HSSO Board of Directors

Thomas Millard, LL.M. – President


Thom Millard is a 28 year veteran of the U.S. Navy and U.S. Naval Reserves, retiring as a Captain in 2010.  He has worked in the aerospace and defense industry for the past 20 years, and is current a project manager for information technology initiatives in support of the U.S. Pacific Command in Hawaii.  Thom holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree from the U.S. Naval Academy, and Juris Doctorate and Master of Law degrees from the University of San Diego, and is a certified Project Management Professional.  Other non-profit organizations that Thom supports include the Hawaii Pacific Export Council, where he serves as a member of the Executive Committee and is HPEC’s treasurer, and the University of San Diego Alumni Association Honolulu Torero Club, for which he is the president.  He and his wife are avid golfers.  Thom became a member of the HSSO Board in 2014 and has previously served as HSSO’s treasurer.

Cory Chagami – Secretary/Treasurer


Coy Chagami works for Maui Varieties Limited, parent company of HouseMart Ace Hardware and HouseMart Ben Franklin Crafts stores where he has held various positions including IT Director, Chief Operating Officer and Special Projects Manager. His two daughters’ school and activities keep him busy and exhausted. If there is any time left over, Cory enjoys watching baseball, keeping his aquaponic system alive and playing golf. 

Jane Ferreira – Executive Director


Jane is a strong team-building professional with a legacy of working with Hawaii Non-Profits. She retired from Hewlett-Packard in 2009, and is currently Executive Director of the Honolulu Navy League, supporting and celebrating the military, their families, Sea Cadets, JROTC and other youth leadership programs.  Jane also volunteers with the AFCEA Hawaii Educational Foundation, the US Marine Corp Wounded Warrior Detachment Hawaii, the High School Cyber Patriot Competition, Waipahu High School Academy of Engineering, and is on the Board of the Honolulu Sunset Rotary.  Jane has been on the HSSO board since 2011.

Tyson Kikagawa – State Director, C Division (High School)


I have been teaching physics at Mililani High School since 2008 and I am also an advisor for the FIRST Robotics team, Science Club, and Relay For Life of Mililani High School. I am a graduate of Mililani High School and attended the University of Hawaii-Manoa where I received my Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and Master’s degree in Teaching. 

Kina Knisley – State Director, B Division (Middle School)


After growing up in Washington State, Kina earned her teaching degree in Tennessee.  She then set off for a European Adventure, teaching and living in Heidelberg, Germany while supporting the military families for 13 years. She made Hawaii home 3 years ago, living the Aloha while trying to give back to the island through beach cleanups and volunteering in the community. 

 Kina decided to homeschool her daughter when they arrived on the island.  She is very active in the homeschool community planning events and activities as well as teaching robotics, engineering, and science classes. 

She joined the Science Olympiad team soon after arriving on the island after learning of the need for coach in the homeschool community. She attended the summer institute and that was all it took, she was hooked!  

In addition to coaching Science Olympiad she also coaches JrFLL, FLL, and FTC teams.   Kina is looking forward to networking with all of you and helping you make your Science Olympiad season a fun and successful one! 


Kim Strong– State Director, A Division (Elementary Science Olympiad)


My teaching career began 29 years ago in Atlanta, Georgia where I taught 1st and 2nd grade for 12 years before moving to Hawaii in 1999.  My science teaching career really began at Le Jardin Academy in Kailua.  I was hired to teach science and math to kindergarteners.  I honestly never cared for science as a kid and was completely soured by a high school chemistry teacher who made her students feel incredibly inept.  When hired to teach science to kindergarteners I decided to take this opportunity to show kids that science is fun and making mistakes is alright.  I continued with this same philosophy as I began teaching middle school science.  

I became a board member of Hawaii State Science Olympiad about 10 years ago with the hopes of beginning an Elementary Science Olympiad program for the state of Hawaii.  I am thrilled that we are now able to provide students in grades 3 – 6 with the opportunity to participate in Science Olympiad.  We had our first Elementary tournament in 2014 on Oahu and Maui with a total of 10 teams participating.  We have now expanded to Kauai and Molokai and have a combined total of about 35 teams.  

I currently teach 7th and 8th grade science and high school Forensic Science at La Pietra Hawaii School for Girls and am a proud coach of the only all-girl middle and high school Science Olympiad teams.  My favorite part of teaching is watching the girls at La Pietra take on a challenge without fear of “being wrong”, working hard and then feeling successful.  The students at La Pietra and my involvement with Science Olympiad are the reasons why I still love teaching after 29 years.

Roger Kwok – Director

Roger Kwok is a physics and chemistry professor at the University of Hawai‘i Leeward CC.  Roger has served on the HSSO board for 8 years and helps coordinate judges for regional and statewide tournaments.



HSSO Regional Directors

Flaviana Ancheta – Maui Regional Director (B & C Divisions)



Kelli Ching – UH Mano Regional Director


Ryan Girard – Kauai Regional Director


Ryan Girard has been teaching Math at the community college level since 2004.  He began at Front Range Community College in Colorado where he taught mathematics and meteorology courses.  He moved to Leeward Community College in 2009 and currently teaches at Kauai Community College. Ryan began serving as the Kauai regional director for Science Olympaid in 2012.  Ryan earned an M.S degree in Applied Mathematics from the University of Colorado as well as a B.S in Mathematics and another in Meteorology from the University of Massachusetts.

Heidi Jenkins – Molokai ESO Regional Director

Helmut Kae, Ph.D. – Leeward Regional Co-Director


Helmut Kae has been a professor of microbiology and general biology at Leeward Community College since 2008.  One of his primary interests is bringing science to the community. He is involved in the Oahu State science fairs, as both a mentor to high school and middle school students, as well as a judge. He is part of a group that organizes the Leeward CC Discovery Fair, an annual family fun fair that focuses on hands-on learning experiences for kids both young and old.

David Krupp – Windward Regional Director


Dave Krupp is a proffesor at the University of Hawai‘i Windward CC and is extremely active in the STEM community on the Windward side of Oahu and through the State of Hawai‘i.  He sits on several community boards and was instrumental in bringing Science Olympiad to the students and teachers of Windward Oahu.  Dave has served at Windward Regional Director for 3 years.

Lenna Miller – Maui ESO Regional Director


Hoʻoululāhui Erika Perry – Hawai’i Island Regional Director


Hoʻoululāhui Erika Perry is a Hilo native, she
has been working in environmental education and STEM outreach for K – 20
audiences at UH Hilo since 2002. As part of the PIPES Office at UH Hilo, this
will be the third year Mrs. Perry will be the Hawaiʻi Island Regional Science
Olympiad Director. A focus for this year’s regional event is to increase the
number of middle and high school teams participating. For more information on
the Hawaiʻi Island’s regional tournament, contact PIPES at

I-Chia Shih, PhD – Leeward Regional Co-Director


When she was little, I-Chia had been following ants around in the garden or reading books with photos of baby animals. As she was growing up, she found out that her interests were more focused in the biological sciences. Years later, I-Chia received her doctoral degree in Biomedical Sciences (Biochemistry) from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Prior to teaching at Leeward CC, she had worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) where she learned to work with human kidney cells.

She currently teaches Human Anatomy and Physiology at Leeward Community College. Her goal of teaching is to inspire her students to enjoy learning about the human body. During her free time, she enjoys visiting the Bishop museum with her family.


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Hawaii State Science Olympiad (HSSO) can be reached by complete the form to the left or emailing us at

If you believe you have a general question please visit out frequently asked questions FAQ page.

Mailing Address:
Hawai’i State Science Olympiad
4725 Bougainville Drive, Suite 203
Honolulu, HI  96818