Ho‘oha‘aheo Newsletter, April 5


Our monthly online publication to highlight bright spots from across the public school system. This week features the 2023 state Teacher of Promise award and recognition of assistant principals.

April 5

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.

I had the privilege of helping honor Red Hill Elementary special education teacher Ritela “Sheila” Sproule with the 2023 state Teacher of Promise award at a recent faculty celebration event. This award recognizes a classroom teacher for demonstrating outstanding commitment and potential during their first three years with the Department and is granted annually by the Milken Educators of Hawai‘i with a $2,000 prize sponsored by HawaiiUSA Federal Credit Union.

Sheila started as a long-term special education substitute teacher when she was encouraged by Red Hill Principal Komarey Moss to earn her certification to teach full time. She works in a fully self-contained classroom designated for students with severe disabilities and is known for her individualized strategies, hands-on resources and deep understanding of each unique learner. Sheila’s dedication is so inspiring and I was humbled to help recognize such a deserving educator.

This week, April 3-7, 2023, is National Assistant Principals Week and I'm proud to congratulate Kawānanakoa Middle Assistant Principal Bebi Davis not only as the 2023 Hawai‘i National Outstanding Assistant Principal, but also as a national finalist for the 2023 National Assistant Principal of the Year!

I’d also like to recognize our celebrated assistant principal nominees: Olomana School’s John Secreto, Wheeler Elementary’s John Walje, Princess Nāhi‘ena‘ena Elementary's Ian Haskins, Waiākeawaena Elementary’s Suzanne Ochi and Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle's Ray Carvalho. Thank you to all of our VPs for your stellar contributions and excellence in educational leadership.



We asked the state office leads for two of the ESSER strategies to complete the prompt below.

“How do you think the Healthy Habits, Healthy Schools strategy is benefitting students and schools?”

" The Healthy Habits, Healthy Schools strategy supports the whole person through the Hawai‘i Multi-Tiered System of Support, social-emotional learning and trauma-informed practices. Together we’re fostering learning environments in which all students and adults feel loved, connected and supported so that they experience well-being, success and true thriving."

»Carey Tambio is an educational specialist leading the Healthy Habits, Healthy Schools strategy in the Student Support Section of the Office of Student Support Services. Over the last 19 years she has served the Department at the state, complex area and school level. Her previous roles include director, administrator, and educational specialist at the School Transformation Branch, resource teacher at the Leilehua-Mililani-Waialua Complex Area, and teacher at Mililani Middle School.

" The Healthy Habits, Healthy Schools Strategy supports the whole student, the whole staff, and the whole school through the Hawai‘i Multi-Tiered System of Support (HMTSS) framework. It is the hale that keeps us together and the sense of ‘ohana which truly is ne‘epapa in action."

»CJ (Rice) Chappell is the educational specialist HMTSS support facilitator leading the HMTSS Cohort 2.0 this year and part of the team for the Healthy Habits, Healthy Schools ESSER strategy. For over 30 years CJ has served the Department at the state and school level as well as taught at the university level.

“How do you think the Action-Oriented Data Decision-Making strategy is benefitting students and schools?”

" Action-Oriented Data Decision-Making is benefitting the students and schools by implementing strategies that focus conversations around where organizations are, where they want to go, how they will get there, and what information or data they will use to measure progress. Through these conversations, results become predictable and the progress made can be celebrated."

»David Shimoda’s career began at Wai‘anae High School where he started his journey of learning how to help people get from where they were to where they wanted to go as the ninth grade guidance and career development teacher — a journey he continues on the Action-Oriented Data Decision-Making team.

National Assistant Principals Week

The National Association of Elementary School Principals and the National Association of Secondary School Principals celebrate National Assistant Principals Week, April 3-7, 2023, which recognizes the significant role assistant principals play in the overall success of students nationwide. Assistant principals work tirelessly on behalf of teachers, students, and their principal to create a positive learning community and tackle the many unpredictable challenges that come their way. Please join us in recognizing and celebrating these incredible school leaders!

Important Dates and
Upcoming Events

  • Math Awareness Month
  • National Financial Literacy Month
  • National Poetry Writing Month
  • National Volunteer Month
  • April 3-7 - National Assistant Principals Week
  • April 6 - Board of Education: Student Achievement Committee Meeting, Special Meeting
  • April 7 - Holiday: Good Friday

Community Query

We asked on Twitter and Instagram...

It’s Math Awareness Month! What’s your favorite math concept?

HIDOE Headlines

A roundup of announcements, resources and shoutouts.

» Pearl Ridge Elementary students were tired of seeing graffiti outside campus, so they created artwork to cover it and beautify their community.


» Hawai‘i Public Radio featured Moloka‘i’s robotics programs where elementary, middle and high school robotics teams have won state, national and international awards.


» Kealakehe Intermediate assistant principal Mathieu Williams was featured as one of the 20 for the Next 20 honorees in Hawai‘i Business Magazine.


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



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