My name is Chris Okumoto (pictured here with my lovely wife Jenelyn - and yes, she really is a queen!), and I am the founder of and lead SAT instructor at Achieve Excellence Hawaii. I was born and raised in Honolulu, but I've also lived a few years on the mainland (in Colorado and southern California) for part of my undergraduate and graduate programs.
I have been teaching SAT preparation classes since February 2009, when a company called Test Success Hawaii gave me my first opportunity. I quickly learned the basics and soon developed a passion for teaching teens test-taking strategies and inspiring them to do their very best. I had the opportunity to teach two- or six-week classes at Campbell High School, Maryknoll School, McKinley High School, Moanalua High School, Radford High School, Roosevelt High School, and Sacred Hearts Academy. To see how some of these students did, please click here.
Then, in February 2010, I was hired as the Private Tutoring Coordinator at a company named Tutor Hawaii. I oversaw the individual tutoring department, and even did all of the SAT tutoring myself. It was there that I learned more about the business side of a tutoring company and gained many other valuable insights. I also spent a lot of time researching SAT materials and practicing as much as I could in order to be the best tutor possible. (In fact, I took five full-length practice SATs during that period, each time employing the strategies I had learned with better and better effects. The results: My first test was an 1860, followed by a 1960, then a 2120, then a 2130, and finally a 2360 on my last one. The lesson: Knowing strategies and practicing really do work!)
In the summer of 2011, I was offered a new role: to become a full-time teacher at a private school called American Renaissance Academy in Kapolei, HI. I taught SAT preparation and study skills courses to 9th-12th graders (as well as upper school science classes).
I thought you kids were working on a group project!
And to claim the quote by Heraticlus, "The only thing that is constant is change," I will now begin a new chapter in my life! As Achieve Excellence Hawaii's business has grown, it has become too difficult to teach both full-time at ARA and part-time at AEH. Instead, starting this fall, I will be teaching part-time at New Hope Christian College (English Composition) and will be focusing even more time and energy on the wonderful students of Achieve Excellence Hawaii and on improving our curriculum, services, and reach. (I love our students!)
I've also taught full-time at Christian Academy (middle school science and high school math) and part-time at Aiea High School (math and other subjects) and at a number of community schools for adults (English as a Second Language, Competency Based High School Diploma Program, and GED preparation), have been a private tutor for over a decade, have also been a pastor (God is awesome!), and have had many other interesting (and embarrassing) experiences, which I'll occasionally tell stories about.
I truly enjoy working with students, building a rapport with them, and providing a fun and enjoyable class environment while providing as much knowledge and information as I can. In my spare time, you might find me spending time with my wife and our sooooooooooooo cute two-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Charis (who will one day take over the business if she doesn't become a doctor or POTUS*), going to church at New Hope Leeward, and doing outdoor activities like playing softball and volleyball or fishing. (OK, I haven't had time for these activities in a while - but I like to believe I am still pretty good!)
Please contact us if you need any help with SAT prep or if you simply have any questions.
*POTUS = President of the United States