Our Team

PARENTS FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS-HAWAII BOARD AND STAFF

Deborah Bond-Upson, President
All children deserve to be recognized and to develop their unique strengths. Public education is the route to equity, health and happiness in our community. This is the philosophy that has guided Deborah since childhood. Starting as a teacher and an artist, she became an education innovator, 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 Universalist Minister.

Wendy Nakasone-Kalani, Vice-President
Wendy Nakasone-Kalani has been active in the field of education for more than 20 years, beginning as a part-time teacher at Olomana School on the windward side of Oahu. She graduated from the University of Hawai’i – Hilo with a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and taught in both Hawai’i public school system as well as a non-profit agency which provides service to at-risk youths. Wendy has teaching and counseling experience with student of all grade levels. In 2009, she began her federal career as an Army School Liaison Officer and has worked with more than 50 Hawai’i public schools to assist Army Families transitioning to Hawai’i. As part of her professional services, she has worked closely with Joint Venture Education Forum (JVEF), an organization that brings together members of the Hawai’i Department of Education (DOE) and the military services in Hawai’i. She also serves on the Interstate Compact on Education Opportunity for Military Children Hawaii State Council. She has been actively involved in School Partnership Program and received the JVEF Outstanding Military Contributor Award in 2013.

Kathleen Gauci, Treasurer
Kathleen Gauci is the data center manager and a project manager at the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa Center on the Family, where she engages in work that promotes the wellbeing of children and families. She also has been a lecturer for over ten years at the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa and West Oʻahu, and enjoys teaching courses in education, psychology, and social sciences. Kathleen is a product of public schools; she attended public schools in California, obtained her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, and moved to Hawaiʻi where she received her master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Hawaiʻi. Kathleen has two young children: a daughter attending a Hawaiʻi public school and a son who will join his sister when he reaches kindergarten age.

E. Brook Chapman de Sousa, Secretary
E. Brook Chapman de Sousa, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, College of Education. She is a proud mother of two public school students and a former elementary school teacher having taught in Colorado, Brazil, and Hawaiʻi. Dr. Chapman de Sousa is an advocate for public education, multilingualism, and multiculturalism. Her work focuses on helping to create inclusive school communities in which children, teachers, staff, and families feel welcomed, safe, and inspired. 

Lois Yamauchi, Past 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.

Kashmira Reid, Board Member
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.

Susan Wood, Board Member
Susan Wood resides on the Island of Hawai’i and works for the Hilopa’a Family to Family Health Information Center and the Maternal and Child Health, Leadership and Education of Neurodevelopmental Disabilities for the University of Hawai’i, John A. Burn’s School of Medicine. She also serves as the Parent & Community Networking Coordinator for Honoka’a High & Intermediate School. Her experiences include family outreach & education, vocational training, benefits planning and youth mental health. She is the Family Voices Region D Facilitator and also sits on the board for Parents for Public Schools, the Special Education Advisory Council, the North Hawai’i Community Children’s Council and the HHIS School Community Council.

Parents for Public Schools Hawai‘i
at the 2023 Hawai‘i Children & Youth Day

Parents for Public Schools Hawai‘i at the 2023 Hawai‘i Children & Youth Day

Past Board Pictures – 2022

Past Board Pictures – 2021

Past Board Pictures – 2020

Past Board Pictures – 2019

Past Board Pictures – 2016

Board Members at the Annual Meeting

Remembering our friend Clare Hanusz

Our beloved friend and advocate of immigrants, public schools, and all humanity – Clare Hanusz – has passed away after a two year battle with cancer which she generously shared with us. We will greatly miss her valiant and good humored spirit. Click here to read more about Clare.