The Hawai‘i State Board of Education today approved the Department’s recommendation to appoint three assistant superintendents to lead the state offices overseeing talent management, student support services, and curriculum and instructional design.
The appointments, who have been serving in their respective roles in an interim capacity for between six months and two years, are: Sean Bacon to lead the Office of Talent Management, Annie Kalama to lead the Office of Student Support Services, and Dr. Teri Ushijima to lead the Office of Curriculum and Instructional Design.
“I have had the pleasure and privilege of working alongside each of them in various capacities and their commitment to the Department and to improving our Hawaii public education system is unquestionable,” Superintendent Keith Hayashi said. “These Department leaders have proven their capabilities of their respective roles by effectively implementing Department initiatives, utilizing resources to meet the needs of the schools, complex areas, and state offices, and keeping abreast of the developments in the field of education nationally and internationally."
Sean Bacon was named assistant superintendent of the Office of Talent Management (OTM) where he will be responsible for leading, directing, and supervising the Department’s human resource functions. In this role, he will be advancing the recruitment, development and retention efforts for the Department's workforce of 22,000 full-time employees and 20,000 substitute teachers and casual employees.
Bacon has been serving in the role since May 2021. He brings with him 11 years of experience within the Office of Talent Management, serving previously as the office’s executive assistant where he worked closely with the then-assistant superintendent to provide support in direction, leadership and management. Before that he served as a personnel specialist within the Department for six years. He also has school-level experience having previously served as principal of Honaunau Elementary, vice principal of Kealakehe Intermediate, and a counselor and fifth-grade teacher at Kealakehe Elementary.
He holds a Master of Education in school counseling from the University of Southern Mississippi and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Aquinas College.
Annie Kalama was named assistant superintendent for the Office of Student Support Services (OSSS) where she will be responsible for monitoring and overseeing the student academic, social, emotional, and behavioral supports and services implemented by the Department. In this role, she will advance the Department’s efforts to address student needs through a comprehensive multi-tiered system of support to facilitate student achievement, addressing learning loss through instructional strategies and supports, and increasing access to programs, services, and supports to ensure equitable access to supports and services.
Kalama has been serving in the role since May 2022. She has been advocating for students with special needs for over 35 years, most recently serving as director of the Department’s Exceptional Support Branch. In this role within the Office of Student Support Services, she worked to support schools and complex areas with policies, procedures, guidelines, tools and professional development to ensure students with disabilities have access to and the opportunity to succeed in engaging learning environments. She has also served as an educational specialist in the Department’s Special Education Branch and as an autism educational specialist for the Windward District.
She holds a master’s degree in educational administration and a bachelor’s in elementary education/special education from New Mexico State University.
Dr. Teri Ushijima
Dr. Teri Ushijima was named assistant superintendent for the Office of Curriculum and Instructional Design (OCID) where she will be responsible for monitoring and overseeing the curricula and instructional strategies adopted by the Department. In this role, she will advance the Department’s efforts to address learning loss through instructional strategies, increasing access to instructional programs and supports, further developing digital learning opportunities and exploring new methods of teaching and learning to best meet student needs.
Dr. Ushijima has been serving in the role since November 2020. She brings with her over 30 years of school, complex area and state leadership experience. Dr. Ushijima previously served as the director of the Assessment and Accountability Branch where she was responsible for the development and implementation of the Department’s statewide summative assessments and the associated accountability systems. Prior to her role as director, she served as executive director of the Leadership Institute, Aiea-Moanalua-Radford complex area superintendent, principal of Mokulele Elementary and vice principal of Moanalua High. She is a National Milken Educator Award recipient and also taught at Mililani Mauka, Mokulele, Leihōkū and Honowai Elementary schools.
Ushijima holds a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Southern California. She also earned two master's degrees – in library and information science in school librarianship and in curriculum and instruction — as well as a bachelorʻs degree in elementary education from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.
For more details, see the Board’s respective agenda items: Bacon, Kalama, Ushijima.