Law, graduating in 1999.  The opportunity to live in Melbourne, Australia with her family for 18 months in 2012-13 in an area with a strong public school culture further motivated Clare’s work to make Hawaii’s schools places where all children can thrive. Clare is the founder of Aloha Immigration (, an immigration and naturalization law firm in Honolulu.


Parents for Public Schools of Hawaii Annual 2018 Meeting