Kaua’i Local Teacher Fellows Program

The Kaua’i Local Teacher Fellows Program launched in 2017 with exceptional teacher leaders from across the Complex Area.

For the first time, Hope Street Group has replicated its State Teacher Fellows Program in the Kauai Complex Area through the creation of a Local Teacher Fellows Program. Adapting to Kauai’s local context and needs, the program will provide structure, experience and trainings that best prepare teachers to effectively communicate challenges, generate scalable solutions, and drive implementation with fidelity related to key policy initiatives. Additionally, the program will build a cadre of local teacher leaders who can mobilize their peers in a professional network, collaboratively, to help their students, classrooms, schools and community. Learn more about the first cohort of Kaua’i Local Teacher Fellows below.

Kelly Dame

Koloa Elementary
5th grade

Kelly Dame is a 5th grade teacher at Koloa Elementary on Kauai. She has had the opportunity to work as a teacher for 8 years and prior to teaching she worked in private business as a Human Resource Specialist. Her beliefs as a teacher is every child can learn if offered engaging and creative lessons. She is a long-life learner and shares her learning in the classroom to motivate and encourage her awesome students. Kelly received her BA in Business Administration, Human Resources at California State University at Long Beach. She then received her teaching credential at Chapman University in California.

Sara Deblin

Hanalei School
Academic Coach

Sara is the Academic Coach at Hanalei School on the north shore of Kauai, Hawaii. She is currently licensed in the state of Hawaii in the areas of Elementary Education, Early Childhood Education, and Special Education. Sara received her BA in Political Science from University of California at Santa Barbara and her MA in Education from Gonzaga University. Sara has been teaching at Hanalei School since 1997 and has had the pleasure of experiencing every grade level (K – 6), as well as be an integral part of the Special Education team for three of those years (2002-2005). Prior to becoming the Academic Coach, she spent the past eight years in the Kindergarten classroom, as well as holding school leadership roles such as grade-level chair, school-level mentor teacher, WASC Accreditation lead, board member for Hanalei School SCC, and Vice President of Kapa’a High School PTSA.

Cheryl Kathryn Ellwood

Kaua’i High School
Math Teacher

Cher is a fifth generation Californian who currently resides in Lawai, Hawai’i, with her husband of 31 years. As attaining a doctorate in Instructional Leadership attests, Cher is passionate about the art and science of instructional practices and strategies – which means constant professional growth and an openness to change. After more than 25 years of teaching, pre-school through graduate school, Cher’s fondest instructional memories are from home schooling her three daughters. While a veteran in the classroom, Cher still feels most in her element in the theater, and she can be found choreographing, singing, and acting every opportunity she gets.

Robyn Herbig

Waimea High School
Instructional Coach

Robyn is the Instructional Coach and AVID Site Team Coordinator at Waimea High School. As an Instructional Coach she is a mentor for new and beginning teachers, oversees the STEM Capstone Project and conducts regular Professional Development for teachers. She also participated in the Na Kumu Alaka’i Teacher Leader Academy. Robyn earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Wheaton College in Illinois and Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Phoenix.

Farrah Krovoza

Kilauea School
5th Grade Teacher

Farrah is a National Board Certified teacher in Middle Childhood Generalist. She has served as both Kauai Writing Project Lead Teacher and Grade Level Chair at various times during her 13 years at Kilauea Elementary School. She enjoys theater arts and founded the Kilauea School Drama Club, directing and producing 7 plays and musicals at Kilauea School. She received her Master’s in Education from Pepperdine University. Farrah works at her elementary school alma mater, alongside her husband, also an elementary school teacher. She enjoys sunny beach days and rainy movie nights with her family, including her 7-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son, and getting lost in a good book.

Melissa Peck

`Ele`Ele Elementary School
2nd Grade Teacher

Melissa Peck is a 2nd grade teacher at ‘Ele ‘Ele Elementary School on the west side of Kauai. She graduated in 2014 from Whitworth University with a Bachelors in Elementary Education. As a newer teacher she is excited to bring a fresh perspective to her school and district. This year Melissa was the first teacher on Kauai to implement the Canadian program Roots of Empathy in her classroom. She is a strong supporter of Social Emotional and Project Based Learning.

Laurelle Riola-Catbagan

`Ele`Ele Elementary School
English Language Arts – Academic Coach


Laurelle is the ELA Academic Coach at Eleele Elementary school. Her leadership experiences include being a part of the school’s Instructional Leadership Team, the CCSS lead on the Academic Review Team, the Membership Chair of her school’s PTSA and as Grade Level Chair. Laurelle has been a Mentor Teacher for the University of Hawaii – Elementary and Early Childhood Education Program, and also mentors beginning teachers at her school as part of the Induction and Mentoring program. Her husband and two children keep her happy and grounded. Laurelle received her B.A. from Santa Clara University, and her MEd from Chaminade University.

Sarah Schoenfeld-Nakamoto

Kekaha Elementary School
4th Grade Teacher

Sarah is currently a fourth grade teacher at Kekaha Elementary School on the island of Kaua`i. She has experience as a Federal Programs Coordinator, Academic Program Director, and Vice Principal and has been a member of the Title I Review Committee for the State Public Charter School Commission. She has also been a Visiting Committee Member for schools seeking WASC Accreditation and participated in University of Virginia’s Teachers at Sea Program where she visited international schools internationally and participated in a program of study on Globalizing the Curriculum. Sarah received her BA from California State University, Long Beach in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Mathematics and her M.ED. from Chaminade University in Education with an Educational Leadership emphasis.

Dawn Taba

Kauai High School
Instructional Coach

Dawn is the Instructional Coach at Kauai High School. She also serves as a co-coordinator for the AVID Site Team and as the Early College High School Coordinator focusing on providing opportunities for all students at Kauai High to graduate college ready. Dawn was part of the 2015-16 cohort of the Na Kumu Alaka’i Teacher Leader Academy. She earned her BA in Secondary Education with an emphasis in Social Sciences from Brigham Young University-Hawaii and her MEd in Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Phoenix.

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