Ho‘oha‘aheo Newsletter, Feb. 22


Our monthly online publication to highlight bright spots from across the public school system. This week's issue includes the middle level education conference and upcoming summer school offerings.

Feb. 22

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 can still feel the excitement and buzz from our middle level education conference with our partner, the Association of Middle Level Education (AMLE), to find the “Magic in the Middle.” Department leadership, school administrators and approximately 1,200 HIDOE educators who work with students in grades 5-10 convened at the Hawai‘i Convention Center and attended sessions on insights and strategies on AMLE’s 18 essential middle school characteristics.

One of our main priorities is to strengthen middle level education to better support students on their journey through elementary to secondary grades. This summit helped to deepen our understanding and align efforts around supporting our students. Thank you to our legislators, school administrators, educators, partners and our student guests for helping to make our conference a success.

Keeping this positive momentum going, I’m happy to announce a robust summer learning program at no cost to families. In order to help support student success, the 2023 Summer Learning Guide outlines the five summer learning models along with proposed program offerings for each model: official summer school; learning hubs; specialized student support; accelerated learning; and college, career and community learning.

Please see our Summer School webpage for the most up-to-date information on official summer school offerings.



We asked the three public school Hawai‘i LifeSmarts finalist teams to complete the prompt below. LifeSmarts, the Ultimate Consumer Challenge, is a free consumer education competition that tests students on their knowledge of personal finance, health and safety, environment, technology, and consumer rights and responsibilities.

“What is your team’s greatest takeaway from participating in LifeSmarts?”

" We still have much to learn, but this is a great opportunity for all of us. We are glad and proud to do this together as a team."
Kalani High
»Coach Mike Zane, Team Captain Brandon Tran, Players: Kyla Iglesia, Andy Chen, Michelle He, Mason Vuong

" There are a lot of complications in life as we turn to adulthood. Most of us are seniors who are graduating this year, we took a lot from studying all the categories."
Waipahu Team 2
»Coach Cindy Takara, Team Captain Avril Rose Valdez, Players: Jarell Ballesteros, Breeana Cabigas, Louis Marco Coloma, Nhut Ky Lu

" Win or lose, basically the experience and how much we learned is what really mattered."
Waipahu Team 1
»Coach Cindy Takara, Team Captain Isabelle Ava Delos Santos, Players: Estefany Mae Bayudan, Ken Hirohata, Hunter Von Tungeln, Serenity Kalai

Hawaiian Word of the Week

In honor of Mahina ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian Language Month), we are featuring selected segments of Hawai‘i Public Radio’s Hawaiian Word of the Day hosted by Leilani Poli‘ahu Kamalani. Leilani is also the Title I/curriculum coordinator at HIDOE’s Ke Kula Kaiapuni ‘o Ānuenue, a K-12 Hawaiian language immersion school. In this segment, she introduces a new word, explains what it means, spells it and models the correct pronunciation.

to read

► Listen

Heluhelu means “to read.” Helu, by itself, is to count, but re-duplicating it gives us a new word: to read. All of us can heluhelu and we do it everyday reading books, newspapers, magazines, signs, and more.


HIDOE Headlines

A roundup of announcements, resources and shoutouts.

» College Board surprised Kahuku High’s Veanui Peck with a $40,000 BigFuture scholarship for taking steps to prepare for college and beyond. She plans on studying mechanical engineering because she is interested in sustainability to help her community.


» Congratulations to Castle High’s Academy of Innovation, Academy of Arts & Business, Academy of Medical Services & Culinary Arts which have each earned model status from the National Career Academy Coalition!


» Students from both public and private schools competed in the Honolulu Chapter MathCounts Competition. Six students from Washington Middle placed within the top 10 for the individual category as well as a student from Highlands Intermediate. The Washington Middle team with Coach Sung Park also advanced to the state competition.


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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Email: newsletter@k12.hi.us


Contact Information

Communications Branch

Phone: (808) 784-6200

Email: doeinfo@k12.hi.us


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