The Department recognizes, rewards data champions


Select educators who have demonstrated leadership in data usage toward student and staff success earn $5,000 to bolster their efforts.

​HONOLULU – With more emphasis on the importance of data usage in Hawaii’s public school system, a few educators have emerged as leaders in this increasingly significant area of education. The Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE) has taken notice and is rewarding several educators with $5,000 to continue their efforts.

Cheryl Koito-Casison, formative instruction/data teams lead at the Kaimuki-McKinley-Roosevelt (KMR) Complex Area, focused on providing professional development to build capacity for improving data team systems at schools in the KMR Complex Area. 

Koito-Casison dedicated her time last school year to providing on-site training and support for schools throughout the complex area, providing facilitation, advisory, and constructive feedback.   

“Cheryl is grounded in the knowledge of how a data team should function, how to do analysis, and the power of data teams so that decisions are no longer based on assumptions, but rather on data that directly addresses student needs, curriculum, instruction, and assessment,”said Ruth Silberstein, KMR complex area superintendent. “She shares her knowledge and skills in supporting other educators so that they can carry out their responsibilities in an effective manner.”​

Koito-Casison will use the award to improve school-level understanding of the data teams processes and support sustainable and consistent data teams within the schools. Her efforts will focus on providing enhanced professional development to school leaders that play key roles in professional learning communities, including Academic Review Teams, grade level coordinators, and school administrators. 

Angelica Pikula, data analysis manager and academic review team lead at the Castle-Kahuku (CK) Complex Area in Windward Oahu, has led efforts to promote the effective use of data in the complex area. Among her accomplishments: designing a data process that connects the school’s Academic Plan goals and outcomes to the correlating data; conducting data analyses to support complex area, school, and School Community Council efforts; providing feedback on school-level data analyses; and providing professional development to school teams to help them use data to guide quality discussions about student achievement.

“Angelica’s knowledge has been extremely helpful to our teams at the school level in collecting and extracting data to guide quality discussions about student achievement within our schools,” said CK Complex Area Superintendent Lea Albert.

Pikula will use her award funding to systematize the data extraction and distribution process, create a schedule of data releases, and develop a reference guide for data users in her areas. These efforts will further educate data users in the CK Complex Area, and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of regular data distribution to schools.

Trintje Hironaga, school renewal specialist at Kau-Keaau-Pahoa (KKP) Complex Area on Hawaii Island, has led KKP’s efforts to become a data-driven complex area for years. Among her efforts is the development of the KKP Data Suite, which provides data and tools to schools and complex area staff to guide and monitor school improvement efforts. She also generates monthly progress monitoring workbooks for KKP schools and provides support for data analysis. Hironaga teamed with KKP’s turnaround partners, academic coaches and administrators to KKP money by doing the design and coding work herself.

“Trintje is an innovative data visionary,” said KKP Complex Area Superintendent Mary Correa. “She developed a data collection tool with monthly and yearly improvement trajectories about improvement efforts, which have been extremely valuable in our reform efforts.”

Hironaga will use the award funding to hire Makaha Studios to produce a video that demonstrates the use of data in the complex area, celebrate complex area achievement, and serve as motivation and inspiration for continued data use in KKP and elsewhere.

The use of data is an integral part of the department’s efforts to push student achievement to higher levels. The Department has worked to improved the quality of data and data tools available to educators; encourage the use of best practices such as formative instruction, data teams, and academic review teams; and build educators’ capacity to use data effectively through professional development and dedicated staff.

The Department plans to continue the data champion recognition program next year and open it to complex area and school level staff.

Access to high-quality and easy-to-use data supports all three goals of the Department’s Strategic Plan: Student Success, Staff Success, and Successful Systems of Support.

About the Hawaii State Department of Education
The Hawaii State Department of Education is the ninth-largest U.S. school district and the only statewide educational system in the country. It is comprised of 255 schools and 33 charter schools, and serves more than 185,000 students. King Kamehameha III established Hawaii’s public school system in 1840. The DOE is in the midst of a range of historic efforts to transform its public education system to ensure graduates succeed in college or careers. Read about our Milestones in Transformation.

Contact Information

Donalyn Dela Cruz

Phone: 808-586-3232


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