Faculty

APIS strives for excellence in teaching:

  • To ensure measurable, standard-based student performances and achievements by implementing a cutting-edge curriculum and research-based instructional strategies.
  • To assemble a superb group of educators, who are not only excellent teachers but also accomplished individuals serving as role models.
  • To provide a Christ-centered, loving, and caring community that promotes students’ creativity and passion for learning.
Searching APIS Faculty
  • Andy Peeler
    Dean of Students and Residential Life, Music
    B.Mus.Ed. Biola University
    Mr. Peeler received his Bachelor of Music Education degree from Biola University where he specialized in instrumental music and studied piano with Dr. Li-Shan Hung. Following the awarding of his degree at Biola, he completed his student teaching at Hutchinson Middle School and California High School working with band directors Craig Jordan and Doug Nordquist. During his time at Biola University, Mr. Peeler participated in symphonic winds, chorus, piano accompanying, and percussion ensemble. While with the chorus, he toured South Korea performing concerts in schools, churches, and concert halls around the country. Outside of the music building, Mr. Peeler was heavily involved in the international community aiding students with papers and spoken English; he also participated in the campus homeless ministry delivering meals and the gospel to people in Long Beach. In his spare time, Mr. Peeler enjoys playing the piano and guitar, exercising, reading, playing sports, studying Korean, and speaking with his family. He has been at the APIS Hawaii campus since its start.
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  • Kirsten Pike
    Humanities
    M.A. Middlebury College / B.A. Cornell University
    Ms. Pike graduated from Cornell University with a degree in English Literature and French Area Studies. She has a master’s degree in English Literature from Middlebury College, and she has been teaching for the past 18 years in high schools and middle schools in Washington DC, Boston, Seattle, and most recently, Northern India. While working to kindle students’ passion for reading, writing, and self-expression, Ms. Pike also prioritizes individual growth and well-being in her classroom. When not in the classroom, Ms. Pike loves to read, trail run, travel, hike, journal, camp, experiment with new recipes, play the flute or harmonica, and spend time with her husband, Tobias, and her two daughters, Kaisa and Haven.
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  • Tessa Peeler
    STEM
    M.A.T. and B.S. Iowa State University
    Mrs. Peeler grew up in a small town in Iowa. She received her master's degree in science education and a bachelor's degree in materials engineering with an emphasis on metals and polymers, both at Iowa State University. In engineering, she explored research and development, design, and quality assurance. Throughout college, she organized and led service spring break trips across the United States, leading students in volunteer projects and leadership activities to promote self-growth and diversity awareness. She realized after her service trips, some coaching experience, and a couple of engineering internships that her passion is in education and working with students. She believes learning is a lifelong journey; there is so much to learn about in the world and from each other, and it would be a shame not to explore it! In her free time, Mrs. Peeler enjoys exploring new places, hiking, baseball, tennis, reading books, painting, and spending time with family and friends.
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  • Charlie Nelson
    STEM
    M.A. The College of New Jersey / B.S. Whitworth College
    Mr. Nelson grew up in the beautiful Pacific Northwest (near Seattle, WA). He studied computer science in university and began working as a web developer before transitioning to youth work and finally education. Charles began his teaching career in Cairo, Egypt, at a small, diverse international school where he also coached several sports. He also taught for two years at an international school in Riga, Latvia, teaching IGCSE, A-level, and IBDP Computer Science before joining APIS in 2021.
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  • June Pepper
    Grades 3 and 4
    B.A. University of Texas at Austin
    Ms. Pepper strives to always remain curious. At The University of Texas at Austin, she researched English Literature, American Studies, creative writing, and French while working as a production assistant for the University’s Performing Arts Center. Upon completion of her studies, she sought an opportunity to explore a language and culture beyond the United States and began her journey teaching at an English immersion Montessori kindergarten located in a suburb of Seoul, South Korea. Ms. Pepper fell in love with teaching. Being a lifelong learner, teaching allows her to build reciprocal relationships with her students wherein all parties can teach and learn from each other. She continued teaching at English immersion campuses in Seoul, South Korea, for an additional six years before joining APIS Hawai'i. Her goal is for her students to be curious learners who feel confident taking a strong role in their education. Ms. Pepper’s teaching style embraces inquiry, is centered around project based learning and values relationship-building as a hallmark of student success. One of her most memorable teaching experiences was reading The Three Musketeers with her 4th grade class, reimagining it together, collaboratively writing a new version, and delivering it from the page to a live performance on the stage.
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  • Kara Ortiz
    Grades 1 and 2
    M.A. Ed. Chapman University / B.A. Ed. University of Arizona
    Originally from San Diego, California, Mrs. Ortiz graduated from the University of Arizona where she majored in education. She holds a Master of Arts in Education from Chapman University, with an emphasis in curriculum and instruction. Mrs. Ortiz began her teaching career at an English and Spanish dual immersion school in Carlsbad, California where she taught for five years. She continued her teaching career in Huntington Beach, California where she was a teacher for the Huntington Beach City School District. Mrs. Ortiz brings over 25 years of teaching experience and considers herself a lifelong learner. Mrs. Ortiz lives and breathes the power of the positive in how she approaches the learning experience and the ways she lives her life. She has a clear desire to positively impact the lives of those she interacts with and strives to create a community of learners that nurtures this growth in a positive, fun environment. Mrs. Ortiz is married, has six children, and a boxer named Koa. She loves to go to the beach, bodysurf, hula, snorkel, paddle board, and surf. Her relationship with God and faith are an important part of her life.
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