Ho‘oha‘aheo Newsletter, May 3


Our monthly online publication to highlight bright spots from across the public school system. This week features updates on the Implementation Plan that will be presented to the Board of Education.

May 3

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.

On Thursday the Department will be presenting an updated Implementation Plan draft for the Board of Education’s Strategic Plan. As you’ll recall, the Board approved its six-year Strategic Plan in Feb. 2023 as Phase I, setting a new mission and vision, and new goals and desired outcomes organized under three overarching priorities for the Department. Phase II consists of our implementation plan, which includes the action items and metrics that we will use to achieve the goals and outcomes.

The current implementation plan draft differs significantly from an initial version, and includes key action items that demonstrate a commitment to improvement and change from the Department, complex areas, and schools, as well as performance measures for each of the Board’s 27 desired outcomes. A summary guide is available here, with highlights of some of the action items around priorities for early childhood learning, vulnerable students, workforce readiness, culture- and place-based learning, and teacher recruitment and retention.

Based on the Board’s feedback at Thursday’s special meeting, the Department plans to present the Board with a plan for approval on May 18.


We asked some special guests from the ‘Aiea-Moanalua-Radford (AMR) Complex Area to complete the sentence below.

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

" being fortunate enough to serve as a complex academic officer. Working at the district level allowed me to see the great things the schools in our complex area are doing to support our students, not just academically, but looking at the whole child. From participating in school walkthroughs with our complex area superintendent, to field days and complex waiver days, there is a lot to be excited about. I would also like to mention that I get to work with some of the best district support staff in the state, beginning with my American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief team as well as school renewal specialists, district educational specialists and resource teachers in the AMR Complex Area."

»Trent Horita has been a complex academic officer since Sept. 2022. He was formerly the vice principal at Aliamanu Middle for four years and prior to that a school counselor at Makalapa Elementary. Horita earned his bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and a master’s degree in educational psychology from the University of Washington.

" being able to participate in all of our Radford Complex activities in person. We have such incredibly dedicated faculty and staff in our schools who put together opportunities and experiences for our students to showcase their abilities and talents. One of the highlights for me was going on Aliamanu Middle’s journey on The Amazing Shake. Watching the students getting coached and adjusting based on feedback from their teachers and administrators, serving as a judge and interacting with students one on one, hearing how articulate the students are and seeing how poised and confident they hold themselves was both impressive and inspiring."

»Tricia Tamayose Okamura has been Radford Complex’s school renewal specialist since 2013. She has held positions as complex area resource teacher, school assessment liaison, and classroom teacher all within the AMR Complex Area. Tamayose Okamura is a proud public school graduate of Pearl City High where she also coached girls basketball for seven years. She earned her bachelor’s degree in zoology, professional diploma in elementary education, and master’s degree in educational administration 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.

» Forty-two Hawai‘i public school seniors were honored as HLTA Citizen-Scholars and received a $1,000 scholarship for their exceptional academic performance and leadership in extracurricular activities.

» Congratulations to our HIDOE artists and National Scholastic Art Award medal winners! See their art on exhibition at the Hawai‘i State Art Museum until May 6.

» ‘Ewa Makai Middle’s Penelope Isabelle Oishi won the Institute on Violence, Abuse and Trauma’s 10th Annual Youth Arts Challenge 2023 grand prize.

» Kalani High Falcon Taiga Sakai was selected as a Gates Scholar. He was selected as one of 750 from among over 51,000 applicants across the nation.

» The Pacific & Asian Affairs Council (PAAC) awarded academic scholarships and honored high school clubs during a student showcase event. Congratulations to all HIDOE winners.

» Mililani High senior Corina Yi was named Youth Poet Laureate at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center. Other public school finalists were Vaiva Peroff of Waikiki Elementary and Korion Williams of Stevenson Middle.

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.

To ensure every student has what is needed to thrive and reach their full potential, the HIDOE utilizes a comprehensive approach to support the mental health and overall well-being of our students. In addition to counseling services, schools have trained behavioral-health staff who work across the spectrum of student needs. The HIDOE has also partnered with Hazel Health, along with other community based-providers like Hawai‘i Keiki, to help meet the needs of all students. Visit heretohelp.hidoe.us for more information.

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

  • Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander Heritage Month
  • National Children’s Mental Health Acceptance Month

Community Query

We asked on Twitter and Instagram...

What’s your preferred type of exercise?

HIDOE Headlines

A roundup of announcements, resources and shoutouts.

» HIDOE’s state Distance Learning program collaborated with Grove Farm to give students access to educational modules focused on sustainability and renewable energy. Fifth-graders were able to virtually visit the Global Algae Innovation Facility, the Solar Power and Battery Storage Facility and the Waiahi Surface Water Treatment Plant on Kaua‘i.

» Watch this special episode of HIKI NŌ on PBS Hawai‘i for stories that wowed the judges at the national 2023 Student Television Network Competition.

» Lawmakers are working to restore the Safe Routes to School program which helped Fern Elementary to create a safer walking path for students on congested Kalihi streets.


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



CONNECT WITH US » HawaiiPublicSchools.org

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

How do I...?


View all FAQ's