HIDOE Communications team recognized with national awards of excellence


The Hawaiʻi State Department of Education’s Communications Branch has received two prestigious awards for excellence from the National School Public Relations Association.

​The Hawaiʻi State Department of Education’s Communications Branch has received two prestigious awards for excellence from the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) for its weekly Hoʻohaʻaheo newsletter and for its video feature, A Day In The Life of Dr. Michael Ida

The projects competed against hundreds of entries from other school districts nationwide in NSPRA’s Publications and Digital Media Excellence Awards, which recognize outstanding education publications, marketing and informational materials, multimedia programs, social media and websites. 

“These award-winning features showcase the student and staff successes happening in our schools and we are tremendously honored for this recognition among our peer districts nationwide,” said Superintendent Keith Hayashi. “Our Communications team works closely with our schools and communities to highlight the achievements happening across our system in support of students, and these national awards help validate this effort.”

  • Award of Excellence
    Category: E-Newsletter (External Audience
    Entry: HIDOE Ho‘oha‘aheo Newsletter

The Ho‘oha‘aheo newsletter aims to live up to the meaning of ha‘aheo — to cherish with pride in Hawaiian — by bolstering and sustaining pride in public education through stories touting the accomplishments of students and staff. The Communications Branch produces the digital newsletter weekly, except during school intersessions, and distributes it to approximately 39,000 subscribers. Communications specialist Chanel Honda is the newsletter’s managing editor, communications specialist Sara Miyazono is creative director, and communications director Nanea Kalani is executive editor. 

  • Award of Excellence
    Category: Video (Produced In-House)
    Entry: “A Day In The Life of Dr. Michel Ida - 2023 Hawai‘i State Teacher of the Year”

This feature video provides a behind-the-scenes look at a typical day for one of Hawai‘i's top educators. The team captured in Dr. Ida’s own words what it means to be an educator with a visual disability and how representation played a role in his life. Students and colleagues also share their thoughts on why Dr. Ida is so deserving of the distinguished teacher of the year recognition and how he has made an impact on them and those around them. The video was shared on the Department's website and social media platforms and highlighted in internal and external newsletters. Video production technician Eliot Honda served as cameraman and editor while video production specialist Edgar Ambrosio served as executive producer.

The winning 2023 Publications and Digital Media Excellence Awards will be formally recognized during the NSPRA 2023 national seminar in St. Louis, Missouri, in July.

HIDOE’s Communications team has received past NSPRA awards for its Hoʻohaʻaheo newsletter (2020, 2021 and 2022), a social media campaign developed for the Grow Our Own Teachers initiative (2021), and its highlight video of 2020 graduation ceremonies during the COVID-19 pandemic (2021).


Ho‘oha‘aheo newsletter cover

The Department's primary publication featuring successes across our public schools.

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