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

Aloha mai kākou!

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 currently is at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa College of Education, where she is pursuing 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.