Academics

Student Support Services

Philosophy

Picture of DOE Student Services Flyer for the COmprehensive Student Support System

Meet the Team

Mrs. Rachele Kida

Mrs. Rachele Kida

Student Services Coordinator

Rachele got her Bachelor of Science degree in Family Resources from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Then worked for the State Librarians office and the Department of Human Services before going back to UH to get her Master’s Degree in School Counseling.

She was a school counselor at Nimitz Elementary and Pearl Ridge Elementary before coming to Momilani in 2020.

In her spare time she enjoys baking, reading, shopping, and traveling.

Mr. Lance Nishihara

Mr. Lance Nishihara

Guidance Counselor

Lance Nishihara started his school counseling career in 1989, With a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology (Chaminade University of Hawaii), he was split between 2 elementary schools in the Leeward District, serving both schools half-time. With Momilani Elementary School being one of the smallest, a full-time counselor position was not warranted until parents and students turned to the Legislature and lobbied for a full-time counselor position.

After receiving his tenure,”Mr. Nish” selected Momilani as his “full-time” school of employment and has been at Momilani ever since. He now has the privilege of serving parents who acted as student leaders lobbying for a full-time counselor position during the early 1990’s. Also, “Mr. Nish” recognizes other parents who were former students...their names too! So don’t think you can hide from him even though you’re a little taller, he remembers you!

With the same focus back in the day, Mr. Nish said he still carries out Momilani’s old motto, “Quality Education in a Caring and Safe Environment” with tweaks for today. He still enjoys surfing when he has time and continues to hone the art of surfboard making.

Mrs. Lynn Sakamoto-Duensing

Mrs. Lynn Sakamoto-Duensing

Special Education Teacher

Lynn Sakamoto-Duensing has served as Momilani’s Special Education teacher since 1996. She is a local girl, receiving her education from Pearl City Kai (Lehua Elementary), Highlands Intermediate, Waipahu High School, Leeward Community College, and the University of Hawaii. She worked briefly for Alphabetland, and received Montessori training while at Children’s House.

Lynn moved to the mainland and taught in Nebraska for 17 years. She received her Master’s Degree in Special Education at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Go Big Red! After years of tornadoes, hail, blizzards, lightning/thunder storms, snow storms, ice storms and heat waves Lynn decided to move back to Hawaii with her family. At Momilani, Lynn works with students from kindergarten to sixth grade.

Mrs. Heather Carll

Mrs. Heather Carll

Special Education Teacher

Shortly after graduating from Concordia University in Irvine with her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential in 2006, Heather Carll felt the call of beautiful Hawai'i, and quickly made arrangements to become a teacher on Oahu.

Beginning her career at Radford High School, she was a Resource Teacher with the Rams for 5 years. Feeling like she missed working with younger students, Mrs. Carll made the decision to begin teaching at Mokulele Elementary School. She joyfully served as a 6th grade teacher for 2 years before being asked to support Windward District as a Special Education Resource Teacher.

In 2017, Heather completed her Masters of Education in Special Education, as well as earned her Literacy Specialist certification for grades K-12, from the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. After six years as a Resource Teacher, Mrs. Carll realized how much she missed working with children and wanted to put her literacy knowledge and expertise back to work in the classroom.

She is extremely excited to be part of Momilani's team and is looking forward to working hard to support our exceptional learners. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, son and two dogs at their home in Pearl City. She also spends as much time as possible on the weekends with her extended family who have also relocated Oahu from Southern California.

Mrs. Jill Keanini

Mrs. Jill Keanini

Educational Assistant

Jill Keanini grew up in Pearl City and is married with two children. Her son is a student at the University of Hawaii West Oahu, while her daughter is a teacher at Waipahu Intermediate School. Jill and her husband are Pearl City High School alumni and she went on to study graphics at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. In her down time she enjoys going to the beach, camping, home remodeling and decorating. She serves in the youth ministry at Grace Bible Church. Jill has been at Momilani Elementary school since 2006 working with the K-6th grade students.