Ho‘oha‘aheo Newsletter, Nov. 16


Our monthly online publication to highlight bright spots from across the public school system. This week's issue highlights the recent national recognition of Pearl City High, Waiākea High and James Campbell High academies.


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.

Our schools continue to provide a variety of models to ensure students are prepared for Hawaiʻi’s current and future workforce needs, including academies, pathways, Early College, International Baccalaureate and other rigorous models.

Two dozen HIDOE high schools offer academy models, which are designed to prepare students for college and careers by providing a personalized and rigorous education in smaller learning communities organized by grade and/or academic or career interests.

Pearl City High and Waiākea High recently achieved the highest level of national recognition for three career academies each. The distinction means the schools join Waipahu High as wall-to-wall national model academy high schools!

Pearl City earned National Model Academy with Distinction status for its Academies of International Business & Design; Academy of Culinary Arts, Health Sciences & Leadership; and Academy of Technology & Design. Waiākea High earned National Model Academy with Distinction status for its Freshman Academy and National Model Status for its Health Services Academy and Public Services Academy. The school previously earned National Model Status in 2020 for its Business, Engineering, Sciences, and Technology Academy.

Congratulations to Pearl City High Principal Joe Halfmann and Waiākea High Principal Kelcy Koga and their respective school teams for the hard-earned recognition of wall-to-wall national model academies that demonstrates your commitment to student success.

The credential from the National Career Academy Coalition recognizes college and career academies that show exemplary performance in the National Standard of Practice (NSOP). To reach the model with distinction level, the highest level of recognition, an academy must meet or exceed proficiency in all 10 areas noted in the NSOP.

Update: Three of James Campbell High School's academies were also recently recognized by the National Career Academy Coalition. The school earned National Model Status for both its Academy of Public and Human Services and Academy of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math. Campbell's Freshman Success Academy earned National Model Academy with Distinction status.

Castle, Farrington, Kaimuki and Waimea high schools each have an academy recognized by the National Career Academy Coalition.



We asked some special guests from the Farrington-Kaiser-Kalani complex area to complete the sentence below.

“I’m most grateful for my ability to __________.”

" …to work in a profession that I am so passionate about. Being an educator is an important job, and I look forward to coming to work everyday in hopes that I can influence the learning experiences, opportunities and outcomes for our students.
Rochelle Mahoe was named complex area superintendent in July 2018. Mahoe was previously principal of Noelani Elementary since 2006. She also served as vice principal at Pearl City High and Likelike Elementary, and taught mathematics in our classrooms. She has a bachelor's degree from the University of Oregon, Master of Education in Teaching and a Doctor of Philosophy in Education from the University of Hawai‘i.

" …support new teachers as they enter our teaching profession. I work alongside amazing people at both the complex area and school level and I truly feel like I have the best role in the Department of Education!”
Alec Shimizu is a full-release mentor in the Farrington-Kaiser-Kalani Complex Area. He is a 27-year veteran of the department and is a proud graduate of Kaimukī High and UH Mānoa.

" …connect with so many people, at different levels in our department, for the common purpose of improving student outcomes and bringing student-centered learning to the forefront. Through my collaboration with inspiring teachers, insightful leadership teams, and hardworking administrators, I am able to positively impact the future leaders of our community and our world.
Luana Seitz attended Kalihi-Uka Elementary, Kalihi-Waena Elementary, Dole Middle and graduated from Farrington High. She was a classroom teacher for 18 years and is now the complex area’s STEM resource teacher.

Family Focus

With only a one week to Thanksgiving, we’re continuing our gratitude series in effort to lead happier and healthier lives. Last week we focused on making an effort to notice the good things in life. The next step to focus on this week is to savor the things that we are grateful for.

There are moments when you are naturally filled with gratitude. Pause. Notice and absorb that feeling of true, genuine gratitude. This may include sensations, emotions, perceptions, thoughts and behaviors in which you are immersed. Consider starting a gratitude journal and making a commitment to writing down good things and how they made you feel as they happened.

Important Dates and
Upcoming Events


Community Query

We asked on Twitter and Instagram...

Q: What is Thanksgiving really about?

CDC COVID-19 Community Levels

CDC’s COVID-19 Community Levels is a tool to help guide decision making on mitigation strategies based on community classification levels of low, medium or high. When the level is at medium or high, additional layered strategies such as masking are recommended.
Weekly CDC COVID Community Levels by Hawaii DOH

HIDOE Headlines

A roundup of announcements, resources and shoutouts.

» Pacific & Asian Affairs Council partnered with the East-West Center Arts Program to host 18 educators from across the state for its bi-annual teacher workshop. They explored the art of hana keaka (Hawaiian theatre) which is an exhibit featured at the East-West Center Gallery through Jan. 8, 2023. The workshop included lessons in curriculum development, hands-on activities and community resources.


» Read Hawai‘i Public Radio’s feature on Kailua High’s resource center that is a one-stop shop where families and students can get help and learn how to navigate today’s education system. From digital literacy for parents and kūpuna during the day to providing after-school financial literacy courses for students, it has become a hub which has helped to build relationships in the community.


» The Hawai‘i Community Foundation (HCF) Common Scholarship Application is now accepting submissions through February 14, 2023. Access 200+ scholarships with one application which is completely free. HCF distributes over $7 million annually to deserving students who are pursuing degrees from colleges and universities, as well as those obtaining career and technical education at a community college.


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


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Email: newsletter@k12.hi.us


Contact Information

Communications Branch

Phone: (808) 784-6200

Email: doeinfo@k12.hi.us


Ho‘oha‘aheo newsletter cover

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

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