SEEQS's Governing Board
The SEEQS Board is a committed and experienced group of educators, professionals, and community members who bring a range of skills and knowledge to meet the diverse needs of charter school governance.
More information about the Governing Board, including its roles and responsibilities, as well as agenda, minutes, and policies, can be found on the Board Information page.
Leigh Dooley – Governing Board Vice Chair
Leigh Dooley is currently serving as the Interim Distance Education Coordinator at Kapi‘olani Community College, and has taught composition, literature, and creative writing at the college for 25 years. She has also been involved in designing and implementing professional development programming at Kapi‘olani and at the University of Hawai‘i Community College System level for over 15 years. Before joining the SEEQS Governing Board, she served on another public charter school governing board for 5 years. She is also a SEEQS parent: her son was in the first cohort of SEEQS students and her daughter is currently benefitting from SEEQS's educational innovation and phenomenal teaching.
Elyse Takashige – Governing Board secretary
Elyse Takashige is currently a project architect with WhiteSpace Architects where she works primarily on educational projects. After receiving her Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Southern California in 2012, she moved back to Hawai'i and worked for Group70 for four years. Elyse also serves on the planning committee of AIA Honolulu’s Canstruction® competition and canned-food drive.
Carole Ota – Governing Board member
Carole Ota brings to the board the knowledge, experience, and commitment of over 35 years as an educator in the State of Hawai'i. Her career began at Maryknoll School in Honolulu, Hawai'i, where she taught middle school math. She then served as Maryknoll’s Vice Principal for 17 years, which included assisting the principal in hiring of new faculty, co-designing and facilitating new faculty orientation, introducing weekly common preparation periods for teacher collaboration time, and initiating, designing, and facilitating faculty professional development. She currently teaches middle and high school math at La Pietra - Hawaii School for Girls. Carole has a B.Ed in Secondary Mathematics from the University of Hawai'i.
Don Najita – Governing Board member
Don Najita is an award winning designer, with accolades including the John K. Branner Traveling Fellowship, the Eisner Prize in Environmental Design – Architecture, the Peerless Lighting Corporation Prize in Architecture, and the Norman W. Patterson Prize in Architecture. He received a Master of Architecture degree from the University of California at Berkeley, College of Environmental Design; he obtained his Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Design at Oberlin College. Don’s design projects have ranged in scale from regional/urban planning, institutional and commercial projects, to residential work and furniture design. His approach is rooted in addressing the circumstances and unique context and demands of each project. The focus of his work is on ecological thinking and design, and the application of green and sustainable practices to building and the making of things. Don was born and raised in Hawai'i and is the parent of two young children.
Jason D'Olier – Governing Board Treasurer
Jason D’Olier is currently Vice President and Market Risk Manager at Bank of Hawaii. Jason was born and raised in Hawaii and brings a love for the state and a unique blend of finance and education background to our board. A graduate of Punahou School and Pomona College, Jason taught high school math at Mid-Pacific Institute for three years, where he also coached soccer and kayaking, founded and advised the Open Mic club, and was president of the Mid-Pacific Teacher’s Association. He was also a high school teacher at Punahou School and an elementary special education teacher in the Benicia Unified School District, in Northern California. He left his teaching job to obtain an MBA from Georgetown University, which he graduated from in 2008 as class valedictorian. Jason spent four years working for Citibank in New York City, where he worked in finance, risk, and international banking across the Retail Bank, Commercial Bank, the Retail Credit Card, and Corporate Credit Card businesses. Jason returned to Hawaiʻi in 2012 with his wife and two daughters.
Hunter Heaivilin – Governing Board member
Hunter Heaivilin is currently pursuing his PhD in Geography at UH Manoa, researching climate change impacts and implications for agricultural land use and policy in Hawaii. He spent nearly a decade working in farm-to-school and environmental education programming on Oahu and is now consulting as an agricultural planner on developing markets for small organic farms and agricultural land preservation. He obtained a BA in Sustainable Community Development from Prescott College and a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from UH Manoa.
Mark Hines – Governing Board member
Mark Hines holds a B.S. in Physics, a Masters in Educational Technology, and a PhD in Educational Technology. He has taught Science, Math and Technology for 30 years and coached high school canoe paddling for 20 years. His interests center around teaching, learning, and the future of education. He consults and presents locally and nationally on issues of technology in education and school transformation. He is a recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math & Science Teaching, a National Tandy Technology Scholar, and was a Pacific Technology Foundation Technology Educator of the Year. He serves as a member of the Schools of the Future initiative for the Hawaii Association of Independent Schools. In his 15 years as Technology Director at Mid-Pacific Institute, Mark oversaw the planning, development, and implementation of technology for teachers, staff and students. He currently directs the Mid-Pacific eXploratory program, a student-centered, interdisciplinary, passion/project-centered model 9th/10th grade program at Mid-Pacific Institute.
Aaron Levine – Governing Board member
Aaron Levine is an Assistant Specialist in the Institute for Teacher Education, College of Education at the University of Hawaii at Manoa where he serves as the Partnership and Placement Coordinator for the department’s teacher education programs. He has worked in the field of education for over 23 years in both public and private institutions at the elementary, middle, and post-secondary levels.
Liam Skilling – Governing Board member
Liam Skilling is the Director of the Evening Part-Time Juris Doctor Program, the Director of Academic Assistance, and a Lecturer-in-Law at the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s William S. Richardson School of Law. Liam’s primary areas of interest are education law and policy, charter school law, child welfare, law school pedagogy, and curriculum reform. In 2008, he received the Dean’s Medal for Outstanding Service to the Law School. Before law school, Liam spent several years working in K-12 education. As a corps member in Teach For America, he taught in East Palo Alto, CA. As a law student, he co-created a program designed to increase the enrollment of Native Hawaiian and other under-represented groups at the Law School by providing LSAT preparation classes. Liam earned his JD, magna cum laude, at the William S. Richardson School of Law, and his BA from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Sterling Yee – Financial Advisor to the Governing Board
Sterling Yee is the Chief Operating Officer at La Pietra Hawaii School for Girls, and served for years prior to this on their Board of Trustees. From 1998 to 2012, Sterling worked as an Information Technology Specialist and Auditor. He served for nine years as senior manager in charge of management consulting at Grant Thorton. He then worked as Director of Information Technology at Ernst and Young in Honolulu, Auditor for Hawaiian Electric Industries, Sarbanes-Oxley compliance officer for Resources Global Professionals, and as an Assistant Auditor for the State of Hawaii. Sterling has also served as strategic business development consultant for SynCADD (on contract to the U.S. Army). Sterling recently worked at the State of Hawai’i Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. Sterling has a BS in Business Administration in Marketing from the University of Denver, and a Masters of Business Administration in Finance and Economics from the University of Denver. He was recently appointed to the State of Hawaii, Information Technology Steering Committee by the current state legislature.