Our Teachers and Staff

 Melita Charan
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 the 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.
Lynn Carroll
Lynn Carroll (Preschool Lead Teacher) 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.                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
Alysha Asue
Alysha Asue (K-1 Lead Teacher) received her degree from the University of Hawaii, Maui College in Early Childhood Education. She has worked in the independent school environment for 16 years. She has had the privilege of working both in school administration and in the classroom as an Assistant Teacher as well as a Lead Teacher. Alysha believes in our school mission and looks forward to gifting our students the opportunity to become happy and healthy individuals.           
Etiange Domoa
       Etiange Domoa (K-1 Assistant) was born and raised in Harlem, NYC and became a resident of Maui in November 2020. Prior to her move here, she had been professionally training as a dancer in NYC and LA for 15 years in the styles of ballet, contemporary, hip-hop, jazz, and more. Her path toward teaching began in 2021 where she began coaching competitive gymnastics at 808 Gymnastics in Kahului. From there, she discovered that working and serving the children in her community was most fulfilling and in alignment with her intentions and professional goals. In her free time, Etiange enjoys reading a good book by the water, cooking, surfing, dancing, teaching/taking pilates classes, adventuring, sharing time with her partner and friends, and horseback riding.
Cynthia Harbert

Cynthia Harbert (2-3 Lead Teacher) has been a supportive member of Roots School since 2014. She received her BA in Individualized Liberal Arts with an endorsement in Elementary Education from Regis University, and has taught for the State of Hawai’i Department of Education, Kamehameha Schools and Jefferson County Public Schools in Colorado. For Ms. Cynthia, working with the 2nd-3rd grade class is a joyful honor which carries a responsibility to ensure that all students are valued and celebrated. She appreciates the genuine community and educational environment of Roots that allows students to thrive in diverse aspects of learning. Ms. Cynthia spends away from school time with family, advocating for peace and exploring the culture and beauty of Hawai’i.


Heather Grossman

Heather Grossman (2nd-3rd Grade Assistant) was born and raised in California and moved to Maui in 2003. She is a wife, mother, and grandmother. Heather has worked in the customer service industry for over thirty years and has been a frequent volunteer in the community, including at Haiku Elementary School. When she is not working, free time is spent with her family, creating art, making jewelry, or stained glass. Heather is excited to be a part of this special school!         


Heather Benton

Heather Benton is currently on a one-year leave of absence. She received her Bachelor's Degree in Elementary Education from the University of Hawaii. After having worked at Roots from 2011-2015, Heather taught at Pomaika’i Elementary with an emphasis in Arts Integration teaching and learning strategies and Hawaiian Studies. Heather returned to teach at Roots School because she values what Roots offers their students, families, and the community.                                                                                                                   
                            Kendra Bitzig                                                                                              
Kendra Bitzig (4-6 Lead Teacher) received her BA in Children’s Studies from Eastern Washington University and her MA in Education with a focus on coaching and mentoring in early education from Goddard College. After working in Early Education for over 20 years, Kendra is excited to join the 4-6 grade on their educational journey. In her free time, Kendra likes to spend time with her family & pets, adventure in nature, and create art.

 . .kGenie Hokulani Calagna


Genie Hokulani Calagna (Performing Arts Specialist) was born and raised in Hawaii. She has a passion for the arts and for sharing them with children of all ages. With a Bachelor's degree in Performance Arts from UH Hilo and a Master's degree in Theatre Education from Emerson College in Boston, she has been teaching and directing with an emphasis on arts integration and social emotional awareness for over 18 years. Her goal is always to foster self-awareness, confidence and resilience while building community through performance to benefit the whole child. When she’s not teaching, she loves to travel, do yoga and play in nature. She is delighted to be a part of the Roots family and to be a positive influence for our keiki.


Lisa Varde.


Lisa Varde, CFRE (Development Director) was born in Seattle, and grew up in Kihei, Maui. She graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa with a BA in Public Relations. She has worked in nonprofit fundraising for over 20 years, including at the Hawaii Foodbank, Maui Arts & Cultural Center, and Maui Memorial Medical Center Foundation. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her daughter and husband. She also enjoys traveling and visiting family in the Pacific Northwest.


Bea Morrison

Bea Morrison (Office Administrator) Bea grew up in a small town in southern Germany. She had worked in various administrative and customer service positions in Germany and Austria when her interest in different cultures and passion for work with children brought her to Chicago as a live-in Nanny. After 3 years in childcare and several inspiring visits to Hawaii, she received her AAS in Hospitality & Tourism Management and made the move to Maui in 2019. She adapted to the Maui lifestyle rather quickly with her love for art, nature, and a health-oriented lifestyle. Bea is very passionate about her work and tends to pour her heart and soul into everything she does. Because of that, she’s been wanting to make a personal shift towards an organization that supports the local community - a place with a positive impact and vision that allows her to be part of something bigger. With Roots School, that dream has now come true for her and she is beyond excited to join the Roots ‘ohana.