Who We Are

Our Vision, Mission & History

Since our founding in 1921, the Hawaii Education Association has been dedicated to affirming the professionalism of Hawaii’s teachers and supporting excellence in education.

HEA was the original advocacy organization for Hawaii teachers, and for nearly 50 years, represented the education community on the issues of school maintenance and teacher salaries before the Territorial and State Legislatures. During the State Constitutional Convention of 1968, HEA was the first to testify in support of public collective bargaining. After the constitution was amended to allow public sector employees the right to organize, HEA played a major role in the establishment of three collective bargaining units for educators that endure to this day — Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA), University of Hawaii Professional Assembly (UHPA), and Hawaii Government Employee Association (HGEA) Unit 6. With the formation of the unions, HEA’s focus shifted to promoting teacher excellence and professional development. In 1994, HEA acquired 501(c)(3) nonprofit status to continue our support for local educators. 

Throughout HEA’s history, loyal and committed members have supported the organization through generous annual donations to support scholarships for pre-service education and active teachers, the Teaching As A Career (TAAC) program, and Excellence in Teaching and Learning (ExTL) initiatives.

2022-23 Board Members

Our board represents decades of experience and leadership in teaching and education. The HEA board of directors guides and sets the strategic vision and goals for our organization to ensure we continue to meet the needs of Hawaii’s educators.

Members of the HEA Board of Directors are composed of nine (9) directors elected by Association members. Board members serve two-year overlapping terms and meet five times a year.

Joan Kamila Lewis


  • Instructional Coach, Kapolei High School
  • Commissioner, Hawaii Civil Rights Commission

Joan Lee Husted

Vice President

  • President, HEAIA
  • Commissioner, U.S. Education Commission of the States
  • Vice President, Education Institute of Hawaii

Wilbur Luna


  • Treasurer, HEAIA
  • Retired teacher, Hawaii Department of Education
  • Research-Organizer and Human and Civil Rights Specialist, National Education Association
  • Vice President, Oahu Education Association
  • Director of Field Services and Director of Special Programs, HSTA

Pilialoha Lee Loy


  • Retired educator, Hawaii Department of Education
  • Served HSTA Board of Directors and Political Action Committee
  • Member, NEA Resolutions Committee and Task Force on Standardized Testing
  • 1992-2016 - Hawaii State Employees’ Retirement System Board of Trustees and Chair in 2014.

Meredith Maeda


  • Mentor / Coach, Professional Development and Educational Research Institute New Principal Academy
  • Retired administrator, Hawaii Department of Education
  • Past President, Oahu Interscholastic Association and Hawaii High School Athletic Association
  • Board Member, Learning Forward Hawaii
  • Member, Castle Alumni/Community Association

Jonathon Medeiros


  • Language Arts Teacher, Kauai High School
  • Kauai Teacher Fellowship Director
  • Member, HEA Executive Committee
  • Member of the Leadership Institute
  • National Board for Professional Teachers Standards Certification

June Motokawa


  • Board of Director, Hawaii Foundation for Educators (HFE)
  • Past President and Member, Hawaii Civil Rights Commission
  • Retired teacher, Hawaii Department of Education Special Education

Justin Wong


  • Member, HEA Executive Committee
  • Director, HEAIA
  • President, Hawaii Alliance for Retired Americans
  • Administrator, HSTA-Retired

Jacqueline Yanagi


  • Teacher, Waiahole Elementary School
  • Excellence in Teaching and Learning (ExTL) Associate
  • Program Trainer

Our Staff

Laurie Togami

Executive Director

Lynn Hammonds, Ed.D

Program Manager

Normita Agustin

Membership Clerk/Receptionist