WAIMEA — Waimea Country School is off to a great start to the school year, with new faculty members Amanda Rau and Mark Kealamakia added to the team.
Rau is the new K/1st multi-age teacher. She has the support of full-time teacher aide Didi Diaz-Lyke, who has been with the school for three years. Rau brings years of experience teaching children of a range of ages. Her warm personality and infectious good humor make her a natural for caring for the school’s youngest children.
Kealamakia thought he was retiring after 18 years with the DOE but found he missed working with children. With his range of experience and willingness to pitch in to work with children in different capacities, Kealamakia is the school garden coordinator, physical education teacher and teacher aide in the 2nd/3rd multi-age class.
Head of School and 2nd/3rd multi-age teacher Amy Salling appreciates his many talents.
“Mark is a real asset to Waimea Country School. He’s terrific with the kids, and he has so much to share, particularly about our community — his hometown.”
Laurel Matsuda and her teacher aide Kelly Barrick continue as the 4th/5th multi-age team, working to prepare students for middle school. WCS parent Jennifer Jones runs the after-school Kukui Club, and Nanci Mahoney manages the front office.
The Waimea Country School faculty is rounded out by kumu Mila Polevia, who teaches music to the 2nd/3rd and 4th/5th multi-age classes, and kumu Leia Lawrence who teaches music and movement to the K/1st class along with hulu with the whole school.
“Our faculty and staff have really come together. It’s great to have Amanda and Mark on board. We have a terrific group of students and families this year, and we’re looking forward to a full year of teaching and learning,” Salling said.