Your Guides

Nalukai Academy's Storycrafting Camp for College Applicants is staffed by a Program Director, Writing Instructors, College Counselors, and College-Aged Team Leaders.


David K. Clarke, Executive Director, Nalukai Academy & Storycrafting Camp Director

With over 25 years of experience in schools as a teacher, coach, academic dean, assistant head of school, and college counselor, David brings a wealth of knowledge to the Storycrafting Camp.  Since beginning as a teacher and college counselor at the Parker School in Waimea, David has helped over a thousand students successfully apply to college, and is well-versed in personal essay writing.  He grew up in Hawai'i and loves to show people what makes the Big Island so spectacular. David is a graduate of Punahou School and the University of Southern California. He earned a Master's degree at Teachers College, Columbia University in Educational Administration.  Before returning to Hawai'i to develop a new semester-away school, he worked as the director of college counseling at The Winsor School in Boston, the director of college counseling and the academic dean at Buckingham, Browne & Nichols School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and a college counselor, and English teacher at the Menlo School in Northern California. 


Rand Kanoa Castro, Expedition Leader & College Counselor

A graduate of Parker School in Waimea, Hawaii, the University of Hawai'i at Manoa in Hawaiian Studies, and a teacher and college counselor at Kanu o ka ʻĀina Public Charter School, Kanoa brings exceptional experience to Nalukai's Storycrafting Camp.  In addition to leading students on cultural expeditions on the Big Island, he has been an instrumental part of a series of community art and culture projects, documented in the film Mele Murals, which is currently making the film festival circuit.

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Mark Ley, Facilitator & Assistant Director of Nalukai Academy Storycrafting Camp

Mark Ley has been an active facilitator for the last 15 years with expertise in traditional training environments and outdoor experiential learning. In addition to facilitation he also helps businesses, artists, and entrepreneurs with marketing and digital branding strategies, and works as a professional photographer. Mark has worked extensively in the human development field as an international program facilitator and experiential education leader. Providing opportunities for people to pursue their aspirations has been the hallmark of Mark’s approach to the numerous projects he has been involved with.  Though he grew up in the town of Waimea on the Big Island, he currently resides in Carlsbad, California with his wife and twelve year old daughter.

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Leslie Bernstein, Assistant Director, Nalukai Academy Storycrafting Camp

Leslie is an educator who is passionate about experiential teaching. Her 25+ years of experience have included teaching various levels of science, student advising, faculty mentoring, developing curriculum, working as a camp counselor, and directing/leading the Middle School Division at The Winsor School in Boston.  She has always focused on guiding young people through self-discovery and finding opportunities to unlock their potential.