We believe in the unique skills, life experiences, and passions that each of our talented teachers brings versus requiring accredited teaching degrees. All staff members are CPR, Wilderness & Remote First Aid certified, and trained in emergency and extreme weather preparedness.
Bianca Antonio, founder & teacher
"Aloha, my name is Bianca. I was an employee in the public school system for many years. I felt that there was a big hole missing out of the educational value for the keiki in schools. I dreamt to fill that hole and with that dream came the vision of 'āina based learning – images of the forests here on Maui, local regenerative farmers, and knowledge of foraging. Then to my surprise, Pono Outdoor Program evolved. I offer a holistic approach to the child’s specific developmental needs. I teach in a way that will foster resilient, confident, and independent thinkers. I am honored to have your keiki as a part of this program where sovereignty meets the children and they are able to learn and grow to be pono with the ʻāina."
Guri Bigham, manager & teacher
"Aloha, 'o Guri ko'u inoa (my name is Guri). I was born in Norway and come from a multi-lingual and multi-cultural upbringing between France, New Mexico, and Maui. I am passionate about the outdoors, protecting wild places, foraging, sustainable living, zero-waste, rewilding, and herbalism. I studied Hawaiian language/culture at UH and fell in love with indigenous earth-honoring values, humbly learning the great kuleana of living in the Kingdom of Hawai’i. When my son reached “school age” I knew that the system was not for him and after a few attempts at traditional education, we resorted to homeschooling before finding the community and freedom we were looking for with Pono Outdoor Program. I am honored to teach and learn with the Keiki as we all strive for a more pono future for our planet and generations to come."
Morgan Lewis, teacher
"I have always seen myself as a teacher. Discovering Pono Outdoor program has allowed me to teach in a way that resonates with how I believe education should be. After working in public schools I realized traditional schooling was missing crucial knowledge for personal sovereignty. Empowering future generations to take accountability for their health, happiness and prosperity is vital for a sustainable future. As I teacher I value cultivating both awareness of self and awareness of environment. Seeing the land as something that can not only feed us, but heal us is an incredible asset. I teach cultivating inner awareness through yoga, qi gong, meditation and play. Coupling this with survival skills is at the core of our curriculum. I feel so grateful for this opportunity to both learn and teach what I value so deeply."
Ariana Light, teacher
"Aloha! My name is Ariana, aka Ms. Ari. I am both flown and grown on Maui. I moved here when I was 15 and have so much gratitude for what Hawaii has taught me. Originally from Orcas Island, Washington, I was a small island girl who blossomed into the melting pot of Hawaii. Ever since I was a child I have been passionate about music, writing, performing, and hands-on arts. I have years of education in the fields of music, performance, and English writing. I love hand sewing and repurposing clothing and other items. I have always loved exploring the world with children and helping them feed their passions. It is an honor to find such an amazing way to simultaneously nurture the keiki and my interests. Grateful to be invited to bring all my skills forward to share!"
Jeff Wilder, teacher
"Aloha, my name is Jeff. I am originally from Upstate New York and now live on Maui with my wife and two sons. I’m excited to bring my knowledge of building and infrastructure to Pono as well as my passion for art and design. Using the elements and resources from nature, my experience will be incorporated in our shelter building and survivalism. I have always been a free thinker and felt school has lost its core values. Being outdoors and having a deeper connection with the ‘āina is such an amazing opportunity for our keiki. I am so impressed with how the program has transformed my son and look forward to guiding and teaching by being a positive male role model for the kids. My two boys, Hunter and Chase attend Pono full time."
Nāpua Hūʻeu, Hawaiian customs advisor
"I am a graduate of the Punana Leo and Kula Kaiapuni o Maui, Hawaiian language immersion programs. My family is rooted to East Maui and I currently live in Haiku where I homeschool my 8yo son. I am committed to addressing a spectrum of issues plaguing Hawai‘i and its people. In 2016, myself and a group of concerned citizens formed the Hana Highway Regulation which is a civil volunteer initiative that rallies for responsible tourism management and visitor impact mitigation. My passion project is the restoration of Honomanu ahupua‘a which falls under the East Maui Farm, a conglomerate of farms and farmers dedicated to reestablishing East Maui's ability to feed Hawai‘i again, to the extent as it did in the past. I am notably vocal about local issues including homelessness, wild food resource eradication and stream water restoration. I am adamant about teaching the next generation the importance of Hawaiian customs and cultural principles which is why I was pleased to accept the request to serve as a customs and cultural advisor for the Pono Outdoor Program."
Luke Olsen, primitive skills specialist
"I am from the deserts of southern Idaho, raised in a primitive environment by my parents, Larry and Sherrel, the authors of the #1 best selling book “Outdoor Survival Skills” and founders of The Anasazi Foundation and other wilderness therapy programs. I worked at Anasazi and Corps of Discovery at a very young age guiding groups through primitive wilderness expeditions, this gave me the opportunity to witness the inevitable changes in values and perspectives that come with overcoming the challenges of wilderness living. I was a recent contestant on Alone season 10."