Our Teachers and Staff

Melita Charan (Head of School) received her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Southern Oregon University. She has taught in rural Alaska, internationally in Indonesia, and in the progressive public school district of Ashland, Oregon.  As a co-founder of Roots School, Melita is dedicated to providing exceptional educational opportunities through our arts-integrated, project-based approach. When she is not working, she enjoys playing with her daughter, traveling, and hiking.


524A4389Cassandra Jones (Grades 6-8) is a licensed teacher in English and Drama.  Born and raised in Hawaii, she received her Post Baccalaureate Certificate in Secondary Education (English) and MFA in Asian Theatre/Directing from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.  For more than a decade, Cassandra has dedicated herself to making a positive impact in the lives of young people as a Language Arts and Drama teacher. After working in a variety of private and public schools on Maui, Cassandra is excited to share her passion for project-based learning and arts integration.


524A4392Debbie Benton (Grades K-2) received her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education in 2000 from Southern Oregon University, and has been teaching ever since. She comes to us from the public education system in the progressive and beautiful town of Ashland, Oregon. She has training in both the public and alternative teaching philosophies.  As a co-founder of Roots School, she is dedicated to the project-based teaching that steers the love and passion of learning.   When she is not working, she enjoys playing with her family, yoga, hiking, and traveling.


524A4673Katherine “Katie” Wilson (Grades 3-5) is originally from New Jersey, and has been living and working as a teacher in the Hawaiian Islands since 2000, and as a teacher at ROOTS since 2014. Specializing in Elementary Education with a Master degree from Chaminade University of Honolulu, Katie moved with her family to Maui in 2012. She seeks to make a difference in the lives of her students and community through positive engaging teaching practices to help learners realize their potential. When Katie is not in the classroom, she enjoys surfing, swimming, yoga, beach walks, waterfall hikes, and travel.


Lynn Carroll (Preschool) received her degree at MCC in Human Services with emphasis on Early Childhood Education.   For almost 30 years, she has worked in the field of early childhood, both as a Director and Head Teacher.  Her goal is to introduce each child to the many discoveries to be found as they develop their social, emotional, cognitive, language and physical skills through play.   She is excited to open each child’s mind and body into building a strong connection between family and school.   When she is not teaching, she loves to paddle competitively and be outdoors.


portrait-003Jennifer Oberg (Development Director) has a deep interest in supporting education on Maui. She co-founded and served as the first President of the Ha`iku Elementary School Foundation. She was a board member of the Ha`iku Community Association, and volunteered for the Ha`iku Ho’olaule’a and Flower Festival committee from 2009-2014, two years of which she was Event Co-Chair. She worked as the Parent Community Networking Coordinator (PCNC) at Ha`iku School from 2011-2013. She volunteered on The Noble Chef committee for the Maui Culinary Academy, and at the Montessori School of Maui as a parent. Her latest project is starting a “100 Kids Who Care” chapter on Maui.


Doris Payreder (Office Administrator) has over 15 years of administrative experience including executive assistant, office management, marketing, strategy, sales, financial management, staff supervision, hiring, training, and performance evaluations. She has worked for a variety of organizations including the J. Paul Getty Trust, a private chef, a property management company and spa companies. She is originally from Vienna, Austria and is fluent in German. She attended Secondary Business School in Vienna, and took General Accounting coursework at the University of Florida, Tampa.