January 2022 Ho‘oha‘aheo


Our monthly online publication to highlight bright spots from across the public school system. This month's issue features New Year's resolutions from teachers and the opening of the 2022 legislative session.


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 the system.

As we head into 2022, we reached out to veteran and new teachers alike to share their professional New Year’s resolutions. Here's to a healthy and productive year ahead!

Camille Chong, NBCT

Honolulu District Office, SPED

23 years taught in Hawai‘i schools

» My professional resolution for 2022 is to amplify my advocacy for diverse learners across my district in access and inclusivity towards healthy active living.


Traci Rosario, NBCT

Maui High

22 years taught in Hawai‘i schools

» My New Year's resolution for my classroom is for me to let go of the reigns a bit and empower my students and allow them to create learning opportunities for each other through the use of advanced technology and project-based learning.


Laura Peterson, NBCT

Moloka‘i High

18 years taught in Hawai‘i schools

» One resolution is to create a self-nurturing transition from work to home, and another is to get outside and walk during lunch. I will always work hard, but also want to attend to my health and personal growth so that I am the best educator I can be!


Julie Bonilla, NBCT

Holomua Elementary

17 years taught in Hawai‘i schools

» My New Year's resolution is to model life-long learning, evolve through adversity and synergize in support of quality instruction and intervention.

Erin Medeiros, NBCT

Kanuikapono PCS

16 years taught in Hawai‘i schools

» I teach on a team of three, and together we selected two intentions for this year: nanea and hoʻomanawanui. I'm committed to engaging students in deep learning/PBL while making the process joyful, absorbing, rewarding and effortless.


Sarah Carlson

Maui High

2 years taught in Hawai‘i schools

» My New Year's resolution is to get organized. As a special education teacher, I have come to find that the paperwork is endless. This year I am determined to create file folders in the computer and backup on a thumb drive.


Tiffany Owens

Shafter Elementary

1 year taught in Hawai‘i schools

» As a new year with the Department of Education in Hawai‘i begins, I would say my resolutions would be to create a healthy work balance as well as to create a positive environment for my students.


Kristin Yamasaki

Pearl Ridge Elementary

1 year taught in Hawai‘i schools

» My New Year's resolution is not only to survive my second year of teaching, but to continue learning to be flexible and patient with others. Things don't happen overnight, and that is OK. Being young and learning patience is OK.

Legislative session opens this week

The Hawai‘i State Legislature is scheduled to open the 2022 legislative session on Wednesday, Jan. 19. One of the Department's highest priorities will be garnering support for our budget request. This is a supplemental budget year, meaning lawmakers will be considering add-ons to our base budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1.

Read more

Stay up to date on what's happening during the session


The Policy, Innovation, Planning and Evaluation Branch's Policy PIPEline website includes a dedicated legislative session tab with helpful resources and information, including links to the Department's testimony on bills.

The Hawaiʻi State Capitol website includes information on lawmakers and the legislative committees that vet bills for the House and Senate. You can also sign up for hearing notifications and access hearing notices on the site.

Hawai‘i State Student Council

» The Secondary Student Conference will take place virtually on Feb. 26, March 12 and March 25. Secondary students wishing to participate can contact their school SAC to register.


The Hawai‘i State Student Council has announced this year’s Secondary Student Conference central theme to be “IGNITE 2022.” The past two years have brought tremendous change to our daily lives, and the way in which we perceive the world. However, the importance of student voice has remained constant in all that we do to support the continuous act of positive change. We aim to inspire Hawai‘i’s youth to ignite their passions at all levels, which will ultimately lead to a future generation equipped with the courage to lead through challenging times.


We asked the Hawai‘i State Student Council to talk about their upcoming Secondary Student Conference and their focus for the 2022 legislative session. They highlight the importance of student voice to inspire their peers and bring about positive change.

Read more


One of the high points during the pandemic that makes me #PublicSchoolProud has been HIDOE’s summer internship program. Seniors and juniors selected after a competitive process work alongside us for six to seven weeks. I am impressed by the resilience and strength displayed by our students who navigated challenges and became community contributors. We learned from them as much as they learned from us, while allowing us to infuse student voice directly into our work. This success is thanks to the educators, advocates, partners and elected officials who have shared their knowledge and experience to help these interns succeed on their educational journey.

» Capsun Poe is an institutional analyst in the Policy, Innovation, Planning and Evaluation Branch under the Office of Strategy, Innovation and Performance. He also serves as HIDOE's legislative coordinator and is a graduate of Konawaena High School.

I graduated from Roosevelt High School over four decades ago and deeply appreciate my K-12 teachers. To this day, I still remember the names of my elementary school teachers and can recall specific lessons and foundational skills they taught me. My middle and high school English teachers gave me a safe space to express my thoughts and feelings while improving my writing and editing. I have used these skills consistently throughout my career. I believe that all of our schools, teachers, administrators and staff are positively impacting students and families every single day and that makes me #PublicSchoolProud.

» Jennifer Dang is an institutional analyst in the Policy, Innovation, Planning and Evaluation Branch under the Office of Strategy, Innovation and Performance. Her two children attended Kāneʻohe Elementary School.

Educational Plan and Fiscal Plan


In response to the hardships that our public schools have been facing over the course of this pandemic, the Department has developed an Educational Plan and Fiscal Plan to sensibly utilize the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER III) federal relief money.

Read more
  • The January issue is our last monthly edition for now as we transition to a COVID-focused weekly newsletter. Please keep an eye out for the weekly digital updates.


Keith Hayashi

Interim Superintendent


Phyllis Unebasami
Deputy Superintendent


Heidi Armstrong
Student Support Services
Sean Bacon
Talent Management
Brian Hallett
Fiscal 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



CONNECT WITH US » HawaiiPublicSchools.org

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

What makes you #PublicSchoolProud?

This email was sent to all HIDOE staff.


Contact Information

Communications Branch

Phone: (808) 784-6200

Email: doeinfo@k12.hi.us

How do I...?


View all FAQ's