Profile picture: Whitney sitting on large boulders of Hilo Breakwall.

Aloha mai kākou!

Dr. Whitney Aragaki (she/they) is an educator, parent, and learner from Hilo, Hawaiʻi.  She supports students to learn through a lens of abundance that honors place, people and cultures. Her teaching focuses around conversations, practices and systems that sustain the intimate inter-relationship of public education, community and environment. 

Aragaki is a fifth-generation Hawaiʻi Island resident of Japanese ancestry. She is the daughter of two educators, and was a student in her mother’s biology class. She currently serves as a high school science teacher. Her two children also thrive in this supportive public-school ecosystem. 

Aragaki has a Bachelor of Arts in biology from Swarthmore College, and a Master of Science in Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science from the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo. She recently earned a Doctor of Philosophy with a focus in curriculum and instruction. 

Aragaki is the 2022 Hawaiʻi State Teacher of the Year and National Teacher of the Year Finalist. She is a National Board Certified Teacher in Adolescence and Young Adulthood Mathematics, and a two-time state finalist for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. In 2023, she was named to the inaugural class of Obama Foundation Leaders USA.