My name is Jackie Lee. I was born in South Carolina, but my first memories were of Okinawa, Japan, where I lived until nearly the age of five. It was there in Okinawa that I developed my love for the tropics and island life. For most of my childhood on I grew up in the rural, agricultural, small town of Hidden Valley, in Northern California. My mother was a Registered Nurse until she was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was 6, after that she became the most wonderful stay at home mom I could ask for. My father worked in the area as a Podiatrist (foot doctor), while my brother, who is nearly 9 years older, currently lives Wyoming with his wife and kids. I grew up visiting various Hawaiian islands as a teen when my dad would attend his continuing medical education conferences. I dreamed of one day living in Hawaii, as did my parents, who planned on retiring on the Big Island.
My mother's breast cancer returned when I was sixteen and lost the battle just a month short of my 20th birthday. I was homeschooled for most of my high school years with my mom serving as my instructor, then enrolled in a local junior college. I transferred to the University of California Berkeley graduating in 2014 with my BA in English. While at Berkeley, I took a semester off to figure out why I was going to school, as well as to find the motivation to finish my degree. I had always suspected I would enjoy teaching but knew I needed to get my hands dirty in a classroom to know for sure. So I took a student missionary position working as a volunteer teacher at Kahili Adventist School on Kauai. It was during that time living in Kauai when I knew God was calling me to serve Him on the Hawaiian islands and gave me a passion for teaching. Feel free to ask me about God’s providential leading, which made the position of educating possible. It was not long after I returned from Kauai that my father passed away from a heart attack. I think it was more of a broken heart because he just could not live without my mom, for they were truly soul mates. I believe God waited to give me the call to teach when I needed it most. He knew I would need direction, purpose after losing my parents, who were two of my very best friends. We serve an awesome God.
After finishing up at Berkeley I went on to earn my California teaching credential and Masters of Education at Pacific Union College. I worked for a few years as a teacher in the area surrounding PUC, all the while dreaming of the day when I would be able to move back “home” to Hawaii. Last year God paved the way for me to serve at Hawaiian Mission Academy Maui, I could not be more thrilled with this gem of a school. I have been very blessed to teach grades 4th to 8th, and kindergarten here at MAS.
I am a member of the Kahului Seventh-day Adventist Church, Sierra Club, Hawaiian Association of Independent Schools, UC Berkeley Alumni Association, Association of Teachers of Social Studies/UFT, and National Council of Teachers of English.
School should be a place where learning becomes a lifelong passion, where resiliency and curiosity are fostered, and practical life skills are imparted.
Snorkeling, hiking, bodyboarding, paddleboarding, kayaking, photography, gardening, singing, traveling and good Christian fellowship.