Brenda Palumbo spent many years away from home. Born and raised on Oahu, she lived in Detroit, Michigan for 18 years, which she says, “couldn’t be more different from Hawaii if it tried!”
Palumbo found herself missing Hawaii. When her son entered his last year of college, she decided it was time to move back. Her best friend, who lives and teaches on Lanai, offered to share her home and Palumbo gladly accepted.
Settling in to life on Lanai this summer felt just like returning home. “Aloha is found in the spirit of the people,” she said. “I feel very welcomed by the LHES teachers and staff and can’t wait to meet more of the community.
Teaching English language learners
At LHES, Palumbo teaches English language learners of various ages, ranging from 6th through 12th grades. “I hope my students will excel in the classes and be able to exit the program confident in their English proficiency,” she said.
Her background is in speech therapy. She graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa with a degree in speech and taught language arts at Leilehua High School for many years before moving to the mainland.
Though Palumbo has only been on Lanai for a few weeks, she has had fun getting to know the island and her colleagues.
“The most rewarding thing so far has been the cooperative atmosphere I’ve encountered here at LHES,” she said. “As my time with the students increases, the reward will be seeing their confidence develop as their abilities broaden. We have such a great student body here; they are a joy to work with.”
While she loves her new position, Palumbo admits it can be hard to be away from her family. She enjoys keeping busy by going to the beach and taking day trips to Maui. “I have a lot to explore and learn.”