Born and raised in British Guiana (now Guyana), Tekakwitha M. Pernambuco-Wise graduated from Brown University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy and Mathematics, having completed her junior year abroad at The University of Sussex. Whilst at Brown, she spent summers teaching in Mexico, NY and on a Navajo Indian Reservation in AZ. She taught mathematics at The Agnes Irwin School and whilst there, studied at the graduate education department at the University of Pennsylvania. She earned her Master’s in Educational Philosophy from The University of Toronto and her Doctorate from St. Mary’s College of California with her dissertation concentration on the experience of female heads of NAIS schools. In 2018, she earned a Klingenstein Fellowship for Heads of Schools at Columbia University. Dr. Pernambuco-Wise has led Full-Service Schools in FL, ran the residential life program at Mid-Pacific Institute and was an Upper School Head and Middle School Head at two schools in the San Francisco Bay area before becoming the Head of Sea Crest School in Half Moon Bay (CA) in 2013.
Dr. Pernambuco-Wise has presented at numerous national and international conferences on topics such as online/blended learning, leadership, governance, boarding school life, school transformation and full-service schools. She is a faculty member of NAIS’ Fellowship for Aspiring Heads, ISM’s Summer Institute and THN’s Women in Leadership Seminar. She serves on the Boards of NAIS, THN and two private/independent schools. She holds a third-degree black belt in Judo and was an international competitor and national champion for Guyana. During her years in Hawai`i, she danced hula, including competing in the highly selective Merrie Monarch Festival.