Effective May 1, 2021, Felicia Villalobos will serve as the Interim Executive Director for the Hawai’i Teacher Standards Board. She earned her bachelor’s degree from California State University, Fresno, and her master’s degree from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. She has fifteen years of teaching experience as an Elementary Teacher in the public schools on the island of Kaua’i, with her last four years teaching in an inclusion classroom. As a teacher leader, she served as a Grade Level Chairperson and helped mentor Teacher Candidates from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa for many years. Felicia is enthusiastic about her new role with the Hawai’i Teacher Standards Board and looks forward to supporting her colleagues in the field and fulfilling the Hawai’i Teacher Standards Board’s Vision and Mission.
Licensing Specialist Tracey Idica, NBCT
Tracey Idica is a National Board Certified Teacher (NBCT) with over three decades of classroom experience in California and Hawaii schools. An alumna of the University of Southern California, she began her education career as an English teacher at Carson High School in 1982. As one of the HTSB Licensing Specialists at HTSB, she is grateful for the opportunity to continue to impact the teaching profession and serve Hawaii’s teachers. Tracey is the network coordinator of Hawaii NBCTs, a local affiliate of the National Board for Professional Teacher Standards (NBPTS). She is proud to be a teacher and believes in the power and responsibility of educators to lead. Tracey still has a coffee cup given to her by a student over three decades ago that has a simple message: “Those who can teach. Those who can’t, go into some less significant line of work.” Her goal is to continue the work that recognizes teaching as a true profession with accomplished teachers in every classroom.
Licensing Specialist Raymond Rodriguez
Raymond “RJ” Rodriguez is a Licensing Specialist for the Hawaii Teacher Standards Board. He is also the lead for the Model Code of Ethics for Educators (MCEE) work in Hawaii. RJ has ten years of experience in public schools, ranging from elementary school classrooms, middle school, and up to high school. RJ also worked for the teachers’ union in Hawaii for just under a decade advocating for quality working conditions and empowering teacher leaders. RJ graduated from Illinois State University, which allowed him to student teach in Hawaii and get his first job teaching. He was also fortunate enough to teach for three years in Chicago, before returning back to Hawaii. RJ has also worked for Hawaii P-20, where he was able to learn more about higher education and the ways in which students, post-secondary education, and the workforce interact.
Licensing Specialist Kris Murakami
Licensing Specialist Kris Murakami for the Hawaii Teacher Standards Board (“HTSB”) is no stranger to HTSB having served for almost 13 years as HTSB’s attorney with the Department of the Attorney General. Kris Murakami has over 29 years of experience in state government and has represented the DOE in many diverse matters ranging from family court cases to special education due process cases. Kris successfully argued four DOE special education cases before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Kris holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and a Juris Doctor degree from Santa Clara Law School. Kris is excited for the opportunity to work directly with HTSB on maintaining Hawaii Teacher licensing standards and ensuring that the standards are being applied and fully implemented so that Hawaii’s keiki are provided with a quality education taught by qualified educators.
Licensing Specialist Emily Frisch
Emily Frisch comes to HTSB with a love of learning and a great appreciation for teachers and the differences they make in students’ lives. After receiving an M.S. in Cell Biology from the University of Tennessee Center for the Health Sciences, she worked in a variety of research laboratories and university teaching settings. She became acquainted with the dedicated individuals at Hawaii’s schools while substitute teaching and then later working with DOE’s School Food Services Branch. She is excited about the opportunity to assist with the licensing of Hawaii’s teachers.
Secretary Elaine Hutchinson
Elaine Hutchinson is a Hawai`i public school graduate and has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She worked in the private sector and brings extensive business experience to the secretary position.
Office Assistant Natalie Aquino
Natalie Aquino is an Office Assistant at HTSB. As a new addition to HTSB, she has over 15 years of field experience at Hawaii public schools. With her eagerness to take on a new challenge in her career, Natalie hopes to broaden her knowledge and be able to assist the HTSB team in every possible way. Just as she believes that her family is the most important part of her life, Natalie also believes that HTSB plays an important role in making sure that Hawaii’s keiki are receiving a quality education.