Celestine Mokihana Maldonado, known by her Hawaiian name Mokihana, holds a masters degree in education from Chaminade University. She is co-founder of Hoʻokili Academy, a private K-12 project-based school.
Mokihana is a firm believer in early childhood education with the goal that each child will be able to manifest his or her dreams and goals. She has taught for more than twelve years in California and Hawaii. Mokihana has honed the skills of strategic planning, entrepreneurship, fundraising, networking, leadership development and recruitment as part of her career path. Her focus in education has been project-based learning, inspired by the philosophies of Maria Montessori, Reggio Emilia, and the founders of High Tech High. At the Hoʻokili Academy, where teaching will be done “from the heart,” Mokihana aspires to help young people flourish in a collaborative environment.
She is passionate about promoting the global-peace mission of the United Nations. She serves as a board member for United Nations Associations-Hawaii (UNA-HI), a non-profit dedicated to promoting the principles and vital work of the United Nations. UNA-HIʻs mission is uniting the world with aloha.
Among other organizations, Mokihana serves as a member of the Organization of Women Leaders (OWL). She is completing the Hogan entrepreneurship program at Chaminade University, and she will also complete her doctorate in Global Executive Doctor of Education at the University of Southern California (USC).
To improve her public speaking skills and confidence, her mentor, Dr.Dorothy Douthit, suggested that she enter the pageant for Ms.Hawaii America. Mokihana placed first in the pageant and was crowned Ms.Hawaii on April 9, 2017 at Blaisdell Center (Pikake Room).