Education leadership appointments move forward


The Department bids aloha to longtime educators Lea Albert and Valerie Takata as new leaders are appointed to key state offices and the Castle-Kahuku and Hilo-Waiakea Complex Areas.

​​​​​​​​​​​The Hawaii State Board of Education (BOE) today approved the appointments to two complex area superintendent positions in the Hawaii State Department of Education (DOE).  These appointments were made due to the retirement of Lea Albert, Complex Area Superintendent (CAS) for Castle-Kahuku, and Valerie Takata, CAS for Hilo-Waiakea. Both are retiring on June 30, 2015. 

“We will miss these leaders who have given so much of themselves to education and serving Hawaii’s keiki,” said Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi. “Personally, I have learned from each of them and am grateful for their unwavering dedication to public education.”

Albert began her DOE career 47 years ago teaching at Waialua High and Intermediate and later became principal at Kahuku High and Intermediate and Sunset Beach Elementary. It was there were she was a recipient of the Milken Foundation National Educator Award; in 1999 she was named the state’s National Association of Secondary School Principals’ High School Principal.

Takata’s DOE career spans 39 years having served as Hawaii District Superintendent and Deputy District Superintendent. She was the principal of Keonepoko Elementary and vice principal at Honokaa Elementary and High, and Pahoa High. Takata is a former National Distinguished Principal and also served as District Language Arts Resource Teacher for East Hawaii. She taught English and language arts on Hawaii and Oahu.

The BOE recognized both leaders with resolutions in their honor before approving Matt Ho as the next CAS of Castle-Kahuku and Brad Bennett as CAS of Hilo-Waiakea. 

Additional leadership changes​

The BOE also approved Superintendent Matayoshi’s appointment of Suzanne Mulcahy, right, to Assistant Superintendent of Office of Curriculum, Instruction and Student Support (OCISS). Since 2010, Mulcahy has been CAS of Kailua-Kalaheo. She will now lead OCISS, which recently was restructured under the leadership of Leila Hayashida. Mulcahy is a former special education teacher at Pearl City Elementary. She previously taught in California and Colorado for 15 years. She entered school administration in 2001 and served as a vice principal at Castle High and principal of Kailua Intermediate for six years before filling in as acting CAS in March 2010. Mulcahy is pursuing her doctorate in educational administration at the University of Hawaii (UH). She earned her bachelor’s degree in music education from Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, California, and her master’s degree in educational administration at the UH-Manoa.​

Earlier this month, the BOE approved the appointment of Tammi Oyadomari-Chun, Ed. D., left, to the position of Assistant Superintendent of Strategy, Innovation, and Performance. The position was most recently held by Stephen Schatz who became the Deputy Superintendent when Ronn Nozoe was tapped by the USDOE as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Programs. Oyadomari-Chun brings a wealth of education experience to the DOE having previously held key positions in government and non-profit sectors. She was the policy analyst (2011-2013) for the Office of the Governor, State of Hawaii; Executive Director for Hawaii P-20 Partnership for Education (2007-2011) where she developed and advocated for coordinated actions by DOE and UH. She also worked as th​e State Director for GEAR UP, Policy Analyst for RAND Corporation, and was a research associate for the Consortium for Policy Research in Education, University of Pennsylvania. Oyadomari-Chun is a graduate of  Moanalua High. She earned an educational doctorate from the University of Southern California Rossier School of Education; a master’s degree in Public Policy from Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government, and a bachelor’s degree from Pomona College. 

After an extensive recruitment process, Dawn Kau'i Sang, right, was selected by the Superintendent as the Director of Office of Hawaiian Education, which now falls under the Office of the Superintendent. Sang began her career with DOE in 1997 teaching at Waimanalo and later taught at two Hawaiian Immersion schools. In 2005, she became the Educational Specialist for the Hawaiian Language Immersion (Kaiapuni) Program. Sang was actively involved in the revision of Board policies 2104 and 2105 and the development of Board policy E-3. A graduate of Kailua High, Kau'i earned her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in education from the UH-Manoa.

About Matt Ho
Matt Ho, left, began his education career at Kailua High in 2001 as an English teacher for grades nine and 10. He went on to serve in several leadership positions including Kailua High School vice principal (2003-2009) and Laie Elementary School principal (2009-2015). While at Laie Elementary, he created viable health and wellness programs through partnerships with UH and Department of Health. Ho received his bachelor’s degree in English and master’s degree in teaching from the UH-Manoa. 

About Brad Bennett
Brad Bennett, left, who has more than 14 years of experience with the DOE, most recently served as principal of Waiakeawaena Elementary for two years where he created and implemented the Five Year School Improvement Plan based Strive HI metrics and began the implementation of the Intent Based Leadership Initiative. Bennett also served as principal of Haaheo Elementary and vice principal of Ewa Elementary. He is a graduate of Kamehameha Schools and earned his bachelor’s degree in Asian-Pacific history and master’s degree in special education from UH-Manoa. 


Contact Information

Donalyn Dela Cruz

Phone: 808-586-3232



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