Ho‘oha‘aheo Newsletter, April 19


Our monthly online publication to highlight bright spots from across the public school system. This week we're purple for Purple UP! day to show our support and appreciation of military youth.

April 19

Editorial Mission: As the Department's primary publication, we aim to live up to the meaning of ha‘aheo – to cherish with pride – by bolstering and sustaining pride in public education and touting the successes happening across our system.


Editor's Note: In honor of Purple Up! Day, our header is displayed in purple to show support and appreciation for the strength and sacrifice of military youth.

Mahalo to the over 4,000 individuals who took the time to complete the Department’s feedback survey on the draft implementation plan for the Board of Education’s six-year strategic plan. I want to especially thank our schools for conducting staff feedback sessions during a particularly busy time of the school year.

At the April 6 Board of Education meeting, we presented a summary of the feedback received, which showed general support for the Department’s draft implementation plan, with at least two-thirds supporting the draft as presented and almost all supporting the draft with revisions. The Board has indicated it would like to see more details on how the Department will achieve the set goals and desired outcomes. We are working on revising the plan to be responsive to the Board’s request, providing examples of specific actions that demonstrate the commitment to improvement and change from the Department, complex areas and schools. We plan to present a revised draft to the Board on May 4. Based on the Board’s feedback, the Department plans to present the Board with a plan for approval on May 18.

April is designated as the Month of the Military Child, underscoring the important role military children play in the armed forces community. This is a time to honor and applaud military families and their children for their daily sacrifices and the challenges they overcome. Today, April 19, is Purple Up! Day where we join the military community by wearing purple as a visible way to show our support.



In celebration of the Month of the Military Child and Purple Up! Day, we asked some special guests to answer the prompt below.

"How can the public show their support for military families?”

" Our military families often undergo extended deployments of the active service member, a mother or father who is then separated from their school-aged children. In addition to frequent deployments, military families usually move every two to three years, adding stress to an already very dynamic lifestyle. What military families often need most of all is the deep community connection which too often takes many years to establish. The public can show support for our military families by opening their hearts and helping them quickly connect to the community through a variety of methods, including school, sports, activities, church and just plain friendship! The HIDOE new student Transition Centers are a perfect example of this as they provide a welcoming environment to help new students and families quickly connect to their new community."

»Amy Solomon works as a school liaison officer for the Marine Corps Base Hawai‘i. She is a Kalāheo High School graduate and mom of two Kalāheo High School graduates.

" The public can show their support of military families by wearing purple on April 19 or any day in April. Community members can also encourage their colleagues whether in city, state or federal government to do the same. Local businesses can post a Purple Up! Message on their storefronts, menus or social media posts and can encourage their employees to wear purple. Community support of our military families will show them how much we appreciate their service and sacrifice. We need to recognize that military children serve too!"

»Cherry Okahara has been HIDOE’s military liaison since 2016. She is a proud graduate of Moloka‘i High School and hopes to send her daughter to Ho‘okele Elementary.

"As a school liaison officer, what does #PublicSchoolProud mean to you?"

" As a school liaison officer, #PublicSchoolProud reminds me of the appreciation I have for our Hawai‘i public schools and the high-quality education and academic opportunities they provide. I am inspired by the passion that each and every school has to promote a positive learning environment and to ensure the finest education for our military-connected students."

»Tamsin Keone is one of three Army Hawai‘i School Liaison Officers and she works closely with the schools in the ‘Aiea, Moanalua and Radford complexes.

" As a school liaison officer, I get to visit many schools throughout O‘ahu and am always so amazed by the students, staff, and faculty! The hard work, dedication, and passion of the educators play a critical role in inviting our military students to experience the uniqueness of Hawai‘i. The Transition Centers are a special and vital component of easing transitions for students and just one of the many programs that I am always so proud to share with military leaders, students, parents and colleagues around the world!"

»Wendy Nakasone-Kalani is one of three Army Hawai‘i School Liaison Officers and she works closely with the schools in the Leilehua, Mililani and Waialua complexes.

Community Query

In celebration of Earth Day, we quizzed our followers on Instagram...

What percent of its plastic does the U.S. recycle?


Plastic Pollution Quiz

Our social media followers knew the right answer! As of 2019, about 8.3 billion metric tons of plastic has been produced in the U.S. and, of that, less than 9% has been recycled. The troubling thing is if current production and management trends continue, 12 billion metric tons of plastic waste will end up in landfills or the ocean by 2050.

Take the EarthDay.org Plastic Pollution Quiz and test your knowledge!

Important Dates and Upcoming Events

  • April 19 - Purple Up! Day
  • April 20 - Board of Education: General Business Meeting
  • April 22 - Earth Day
  • April 23-29 - National Library Week


Earth Day Cleanup Festival

Sustainable Coastlines Hawai‘i along with many local non-profits and the Hawai‘i State Department of Health will be hosting an Earth Day Cleanup Festival with entertainment and workshops on April 23 at Waimānalo Beach Park!

Families, especially those with children under six years old, are invited to visit the soilSHOP lead testing station with soil from your home garden or play areas, toys, jewelry, dishes or other items that could contain lead. Finger prick blood lead testing for keiki will also be available. Even a little lead in your child’s blood can hurt their ability to learn, pay attention and do well in school. Visit test4lead.hawaii.gov for more info.

HIDOE Headlines

A roundup of announcements, resources and shoutouts.

» Center for Tomorrow’s Leaders Vision Lab showcased HIDOE student-led projects for positive community improvement.


» More than 300 union members, teachers, staff, students and community partners volunteered for the annual “Labor of Love” project this year, making needed improvements at Dole Middle.


» Special education student athletes from 10 public schools are hitting the court in the Friday Night Lights Inclusionary Basketball League.


Keith Hayashi


Heidi Armstrong

Deputy Superintendent


Curt Otaguro

Deputy Superintendent

Tammi Oyadomari-Chun
Deputy Superintendent


Sean Bacon
Talent Management
Brian Hallett
Fiscal Services
Annie Kalama
Student Support Services
Randall Tanaka
Facilities and Operations

Christine Shaw

Information Technology Services

Cara Tanimura

Strategy, Innovation and Performance

Teri Ushijima

Curriculum and Instructional Design



Nanea Kalani

Executive Editor


Chanel Honda

Managing Editor


Sara Miyazono
Creative Director


Derek Inoshita

Contributing Writer


Krislyn Yano

Contributing Writer



CONNECT WITH US » HawaiiPublicSchools.org

1390 Miller St. Honolulu, HI 96813 | Phone: (808) 784-6200 | Fax: (808) 586-3234
Email: newsletter@k12.hi.us


Contact Information

Communications Branch

Phone: (808) 784-6200

Email: doeinfo@k12.hi.us


Ho‘oha‘aheo newsletter cover

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

View all Ho‘oha‘aheo Newsletters