• ............................ Important Alert: View resources for students, families and staff affected by the wildfires in Maui: bit.ly/HIDOE-West-Maui-Resources

Ho‘oha‘aheo Newsletter, March 22


Our monthly online publication to highlight bright spots from across the public school system. This week features an update on Kūlanihāko‘i High School.

March 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.

With the support of Gov. Josh Green and Maui County Mayor Richard Bissen and their respective administrations, the Department of Education is working diligently to be able to physically open the new Kūlanihāko‘i High School to South Maui students in August for next school year.

The Department remains fully committed to ensuring student safety​​, including requirements imposed by the state Land Use Commission. Honolulu-based firm G70, has been contracted to design the pedestrian overpass and anticipates completing a design in late summer. The overpass is expected to take at least three years to complete.

Gov. Green agreed with Mayor Bissen that the state will assume liability for the new campus in the meantime. A formal agreement indemnifies the county from “liabilities that may arise from any items that are not in compliance with the [Land Use Commission's] requirements.”

The Department will work with the county, Gov. Green, the Department of Transportation and the LUC on next steps and is hopeful the school can open for students in the fall.



We asked special guests from the newly established Workforce Development Branch under the Office of the Superintendent to complete the prompt below. The new branch is dedicated to coordinating educational opportunities with Hawai‘i’s business sectors to help schools prepare students for the workforce. The team brings school, complex area and state office experience to the Department's workforce initiatives and is enthusiastic for the work ahead.

"_____ was my first job."

" For my first jobs, I was a part-time barista before I even knew what a “barista” was and a part-time medical receptionist. From both jobs, I learned patience and empathy – the customers/patients come first, even during moments of frustration. I may not know what their situation may be, so it’s best to just smile, nod, and help as best as I can. As an educator, patience and empathy are very important ... smile, nod, and help the best I can."

»Wanelle Kaneshiro is director of the Workforce Development Branch and has been with the Department for over 23 years. She previously served in director roles for Coordinated Support in the Office of the Deputy Superintendent; the Policy, Innovation, Planning, and Evaluation Branch; and the School Transformation Branch. She was an evaluation specialist for the Accountability Section, a vice principal at the intermediate and high school levels, and a high school English teacher. Wanelle is a proud graduate of Waimea High School.

" Bussing tables at a fancy breakfast restaurant was my first job. I learned how to handle my mistakes in public and not quit. I made a lot of mistakes in the beginning. I spilled hot coffee on a customer and dropped a whole tray of small glasses full of orange juice! But taking immediate action to clean up, apologize and just continue working helped me to stick to it. I was eventually promoted to hostess and then to cashier."

»Theresa Sanchez is an educational specialist with the Workforce Development Branch. She has been with the Department for 27 years, most recently as the educational specialist for transitions at the Office of Student Support Services. Prior to that, Theresa served as a school counselor at Leilehua High, a school counselor and English teacher at Wai‘anae High, and a new teacher mentor for the Nānākuli-Wai‘anae Complex Area. She is a proud graduate of Waimea High School.

" A sandwich artist was my first job. I enjoyed being part of a team and learned the value of service."

»Brandy Yagi is an educational specialist with the Workforce Development Branch. She has been with the Department for 23 years, most recently as an assistant principal at Waipahu High. Prior to that, Brandy was a vice principal at Waipahu Intermediate, a resource teacher for the Pearl City-Waipahu Complex Area, and a Pearl City High and Stevenson Middle social studies teacher. She is a proud graduate of Roosevelt High School.

National Reading Month

Reading is good for you in so many ways! Did you know that reading can help lengthen your attention span and build empathy by introducing you to diverse perspectives and situations? But did you also know that reading is good for your physical health too? Reading, and reading books in particular, can help:

  • Reduce stress hormones,
  • Lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and
  • Increase brain connectivity.

Many of us make time for a daily physical workout or meditation period. Consider making time for a daily reading session, too! You can use Sora to find materials in the shared ebook collection and connect your account to the Hawai’i State Public Library System to access even more ebooks. For a daily reading log to remind yourself to read and track your progress, download the Beanstack tracker app and join the #808Reads reading challenge.

Email 808libraries@k12.hi.us if you need help accessing Sora or the Beanstack app.

Important Dates and
Upcoming Events


Community Query

We asked on Twitter and Instagram...

What’s your favorite springtime activity?

HIDOE Headlines

A roundup of announcements, resources and shoutouts.

» Students from Lāna‘i High and Elementary will get a chance to interview astronauts aboard the International Space Station on March 23.


» As the Hawai‘i high school track season gets going, find out why this Kaimukī High senior is inspiring his teammates and coaches!


» Over 200 students from 15 Hawai‘i public schools participated in the Student Television Network conference in Long Beach, Calif., and brought home 46 multimedia journalism and filmmaking awards!


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


Contact Information

Communications Branch

Phone: (808) 784-6200

Email: doeinfo@k12.hi.us


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