About Us

Little Hoku Montessori Academy serves preschool children between the ages of 3 and 6. Our preschool is conveniently located right off Piilani Highway in North Kihei, on the island of Maui in Hawaii. Our classrooms are inside the Kihei Lutheran Church. The preschool is an easy commute for Maui residents of Kihei, Wailea, Kahului, and Wailuku. It is also less than 30 minutes to Paia, Makawao, and Kula.

The facility is equipped with air-conditioning, fire sprinklers, and a 4500 sq. ft. grass gated outdoor area for children to play and enjoy, as well as an outdoor sink for maximum cleanliness. Our Montessori school is licensed for 24 preschool and kindergarten aged students.

Take a few minutes to explore the website to learn more about Little Hoku Montessori Academy and our philosophy.

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Little Hoku’s mission is to provide a safe and fun environment for students to grow to be independent and creative individuals. Our school follows the Montessori philosophy. Little Hoku focuses on activities by directing our students in various Montessori activities to nourish their creativity and academics.

Core Values


Little Hoku Montessori Academy is a program for children ages 3 to 6.

Little Hoku has one classroom with a Lead teacher and a teacher’s aid, which is People Attentive To Children (PATCH) certified. Our program offers Preschool and Kindergarten. We are licensed for 24 students.

Success for Every Child

Montessori works in every setting for the success of each child. It is carefully designed to bring out the best in individuals and connect them with others.

Making a Difference

The Montessori method prepares your child to make a difference in the real world with a strong emotional, social, behavioral, and moral foundation.

Transformative Education

Your child’s education will be hands-on, self-paced, collaborative, and joyful—everything that is needed to create a lifelong learner and doer.

Personalized Teaching

Our teachers do great work because they do it with you and your child. They know how to personalize education for each student while moving all forward.
Blond boy looking at camera with another child and a teacher in background


State of Hawaii Certified

Little Hoku Montessori Academy is certified by the State of Hawaii Department of Human Services (DHS) childcare center.

Montessori Certified Teacher

The lead teacher is Montessori certified.

Safety Certified

All staff members are CPR/AED and first aid certified.


Shadi Naderi, PhD

Founder and Director

Dr. Naderi has earned her PhD degree in Mathematics and has spent the last 11 years in Research. Her passion for education and the undeniable need for preschool in the beautiful Island of Maui have convinced Dr. Naderi to open the Little Hoku Montessori Academy in 2019. She is a state of Hawaii certified program leader in early childhood education.

Ms. Ashli

Lead Teacher

Ms. Ashli was born and raised in the lush hills of West Virginia. She grew up on a farm with her big family, 7 cows, an impressive garden, and several thousand honey bees. In 2007, she earned her BA from Fairmont State University and shortly afterward worked as substitute teacher for grades K-12. She continued to teach Special Education and Exceptional Children for one and half years, until she was invited into a Montessori classroom. After that visit, she made her mind to pursue Montessori Education. She has been reading, researching, and learning so much about Maria Montessori and her approach to children ever since. During the summer of 2015, she began her journey in Montessori Education. Since then, she has worked in a public Montessori school as well as a private for-profit school as an assistant and after school coordinator. She moved to Maui to co-teach with Ms. Eva for two years at MHOK and then moved on to teaching lower elementary and earning her certification during Covid. Ms. Ashli believes that Montessori Philosophy speaks to her by showing children respect and focusing on their developmental needs. She aims to guide and support their inner discipline, strength of character, and academic growth with high expectations. She believes working with the materials in such a special environment with lovely people and sweet kids is one of the greatest gifts!

Ms. Lory

Teacher’s Aid

Ms. Lory’s experience with children goes back to when she had her own small childcare business. Ms. Lory has worked as a teacher’s aid at Hale O Keiki Montessori. In addition to childcare experience, she has worked as a public school health assistant bringing all that knowledge to Little Hoku families. Ms. Lory has been working at Little Hoku since 2019.

Alisa Shtromberg

Director of Marketing

Ms. Shtromberg began her career in the field of science. She earned her B.S in Astrophysics, and a M.S in Physics. After several years of working as an Optics Instrumentation Engineer, in 2010 she made a career leap into digital marketing, specifically web content strategy, design, and development. While her love for science remains, her passion is helping organizations with their web and digital content needs. Ms. Shtromberg joined Dr. Naderi in her venture into education initially as a web designer, only soon to realize her role was far beyond just building the website for Little Hoku. As the Director of Marketing she helps drive the marketing, brand, and PR strategy for Little Hoku. In her spare time, Ms. Shtromberg enjoys spending time with husband and two young boys. She currently resides in Seattle, Washington.

“We must help the child to act for himself, will for himself, think for himself; this is the art of those who aspire to serve the spirit.”

Dr. Maria Montessori

Physics and Educator, Inventor of the Montessori Education Method
These very children reveal to us the most vital need of their development, saying : 'Help me to do it alone!

From Childhood to Adolescence, p. 67

"The child's development follows a path of successive stages of independence, and our knowledge of this must guide us in our behaviour towards him. We have to help the child to act, will and think for himself. This is the art of serving the spirit, an art which can be practised to perfection only when working among children

The Absorbent Mind, p. 257

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