The Punahou School Board of Trustees announced today that Monica Mamiya ’77 McLaren has been named its newest member. McLaren brings decades of experience as an educator to the board, as well as deep personal ties to the school as an alumna and parent.
“Monica was a force for creative leadership among our faculty for many years and she has touched the lives of thousands of Punahou families,” said Punahou President Jim Scott ’70, who will retire at the end of this academic year. “She is one of those mission-driven teachers who truly understands how our students’ experiences here can shape the rest of their lives. In this new role, Monica will be able to marshal her deep knowledge of the school and its community to move Punahou forward at an exciting time in its own institutional growth.”
McLaren graduated from Punahou School in 1977. She received a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education and teaching from Boston University, and a master’s in education from the University of Hawai‘i. She returned to Punahou as a second-grade teacher in 1983, and also taught grades 1, 4 and 5 before leaving the school in 2015 to pursue other personal goals. She is currently the director of instructional design at the Sullivan Family of Companies.
“I’m deeply humbled and see my role on the board as an opportunity to pose questions that help frame discussion,” reflected McLaren. “I’m excited to be a connector and conduit of different perspectives that permit us to come together as a community around the essential work of educating children. It’s a great honor to be able to represent my faculty colleagues and all of their accrued wisdom in that task, and I feel the enormous responsibility and privilege of bringing that forward.”
McLaren’s experience as a former Punahou faculty member includes working under two different presidents, and numerous supervisors and principals. She has been an active participant in Punahou’s evolution as an educational thought leader across decades of change that saw the school enter the 21st century and embrace important new instructional paradigms. Her firsthand experience working with students, parents and other teachers gives her invaluable insight into the dynamic process of change that is key to the success of educational institutions today.
“We are thrilled to have Monica join Punahou’s Board of Trustees,” said Board Chair Ethan D.B. Abbott ’72. “Monica’s involvement in the school brings a wealth of experience and wisdom. She embodies the spirit and committed passion of the entire Punahou community, and will be a tremendous asset to both our board and our school.”
“This is also very meaningful to me because of my mother’s memory,” added McLaren, whose parents, Richard and Hazel Mamiya, also served as trustees of Punahou School. “I’ve always been so grateful to Punahou for giving my mother the opportunity to step into a leadership role that empowered and fulfilled her.”
As the mother of eight Punahou siblings, Hazel Mamiya was a longtime room parent, Carnival chair, PFA president and tireless volunteer. She served as a Punahou trustee from 1984 – 1989, and was succeeded as trustee by her husband from 1989 – 1996.