ULS Governing Board Members

Denise Yoshimori-Yamamoto, Chair

Dr. Yoshimori-Yamamoto is the Director of Community Colleges Facilities and Environmental Health.  She holds both a Doctorate and Bachelor degree in Architecture from the University of Hawai‘i, School of Architecture and is a licensed architect in the state of Hawai‘i and Nevada.  She is a member of NCARB (National Council of Architectural Registration Boards) and is LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified.   Denise has a child enrolled in the University Laboratory School.

Everett Ohta, Vice-Chair

Mr. Ohta joined the ULS Governing Board in 2016.  A 2001 graduate of the Lab School, Everett holds Bachelor’s degrees from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa in Global Environmental Science and Economics and holds a Juris Doctor from the William S. Richardson School of Law at UH Mānoa, with a certificate in environmental law.  He is an attorney for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs and works as its Assistant Senior Legal Counsel.  Everett previously served on the boards of the ULS Foundation and the ULS Alumni Committee, as well as the William S. Richardson School of Law Alumni Association, serving as its President.

Edward Aquino, Secretary

Mr. Aquino is a 1992 graduate of the University Laboratory School and previously served as a board member and president for the University Laboratory School Alumni Association. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in English and Political Science and a Juris Doctor from Northeastern University School of Law. For almost 20 years, Edward has been employed as deputy for the State of Hawaii – Office of the Public Defender where he currently serves as a senior felony trial attorney.

Tina Keane, Treasurer

Ms. Keane joined the ULS Governing Board in 2019. With over twenty years of experience as a Finance professional, Tina currently is the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Lili’uokalani Trust. Prior to that, her experience included 16 years of investment experience at Kamehameha Schools, a $15 billion endowment. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of California, San Diego and a Master of Business Administration from Chaminade University. Tina is a parent of two sons, one is a ULS graduate and one is currently enrolled at ULS.

Saori Doi

Dr. Saori Doi is Department Chair of International Programs at the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa (UHM) Outreach College. She has been involved in international education since 2001 on UHM campus. Among a portfolio of non-credit English as a Second Language (ESL) and Japanese conversation programs/courses in her unit, its flagship ESL program is accredited by the Commission on English Language Program Accreditation (CEA).  She is a trained volunteer CEA reviewer.  Her daughter is enrolled in ULS.

Aron Dote

Mr. Dote is a 1996 University Laboratory School graduate who attended the University of Oregon and received his bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. He has spent the last two decades working in the private industries of telecommunications, local news and broadcast media, and the non-profit sectors. Aron is the Strategic Communications Manager at Kamehameha Schools, overseeing the marketing, communication, and public relations for the trust’s $4.8 billion commercial real estate portfolio.

Melvina Nakao

Mrs. Nakao brings a diverse skill set gathered through 43 years of employment with Hawai‘i National Bank, where her duties ranged from planning and conducting training for employees, branch support, and customer servicing, to the planning and facilitating of various events, including the bank’s ABA “Teach Children to Save” program to public elementary school students,  as well as coordinating events like the bank’s Chinese New Year event giving educational presentations to public and private schools. She is currently the Branch Manager of their Kailua Branch. Melvina served for four years on the ULS Alumni Association Board, helping to plan the annual alumni events and fundraisers. Melvina’s eldest granddaughter, is also an alumnus of the University Laboratory School, class of 2010 having attended since kindergarten.  Melvina herself is a 1969 graduate of the Lab School having attended since age 4, then known as University High School.

Preet Nijjar

Mrs. Nijjar served as past treasurer for the ULS Governing Board and is currently the Director of Finance & Operations for Make-A-Wish Foundation of Hawaii. She received her MBA from Newport University, CA with honors. For the last 17 years she has worked in finance starting from accounting assistant to accounting manager, business manager and CFO. Preet is also a member of Executive Women International (EWI) association which helps women achieve new highs in professional development and make new contacts in different industries.  She is a proud parent of two ULS graduates.

Travis Palmeira

Mr. Palmeira joined the University Laboratory School Governing Board in 2019.  He is currently a Personnel Program Officer for the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Human Resources Development.  His son is a current elementary student at the University Laboratory School.

Ishita Shah

Mrs. Shah joined the ULS Governing Board in 2021. Ishita is a Certified Public Accountant and Certified Information Systems Auditor with over thirteen years of experience in internal audit and public accounting. She spent the last decade at the financial institution as an audit manager, prior to that, she was with a CPA firm providing auditing and assurance services to public and privately‐held companies, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations. Ishita is also active in the community and serves on Lotus Hawaii, a cultural organization, and ISACA Hawaii Chapter, the professional association focused on IT.

Miki Tomita

Dr. Tomita is the founder and CEO of Education Incubator, a Hawaiʻi-based non-profit focusing on social impact innovation and entrepreneurship programs for youth and professional development for educators.  She has over 20 years of experience in education as a teacher, researcher, curriculum developer, administrator, and academic, with much of her career spent at University Laboratory School.  Dr. Tomita holds a BSE in Biosystems Engineering from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, and a PhD in Curriculum Studies and Teacher Education from Stanford University.

Karyn Yoshioka

Ms. Yoshioka is currently the Payroll Supervisor for the University of Hawai‘i System.  In the past, she has served as the Fiscal Officer at CRDG and also served as a Personnel Officer for the John A Burns School of Medicine.  Based on her 27 years of experience with the University, Karyn brings to the ULS Board a great understanding of the uniqueness of the Lab School as well as its relationship to the University of Hawai‘i.  Karyn graduated with a Bachelors’ in Personnel Administration and a Masters’ in Public Administration.  She has served as a parent representative for the University Laboratory Local School Board and has served as the past Treasurer.  Karyn is a parent of 2 University Laboratory School graduates.