Naomi Matsuzaki wins national distinguished principal award


HONOLULU - Kahaluu Elementary Principal Naomi Matsuzaki today was named the 2013 National Distinguished Principal for the State of Hawaii.

Naomi and Lea

Naomi Matsuzaki, left, with Complex Area Superintendent Lea Albert.

​​​​​​​Ronn Nozoe, deputy superintendent, announced Matsuzaki's selection during an awards luncheon held at the Hale Koa Hotel. Matsuzaki was chosen by a committee put together by the Hawaii Elementary and Middle School Administrators Association (HEMSAA). Matsuzaki, representing the Windward Oahu District, was one of six nominees for the award.

The other nominees were:

  • Jan Iwase (Central District, Hale Kula Elementary),
  • Bonnie Tabor (Honolulu District, Waikiki Elementary),
  • Wendy Takahashi (Leeward District, Nanakuli Elementary),
  • Beverly Stanich (Maui District, Wailuku Elementary), and
  • Corey Nakamura (Kauai District, Hanalei Elementary)

The National Distinguished Principals Program is sponsored by the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) and HEMSAA. The National Distinguished Principals Program reflects the key role that a principal plays in shaping the learning environment within​ a school.

Matsuzaki and other award-winning principals will travel to Washington, D.C., in October to attend a two-day event honoring their accomplishments. The event will include opportunities to discuss issues facing education today, and a black-tie awards dinner and dance.

Contact Information

Donalyn Dela Cruz

Phone: 808-586-3232



Ho‘oha‘aheo newsletter cover

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

View all Ho‘oha‘aheo Newsletters