Ho‘oha‘aheo Newsletter, Jan. 18


Our monthly online publication to highlight bright spots from across the public school system. This week's issue includes the opening day of the 2023 legislative session and recognition of our board members in honor of School Board Recognition Month.

Jan. 18

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.

Today marks the Hawai‘i State Legislature’s opening day of the 2023 legislative session. During the session, lawmakers will negotiate additions to the state budget for the next two fiscal years and debate various bills. Of the thousands of bills lawmakers introduce each year, the Department closely monitors hundreds of bills and provides testimony on proposed legislation that stands to impact the public school system.

This year, the Department is seeking support for legislation that benefits students and operations, including a focus on school safety to deter harassment and protect school administrators, and the creation of an educational expenditure trust fund. These measures have been submitted for consideration as part of the Governor’s legislative package.

The Legislature handles the high volume of proposed legislation through subject matter committees that vet bills for the House and Senate. Stay up to date with the Hawai‘i State Capitol website which includes information on lawmakers, legislative committees and hearing notifications. I look forward to a collaborative and effective legislative session with our legislators, Board members and HIDOE leadership.

January also marks School Board Recognition Month and I’d like to thank and recognize our Board of Education members who voluntarily give their time, energy and support to ensure successful outcomes for our students. They are a crucial bridge between communities and the Department in helping to guide and advocate for public education in Hawai‘i.



We asked some special guests from the Leilehua-Mililani-Waialua (LMW) Complex Area to complete the prompt below.

“What is your professional New Year’s resolution?”

" I typically do not make New Year's resolutions because research shows it normally does not work. However, I truly hope to be more intentional to go out and see the many wonderful programs in our schools. We have amazing people working in our schools and our students have tremendous talents that are showcased regularly throughout the year. Academics, fine arts, athletics, clubs, public service and more!"
Robert Davis was appointed complex area superintendent in Jan. 2017, moving into the position from Ka‘ala Elementary, where he was the principal. Prior to that, he was a personnel regional officer for the Department's Central District Office as well as a vice principal, counselor and teacher at Leilehua High. The proud Leilehua High graduate has also coached high school athletics including football for 12 years and soccer for five years. He earned his bachelor's degree in secondary education and master's degree in curriculum and instruction from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.

" Finding balance between work and family life can be quite challenging. Having enough time for work and your personal life is essential for your well-being and can lead to a more fulfilling life, both at home and at work. My New Year's resolution is to create a good balance with work and life. I enjoy the many great things that we are doing in the LMW Complex. However, we all can eat healthier, exercise more and spend more time with loved ones."
Garett Yukumoto has been a complex academic officer since Jan. 2022. He was formerly the principal at ‘Iliahi Elementary and also served as a vice principal and special education teacher for various schools within the Leilehua Complex. Yukumoto earned his bachelor's degree from Hawai‘i Pacific University, education credentials through the University of Hawai‘i and is a proud public school graduate of ‘Aiea High.

" The LMW Complex Area is very diverse, and finding time to support the various needs can be challenging. My professional New Year's resolution is to prioritize the work that I do and support the various levels of leadership at the schools. I also hope to find balance in my work and home life."
Kerry Kawamura has been LMW's school renewal specialist since 2020. Kawamura held positions as a math teacher, math department chairperson, curriculum coordinator, and most recently, a vice principal at Leilehua High. Kawamura earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a master’s degree in educational technology from the University of Northern Colorado.

Family Focus

HIDOE parents and families: Let your voice be heard! Please share your opinion about your child's school by completing the School Quality Survey by March 10. The survey will take approximately 5-10 minutes to complete and all responses are confidential. One survey per child in grades K-12 is accepted. Access the survey here.

Survey translations are available here (click on the drop-down arrow for “school year” and select 2022-2023; then click on the drop-down arrow “filter by” and select translations for your language; finally, click on the drop-down arrow “for” and select parent letter or survey to obtain translated documents. If your language is not available, please call your school for assistance.

Important Dates and
Upcoming Events


Community Query

We asked on Twitter and Instagram...

What life skill do you think students need the most guidance? Part 2


HIDOE Headlines

A roundup of announcements, resources and shoutouts.

» Lt. Gov. Sylvia Luke outlined her plans to help get young children into preschool and offer early education statewide through the new Ready Keiki program. Ready Keiki aim to open 80 Pre-K classrooms by 2024.


» Hawai‘i News Now featured our Hawai‘i State Teacher of the Year Michael Ida in their new Education Inspiration segment. Watch their story as they showcase him helping Kalani High students grasp concepts in AP Calculus.


» Educators are welcome to register for the Hawai‘i State Art Museum’s first-ever Educator Appreciation Night on Sat., Jan. 28 from 6-9 p.m. This free event includes art-making, conversation, fun and food.


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


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