Meet the Staff

Sione Thompson, Executive Director

Sione comes to the Commission with experience in school administration and management, most recently with the University of Hawai’i-West O’ahu as the Project Director for Title III, coordinating programs that support college access, retention, and persistence particularly among Native Hawaiian population. Sione notably served as Principal at Saint Louis School. He began his 10-year career at Saint Louis as a social sciences teacher and worked his way through the ranks to Dean of Students, Vice Principal and then Principal. He is a graduate of the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa where he received his B.S. in Sociology and his Master’s Degree in Education Leadership.

808-586-3799

sione.thompson@spcsc.hawaii.gov

Yvonne Lau, Deputy Director

Yvonne previously served the Commission as its Organizational Performance Manager. Prior to joining the Commission, she served in the Office of the Governor as education policy analyst, in the Hawaii Department of Education as an Acting Director of the Office of Human Resources’ Personnel Development Branch, and at the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission as a supervisor and investigator. She is a graduate of Aiea High School and has an undergraduate degree in Finance from the University of Hawaii at Mānoa and a law degree from the William S. Richardson School of Law.

 

808-586-3777

yvonne.lau@spcsc.hawaii.gov

Sheryl Turbeville, Communications Director

Sheryl is a graduate of Waianae High School and the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She received her B.A. in Journalism with a minor in Political Science. Sheryl was a career journalist working at KHON2 News for 25 years. She was the Assignment Manager and also worked as a general assignment reporter, covering the police beat, courts, Action Line, elections, education, and politics.

 

808-586-3784

sheryl.turbeville@spcsc.hawaii.gov

Danny Vasconcellos, Finance Operations Director

Danny is a graduate of Iolani School with a B.A. in Political Science and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.  He worked with the State Office of the Auditor for 6 years and has also worked with the Hawaii State Legislature.  He previously served as the Commission's Organizational Performance Specialist. 

808-586-5228

danny.vasconcellos@spcsc.hawaii.gov

 

Jannelle Watson, Executive Assistant to the Executive Director

Jannelle is a public school graduate from Castle High School with her B.S. in Human Service Counseling from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

808-586-3799

jannelle.watson@spcsc.hawaii.gov

Christian Doyle, Systems Specialist, Chair

Chris comes to the Commission with 20 years of experience in education as a social studies teacher and curriculum specialist.  He also served in the capacity of account manager helping implement a supplemental literacy program statewide.  Chris is a graduate of Saint Louis School with a B.A. in political science from the University of Hawai'i at Manoa and a M.ED in Educational Leadership from Chaminade University. 

 

808-586-3883

chris.doyle@spcsc.hawaii.gov

Sylvia Silva, Systems Specialist

Sylvia Silva has worked for the Commission and before that its predecessor agency, the Charter School Review Panel (CSRP), since 2007. Prior to serving the CSRP she had seven years of experience working at West Hawaii Explorations Academy Public Charter School. Sylvia is a graduate of Chaminade University with a B.A. in Business Administration.

808-586-3781

sylvia.silva2@spcsc.hawaii.gov

Sora Jin, Accountant

Sora is a graduate of California State University Northridge where she received a  B.A. in Finance. She received her associates degree in Business Administration at  El Camino College.  Sora worked at a Public Accounting firm for five years. 

 

808-586-3780

sora.jin@spcsc.hawaii.gov

Mary Jane Munoz, Payroll & Human Resources Specialist

Mary Jane is a public school graduate from Waipahu High School with her B.A. in Accounting from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She also has a Certificate in Human Resources Management from Hawaii Pacific University and has been with the CSAO and SPCSC since 2005.

808-586-3782

maryjane.munoz@spcsc.hawaii.gov

Gina Shinagawa, Office Manager/Fiscal Specialist

Gina is a graduate of Farrington High School and Hawaii Business College.  She previously worked with Royal State Insurance for 18 years and with HGEA for 10 years.

 

808-586-3783

gina.shinagawa@spcsc.hawaii.gov

Lauren Endo, Applications & Renewal Coordinator, Chair

Lauren is a graduate of the University of Hawaii at Manoa where she earned a BA in history and political science. 

 

808-586-3881

lauren.endo@spcsc.hawaii.gov

Haunani Bush, Performance Specialist

Martha Evans, Performance Specialist

Derek Scott Hall, Performance Specialist

Derek is a graduate of Montana State University and most recently served as the Participant Accounting Supervisor for the Hawaii Employer Health Benefits Trust Fund.  He has also previously worked for the Charter School Administrative Office as an Account Clerk and the Commission as an Administrative Support Assistant. 

 

808-586-3835

scott.hall@spcsc.hawaii.gov

PJ Foehr, School Lead, Chair

PJ brings to the Commission twenty-eight years of education experience as a classroom teacher, school administrator and consultant.  He began his career as an elementary teacher and then moved on to secondary for a short period.  He taught in California public schools and in Saipan as well.  As an administrator, PJ served pre-K, elementary and secondary schools as both principal and assistant principal.  Most of his career was spent in California public schools where he developed his skills in working with Title I schools and under-served populations.  Recently PJ has been consulting, delivering professional development and coaching to schools in the areas of effective communication, 21st Century teaching, and leadership skills.  He brings a passion for public education and in particular, supporting practices that ensure all children have a great school experience.

808-221-0789

pj.foehr@spcsc.hawaii.gov

Katy DeBruin Plencner, School Improvement Specialist

Katy has a BA in Secondary Education and Political Science and M.Ed in Special Education. Previously, she taught 4th-8th grade special education, worked as a Manager of Teacher Leadership Development at Teach For America, and served as an Instructional Coach and Interventionist at Voyager: A Public Charter School.

 

808-462-6532
katy.debruinplencner@spcsc.hawaii.gov 

Josh Deweerd, School Lead

Prior to joining the Commission, Josh has 16 years’ experience as an educator and administrator for both public and private schools.  Josh has led schools in the areas of fiscal management, staff development and evaluation, program initiative implementation, team-building and the creation of a safe and secure school climate.  He has been instrumental in school turnaround techniques and successful alternative school settings.  He holds a Bachelor's degree in Secondary Education and a Graduate degree in Public Administration. 

 

808-586-3775

josh.deweerd@spcsc.hawaii.gov

Jennifer Higaki, Data Strategist

Jennifer has been involved in education in Hawaii since 2003, working in school-level and state-level positions in the Hawaii Department of Education and at the Hawaii Association of Independent Schools.  She is a graduate of Punahou High School and has a BA in Art History and Italian Studies from Wellesley College and an MSc in Comparative and International Education from the University of Oxford. 

 

808-586-3882

jennifer.higaki@spcsc.hawaii.gov

Kaleo Iwasaki, Federal Programs Fiscal Manager

Kaleo has been with the Charter School Commission since it's inception and prior with the Charter School Administration Office (CSAO). Kaleo, a former public high school educator for 16 years also has 6 years of Federal Grant Management experience. Kaleo works closely with Hawaii State Public Charter Schools as part of the Federal Programs team as a Liaison/Coordinator.  

808-586-3836

kaleo.iwasaki@spcsc.hawaii.gov

Jillian Levy, Educational Specialist

Jillian joins the Commission with a decade of experience teaching and leading in public schools in Arizona, Colorado, and Oregon. She holds a B.A. in Journalism and History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and M.Ed in Elementary Education from Arizona State University. 

808-586-3775

jillian.levy@spcsc.hawaii.gov

Ryan Shimabukuro, Programs Manager

Ryan joins the Commission with nearly 15 years of experience in education as a teacher and school administrator. Most recently he served as the Dean of Students and a Middle School Administrator at Saint Louis School. Ryan graduated with a Bachelor of Science in History from Eastern Oregon University and a Masters of Education in Educational Leadership from Chaminade University.

808-226-2799

ryan.shimabukuro@spcsc.hawaii.gov

Jessica Tanaka, Federal Programs Specialist

Jessica is a public school graduate from Orange Park High School in Florida. Before joining the Commission in 2015 she worked in the nonprofit sector for over eight years. 

 

808-586-3773

jessica.tanaka@spcsc.hawaii.gov

Donna Therrien, School Lead

Donna brings to the commission over 30 years of public education experience. She started her career as a classroom teacher in Hawaii’s DOE and charter schools. For many years she has worked at the district level successfully restructuring schools. Most recently, Donna was the Director of Pedagogical Practices at Hawaii Technology Academy. She has strong expertise in best practices for face to face and blended instruction. Donna has been recognized as a Teacher, DOE Employee, and a State Employee of the Year!

808-586-3775

donna.therrien@spcsc.hawaii.gov

Brandi Wakabayashi, Educational Specialist

Brandi comes to the Commission with previous work experience in the public education system. She was an elementary school teacher and curriculum coordinator focusing on math and science.  Brandi received her B.Ed in Elementary Education with an emphasis on Hawaiian Studies from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.

 

808-221-1518

brandi.wakabayashi@spcsc.hawaii.gov

Deanne Goya, Early Learning Program Director

Deanne has been involved in the early childhood community for almost 30 years, serving most recently in the Office of the Governor Executive Office on Early Learning, promoting and implementing high quality preschool programs.  Her early childhood education background also includes work in both the private sector and Head Start program as early childhood educator and program manager.  She received her Baccalaureate of Science degree in Human Development with an emphasis on early childhood development and education from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

 

808-586-5227

deanne.goya@spcsc.hawaii.gov

Monica Chapman, Early Learning Administrative Assistant

Monica Chapman previously worked for a Hawaiʻi Congressman in the United States House of Representatives and for the State of Hawaii in the Office of the Governor. She is a graduate of Waimea High School on the island of Kauaʻi and attended Seattle Central Community College and graduated from Napa Valley Cooking school in Culinary Arts.

 

808-586-3778

monica.chapman@spcsc.hawaii.gov

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​State Public Charter School Commission

 

1111 Bishop Street, Suite 516

Honolulu, HI 96813
info@spcsc.hawaii.gov

Tel: 808-586-3775

Fax: 808-586-3776

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* The Commission gratefully acknowledges  former Commissioner, Dr. Peter Hanohano, and the Office of Hawaiian Affairs for the translation of the Commission’s name.

© 2013 by SPCSC. All rights reserved.