At one point in her life, Chaminade University alumna Dr. Lorna M. Gomes ’05 thought her future belonged in the financial industry. Accordingly, the Sacred Hearts Academy graduate earned a bachelor’s degree in business management and launched a banking career. But something was missing.

“I had always wanted to teach,” Gomes said, “so I decided to return to college to pursue this dream. The Chaminade program was convenient to my lifestyle because classes were online and in the evening.”

Lorna GomesWhile earning her master’s degree in Early Childhood Education, Gomes served as a student teacher at Lanikai Elementary Public Charter School – now called Kaʻōhao School – in Kailua. Today she teaches language arts, mathematics and social studies to fourth graders at Kaʻōhao, where she also worked as a curriculum coach and media coordinator.

This dedication to helping students succeed prompted School Director Ed Noh to recognize Gomes as an “outstanding teacher.”

“Dr. Noh consistently includes me in school-wide decisions,” Gomes said, “and I am currently a grade-level chair as well as a mentor to a University of Hawaii student teacher. I have been on numerous hiring committees and the strategic planning committee. This is my 14th year here.”

At the encouragement of a previous school director, Gomes earned a doctorate in Education Leadership in 2014 from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Her dissertation focused on “helping reluctant readers become better readers.”

Reflecting on her time at Chaminade, Gomes said the Division of Education program “allowed me to feel successful in pursuing my master’s degree, and I did make some nice friendships that I still maintain today.”

“The collegial atmosphere with small classes were definitely highlights,” Gomes said, adding that she was especially influenced by Dr. Margaret Mize’s children’s literature class.

“I just would like to encourage anyone considering a higher education degree to give Chaminade a look,” Gomes said, “because it is a fine institution with excellent professors!”


Chaminade University’s Master of Arts in Teaching program is part of the Division of Education, and offers state-approved licensure in early childhood education, elementary education, secondary education and special education.