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Meet the Staff


Mamie Lawrence Gallagher

Elementary Guide & Director

Mamie began as a Montessori child in upcountry Maui. After studying Ethnomusicology and Native American Studies at Dartmouth, she and her husband came home to Oʻahu in 2002. Before returning to Montessori in 2012, Mamie worked in Hawaiʻi’s non-profit community as education consultant, fundraiser, and policy advocate for Native Hawaiian serving organizations. She has served on the Boards of Hula Preservation Society, Boys & Girls Club of Hawaii and Mālama Mānoa. Mamie holds an AMI diploma at the Elementary level.  She likens her family's aloha for MoʻO as that of a full calabash - He ipu kaʻeo keia! 

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Codi Kelii

Primary Assistant

Codi grew up in ʻEwa Beach. While studying liberal arts at Leeward Community College, she focused on the art of teaching: preparing curriculum, learning the importance of observation, and exploring different educational philosophies. At UH Mānoa, Codi studied Hawaiian language, oral and written stories of the Pacific, and literary works of the Victorian age. She holds a BA in English and an AMI 3-6 Orientation certificate. Codi has two children enrolled in the elementary program and makes sure they practice mālama ʻāina by volunteering at Ka Papa Loʻi o Kānewai, various loko iʻa, and cleaning the beaches they often enjoy.


Molly Jenkins

Admissions Director

Molly began early education work  in 2011, when she moved to Oʻahu from Portland. While working towards a PhD focusing on societal inequalities and health outcomes, she began to understand the lasting impacts and significance of early life experiences. This, combined with a passion for student-led learning, led her back to the Montessori method. Molly attended Montessori schools through age 12. She holds an AMI Primary diploma, a graduate certificate in Global Health, and MA and BA degrees in Sociology. A Founding Guide, Molly directs Admissions at MoʻO.

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Rita Bonnici

Primary Guide

Rita is committed to the well-being of every child and serves this calling as a Montessori educator. For over 20 years, she has worked to build trust with children in Montessori Primary environments all over the world as their guide, first in Toronto and most recently in Perth, Australia after 12 years in a Primary in Saipan. Rita's own educational endeavors, her BA in Native Studies from Trent University and her AMI Primary diploma, are a natural match for our ʻāina-based Montessori culture. A former paddler, Rita appreciates the ocean. She also enjoys birding, hiking and camping with her family.

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