Shelley grew up in a small town in Colorado and found her way to O’ahu after grad school via Fire Island, NY. She teaches Literature of the Ocean and World Literature at ‘Iolani School and serves as advisor for ‘Iolani’s slam poetry team, working closely with poet-facilitators from Pacific Tongues, a non-profit organization that connects schools throughout Hawai‘i through spoken word. She got involved with PVS in 2012 when Apprentice Navigator Jenna Ishii visited ‘Iolani during Peace Week and motivated Shelley to became part of a network of teachers interested in environmental and cultural education. The story of Hokule‘a captivated Shelley and her students as a symbol of transformation and hope for Hawai‘i and the entire world. She was granted a sabbatical for the 2015-16 school year, during which she volunteered with the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, helping to plan educational outreach and engagements in ports from South Africa to Maine. Through the WWV, Shelley hopes to see a global community formed and strengthened around the values of mālama honua, especially to protect our oceans. She believes that an empowered global community can help to educate and inspire everyone - children and adults - to affect change now.
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