Ho‘oha‘aheo Newsletter, May 10


Our monthly online publication to highlight bright spots from across the public school system. This week features Teacher Appreciation Week messages.

May 10

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.

We are celebrating many things this week! With the start of graduation season, the health and safety of students, staff, families and our communities are our priority. We encourage everyone to stay safe and protect ourselves and our loved ones.

We are in the middle of Teacher Appreciation Week and I want to take a moment to express my gratitude and recognize all that you do from engaging lessons, supportive and encouraging words, and your commitment to helping each student succeed. Teachers truly make — and continue to have — an immeasurable positive impact on the lives of so many students, including myself.

Our Hawai‘i State Teacher of the Year Dr. Michael Ida also shared some words of appreciation for teachers. He reminds us that teachers are leaders, role models and a true source of inspiration. In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, Dr. Ida is also taking over the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Instagram account for the day!

Today is also National School Nurse Day and we celebrate and honor the work of our school health assistants and Hawai‘i Keiki school nurses to keep our students and school communities safe and thriving — from administering first aid and medications to offering health-related education and training for staff. Mahalo for serving our schools and the work you do to improve the health and well-being of our communities.

Student Spotlight

As we start to close out this school year, this section is dedicated to highlighting outstanding student achievements and accomplishments.

» Kahuku High & Intermediate senior Vaeanui Peck was named one of three Hawai‘i scholars in the 59th class of U.S. Presidential Scholars. Vaeanui was selected as a U.S. Presidential Scholar in Career and Technical Education – a category that only honors up to 20 students.

» Congratulations to Maui High’s Cailyn Omuro who is the winner of the 2023 Second Congressional District Art Competition! Cailyn’s masterpiece will be on display at the U.S. Capitol.

» Eight Farrington High School seniors will earn associate’s degrees from Honolulu Community College alongside their high school diploma.


Happy Teacher Appreciation Week to all our Hawai‘i public school educators! View an appreciation video in honor and appreciation of all your hard work and dedication.

National Children’s Mental Health Acceptance Month

May is Children’s Mental Health Awareness Month. Each week we’ll be highlighting different resources and strategies centered around mental health for students and families to use.

The National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health offers a variety of resources, activities, workbooks and videos to help families get involved with their children’s mental health. There are additional resources to start conversations about the importance of mental health at home and how families can help to foster environments of acceptance. For more information visit https://www.ffcmh.org/cmha-activites-for-youth.

For free, 24/7 crisis support, text ALOHA to 741741 to reach a crisis counselor via the Crisis Text Line or call, text or chat 988 to reach Hawaiʻi CARES for free crisis, mental health and substance abuse support.

Important Dates and
Upcoming Events

  • May 8-12 - Teacher Appreciation Week
  • May 10 - School Nurse Day

Strategic Plan Update

On May 18 the Department plans to present the Board of Education with a finalized Implementation Plan for the 2023-29 Strategic Plan. For meeting agendas and information on how to testify, visit boe.hawaii.gov.

Community Query

We asked on Twitter and Instagram...

Best way to thank your teachers for their hard work?

HIDOE Headlines

A roundup of announcements, resources and shoutouts.

» The Hawai‘i Lodging & Tourism Association and the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement are starting a pilot program to provide public high school students with paid internships at local tourism businesses.

» Students from Ke Kula Kaiapuni Kailua shared their voice in a segment of the Smithsonian Institute’s American Indian Museum’s Youth in Action: Conversations about Our Future series.

» Waikīkī Elementary students designed and created enrichment toys for animals at the Honolulu Zoo, including puzzle boxes for the primates, a popcorn feeder for the elephants and a back scratcher for the cow.


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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The Department's primary publication featuring successes across our public schools.

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