Kapono Ciotti

Executive Director, What School Could Be -- Lead Learner, Professional Development Facilitator, Coach

English, Wolof
Kaneohe, Hawaii

Kapono Ciotti attributes his educational philosophy to his own schooling experience in a progressive, social-constructivist school during his early years in Honolulu, Hawaii. He taught in Honolulu, Hawaii, and Dakar, Senegal, for over a decade before moving into school leadership. Kapono has led schools in the United States and Egypt, where he put into practice the philosophy of "students making the world a better place," shifting school culture to impact-based education practice. His strong belief in education being an act of social justice drives his work.

Kapono has worked internationally in educational change organizations, leading the work of Deeper Learning and place and culture-based pedagogy, and he is currently the Executive Director for What School Could Be. In these roles, he has trained teachers in over 100 schools and school districts over four continents, impacting hundreds of thousands of students. In addition, Kapono spent 15 years as National Faculty for the National Association of Independent Schools in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice, facilitating national and international learning experiences. As a curriculum writer, he has authored multiple curricula for federal and non-profit programs. His work has significantly contributed to the organizations What School Could Be, The Buck Institute, EdLeader21, The Pacific American Foundation, and many others.

Kapono holds a Ph.D. in International Education Leadership from Northcentral University, a Masters degree in Social Change and Development from the University of Newcastle, and a Bachelors of Language and Culture from the Evergreen State College. He currently lives between Hawaii, Cairo, Egypt, and Dakar Senegal.

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