Ku‘uleilani Samson, born and raised in Waianae, she now raises her beautiful, healthy baby girl as a full-time parent, farmer, and student. She began her career as a Kauhale Youth Leadership Training Program intern and is now currently the Assistant Manager at MA‘O Organic Farms. A farm aimed to grow healthy crops and develop a new generation of leaders by reconnecting them to their land & heritage. She is enrolled at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Hawaiian Studies program as an undergraduate student. Ku‘uleilani plans to teach Hawaiian Studies at her graduating high school and to build her community to a healthier future, alongside with food warriors of her generation.
Jordan D’Olier, High School Math Teacher at Kamaile Academy, has dedicated the past four years of his life to the creation of a college-focused, Middle and High School with High in Waianae driven by high expectations for student performance. Jordan D'Olier has never been one to take the easy route or make choices based on what others may deem as realistic. Rather, as many of his students would attest, Mr.D'Olier is and always has been fearless and in-deterrable force for revolutionary change. As a High School mathematics teacher in a historically underperforming areas of Hawai'i, D'Olier has combated a system that has continuously failed his students. However, as he frequently tells his students, one cannot fail, one can only learn ways that don’t work.
In his second year of teaching at Kamaile Academy as a Teacher For America corps member, D'Olier decided to try a different route. His philosophy on education shifted when he realized that students achieve more when pushed to come to conclusions/solutions in their own unique way. He pursued a self-directed approach in an effort to empower students, increase critical deep thinking, and allow students the opportunity to discover their own greatness on their own terms. This model has been shown to support sustained learning, increase engagement, and collaboration in students.
Jordan D’Olier holds a Bachelor in Econ-Accounting and Psychology from Claremont Mckenna College and a Masters in Education and Teaching from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
Buffy Cushman-Patz is the Founder and School Leader for the School for Examining Essential Questions of Sustainability (SEEQS), a 6th-12th grade public charter school opening this August. Buffy has explored her first-hand teaching experiences in both conventional and unconventional settings. She has taught math and science in public, charter, and independent schools in Hawaii. Buffy earned an MS in Geology and Geophysics at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and completed her EDM in School Leadership, concentrating on school development at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Buffy was honored with an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship. In 2008 and 2010, she volunteered with Teachers Without Borders, and led math and science workshops for teachers in South Africa. Buffy has served on the Hawaii Public Radio Board of Directors since 2009.