Hanalei School Foundation

Now and for the Future

A Critical Endeavor 

Over the last 9 years, Hanalei Elemenary School (HES) has lost approximately one-quarter-million dollars in annual funding.  The school has been forced to cut support, programs, school supplies, and positions. This year, HES will not be able to pay for basic essentials.

Hanalei Elementary School has been part of the north shore community since 1881.  Parental involvement, community support, the dedicated teachers and staff, and great programs have combined to create a unique learning environment and made Hanalei Elementary a special center for learning throughout the state.  The only school of its kind, anchored in the center of kalo fields, it maintains a unique opportunity to focus on sustainability.  Students plant seeds that blossom into local food production and organic framing.  These programs were intended to be expanded and used as a model throughout the state; however, its future is continually at risk.

The current economic situation has exacerbated by the result of the Hawaii Board of Education's adoption of a per-student funding system that was put in place 9 years ago.  The system, known as the Weighted Student Formula, has a "big school" bias and has had a devastating effect on Hawaii's smaller schools -- forcing small school closures and creating major budget problems for smaller schools, especially those on the outer islands.

Hanalei Elementary School is in nee of a financial foundation like never before and its urgency grows.  Budget cutbacks, furloughs, Weighted Student Formula, and general economic conditions mean our children may suffer a lower-stadard of education.  Programs have and continue to be at risk of being eliminated.

The formation of the Hanalei School Foundations (HSF) is a worthy and necessary effort to protect the educational foundation of the community.  Please join our effort to create an ongoing financial pillar which will support the local community for many years to come.

The foundation will be funded by corporate donors and establish community members; the capital will be protected (principal) in an interest-bearing account.  Each year the interest-income will help support the mission to maintain, promote and foster the developments of Hanalei Elementary School, encouraging innovative school programs and projects.

The Hanalei School Foundation was established to receive funds to be used to enrich educational programs at Hanalei School. The Foundation will promote traditional-Hawaiian concepts of respect, sustainability, and the interconnectedness of the land and people. 

The Hanalei School Foundation was established to receive funds to be used to enrich educational programs at Hanalei School. The Foundation will promote traditional-Hawaiian concepts of respect, sustainability, and the interconnectedness of the land and people. 


The Hanalei School Foundation has been structured to be a 501-c3 non-profit organization, and the funds will be overseen by well-respected community members with ties to the school.  This Board will consist of five individuals; the founding three Board Members are:


              Nick Beck was born in Koloa, Kauai where his father was a plantation Doctor. Nick attended Punahou School, Lawrenceville School and graduated from the University of Southern California with a BA in Economics.  He received his M.Ed. from the University of Hawaii. Nick has taught overseas in New Zealand and also served as an administrator in all level of education, elementary through college. Nick was the Principal of Hanalei Elementary for many years prior to early retirement in 1998.

               Nick has been working closely with our North Shore communities since the early 60’s. He has served as President of the Hanalei Community Association, Chairperson of the North Shore Improvements Committee, President of the Kilauea Point Natural History Association and was one of the founders and coached the Hanalei Hawaiian Civic Canoe Club.

               He was a director of the national Quality Schools Consortium, a consultant and accreditation evaluator for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and served as the western regional director for the Christian Educators Association, International. Nick also assisted in the development of the Active Teaching and Active Parenting programs in both Hawaii and California.

               Nick currently assists part time with the Partners in Development-Hui Ho’omalu  Foster Care Project. Nick has two sons and two daughters who have attended Hanalei School as well as six grandchildren, four who have also attended Hanalei Elementary School and two at Kilauea School.


                Justin Chew was born and raised in Marblehead Massachusetts. He graduated from Lawrence Academy and later earned a BA in Spanish and International Relations from the University of San Diego. Justin is a USCG certified Boat Captain and conducted educational Eco-Tours along the NaPali Coast. Justin has also served as a Spanish teacher at the University level and completed studies at The University of The Basque Country, San Sebastian Spain, as well as The University of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. He is now an active parent of three boys, one of whom is a Hanalei School Alumni and two currently enrolled students.


                Karin Carswell-Guest was 6th generation descendant from the Wilcox family and born and raised on Kauai. Karin graduated from Hawaii Preparatory Academy and earned a Business Degree from the University of Denver, where she played collegiate soccer. Upon completing her education, Karin moved back to Kauai to take over the family business, The Princeville Ranch. In 2011 she expanded the business with Eco-adventures including zip lining, horseback riding, off road ATV adventures, hiking, and biking, all operated on a working cattle ranch.

Karin is also the secretary/treasurer for the Kauai Cattlemen's Association and is actively involved in the statewide association, Hawaii Cattlemen's Council.  Karin is married with three children, two Hanalei School Alumni and one currently enrolled student 


Matt Hall was born in Oahu and grew up with his brother and 26 cousins.  Matt graduated from Punahou School, and later earned a Psychology degree from Whitman College, and a JD from the Washington College of Law.  He is a member of the Hawaii State Bar Association, worked as a Deputy Public Defender, as well as in private practice. His private practice has focused on public interest law with an emphasis on labor, early childhood education, and the non-profit sector.  Matt’s family moved from Oahu to Kauai in 2007 where he has become involved with numerous community organizations and initiatives.  He is married to a lovely wife and has three boys.

Hanalei School Foundation operates with the understanding that education is essential to our prosperity as a community.  Adhering to these values helps ensure future generations produce a symbiotic relationship between economic prosperity and environmental stewardship.

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