Ho‘oha‘aheo Newsletter, Jan. 11


Our monthly online publication to highlight bright spots from across the public school system. This week's issue includes the Department's major priorities for the 2023 legislative session.

Jan. 11

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.

As we gear up for the start of the 2023 Legislative Session, one of the Department's major priorities will be to secure funding to support public education through the state's operating budget and capital improvements budget. It's critical that our schools have the necessary resources to positively impact student outcomes, and that the Department is adequately funded to support students.

You may have seen recent reports about how our per-pupil funding compares to other states. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), Hawai‘i spent an average of $16,761 per student in the 2018-19 school year, the most recent year for which national data are available — $3,000 more than the national average.

The Department also spends an average of 3.54% for “general admin costs” (centralized, non-school administrative costs), compared to a national average of nearly 6%. That’s according to nationwide data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau for NCES.

On Friday the Department is scheduled to present our budget request for fiscal years 2023-25 at the State Capitol before the Senate Ways and Means and Education Committees, the House Finance Committee, and the House Education Committee.

As part of our budget presentations, the Department plans to share with lawmakers the positive impact that returning to full in-person learning is having on student achievement — with the help of federal pandemic relief funding — and the legislative investment that is needed to sustain and further accelerate our efforts to support student success.

The legislative briefings are open to the public but no testimony is accepted. You can catch a livestream of committee meetings on the Hawai‘i House of Representatives YouTube and the Hawai‘i State Senate YouTube channels.



We asked some special guests to complete the prompt below.

“What is your New Year’s resolution for self-care?”

" More. More than six hours of sleep every night. More than 64 ounces of water every day. More time with my granddaughter, Amelie, and less television time. (Continuing my 2022 resolutions for five-times-a-week workouts and five-times-a-day protein over carbs during my 55th year.)"
Alisa Bender is the Secondary Principal-in-Residence with the OTM Leadership Institute. Prior to her appointment, she was the OCID Interim Assistant Superintendent and served as principal at ‘Aiea Intermediate and Hickam Elementary. She has received numerous accolades including the Terrel H. Bell Award for Outstanding Leadership, the Masayuki Tokioka Excellence in School Leadership Award, and the K. Mark Takai Outstanding Civil Contributor award.

" My New Year's resolution is to practice mindfulness in my personal and professional life. Focusing on intention, attention and attitude will allow me to grow as a leader and be most impactful in my life. Sometimes the little things are actually the biggest things."
Jaclyn Lone Elk started her career as a teacher, took on the role as a complex resource teacher, and has served in a variety of educational officer positions after completing her Ed.M from UH. She has experience as a vice principal, personnel regional officer and proud principal of Barbers Point Elementary. Currently, Lone Elk is a Principal in Residence with PDERI leading the New Principal Academy.

Family Focus

Looking to start the new year off with healthy recipes for the family? Check out this recipe for vegan and gluten-free poke from Waipahu High School’s Culinary Academy!


1 c. cooked ‘uala (purple sweet potato), cubed medium dice 

1 c. cooked kabocha, cubed medium dice

1 c. cooked kalo, cubed medium dice

1 c. very firm tofu, cubed medium dice, water drained out well

½ c. green onions, ¼” rings

1 c. round onion, cut very thin slices, 1/16”

¼ c. cooked shelled edamame beans

¼ c. ogo, course chopped

1 tsp. toasted sesame seeds

Oil for frying

Poke Sauce:

1 red Hawaiian chili, minced

½ tsp. Korean chili flakes

2  tsp. minced garlic

3 T.  gluten-free soy sauce

1 T.  sesame oil

½ c. gluten-free mushroom sauce

Salt and sugar to taste



Heat a nonstick wok with ¼ cup of oil on medium-high. Just before the smoke point, add the kalo and fry until golden brown and crispy.

Strain the oil from the kalo. Place the excess oil back into the wok and add more if needed. Heat again and add the kabocha. Fry until the sides are golden brown and crisp. Repeat the process with the ‘uala and the tofu. Chill to cool.

Mix together the sauce ingredients. Add or reduce ingredients to desired taste.

Once everything is well chilled, place all the ingredients together from the top list. Toss to distribute items evenly. Drizzle half the sauce over the mixture. Toss well. Taste and decide whether more sauce is needed.


Community Query

We asked on Twitter and Instagram...

What life skill do you think students need the most guidance? Part 1


HIDOE Headlines

A roundup of announcements, resources and shoutouts.

» Mokapu Elementary launched a major campus-wide renovation project to construct new administration, library and classroom buildings, cafeteria, learning courtyard and parking areas.


» Maverick Yasuda, a senior at Waipahu High, will join Senator Brian Schatz and Senator Mazie K. Hirono in representing Hawai‘i during the 61st annual United States Senate Youth Program Washington Week, March 4-11.


» Rachel Tao of Waiākea High was named as one of 300 scholars in the Regeneron Science Talent Search, known as the nation’s oldest and most prestigious science and math research competition for high school seniors.


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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Contact Information

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Phone: (808) 784-6200

Email: doeinfo@k12.hi.us

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