The Hawaii Elementary and Middle Schools Administrators Association (HEMSAA) named Principal Bruce Naguwa from Kapolei Middle School as the 2016 National Distinguished Principal. Naguwa will join the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) of 2016 later this year in Washington, D.C.
Naguwa was selected out of seven distinguished nominees statewide who have all demonstrated outstanding leadership in advancing their schools’ performance and raising student achievement.
“It’s wonderful to come together to celebrate these educational leaders. There are so many great things happening in our schools and it’s because of the strong leadership provided by our principals,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “All of the nominees have shown what can be done through innovation and teamwork. Our congratulations go out to all of those recognized today, especially Principal Naguwa for his success at Kapolei Middle.”
The other National Distinguished Principal (NDP) nominees for this year are Ernest Muh, Helemano Elementary; Michelle Payne-Arakaki, Pahoa Elementary; Linell Dilwith, Stevenson Middle; Debra Badua, Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle; Steve Franz, King Kamehameha III Elementary; and Alma Souza, Heeia Elementary. Anthony Gayer from Aina Haina Elementary was recognized as the 2016 Outstanding Assistant Principal.
Two years ago, Kapolei Middle School had a Strive HI index score of 95 points placing them at the bottom of middle level schools for the state. Last school year, under Principal Naguwa’s leadership, the school’s Strive HI index score climbed to 254 points placing them in the upper 25 percent of middle level schools.
In her introduction of Naguwa, Complex Area Superintendent Heidi Armstrong stated, “He is in the classrooms daily, he is visible on campus, he is always evaluating the effectiveness of programs and initiatives and works alongside the teachers, staff and students to support effective teaching and learning. Principal Naguwa doesn’t say 'Go,' he says 'Let’s go,' and what a difference that has made.”
Naguwa is the first Principal to win the NDP award twice by HEMSAA. He previously was an NDP of an elementary school in 2005, and is now the NDP for a middle school. He has been the Principal of Kapolei Middle School since July 2012.
Today’s 2016 NDP awards took place at the Hale Koa Hotel and was sponsored by Oceanic Time Warner Cable, Hawaii USA Federal Credit Union and VALIC.
The Hawaii Elementary and Middle Schools Administrators Association is the local chapter of the National Association of Elementary School Principals. The purpose of HEMSAA is to facilitate positive educational leadership and serve as a voice for elementary, middle-level principals and other members. For more information, visit http://www.naesp.org/hawaii.