Our Teachers and Staff
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 (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!
. .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, 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 (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.