Lois-Ann Yamanaka, M.Ed. (UHM)
Lois-Ann Yamanaka taught English, Drama, and Speech for twelve years with the Department of Education (DOE). She was named one of the "25 Most Influential Asians in America" by A. Magazine, and was listed among "Those Who Shaped the Isles in this Century: 100 Who Made a Difference," by the Honolulu Star Bulletin. She is the recipient of the Hawai'i Award for Literature, the American Book Award, the Children's Choice for Literature, and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. She is the author of Snow Angel, Sand Angel; Saturday Night at the Pahala Theatre; Wild Meat and the Bully Burgers; Blu's Hanging; Heads by Harry; Name Me Nobody; Father of the Four Passages; and Behold the Many. She is a graduate of Hilo High School.
Melvin E. Spencer III, M.Ed. (UHM)
Melvin E. Spencer III taught Leadership Development and English for eight years with the Hawaiʻi State Department of Education. He retired in 2016 as a tenured faculty with the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa College of Education, where he served as the Director of the Office of Student Academic Services. He serves as President of the Hawai'i Association for Asian and Pacific American Education (HAAPAE) and is also an executive member of the national organization, NAAPAE. He continues his role as a member of the Advisory Council of Pihana Nā Mamo, a Native Hawaiian Special Education Project. He also serves Kaumakapili Church as Vice President. He previously served the church as Superintendent of Education and Executive Secretary as well. He has presented and lectured at many state, regional, and national conferences in the areas of Native Hawaiian Voices in Education, Adult Education, Academic Advising, and Self-Development. He is a graduate of the Kamehameha Schools.
Naʻau's Vision & Mission
We first dreamed of Naʻau in 1982 as undergraduates at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. We knew that Naʻau would be a place where our creative and academic experiences would join together in one of the most powerful ways for our students to learn -- mentorship.
Naʻau is a place where we encourage trusting the Naʻau or gut or ki-center to express life's stories and poems.
Naʻau is a place where we teach writing as art.
Naʻau is a place where every learner is treated the way we would want to be treated.
Naʻau has many meanings for us, but most important, is what emanates from our Naʻau as na makua -- a passion and compassion for all of our students at whatever points in their lives' journeys our paths cross.
At Naʻau, we believe that nothing is coincidence. We believe that when the student is ready, the teacher appears.
We hope to be your teachers.