Ho‘oha‘aheo Newsletter, May 17


Our monthly online publication to highlight bright spots from across the public school system. This week features an update on the 2023-29 Strategic Plan Phase II Implementation Plan.

May 17

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.

At tomorrow’s Board of Education general business meeting, the Department will present its newly updated implementation plan which seeks to capitalize on progress made in our public schools’ recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and introduces new strategies to improve student learning and achievement.

The Board completed Phase I of the 2023-29 strategic plan which outlines a new mission, vision, core values, goals and desired outcomes under three overarching priorities for Hawai‘i’s public education system. This implementation plan is Phase II of the Board’s strategic planning process which consists of action items, performance measures, and statewide key performance indicators.

The Department took into consideration student data, performance data, educational research, best practices, and stakeholder and staff input to develop its plan. I appreciate all the time, energy and thought that has been put toward demonstrating the Department’s commitment to improvement and change.

Next steps include proposing ambitious yet attainable targets for the key performance indicators over the plan’s six years. The Department will report to the Board and the public on progress of the strategic plan, including quantitative and qualitative information. I’m proud of the collective effort to put together a solid plan and am confident that these steps will prepare all graduates to be globally competitive and locally committed.


We asked some special leaders to complete the sentence below.

"The best thing that happened to me this school year was __________.”

" ...seeing all of our ‘Aiea-Moanalua-Radford Complex area schools get back to offering a full array of in-person activities for our students, families and communities to take part in. With the barriers finally being fully lifted coming out of the pandemic we were eager to get back to full in-person school activities. It has truly been awesome to see our students smiling and engaged as they get back to developing their talents and interests in a safe, supportive and nurturing environment and we look forward to continuing to add more enriching activities in the years to come."

»John Erickson was appointed as the acting complex area superintendent (CAS) in August 2013, and named CAS in September 2015. Erickson joined HIDOE in 1994 as a counselor at Moanalua Elementary after working for two years in New York City Public Schools. He previously served as vice principal at Pearl Harbor Elementary and principal at ‘Aiea Elementary and Hickam Elementary. Under his leadership, Hickam Elementary achieved Recognition Status under the Strive HI Performance System. Erickson holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from State University of New York, Albany and a master’s degree in counseling psychology from City University of New York.

" ...visiting 'āina-based community organizations with the complex area principals and staff to better understand our sense of place, our purpose, and our partnerships."

»Dr. Ed Noh was appointed as complex area superintendent in January 2023 after serving as interim complex area superintendent since July 2021. Dr. Noh has served in multiple leadership roles including complex academic officer at the Windward Oʻahu District, principal of Kāneʻohe Elementary, school director of Kaʻōhao Public Charter and executive director of the Department's Leadership Institute. He also brings 11 years of classroom teaching experience and has served as a principal for six years with Seattle Public Schools. Dr. Noh earned his master's degree in educational leadership and policy studies from the University of Washington and his doctorate in professional educational practice from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.

Student Spotlight

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

» Good luck to Highlands Intermediate who will be representing the State of Hawai‘i Middle School Division in the upcoming National Science Olympiad Competition in Wichita, Kansas to be held on Sat., May 20.

» Congratulations to Kalani High’s Yu-An Ma who is the winner of the 2023 First Congressional District Art Competition! Yu-An’s masterpiece will be on display at the U.S. Capitol.

» Congratulations to Waipahu High’s Maverick Yasuda as Phi Theta Kappa’s 2023 Founders Medal Award recipient. Maverick’s essay was chosen as the best of over 1,200 submissions.

» Nine Waipahu High students will be graduating from the Waipahu High Academy of Health & Science with their Community Health Worker certificate of completion from Kapi‘olani Community College.

» Highlands Intermediate Student Council has been recognized as a 2023 National Gold Council of Excellence by the National Student Council which is supported by its parent organization, the National Association of Secondary School Principals.

» Kohala High students won the inaugural Kalo Challenge, learning the cultural practices of cultivating kalo and preparing unique dishes. Watch this video to learn more about the students’ journey and the competition.

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.

Did you know the Hawai‘i State Department of Health has a Child and Adolescent Mental Health Division (CAMHD)? CAMHD provides mental health services free of charge for eligible children and youth in Hawai‘i who have severe emotional and/or behavioral challenges. Services include assessment, case management, and an array of therapeutic supports provided in the home and community, or temporary out-of-home placements. For more information, visit their website at https://health.hawaii.gov/camhd/ or visit Help Your Keiki for local resources regarding children’s mental health and evidence-based treatments.

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

Community Query

We asked on Twitter and Instagram...

What’s your preferred type of exercise?

HIDOE Headlines

A roundup of announcements, resources and shoutouts.

» A new digital learning device is in development to give blind students expanded braille and tactile graphics on a single tablet.

» Fresh poi is on the lunch menu at over 70 Oʻahu schools, helping to increase local food sustainability.

» Waipahu High’s observatory is getting ready to give students amazing views of our universe next fall.


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

Communications Branch

Phone: (808) 784-6200

Email: doeinfo@k12.hi.us


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